Doomstead Diner Menu => Environment => Topic started by: RE on November 29, 2014, 08:39:46 PM

Title: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: RE on November 29, 2014, 08:39:46 PM
I went looking for an appropriate thread to drop this infographic in, and discovered we do not seem to have a thread specifically devoted to population overshoot, so kicking off with this.

Also, who here thinks the population will make 9B before the Die Off gets rolling?  12B anyone?  On the other side what's your guess for the population in say 2050 and 2100?  Georgia Guidestones 500M? More, less?

RE

Visualizing Peak Popopulation

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Even with having existed for millions of years, the process for humans to reach 1 billion in population was long and arduous. It is only about 12,000 years ago that humans started engaging in sedentary agriculture. This allowed humans to settle and consistently produce food, rather than hunt and gather throughout.

However, it is with the Industrial Revolution that the means for exponential human population increases was created. New technology, boosts in productivity, and the use of energy allowed for a new frontier in increasing health, sanitation, and standard of living. It is also around this time – in 1804 to be exact – that the earth’s population hit 1 billion people.

Fast forward two hundred years, and the impact of the Industrial Revolution is loud and clear. Now with over 7 billion people, global population has risen so fast that by one estimate, 14% of all human beings that have ever existed are alive today.

Based on a recent UN study, by 2100, our global population is predicted to be between 9.6 and 12.3 billion people. The world will be much different than we know it today in the future.

For starters, the vast majority of growth will happen in the less developed regions of the world. As an example, Nigeria’s population will increase five-fold, from around 174 million today to almost a billion people. It will likely be the 3rd most populous country behind India and China in 2100. Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole could hold up to almost half of the world’s population in the future.

While population has exploded exponentially, unfortunately the resources on our planet are finite. The ecological term for this is “carrying capacity”, which is the maximum population that an environment and resources can sustain indefinitely.

Human carrying capacity is very complex and takes into account many factors, including nutrients, fresh water, environmental conditions, space, technology, medical care, and sanitation. The carrying capacity for humans is not static, and can be changed by adding or subtracting resources from the ecosystem.

While technology has saved the human race time after time, we have not yet found ways to address many of the problems tied to overpopulation such as consumption, changes to climate, inequality, and scarcity of resources.

There are certain realities we will have to face. Here are just some of the issues:

Is our future littered with disease, famine, stunted growth, currency collapse, and a lower quality of life?

Or should we be optimistic that we can persist? Can technology and smart decisions save the day?

Courtesy of: Visual Capitalist
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: azozeo on August 10, 2016, 05:08:26 AM
http://www.dailycrow.com/georgia-guidestones-cube-august-14-2016-tisha-bav/ (http://www.dailycrow.com/georgia-guidestones-cube-august-14-2016-tisha-bav/)

Note: May experience difficulties in playing the vid. Can freeze up. May help it to move along.

http://www.youtube.com/v/dL6Du50HMcU&fs=1

Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: azozeo on August 13, 2016, 02:42:31 PM
I'm interested to see if anythings a-miss tomorrow.
Ya' gotta watch these Zion ista's

http://www.youtube.com/v/fTxUMbze09I&fs=1
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: Surly1 on August 13, 2016, 06:44:04 PM
I'm interested to see if anythings a-miss tomorrow.
Ya' gotta watch these Zion ista's

http://www.youtube.com/v/fTxUMbze09I&fs=1

Another YT vid that won't embed.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: edpell on August 14, 2016, 10:54:14 AM
My preference is a world population of 100 million. Marvin Minsky said the same in a recent video before he died this year.

Nigeria will never make ~one billion. What the oil money goes its population will drop fast.

Bravo to China if they can actually reduce population by 2100. I believe Japan is also on track to reduce population. But sadly England, Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar are not.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: edpell on August 14, 2016, 10:58:40 AM
I am in favor of a two child per couple (one child per person). If a couple has more than two then all are sterilized, the parents, the children, and grandchildren. Enforced by government violence.

We will of course have to have a way for the rich to buy 3rd, 4th, ... children because they will do it anyway and we might as well make them pay heavily.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: Eddie on August 14, 2016, 11:02:46 AM
John Michael Greer makes a fairly persuasive case for a large population drop that won't be that noticeable. He wrote several pretty good pieces that show how a small increase in mortality can re-adjust the numbers quickly over a few generations without any kind of die-off event. I expect that's what will transpire, barring some kind of truly apocalyptic event.

It's hard for me to put a probability on something like a nuke attack, or an EMP, or even some kind of very rapid climate event, which might cause a famine. In my view, there is a probability greater than zero for any of those. In that case, JMG would be wrong. But if we collapse slowly, de-population will take care of itself.

But, here we are, and it isn't happening yet.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: Eddie on August 14, 2016, 11:07:56 AM
I am in favor of a two child per couple (one child per person). If a couple has more than two then all are sterilized, the parents, the children, and grandchildren. Enforced by government violence.

We will of course have to have a way for the rich to buy 3rd, 4th, ... children because they will do it anyway and we might as well make them pay heavily.

Nigerian women of childbearing age average six kids now, most of them born into the most abject poverty. I doubt you can change that with legislation without a really repressive government like that of China.

It's always the ones who can least afford children who have the most. And vice versa.

Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: azozeo on August 14, 2016, 02:23:52 PM


It's hard for me to put a probability on something like a nuke attack, or an EMP, or even some kind of very rapid climate event, which might cause a famine. In my view, there is a probability greater than zero for any of those. In that case, JMG would be wrong. But if we collapse slowly, de-population will take care of itself.

But, here we are, and it isn't happening yet.


I can see a bacteria type of scenario for the very young & very old.
We could see a 1 billion die off from some kind of natural bug.
I always thought that the aids epidemic was over blown.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: RE on August 14, 2016, 02:44:51 PM
John Michael Greer makes a fairly persuasive case for a large population drop that won't be that noticeable.

I do not find Mr. Wizard's case very persuasive.  This is  a straight biological issue that exactly mirrors Bacteria in a Petri Dish, Yeast in a Vat or the Reindeer on St. Matthews Island.

(http://accounts.smccd.edu/case/biol230/growth/growthcurve.jpeg)

(http://www.brewshop.co.nz/media/wysiwyg/yeast-graphic2.png)

(https://cdn.psychologytoday.com/sites/default/files/styles/image-article_inline_full/public/blogs/54311/2011/11/78532-69179.gif?itok=oG7Ww_i0)

If we're lucky, we will hit the "relatively" gentle curve of the bacteria over a decade or two and not the steep drops of yeast and reindeer over a year or two.  No way this die off will take generations.  That is about as likely as Mr. Wizard's Raccoons or Crows taking over as the next sentient species on Earth.

RE
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: Eddie on August 14, 2016, 02:52:26 PM
A human generation is only 33 years.  I seriously doubt we'll die of like a reindeer herd, barring famine or war. Humans are more adaptable, and as we're seeing these days, highly mobile.

And it's very asymmetric, what we're observing. We have children dying of malnutrition in Nigeria by the thousands, right now, while places like Japan are already shrinking in population because young people would rather play on their cell phones and go to cuddle bars than start a family.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: Eddie on August 14, 2016, 03:09:10 PM
This is one of the pieces I was thinking of...makes plenty good sense to me. The red part, especially.

Dark Age America: The Population Implosion
The three environmental shifts discussed in earlier posts in this sequence—the ecological impacts of a sharply warmer and dryer climate, the flooding of coastal regions due to rising sea levels, and the long-term consequences of industrial America’s frankly brainless dumping of persistent radiological and chemical poisons—all involve changes to the North American continent that will endure straight through the deindustrial dark age ahead, and will help shape the history of the successor cultures that will rise amid our ruins. For millennia to come, the peoples of North America will have to contend with drastically expanded deserts, coastlines that in some regions will be many miles further inland than they are today, and the presence of dead zones where nuclear or chemical wastes in the soil and water make human settlement impossible.

All these factors mean, among other things, that deindustrial North America will support many fewer people than it did in 1880 or so, before new agricultural technologies dependent on fossil fuels launched the population boom that is peaking in our time. Now of course this also implies that deindustrial North America will support many, many fewer people than it does today. For obvious reasons, it’s worth talking about the processes by which today’s seriously overpopulated North America will become the sparsely populated continent of the coming dark age—but that’s going to involve a confrontation with a certain kind of petrified irrelevancy all too common in our time.

Every few weeks, the comments page of this blog fields something insisting that I’m ignoring the role of overpopulation in the crisis of our time, and demanding that I say or do something about that. In point of fact, I’ve said quite a bit about overpopulation on this blog over the years, dating back to this post from 2007. What I’ve said about it, though, doesn’t follow either one of the two officially sanctioned scripts into which discussions of overpopulation are inevitably shoehorned in today’s industrial world; the comments I get are thus basically objecting to the fact that I’m not toeing the party line.

Like most cultural phenomena in today’s industrial world, the scripts just mentioned hew closely to the faux-liberal and faux-conservative narratives that dominate so much of contemporary thought. (I insist on the prefix, as what passes for political thought these days has essentially nothing to do with either liberalism or conservatism as these were understood as little as a few decades ago.) The scripts differ along the usual lines: that is to say, the faux-liberal script is well-meaning and ineffectual, while the faux-conservative script is practicable and evil.

Thus the faux-liberal script insists that overpopulation is a terrible problem, and we ought to do something about it, and the things we should do about it are all things that don’t work, won’t work, and have been being tried over and over again for decades without having the slightest effect on the situation. The faux-conservative script insists that overpopulation is a terrible problem, but only because it’s people of, ahem, the wrong skin color who are overpopulating, ahem, our country: that is, overpopulation means immigration, and immigration means let’s throw buckets of gasoline onto the flames of ethnic conflict, so it can play its standard role in ripping apart a dying civilization with even more verve than usual.

