I find myself sitting here on a Friday night pondering the truth of ecological sustainability. Is it truly possible, cab we as human beings actually attain a stable and harmonious ecosystem?
I sometimes look at the ideas people come up with to stabilize or fix certain critical elements of our climate or environment, and think “How long will this bandaid be sustainable to maintain?” or “What issue will this bandaid cause in 50 years?”
I’ve seen how we stopped using CFCs and fixed the hole in the ozone layer to only realize the CFC replacements are actually contributing to global warming. So I guess I’m asking how do you feel about the ecological future of this round marble called Earth?
If “stable and harmonious” is equivalent to “living with the unfortunate effects of climate change for many, many generations even if we stopped emitting all greenhouse gasses tomorrow,” then yes, this is attainable.
Unfortunately I’ve got a long and dastardly road looking me down.
I always find myself wondering what ends us? I live at the foothills of an aging nuclear reactor. I’ve grown up always seeing it. As a child I thought it was a cloud factory, big puffs of white steam billowing out of it. Now knowing it’s a pile of 1970s construction filled with lethal radiation that could wipe out 150 mile radius. I always fear the end is nearer than some assume.
I was born in 1950 and during my childhood the general consensus was that we would never run out of oil and we could never pollute this planet.
At one time New York city dealt with it’s garbage problem by barging it offshore and dumping it into the ocean.
I was on a very remote beach in 1971, on the West coast of Vancouver Island. Facing us was the vast Pacific, the next land mass Japan. And washed up on that beach were plastic bottles, with Japanese writing on them.
Is our ecology out of balance? Definitely. Will mankind survive? Most likely not.
This planet will keep going on, life itself is tenacious and it will continue, even if in the form of some tardigrade.
If we achieve what Elon Musk strives for, a sustainable colony on Mars, I have other great concerns. If mankind actually becomes a multi-planetary species, will we become the scavengers as depicted in the movie “Independence Day”?
Star Trek is an ideal, but based on my concept of mankind, we will become more likely scavengers who leave a wake of dead planets in our wake.
I have been observing the politics and behaviors of my fellow humans, This observation couples with my optimism. USA’s birth rate is down, Europe’s birthrate is down. Better power generation systems are coming on line. Medical Science has made great progress. All good and reasons for optimism.
Will our population be subject to upheavals, I do not rule out a nuclear induced crash. but optimistically I doubt we will be 100% wiped out. We will survive. Maybe, as Vonnegut wrote, evolving to be less technological. See Optimistic
lol… Lying with statistics. Low birth rates have nothing to do with an increasing population.
CHINA: ( A record low increase is still an increase) China’s population grew from 1.41212 billion to just 1.41260 billion in 2021 – a record low increase
USA: The latest data from the Census Bureau shows that US population growth is running at between 0.7% and 0.9% per year.
Europe: The EU-27’s population is projected to increase from 446.8 million in 2019 and peak to 449.3 million in 2026 (+0.6 %), then gradually decrease to 441.2 million in 2050 and to 416.1 million in 2100,
(A decrease in population growth is still an increase in population. )
BUT WHAT ABOUT POOR COUNTRIES?
South America will add 3.6 million in 2020, which is 4.38% of the total global population increment.
Asia: It’s predicted that Asia’s population will continue to grow for quite some time, which will continue to strain its resources. Based on current estimates, it’s projected that national populations will grow in every country of Asia with the exception of Japan and Kazakhstan through 2050.\
Population growth rate for 2020 is projected at 0.97% , that is 112th highest among 235 countries/dependent territories. The population growth reached a peak in 1974 with an annual growth rate of 2.36%. India will add 13.4 million in 2021 that is near to the population of 75th ranked Guinea.
QUESTION: Is there any country on the planet that is showing a predicted decrease in population before 2050? I don’t think so.,
Yes you can spin it very negative, and thanks for the redundant information on how the numbers can be spun to suit our bias. Duh…never thought of that!
Do you find no hope in small changes? Is this where a lack of belief in a wonderful afterlife leads?
I do see hope. This does not make me ignorant of our current situation, nor does it leave me unconcerned for my descendants. This species is one of the most successful on earth, able to support ourselves far beyond what our pre-technological Ancestors could have. Who knows what will be discovered? Abundant energy would go a long way to changing our future. Current developments are encouraging.
Like I said, upheaval sure, but the fear of extinction is an irrational fear, humans have a chance. If the worst happens due to climate change or the nuclear genie, humans will probably survive.
