Tag Archives: economics

Will the End of Civilization Sneak Up On Us?


Major disaster or creeping decay?  A huge, amorphous disaster like an Extinction Event can last anywhere from minutes (asteroid impact) to 500 million years (volcanic eruptions).  The current extinction event, thought to be the sixth, began at least a century or two ago and may continue for another century or two, though that period could be drastically shortened by a number of potential events such as nuclear war or climate change.  Human events are rarely severe enough to cause drastic, lasting change unless they are supported by many other, seemingly less significant situations and events.  For instance, a small change in the climate can favor some microorganisms over others, and result in sudden, unexpected die-offs of particular species such as starfish, with unpredictable environmental consequences.  Terrible typhoons killed hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar and China, and the Sichuan earthquake killed tens of thousands, but these countries’ populations barely showed the difference a decade later.  So how can we expect the next century to play out? Continue reading

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The Biggest Catastrophes Are the Ones We Ignore until It’s Too Late


It’s 2019 and, still, nobody is paying attention to the population explosion.  As 2018 was drawing to a close I happened to be at a dinner with a friend, University of Michigan professor emeritus in environmental studies, Jim Crowfoot, and when, as we often do, we spoke of overpopulation and climate change he leaned over to me and very quietly and seriously said “The house is on fire, but nobody’s paying attention.”   He wasn’t kidding. Continue reading

The Problems of the Population Explosion Will Increasingly Overlap


Our problems from population overgrowth focus mostly on food, and are not decreasing.  As I have suggested in past posts, famine will be a key element of the global collapse humanity is racing towards, and this article describes the current status of our global food infrastructure.  This additional article provides even more detail.  Unfortunately, it appears we are steadily losing ground and on a path to disaster. Continue reading

Will the Cost of Overpopulation Bring Us Down?


Look at each of the world’s most threatening and pervasive problems and their cost projections.  Would a subset of them be able to bankrupt a major national (or regional) economy?  Will the coming population explosion cause major problems when those nations that still have funding for problem mitigation run out of money? Continue reading

Plans Being Made to Feed 9B People in 35 Years – What Will They Do for 10B? 11B?


This article from Wired magazine shows the weakness of American popular culture.  It is good that the authors see potential problems from the population explosion, and try to come up with a way to feed the 9 billion humans expected to live by 2050, but this is a very shallow consideration.  Certainly much thought and work should be applied to this issue, but do the authors think time and the population explosion will stop there?  What do they expect to do when the population – enabled to have even more children by the plentiful food supply – continues to explode and reaches 10 billion, 11 billion, and then 12 billion? Continue reading

As Population Peaks There is One Certainty: Things Will Be Messy and Complicated


We humans are clearly overrunning the planet, but few understand or will face what is happening.  As population hits an all-time peak later this century, life on the planet will get much tougher and there will be no simple answers to the problems that will arise or simply increase in severity.  While it is hard to see ahead with any detail, past experience says there will never be a single crisis that challenges humanity like overpopulation does (barring an asteroid impact, a global volcanic surprise, or the sun doing something unexpected).  This is because human nature drives us to want to live better and have more children.  Can we successfully change ourselves to have less offspring and live more sustainably?  Continue reading

Overpopulation Drives Economic Inequality


There sure seem to be a lot of people trying to get rich quick these days, with many of them employing methods that are unethical, immoral, or downright criminal.  Injustices abound, but those that involve making and keeping people poor are everywhere, and have become so blatant that some of them have even been written into the laws.  So why are so many people trying to take advantage of others, and of a legal system increasingly rigged to increase the profits of billionaires and billionaire corporations, with an expectation that they can become rich? Continue reading