May 7, 2009

Population and Peak Oil: where is the debate!

These days certainly we do have an abundance of gloom and doom subjects: the latest in the hit parade, swine flu is joining global warming and recession/depression at the forefront of media discussion.
It remains to understand though why the two key actors Population and Peak Oil are hardly discussed.
Population and Peak Oil are the source of every imbalance we are witnessing today; Global Warming, Water and Food depletion, Wars, Economical Crisis, pandemic etc. etc. are all consequences of these two strongly interlaced factors.
It is true that recently Peak Oil has started to be acknowledged by the oil experts and oil corporations that until 1 year ago were strongly calling everyone proposing the theory a lunatic.
Total, Aramco and others have finally acknowledged the fact that peak oil is here and that we probably peaked in 2005.
The excellent work of Matthew Simmons and Colin Campbell at explaining this potentially catastrophic issue is finally being considered more broadly by the establishment even though a large scale acknowledgment and discussion is still missing.
Population on the opposite is still widely ignored or diminished of magnitude, being the most delicate of the issues is being addressed with soft tones and occasional innuendos that are preventing any serious and drastic remedy. It is quite sad considering that population was a serious discussion in the 60s and 70s when the Club of Rome issued the famous report: The Limits to Growth.
Since then the issue has not been revisited anymore and has fallen in the sands of oblivion.
If the economy and corporations need always more and more clients to increase their revenue; growth in all its form cannot be bad! Right!
Well it is wrong actually! Unlimited and undisciplined growth in a world with finite resources is a monstrosity and a disaster being manufactured. We have had an explosion of population in the last 100 years due to the abundant and cheap oil.
Abundant and cheap oil allowed for the Green revolution which increased 10 fold the food output, allowed for transportation, manufacturing and energy to be readily available for a growing number of people, but now we are at a turning point in human history, oil is no longer abundant and cheap anymore. An oil shock according to many experts is only months away and a gas and food and water shock could follow in various parts of the world in the following years.
Controlling the world's population explosion is now more than ever essential to avoid an armageddon scenario unfolding in the following years.

The obstacles to control the population are first of all moral and political. Democracy and human rights by themselves are blocking any attempt to tackle this enormous problem, a new rethinking of what is a a sustainable democracy and what are human rights is longely due.

Human rights were proclaimed in a very different world from the one we are entering into now.
Western civilization was controlling the entire planet and consuming 90% of the resources.
Today hugely populated countries as China and India have entered the game as superpowers and they joined the party when only scraps have been left on the table.
If the population of China would live according to European standards we would need the resources, food and water of an extra 6 planets.
They will have to compete with the rest of us for those last scraps.

Democracy will not survive when the first signs of resource and social stress will show up and human life in the following years will become much cheaper.
Two paths are available either we continue on this road and then we will face resource wars, disasters and pandemics unleashing each year; or we accept that current population levels are unsustainable that our ant community has grown too big and too fast and that we need to rebalance the population level even with draconian measures. Ignoring the reality or being indolent in addressing it will only increase the price we will have to pay in terms of lives and social collapse when nature will take care of it soon!

Some scary things are happening right now and I will report them in following posts! Be tuned!
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