- We might hear the "overpopulation" word bantered
around a lot, but what does it mean? Who defines it? Can we identify
the long term consequences?
- Simply put: it means any given species cannot exceed
the carrying capacity of the land it inhabits. For example: if you possess
an acre of land with one watering hole that's two feet in diameter, the
land has a carrying capacity of two horses that can enjoy all the grass
they can eat, water they can drink and the rains would wash away the waste
to fertilize the soil to grow more grass. It's all in balance.
- Once you add 100 horses to the acre of land, the horses
will over-eat the land, deplete the water supply and create more waste
than can be mitigated. Those horses will kill the food source, overwhelm
the watering hole, start fighting for grass and eventually and most if
not all will die from starvation.
- The same principles apply to humans. Whereas the United
States enjoy a greater carrying capacity because of water and climate,
Australia with the same land mass, features 96 percent desert. Therefore,
a much smaller carrying capacity. Both countries already exceed their carrying
capacity as to energy and energy keeps the game going.
- "Unlimited population growth cannot be sustained;
you cannot sustain growth in the rates of consumption of resources. No
species can overrun the carrying capacity of a finite land mass."
This Law cannot be repealed and is not negotiable. Dr. Albert Bartlett,
www.albartlett.org , University of Colorado, USA.
- In this continuing series, Dr. Jack Alpert, Stanford
University, brings it down to simple terms. He explains what we face in
his seven minute video: Rapid Population Decline, www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTWduFB_RX0
- "The important part of what Clugston says is that
on the road to exhaustion of resources our kids won't have these resources
to support their lives," said Alpert. "However, few of today's
decision makers (parents) can visualize the difference between the child's
future experience and their present experience.
- "Parents don't realize that their personal experience
of life is dependent on the delivery of NNR's. Parents can't
visualize what their life would be like without these supporting NNR's. For
example, no car, no heat, no electric lights, no running water, no
communications, no computer, no grocery store, no hardware store, no general
store, no books, and no medicine. So parents don't realize what kind
of bad times are in store for their kids. In one sentence, our progeny
will experience lots of scarcity and fighting over the remnants of
what parents thought was their kid's birth right.
- "Most of the world's kids or grand kids will die
from starvation or in conflict. Those that don't die will be responsible
for large numbers of deaths. Each child will murder (at first through
market activity) a large number of people. They will also have to
murder to get or keep their paltry lot. If they are not successful
they will be murdered. I don't think I have to repeat this statement but
I will, "Every child born from here on in the human experiment
will be either a murderer or murdered." If we cannot communicate
this simple truth the human experiment has a very unpleasant future.
- "Let me remind you that everyone reading this letter
(to a smaller extent than those on the down slope of exhausting NNR) are
already murderers through their market purchases.
- "So it is not important that we agree with Chris,
about what to call our predicament or which process will drive the
first round of the ugly future, it is important that we marshal Chris's
data so it implies to the reader/listener what their kids and grandkids
are going to experience. If Chris's data does not produce a wince
when it is laid before a parent, we have not done anything useful.
- "Some very small number of people, (much less than
100 million) can live on the earth using renewable resources in a sustainable
and peaceful way. That number is slightly bigger if everyone hoes
and grow potatoes, and slightly smaller if we have higher technology than
- "I don't think historical precedent, the number
of hunter and gatherers in North America 3,000 years has much meaning for
the future. I am not planning to produce a significantly deflated version
of my life for my kid's kids. Just a lot fewer kids that will enjoy my
lifestyle or better.
- " Whatever that number is, how we approach
it will determine how the next generations will live.
- "If we fight resource wars we will end up with a
different future than if we produce rapid population declines with almost
no births and we stop all medical treatment (other than aspirin or morphine)
for people over the age of 50.
- "We will have a different future if the sustainable
population is broadly distributed or optimally located on the surface
of the earth. We will have a different future if we can get the population
down to living based on renewable resources and still have some NNR's left
in a reservoir to use on special occasions.
- "We will have a different future if we can move
the stockpiles of existing NNR to these optimal locations and then learn
to recycle them instead of just using them one pass and then have to mine
more. If you have to mine anything you are going to have a hard
time remaining sustainable.
- "And finally we will have a different future if
Kurt's fictional character "dixon" has his way. You all know
that I think that a Dixon type weapon is already prepared and in the warehouses
of major nations, industrial giants, and rich individuals and will
be used in a round of resources wars or just a way of guiding humankind
through this narrows."
- You may reach Dr. Jack Alpert at www.skil.org
- Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents
- from the Arctic to the South Pole - as well as six times across the USA,
coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic
Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. He presents "The Coming Population
Crisis in America: and what you can do about it" to civic clubs, church
groups, high schools and colleges. He works to bring about sensible world
population balance at www.frostywooldridge.com He is the author of: America
on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americans. Copies available: 1
888 280 7715