By Chic Hollis – Philosophical Musings
In an earlier musing I wrote about the human pastime of thinking about, dreaming about, speculating about, and predicting the future. Now it’s my turn to extrapolate the trends I have observed over my lifetime into the few remaining centuries of human involvement in trying to dominate the forces of nature and avoid the pitfalls and traps of the dangerous experience called “life.”
Humans study all kinds of subjects as they look ahead optimistically, but they have no overall science dedicated to analyzing how their species can prevent its inevitable demise. They refuse to examine the counterproductive practices of this prideful, out-of-control species. Most humans close their eyes to the facts that this planet cannot survive the onslaught of human overpopulation and the propensity of all mankind to fight to the death over territory and resources.
The trilobites and the dinosaurs were the dominant animals of their geological eras, but dominance on Earth is no guarantee to perpetual existence of any creature in nature. As humans deplete non-renewable resources, the possibility of maintaining a human life support system on Earth is doubtful for the following reasons:
1.) The Law of the Jungle (viz. Eat of be eaten!) seems to be a major factor in the evolution of all life. Competition for the nutrients necessary for each life form becomes fiercer as these essential items diminish. Restoration of scarce minerals may take eons of time under ideal circumstances. The exhaustion of clean water and petroleum are just two of the most obvious scarce resources that the rapid overpopulation of Homo Sapiens is hastening.
2.) The social inharmony and growing polarization of large adversarial groups of humans is contributing to a potential holocaust that is bound to affect all nations. The threat of a new crusade of the Western Nations against Muslim tyrants is not likely to end in a cessation of fighting any time soon. Irrational leaders and terrorists, who won’t recognize the necessity to live in peace and share our limited natural resources, are threatening to cause more bloody turmoil in the near future.
3.) The recent dynamism of China and India cannot be squelched by outsiders wringing their hands and crying “unfair.” The desire of these Asiatic citizens to join the materialistic world of the West will cause internal strife, and inevitably challenge leaders of each country to be more pragmatic. The stifling of population growth will be hard to achieve in either country, but that is key to reducing the number of serious internal conflicts between the rich and poor classes that are the natural result of becoming a modern industrial nation.
4.) The religious leaders of the various popular cults have rarely tolerated infidels and heretics. Theocratic governments are unrelenting in promoting their religious views and restrictive laws and in persecuting non-conformists. Such rigid attitudes of authority figures assist in creating the distrust and hatred that divide groups of citizens inside nations and undermine any effort to unify aggregations of diverse peoples.
5.) Long before the polar ice caps melt and the residual water floods the low-lying coastal plains, droughts and scarcity of water for irrigation will restrict food supplies. The starvation rate will increase in Africa and in other very poor countries. If modern agricultural methods are introduced in backward countries, the food supply per person may be increased, but so will the number of unemployed farm workers.
6.) The increased mobility of migrants looking for work in other countries who cannot make a decent living in their country of birth will acerbate the stress on a nation in providing jobs for the unemployed. This is another serious social/economic problem caused by overpopulation. Job creation in the U.S. is at a standstill, even though our nation is considered advanced in the use of technology and has a higher number of literate and experienced workers. The conflict over jobs, work visas, and providing benefits for illegal aliens will exacerbate the social/economic problems already plaguing those nations whose employers pay better wages and provide more benefits to workers than the employers in poorer nations in other parts of the globe.
7.) The prevalent belief that drugs will be able to solve future physical and psychological health problems, eliminating stress, anxiety, boredom, and inherited defects must be exposed as irrational. Otherwise, the human race with be doped up for whatever activity they choose to pursue as the human race continues to decline. Healthy living is a life style that lazy and misled humans won’t adhere to even when they know they should.
8.) The fallacy of buying things using future income has been tested often and frequently led to disaster. Extending credit is a gamble under almost any circumstance. The propensity of poor folks and irresponsible governments to borrow money with a slim chance of having enough future income to pay the interest and retire the principle at maturity led to the recent world-wide financial crisis. When the big gamblers throw caution to the winds as the federal government of the U.S. has done recently, the negative consequences down the road are usually overlooked. Such incompetent leadership is the most obvious example of the human leadership that will facilitate the demise of human civilization.
“Live and let live” may have been a practical philosophy guiding humans in the past, but the more humans there are born on this planet, the more of them that will be living below the poverty level in squalor without sufficient food and fresh water. What will these poorly educated humans do for work to earn enough money to survive in this more sophisticated technical economy? What political system has ever been devised that avoided the human misery of poor folks and their exploitation?
It is easy to be optimistic, lulled to sleep by political promises that something significant is being done to address hard-to-solve issues, when very little actually has been initiated. The lack of urgency is obvious, complicated by disagreement among leaders. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the earthquake in Haiti, and the Great Recession are the consequences of optimistic leaders, inactive auditors, and quick-check inspectors being on some government pay roll. Changing the direction of the human race down the road to oblivion takes much more that political rhetoric, media exposes, and muted warnings from expert scientists.
The more natural disasters, the more war, the more humans – the more suffering that charity, food supplements, and drugs will not be able to eliminate! All the political efforts to redistribute income from the industrious workers and the greedy captains of industry will not suffice to continue this popular charade of trying to take care of God’s blessed creatures – made in the image and likeness of some unseen deity. The vast majority of human adults are doing what comes naturally in this decaying Garden of Eden: pursuing happiness while over-breeding!