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Dr. Albert A. Bartlett, explains the simple problems of exponential growth. In his series of short videos this Professor Emeritus, from the Department of Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder, shows why exponential growth and exponential consumption generates a soon to be encountered unavoidable collision from the ever accelerating human population and the ever accelerating destruction of one time use resources our population depends upon for its very existence.

These videos need to be clicked in sequence because YouTube didn’t permit half hour long videos when these were made. The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8. The full 74 minute lecture Parts 1 – 8 stitched together.
Zero population growth is going to happen, whether we want it or not. Therefore today’s high birth rates will drop and today’s low death rates will rise until they are equal. (Not rates per person, but rate for all humanity until it reaches a condition where the Earth can sustain our population.) What are the options Bartlett suggests?

Table of Options

Increase Populations Decrease Populations
Procreation Abstention
Motherhood Contraception/Abortion
Large Families Small Families
Immigration Stop immigration
Public Health Disease
Peace War
Scientific Agriculture Famine
Accident Prevention Accident
Clean Air Pollution & Smoking
Ignore problems Face and solve problems

The only one of these that will eventually control our population and bring it back to what the Earth can sustain is famine. Scientific Agriculture, no matter how productive, will only put off the inevitable for a few years. What is obvious after watching Dr Albert Bartlett’s lecture is that modern humanity can not continue on its present course for the lifetime of a new born child. What he doesn’t offer is a realistic solution to the problem, as is illustrated in the table I copied from his video. None of the voluntary actions in the table will cope with the problem because if one person doesn’t have a child, only one person of the other seven billion people needs to step in to fill the void left by the sensible persons missing child. The same holds for the consumption of one time use resources. If some person doesn’t consume some available bit of resource there are billions who will happily step forward to purchase and consume it at a marginally lower price.
Because there is no viable way to stop these exponential catastrophes from happening the only reasonable course of action is to prepare for them. The EarthArk Project is designed to save as much of plant life, and modern civilization as possible, such that in the future, after the disaster has dropped population to some vastly lower number than it currently is, there will be a foundation upon which to reconstitute a more reasonable human civilization.
On a more cheerful note, watch this beautiful young woman live 4.5 years of the presently beautiful good life.
madandcrazychild But, be aware that as young and beautiful and abundant the clothing styles she wears, it is unlikely she will reach her presently projected life expectancy without the exponential disasters discussed destroying the world which is so bountiful and beautiful at present. It is fun to watch this beautiful young woman trying on different cloths, jewelry hair styles in different environments. She is living the good life to the max, but if the world of exponential growth of population and exponential consumption of resources continues as it presently is, there is little likelihood of her living to her presently computed life expectancy of some sixty-five more years without disaster.
It is time to prepare The EarthArk while we have abundant resources.