And we thought the foreclosure crisis was bad!

Fri, 2008-10-10 07:01Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

And we thought the foreclosure crisis was bad!

Environmental damage such as desertification or flooding caused by climate change could force millions of peoples from their homes in the next few decades, experts said.

Previous Comments

…will only force us from our homes if we cling to dirty energy. If we develop alternatives we will thrive on.Who knows JR? You might become the JR of Alternative Dallas….

And we need to make the change to alt energy in the next decade even if it destroys all the economies of the developed world.
Why?

Because we only have a few hundred years of fossil fuels left.

I have yet to see evidence that the actual proposals by actual environmental organiziations, economists, and scientists will cause massive economic harm.

I am open.

There is no alternative to fossil fuels that provides the same return on energy invested. I’ve posted this before, but likely was deleted.

It’s not what energy we get from a source, it’s how much energy we need to put into it to get that energy out. With oil that Energy Returned on Energy Invested was about 100:1 in the 1960s. Today it’s about 25:1. Alternative energy sources are less than 2:1, and in the case of hydrogen, hugely negative (75-85% loss).

Thus alternatives will not solve our problems, it will only make matters worse.

Example. When humans were hunter gatherers our EROEI was 1:1. There was no free time to build complex societies. Once farming started and we could produce far more energy from a small amount invested, civilizations grew and become more complex. Alternatives with there very low ERORI will force this society to become far less complex as we will need more energy input just to get energy we need.

To put it another way. 1 barrel of oil is the same as 7 years of human labour. Thus we could put in 1 unit of human labour to get 100 units back in the 1960’s. With alternatives we would need to put in one day of human labour just to get a bit more than one day of energy returned.

It’s a recipe for disaster, which is coming anyway with resource depletion.

Taking into account,
The energy costs of the economic and political damage from an Order of Magnitude greater number of environmental refugees.

And the Falling EROI of fossil fuels. And this is without including the energy cost of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

And the Rising EROI of Renewable energy. No CO2 sequestration required.

And the increasing political tampering with fossil fuel markets and consequent conflicts.

And the notion that we have centuries of fossil fuels left is dependent on static consumption levels of whenever that last study was made (70’s I think). Levels which cannot possibly include bringing 9 Billion people into First World Economic status indefinitely.

The long term future influence of fossil fuels looks bleak.

Renewable energies aren’t the cheap bonanza that is fossil fuels, but it is the ONLY way to proceed into the 22nd Century without going Mad Max.

At China’s rate of growth, including the slowdown, in 15 years China will need all the current oil production just for itself. Not inlcuding India’s increase in demand.

Current production peaked in May of 2005 at 86mb/day, flat since inspite of increased demand.

All major oil fields are in terminal decline. North Sea 15% decline, Mexico’s Cantarell field is in 15% decline and accelarating. Within 4 years it won’t even meet domestic demand let alone exporting to the US (#3 source for the US). Russian output started to decline this year and very likely the Gharwar field is in terminal decline.

These so called “large fields” like Brazil’s off shore are very small. If Brazil’s deposit is 30BB as claimed that’s ONE YEAR of world consumption. Even tapping the off limits deposits in the US, estimated to be 50BB recoverable AT BEST is less than 4 years US consumption.

Don’t expect there to be much oil in the Arctic. Wrong geology for anything but small deposits.

Add to that North American natural gas is in terminal decline, has been since 1998.

Alterntaives cannot be scaled up, or cannot be scaled up in time as they will require VAST amounts of FF just to make them. Again, it’s all EROEI.

Whether we end up Mad Max is unknowable, but the next 20 years will not be like the last 20. Peace and prosperity only came about because we have – had– cheap plentiful oil.

Cheap And Plentiful access to Energy Efficiency. We just need to exploit it.

That alone won’t save us true, but it’s our near future best hope.

Efficiency is not the cure. As long as the population grows and more and more people on the planet have a better standard of living (ie require more energy) efficiency won’t be able to supply it. Efficiency has a limit. Once you have reached the maximum efficiency that’s it. You are back into depletion again. Efficiency only pushes back the inevitable to others in the future. As much as we like to thing we are the Masters of the Universe we cannot bypass the laws of thermodynamics.

Yes there are limits to efficiency gains, but we are very innicient Right Now.

