Monday, June 22, 2009

Back to the basics

The dangers of being on the top of the food chain is there is nobody to cull the overpopulation of people based on carrying capacity of the space we occupy. I shudder to think of the day when we need to do that ourselves. Close to 40% of the worlds people are in India and China. Yet in India we work on the we 2 ours 2 philosophy. Even at sub 2% growth we are going to run out of space on earth in a little more than 700 years. So we need to get to zero population growth very quickly. Not celebrate more octomoms. There will be attendant issues, but if we cannot manage the population growth forget about controlling the available resources. Like Prof. Bartlett says it is our inability to understand the exponential function that will be our undoing.

In the meantime, voices against urbanization demand we stop building living and working spaces because we destroy the natural resources. Is this possible? How do we fulfil the requirements of growing life on earth without being able to occupy more space on the planet? Becoming cavemen eating berries is not the answer. We cant have 6 billion people go back to sitting around idle hunting for food. We are going to run out of berries anyway. What happens to the economy then? I can understand the argument to get away from the dollar and choosing a more neutral currency. I can even discuss the options of going back to gold (or a widely available valuable metal of you choosing) standard. But barter system living in caves! Thats stretching things bit too far.
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Its not the economy which is directly harming the environment, it is the people and their requirements. But, we cant have the economy that we have by living in caves. So what is the next best thing? Sustainable living.

In my view we need to be able to occupy the land we live and build what we want without upsetting the balance of nature. We can do that only by measuring the amount environmental damage a building or habitation causes and creating an offset somewhere else for an equivelant amount.

The carbon credit system is the first step in measuring damage and allow the creation of offsets. The sustainable living of the future is going to have carbon credit play a major role in it. The carbon miles on a persons card will determine the cost of carrying the person on earth. Sorry to sound harsh but in the near future it will define how valuable a person is when it comes to culling time.
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