My senior year at Cal, “Limits To Growth” (LTG) was required reading for my degree in Political Economy. What seems to have been missed was the cause of that “starvation” and decline of global populations. Claude Levi-Strauss is credited with the phrase: “the poisoning of the planet.” The 350.org folks created a measure of that poisoning, global air quality contamination, which now exceeds 400 ppm.
Of what do those contaminating particles consist? Leftovers from over 90,000 manmade chemicals free to associate with one another in unanticipated ways. Unlike the “Silent Spring” days, bioaccumulation of any, or all, of these chemicals must now include those from Fukushima in our weather systems, sea foods, lungs, livers, lymph nodes, gonads, brains and offspring.
The “Overshoot and Collapse” originally calculated for 2030–35 was recalculated to 2024, but that was before Fukushima and the “decreasing resources crisis,” especially of uncontaminated fresh water, food and arable soils, became a contributing factor in many of the conflicts in the already drier parts of Africa, the Muddled East and Asia. Spreading out of California eastward to the dust bowls of this continent are mostly legal battles. Given how well armed we are, those will be here sooner rather than later.
ExxonMobil recently revealed they’ve known of this existential threat for at least 30 years. I suspect that if they knew about it so have the rest of the 1%. In 1970 we were able to solve the problem of Apollo 13’s toxic environment. Since then, they and we have been unable to develop an effective detoxification process of our spaceship, Earth.
As far as I have been able to discern, we have run out of resource$ and the time needed for any other options on the global scale required. Or have we?