So I stand by my statement that efficiency is our best near future energy investment.

Renewables will come naturally after that, assuming we ccan stop subsidizing fossil fuels.

What do you mean by efficiency then? Give an example of where efficiency can be achieved and by how much.

It’s mostly a matter of ‘a little here, a little there’, but more often than usual, whilst removing barriers to improved efficiency, and discouraging undesirable externalities e.g. fossil-CO2. Over the 20th century, on average, efficiency of wealth generation improved by 2% per year; altering that to 3% per year is more than enough to quickly bring fossil energy to its end with out breaking the global economy.

I suppose the obvious is in going from Conventional Powerplants to Co-Generation Combined Cycle Power Plants. This basically doubles the amount of useful energy captured when burning X fuel to make steam. Refine the technology, and the 7% or so of transmission losses can be eliminated by putting smaller turbines closer to the demand, right in our neighborhoods.

Fix building codes to encourage energy efficient homes: All the same Wealth, less the silly Waste.

Of course the downturn of the upward trend from 1979-2000 in global temperature could also cause massive deaths due to cold snaps this year. I guess the enviroloons don’t count those when they talk about saving lives by stopping global warming.

Environmental damage done by humans seems unlikely to be repaired by humans. One step forward and two steps back is a better description of our actual history in fixing stuff.

Take the great ozone hole repair success story for example. It’s not going as well as advertised and it may even be going back the other way now.

“The measurements show that emissions of halon-1211, far from having stabilised, are increasing at about 200 tonnes a year.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/290442.stm

The Ozone DDT Ocean acidification etc.. Is there a Depot or a Depository of “scary scenarios” stored somewhere? A warehouse were these things are keep with Mim/max system so these folks know if one becomes depleted and goes below a certain Value the next one automatically “pop” up on a screen someplace.. Like the IPCC?
Maybe the trigger point is base on a monetary level like Donation or grants?

looks like comments have been deleted again.
now you see them,
now you don’t.

Yes, seems like they are deleting quite a few of mine lately.

well thats because you guys are evil. On the other hand, the recent deletions of my comments are an unwarranted and regrettable attack on a fine and fair citizen of cyberspace.

there is no justice in this world (-;

JR Wakefield’s incessant comments drawn from cherry picked and half-baked fossil pseudoscience are exactly the answer to the world’s energy crisis. All we need to do is to concentrate his never-ending torrent of verbiage into a bank of wind turbines and hey presto - the energy crisis is solved!

That is the reason why his posts need to be barred, so that his words can be put to useful work elsewhere.

Shouldn’t matter a lot, they are usually devoid of content anyway!

My comments are not being deleted. I must work harder to be more 3v!L.

Maybe the alarmist zealot from Wikipedia is helping out here part time.

Desperate times require desperate actions!

Could be chalked up to a moderator takeover by some sort of machine intelligence that reject the validity of the relentless ad hominem “reasoning” from the denier set and thus sensibly shreds any posts containing same.

I would like to know just who these experts are. Perhaps they fit the definition of an expert:

“A drip under pressure”

How could one generation go so wrong? Evidently, the leaders in my generation of elders wish to live without having to accept limits to growth of seemingly endless economic globalization, increasing per capita consumption, and skyrocketing human population numbers; our desires are insatiable. We choose to believe anything that is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially agreeable; our way of life is not negotiable. We dare anyone to question our values or behaviors. We religiously promote our widely shared and consensually-validated fantasies of ‘real’ endless economic growth and soon to become unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities, and in so doing deny that Earth has limited resources and frangible ecosystems upon which the survival of life as we know it and the success of any manmade economy depend. My not-so-great generation appears to be doing a disservice to everything and everyone but ourselves.

Never in the course of human events have so few members of a single generation stolen, consumed and hoarded so much wealth at the expense of so many other people. We have mortgaged the future of our own children. We are the “what’s in it for me generation”. We demonstrate precious little regard for the maintenance of the integrity of Earth; shallow willingness to actually protect the environment from crippling degradation; lack of serious consideration for the preservation of biodiversity, wilderness, and a good enough future for our children and coming generations; and no appreciation of the vital understanding that humans are no more or less than magnificent living beings with “feet of clay”.

Perhaps my not-so-great generation does live in unsustainable ways in our planetary home; but we are proud of it nonetheless. Certainly, we will “have our cake and eat it, too.” We own fleets of cars, fly around in thousands of private jets, live in McMansions, exchange secret handshakes, frequent exclusive clubs and distant hideouts, and risk nothing of value to us. We will live long, large and free. Please do not bother us with the problems of the world. We choose not to hear, see or speak of them. Remember, silence is golden. We are the economic powerbrokers, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and the many minions in the mass media. We hold the much of the world’s wealth and the extraordinary power great wealth purchases. If left to our own devices, we will continue in the exercise of our ‘inalienable rights’ to outrageously consume Earth’s limited resources; to recklessly expand economic globalization unto every corner of our natural world and, guess what, beyond; and to carelessly consent to the unbridled global growth of human numbers so that where there are now 6+ billion people, by 2050 we will have 9+ billion members of the human community and, guess what, even more people, perhaps billions more in the distant future, if that is what we desire. We never lie but also never tell the truth as we see it. The “thing” that matters most of all to us is “the only game in town”. We are the reigning, self-proclaimed masters of the universe. We enjoy freedom and living without limits; of course, we adamantly eschew any talk of the personal responsibilities that come with the exercise of personal freedoms and any discussion of the existence of biophysical limitations a finite planet naturally imposes.

We deny the existence of human limits and Earth’s limitations. Please understand that we do not want anyone presenting us with scientific evidence that we could be living unsustainably in an artificially designed, temporary world of our own making….a manmade world filling up with gigantic enterprises, virtual mountains of material possessions, and boundless amounts of filthy lucre. Most of our top rank experts appear not to have found adequate ways of communicating to the family of humanity what people somehow need to hear, see and understand: the rapacious dissipation of Earth’s limited resources, the relentless degradation of the planet’s environment, and the approaching destruction of the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by the human species, when taken together, appear to be proceeding at breakneck speed toward the precipitation of a catastrophic ecological wreckage of some sort unless, of course, the world’s colossal, ever expanding, artificially designed, manmade global political economy continues to speed headlong toward the monolithic ‘wall’ called “unsustainability” at which point the runaway economy crashes before Earth’s ecology is collapsed. Who knows, perhaps we can realistically and hopefully hold onto the expectation that behavioral changes in the direction of sustainable production, per human consumption, and propagation are in the offing…..changes that save the global economy, life as we know it and Earth’s body.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

Hi Steven.

I don’t disagree with what your core message says. I will disagree that we will reach 9+ billion. I suspect we will be culled to much smaller numbers before this century is out.

As for the consumption part. I will disagree to some extent. We have achieved a lot. I feel there is nothing much to be regrettable about. We have brought more people out of poverty than ever in the past, and in the future. We are far more educated, healthier, and I would argue happier. We have so much wealth that we have time to play. This is unprecedented in all of human history, and will NEVER happen again in human history.

As with organisms, civilizations have a lifespan. This one was thr greatest an intelligent life form has ever done. We put a man on the moon! (what’s there is likely to out exist humanity by billions of years). Our understanding of science and medicine will enhance humanity for generations, provided we preserve it (and we had better).

No, this was a great run. I feel privileged to have lived at this time. One only has to look at how we lived during the Dark Ages (where we will eventually return) to agree this is the best time in all of human history to be alive.

But like when your favorite pub is about to close its doors for the last time, we have a final drink to celebrate the good old days. Believe me, future generations will envy this time and dream what it must have been like to live now.

Now that’s what I call a cheery outlook. Have you ever been mistaken for a loose cannon? Just for fun: I think that you are wrong. Even down to your inchoate remarks, “We have achieved a lot. I feel there is nothing much to be regrettable about. We have brought more people out of poverty than ever in the past, and in the future.”
So how’s them apples?

That is all very interesting and largely true.
But……
What would you have us do about it exactly?
What is your plan to fix the problem? Anthrax?

I believe his solution is that we all work together and hold hands and walk towards the goal of living sustainably

History doesn’t predict success.

When human beings all get together, it’s for the purpose of fighting.

Fighting has historically been a fairly effective population controller.
Modern thinking is that it is not a preferable method however.
But I do agree that population is the only real threat at this time, so I am interested in hearing a plan to deal with it.

There is no solution to overpopulation that is politically or publicly acceptable. Personally, I would advocate 2 things Canada can do. One, stop all immigration. Two, tax any children above 2 or even 1.

Of course there is no way these would be acceptable. But they are the only way Canada, at least, can start to reduce our population.

The problem is also one of religion. When you have a religion that is more concerned with packing heaven with souls than the quality of life of those living, you have a serious problem on your hands.

When you have groups of people who want to out breed others in the hopes of either conquering them or being able to wipe them out (again for religious and cultural reasons) there is no way we can have any kind of coordinated effort to reduce population.

No, I’m afraid we will just have to wait and see what unfolds. I do hope that we are smarter than those on Easter Island who prayed to their gods as they cut the last trees down. But history tells us that we arn’t, in fact as the situation gets worse, we panic and do really stupid things (unfolding right now in the economy).

to maintain population, the average woman has to bear 2.1 children. So a one child per woman policy like China supposedly has, would cut population in half in a generation.

their 1 child policy has failed. Government policies for population are not all that successful.

Poor people tend to crank out lots of kids. To help with the work, and because of the high child mortality rate. With material wealth comes the hankering for family planning AKA birth control. I think that people should have to pass a parenting test in order to reproduce. An IQ test would be icing on the cake but that reeks of the dreaded eugenics concept, which is the sensible way to improve the lot of humanity. What’s so great about the human race anyway. If we are made in God’s image, God is a doofus.

The global economy is saved, now how about turning attention and financial resources to saving the Earth from a meltdown?

It looks as if the Wonder Boys on Wall Street, who caused the current disaster in the world’s financial system, are going to rescue the family of humanity from a meltdown of the global economy.

Is it too much to ask some of these multi-billionaires to provide wealth to save the world from the global “meltdown” of Earth’s ice pack that is occurring in Greenland, Antarctica, the high mountain ranges from the Arctic Cordillera, to the Andes to the Himalayas?

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

what you want to do is take away the money of the multi-billionaires for the common good.

Clearly you need communism.

You’re going to need another name for it though, because that one is somewhat tarnished and maybe instead of a hammer and sickle, you could use a windmill and solar panel insignia.

Remember it’s for their own good. You must seize all power and enforce this vision immediately. There is no time to lose. It’s now of never. Any opposition must be assimilated or destroyed. I AM BORG.

yes just kidding :-)

“When you have groups of people who want to out breed others in the hopes of either conquering them or being able to wipe them out (again for religious and cultural reasons) there is no way we can have any kind of coordinated effort to reduce population.”

And that is why effective population control, at this time, is a potential disaster for the western world and for Russia. We are hurtling towards a demographic and military disaster from which civilization as we know it won’t recover. Meanwhile, our “tall foreheads”, like medieval clerics debating obscure theological principles, are mewling that the biggest problem we face is the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. Help!

then perhaps we can share some reasonable and sensible ideas about how to move forward constructively.

Two questions for the DeSmog community, if you please.

1. Is there even a reasonable chance the adamant determination of the current leaders of the world’s unbridled political economy to grow ourselves out of the current calamity in the financial markets and the real global economy could soon threaten human wellbeing, environmental health and the integrity of Earth?

2. If the present leadership of the human family keeps relentlessly expanding the leviathan-like global economy in patently unsustainable ways as it is doing now, and the family of humanity keeps getting what we are getting now, what kind of future can be sensibly expected for our children?

Sincerely, Steve

I think most of us agree that humanity is in trouble and no one really knows what to do about it.

Current prosperity is basically what governments strive for and the future is just too big to deal with.

Seriously:
What exactly is wrong with working toward better life styles and more wealth generally?
What would be the point of striving to be average and setting our goals on mediocrity?
Without the incentive to achieve something beyond status Quo, what is the real purpose of your existence?
Clearly we need to address population sometime soon, and that will ease the pressure on the environment. But I really don’t get the demonization of consumption. It is after all what make the system work and what drives advancement in every aspect of human existence.
Just asking.

