T Nation

End of the World. Prove Me Wrong

So leading environmental scientists are saying that the earth’s carrying capacity(the biggest population it can sustain with available resources) is approximately 8-12 billion people.

Unfortunately, the earth’s current population is hovering at around 6.6 billion and quickly rising. It is projected that within our lifetime we will see a population crash. Within the next 15-40 years the population will double. The total population with exceed the carrying capacity of the planet. Non-renewable resources such as coal and oil will be depleted, and renewable resources such as forests and water will be used up at a faster rate than nature is able to replenish them. There is also the problem of environmental polution and degredation of said renewable resources.

Essentially all of this put together will cause the earth’s population to crash to a sustainable level which is under carrying capacity. However, once a resources has been damaged or polluted, carrying capacity will drop to a much lower number. This cycle may or may not repeat, depending on government regulations and changes to our way of life.

Agent Smith said it best in the Matrix when he spoke of human nature,

“I�??d like to share a revelation that I�??ve had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you aren�??t actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we… are the cure.”

So what? Religious fanatics who speak of the apocalypse are often seen as nut cases. They claim that “god” will come and smite people. We have to repent or something will happen and satan will buttfuck us. Well, I think they are partially correct. There is an apocalycpse that is comming, but its not “god” or “satan” doing the buttfucking.

Here is my theory. After the population crash occurs, resources will become scarce and war will break out. What is the one historical reason that countries go to war? Resources. Part of the reason we are in Irac is because of resources. Well, what happens when the chinese have used up all of their water for irrigation of cropland? What happens when the ocean has been overfished? What happens when farmland has salted over or the nutrients in the soil has been depleted and the topsoil blows away(as with the dustbowl)? If we do not have what we need to live, we will take it by force.

During all of this strife, pollution will wreak havoc on the earth’s natural ecosystem. Forces of nature will become so great that natural catastrophies such as earthquakes and hurricanes will take out entire countries. This has already started to occur. Think about the number and severity of natural disasters in the past 10-15 years. And what about the mass flooding that will occur once the ice caps are gone? The draught that will occur when the atmosphere is gone and the suns rays can directly hit the earth. Desert land will expand, shrinking available living space and resources.

The atmosphere is under severe jeopardy. This is a mitigatable problem, however it will never be helped. Forests are the lungs of the earth. Plantlife(trees in particular), are responsible for taking CO2 out of the air and producing O2(oxygen) gas through photosynthesis. Deforestation will eventually ruin the atmosphere and the breathability of the earth.

With the damage to the atmosphere caused by al’gore and greenhouse gasses, the polar ice caps will melt. I theorize that the earth is partly stabilized in its rotation around the sun by its temperature and density. Once the icecaps are gone and the atmosphere is permanently damaged, temperatures will rise and water will evaporate. The Earth’s axis will essentially be buggered, which will throw the earth out of its natural orbital rotation.

Here is the part that is hard to postulate. This is what i would assume happens. The earth will spin into oblivion, possibly freezing over and killing everything. Just as time is thought to be cyclical or continuous, the earth will renew. The frozen tundra of a planet will renew an atmosphere and get into a maintable orbit. Microbacteria will florish and evolution will start all over. Just on a hopeful guess, things will work just like when europa broke apart and the end of the iceage.

Hairy people will evolve from fish. People will be happy and skip thrugh fields of daises.

THE END.

The earth will be thrown out of its orbital rotation?

Hardly.

Any impact big enough to do that would probably rather destroy it.

Not that it mattered for us.

You made sense in your first paragraph and then, well, you lost it.

Spin out of orbit? WTF?

I don’t really give a fuck if the world ends. I can’t do anything about it and I can change it. So I don’t worry about it.

Is your avatar screaming that the sky is falling???

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
So leading environmental scientists are saying that the earth’s carrying capacity(the biggest population it can sustain with available resources) is approximately 8-12 billion people.[/quote]

“The main peculiarity which distinguishes man from other animals, is the means of his support, is the power which he possesses of very greatly increasing these means.” -Thomas Malthus

In 1798, Thomas Malthus (Yes, THE Thomas Malthus) put forth his Principle of Population which said that mankind would soon outgrow his resources and would suffer famine, plague, pestilence, and death. The Principle was even perceived as proof of the existence of God (Malthus himself saw it this way).

