The politicians of the world are finally coming to realize what our climate scientists have been proclaiming for decades—that the pollution created by industralized society is overwhelming the Earth’s ability to clean it up. Gordon Brown PM of Great Britian now says we have only 50 days to save the world from global warming and ecological disaster and he said there is no Plan-B. This is what this Probaway blog has been crying about for a long time and suggesting that the time is now urgent for a backup plan, Plan-B and The EarthArk Project is it. It is a plan for helping as many species as possible survive a catostrophic shift in the world’s climate. Maybe it isn’t for another hundred years or maybe it has already begun but we do need a backup plan. It is easy to do now and won’t cost much.
If there is a truly great climate shift and the world returns to a more trubulent weather pattern which is said to be more normal than the mild weather we have been experiencing for the last 12,000 years. It’s called the Holocene by climitologists, then the living things of this world are in for a severe adjustment and a great dieing off of many species. There isn’t any doubt that we are already experienceing a serious die off but when the effects of the various contaminants (such as the Canary indicator CO2) hit in ernest things will get much worse. Most of the CO2 which will bring about this catostrophe is already in the air and is already causing global warming. There is much more global warming to come even if humans instantly and totally stopped inserting more CO2 and other garbage. But, that cesation of pollution won’t happen without an atomic war and that of course would bring about far worse effects much more quickly. Therefore, we will have a continually worsening problem over the next several decades bringing on a slow disaster up until the tipping poing or alternatively we have a major political disater and a war and bring on instant and near total catostrophe.
Nothing new must happen to bring on either of these ecological disasters. Human population explosion alone will create the disaster. Fuel combustion alone will create the disaster. Combine the two and the disaster comes on much more quickly. Or worst of all an explosion of the atomic arsenal which has existed for some 50 years with bring on an absolute disaster even more quickly. And as if all of that wasn’t bad enough an increase in the rate of personal consumption is increasing rapidly all over the world and more countries are acquiring atomic bombs which accelerates each of these stressors. It gets much worse when atomic weapons are plyed into the impossible mix of obviously insurmountable problems. The Earth’s pollution cleansing ability or even its provisioning of the huge population with basic necessities can’t last another one hundred years.
The people already alive are consuming the environment and with a sixty year life expectancy that won’t change much even if people instantly stopped having children. However, people like having children and like those activities which bring about children and so there being a huge population to start with even reducing fertility to one child per woman wouldn’t drop the total numbers in the next one hundred years. So, we have a huge and continuing huge number of living people who must be fed on a shrinking and worn out supply base. Things have gone very well for humanity for the last two hundred years because of continous technological improvements but these things have come at an environmental cost and resoruces consumed once are gone forever. Unfortunately, it is a cost which the Earth for over one hundred years has been available on the supply side but is now failing on the recovery of the environment side. The Earth is unable to supply the fresh air and clean oceans it once did and now we have used them as garbage dumps but they can not continue being dumps forever without collapse.
We must move onward toward Plan-B, or as I like to call it, The EarthArk Project. That plan isn’t to save the current human population of 6.8 billion people of the Earth from self destruction but rather to save as much of Mother Earth’s natural species and other things for a revivication of the Earth after it has been destroyed and the population collapsed. I want to maximize human happiness in the long run but to do that we need to have a long term civilization based on a balance with nature. By thinking in terms of 12,000 years of civilization and a number of people that could live here on Earth over that time span it seems that an ideal population would be more like 100 million people, not 6.8 billion or more. 100 million would be enough people to sustain a high level of civilization and yet small enough for the Earth to remain in ecological balance. It would be like a twelve millinum long garden party.
Of course the way we are presently living can’t bring about this desirable sustainable state of affairs and the best politicians couldn’t convince all their people to restrict their lifestyle to the extent so we could approach it. Therefore, being impossible at present to reach a sustainable style of civilization, it seems the best we can do is to make it possible for the surviving people, after the collapse of our current world, to reestablish a descent environment and give our Garden of Eden another try. With the experience of our disaster perhaps it would be possible to convince people in the future to live in balance with nature.