Evidently, the leaders in my generation of elders wish to live without having to accept limits to growth of seemingly endless economic globalization, increasing per capita consumption, and skyrocketing human population numbers; our desires are insatiable. We choose to believe anything that is politically convenient, economically expedient and socially agreeable; our way of life is not negotiable. We dare anyone to question our values or behaviors. We religiously promote our widely shared and consensually-validated fantasies of ‘real’ endless economic growth and soon to become unsustainable overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities, and in so doing deny that Earth has limited resources and frangible ecosystems upon which the survival of life as we know it and the success of any manmade economy depend. My not-so-great generation is marked by its unparalled greed, stupidity and recklessness; we appear to be doing a disservice to everything and everyone but ourselves.

Never in the course of human events have so few members of a single generation stolen, consumed and hoarded so much wealth at the expense of so many other people. We have mortgaged the future of our own children. We are the “what’s in it for me generation”. We demonstrate precious little regard for the maintenance of the integrity of Earth; shallow willingness to actually protect the environment from crippling degradation; lack of serious consideration for the preservation of biodiversity, wilderness, and a good enough future for our children and coming generations; and no appreciation of the vital understanding that humans are no more or less than magnificent living beings with “feet of clay”.

Perhaps my not-so-great generation does live in unsustainable ways in our planetary home; but we are proud of it nonetheless. Certainly, we will “have our cake and eat it, too.” We own fleets of cars, fly around in thousands of private jets, live in McMansions, exchange secret handshakes, frequent exclusive clubs and distant hideouts, and risk nothing of value to us. We will live long, large and free. Please do not bother us with the problems of the world. We choose not to hear, see or speak of them. Remember, silence is golden. We are the economic powerbrokers, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and the many minions in the mass media. We hold the much of the world’s wealth and the extraordinary power great wealth purchases. If left to our own devices, we will continue in the exercise of our ‘inalienable rights’ to outrageously consume Earth’s limited resources; to recklessly expand economic globalization unto every corner of our natural world and, guess what, beyond; and to carelessly consent to the unbridled global growth of human numbers so that where there are now 6+ billion people, by 2050 we will have 9+ billion members of the human community and, guess what, even more people, perhaps billions more in the distant future, if that is what we desire. We do not lie but also never tell the truth as we see it. The “thing” that matters most of all to us is “the only game in town”. We are the reigning, self-proclaimed masters of the universe. We enjoy freedom and living without limits; of course, we adamantly eschew any talk of the personal responsibilities that come with the exercise of personal freedoms and any discussion of the existence of biophysical limitations a finite planet naturally imposes.

We deny the existence of human limits and Earth’s limitations. Please understand that we do not want anyone presenting us with scientific evidence that we could be living unsustainably in an artificially designed, temporary world of our own making….a manmade world filling up with gigantic enterprises, virtual mountains of material possessions, and boundless amounts of filthy lucre. Most of our top rank experts appear not to have found adequate ways of communicating to the family of humanity what people somehow need to hear, see and understand: the rapacious dissipation of Earth’s limited resources, the relentless degradation of the planet’s environment, and the approaching destruction of the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by the human species, when taken together, appear to be proceeding at breakneck speed toward the precipitation of a catastrophic ecological wreckage of some sort unless, of course, the world’s colossal, ever expanding, artificially designed, manmade global political economy continues to speed headlong toward the monolithic ‘wall’ called “unsustainability” at which point the runaway economy crashes before Earth’s ecology is collapsed. Who knows, perhaps we can realistically and hopefully hold onto the expectation that behavioral changes in the direction of sustainable production, per human consumption, and propagation are in the offing…..changes that save the global economy, life as we know it and Earth’s body.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

seems a little long for a blog comment.

1 point on population increase. In many western countries, population growth would be negative if it wasn’t for immigration. It’s Asia and Muslim nations that are mostly the baby machines.

You had me listening for a bit.
Then when you started ranting like a religious zealot on a soap box, I lost interest.

And you still have not mentioned what you would do to decrease the population.

Other than preaching until people just wanted to comit suiside.

respond to three questions in a much shorter blog.

1. Why, and more precisely how, is a huge thirty percent (30%) of annual corporate profits funnelled into the hands of those running the financial system, come what may for those people who function in “the real economy”?

2. Is the world’s financial system organized and operated as a colossal, soon to become patently unsustainable pyramid scheme?

