Looking back on my handful of decades of observation, I agree with published experts who see the pace of change in technology and possibly in human civilization accelerating. Population charts also show a rapid upswing that will eventually exceed our resources and infrastructure, but a number of efforts to avoid disaster are ongoing, most relatively weak and some wrong-headed, but they are better than nothing. More importantly they may end up buying much needed time to cope with the negative consequences of the population explosion. But will it be enough? And how do we avoid enabling the population to continue to skyrocket-to-disaster? Continue reading
Tag Archives: population explosion
(reposted from my rant blog – Tim)
I just read an article purporting to give the reason young people in the United States are having fewer children than they used to and, while the arguments they give are reasonable and probably correct, they completely missed an important reason that I have heard some young people give: they don’t want to have kids who will inevitably suffer the disastrous consequences of the population explosion. While this motivation may not be shared by the majority (yet), the number who understand human civilization’s greatest challenge ever is growing. To me that suggests there is hope, as people need to be working on curbing population growth now, and that perhaps at least some of the worst predictions will be avoided or mitigated to have less damaging effects. It’s only a small glimmer, and it still seems that our economic systems (like our reproductive ones) are aimed directly at creating disasters of global scale, but any hope at this point is more than welcome. Please work against the population explosion by supporting family planning and economic aid to the poor, both inside the United States and worldwide. If we don’t drastically reduce human birthrates our grandchildren will see energy and food become un-affordable or unavailable, among other possibly-worse things.
Thanks for reading. — Tim
“We have met the enemy and he is us.” That famous quote I first read in Walt Kelly‘s great 20th century cartoon strip Pogo has stayed with me ever since. I have come to realize that, if we are to minimize the suffering from the convergence of the population explosion and the exhaustion of fossil fuels, it will require an effort such as my parents experienced in World War II, involving government-enforced rationing, “victory gardens” for every household, people working together and living together in poorer conditions than their forebears, and businesses forgoing profit until the “war” is over. This will not be easy to achieve, however, for reasons I will discuss. Continue reading
All my life, growing up in the capitalist United States economy, the success of the system has depended on growth. This is widely recognized, and growth is often invoked as a remedy for economic problems. “Growth ” has become a business (and, by extension, government) mantra – the panacea for all our ills. Unfortunately, this makes no sense at a very fundamental level. How big will we grow and how much resources will we devour reaching the point where population is completely unsustainable, and famine and disease roam the world killing millions? Can we stop worshipping growth now?
Programming computers is a skill that can be learned, and a lot can be learned about it with very little investment in hardware and software. That enables people from almost every society on earth, including dangerous psychopaths, to build programming skills and use computers as they choose. Civilization is so dependent on the internet here in 2015 that I expect we have passed the point where a major, multi-day failure of the internet wouldn’t be accompanied by at least some people starving. That puts a lot of power at the fingertips of internet users, but a great deal more in the hands of those who can write software. People never stop learning, and some of them, rogue programmers, are sociopaths with bad intent for the rest of us. So what bad deeds are they carrying out that we don’t know about yet? Can we know? Continue reading
An excellent article recently appeared at Spiegel Online International titled “The Warming World: Is Capitalism Destroying Our Planet?” and I highly recommend reading it through to the end. In it the authors give in-depth information on the current status of the global climate, relating it back to human activity and national and international politics. (Millions of tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere every day has to have an impact, sooner or later.) The politics of various key nations and the negotiations at past climate conferences are described, and a lot of the latest climate science is brought forth. The topic is a bit frightening but of such critical importance to us that, really, every adult should have to read this article (whether they believe it or not).
Then, better informed, we need to take action, vote for politicians who are deserving, and “clean up our acts” by making many changes in our selves, our decisions, and our lifestyles in order to preserve a reasonably habitable world for our kids. The trouble is … it might already be too late.
Thanks for reading — Tim
Religion typically requires faith, the suspension of disbelief and reason, an extreme gullibility, if only temporary. My worry is that many religious people don’t return to reason. Such people can be very difficult to deal with. Some of them are fanatics, or are evolved into fanatics by clever manipulation. Isn’t reason essential to our survival? Continue reading