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View Diary: Want to see a real crisis? A *partial* counterpoint (44 comments)

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  •  We are already in a crisis. (none)
    These numbers are all out of the NYTimes in the past two months.  The maximum number of human beings that could be supported by this planet is 9 billion. The maximum number of human beings that could be supported on this planet if they were using up energy like the average Ameerican is 2.1 billion.  The population of the earth is now 6.1 billion.

    To get to the point that we could save our profligate culture into some projected future, you would first have to get rid of 4 billion people and enforce population controls. We haven't. We didn't. We tried.  This motive actually informs a great deal of neo-con strategy:  everyone who is not us, who does not prosper, and dies, is good for us.

    I sincerely hope we can come up with a more humane strategy. Our fifty years were up last week.

    Orbiting solar generators, amorphous solar collectors, Stanley Steamers with rhodiumn retorts, fusion...nuclear is only a road to disaster. The real problem is you can't beat thermodynamics.  You can't create more organic matter than exists. If we do not start importing tomatoes from Mars, those are the numbers. Plus this one:  we are using up renewable resources at 20% greater rate than they are being renewed. In ten years we may all be too weak to bury the dead. I sure as hell would like to help do something but I am too old. But you guys should all start thinking of the possible solutions and how they can be actuated. First we would have to cut all the TeenyTrees out of our government. I guess that means reforming and empowering the Democratic Party as the carriers of this solution. Or, finding some farmland on Mars and starting over.

    A democracy that is fixed, is broken.

    by Brother Artemis on Mon Jan 24, 2005 at 08:42:39 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  the bottleneck is energy (none)
      which you touched on with the 'you can't beat thermodynamics comment.'  Not lack of carbon.  Enough energy, and we can grow food from any carbon and oxygen, but energy is neither infinite nor neccessarily cheap.  

      We're going to have to disagree about nuclear.  IMO, its not ideal, but into something better is practical, its going to become increasingly (and exponentially) better than digging up the worlds last oil reserves, and fighting increasingly bloody wars to control them.  

      -Yertle

      •  Don't want to fight no dirty wars (none)
        or live in a world with rampant nuclear energy.  It is not the panacea you seem to think it is.  But I am sure if you keep living you will learn the truth of what I say. Think pro-survival, think fusion, think solar collectors in space, think downsizing absolute energy consumption, but nuclear would be giving up and sending us down another rabbit hole when we new creative thinking.

        A democracy that is fixed, is broken.

        by Brother Artemis on Tue Jan 25, 2005 at 08:32:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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