By Frosty Wooldridge
We human beings constitute the most successful species on Earth. We thrive on every continent on the globe. We add one billion of ourselves, net gain, every 12 years. We expect to add at least three billion more of ourselves by mid century and ever more after that. From 7.1 billion in 2013, we could double to 14 billion before the end of this century.
Unlike all other species, including insects, non-vertebrate, vertebrate and marine life, we prove ourselves as the most destructive species on the planet.
Within the past 100 years, we created 80,000 deadly chemicals we blast into the air, water and land 24/7. The damage we cause overwhelms the natural world. Our fossil fuel burning toxifies and contaminates the biosphere with endless carbon debris while it acidifies and destroys our oceans. We cause the extinction of 100 other species daily from our onslaught and poisoning of their habitats and water supplies.
“Upwards of two hundred species… mostly of the large, slow-breeding variety… are becoming extinct here every day because more and more of the earth’s carrying capacity is systematically being converted into human carrying capacity. These species are being burnt out, starved out, and squeezed out of existence… thanks to technologies that most people, I’m afraid, think of as technologies of peace. I hope it will not be too long before the technologies that support our population explosion begin to be perceived as no less hazardous to the future of life on this planet than the endless production of radioactive wastes.” Daniel Quinn
Along the way, billions of us live in utter misery and starvation cycles. Over 10 million children and eight million adults starve to death annually or die of starvation related diseases. That doesn’t deter our species from producing ever more of ourselves as we add that 80 million net gain annually.
Funny thing about Mother Nature however, she brings a reckoning to all species who overshoot the carrying capacity of any finite land mass. She kills without guilt, shame, temperance or concern. She kills slowly or quickly. A few or a few million! She kills without mercy or conscience.
In 2013, the United States lives by a thread of imported oil. Without 7 of 10 barrels imported, the United States and most Western countries could not exist. They couldn’t feed their massive populations. They live in “overshoot” minted by Dr. William Catton in his famous book: Overshoot.
In other words, when the oil depletes and our water diminishes from human overload and overpopulation—Mother Nature gets to dance on our heads here in America—just as she does with that 18 million she currently kills off annually around the world via starvation.
“At this point, it’s almost certainly too late to manage a transition to sustainability on a global or national scale, even if the political will to attempt it existed, which it clearly does not. Our civilization is in the early stages of the same curve of decline and fall as so many others have followed before it. What likely lies in wait for us is a long, uneven decline into a new Dark Age from which, centuries from now, the civilizations of the future will gradually emerge.” John Michael Greer, The Long Descent
Population expert Rex Weyler said, “From an ecological point of view, the human dilemma is extremely typical. All successful species in a habitat eventually reach the habitat capacity limits, usually overshoot, and are generally rebalanced by nature’s default: starvation, disease or a new predator. There exist myriad strategies to maximize the growth, synergies, efficiencies, and so forth, but eventually a successfully growing species will overshoot the capacity of its habitat. In that sense, we’re a normal successful animal species.
“The maximum energy (or maximum entropy) law was introduced by A.J. Lotka (who developed predator-prey dynamics) and was taken up by Howard Odum. Lotkashowed that natural selection was fundamentally a struggle among organisms for available energy. Successful animals capture and transform energy at a higher rate with more efficiency and effectiveness than less successful animals. Cooperation can help multiple species, but they’re all seeking available energy. The maximum energy “law” of Lotka & Odum suggests that any organism will continue to leverage its energy transformations into greater energy collection. A tree keeps growing to collect more energy, until it reaches some ecosystem limit; a wolf pack, or human empire does the same.
“Both Lotka & Odum extended this concept to human society, and both realized early on that non-renewable hydrocarbon energy would eventually prove to be a dead end. Odum proposed Lotka’s maximum energy law as the 4th law of thermodynamics, and I haven’t seen anything to refute the claim. Odum also proposed a 5th law, Energy Hierarchy: That all energy transforming sub-systems (organisms) exist and evolve in a universal system of self-organizing hierarchical systems. All the energy transformations known can be connected in a series network according to the quantity of one kind of energy required for the next stage – solar … grass .. .rabbit .. wolf – and so forth.
“In these ways, humanity is simply right on track with any other growing, energy-transforming successful organism. We now exist in a state of habitat overshoot, with the entire planet Earth as the habitat in question. In nature’s normal scenario, next step is large scale starvation, which, behold, is well under way.
