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The value of creating this rather morbid chart lies in its guiding us to watch for the right precursors to the Doomsday event, and try and correct them beforehand. On 2008 May 9, I started this Doomsday chart and upgraded it a bit on 2008 May 25th; since then a few new things have developed which are subtle, but relevant. All of the data lines, up until the present, could be redrawn from historical information, but that isn’t helpful because we don’t know when Doomsday will happen, and therefore it is better leave the graphs more generalized as they are. However, except in the case of totally accidental triggering of an atomic bomb and setting off an atomic war there will probably be precursor events such as famines. Some of these possible precursor events are listed on 2008 June 2. We don’t know when Doomsday will be and we don’t know how high on the chart below the various things shown will rise but after the Doomsday event we could chart them up to the event and call that the Doomsday index line. After the event the various things charted: Life expectancy, Oil production, Available resources, Food, Population, Industrial output, and Pollution will look approximately like this Doomsday Chart.

The Doomsday Chart

Doomsday chart

Doomsday population crash with food shortfall as a precursor.

For example, one probable precursor scenario would be when an economically poor state possessing atomic bombs is faced with a food shortage caused by another state damming its agricultural water. This water shortage precipitates an irrigation caused drought which results in a food shortage, and famine. This will probably show up on the world Doomsday graph as a drop in food supply even before this particular conflict begins, because the water grabbing state is aware of the risks and chooses to pursue its policy regardless of the risk. This is more likely to happen if the world food supply was already running short, and so it is shown as a rolling over of the food curve in the chart before the Doomsday event occurs. The food supply worldwide must always be greater than the population needs or the people could not survive for long. In the graph the food supply line drops below the population line indicating the food is in short supply. However, there can never be a perfect distribution of the food available, and so whenever the world’s total food supply becomes tight the prices will climb sharply everywhere. Because the food will follow the money, and be transported to the rich people wherever they happen to be, the poor ones everywhere will be unable to buy food. The poor people will starve even if they are in an agricultural region, and helping to produce the food which the rich purchase from afar.

The population growth will probably already be slowing down as the under informed poor people begin realize that food isn’t going to be available. This behavior is a very slow to show up in total population, and it is a slow to change curve on the graph. It is unlikely that the total population can change their behavior quickly enough to stop the crisis. Too many people for the planet to sustain is the base problem, but the feedback cycle is very slow to correct the problem, because ill-informed people can’t perceive it soon enough, and on a massive enough scale to substantially limit child births. It would take decades to make a real change even after the problem was widely proclaimed, and supported. Unfortunately, there are groups which will not support a birth control policy, even in the face of famine, and atomic war. Even in areas hit by famine the people start reproducing as soon as possible when they have a little food. It seems like it is a natural response to the better times, and perhaps it is, but soon things change again, and there is another famine. These processes will now occur on a worldwide scale as well as a local one, and now the problems become world wide as well as local. Unfortunately, in a world with many nations possessing atomic bombs this food shortage can pressure some threatened country into a Doomsday provoking action.

In conclusion, as soon after the price of food starts to rise dramatically it is time to fully implement the Lifehaven Scenario. This price rise will start when there is a shortage of any of the basic crops, rice, wheat, corn, soybeans etc. or when the price of food is driven up beyond the ability to pay by the costs of oil which is the basis of modern transportation, mechanized farming, fertilizer and the manufacturing of farming necessities or from a crop shortfall because of drought or disease. The global warming will cause changes in the patterns of rainfall, and this will bring drought to some now thriving agricultural areas. Few people will directly notice a few degrees of global warming or the slow sea level rise but warming directly effects where the rains fall, and that directly effects how much food is produced. It is likely that long before the much ballyhooed sea level rise destroys Holland, Bangladesh, California, and Miami Beach the price of oil, and droughts will have precipitated some serious famines and wars.

The time is rotten for Doomsday!