Relying Malthus’ Principles and scarcity, in 1859 Charles Darwin (Yes, THE Charles Darwin) publishes On the Origin of Species, showing iteratively life’s habitual ability to adapt and overcome. It is largely interpreted as being proof against the existence of God (Though Darwin didn’t necessarily see it this way).

Around the same time as Malthus, Joseph Fourier (Yes, THE Joseph Fourier) postulated that gases could trap what he would later discover to be infrared radiation and might increase the surface temperature of the earth. After Darwin pulished OoS, Svante Arrhenius (Yes, THE Svante Arrhenius) later proved Fourier’s hypothesis and even established an equation to explain the effect. Knut Angstrom (Yes, THE Knut Angstrom) showed that the physical values that Arrhenius had made his prediction on were wrong, but Arrhenius dismissed this. Interestingly enough, in light of Malthus’ Principle Arrhenius actually suggested that we strive to increase the atmospheric CO2 in order to push the atmosphere to more favorable growing conditions. Unfortunately at the time, the rate of CO2 production would take 3000 yrs. to raise the temperature the requisite 4 degrees (according to Arrhenius).

Malthus and Arrhenius didn’t appreciate the full power of the Industrial Revolution and the human intellect that fueled it. CO2 production rose exponentially after Arrhenius’ prediction and unfortunately for Malthus, so did food production.

So, Chicken(little)mcnug, while I’m not going to say I’ve proven you wrong, based on the 210 some solar revolutions since Malthus made his prediction, I think I’ve firmly established you’re probably not right.

THE END

P.S.- Read a book.

[quote]Chickenmcnug wrote:
So leading environmental scientists are saying that the earth’s carrying capacity(the biggest population it can sustain with available resources) is approximately 8-12 billion people.[/quote] Before I can prove you wrong, you need to prove yourself right. What “leading environmental scientist” said this. Cite sources.

[quote]
“I�??d like to share a revelation that I�??ve had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you aren�??t actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we… are the cure.”[/quote]
You don’t really help the “guys I’m totally NOT a crackpot” cause when you quote the Matrix.

[quote]Here is my theory.[/quote]this oughta be good… [quote]After the population crash occurs, resources will become scarce and war will break out. What is the one historical reason that countries go to war? Resources. Part of the reason we are in Irac is because of resources. Well, what happens when the chinese have used up all of their water for irrigation of cropland?[/quote]You mean the water that when used, evaporates and slips in to a wormhole? That water? [quote]What happens when the ocean has been overfished? What happens when farmland has salted over[/quote]How the hell will this happen? [quote]or the nutrients in the soil has been depleted and the topsoil blows away(as with the dustbowl)?[/quote] This is why farmers rotate their crops now.

[quote]During all of this strife, pollution will wreak havoc on the earth’s natural ecosystem.[/quote]Pollution is not an entity… [quote]Forces of nature will become so great that natural catastrophies such as earthquakes and hurricanes will take out entire countries. This has already started to occur.[/quote]Name one country sucked up by a hurricane, country 1 hurricane 0 [quote]Think about the number and severity of natural disasters in the past 10-15 years. And what about the mass flooding that will occur once the ice caps are gone? The draught that will occur when the atmosphere is gone[/quote] When the atmosphere is gone we are dead. And that doesn’t make sense when you think about all the extra water we will be having. If anything our climates will become more humid.

[quote] Forests are the lungs of the earth.[/quote]Wrong. The ocean produces literally tons more oxygen than the forrests.

[quote]I theorize that the earth is partly stabilized in its rotation around the sun by its temperature and density.[/quote] You’ve just gone from crazy to batshit crazy. Even When the planet is completely devoid of life, if the sun is still here. We will rotate around it. HELL Jupiter is 300 times bigger than us, and farther away and it can’t break free. And it’s polar icecaps don’t even exist! [quote]Once the icecaps are gone and the atmosphere is permanently damaged, temperatures will rise and water will evaporate.[/quote]Hey did you ever see that Magic school bus cartoon or book? They explain what happens to water when it evaporates, it becomes clouds and when the clouds density becomes too much, the water falls from them. A lot of people call it rain.

You’ve got a very powerful imagination. At least I hope it’s imagination. Did you eat a lot of paint chips as a child?

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

It is all about the colonies!!! have you never seen Gundam!?!?!

I agree with most of what you said, but the end is just terrible (no pun intended). The Earth spinning out of orbit? C’mon…

Are we exhausting the planet? You betcha! Can we do something about it? Pat says no, but I’m sure a lot of us would beg to differ. Until we get a spare planet, the issue of pollution and sustainability should be taken very seriously.

You know, we need some real information here.

America only has an increasing population because of immigration. Similar in European countries, last I knew many were declining in population. (Been a while since I read this information though.)

Also China and India are the most populous nations on Earth. China first slowed their birthrate, then they instituted that one child per couple law. It had an unintended consequence. The same consequence exists in India but for different reasons. Both of these countries are aborting female fetuses at a substantial rate. In fact being female is the single biggest reason for Abortion.

That means in China one billion people may have produced a half million babies. Those babies (now adult) would have produced only 250 million children, but that will be reduced because there are so many males to females. (Forgive my oversimplified math.)

Once the older generations start to die off, China’s population is going to crash. (Real meaning of crash, meaning seriously shrinking.)

Regardless, development of countries causes a drop in birthrate. In non industrial worlds, many people farm, and it is of benefit to have many children to help run the farm. This is no longer necessary as countries develop. Less people farm, and farms get equipment that multiplies the work being done.

Overall I can’t say the world’s population will stop growing. But it is about to slow substantially.

Then we terraform Mars. (Yes this is an actual plan, if you haven’t heard of it.)

Please people…the Earth will ultimately rid of us like a bad case of fleas. It is arrogant to think we can save the planet, and it is also foolish to think we can destroy it.

We are insignificant to the “survival” of Earth. The Earth will be just fine.

Now the people surviving on Earth…that’s another story.

Well, it’s simple really. We(humans) have overcrowded this planet and continue to do so. There is no global proactive initiative to stabilize the rapidly rising population. With that in mind, humans will suffer through poverty, famine, and death as a result of the resources not being able to keep up with the population.

Humans are the most abundant mammal on the planet and have no natural predators or population checks, except disease, which in certain cases have been stymied or made survivable. Our ability to overcome most adversity will be our eventual downfall.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
I don’t really give a fuck if the world ends. I can’t do anything about it and I can change it. So I don’t worry about it.[/quote]

Exactly. Unless I can someone get my hands on an alien shuttle equipped with hyper-drive, a thousand years worth of food, and a sexy female alien, this doesn’t mean shit to me.

He is right you are all dead.

April 25, 2007 · Scientists have discovered a new planet in the constellation Libra. The small, rocky planet is special because it appears to have mild temperatures, like Earth. Researchers believe it looks like the first planet outside of our solar system that could be home to liquid water, and maybe even life.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9796321

NEWLY FOUND PLANET COULD SUPPORT LIFE
It lies in the constellation Libra, about 20.5 light-years away

FUTURE POPULATION

http://www.poodwaddle.com/clocks10.htm

now all you have to do is turn off your tv, give up religion and say you love everyone.

The world we’re livin in is complicated
the streets that we walk on are dark and jaded
a wandering soul that’s filled with hatred
in it is poison, the youth is tainted
social engineering keeps us separated
media control is highly overrated
ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
listen to the message cuz it’s time we faced it

Wake your mind up, clear your eyes up
move and rise up before your times up
clock is ticking, your caught slippin’
stop to realize, look and listen

How about you type �??farmland salted over�?? into google. Here, I will help you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arable_land

I understand how crop rotation works. Some crops(corn, cotton) take out nutrients such as nitrogen from the soil, some plants put the nutrients back in(legumes). This is also helpful for organic farming because if done wisely you can play pests against each other for a natural pesticide. The problem with farming now adays is that pesticide use has essentially killed the soil. The earth has dried up. If you have ever been to an organic pesticide free farm, and an agra-business farm you would realize the difference when you dug the earth up. The soil will be a completely unnatural color and will not have worms and other beneficial organisms in it. Crop rotation is not going to help this. Furthermore, there are plenty of underdeveloped countries that don�??t have the means or the knowledge to take advantage of this.

I don�??t see anything wrong with this sentence. Here is an example of pollution harming an area�??s ecosystem.
http://www.pmac.net/wind_borne.html

You split up my statement to make a point. Did you not read the part about photosynthesis? Do you even know how that works?

Why do certain planets orbit closer or farther away from the sun? Answer: Gravitational pull. Their size and density has something to do with this. Density is also effected by temperature. I don�??t know if this will happen. I am just throwing out ideas.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
You know, we need some real information here.

