The Lifeboat

I’m watching Titanic again… When disaster strikes, we head for the lifeboats. If we have no lifeboats everybody dies. If the lifeboat takes off with too few people in it, people die. If a lifeboat tries to carry more people than it can hold, it capsizes and everybody in it dies.

I’ve been suggesting that this country (and the entire world) might just collapse, whether soon or half a century from now. When the cheap oil runs out, our food (which is totally dependent upon cheap oil) runs out, and world population , currently six billion and soon to rise to nine billion, will die off, possibly down to one billion.

I have no problem with my hope that those I love, family and friends, will be among the one billion who live rather than the eight billion who die. But life will depend on lifeboats, whether those lifeboats be countries or small tribes. I see our country as one lifeboat, but the lifeboat is already overloaded, at least once the oil runs out. Before cheap oil our country was able to support one or two hundred million people. We have over three hundred million and soil sadly depleted by use of petroleum-based fertilizers instead of sustainable agricultural practices.

Gee, it would be wonderful if the capitalists were right, and we could support an infinite population, with everybody supporting their family with jobs at WalMart. But I doubt the future will come out that way.

What I see currently is the normal split between Conservatives and Liberals. The Conservatives want just a couple lifeboats (perhaps in Paraguay) to hold themselves and maybe their immediate family, and the Liberals eagerly inviting everybody in the world to jump on in.

Between them, I’m not feeling hopeful.

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One Response to The Lifeboat

  1. wecanchangetheworld says:

    Well, part of the issue is WHAT we choose to grow and eat. I’m not denying that population is an issue, just adding that consumption of meat is not an efficient use of resources, be those resources land, water, or what have you. Ten square miles, according to a 1981 Mother Earth News article, if used solely for Spirulina cultivation would feed 2 1/2 million people a year, and use less water than would be needed for other crops (especially if it were grown in enclosed spaces). http://www.motherearthnews.com/Alternative-Energy/1981-03-01/Spirulina-Protein-for-the-Future.aspx
    I’ve blogged on such issues some. Getting people to change away from a consumer lifestyle is probably a bigger problem than feeding the current world population (if done intelligently, which so far it has not been).

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