I’ve six categories greatly bothering me as I speculate about the future and they’re all interrelated — inextricably connected to each other in myriad ways like a web that can’t ever be pulled apart. Here, though, they are separately and categorically exposed in an artificial manner that abnegates the connections, the fusions and tentacles that tie all together in a tightly meshed undeniable pattern. They’re bound tightly together nonetheless.
Oh well. You can piece the synthesis together, yourself, as you weave the categories and parts together in mind into oneness. The aspects are, actually, synthetic if one has a mind to conceive of the interrelations pulling into one overall condition for life on our planet now.
The separate pieces, thus, are tied tightly into each other. Conceive imaginatively and you’ll see the oneness despite paradigms that pull something to stretch apart separations. Let’s go nonetheless to the mass union.
I find alarming that according to population estimates from several credible sources that by the end of the century, human population could hit 11 to 15.8 billion people. Imagine either the low or the high number eating up the natural world with several meals a day. Imagine the housing requirements and endless food necessity day after day for either number. (How many chickens do you think that I ate since born? I’m in my sixties now, How many and what about plants! How many of those did I destroy during my time on Earth?)
You want to see the impact? Stare back at me. Watch my impact and , then, magnify it by billions upon billions of people across the globe.
Imagine the waste flow from any upward number of more humans in terms of requirements for washing their materials like bedding and bodies, bathroom activities and so on. Imagine the water, clothing, energy needs and other requirements on-going as they, each singular person in this mass combined with the others striking bigger numbers of us, strive to survive and get ever more beyond the bare minimums for survival.
Imagine the wishes and wants beyond the bare minimums that so many people would want on this scale of overpopulation as they climb up the economic ladder and are conniving in any ways that they can devise to get to mini-mansions and beyond, way beyond the little minimum bit expected or needed individually to survive. What a nightmare!
It’s intolerable, of course, but must be tolerated nonetheless. It has to be as it is the way life’s unfolding.
Our ancestors tried to warn us by instructive tales to act right. There are world-wide stories supposed to impress patterns into our behaviors and act as guidance. Variations of the same narratives exist in all cultures as the same ideas spread across the world by and to our primitive ancestors to teach us to live rightly generation after generation.
Oh yeah, they’ve been collected. Check out Idries Shah – Wikipedia. He categorized almost all of our tales that crossed the world. He captured our basic humanity by such means. How lovely and fortuitous!
I love him. He showed us our naked faces and intentions. He shows us our beings in our basic raw selves and pushed by such means for us to be our best selves.
Here are three of my favorites, my best stories. They strike straight to the heart the center of the matter of the way that life proceeds. They show our need for admonishment against complete folly of self-aggrandizement and endless gain.
Grimm 019: The Fisherman and His Wife: Like disgusting Hillary Clinton, the wife in the tale knows no limits to desire for power, control, wealth and endless wants to the level of becoming the God vs. someone else simply loving day to day existence, her husband in this story’s case, but certainly not CAFTA/NAFTA Bill.
It’s a perfect union between Bill and Hillary. How repulsive a couple serving up mammon for themselves! … and what happens when we gobble up most of the natural world for wealth and self-aggrandizement and unfettered want as they do? Guess. Envision.
I can’t tolerate them. They are are just too different from me. (I consider myself fortunate to be not of their ilk.)
King Midas – Greek Mythology What an idiot Midas is, who knows the value of everything and the value of nothing! He has a reprieve at the end of the tale, but do we all who chase his path forward? Doubt it as depletion of natural resources strikes ever more over time.
Anyone who doesn’t think that there’s pay-back for choices made has his head in the sand like an ostrich as the wolf comes to bite the bird’s body. Somebody always pays for poor choices as demise takes place one way or another.
Look at worldwide refugee camps and their horrendous conditions if not readily understood about payback for poor choices extant century after century up in in our faces to observe the horror of decimated, undervalued life.
Look. Be stark in the look. Then be thankful that you and your children were spared this condition, yourselves.
