Sunday, August 09, 2009

More doom and gloom from scientists:

...epidemiologist Warren Hern of the University of Colorado at Boulder, even likened the expansion of human cities to the growth and spread of cancer, predicting "death" of the Earth in about 2025. He points out that like the accelerated growth of a cancer, the human population has quadrupled in the past 100 years, and at this rate will reach a size in 2025 that leads to global collapse and catastrophe.

[Marc] Pararelli [of Colorado State University at Pueblo] is even more pessimistic. The only hope, he says, is a disaster of immense scale that jolts us out of our denial. "My sense is that only when the brown stuff really hits the fan will we finally start to do something."

The good news is that if the Earth is going to die in 2025 anyway, we don't have to solve the US health care problem now! :)

I wonder whether a massive shift to consumption of virtual goods is going to change the situation for the better. It takes less energy to telecommute than to drive and less resources to manufacture Second Life outfits rather than similar real ones. In the end, consumption can be channeled from resource-hungry to resource-saving goods, provided we develop enough of those. It's a matter of culture, not biology.

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