The great forests of New England are gone, there replacement a pale shade of scrub regrowth and lumber plantations. The farmers moved west to exploit the vast plains, leaving most of New England to be covered in a scrub regrowth. The vast short grass prairies of New Mexico are gone, the vast timbered slopes of the East Rockies around the Silver Towns are gone and neither will be replaced.
Right now Texoma is in a stage 4 drought. Lakes are at 20 to 30% cap and no real relief in site. No water, no towns- our economy will collapse.
When you study the collapse of civilizations several things repeat. Disease, crop failure, financial collapse, political instability.
We comfort ourselves with the idea science and modern medicine have made epidemics like the black death a thing of the past, but a disturbing trend of 'super bugs' mainly due to an overuse/misuse of antibiotics maybe the tip of the iceberg.
Crop failure is a real possibility, our modern agriculture depends on cheap credit and high industrial inputs. many farmers are only as good as their relationship with their bank. many areas are just one 'good' drought away from ruin. Agricultural productivity MUST have huge inputs of oil, from fuel to chemicals and fertilizer food production must have a steady flow of 'cheap' oil. Political turmoil in the ME can spell millions in extra food production costs. Another financial collapse can end credit to agriculture/food processors bringing food production to a dangerously low level.
Whole continents have had their agricultural base ruined with millions dying due to 'natural' causes. Iceland with volcanoes, Europe and America's 'year with no summer' due to an island in the Pacific exploding, all killed millions of citizens in nations with good infrastructure, governments, culture, financial systems.
Reckless financial policies are as deadly as droughts. Many CONs are certain the EU will collapse under the weight of it's nanny state taxes, but history has shown nations can collapse hard due to maintaining a military state. Casino Capitalism can destroy an economy as well as any war. hyperspeculation can raise prices above what the average man can afford, then crash the prices so his labor is worthless. A huge national disaster in a nation trillions of dollars in debt with a strong political faction willing to collapse the government, could be a perfect storm.
Political collapse is a growing possibility- suicide partisan politics that undercuts a government's bond rating can destroy domestic and, if the nation is big enough, global credit. people without money are people without food as so many live in urban areas. Many empires fell not due to 'barbarian' invasion but a loss of civic duty and sacrifice by the masses who saw the ruling parties as too self involved.
I think your mantra is a bit trite and a lot of wishful thinking. History is a record of mankind behaving badly.
I'm just working from memory but as I recall, the Bible predicts huge portions of the population of the earth will die in a future or possibly present era of global calamity as a result of war, disease and famine.
I checked the numbers earlier today and nearly 40 million people have already died of aids world-wide and another nearly 40 million are alive but carry the HIV virus. In certain parts of the world as many as one in five people are HIV positive with more newly infected every day.
Today man has the technical ability to end life on earth as we know it with modern weaponry. Even peaceful uses of scientific discoveries have the potential to take massive numbers of lives through accidents even when the best precautions are carefully followed.
As a btw: Just because the Bible predicts massive numbers of people will die during a catastrophic period on earth does NOT mean God will personally kill people. I can say due to the laws of gravity, people falling to the ground from 50 feet up or higher will likely not survive the impact but that in no way implies I personally pushed anyone from the balcony of a multi-story condominium to their deaths.
Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011
If we practiced and encouraged a sustainable society, perhaps similar to the Amish lifestyle, I think we could maintain continuity of species. However, we are a society of have and have nots, and I think the "haves" will be in charge of society and legislate control to benefit themselves. I know the statement is almost cynical, but the haves will decide that many have to be sacrificed for the greater good. Unfortunately, it is just their greater good, eh?
I am a capitalist and I believe we are overpopulating the earth so that puts me in an awkward position. Capitalism needs growth to work.
And of course the developed international trade and cooperation create a 'safety net'. That's part of being "developed" in general.
There was an epidemic of typhus in Ireland that killed a lot of people about the same time, and malnutrition caused by the food shortages certainly contributed to the death toll, but the early 19th century Ireland hardly boasted "good infrastructure and government".
When Krakatoa erupted just 70 years later, climate changes were not as great, but severe enough. Crops failed in many places. But it barely registered as a blow to developed societies.
And that's what we should worry about - not about running of out air, sunshine, or human ingenuity.
Last edited by Cyrylek; 11-25-13 at 11:23 AM.
I think somebody has been watching too many Mad Max movies.
A) we have too many people.
B) there is 1 cure for the number.
C) our resources cannot sustain population growth at the current rate.
A) millions dying over a fight is not the only way for populations to drop. Reduction of population could occur if the death rate climbs over birth rate...via populations like china or India having economic growth, political change, and people reducing the number of children they have. Essentially social changes. Essentially the only factor though is that anything that causes death rates to rise, or birth rates to drop (condoms) could do the trick.
A) yes our technology will enable us to sustain larger populations.
B) death is bad.
A) our technology is not strong enough to sustain a billion more people. That is why people starve all over the world. Resources are limited. We can't expect them to continue on forever.
B) death is the only cure. It isn't good. Just the answer. And we need to understand that death is beneficial. It is not desired. It doesn't require death of millions. Just a birth rate drop and death rate increase.
I think we are too stupid and greedy to handle rising populations. I think we will experience a natural die off. Like other animals. Disease is a potential killer. Natural disaster (earthquakes and volcanos seem most likely to do the most harm). War for resources is likely as well. We are victims of our success. I think it is inevitable that our population drops. There is no technological development except space travel and colonization that could allow us to grow on this planet. There is a ceiling. All animals hit that ceiling at some point.
The Crowd is not the sum of its parts.
Bizarre comments… yikes.Maybe we could make a holiday out of it where one day each year it is perfectly legal to murder everyone who has professed that the planet is "overpopulated".
Call it the Anti-Hypocrite day.
"The knowledge and prudence of the poor themselves, are absolutely the only means by which any general and permanent improvement in their condition can be effected." - Thomas Malthus