Are We There Yet, Pa?
Nine Billion Little Feet on the Highway of the Damned
By JOE BAGEANT
HOPKINS VILLAGE, BELIZE.
The din of squealing, laughing children is the background white noise of the Third World. In Belize, as in most of the Third World, 45% of all people are under the age of 16... They do not look much like a global migration or crushing planetary population pressure. Yet they are among the most incredible wave of both ever in human history.
...Population growth is the rhino in the playpen, the root cause of our approaching eco-disaster that that no one honestly talks about... nowhere do we get an honest discussion about population growth. If you care to, argue that climate change may or may not destroy us. But uncontrolled population growth is guaranteed to do the job.
SCREAMING MAN: LOOKY HERE BAGEANT, YOU PICKLED OLD GAS BAG. HALF OF AMERICANS LIVE UNDER THE GOOFBALL HALLUCINATION THEY CAN SEAL THE BORDERS WITH SILLY PUTTY, DRONE AIRCRAFT AND MACHINE GUNS. THE OTHER HALF, LIBERALS OVERDOSED ON PROZAC AND WHITE WINE, IS LINED UP LIKE DOCKSIDE WHORES WAVING AT THE INCOMING FLEET. "LET'S WELCOME THEM ALL! AMERICA IS THE LAND OF IMMIGRANTS SO HELL FUCKING YES, LET 'EM ALL IN!" YEA, RIGHT. LET EVERYBODY LIVE LIKE A FUCKING HATIAN WHARF RAT IN THE NEW THIRD WORLD AMERICA. HELL, IT'S ALREADY STARTED. THEY'RE CROAKING 49 MILLION AMERICANS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T COME UP WITH THE BLACKMAIL DOUGH FOR HEALTH CARE. THEY'RE KICKIN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OUT OF THEIR PLYWOOD NESTING BOXES BECAUSE THEY CAN'T MAKE THE MONTHLY NUT. AMERICA IS ALREADY A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY WITH DRIVE THROUGH FEEDING BOXES.
...six billion mouths and assholes running the world's resources through their gullets like shit through a goose is unsustainable, then nine billion of the same are waaaaaay beyond sustainable...
Still, if ever there were a time to show some guts, it's... by giving up the material life, the consumer life. Damned near all of it...
Americans and people of the developed world are in an unusual position. We can help by doing nothing. Simply by sitting on our asses and not buying stuff, not driving to the Gap or the organic market... We can refuse to consume...
He's not 100% right, though. The third world population exploding is going to have a small impact on energy for quite some time because per capita use is so small. Whereas the US uses about 26 barrels of oil a year per capita, a 2nd world nation like China uses closer to 2 or 3 (according to Matt Simmons) and 3rd world nations even less. Consumption is the short-term problem, and that is a 1st world and 2nd problem, not a 3rd world problem.
For example, the US currently uses @20,000,000 b/d of hydrocarbon liquids. At China's per capita use, the US would use a little over 2,000,000 b/d. Consumption is a problem. To flip it a bit, the 2nd world (China and India, especially) is now becoming a problem - and this is where population and consumption join hands. China wants to double GDP by about 2020. (They just doubled their GDP over the last 7 years or so, I believe, so this is hardly far-fetched.) But let's assume they someday catch up to US per capita consumption: that's 92,000,000 b/d. That's more than the WORLD currently produces in all oil liquids, including bio-fuels, etc.
You see, there is no way out except a complete and total change of how we live unless or until we can harness huge, huge, huge amounts of solar energy. And that's not happening before oil supplies start shrinking. I promise. (Hint: localize. Grow your own food. Build your own windmill. Build yourself a Hobbit home... whatever. But do something.)
Anywho... the article above is a lot of fun, so go at it.