Monday, May 24, 2010

Population Quiz

I was pondering the work that made the allied victory in WWII possible. It was done with 130 million people in the States and about 2.5 billion in the world. (1940 numbers.)

I like to think that since it was done once (a total paradigm shift) then it's possible again to change our approach to energy and resources. But then I remembered that we don't live in 1940 anymore.
Instead of 130 million people in the States all getting on the "Kill the Nazi Wagon" we have 300+ million who have to become hemp wearing hippies. A two fold increase.
Instead of 2.5 billion we have (gulp) 7 billion plus on the planet, including people like Paris Hilton who count as about 4000 Haitians in resource terms.

Between 1804 and 1927 was the time it took to go from 1 to 2 billion.
That's 123 years.
In 83 years we went from 2 billion to 7 billion.
We'll reach 8 billion in 2025, 5 years past the point of peak oil production and the agreed upon point of no return. It isn't 2012 like the movie says. 2020 is the projected point when resources will be completely taxed. We're already collectively using 5 times more than the earth can sustain. In 2020 fresh water will be more valuable than oil, and oil will be very valuable. World harvest yields will be threatened by climate instability. Fishing will be taught in history classes like how we demonstrate Indians heating acorns and grinding the flour for tortillas.

And the change that has to take place is among 8 billion people. 8,000,000,000. I predict an entire generation of people who will be janitors of the planet and you know when you go into a public bathroom and someone has shit on the seat? You know how you feel when you see the shit smeared on the seat and sometimes the wall? Ok, multiply that feeling by 8 billion and you will get an idea of how that generation is going to think about us. Facebook and youtube will be looked at like we look at spraypaint on a school wall...the ape-like scrawlings of inconsiderate infants who deserved a worse fate than we will eventually get.

I wish I had a punch line for this.
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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.