LA Times: Beyond 7 Billion People

As long as this number, the world's population, keeps going up, recycling is going to be a very strong industry.  LA Times has a very strong article on "overpopulation", something which was the main focus of environmentalist angst in the 1970s (when I devoted my life to environmental karma yoga).

This is really what is behind global warming, deforestation,, species extinction.  Even if 6 billion of us achieve perfect environmentalist nirvana understanding, the havoc that will be wreaked by the last billion, eating shark fin soup and endangered species platter, and throwing their copper away in the landfill, could easily doom us faster than the population of 3 billion with average environmental ethos.

Recycling will be a good career as long as the population keeps growing, and the work created by human discards will never cease.   I wish I could think the same for rain forests, coral reefs, polar ice caps, and other habitats that are in the way of 14 billion people.

As horrific as it is to think about, it's somehow easier to think of ways to stop the problems of human population than it is to think of ways to reverse global climate change.  Once the white polar ice caps shrink, they stop reflecting sunlight, and the world gets warmer.  The ocean and forest fauna stop slurping carbon.  All of that would take decades or centuries to reverse, and there is no way to reverse extinction.

The urbanization is a good step.  We want people, I think, to come closer together, into mega cities.  It could slow both the consumption (through efficiency) and allow some kind of awful reversal of the population bomb... through religion, through government policy, through infertility drugs in the water, through war, or pestilence, or worse.  If there are only 3 billion people, climate change becomes much easier to imagine dealing with.

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