Where is the food to feed humanity coming from?
Your host, sometimes known as Probaway and his ET friend are observed watching the heavens for possible encounters of an unknown kind. In an effort to leave no option unexplored, in the ongoing effort to save future humanity from an unnecessarily early extinction, I look up as well as down and left as well as right and forward as well as backward and into the future as well as the past. I look everywhere but to no avail.
Right now, (even thought it is US income tax day, April, 15, 2010) things look very good. It is likely for the world of humans to survive for several more years. There is a very simple testable proof for this hopeful assertion and that is — the world population is currently growing every single day. That means there is plenty of food and that people are not dieing off faster than they are being born. When things are really bad people die more often and babies are born less often. Until the last few generations of humans (about 20 generations) the population numbers were much closer to a sustainable static number than the current doubling every generation or so.
Some women are breeding like rabbits like the world-famous Octomom who popped out eight welfare-waifs at one go. They are American waifs, however, so they will be well fed at least for a while but with a life expectancy of eighty years the world population will be four times what it is now; and that is sixteen times what it was when I was born. In case you haven’t noticed, there isn’t 16 times as much farmable land than there was in 1935 when I first rolled along on the Earth and there are fewer fish in the sea than there was then. What there is now, is a more intensive usage of the resources available but that increased output is largely dependent upon oil pumped from the ground. When that oil starts running short the extravagant lifestyle we presently enjoy will quickly wither away.
I can’t stop the population explosion as I have absolutely no influence — even over my friends. Even the almost President of the United States and Nobel Prize winner, Al Gore, can’t stop the oncoming crunch and crumble and he isn’t even confronting the real problem — too many people. The various shortfalls which are coming are as inevitable and as obvious as tomorrows sunrise and it is also obvious that nothing can be done to change those events. Why? Because to change human reproductive drive would be to change the second most powerful life-force on Earth, the desire to reproduce. The first drive is to survive, of course but the moment any living thing is successful at that and are reasonably well fed they start the reproductive game. For humans, keeping women in college or in nunneries until they are aged forty works to prevent them from reproducing but with some three and a half billion women here on Earth that would be a bit difficult. Oh, yes, there are some other considerations. In plain words, it isn’t going to happen.
Basically, the world population will continue to grow so long as there is food for people to eat. When food becomes very difficult to obtain there will be a population leveling and then a decline but that will cause such stresses that there will soon be a collapse.
Other prophets of Doomsday like to talk about precursors like earthquakes, hurricanes, comets and other natural phenomena and some prophets like to wax prophetic and give specific dates. That type of prediction is frivolous but there will be an obvious precursor and if there isn’t an accidental atomic war it will be a serious shortfall of food. The cause of that shortfall won’t be the absolute abscence of food but the absolute overabundance of people for the amount of food available.
Human beings live on food and most food is a derivative of mineral oil pumped from the ground. When less oil pumped from the ground it soon means less food which soon means fewer people. When the price of oil really goes up fast and doesn’t quickly come back down it will be the time to sit back and watch automobile racing reruns on TV — and cry — why were people so shortsighted.