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
Tag Archives: population explosion
People all over the world want economic growth, believing it will make them better off, and who can blame them? But how much bigger can we grow before our global systems begin to come apart at the seams? Continue reading
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
The news media report many problems and disasters, but they can miss much. Dr. Jeff Masters Wunderblog for October 13, 2015, brought to my attention a disaster worse than any others I’ve seen this year, in which smoke from forest clearing fires in Indonesia has covered an area thousands of miles across and is causing the premature deaths of thousands of people. This is made worse by a developing El Nino weather pattern that is increasingly keeping parts of the tropics much hotter and drier than usual. This is clearly a huge problem, but what interests me most is what it suggests about the next century as the population explosion “detonates”. The climate changes we’ve seen so far have been worrisome, but I’m more worried about what will happen as the planet warms, the population grows, and the weather changes still more. Continue reading
The biggest problem facing humanity today is overpopulation, and we’ve been told that the heart of the problem is the extremely high birthrates in third world countries. The UN’s most recent world population projection provides a list of these countries. But which third world countries are being discussed? One of the names will surprise you. Continue reading
What can we do about the population explosion? We hear about the symptoms every day, but nobody talks about the cause. The media churns along, reporting on increased concern for conservation, climate change effects, immigration, alternative energy sources, etc., and it is disappointing that they will not discuss what’s behind the problems they discuss every day: the exploding population. It is easy to feel helpless in the face of such a huge problem, but what can we do? Continue reading
The population explosion will continue, increasing our dependence on each other, on a global basis, While crumbling infrastructure, lagging economies, and increasing storms like hurricane Sandy will plague developed countries over the next few decades, the developing countries will suffer ever-worsening food shortages and epidemics resulting in tens of millions of deaths. Add to that a few wild cards, such as the possibility that:
- Sea levels could rise several feet in a month if the Ross Ice Shelf or some of the masses of land-borne ice on Greenland slide into the sea, flooding most of the largest cities and power plants in the world.
- Computers might become much more intelligent than humans, develop a need for self preservation, and decide to shut off the internet or even make war on humans.
- A major volcanic event could shorten growing seasons and cripple agriculture for several years, resulting in famine in parts of the 3rd world.
- The earth’s magnetic poles might reverse, which scientists say is overdue. While there has been concern that this might cause a big increase in solar radiation at the earth’s surface, similar to the days of the “ozone hole”, more recent geological research finds no evidence of major impacts at the dozens of occasions when the poles have reversed.
These are just a few of the possibilities, and they’re not mutually exclusive. Any one of them could potentially be disastrous, but it is more likely that one or more will occur when least expected or when we are least prepared, and that sooner or later they will occur simultaneously and complicate our problems severely.
Of course, none of this might be a problem if world leaders had understood a decade or more ago what the impact of the population explosion would be and started promoting birth control and education worldwide. Most humans have been too busy keeping their families sheltered and fed, however, and most have had little time to learn enough to understand the population problem. Still, to those who think rationally it is quite evident that a population can always grow beyond the resources available to it – it happens in nature all the time. No species (that we know of) has ever had such a massive impact on the global ecology, however, and the fundamental challenge to humanity is, can we stop having kids before it’s too late?
Thanks for reading and please promote the hashtag #StopHavingKids, as I think it will spur much needed discussion and consciousness raising. — Tim