Why Do Civilizations Collapse? They Collapse because They’re Unstable

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Sometimes you have to accept the diagnosis of terminal cancer and resign yourself to your death. The human race has not even come close to accepting its rapidly approaching extinction.

Which I find frustrating. Frustrating enough to put a link here to a clearly thought-out commentary on the problem. You can read the abstract or the whole thing — there’s no need to download the PDF if you just want to read it:

Well I did download the PDF. This is a valuable article, and it comes closest to showing a very twisted and narrow pathway to the survival of the human race, and to get your attention I want to try to scare you with a simple reality I’ve found in the article. Hence the annoying ‘bolding’ I’m about to use in this quote:

“The doubling of the world population since 1900 was openly discussed as we approached the first Earth Day in 1970 (e.g., 1.6 billion to nearly 3.7 billion). Since this first Earth Day, a half century ago, we have become transfixed by an endless stream of ecological catastrophes and human tragedies, somehow remaining silent on what has become yet another doubling of the world population from nearly 3.7 billion to more than 7.7 billion. [That’s more than a doubling in 50 years between Earth Days. fse] We have refused to publicly discuss how these catastrophes and tragedies are in many ways simply symptoms of the runaway population growth . . . [Population growth? Can’t he call it what it is, an explosion? fse]
Christopher Tucker, author, Chairman, American Geographical Society
POPULATION AND SUSTAINABILITY VOL 5, NO 1, 2020

Tucker is a good example of good science. I don’t doubt his data at all. I do think there are chinks in the sociology that we need to consider. Because I don’t see any progress in population reduction or a solution to a growing global middle class.

He says that we add 80 million humans to the planet each year — like ten New York Cities. And I am aware of global migration into cities, that more than half of all humanity lives in cities. And cities are very artificial environments. All their needs, food, water, power, fuels, durable goods — they all come from “out there.” And transport of food and goods uses oil, which increases global warming.

Sure, maybe in concentrated cities birth control may work out better, but I don’t see the necessary percentage of population thinking much on this matter. As Tucker noted, “ . . . we still tend to do little but admire the global population curve as it progresses ever upwards, occasionally bantering about when it might level off, as though fertility is completely out of our collective power to affect.” I’ve noticed — people get loud and often angry when I point out what seems to me to be a death wish. They generally want-to-have-babies!

I’m done. I can only put the information out there. My takeaway is a repeat:

Sometimes you have to accept the diagnosis of terminal cancer and resign yourself to your death. The human race has not even come close to accepting its rapidly approaching extinction.

Fred

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Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich

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