I can’t believe I’m the Pollyanna in this republic.
@Mark Strangely enough I am an optimist. I grew up in a culture where we did not pay any heed to garbage or pollution or climate change or a lot of stuff. But for the same reasons I became an atheist, I followed the evidence and ignored the wishful happy feeling stuff.
I mostly agree, but I am also sure it’s not the end, just another test. One we may need to pay dearly to take, but it won’t wipe us out.
I wrote a Essay in my Science, Technology and Human Values class that for all we know our future descendants may thank us for concentrating our used iron and steel in compact areas. Who knows? Same with nuclear waste. A future technology may find a good use for it. There are solutions we just need to be forced to accept them, or find another.
(Here I had a long paragraph discussing the methods for dealing with nuclear waste, decided I was being redundant, took it out. You’re welcome.)
In the mid 1970’s there were many predicting a collapse of the worlds systems before we reached 7billons, we are about to pass 8billion. So who was right?
I also like to be an optimist. I don’t necessarily think we are doomed completely. On the other hand I think it’s a very very real possibility we go right off the cliff.
It’s funny I’m always looking at how to eliminate my need for gas, electricity, heating, cooling, etc.
I took a job I can walk to from my house.
Currently turning most of our ugly grass yard into gardens we no longer have to mow or use powered equipment to manage. Seriously how much do you pay just to keep your grass looking appealing for your neighbors and to “fit” in? Just to add more pollution, when you can have a very low maintenance prairie flowers or English style cottage garden.
We make our own homemade wine using our own fruits, and local honey and ingredients.
I’m currently working on designing an earth ship-esque style home. Incorporating passive cooling and heating, built in greenhouse, and finding the most sustainable materials.
The Bob Villa website actually has a pretty nice primer on earth ship homes from July 2022. Yes Bob Vila, of This Old House, is putting up eco friendly home ideas.
So I see reason for some optimism, but I think it needs to be tempered with pessimism.
As far as the ecology portion of climate change, the only question remaining is 'to what extent will we and future generations need to formulate a new normal mode of existence based upon how much we decide to continue damaging our environment? (which still, BTW, continues at a relentless pace.)"
We may, however, be able to avert some of the worst effects. So somewhat of a silver lining, sort of.
“The effects of human-caused global warming are happening now, are irreversible on the timescale of people alive today, and will worsen in the decades to come.”
Speaking of spin, I assume you were not standing when you wrote your whirlwind of naïveté…Of course hope is useful and necessary for a healthy mental state and to provide motivation. Hope based in reality is quite useful. Hope based in wishful thinking is just self delusion. The difficult thing now is finding the balance between recognizing positive changes and the massive tsunami bearing down on our ass…
I love the way y’all sheath your pitchforks in a plethora of fancy words. Funny.
So in the Republic being a realist, knowing that shit happens is inevitable, while looking for, and seeing items that give hope, these are the delusions of a poor imagination. Fuck y’all.
You’re all just showing the same bias a Jesus freak displays when they run up against someone who doesn’t believe they are to be burned forever for denying he arose.
Note I never said bad shit is not going to happen. I’m saying even if it does, it is not the end of the world. And there are reasons to see a way out of this, and to work toward that. Berating someone with an optimistic outlook: not getting us anywhere.
Sorry, not sorry, that my outlook for the future is not 100% a downer.
Ok, if that’s your attitude go crap in someone else’s thread. Thanks for nothing. We aren’t handing out participation trophies and patting you on the back for offering a view point. Accept your criticism, act like an adult, and constructively make a counterpoint. Go look for sympathy somewhere else.
My last response offered my optimism, sorry I didn’t recognize yours. Apparently you are the most important person here, again sorry your majesty.
Now politely take your crappy attitude elsewhere if you can’t accept that people disagree with you.
Since you chose not to be specific, I will assume you were at least partially referring to my comments.
Please reread my comments and note that I acknowledged the value of hope.;
I also noted the POTENTIAL negative aspect(s) of hope based on wishful thinking.;
If I had wanted to use my “pitchfork” I would have said something along the lines of “ your delusional thinking” or “ delusional thinking such as yours”. I declined to do so partially out of a general respect for others.
Any cursory analysis of your “Pollyanna” (your choice of name not mine) approach reveals unfounded support of an over-optimistic view.
Yeah that’s exactly the same thing. Thanks so much for clarifying that for me. I am forevermore in your debt…(I hope my “fancy words” did not obfuscate my sincere and heartfelt sentiments)