3. Given its artificial design and structure, is there even so much as a chance that the manmade economy is approaching a point in history when the global economy’s colossal scale and relentless rate of growth could produce some sort of unimaginable ecological calamity unless, of course, the unbridled global growth of the leviathan-like economy hits the ‘wall of all that is finite’ where it crashes before Earth’s ecology is collapsed?

Thanks, Steve

1) because people who create weath are entitled to keep it. It’s basic rights. The more wealth people create and keep the more is actually funneled down to everyone else. Including paying taxes that fund social programs. All one has to do is see what happened in the former USSR to see what wealth theft does.

2) Yes and no. Wealth is not absolute. It’s entirely perception and always will be. Things have value only if someone is willing to pay that value. The fact the the stock market is currently tanking proves that. Many companies with healthy balance sheets, like Canadian banks, are getting sideswiped and now trading well below their true value. As Harper said, this is a good time to buy.

3) Of course the economy is man made. How else do you think it came into being? Fiat by some God that we have twisted into something else? No. It’s a human invention. Will it last? No. All systems require energy to run the economic engine. Once that energy, or more correctly the Energy Returned on Energy Invested, gets below a certain amount a punctuation event (worse than the one we see now) will happen and it will all come crashing down. But don’t start to gloat too soon, when it happens you will be wishing for the good old days of today.

Responses to your questions will be forthcoming. I am still working on them.

Thanks, Steve

Dear Gary,

There really is a lot to say. Please understand that the suggestions for behavior change presented now will be followed by other ideas for behavior change later.

From a global, species-wide perspective, I would like to say that the family of humanity could soon be confronted with formidable, human-driven global challenges that appear to be derived from unrestricted per capita overconsumption, reckless overproduction and unbridled overpopulation activities of the human community which are rampantly overspreading the surface of Earth in our time.

An initial set of ideas follow.

In order to sidestep the emerging threats to life as we know it and Earth’s ecology, perhaps the human family could choose to do four things simultaneously:

1) sharing more fairly and equitably the world’s super-abundant food harvests, considering that the world food supply could meet the primary needs of those in the human family;

2) instituting incentives to support a voluntary “one child per family” policy, insisting on a global family planning/health education-based program of action consonant with universally shared values;

3) placing a limit on the conspicuous per capita over-consumption of finite resources; and

4) beginning carefully and skillfully to regulate INCREASES ONLY in the historically unchecked growth of the human food supply, as the means for moving the family of humanity from a “primrose path,” marked by soon to become patently unsustainable global human consumption, production and propagation activities toward a more reality-oriented path and a sustainable future, having accepted human biological limits and adapted to the physical limitations of our planetary home?

Your thoughts and those from others are sure to be valued.

Sincerely,

Steve

PS: Please note that I have already published elsewhere on the worldwide web a Summary of a program action called “The FOED Proposal” which is related to the implementation of the ideas presented above. If you have difficulty locating it, please let me know.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001 http://sustainabilitysoutheast.org/index.php

1) This is false. Humanity is in carrying capacity overshoot. We cannot feed 6.5 billion people without high volumes of oil. Once that goes into terminal decline our ability to feed the planet will deminish. There will be massive wide scale starvation. That alone will wreak more havock on the natural biota than anything humanity has done in the past. You onely have to go to refugee camps in Africa to see this happening now as millions of people strip parks bare for fire wood and food. Couple that with a crashing marine ecosystem and soil depletion in the bread baskets of the world.

2) Wont work because there is at least a 60 year lag. This notion of replacement children is a misnomer. When you have a child it doesn’t replace anyone until someone older in the family dies. Thus even a one child policy increases the population until the parents die which could be 60 or more years later. Even a zero child policy will only start to reduce the population until people start dieing. And with increasing health, people are dieing later. Also, you want to reduce the human population, then stop all immigration. The more people who move from high population countries to a low population country just makes more room in the high population country to have more people born. Immigration defeats the purpose of population reduction.

3) and how would you implement that? We live in a free democracy. Who is going to go around to people and dictate what they can and cannot consume. Ripe for abuse. Ridiculous.

