It’s highly doubtful the sleeping public understands the extreme significance of the coming collapse. If they did, they would probably be screaming in the streets (justifiably so). What will probably happen is our kids will wind up cursing us in their sleep (justifiably so) in their prison camps.
The coming collapse of civilization, which is in reality, already well underway, will be most felt within 50 years. By then, the global problems that have accumulated into unsolvable crisis will become extremely acute, right about the time when Junior is about your age right now. These problems (today) are:
Destruction of natural habitat – forests, oceans, ocean bottoms, coral reefs, wetlands. Already, over 50% of the worlds forest have already been converted, depleted or destroyed. The remaining percentage will be wiped out within 50 years. Deforestation was THE major factor in all previous collapses of civilizations. And even larger percentage of the wetlands has been destroyed, damaged or converted. Over one-third of the worlds coral reefs have collapsed. Less then one-half are expected to survive past 2030 (24 years away).
The loss of forest, reefs, wetlands and the ocean bottom (scraped clean by trawlers) represent a gigantic loss in biodiversity and species, and a huge irreplaceable loss in fresh water (the normal hydration cycle has been severely disrupted).
The resulting loss of wild foods, primarily from ocean stocks cannot be replaced by any means. “Free food” from the ocean (fish and crustaceans) feed over 2 billion people today. The greater majority of fisheries have either already collapsed or are in steep decline. Aquaculture is increasing the loss of wild-species due to interbreeding (escaped fish) and genetic decline and required feeding (using wild fish).
Soil erosion from wind and water is destroying topsoil at 10 – 40 times the rates of soil formation and between 500 and 10,000 times soil erosion rates on forested land, all due to human caused activity. The net loss of soil, carried away by wind and water represents a stupendous loss in soil fertility and resulting biodiversity (plants and animals that depend upon the plants, including human farmland). Salinization, soil fertility, acidification, and alkalinization have already accounted for severe soil losses ranging from 20% – 80% today. Within 50 years, soil losses will be directly attributable to widespread starvation and species extinctions. Examples of this are already evident in the Sudan, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia, the Middle East and many other parts of the world (once fertile land).
Energy sources (wood, coal, oil, natural gas and uranium) are being depleted at faster and faster rates from human activity. The end of the age of oil is already within sight and as the world turns to other forms of energy sources, an increasing amount of environmental damage from mining, logging, drilling and transportation networks (roads, pipelines and infrastructure) will create an ever increasing amount of damage. Most lands once damaged, can never be used again (for all practical purposes, unless you’re willing to wait ten thousand years or so).
Similiar damage is being done by the constant expansion of urban and suburban areas, which all require an increasing amount of extracted natural resources and energy for building, maintenance and function. This land too is lost for all practical purposes for humans and non-humans alike, contributing nothing back towards the natural biodiversity and requires continued habitat destruction for construction.
Chemicals, toxins, poisons, pesticides, insecticides, herbacides and man-made synthesized chemicals are continuing to be released in larger and larger quantities into the environment. Stream run off, ocean dumping, agriculture, industrial waste, war pollutions, plastics, sludge ponds, landfills, and a huge array of airborne toxins from manufacturing, automobiles, industry, mining, production and airplanes is being released into the environment at an increasing rate (the amount released yearly is billions of tons of toxins). These toxins break down extremely slowly with devastating effects upon humans, bird, animals, reptiles, fish and plant species, causing long term genetic disorders, birth defects, abnormalities, lowered sperm counts and retardation.
Alien species deliberately or inadverdantly introduced into the environment have caused billions of dollars in damage to crops, animal and plant species, with many successfully establishing themselves and expand their territory despite massive efforts at their eradication. The resulting destruction of natural habitat and native species eradication now exceeds 30% of the worlds remaining species on the planet.
Global warming, now finally recognized by most of the worlds leading scientists, is an unstoppable freight train that will cause billions of human deaths. A few degrees may not seem like much, but at the height of the last ice age, the average temperature was “only” 5 degrees cooler then it is today. Global warming will cause sea levels to rise, indunuating all of the low-lying coastal cities of the world, massive flooding, climate shift (droughts in some areas, massive flooding in others) and displace billions of people due to starvation (crop failures) and drought. Causes of global warming are directly attributable to human emissions and human activity.
Overpopulation will continue to increase, potentially at double the present number of nearly 7 billion humans. More people means more environmental demands and impacts and more damage. The desire for Third-World countries to achieve First-World living standards and status is already causing extensive damage to the worlds remaining forests, oceans, fisheries, soils, and greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere.
The reality is, our present world cannot possibly sustain 7 billion at First-World living standards, and the future world with its increased depletion rates and remaining resources stands no chance of supporting 12 or 14 billion First-Worlders for longer then a month or so. But this fact does not deter these nations from trying anyway, nor teach the First-World nations to reduce their rates of consumption. The result will be massive global conflicts from the remaining world’s resources of water, oil, food, fuel, wood, cropland, fish and other resources.
This in a nutshell, is the “inheritance” we are passing on to our kids – a depleted and destroyed world where “survival of the fittest” will depend upon the control of the world’s remaining natural resources being withheld from everyone else while each nation desperately tries to improve its living conditions.
The nations best suited for this sustenance race for survival will be equipped with the an infinite level of control and manipulation of the people, press, armies and their government. That the United States and Britian is advancing this terror technology is no accident. In order to survive into the future, if even for a few more decades, the nations will need to become ruthless in their quest for domination and control – or face starvation and annihilation.
The disconnect in most people minds between their living conditions and living standards will continue to be distorted and twisted from its root source and causes as the rates of depletion and environmental destruction continue and increase. That our environment enables us to have what we enjoy today is irrefutable, but the present and accelerating rates of extraction, destruction and devastation caused by humans is totally unsustainable and will eventually result in a complete collapse of civilization.
Fifty years may not seem like a long time to some or to others, it’s a long ways off, but between now and then, the ongoing collapse will be felt more and more until eventually, each of us will pass on this inheritance to our own kids, who will have to bear the brunt of our shortsightedness and extreme selfishness. Their world won’t be anything like our world and they will rightly curse us in their sleep.