“Now the big question for us: Do our cognitive powers give us a chance of figuring out how to check our own growth without succumbing to nature’s unpleasant defaults: starvation, disease, eco-system state shift, etc.
“The maximum energy law appears to be holding and dominating human enterprise – fracking, tar sands, oil shale, horizontal drilling, methane hydrates, allegedly green energy, renewable energy, coal, efficiency gains, wood, animals, slaves – Humanity appears in an all-out hunt for every available calorie of energy to transform, and an increasing share of this energy is going into the hunt for more energy .. just as Lotka’s law predicts.
“The maximum energy law appears to hold and appears more influential than our logic, stories, explanations, warnings and so forth. This has led some observers to turn to mitigation and localized survival, a reasonable conclusion. I suggest both: Keep trying to awaken humanity, but find space for a garden with a good water supply.”
Finally, we need 21st century human beings that think beyond their religious myths, cultural bias and outright avoidance of reality.
Dr. William Rees, ecological economist and former director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in a blog June 12, 2012 , “The Use and Misuse of the Concept of Sustainability.” “The concepts of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainability’ continue to be subverted, distorted and otherwise misused in the ongoing political debates concerning global change and economic development. Society continues to be in deep denial of fundamental facts pertaining to contemporary biophysical reality.”
If you would like to make a difference, please join these organizations for the most effective collective action you can take: www.CapsWeb.org ; www.NumbersUSA.org ; www.TheSocialContract.com ; www.Fairus.org
Join me, Frosty Wooldridge, with Dave Chaffin, host of the Morning Zone at 650 AM, www.KGAB.com, Cheyenne, Wyoming every Monday 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., as we discuss my latest commentaries about issues facing America. You may stream the show on your computer. You may call in at: 1-888-503-6500.
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, “Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls”, Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:
“Immigration by the numbers—off the chart” by Roy Beck
This 10 minute demonstration shows Americans the results of unending mass immigration on the quality of life and sustainability for future generations: in a few words, “Mind boggling!” www.NumbersUSA.org
Canada www.immigrationwatchcanada.org ; in Australia www.population.org.au and[email protected]; in Great Britain www.populationmatters.org ; and dozens of other sites accessed at www.frostywooldridge.com. In Florida, www.flimen.org .
Must see: Rapid Population Decline, seven minute video by Dr. Jack Alpert-
Dave Gardner, President, Citizen-Powered Media ; Producing the Documentary, GROWTH BUSTERS; presents Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity, Join the cause at www.growthbusters.org ; Trailer to his latest movie on overpopulation: http://youtu.be/KLWxWOcUrVc
Check out this link with Wooldridge on bicycle and Lester Brown and panel discussion:
Tomorrow’s Americaproject on www.youtube.com/contemporarylearning.
Producer: GEORGE A. COLBURNwww.tomorrowsamerica.com
Email: [email protected]
Link to www.tomorrowsamerica.com for more discussions on America’s predicament.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Alexandra Paul talks about human overpopulation and saving our world by all women having 1 child only:
One planet, one child:
We must come to terms with birth control and stabilizing human population. This three minute video brings the terror of India’s predicament up close and personal by Paul Winn of Australia:
This film will rock you: MOTHER: CARING FOR 7 BILLION
Dr. Jack Alpert , www.skil.org
Too Many People Video series
How Much Degrowth is Enough? “NEW” Sept. 2012
Important books to read and educate yourself:
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, edited by Philip Cafaro and Eileen Crist, 2012
The World Without Us,Alan Weisman 2007 A scholarly research on how the Earth will fare after Homo sapiens are gone.
Man Swarm, and the Killing of Wildlife, Dave Foreman 2011 Mankind as locusts.
Take Conservation Back, Dave Foreman, 2013
The Long Emergencyby James Howard Kunstler, what America faces when oil runs out.
Overshootby William Catton
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeedby Jared Diamond
Peak Everything: Facing a century of Declinesby Richard Heinberg
Plan B, 4.0, Saving Civilizationby Lester Brown
The Population Fixby Edward C. Hartman
America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Americansby Frosty Wooldridge
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. He presents “The Coming Population Crisis facing America: what to do about it.” www.frostywooldridge.com. His latest book is: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, copies at 1 888 280 7715/ Motivational program: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World by Frosty Wooldridge, click: www.HowToLiveALifeOfAdventure.com
Live well, laugh often, celebrate daily and enjoy the ride,
6 Continent world bicycle traveler
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