BSB #86: Are Humans Going Extinct?

Unlimited Growth in a Finite World will 
Inevitably Lead to Extinction
by J. Morris Hicks

Since 2010, I have been writing and speaking about four "grossly unsustainable situations" on our small blue planet and how anyone with a third grade education could figure out why things must change in a big way if our civilization is to survive.


In the above chart, I primarily talk about #4 because that is the only one of the four big "situations" that can be resolved fairly quickly--like within a dozen years. The other three problems will take many decades, if not centuries, to resolve.

Let's take a closer look at global population. It has been growing exponentially for thousands of years, but only since 1900 has its explosion been felt around the world. In the 5-minue video below, notice what happens around 1800, when our population reached one billion--and what happens in the next 250 years, when it multiplies nine fold. 

Standing at 7.5 billion today, this chart visually illustrates a population of 9 billion by 2050.


Why have I focused on just the food? Since learning about the power of our food choices to promote health, save water, stop climate change, curb deforestation, end world hunger and greatly reduce the consumption of fossil fuels--I have been singularly focused on doing what I can to help move all humans away from the harmful, inefficient and grossly unsustainable practice of eating animals. 

My thinking was that if we could get most of the world's population to replace 75% of their animal-based calories with healthier, greener, plant-based alternatives, we could buy ourselves enough time to address the first three "situations" on my chart above. But that simply is not happening as it looks like we may have already passed the climate change tipping point.

Many others have been "preaching" the same thing, but our collective efforts haven't been enough to change the trajectory of our eating habits. As this "per person" consumption chart clearly shows, we just keep eating more and more meat, dairy, eggs and fish as more and more people in the developing world are beginning to eat animal-based foods for the first time. 
Optimist, Pessimist or Realist? What are you? I consider myself a combination of "optimist" and "realist" -- one who is always searching for workable solutions to our most serious problems. But there comes a time when our exploding population coupled with unlimited consumption in a world of finite resources makes us realize that our days as a species may be numbered. Here's a 6-minute video (Jan. 2016) that may get your attention.

         Is Humanity on the Eve of Extinction? 
  
What about the E word? We are hearing more and more about extinction these days, but I still think that there is a way out. Others; however, disagree.

Dr. Stephen Emmott (author of TEN BILLION) has concluded that our leaders are not up to the task of addressing the many deadly trends we are facing and that our civilization will collapse well before the end of this century. A recent quote from E.O. Wilson.

Keep in mind: Climate change we can reverse if we work hard enough  and get the right leadership. But extinction is really, really forever. - - E.O. Wilson

To be clear, I have not yet given up HOPE. In the article referenced below, I describe my current vision and how I am trying to communicate that vision to leaders who are in a position to make a major difference, before it's too late.


J. Morris Hicks

Promoting Health, Hope and Harmony on Planet Earth

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