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« Knowing/Thinking - Strategic | Main | The Future of Evolution? »

November 03, 2013


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A great and informative post, the list of initiatives that would need to be implemented to avoid the bottleneck is sobering. Yet, we can only hope..

Joe Clarkson

While I agree that a bottleneck is imminent, GM's post and comments thereto are very OECD-centric. There are lots of people who will survive the bottleneck simply by continuing to live as they do today.

Those folks don't live in the US or Europe but rather in places like the New Guinea highlands and remote tribal settlements in Indonesia, India and Africa. Siberia may be another possibility, although climate change will be more dramatic there.

People dependent on the global industrial economy will need to emulate today's very poor subsistence farmers and hunter-gatherers to have much of a chance.

Thomas Reis

@Joe Clarkson so I hope for humans, that they will form a new Progress denialing culture. let us hope for the species that the Fish will come back and climate chaos is not so devastating. So they can make rules to never fall back to civilication.


We will see the four horsemen of the apocalypse in full bloom:

War, pestilence(*), famine and death.

* conquest changed to pestilence because we have seen a) conquest rearing its head for the last five centuries and b) relatively little of pestilence in the last 150 years or so.

I share your dire outlook with regards to the coming bottleneck and I have very little faith that, save for very, very few people, we humans are able and willing to grasp the necessary changes and abide by them.

The only question I have unresolved in my mind regarding the coming bottleneck, is whether pestilence, war or famine will be the most effective ferryman to guide the overwhelming majority of us towards a violent end and into death's not so comforting embrace.

Call me cynic or detached, but I would really love to ride this development as long as possible just to have this question answered, and to see how this all will play out.

Most of us, in my estimation, should have a reasonable chance of being able to experience the most fundamental changes occurring if we would be allowed to live our lives to their natural ends, simply because I believe that the start of the big upheavals is less than ten years away.

Godofredo Aravena

George, great essay, I totally agree. We can survive without babies for 20-30 years by the way.
The biggest issue regarding any possible solution is the enormous difference beteween our society centered in individual rights, and nature, centered in the system´s survival, over individuals. Nature has shown that the wise thing, even for individuals, in the long term, is the survival of the system. But average people cannot accept this approach. For nature we are numbers, and our life has to be seen as the holy possibility of ejoying every minute while we do our part of the game. This steady state mean that all efforts in every individual´s life has to point to keep the world as it was when they were born. If we can reach this steady state, the question is what can we do with our intelligence. My perception is that our goal would be to become a society capable of thriving without affecting the system, and also art focused. Eventually, and in the very long term, the goal is to become just like god, capable of creating life. Eons will tell.

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