The Human Extinction Survey: The 300


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Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 25, 2015

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300 Kollapsniks have joined the Battle!



Prior Human Extinction Survey Articles & Results

300 movie image Gerard ButlerIn order to get the results of the survey out before I CROAK, I'm going to have to publish more often than my usual once a week text based Sunday Brunch article.  My current schedule is to do 1 Text article on Sundays and one Audio Rant on Wednesdays.

In reality, I did this sort of Question 2 @ 297 Respondents, in order to have it prepped and ready for publication when we hit the 300 mark. 🙂

Hopefully, we will get to 600 so I can use Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade for another post.  Just in case we don't get that many Doomer responses though, here it is:

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.


Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.


When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson,
J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870

The numerical breakdown by category for Q2 goes like this:

survey-saysNone   52

<10,000   29

10K-100K   11

100K-1M   21

1M-100M   23

100M-1B   42

1B-3B   61

4B-6B   32

7B-10B   13

>10B   2

The text answer table is sorted by how many people the respondent thinks will still be walking the earth in 50 years time from present day.  There are 109 Respondents so far who provided a text explanation of their choice on Q2.

How many people will be left on Earth in 50 years? You may explain your reasons for this number here (optional)
<10,000 A few in the Amazon Forest, and a few in the hymalaias. Just like the little mamals survived the dinosaur extinction!!!
<10,000 Dithering a bit here between none and 10,000 ish, because we don't know exactly what provisions the major players have put in place for the long-term survival of "essential personnel".
<10,000 Hard to predict. Maybe none.
<10,000 I think it is possible that a few could survive underground for a while
<10,000 Some of the rats will find hidey-holes and exist underground, like the Morlocks, leaving us "excess" humans up top to crispy-fry in the toasty climate-to-be.
<10,000 The likelyhood of 'storage' for the Monarchical classes as I mentioned above…..the Unterteppich will have mostly died out by then.
<10,000 Those same super rich 1% hogging the food, water, and shelter left.
<10,000 Wishful thinking
100K-1M Again small pockets of people in sheltered spots.
100K-1M Elites plus a cadre of support staff.
100K-1M food shortages, anarchy, war, radiation poisoning
100K-1M If the extinction event happens as Guy McP suggests, it may take more than a few years before the last of us gets stamped out.
100K-1M If the Loch Ness Monster can have survived this long…
100K-1M Non industrial hunters, gatherers and small agrarian groups/societies.
100K-1M Once again, this is guesswork. But the evidence suggests to me that the decline in population that's on the horizon will be huge.
We're at 7 billion now. It would have to drop well below a billion . I said 100K to 1 million..this is predicated on the absolute failure of almost everyone now living to make any preparations for the hard times ahead. If people were getting ready, I'd up my estimates by perhaps a power of ten. But hardly anybody is….











But some people will be able to cope with some problems, and others will be able to cope with others. Indigenous people, like South American Indios who live outside the corporate dominated modern societies, will be better at surviving economic collapse. they won't even notice that one.

Some modern folks will cope with climate change better than others, at least for a while, because they've considered the possibilities of taking food production indoors, using whole systems approaches to agriculture, and making their own energy. Husbanding water.

Modern people with HG primitive living skills (only a few of these people are out there, as best I can tell) might fair better if war is what thins the herd.

People are resilient, and the ability to adapt depends a lot on the speed of onset of whatever catastrophe turns out to be the Big One. If we have an economic collapse first, and climate change turns out to be a slower process, then more people will survive for a longer time, at least.

