Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Timeframe of systemic collapse — another free book

The same first chapter [of The Coming Chaos] also illustrates why a voluntary reduction in population cannot work. (For that matter, neither would a mandatory reduction in population, and for the same reason.) Again, it's simple arithmetic. Oil production will fall, over the next few decades, by about 3 percent annually, and if instead we say 2 percent or 4 percent the final result isn't much different. But even if every woman on earth stopped having children from this day forward, there would still not be a 3 or 2 or 4 percent annual reduction in population.

It can be seen, therefore, that the curve of estimated past and future global oil production is not merely one of a myriad of problems with which mankind will have to deal. It is the time scale with which most other problems can be measured, and it is the cause of most other problems.

But if anyone really needs a magic number, a good choice would be 2030. That's the date at which, with a 3 percent annual decline in oil production, the year's production will be half of that in the peak year. And half of peak oil means half of everything else in human society. A very important “half” will be population, because the other half will have died of famine. And that's the one item that very few people can mentally assimilate.
A Time Frame For Systemic Collapse by Peter Goodchild at CounterCurrents.
(Free download of The Coming Chaos (abridged) at the bottom of the page.)

1 comment:

Laura said...

Energy consumption is not evenly divided amongst the Earth's population. Thus an x% decrease in energy would not lead to a corresponding reduction in population.