Preparing For The Future

Recently a friend sent me the following article. It covers lots of excellent
and salient points concerning where humanity and the world as a whole are heading into the future.

and by Russell Hopfenber, apparently from Duke University.

Human population growth has been identified as a primary cause of ecologically destructive phenomena and, if left unchecked, will threaten the survivability of the human species. It has been demonstrated that genetic feedback is the mechanism by which species achieve ecological balance. The present analysis shows the applicability of this mechanism to human population regulation. In this model, the traits of behavior and culture are explained as following a four step process, similar to, and nested within genetic evolution. As species extinction is part and parcel of evolution, and environmental circumstances are changing rapidly, the population regulatory change that would take place on the genetic level of integration would be human extinction. However, the change on the cultural level, requiring a revision of the social contingency from “food production must be increased to feed a growing population” to “food production increases cause population increases,” would lead to human sustainability.

The writing goes onward to add:  Many leading scientists and public organizations are concerned about the deterioration of natural resources and the environment caused by rapidly increasing human numbers and activities (Pimentel et al. 1998). As population size and consumption levels increase, basic natural resources are depleted. The increase in the number of humans is responsible for amounts of pollutants dumped into land, water, and atmosphere. It is well understood that
escalating human population is fueling the acceleration of all environmental problems (Pimentel et al. 1998; Hopfenberg and Pimentel 2001).

Although human numbers have more than doubled since1960, much of the scientific and lay literature holds to the perspective that food production must be increased to feed a growing population (Hopfenberg and Pimentel 2001). For
example, Young (1999) noted that current UN projections predict that the population of developing countries will riseto about eight billion by 2025 and nine billion by 2050. He then asserted, “It is widely recognized that massive agricultural development will be needed to feed this added population.” Cakmak (2002) stated that food production on presently used land must be doubled in the next two
decades to meet the food demands of a growing world population.

However, Gilland (2002) has pointed out that the global supply of food calories per capita rose from 2,420 kcal per day in 1958 to 2,808 kcal in 1999 (see end note).
Furthermore, it has been clarified that human population growth is a function of food supply (Farb 1978; Quinn 1992, 1996; Hopfenberg and Pimentel 2001; Hopfenberg
2003). McQueen (2000) showed that while world food production currently exceeds requirements, distribution problems leave about 800 million people malnourished.
These distribution problems have increased along with the increasing global population (Hinrichse 1997; Rosset et al. 2000). If the history of the Green Revolution has taught us one thing, it is that increased food production goes hand in hand with greater hunger (Rosset et al. 2000). Thus, rather than ameliorate the population problem and the tragedy of malnutrition and starvation, increases in global food production have, in fact, precipitated population growth and malnutrition difficulties.

Should agricultural expansion continue as predicted, 10 to the ninth ha of natural ecosystems could be converted to agriculture by 2050 (Tilman et al. 2001; Jenkins 2003). The commensurate habitat destruction would cause unprec-
edented ecosystem simplification, loss of ecosystem services, and species extinctions. Indeed, forest conversion for agriculture expansion is the most salient signature of civilized human occupation of the earth’s land surface (Carr 2004). Pimentel (2001) pointed out that humans are currently utilizing more than 50% of total biomass produced in the world, leaving less for other species and increasing their likelihood of perishing. Additionally, there exists a growing sense of “common fate” between humans and other animal species regarding sustainability and even
survivability (Myers 1996; Liu et al. 1997). …
So what am I supposed to think and respond to a writing like this? How do you respond to a nightmare that in actuality is coming perhaps into being? Am I supposed to grab a fiddle while Rome burns?

“Dear Caesar
Keep Burning, raping, killing
But please, please
Spare us your obscene poetry
And ugly music “

From Seneca’s last letter to Nero

So I wrote to my friend in response to his sending me this composition: I enjoyed the article and it made some terrific points. Here, though, is where I”m located mentally in relation to it.

Part of the problem arose on St. Matthew’s Island due to lack of apex predators keeping the deer population in balance with the resource supply, it would seem.

The Introduction, Increase, and Crash of Reindeer on St. Matthew Island

by DR Klein – ‎Cited by 458 – ‎Related articles

In the late winter of 196364, in association with extreme snow accumulation, virtually the entire population of 6,000 reindeer died of starvation. With one known exception, all of the surviving reindeer (42 in 1966) were females. The pattern of reindeer population growth and die-off on St. Matthew Island has been observed on …

Related image
Compare that the deer went to zero population with human population at present since we are rising as did the deer population:

Image result for human population graph image

UN projects world population of 6.2 to 15.8 billion in 2100 with 10.1 …

Now consider the role of predators in keeping human numbers in check (along with other factors such as floods, earthquakes, famines, lack of sufficient water during droughts or for other reasons, wars, etc.).