America only has an increasing population because of immigration. Similar in European countries, last I knew many were declining in population. (Been a while since I read this information though.)

Also China and India are the most populous nations on Earth. China first slowed their birthrate, then they instituted that one child per couple law. It had an unintended consequence. The same consequence exists in India but for different reasons. Both of these countries are aborting female fetuses at a substantial rate. In fact being female is the single biggest reason for Abortion.

That means in China one billion people may have produced a half million babies. Those babies (now adult) would have produced only 250 million children, but that will be reduced because there are so many males to females. (Forgive my oversimplified math.)

Once the older generations start to die off, China’s population is going to crash. (Real meaning of crash, meaning seriously shrinking.)

Regardless, development of countries causes a drop in birthrate. In non industrial worlds, many people farm, and it is of benefit to have many children to help run the farm. This is no longer necessary as countries develop. Less people farm, and farms get equipment that multiplies the work being done.

Overall I can’t say the world’s population will stop growing. But it is about to slow substantially.

Then we terraform Mars. (Yes this is an actual plan, if you haven’t heard of it.)[/quote]

You are right about the birthrate being lower in developed(and more educated) countries. Birthrates in America are declining to just around replacement level because of change to how we live. Now that we are beyond the baby boom and the following ecco, we will probably see the population start to stabilize.

As for china and india, they are just starting to become world powers. I’d imagine the regulations will eventually stabilize their populations, but we won’t see that for a few decades.

Other potential causes to lower birthrates are birth control, STD (AIDS, super AIDS, etc), overuse and prescription of drugs causing evolution of viruses. Etc etc.

So I agree with your post, mostly. I don’t think the earth’s population is going to slow down anytime soon. Its not the developed countries we need to worry about. Everyone wants to be part of the “haves” instead of the “have nots”. I think we will see a huge spike in newly developing countries populations, while already developed countries are bound to stabilize.

In 1990 the birth rate was 27 per 1000 people. In 2000 it dropped to 22 per 1000. It is currently slightly over 20. That is a 25.9% reduction since 1990.

Currently if the entire population were brought together into one place, and they were each given about 4 sq feet, (2x2) we would all fit into an area about 30.8 by 30.8 miles. That would be a sight to see, but still does not take up as much area as one would think.

We are not currently running out of food. If we were, farmers would be the richest people on Earth. In fact science has been working on increasing food output, and guess what? They were successful. We produce plenty of food. We produce more food then we need. Lots more.

That doesn’t mean certain fish are not over fished, nor that people do not starve. (Two examples so I don’t have to take up every single issue.) These are not related to enough food, believe it or not. Starvation has plenty of causes, one of which is political.

6.6 billion seems like a lot, and yes it is, but since people have such a problem with the concept of large numbers, it is easy to make it seem worse then it is.

The death rate was 10 per 1000 in 1990, 9 per 1000 in 2000, and is currently 8.37. So in 1990 we had a net gain of 17 per 1000, and now that is 11.72. That becomes a drop in the growth of the population of over 31%. It also means life is getting better if people are dying at a slower rate.

Using the same simple math and logic they keep using in global warming, or any other doomsday scenario, the growth will slow down each year until 2045 when the population will start declining. 7 billion by 2012. (When the world ends, according to the Mayan calendar.) 8 billion by 2030. 8.25 billion by 2042, and never goes above 8.25 billion before starting the decline.

We will be back below 7 billion by 2077. Under 6 billion by 2089. Under 5 by 2101. Under 4 by 2112. In fact we will be under a billion by 2160. Hey, I think I am seeing a disaster unfolding. In fact there will be only 167 million people by 2200. Less then a million by 2281. Less then a quarter of a million by 2298. Less then 50,000 by 2317. By 2385 there will be less then 50 people on Earth.

If the trends continue that is.

Really I find the ignorance pitiful. How many doomsday scenarios are there out there? Global warming, population explosion, china syndromes, Y2K, no more beer.

Every year life on Earth gets better, and yet every year the number of doomsday scenarios keeps climbing.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
… no more beer.

Every year life on Earth gets better, and yet every year the number of doomsday scenarios keeps climbing.[/quote]

NO MORE BEER???

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
The Mage wrote:
… no more beer.

Every year life on Earth gets better, and yet every year the number of doomsday scenarios keeps climbing.

NO MORE BEER??? [/quote]

Only wine.

French wine.