Tuesday, May 15

the Elephant in the Room

The author of the following piece describes himself as follows:

I am a Canadian activist who is concerned about interlocking environmental issues.

My environmental interests began as a skeptic (I describe myself as a "Summa Cum Laude graduate of the Bjorn Lomborg School of "Don't Worry, Be Happy"), but I've become alarmed by the number of interconnected resource, environmental and social crises that seem to be converging on humanity all at the same time. My primary focus is on the interactions of Peak Oil, Global Warming and food security within the context of a human population in ecological overshoot.

In my opinion, Peak Oil is the near-term precipitating factor that will destabilize other human systems including the global economy and food production and distribution. Oil depletion will also greatly constrain our ability to solve other problems such as climate change, alternative energy development, pollution abatement and species extinctions.

Here is an introduction to this well considered article.

Peak Oil, Carrying Capacity and Overshoot:
Population, the Elephant in the Room

Paul Chefurka

May 13, 2007

At the root of all the converging crises of the World Problematique is the issue of human overpopulation. Each of the global problems we face today is the result of too many people using too much of our planet's finite, non-renewable resources and filling its waste repositories of land, water and air to overflowing. The true danger posed by our exploding population is not our absolute numbers but the inability of our environment to cope with so many of us doing what we do.

It is becoming clearer every day, as crises like global warming, water, soil and food depletion, biodiversity loss and the degradation of our oceans constantly worsen, that the human situation is not sustainable. Bringing about a sustainable balance between ourselves and the planet we depend on will require us, in very short order, to reduce our population, our level of activity, or both. One of the questions that comes up repeatedly in discussions of population is, "What level of human population is sustainable?" In this article I will give my analysis of that question, and offer a look at the human road map from our current situation to that level.

Read on...

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