Breaking the taboo

29 12 2013

In the film clip below, Sir David Attenborough makes a fine speech about the impact of population growth on the natural world and human food supply.  Like Suzuki, Sir David is awe inspiring.  In the last David Suzuki clip I posted here, he mentions we are in our “last doubling”.  I gave this a bit of thought actually.  Experts tell us our population will peak at about 9 billion, so the last doubling started when the population was 4.5 billion.  This occurred in 1980, or 33 years ago.  Do we have another 33 years to go?  Dr Graham Turner thinks not, he puts the beginning of population collapse at about 2030 or just 16 years away…….  either way, growth will simply stop.




One response

1 01 2014

Capitalists like growing populations of slaves to work the earth plantation. Growth in wealth is imperative. A return on capital. An infusion at the margin to keep the center healthy. Unfortunately growth at the margins is about done and the returns on capital expected at the center will not be met. All of the non-essential products and industries will disappear first, then the provision of essentials will become attenuated. Death rates will increase and birth rates decline. Migration, warfare, poverty for as long as human populations flirt with the limits. Unfortunately once a large population reaches the limits to growth it doesn’t just stay there indefinitely. Any type of weather, warfare or pollution event could reset the limits much lower than needed to sustain the existing population. It would be much wiser to have a population limit that leaves a 50% buffer, a controlled population of no more than 3-4 billion people. The raising of limits with the use of complex technologies that are vulnerable to failure is great folly. A sudden cascading collapse is guaranteed if we continue to push against the limits. Because of greenhouse gases already released and soil and ecosystem destruction, we may already be in overshoot by several billion, we just don’t know it yet.

The environmental apostles in the crowd were subdued with the message. Changing and controlling human behavior and “rights” is substantially different from setting up wildlife refuges.

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