100K-1M with BAU looks to me the most possible range between the numbers of the oil age back to the numbers of the primordial of agriculture, it could be anywhere in there depending upon the type and effects of collapse
100M-1B As above, especially nuclear radiation poisoning.
100M-1B Basically back to pre industrial revolution level, and then further down.
100M-1B Humans are survivors. No matter what, some people will find a way to live on a small fraction of the resources we have today.
100M-1B I believe somewhere around 500 million will survive the initial collapse and another 1 million or so will survive the next 100 years.
100M-1B It just depends if/when the worlds stockpile of nukes and things are used.
100M-1B It's sustainable as proven by history.
100M-1B Juat a guess.
100M-1B Just a guess. Viruses, mass extinction of other species and the disruption of our ecosystem will partially cull the herd before we all totally kick the bucket.
100M-1B Less than a billion, more than 100 million.
100M-1B Long term in human history, this has always been the number that allows for the creation of stable (small) cities and their ability to control and develop the catchment areas. My best guess is the 500,000,000 to 700,000,000 range.
100M-1B Maybe there is very little chance that some (un)lucky entities in area distant enough from Nuclear waste will survive. Even in that case – not for long.
100M-1B Might support that
100M-1B My Median Figure. A Georgia Guidestones Guess
100M-1B None
100M-1B Runaway Climate change
Resource depletion
Food crisis
Economic collapse












100M-1B See above
100M-1B The population of the 1800… per-industrial population less the degradation to the arid producing land…
100M-1B This question I think is more relevant, I'm sure there will be a massive dieoff due to economic collapse, energy crisis, food production and climatechange. I think the population after the crash should be lower than preindustrial levels.
100M-1B This was the earths population prior yo the discovery of fossil fuels.
100M-1B We cannot possibly produce enough food without fossil fuels to sustain the current population. War and starvation will become the rule as cheap fossil fuels deplete.
100M-1B We're coming up on a major bottleneck, one that TPTB have known about and have been planning for all these many years while they keep BAU limping along. After the massive die off, they'll still be plenty of self-sufficient survivors and lots of people who the elites deem "not expendable". And they'll need plenty of manual labor even after the bottleneck, of which, there are sure to be plenty of stragglers to round up.
100M-1B wild-ass guess. 3 billion is still possible, tops. 1 million is centuries away. So, I chose the in-between.
100M-1B wild-ass guess. 3 billion is still possible, tops. 1 million is centuries away. So, I chose the in-between.
10K-100K aboriginal peoples (all around the world) may still have the knowledge to continue.
10K-100K People with extensive experience in FALLOUT games with survive without issues.











Remote Island people may be spared from all the chaos and destruction, enjoys resort living post global apocalypse.

10K-100K technology
1B-3B 50 years is still in the early stage of the exponential die off. Could be still as many as 6B then, or as low as 100M.
1B-3B As natural resources become visibly more scarce, people will get scared and the ensuing conflicts will significantly reduce the population. Thank goodness.
1B-3B As natural resources become visibly more scarce, people will get scared and the ensuing conflicts will significantly reduce the population. Thank goodness.
1B-3B At this moment of time I do believe human populations are still rising so an event that causes this trend to reverse will be fairly dramatic. Furthermore a decline of over 50% population is quite dramatic when you put things into perspective. For example in the 20th century we had two world wars and a great depression (not to mention the influenza epidemic) yet the world population did not show any meaningful decline. Taking that into consideration you can see that an event that causes even a 50% drop in current populations will be an order of magnitude greater than the bigger disasters of the 20th century.











In light of that I do feel that while it is easy to say populations will be a million or less you have to really consider the scale of this event needed to warrant such a reduction. Will death, pestilence, famine and war be 100 times greater than the century past? I think not but feel one order greater is possible so I go with a 50% drop. This is not to say global human populations will stabilise in 50 years time; I envision there will be further decreases when the effects of climate change and resource depletion are keenly felt due to a lack of cheap energy to mitigate those problems.