First, humans have destroyed many of our micro (disease) and macro predators via antibiotics, vaccines (i.e., polio and so on), guns (for the large scale predators) and other means (i.e., taking over their habitats, killing them via acid rain and pesticides and other poisons, such as are used in baited traps, etc., etc). We do the same action for our competition (including with herbicides and other poisons).

Second we hunt many of the others, which compete with us or which pose a danger, to extinction or near extinction. We just don’t want them around.

Poachers Target Africa’s Lions, Vultures With Poison – VOA News

Sep 27, 2017 – Hundreds of vultures in Namibia died after feeding on an elephant carcass that poachers had poisoned. Poachers in Zimbabwe used cyanide to kill dozens of elephants for their ivory tusks. In Mozambique three lions died after eating bait infused with a crop pesticide. Poisoning Africa’s wildlife is an old …

Living with Lions | Lion Poisoning

The most urgent threat to lions today is the widespread use of poison in retaliation for depredation on livestock. When lions or hyenas kill … These are a small fraction of the predators actually killed by poison, …

Then we do, of course, have the food issue. When agriculture was introduced (which led to our deplorable inhumane factory farm and slaughterhouse practices, agricultural runoff and massive animal waste), again the population received a boon as more and more land is still increasingly cut away from the untamed world for mega-farms.

So is it any wonder that we are rising in number like the deer on the island? It it a surprise that we are in this mess? …

Will Humans Survive the Sixth Great Extinction? – Latest Stories…/150623-sixth-extinction-kolbert-animals-cons...

Earth’s sixth mass extinction event under way, scientists warn … › Environment › Endangered species

Jul 10, 2017 – Researchers talk of ‘biological annihilation’ as study reveals billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades.

Not long ago, I saw this following video. It was heartbreaking to me to see so many starving people, including babies who had dropped to almost four pounds apiece and had almost died. (Did their brain capabilities survive intact during their period of food lack?)

Fighting Famine – 60 Minutes Videos – CBS News › 60 Minutes › Newsmakers
Mar 19, 2017

In South Sudan, 5M people don’t know where their next meal is coming from and, of them, 100000 are …

There are massive, and I mean massive, food drops via gargantuan cargo air-crafts in South Sudan with lots of food from the USA and other countries. This happening is shown in the above movie.

The fact is, though, that many of the women in South Sudan have five or six children while also taking care of up to five or six more individually from other women who have been killed by rebels. Meanwhile, many of these women have had husbands, who were also killed by rebels. (Imagine caring for ten to twelve children by yourself and not having enough food, nor adequate shelter and clothes while afraid that rebels may come to kill you?)

Now, let’s assume that these brave women and their children miraculously survive due to the food drops in their impoverished country. What then happens when their children start having even more children and the population for this country exponentially grows larger?

Let’s say that they are all allowed to immigrate to other countries such as ones in Europe. For what jobs are these women suitable? Who will take care of all of their children while they are out working without even speaking the local language and with very few needed job skills? How about that many of them can’t even read or write? Can a minimum wage job in Europe for an unskilled worker support the women and their ten to twelve children?

In terms of continuing to get food from the USA and many other countries to sustain them in their own ecologically collapsing country, let’s look at the USA for an answer.

Climate change threatens American agriculture | Popular Science

Jan 20, 2017 – The research is in line with other studies: research indicates that warming temperatures can cause higher plant yields, but those yields collapse past a … Currently, the Midwest accounts for about 65 percent of U.S. corn and soybean production, according to the United States Department of Agriculture …

Feb 8, 2013 – A new US Department of Agriculture report looking only at the threat of climate change implies that industrial agriculture will be on its knees in 25 years. “We’re going to end up in a situation where we have a multitude of things happening that are going to negatively impact crop production,” said Jerry …

America’s breadbasket aquifer running dry; massive agriculture …

Mar 10, 2011 – In some regions along the aquifer, the water level has dropped so far that it has effectively disappeared — places like Happy, Texas, where a once-booming agricultural town has collapsed to a population of just 595. All the wells drilled there in the 1950’s tapped into the Ogallala Aquifer and seemed to …

Mar 1, 2012 – At around the same time, late in the first millennium, two highly evolved societies collapsed in this way, brought down by the law of diminishing returns. The Mayan civilisation in Central America, and the kingdom of Mesopotamia – a cultural and technological cradle of the Western world – that ranged across …

Heck, we won’t even be able to feed the USA population in all likelihood in the future let alone help other countries like Egypt, Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and increasing numbers of others that collapse. Meanwhile, lots of people will be streaming northward, supposedly, to avoid dead zones.