Yet, what happens if on account of such a plan to take on these additions in billions of people that there is some sort of success to subsume ever more humans on Earth? What if more than fifteen billion people can be subsumed by the fragile, finite Earth? It means a continual rising in number, of course. More and more and more people gobbling up the world! How scary! How disturbing! (It’s the stuff of my nightmares!)
Twenty or thirty billion? Where’s the limit of us? What ultimately will curtail the trajectory? Guess what aspect does. Lacks. Limits in goods and everyone fighting over the small spoilage as happened in Dakota Indians mark hangings of 1862 with trek on horseback | Reuters
Oh, humans don’t fight over resource and land access? Ha – check out Greenspan.
:Appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987 and retired last year after serving four presidents, Alan Greenspan has been the leading Republican … Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m | World …
I don’t mean to be obtuse or abstracted. Put another way: What happens when this additional high number, whatever it may be in terms of humans on our planet, can’t be subsumed again and again as it rises even beyond the prior limit? Starkly put, is the number to still continue to rise past current projection?. If so, to what number — thirty billion, and then what? Where does it end in exponential growth?
Stare Alan Greenspan in his eyes and ask when will resource wars end. Is it a possibility?
Same old problem raises up whether at 7.5 billion, approximately our current shocking number, or doubled or beyond. What is the limit?
Yes, where’s the limit? Where’s the crash and burn wherein people are at each other’s throats for the last crust of bread? You want to know? Look at Yemen with its water deficit. Look at Somalia or some other distressed lands TODAY, but magnify the dilemma in a spread across the globe..
Yes the number of humans keeps rising past the the subsumable trajectory for the planet. Where does that happening lead? Are we to lose it all as we gobble it all away?
International Conflict and the Environment: Rwanda Case
Where does the human population continuing to explode lead? Imagine.
… and where is this excessive human population to go in relation to resource deficits — even the basic sorts like water? Guess.
It’s been ignored, shame on the writers, by mainstream media. This happening of avoidance is expected since the mainstream media supports the status qua and is paid through advertisements and other methods to keep the current lucrative societal patterns in place.
So it’s rarely covered in mainstream media, but check out:
“Our day-to-day experiences over the past decade have taught us that there must be limits to our tremendous appetite for energy, natural resources, and consumer goods.” From Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change,
by William R. Catton, Jr.
“To overshoot means to go too far, to grow so large so quickly that limits are exceeded.” From Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers at ,A Synopsis: Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update
Overshoot? Check out: “In just a few centuries, the people of Easter Island wiped out their forest, drove their plants and animals to extinction, and saw their complex society spiral into chaos and cannibalism. Are we about to follow their lead?” – By Jared Diamond at Easter Island. – Great Change
Oh yeah, it can happen to deer, but not us. Right!
Oops, the herd dropped to a teen number of emaciated females and one impotent male.Yet, overshoot is overshoot and it implies populations fleeing areas that can no longer support them based on resource access. It implies conflict over resources in simple items like water and bread.
As our numbers increase, nobody will care that the ground is sinking in parts of California, USA due to draining the underground aquifer. (In parts of Yemen the water has to be trucked into regions due to water lacks.)
Nobody will care that the The Ogallala Aquifer, an underground fossil lake, is almost gone while covering eight states, mostly agricultural ones. … Oops as in California, there goes the bread basket in the USA.
Forget Yemen and Egypt with their need for food — wheat and such. Forget Bolivia with its need for water since one of their glaciers that fed many farms disappeared due to climate change conditions. Forget Somalia wherein a parent drops her two young children under a tree to die as she treks onward to a refugee camp with their emaciated baby brother strapped still alive against her chest.
Each step forward pains as she parts ways with them and, despite physical lack in strength due to lack of food, she drags her body forward — forces herself forward one agonizing step at a time. She does so for the baby’s sake with all of her will and might despite her great physical depletion. Would you have taken any other choice in her condition?
This is a real woman. I’m not concocting her. This is the circumstance that she had to face and imagine yourself going forward while leaving two of your children to probably die. Unreal! Sickening in the extreme!