1B-3B Hard to say if it's 50 years, but whatever happens is going to wipe out a large number with a percentage of survivors.
1B-3B I agree that a massive die-off of human beings is in the cards. If we are lucky it will happen in time to prevent total ecological collapse.
1B-3B I am assuming a stock market crash or two, and some wars to reduce the population.
1B-3B I am assuming a stock market crash or two, and some wars to reduce the population.
1B-3B I think we may experience a die off in the next 50 years, and I think the odds of it happening in a century or less are high.
1B-3B I would guess it might be much less, but I am pretty much always wrong with predictions, so I am guessing a medium number.
1B-3B In fifty years the party will be in full swing. It is still 1B-3B but the number is dropping fast.
1B-3B It will take some time of the death rate exceeding the birth rate to drop the population by several billions. People can exist in considerable in quite large numbers for long periods of time.
1B-3B Now the peak oil energy descent is real and immediate and is staring us in the face. This is the unpinned grenade laying at my feet.
1B-3B Probably our numbers will stop decreasing around 2 billion people. I guessed that number because it's what the estimated carrying capacity of the Earth for humans is. It may dip below that number, however I feel that on the entire Earth 2 billion people will remain.
1B-3B Reduction of humankind goes quick, but maybe not that quick. My estimate is that earth has a carrying capacity of about 1B. In about 50 years we should be close to that number.
1B-3B Rough guess. If the number is really so low, the next 50 years will be hell beyond all imagining. Starvation, thirst, disease, war will take many, many lives. Humanity has put all its eggs in the fossil fuel basket which will fail us very soon.
1B-3B The chances of a pandemic and/or defunct antibiotics, combined with climate change, combined with resources wars, will likely create a sharp decline in civilization and take out a goodly number of humans, but not all.
1B-3B The population will be in continual decline during the migrations to more suitable habitat. There will be sufficient resources remaining to support the of population as they migrate through the ruins of industrialized society with those that survive being hyper efficient at reusing the few spoils of what was left behind to create smaller tribal groups capable of sustaining themselves.
1B-3B The world's population is commensurate with the fossil fuel endowment we were bestowed with and the expenditure thereof, so I reckon one or two billion sounds about right, as we rapidly draw down on our reserves.
1B-3B There is absolutely no rational way to predict this. Everyone knows there is going to be starvation and war, but HOW MUCH starvation and war? How long can current systems hold out or be jury-rigged? This is a decidedly local question and depends on the conditions in each area.











Anyway, lacking any rational means of prediction, I have read several religious prophecies that say that the population will become 1/3 of what it was, so I put 1b-3b.

1B-3B Very specific Pentagon data. Agenda 21. Planned De-population continues into 2070. (Limited nuclear & Pandemic "event" Sept 2016 = 2B-)
1B-3B We have attained population overshoot. In the next fifty years there will be a dramatic reduction back to levels approaching a sustainable number.
1B-3B We're not all going to disappear everywhere all at once. Some spots on Earth will remain survivable.
1B-3B Who knows
1M-100M 99% die-off due to violence, starvation, food sustitution and dying from disease.
1M-100M Collapse of economy bought on by collapse of food supplies and widespread famine will result in absolute collapse of society. Initially it will be the wild west, followed by Mad Max, then "The Road".
Huge migrations will take place from areas worse affected to those not so bad resulting in wars, unrest, rioting and mayhem.
Europe, Asia and the Americas will be hardest and first hit due to land bridges from poorer areas to wealthy areas who will be able to afford food the longest allowing huge and unstopable migration. Isolated Islands such as Iceland, Hawai, Easter Island, NZ, Autralia, particularly Tasmania and other easily defended and distant places will be last to be overwhelmed with refugees.
1M-100M I dunno.
1M-100M It's starvation that's going to kill us.
1M-100M Like cockroaches we will have people that are survivors somewhere on the planet even if they are on a small island or deep in what reemains of the Amazon forrest or living wild in the sahara .
1M-100M Seems about right for preindustrial levels of population. From what I remember from limits to growth that's what we're in for 50 years hence. And minus a penalty for ruining the environment
1M-100M Tumor city for everyone….either the morons in charge (freemasons) will get nuclear with bombs, or the 400 nuclear power plants don't get shut down properly and go Fukashima when industry shuts down……or both.
4B-6B Billions won't start dying until the second half of the century, but we're not going to see much more continued population growth. We'll never reach 9 billion. Stagnation will occur before then. After that – billions die.
4B-6B Die off
4B-6B effects of resource depletion, financial collapse, global hothouse and other polution
4B-6B Heading down the Seneca cliff.
4B-6B I go for about 50% die off in 50 years. Disruption of farming due to oil depletion and warfare as all try to keep hold of what they had.
4B-6B i put 4 / 6 billion. although we will have far fewer resources by then and be in serious decline everywhere, i think a population as high as the human one today just has too much inertia to just disappear overnight. but i think the death rate will soon be over taking the birth rate because sanitation and medicines will be going away, not to mention fossil fueled green revolution agriculture declining rapidly too. so population will be generally dropping fast esp in the third world. i think this sort of medium pace collapse of pops is a realistic scenario, as long as we can avoid total collapse of industrial civilization and nuclear war. its not the worse case scenario by along way, but up to a 3 billion die off is still a pretty big die off.
4B-6B Just a guess.
4B-6B Seneca rules!
4B-6B The die off is going to take some time.
4B-6B The most certain limitation on human population is phosphate reserves, followed by precipitation/groundwater, and soil, but those don't begin to bite hard until later this century. There's a trememdous amount of waste in biofuels production and animal agriculture that offers some slack before famine is universal.











