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Do you think the world is becoming Hot, Flat and Crowded?
I just read the book Hot, Flat and Crowded and feel like we need to make changes fast to help save our one and only habitable planet. I know the book is biased but can't help but think we are somewhat doomed if we don't change our ways soon.
Your right. We're doomed if we don't change our ways. We won't change our ways. We're doomed. Get used to it. The things we need to do should have been started decades ago. What we are doing is too little too late. We may not become extinct as a species and the Earth may not become completely uninhabitable and with the proper application of technologies over a prolonged period of time, we may correct the damage we have already done, but as a civilization recognizable to past generations, we've got fifty to a hundred years before it is completely gone, either because we choose to change, or because we will be forced to.
Even if you take the environmental damage out of the picture, we're running out of oil. This not just makes cars go, but is responsible for the tremendous growth of the industrial revolution. If you take oil away, the resulting energy supply we have is perhaps enough for 10 or 15% of the population to survive. Some people say even less. That means you have to tell 80% of the world that we simply can't afford to feed them, or heat them in the winter or cool them in the summer. Imagine 80% of the world simply dying. Now, no matter if we cut them loose and leave them to fend for themselves or if we try to help as many as we can, how far do you think our resources can be stretched? How much can we stand before all of us are taken down by those desperate 80%?
Oil is running out. There is no one who still denies that. Some people say we can slow the drain, or bolster our reserves for a time, but it is a delaying action. Even the oil companies are preparing for the end of oil. We have nothing to replace it. Absolutely nothing. We have some things that can help a little, but nothing on the horizon that can do what oil does without costing significantly more. So even if we can survive it, imagine paying the equivalent of $600 to heat a single family home for a month, or $30 gallon at the pump. You think we have an energy crisis now.... just wait.... and that's if we do everything right starting now.
What are the odds?
Well yes the world is becoming hot because we are coming out of an ice age still. If there are glaciers on the planet, we are in an ice age. This is completely normal and I think you should take physical geology before getting your panties into a bunch. Humans survived this before without the aid of technology, we will survive again. Now stop being such a cry baby and do your research.
Yes (but that's not really the problem), yes and yes. Friedman's book is a smart take on our predicament - what he tries to explain is that there are consequences of there being so many of us and all interconnected by economics, resource use and an environment taking strain.
His bias is that there is an economic way out. Invent and trade our way to cooler, more rugged and less crowded. I reckon our economic system will struggle to do these things but for the moment it is our best shot.
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