4) though a laudable goal, realistically it can’t and won’t happen. It assumes one aspect of humanity that does not exist. Compassion. You are hoping that all 6.5 billion people are willing to equality share. History should show that this will never happen. The fact that we have groups of people who want nothing more than to wipe out other groups of people should tell you something about the true nature of humanity.

For the moment, let’s look at the colossal scale and global growth of economic activity that can be seen threatening Earth’s ecology in these early years of Century XXI. Please take note of the way people in the rich nation-states of the overdeveloped world conspicuously consume finite resources produced from a plundered Earth. At the same time, people in countries of the developing world are overproducing things no one needs and polluting the planet. And people in the poor nations of the underdeveloped world are propagating the human species.

Could it be these distinctly human “overgrowth” activities are approaching a point in history when life as we know it, and imagine it for our children, is put at risk by adamantly advocating these soon to become patently unsustainable activities to grow continuously without regard to limits to growth and, thereby, failing in our duty to provide adequate enough incentives that reasonably and sensibly subject human overconsumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities to humane self-regulation?

It is physically impossible to have a sustainable population of 6.5 billion people. The only way we can become “stable” in an ecological sence is to have a population at best 10% of today. Back to where we were during the dark ages when life was hard, short and brutal.

We are living at a time that will never be seen again. We lifted ourselves from a harsh existance where religion and myth dominated to one where freedom, play and science dominate. If I had a choice of when to pick my life, it would still be this time. You will not like living as we did in the dark ages.

If it is all right to do so here, let’s look carefully the ‘science’ of human population dynamics and consider how preposterous it is for there to be such uncertainty about projections of absolute global human population numbers in 2008. At least to me, this uncertainty is a smokescreen. It may not be real.

To say that so gifted and intelligent a species as Homo sapiens cannot find an adequate, understandable way to simply and directly count its own numbers and to understand its own population dynamics is plainly absurd.

Given the profound implications of global human population growth in our time, this failure of human thought, judgment and will is nothing short of a collosal mistake. It is not only incomprehensible but also dangerous to human wellbeing and environmental health. Perhaps willful blindness of so-called population experts can account for this failure to see what is happening, secondary to the huge and predominant presence of the human species on Earth.

Human ingenuity sends people to the moon and launches probes to the far reaches of the solar system; human intelligence envisions the beginning of the Universe in the “big bang,” discovers thermodynamics, gravity and the general biological process of evolution; and recognizes Earth is round. The human genome is beginning to be deciphered; nanotechnology is being developed; and our planetary home is being overrun by the human species.

Still, our “brightest and best” report to us, of all things, that the dynamics of human population numbers is unknowable! They tell us over and over again that human beings are somehow contrary to nature in a seemingly unintelligible way. They say that the global growth of human numbers defy reason, common sense and scientific examination. All of these experts could be mistaken.

Not only is it silly to keep reporting that human population dynamics is unknowable, this widely shared and consensually validated point of view appears to be untrue. It is precisely this failure to acknowledge unanticipated scientific evidence and communicate findings that is disappointing, and so very discouraging.

Preternatural thinking and contrived theorizing regarding the population dynamics of the human species have been accepted as adequate science……for the sake of political convenience and economic expediency, I believe. Novel, apparently unforeseen, and noticeably unwelcome scientific evidence has been introduced for review that better explains what so many experts continue to reprehensibly describe as “unknowable”.

At least to me, it is a breach of a duty to science, and to humanity, for experts to pose as willfully blind, hysterically deaf and electively mute when presented with scientific evidence. With the future of life as we know it and the integrity of Earth’s ecology at risk, this behavior is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to prevail. The deafening silence regarding the potential threat posed to the family of humanity by the unbridled growth of human population numbers worldwide cannot be condoned any longer.

Experts with responsibilities for ensuring that the human community is made aware of the best available scientific evidence regarding the human overpopulation of Earth and human population dynamics by skillfully examining, rigorously scrutinizing and openly discussing the admittedly unexpected research of Russell Hopfenberg, Ph.D., and David Pimentel, Ph.D., have some work to do, I suppose.

2 possibilities.

1) they know we are in trouble and there is nothing that can be done to change our path, so why bother telling the world. Or…

2) we think we are some demi-gods and technology will solve all our problems. Just write a computer model of how we can become a sustainable population as is, and all will be fine.

Likely a bit of both.

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