Is Petrocollapase The Only Way To Control Overpopulation?

A columnist examines the challenges of overpopulation, food planning, and the housing bubble, and concludes that the only event that can correct our environmental overindulgence is a collapse of the oil industry.
December 15, 2005, 1pm PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"...We must change our culture by rejecting growth as dangerous. The Earth is finite, and we have already gone way down the path of mega-extinctions of species. However, many conscious activists are convinced that there is no overpopulation problem. They believe that the distribution of wealth is where the whole problem lies. It is true that the world would be a different and more fair place if billions of dollars were allocated to the poor instead of for war on the poor.

...While veganism and other good causes are vital both for personal fulfillment and teaching others to live more lightly and compassionately on the Earth, such movements may serve primarily as a "remembered practice" when the survivors of petrocollapse are picking up the pieces and trying to live sustainably. The Earth cannot sustain today’s population of humans, and there is no sign of a concerted size-reduction except perhaps through the worst kinds of crimes and policies that may reduce further the carrying capacity of the planet for humans and most other life.

It is conceivable that a backlash against a major instance of nuclear weapon/waste mismanagement could result in a complete replacement of today’s rulers, resulting in saner policies and more humane, planned population reduction. However, we all may have run out of time for that. So perhaps the best hope is that petrocollapse -- and the advent of a more nature-respecting culture that would follow -- will bring about stable population size. Meanwhile, the housing bubble will burst soon, most likely in the context of massive socioeconomic upheaval due to severe energy shortage."

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Published on Thursday, December 15, 2005 in Culture Change
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