Americans are Consuming Themselves — Their Self-Consumption Will Only End When America Dies

Image by michaelmep from Pixabay

This is no kind of news. When a population has gone into overshoot, as America and the world has — that population gets killed off. Rats, yeast, lemmings, humans: most of the damage is now done, visible by studying other species’ extinctions.

The ultra-wealthy are already well-prepared for the human extinction event that is now underway. They’ll retire to their luxurious bunkers and let their A.I. robots take care of the drudge work. These fat cats don’t care about the fate of the rest of the human race.

The oil companies are owned by fat cats. They will pump and burn petroleum and make plastics until the extinction kills off all of their customers. Or maybe they’ll keep pumping and burning for a few more years, selling to authoritarian governments who need the oil to keep their armies operating.

The 2021 IPCC report makes it clear that unless the governments of each country shut down their petroleum corporations the consequences of global warming and extreme weather will become irreversible within a decade. Many processes will be irreversible regardless, and could last for centuries.

Like I said, this is no kind of news. In the mid-1990s other scientists and myself tried to get the attention of the governments and the general public. We got attacked by fierce disinformation programs put on by the oil companies. They used as a blueprint for their campaign what they learned from the tobacco companies in the 1950s.

(There is nothing new under the sun.)

There are laws of nature that explain why some processes are not reversible. It has to do with complexity, and with the laws of thermodynamics. A bull in a china shop, even with all that energy, is unlikely to accidentally make the shop better than it was.

A carbon dioxide molecule that goes into the atmosphere after coming out of a chimney is hard to find and catch again, and hard to sequester so it doesn’t re-enter the air. Right now they don’t know how to capture and sequester, but the experts say that if they figure out a way, it’s going to be unbelievably expensive.

The disorder that we see all around right now can be called “entropy.” The laws of thermodynamics say that entropy always increases. Mostly because disorder is more likely to occur than a sudden improvement in order. Simple statistics.

Chemists and physicist work with the numbers, and we have methods of mathematically keeping track of entropy. And overall, yes, it keeps increasing, eventually leading to the death of the Universe.





Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages.

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Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich

Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages.

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