3.) Resource depletion:
As more and more people ravage the natural world to find something therein that can be financially lucrative, the more our forests, meadows and much, much more are torn down and turned into wastelands. Watch California sink from underground water depletion, as mentioned previously. Watch forests decimated to provide advertising catalogs, disposable chopsticks, paper napkins, toilet paper and little wooden toothpicks.
Yes– own the results as the grocery stores explode in products. Most of them are vanity nonsense items.
I’m appalled in the extreme by the vision, just as I am when watching TV commercials tooting this stuff. Yet, I have sympathy. After all, the people at the companies selling this garbage (like anti-wrinkle cream) need incomes to survive.
4.) Extinction is on the table. Pretend issue or madness to think so?
How about reports coming out of the prestigious Zoological Society of London, World Wildlife Fund: WWF, University of California researchers at Berkeley and many other sources, WHO UNDERTOOK INDEPENDENT RESEARCH FROM EACH OTHER TO DERIVE CONCLUSIONS. Obviously, I can’t emphasize this aspect enough and grieve for our collective losses.
In my neighborhood, I now have one male bluejay, two male owls and one male dove. Good luck breeding-wise with that combination.
No, it’s not just our bumblebees and honeybees that pollinate up to forty percent of our crops for our human benefits of acre upon acre, millions if not billions or trillions of them, subverted for our feeding ourselves. Watch and see. Watch and see as humans become much of all that is left on the Earth and the rest falls away.
5.) Climate change: What should I announce here as we use depleting fossil fuels and ruin the planet in the process? Maybe this following depiction servers best:
The Methane Monster Roars
Lying along the Arctic’s subsea continental margins and beneath permafrost are methane hydrates that cumulatively contain the equivalent of up to 10,000 gigatons of carbon. For perspective, humans have released approximately 1,475 gigatons C02 since 1850. Paul Beckwith: “It is my view that our climate system is in early stages of abrupt climate change that, unchecked, will lead to a temperature rise of 5 to 6C within a decade or two. Obviously, such a large change in the climate system will have unprecedented effects on the well-being of every plant and animal on our planet.”
… and how about this as an outcome from climate change outcomes:
So its not just coming from permafrost and clathrates in the Arctic and from fracking ……
Source of enormous Pacific methane pool is found
Bacteria are making a methane pool stretching from Panama to Hawaii. The bacteria that release vast pools of methane in the ocean have been found, clustered on a narrow ledge at the edge of an oceanic trench that stretches along the Americas. The pools of methane they release are enormous. This is the first time that scientists have sampled the seafloor sediments to track down the bacteria generating giant ocean methane pools. “Scientists are predicting these low-oxygen zones will get larger and closer to the surface as the oceans warm,”
Meanwhile, the very existence of the EPA is on the line. “Climate change denier Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is pushing a bill in the House to fully terminate the EPA..” – Gene Karpinski, President, League of Conservation Voters
Deteriorating world: What words do I need? The images and this one link speak for for themselves:
How possibly am I to subsume hoards of climate change refugees traveling up from the south, i.e., from Florida? How can we in our region feed, shelter and clothe them? How can we take in desperate others from such places like Somalia or Yemen, too?
6.) The economy: Our economy is a disaster. It fits the bill for looming troubles.
The core of the problem in summed up well by the Quaker economist Kenneth Ewart Boulding: “Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.“
“The world’s ecological deficit is referred to as global ecological overshoot. Since the 1970s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot, with annual demand on resources exceeding what Earth can regenerate each year. Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. We use more ecological resources and services than nature can regenerate through overfishing, overharvesting forests, and emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than forests can sequester. …
“Conceived in 1990 by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees at the University of British Columbia, the Ecological Footprint launched the broader Footprint movement, including the carbon Footprint, and is now widely used by scientists, businesses, governments, individuals, and institutions working to monitor ecological resource use and advance sustainable development.” – From Ecological Footprint – Global Footprint Network
Labels I gladly apply to myself since I identify with them are “humanitarian” and “environmentalist. So I grieve that areas of our world are already in overshoot due to a combination of overpopulation, climate change factors and resource deficits based on economic activities.
