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The Last Fight – Last Resort

When I read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson in 1968, I was a kid; I did feel an unpleasant feeling of wrongdoing, but it was not fear; and of course all that was taking place in another country than mine, and I merely tried to bury the thought. When the Club of Rome issued their report in 1972, I did not read it; still, a few newspeople did, and merely laughed at it. I laughed along: I already had rolled over to the mainstream non-thinking. When Gro Brundtland issued her report in 1987, for the world to read, I did not even notice, nor did I notice the creation of IPCC. I was way too busy working hard, obtaining results and keeping everybody happy, thinking everyone was somehow doing the same, only a little slower. Already I had put all politicians in the “useless” box, and thought it was not grave, as the people who were really running the show probably were doing their best, like me. Probably, eh?

And then came the Earth Summit in 1992. Then again came this faint feeling of wrongdoing; it all sounded very complicated, and the depth of the issues never seemed to fit with the shallowness of the decisions; still, I could see that all nations, all governments were aware of the problem. Which problem?


It was only in 2006, when I went back to school for an M. Sc. in environmental sciences, that I discovered the size, complexity and number of intermingled problems; and only even later did I discover why we were not even trying to address them. I summed up these problems in 5 categories; but believe me, they are many. Any single one of these problems will prove difficult to come by; all together, they are lethal. The current civilization is a goner; the human species may survive, but the odds are poor.


Then what to do? Our global political system has proved unable to address any problem; it actually worsens them every day. But at least it makes apparent who really are the decision makers on this planet. Forbes keeps tags of the 2500 billionaires our humanity has created; these guys (and a few girls) really can answer YES to the three questions:

- Can you make any decision freely?
- Can you make it happen tomorrow morning ?
- Will your decisions impact a large size of humanity?

None of these people are elected; no-one can fire them. Together, they own 50 % of the world. They make 99 % of important decisions, those which will have an actuel impact on a large part of humanity. They can do it.
CO2 1960-2019.png
Do what? Bury the CO², that’s what. CCS already is a mature technology; applying it to all single-source large plants is technically easy, and we can slash by half all industry-related CO² emissions within 10 years. Then we can turn all gasoline cars into electric cars in ten years, while we build many more CCS-fitted power plants to feed them, and slash the rest of CO² emissions by half again in another ten years. And yes, suddenly humanity has a future again. How do we do this? Go see these 2500 people and beg, plead, pray for their contribution. And then things will go in a flash.

What if they say no? I cannot write the answer to this question, but I am sure you can guess. It has to be done in the year 2020.


The Last Fight, 1: No decision

Much of what we do depends on some decision, made by us individually, or by other people applying their decision to us. Decision is the source of action – we have no other way. Now who makes decisions for Mankind? No-one: its fate depends on a very large number of micro-decisions, largely uncoordinated. Now is the time when Mankind faces the final question: Do You Wish to Survive? If Yes, please act accordingly. This question has no target now: no-one can speak for all of us, no researcher is even able to offer a (new) political system that would allow such question to be asked and answered. Then again, we would not have the action relays to implement whatever decision made.

Survival of this civilization never was a technical subject, nor was it political or financial: we always had the means to change our ways, to reduce our CO2 emissions in large proportions, to reduce our impact on the environment, all of it without reverting to middle-age like life. We always could do it, only we never decided to do it. This, is the reason. And as there is no sign of any change in the political structure of humanity, there is no reason to believe that 7,5 billion people will suddenly veer off to a better heading. Our ill-fated future only depends on that: we just cannot decide.

You know nothing, Jon Snow.

12:59 Publié dans Il n'y a plus d'espoir | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook |

The Last Fight, 2: Excessive demography

Excessive demography works twofold. First is the multiplying effect, to feed and house 10 billion people in 2050, we will need twice what we used in 1987 when we were only 5 billions. That means we will need double floor space, double cars and smartphones, double oil, copper, iron, and cereals. And, probably, double CO2 emissions. Run away demography lets every problem grow bigger, not smaller, every day, making the wall come at us while we are running to it.

Then again, do we have a cure to our demography problem? China did try, for many good reasons, with its single kid plan. China gave it up in 2018, also for many good reasons: cultural choices created a gender imbalance, which is now causing women in neighboring countries to be needed for the excessive men population; elders, culturally accustomed to have their numerous children take care of them at old age, may find themselves alone and without resources; some psychologists add that social relationships between only single children is much more difficult.
Japan is experimenting a drop in population, population aging at high speed; Germany is the other OECD country with an eroding population; both countries are associated with high culture, high education youths, and little immigration. This cannot be the scheme for the rest of the world.

Do we have twice the arable land we had back in 1987? No, the figure is 14 million km², and this figure does not change much from one year to another. Shall we have double crop efficiency? Neither. Do we have twice more fish? No, we now have half the wild fish we used to have, and their figures are still headed down. So what is the plan? There is no plan, merely exchange the current 800 million undernourished people for 1,5 billion.

This multiplying effect merely is the easy part of the problem. The tough one is the mammal behavior: put a few mammals in a cage with food, they will behave happily with occasional hierarchical skirmishes. Put a load of them in the same small cage with the same amount of food, and you reach a number when all attack all, until a “satisfying” number of survivors is obtained. We will have this same reflex; the two world wars of the 20th century, which made 100 millions victims, will be nothing compared to what will occur by the end of the 21st century, with a possible billion victims. No-one knows how such a horrendous number can be reached; but the “war” will look quite different from what we know, it will be everywhere.

Globalisation created much wealth, and much inequality, on all continents. Those who have nothing always outnumber those who have a little, who also outnumber those who have much, etc. There is no need for these people to organize a fight, create a party or whatnot: when you have nothing, anything is better. All societies of the 21st century will harbor ultra-poor people, who will stop at nothing merely for food. While power and order will always be in the hands of the rich, they may or may not want to use their power only to save the lower classes; the larger fights will take place between the poorest classes, with guns these classes never had in past history; these fights will become commonplace in most countries, creating the bulk of the one billion victims.

12:58 Publié dans Il n'y a plus d'espoir | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook |