Friday, December 30, 2011
Population and our eminent demise
The clock is ticking
People like to think of this world as infinite. Hike to a mountain top or take a boating trip beyond the horizon to observe the vastness of this world yet fail to see how small things have become. There is only so much in this world no matter how we would like to perceive it. The amount of air and water that existed thousands of years ago is still here. There won't be a mother ship sending in an emergency supply. But the one thing that will increase is the supply of people. You can morbidly cheerlead for the thinning of the herds but our obsession with self replication keeps our numbers bounding forward. And like it or not we are moving ever so closer to a breaking point. We have two choices. We can either stem the tide of overpopulation peacefully or wait for the inevitable conflicts to ensue. Even with our present day wars the population clock ticks upward with no end in sight. And no sneaking off to some far off galaxy because our technology won't get us there yet. It's reported that the population will "level off" sometime around just before 2050 at just over 9.5 billion people. I'm glad I won't be around to endure those conditions. Governments will have no choice but to issue mandates about our very existence and it won't be some politically correct BS either. Do it or not survive will become apparent. Yes things could get ugly but we're not quite there just yet.
Pop over and have a look at the ticking population clock and consider how much in resources each one of those little mouths consumes. We have an artist here who makes an interesting representation of what we throw away on a daily basis. It would be wonderful if all that trash were to land up in recycle but that is not the case. A lot of it ends up in our oceans and rivers to come back and haunt at a later date. "But I only threw away a paper cup or candy wrapper" you say. Well multiply that by a million or a billion or two billion and see what it looks like.
The amazing thing is all that has happened in terms of population growth and our polluting the planet has occurred in just the last 200 years with the start of the industrial revolution. We sure learned to produce and reproduce too. And now we face the consequences of our success. People never stop to think that they are part of the planet. Maybe it's our short sighted nature and it seems to be getting shorter still with the advances of technology. We have done everything in our power to separate ourselves from nature thinking somehow that it makes life better only to realize that in the process we destroy nature. What we fail to realize is that nature will always win. It was here before us and it will be here long after we're done.