Massachusetts is supposed to lose its coastline. It’s the same scenario for all of the rest of the USA and goodness knows the way that the northern lands in the USA are supposed to subsume everyone else from other regions — 350 million or more people.

1,400 US cities could be underwater by year 2100 – YouTube

Jul 31, 2013 – Uploaded by The Cosmos News

Latest Uploads From The Cosmos News …

Thankfully, we both won’t be alive by then. Who wants to voluntarily face such a nightmare? P.S., I hear that the Dakotas and Michigan will be fairly reasonable places to live toward the end of the century … well, would be if not inundated by hoards of desperate people!

 I’m working hard right now to help create transition towns for my region. My doing so will not make a difference during my lifetime, I suppose, but I feel impelled as an absolute necessity to do so for future generations of people if some do manage to survive the coming oxygen deprivation and other woes coming unto our world and largely due to human ignorance and utter folly.

NASA | Projected U.S. Temperature Changes by 2100 – YouTube

Jul 23, 2013 – Uploaded by NASA Goddard

NASA Goddard. … The average temperature across the continental U.S. could be 8 degrees …

Mar 10, 2017 – Uploaded by Popular Science

Season after season, extreme weather bombards the continental United States. Over the next 83 years, its …

Currently I’m trying to set up transition towns in MA. I shared. They will be needed not during my time on Earth. I know that, but my eye is on times past mine. So one does whatever he or she can for future people.

My region toward the end of the century is supposed to have severe storms and hurricanes. Will my 1860’s house hold for these events and for whomever is living in it then?

I hope so and I will do all that I can way in advance of their time in my current house to ensure so. After all, I do not ant them to go through the devastating hell that I faced in losing my mother’s entire home except for the cisterns in the Virgin Islands some years ago.

Sometimes I hold a chunk of it, the destroyed house, that I brought back from the Caribbean. It is a sliver of the past — a piece measuring three inches by two by two. It is all that is left of the place, and was constructed and painted by my long dead father.

I try to ponder its meaning, the gain and love that I had un this home with family and others against the total loss. Accordingly  it reminds me all too well that I need to ensure that others, as much as I am able to prevent it, should not go through this torment in destruction that my family and I endured.

So I try all that I can to support the transition town movement for my region of the USA, try to delimit my personal climate change impact, strive to help the natural world in various ways, feed the homeless people around me who are in a shelter run by friends and undertake other measures. Can you help me in these efforts for your own regions?

I have a one year old grandchild. She thinks twigs and pebbles are special (as do I). So when she finds them on a path, she eagerly picks them up and brings them running as fast as her feet can propel her to an adult strolling with her as a grand valuable present. She acts very happy to give something to others that she, herself, values in the extreme. (You should see the gleeful look on her face as she hands over the gift — one that is glorious and supreme in her eyes since she loves the natural world and finds it amazing.)

So can’t we all go back in time to cherish the natural world around us in all of its wonders rather than to see it as a means to an end to make monetary gain? Can’t we all learn to treasure something in life so simple as a twig and a pebble to enhance our joy, wonderment and awe of the world?

Look at such a beauty that this child is — filled with amazement and pleasure in being alive and relishing practically every moment. It’s not because she is mine that she has that intense beauty of being. It is in our whole species and in other ones, other species. So are we going to passively allow for their demise or are we going to fight like living hell to ensure their future here on Earth?

Here in the USA, we are trained practically since birth to be good little consumers while associating happiness and status with being great shopaholics. So it is no wonder that so many Americans are in personal debt as they buy beyond their means.

Here in the USA, we are taught to wave the flag every time that we see a troop go off to or return from war in far away locations. Most people rarely question the reasons for our bombadeer stance, which poses another area of cultural brainwashing. It’s some sort of Dr. Strangelove writ large for a whole society for sure with practically the whole of the USA society hypnotized into the stance! Yahoo and bombs away!

Almost Everything in “Dr. Strangelove” Was True | The New Yorker

Jan 17, 2014 – This month marks the fiftieth anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy about nuclear weapons, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” Released on January 29, 1964, the film caused a good deal of controversy. Its plot suggested that a mentally deranged American …

Image result for dr strangelove on rocket image
Certainly assorted forms of madness, such as excessive shopping and warmongering, have to stop. Instead we need to start preparing our various areas of the world so that future generations of humans, other animals and plants can survive in them. Little children like my granddaughter absolutely need us to do so to try to ensure the continuance of life and to do so starting NOW!

Sally Dugman is a writer from MA, USA.


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