Sverdrup & Ragnarsdottir 2011 indicate phosphorous becomes limiting to human population around 2050, but that a population of around 5 billion can be supported by lower grade phosphate reserves and recycling for quite some time. However, with poor phosphorous recycling, sustainable population rapidly falls to 2 billion by the fouth millenium, and continues falling.

4B-6B The number is either 7-10 Billion or 4-6 billion. Outcome depends on how bad it gets.
4B-6B This was on is difficult to constrain so this is really just a guess.
4B-6B Widespread famine and cascading financial, political, economic and social collapses, first globally, then locally, will cause the first great die-off. But there are a lot of us widely dispersed across the globe and living in quite different ways. The collapse of Big Agri, organized food aid, and global commerce will probably not be as far reaching in their effects as is generally supposed. I expect no more than a 30 percent reduction in the world's population.
– Time frame is too narrow.











– Question suggests a fundamental assumption (extrapolates).

– Nothing upon which to make an assumption except abstract trends.

– 500 years there are certain to be far fewer humans.

7B-10B Because those who confuse a logarithmic growth function with an exponential one are common among the doomers of the world. When using a logarithmic, 7-10 is a reasonable number.
7B-10B If one option had been 6-9B, I would have selected that. I guess negative pop growth from about 2050, but by then the starting point could be near 9B. Again, no cataclysms by 2050
7B-10B We're over 7B now, since approximately March 2012. I figure that collapse will start happening at least in some places within 50 years but that any resultant deaths will be offset by births where the collapse impact is less.
None 300,000 tons of nuclear waste destroying viable DNA, and rapid climate change which even even clever humans will not be able to adapt to.
None "People" of today will no longer exist.
Massive transformation.











Perhaps a kind of Mad Max scenario in turmoil with computer-bots.

None Again, None if the worst happens. Best case <1B.
None Extinction means none. No-one. Nothing.
None Guy says so….
None i believe in Guy Mcpherson.
None I think humans will see a massive die-off within 20 years, and will be effectively extinct within 50 years. There may well be some surviving pockets where climate disturbance has had a lower impact (I don't think those places will be predictable, though, as instability increases).











There won't ever be a resurgence or retrenching of the human population, imo. Eventually, no matter where one is, warming and atmospheric changes will create such a breakdown and stress in plants that they will just shut down, even if they are generally able to procreate vegetatively.

Woz's clan might do ok in Tasmania 'cause he has the bucks to lay in 100 years' worth of food, seeds, and the kind of hydroponic gear many of the Diners like, with electronic heating and cooling.. but you know that plastic and electronic junk will degrade, and the seed germlines aren't gonna do so good especially living in plastic without diversity and revitalization. And then what? Technically a species isn't extinct if there are a few exemplars still left in zoos, I suppose. I don't know what his plans are.. it would be real interesting to know.

None If any humans survive, really, their existence will be damn hard. – I think that habitat loss, fresh water shortage, heat waves, ocean death, – all the so called 'civilized' human caused climate change that IS already happening, will be the death of most life on the Earth.
None Jumpin' Jack Flash It's a GAS GAS GAS
None Loss of habitat.
None Radioactivity…
None see above
None See Extinction choice explanation.
None War, starvation, disease will take it's toll.
  Don't know.
  I do not know
  no guess

Just to be complete, here's the last 3 submissions that broke through the 300 Barrier











When the Sun Goes Red Giant   4B-6B   45 mins ago










100 Years   1B-3B   54 mins ago










When the Universe Ends   1B-3B   3 hours ago


If you haven't yet taken The Human Extinction SurveyTM, you can still join the 300 and do Battle!

