The above graph is from the New Scientist, Special report: How our economy is killing the Earth.
It is a stark reminder of just how bad things are really getting. It is a perfect example of the exponential growth problem as shown by Bartlett and others.
The economic model was their focus — but there are other points I would like to make. Resources drive the economy, and treating the planet like a mined garbage dump is having devastating consequences to all life on Earth.
This graph represent COLLAPSE DEAD AHEAD. This is inevitable and now a foregone conclusion to human folly and greed.
In the report, they mention “shifting from growth to development” with the constant promise of more “technological innovation” (which is really just more resource consumption) but totally fails to identify the elephant in the room which is global overpopulation. There is no possibility — none whatsoever that we can maintain the current global population levels while we continue to “develop”.
Nor can development lead to sustainable living, this is a contradiction. The failure to identify this simple truth is telling — nobody in charge or no “expert” has a CLUE what to do. The path to “growth to development” is the same one we are on NOW and the one that has created the graph above.
The truth is right there before your eyes. A cliff of our own making has been created and on the other side, lies the bottom, where our civilization collapses. An unbelievable amount of effort will be expended trying to forestall this collapse, but it’s quite clearly already much too late. Unless we deal with all of the issues at cause here, we are absolutely and totally wasting our time — and that is exactly what I think regarding the various proposals to sustain our society.
Almost all of them are about maintaining the status-quo. Nobody wants to recognize that the status-quo is no longer even possible (or not for much longer). Nor is the overpopulation issue ever directly addressed. We have the secret reports such as the Protocols of Zion and others that talk about reducing world populations through some drastic means, but in public politics, it’s barely even mentioned, nor ever discussed with any seriousness.
What is worth pondering is how this will happen, because it most certainly WILL happen, the graph above absolutely proves it, and you will have absolutely no say in any of this. We are all along just for the ride. Since you do not control public policy or the global resources or the military machines that will enforce it all, you will be “victimized” along with everyone else. Soon or later, they WILL deal with this issue as the world’s resources run out.
Can you spell T.R.I.A.G.E.? That’s what’s coming, the pruning off of non-vital elements as humans struggle to find ways to survive. Global triage is already underway as nations are left to fend for themselves. Starvation is very real for some countries right now and as others jockey for position to protect their “vital interests”.
Even Americans are facing hard times, as Heinberg shares:
A perfect storm is brewing in the global food system, and North Americans and Europeans may not be spared this time. Food Crisis Is On the Way
It’s always been about survival. The modern world has almost entirely forgotten this as it plundered the planet like a kid in a chocolate shop. As the world “debates” the next stupid Presidential “race”, the issue of global survival hangs over everyone’s head. Exponential growth is a KILLER of nations, populations and species.
I’m sure regular readers really don’t need these reminders, but the graph was certainly worth posting. Pin it to your wall and point it out to your kids and tell them what it means. Only by adopting an entirely new ethic of no growth and no more development do humans (or any other lifeform) stand a chance to survive.
I do not believe for a second however, that the cliff can be avoided, we’ve actually already gone over the edge. The only thing even holding us up now is momentum, but we’re already arcing downwards, you can see this in ever bit of news that you read that reveals the planetary health.
Future humans, whosoever they might be, if they be, will need to adopt truly sustainable models of existence — and this does not include constant growth or technological development. Not unless severe and drastic population measures are rigidly enforced. The reality is you cannot have both. That is what placed us all here today.
But not to worry, that world is not our problem, nobody alive today will ever see it. Our problem remains surviving the crash and instilling an ethic of limited human impacts on the planet that sustains us. Teaching our kids what this means will be our most important task of all.