The drive from Berkeley, CA, to South Lake Tahoe was wonderful, and for me rather sad. The wonder of it all was the beautiful valley filled with productive farms, and the bounty that the natural world has provided to humanity for our use. The sadness was the thought that we are overexploiting the land and therefore soon it will fail, and all this bounty will collapse into a period of great tragedy. It is a question of timing, of course, because humanity cannot last forever. We certainly will not survive for billions of years, probably not millions, possibly not even a thousand years and, horrible to consider, not even a single year without some tragedy destroying us.
What compounds my sad thoughts is that we are hastening our own destruction by our voluntary overexploiting the bounty that nature has provided. The huge population increase will eat up whatever bounty we presently enjoy and that compounded with everyone trying to maximize their consumption of those resources for personal satisfactions will bring about the collapse even sooner.
For example, as I drove along I was amazed at the huge numbers of cars there were on these wonderful multilane highways, most of which had a substantial quality of conspicuous consumption as part of their image. There were high percentages of SUVs, quite a few sport cars, and a noticeable absence of practical small sedans. What struck me as particularly irresponsible was that very few of these larger gas guzzlers were even obeying the rather fast 65mph speed limit. Most I measured at about 75mph. These vehicles might have an official gas mileage rating of over 20 MPG, but that is probably calculated at some slower speed than they are typically driven at. So the public concern with preserving the environment is little more than political rhetoric. It’s a lie! The laws written by these democratically elected people’s representatives are too permitting of consumption of these one-time-use resources, coupled with the observed fact that even these loose laws are not enforced. They are not enforced because the people don’t want them to be enforced, and that is why I term it with the rather harsh word a lie.
Doomsday is brought closer with every mile driven by an SUV.