An interesting, if rather long, article points out that humans may well be over carrying capacity of the planet. I spend a lot of time working with microbes on petri plates, so I have little difficulty in seeing the analogy. It contains a quote from one of my favorite people, R. Buckminster Fuller, "It will be a race to either paradise or oblivion, right to the last moment." Think about how we run our lives as individuals. Rarely do we consider the long term consequences of our actions. Our evolutionary programing tells us to get as much as we can, reproduce as much as possible, and die. We've gotten pretty good at the first 2, and seem very hesitant about the last part. We will hang on as long as possible, the thought of death is frightening.
Believe it or not, I am an optimist. I like to believe better of humanity. I want to think that we are better than this modern world we've created/been born into. I hope the best we can do is yet to come. I don't want to think that it is Walmart, Macdonald's and Wii.
Consider the fact that a gallon of gas will take you, several people, and your gear, 20-30 miles. Do you think you could pay 1 person 4 bucks to do the same job? The reality is we've been able to overshoot our planet's carrying capacity by a lot because we've had "oil slaves" to do the work for 100 years. What will happen when that is gone? Will (can??) we be proactive? Or will it be chaos for many years, until the human population is down to a few million again?
Voices and Perspectives from the Past: Memoirs of Scientists and Departmental Histories - by Daniel P. Haeusser | I started a draft of this post while sitting out on the Memorial Union lakeside terrace at the University of Wisconsin Madison. It ...
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