Tag Archives: mass media

Empty Subdivisions and Crumbling Infrastructure Could Follow the Population Explosion

With  the population over 7 billion people now, heading for 10 billion by 2050 or so, the earth’s resources will be insufficient, sooner or later, and there will be a period of problems that will result in population collapse.  After that decade (or three) of ever larger natural disasters, epidemics and wars we will be left with vast wildernesses of empty, decaying buildings.  The infrastructure will be, at best, worse than it is now, and nonexistent in some places.  The sprawling subdivisions of North America will be sparsely populated and most houses and buildings will be crumbling with nobody to keep them up, and no money or materials for the task, either.  Freeways will be useful for all kinds of traffic with very few or no cars left.  Fossil fuels will be scarce and too expensive for most people, and walking, cycling, and a revival of horse transportation will become the norm.  When the freeway overpasses crumble and fall people will just use the on and off ramps to go around them.

It is hard, from here, to imagine how the aftermath of the population explosion will play out, but times will certainly be hard.  And still there is no meaningful or constructive public discussion of how we can reduce the birthrate, and news media continue to trumpet big business’s line that growth is essential and that population decline is a thing to be avoided.  That is frightening.

Thanks for reading, and please help people understand how much more important overpopulation is than any of the problems we see daily, almost all of which result from it.  – Tim


Mixed News and Misconceptions Regarding Our Future

Awareness of humanity’s biggest problems is rising.  While there appears to finally be a slow groundswell of popular understanding and alarm about what humans are doing to the planet (which is quite late but very good), there is still a lot of mishandling (and often misrepresentation) of the news. This results in persistent widespread misconceptions about our position and probable future on the planet.  So what kinds of things are we “not getting”? Continue reading

A Better Vision of a Likely Future

Advanced technologies will give us excellent data on future disasters.  As we plunge headlong toward a time of population-driven crises, struggling to put band-aids on climate change, pollution, and other results of the population explosion, I see rapid development of new technologies that may not slow the disasters but will provide much better information on them and may connect us each far more intimately to them.  Information technology may not save us, but it will make us much more aware of the details. Continue reading

The Path to Sustainability: Interesting Energy Supply Analysis from Land Art Generator Site

Good news: We have the renewable energy if we would just harness it.  An article from the Land Art Generator website includes a very nice numerical analysis of how much energy humanity needs, how that has changed over time, and how we might provide for our needs using solar (and wind and wave) energy.  It sets some goals that could be achieved within a couple of decades and allow us to provide practically all the energy we use from strictly renewable sources.  This is great information, but how do we go ahead from here? Continue reading

News for the Unthinking: Growth and Sustainability May Not Be Compatible

Economists call for growth as a remedy to the recession. With the current economic recession winding all-too-slowly down, I have heard some economic experts telling the media that we need “more growth, more and faster growth”.  How long does anyone think we can continue to fix our economic problems by “developing” (or is it “blighting”) more land and burning up more resources?  Isn’t that just pushing down on the gas pedal as our car heads straight towards a cement wall?  Where do the media find these so-called experts? How can the “growth mantra” be expected to continue indefinitely in a finite world?  What proportion of the population are smart enough to understand this and similar issues, and how can it be increased?  In the United States, we can’t keep our current infrastructure in good repair.  How do we expect to take care of even more after we build it? Continue reading

Is the “Data Glut” Blurring the Cutting Edge of Scientific Development?

Is there so much data now on the internet that it’s actually becoming harder to find the information you seek? As scientific research continues, the quantity of information (“data glut”) on the internet expands.  Quality of information is another issue.  Will it become increasingly harder to identify and reach the cutting edge in a given field? If the pace of scientific innovation and the accumulation and integration of knowledge continues to accelerate, as Ray Kurzweil suggests, will it reach a point where groups developing different or similar technologies will become incapable of keeping up with each others’ innovations? Will the research efforts of human society become less efficient, with more duplication of efforts, as we go forward? Is this already occurring? Continue reading

Why and How Do We Avoid Addressing Global Warming and Similar Problems?

A brilliant article opened my eyes about how and why we keep ducking our biggest problems. I recently came across an article by Dr. Albert Bandura that is simply a brilliant analysis of human behavior as relates to the need for sustainability, and I put it in my sidebar of favorite links.  Since then what I read has kept coming back to me, as I think his paper explains a great deal about why we are where we are today.  I have long been perplexed that the main stream media almost never brings up overpopulation as a problem, and only global warming has gotten anywhere near the attention such problems deserve (though energy shortages are an up-and-coming second, and water shortages not far behind).  Dr. Bandura’s article is deep and scientific, and not the easiest to read for a variety reasons, perhaps more than anything because it describes us, but also because it is written in the language of psychology.  For that reason I have written this entry to try to break down into simpler language what is going on.  Why do people keep doing things we know are bad for our future, and why do they ignore or dispute the facts? Continue reading