5 Responses to The Human Extinction Survey: The 300

  • Tim E. says:

    Early morning on a Sunday – here in good ol'Racine straight off of Exit 333 (hwy20) which leads to 666 and enjoying some Brandy in my Coffee. (OK – a little Coffee with my Brandy)

    Everyone, everywhere is fighting over anything and everything as the decline continues and as People realize that their slice of the pie is shrinking. What would Americans do if they couldn't buy crap with money they don't have, for things they don't need, to hang on a wall, fill a garage, or basement (or a separate storage unit(s) – after the 2- car garage and basement are stuffed to overcapacity) ,  – and (to boot!) on Credit!  Greece is (maybe?) finally going to default, while Chicago has been downgraded to JUNK status, and Illinoiz residents are fleeing with their Businesses and Lifestyles to Wisconsin!    

    Been over at PO checking out the thread on the Etp Model – it's good stuff.     

    Crude is around $60/bbl as of today – and it's only going to go lower with time – until it is unobtanium. Until then, Eat, Drink and be Merry! For tomorrow we die! 

  • RE says:

    Newz of the Moment is I have been researching how to validate the survey.

    Suffice it to say, at the numbers already accumulated, the survey is @ ~90% Confidence value for a total community of Doomers estimated at ~25,000.

    My shrink critics are fucked. lol.


  • Tim E. says:

    The latest from PO –

    Ripon (WI) good cookies to permenantely lay off 300 while Con-AGra closes cookie plants…

    Frack sand mines begin to lay off workers in NW Wisconsin:

    While the production of Oreos, Nutter Butters and Ritz Crakers will move move to Salinas Mexico!  Taking 600 jobs away from Junk bond rated Chicago!

    "Investment in wells and production facilities collapsed nearly 50 percent last quarter, the government says, and cut the quarter’s annual economic growth by three-quarters of a percentage point. Goldman Sachs estimates that three jobs will be lost in other industries for every position shed by energy companies as laid-off workers spend less.

    That trend is painfully evident in Texas, which lost 25,400 jobs in March, the most since 2009. Many were in mining, which includes oil and gas. But most of the losses were indirect: As laid-off workers cut spending, retailers cut 6,600 jobs."

    Steely Dan – Black Friday

  • K-Dog says:

    All in the valley of Death
    Rode the six hundred.


    The Light Brigade was led by Lord Cardigan on October 25th 1854 against Russian forces during the Crimean War.  The first Great Game was being played.  Now Ukrane bleeds in a second Great Game where American and British once again face off against Russians on their home turf and can't figure out why the Russians are pissed.  If we have a rhyming of history and the Americans and British start a new Crimean War the number of humans left in 50 years will be far less than the answer I gave in the survey.

    Cannon fodder on horses.  Those riders were not around fifty years later.  Those riders in the painting were not even around the next day.  Back then horsemeat was on sale.  Now we have this:

    For sure not the kind of guy a horse would like; too intense and stiff.  Will he have a say in how many people are still around in fifty years?  Will he make history repeat?


    The comment I submitted had pictures but they did not get through. I used my edit time to post URLs to them.

  • RE says:

    Since I changed editors for the commentary, you can’t embed vids or pics. Not sure why that is.

    If you want to be doing creative stuff like that, you can do it inside the Diner on the Forum.


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Of Heat Sinks & Debt Sinks: A Thermodynamic View of Money

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Merry Doomy Christmas

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Peak Customers: The Final Liquidation Sale

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Efficient water management plans should rely on quantitative metrics for assessing water resource sh [...]

Adapting our cities to the new climate regime is critical to ensure that human development is not je [...]

Air temperature, both cold and hot, has impacts on mortality and morbidities, which are exacerbated [...]

The prospect of an ice-free Arctic in our near future due to the rapid and accelerated Arctic sea ic [...]

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