Yes, we each need a job to create personal income, but there are simply too many of us ravaging natural resources in various capacities, including eating, clothing and sheltering ourselves. So we’re gobbling up the natural world to smithereens on account. … Let’s grow the economy? Yeah, right!
I have, I confess, nightmares about where the world and our species are headed. In them, I envision the last tree cut down on Easter Island, the few remaining deer on St. Mat’s Island striving to to find sustenance in the face of depletion of food resources. I watch their agony when they cannot provide sustenance to their babies, as occurs in Somali and elsewhere across the world. Mud cookies in Haiti?
I watch the same process as desperate Africans and others strive to cross into Europe as their own resource bases are shot. Desperation! Would you do otherwise or just lie down and die with your children nestled against your body as warring occurs around you for remaining vital resources. Oh, it doesn’t happen?
“DoD recognizes the reality of climate change and the significant risk it poses to U.S.interests globally. The National Security Strategy, issued in February 2015, is clear that climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water.1
“These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time.” – From National Security Implications of Climate-Related Risk
Meanwhile, I dream onward with ugly visions created by movies, such as:
Soylent Green (1973) – Plot Summary – IMDb: I”n 2022, Earth is overpopulated and totally polluted; the natural resources have been exhausted and the nourishment of the population is provided by Soylent Industries, a company that makes a food consisting of plankton from the oceans.” (Oh yeah.,you think that the ailing oceans of the world can provide this huge level of substance? Right – think again when not much is left n Earth except ever expanding numbers of humans. A nightmare for sure!)
Oh yes, I’m in a psychological conflict — a great battle with myself. No, I can’t stand the suffering of refugees fleeing insurmountable conditions in their lands.
However, I have a six month old grandchild. I can’t tolerate the vision of her facing the nearly total collapse foretold in:
I’m at the point that all that I can do is bear witness as the demise and disassembly of our planet takes place. I can’t change anything except on the local level, and such a minuscule level of influence there at that.
What kind of hubris-filled species are we to imagine that we can dismantle the whole world with immunity — via resource ravage and wars? How can we imagine that there won’t be consequences for our tearing everything vital to our survival apart?
If a conflict sets in I’ll fight fiercely for my own genes going forward — my child vs. her on a planet/life boat with limited space as the rest sinks into oblivion. How can we avoid such a stand as the natural world falls increasingly apart?
Is my writing about our common ailments a useless, empty gesture? Is the common grief to get even stronger as time goes by and more of the natural world and people are dismissed as mere objects to be used for financial gain or ignored as nothing, nothing at all, as they swarm out of conflict and resource deficit zones? Can we, with concerted efforts, change planetary trajectories?
The situation is summed up nicely here: Bruce Hornsby, The Range – The Way It Is – YouTube. Listen and, then, get out there and try to fix something wrong, something, anything, in the world.
I don’t care whatever you do,but join me in the effort! Join the Lakotas in their pipeline effort. Join the people, who donate clothing for disaster relief, such as AFSC as seen at Material assistance in urgent times | Peace Works: Century of Action . Do something — anything — of value to preserve and extend life! Come onward — join me regardless of our potential for failure.
Do it. Push the totality forward in good ways. Why not regardless of ugly outcomes just around the bend for us all? Do it for whatever you love in your life. Whatever viable choice is there in existence?
I have to admit that I’m not feeling too strong these days. I get overwhelmed by the horrors that that surround us; I feel like the father, dying from cancer, in The Road (2009) – IMDb.
Yes, until my last dying breath that will come some day, I will help life forward as he did. Can you? Can you take into yourself my effort?
I’m in my sixties and strove my whole life to carry life forward in best ways possible with issues like poverty, racism, anti-militarism and so on. Can you carry the effort forward past me?
Don’t expect rewards if you choose this path. None accrue. All that you get is a life well lived and well spent. How well I know!
Sally Dugman is a writer in MA., USA.