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wcaseym (40.49)

Big Bic: View for the next 47 years!



October 27, 2007 – Comments (0)

... here is updated/revised paper.  This time, it is entitled World Energy to 2050, A half Century of Decline.  Here is Conclusion part (... link to whole paper at the end):

How many ways are there to say the world is headed for hard times?  Losing our oil is bad enough, and losing our gas as well borders on the catastrophic. Combining these losses with the exponential growth of those nations that can least afford it is nothing short of cataclysmic.  The ramifications spread out like ripples on a pond.  There will be 7 billion people who will need fertilizer and irrigation water to survive, but would be too poor to buy it even at today's prices.  Given the probable escalation in the costs of fertilizer and the diesel fuel or electricity for their water pumps, it isn't hard to understand why the spread of famine in these regions seems virtually inevitable.

In normal times the poor would appeal to the rest of the world for food aid.  However, these times may be anything but normal.  Even the shrinking population of the rich world will see its wealth eroded by the drop in energy supplies and the increasing cost of producing the energy they do have. This will in turn erode any surpluses they might otherwise have been able to donate to international aid.  In any event, there will be over twice as many hungry mouths crying for that aid, with less and less of it available.

And this is all without even considering the impact of the other problems I mentioned above: the loss of soil fertility and fresh water, the death of the oceans, the rising pollution and accelerating climate change.

The solution to this dilemma, if solution there may be, does not seem to lie in some Deux ex Machina or some technological revision of the parable of the loaves and fishes.  If the dark visions ourlined in this article come true, we will be faced with a world in which the only way forward is to accept that Mother Nature does not negotiate.  We must use our considerable intelligence to figure out ways to live within the ecological budget we have been allotted.  More than that, we must change our values away from our current paradigm of growth, competition and exploitation to one of sustainability, cooperation and nurturing.  For many, the time for this change has already passed.  For a fortunate few there may yet be enough time to move toward the new ways of living and being that will be required in this brave new world.


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