By BJ Bjornson
Though sometimes humour is the only way you can deal with some things. Today�s news brings a UN report noting that humanity�s future, or at least the future for a good chunk of humanity, is looking quite grim.
As the world's population looks set to grow to nearly 9 billion by 2040 from 7 billion now, and the number of middle-class consumers increases by 3 billion over the next 20 years, the demand for resources will rise exponentially.
Even by 2030, the world will need at least 50 percent more food, 45 percent more energy and 30 percent more water, according to U.N. estimates, at a time when a changing environment is creating new limits to supply.
And if the world fails to tackle these problems, it risks condemning up to 3 billion people into poverty, the report said.
Knowing that we�re already pushing up against the limits of some of the critical resources we would need increase food production, I think it�s safe to say that there�s a very good chance that we�re not going to reach those targets. We�re already past sustainability on a number of fronts, and increasing production by draining away aquifers, looting the ocean of fish stocks, or otherwise further destroying our chance for future sustainable uses of land and water isn�t really going to help in more than the very short-term, and lead to an even bigger crash on the other side.
But since dwelling on that fact is kind of depressing, I�ll leave you with this recent, and oddly prophetic, Onion piece,
Saying there's no way around it at this point, a coalition of scientists announced Thursday that one-third of the world population must die to prevent wide-scale depletion of the planet's resources�and that humankind needs to figure out immediately how it wants to go about killing off more than 2 billion members of its species.
. . .
"I'm just going to level with you�the earth's carrying capacity will no longer be able to keep up with population growth, and civilization will end unless large swaths of human beings are killed, so the question is: How do we want to do this?" Cambridge University ecologist Dr. Edwin Peters said. "Do we want to give everyone a number and implement a death lottery system? Incinerate the nation's children? Kill off an entire race of people? Give everyone a shotgun and let them sort it out themselves?"
. . .
"The longer we wait, the higher the number of people who will have to die, so we might as well just get it over with," said Dr. Chelsea Klepper, head of agricultural studies at Purdue Univer�sity, and the leading proponent of a worldwide death day in which 2.3 billion people would kill themselves en masse at the exact same time. "At this point, it's merely a question of coordination. If we can get the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Beijing, India, Europe, and Latin America to voluntarily off themselves at 6 p.m. EST on June 1, we can kill the people that need to be killed and the planet can finally start renewing its resources."
Is it too late to get on board for that moon base?