Overpopulation and immigration policy are not the same thing; neither are depopulation and the mass migrations of whole peoples for which German historians of the post-Roman dark ages coined the neat term völkerwanderung, which are the corresponding phenomena in eras of decline and fall. For that reason, the faux-conservative side of the debate, along with the usually unmentioned realities of immigration policy in today’s America and the far greater and more troubling realities of mass migration and ethnogenesis that will follow in due time, will be left for next week’s post. For now I want to talk about overpopulation as such, and therefore about the faux-liberal side of the debate and the stark realities of depopulation that are waiting in the future.

All this needs to be put in its proper context. In 1962, the year I was born, there were about three and a half billion human beings on this planet. Today, there are more than seven billion of us. That staggering increase in human numbers has played an immense and disastrous role in backing today’s industrial world into the corner where it now finds itself. Among all the forces driving us toward an ugly future, the raw pressure of human overpopulation, with the huge and rising resource requirements it entails, is among the most important.

That much is clear. What to do about it is something else again. You’ll still hear people insisting that campaigns to convince people to limit their reproduction voluntarily ought to do the trick, but such campaigns have been ongoing since well before I was born, and human numbers more than doubled anyway. It bears repeating that if a strategy has failed every time it’s been tried, insisting that we ought to do it again isn’t a useful suggestion. That applies not only to the campaigns just noted, but to all the other proposals to slow or stop population growth that have been tried repeatedly and failed just as repeatedly over the decades just past.

These days, a great deal of the hopeful talk around the subject of limits to overpopulation has refocused on what’s called the demographic transition: the process, visible in the population history of most of today’s industrial nations, whereby people start voluntarily reducing their reproduction when their income and access to resources rise above a certain level. It’s a real effect, though its causes are far from clear. The problem here is simply that the resource base that would make it possible for enough of the world’s population to have the income and access to resources necessary to trigger a worldwide demographic transition simply don’t exist.

As fossil fuels and a galaxy of other nonrenewable resources slide down the slope of depletion at varying rates, for that matter, it’s becoming increasingly hard for people in the industrial nations to maintain their familiar standards of living. It may be worth noting that this hasn’t caused a sudden upward spike in population growth in those countries where downward mobility has become most visible. The demographic transition, in other words, doesn’t work in reverse, and this points to a crucial fact that hasn’t necessarily been given the weight it deserves in conversations about overpopulation.

The vast surge in human numbers that dominates the demographic history of modern times is wholly a phenomenon of the industrial age. Other historical periods have seen modest population increases, but nothing on the same scale, and those have reversed themselves promptly when ecological limits came into play. Whatever the specific factors and forces that drove the population boom, then, it’s a pretty safe bet that the underlying cause was the one factor present in industrial civilization that hasn’t played a significant role in any other human society: the exploitation of vast quantities of extrasomatic energy—that is, energy that doesn’t come into play by means of human or animal muscle. Place the curve of increasing energy per capita worldwide next to the curve of human population worldwide, and the two move very nearly in lockstep: thus it’s fair to say that human beings, like yeast, respond to increased access to energy with increased reproduction.

Does that mean that we’re going to have to deal with soaring population worldwide for the foreseeable future? No, and hard planetary limits to resource extraction are the reasons why. Without the huge energy subsidy to agriculture contributed by fossil fuels, producing enough food to support seven billion people won’t be possible. We saw a preview of the consequences in 2008 and 2009, when the spike in petroleum prices caused a corresponding spike in food prices and a great many people around the world found themselves scrambling to get enough to eat on any terms at all. The riots and revolutions that followed grabbed the headlines, but another shift that happened around the same time deserves more attention: birth rates in many Third World countries decreased noticeably, and have continued to trend downward since then.

The same phenomenon can be seen elsewhere. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, most of the formerly Soviet republics have seen steep declines in rates of live birth, life expectancy, and most other measures of public health, while death rates have climbed well above birth rates and stayed there. For that matter, since 2008, birth rates in the United States have dropped even further below the rate of replacement than they were before that time; immigration is the only reason the population of the United States doesn’t register declines year after year.

This is the wave of the future.  As fossil fuel and other resources continue to deplete, and economies dependent on those resources become less and less able to provide people with the necessities of life, the population boom will turn into a population bust. The base scenario in 1972’s The Limits to Growth, still the most accurate (and thus inevitably the most vilified) model of the future into which we’re stumbling blindly just now, put the peak of global population somewhere around 2030: that is, sixteen years from now. Recent declines in birth rates in areas that were once hotbeds of population growth, such as Latin America and the Middle East, can be seen as the leveling off that always occurs in a population curve before decline sets in.

That decline is likely to go very far indeed. That’s partly a matter of straightforward logic: since global population has been artificially inflated by pouring extrasomatic energy into boosting the food supply and providing other necessary resources to human beings, the exhaustion of economically extractable reserves of the fossil fuels that made that process possible will knock the props out from under global population figures. Still, historical parallels also have quite a bit to offer here: extreme depopulation is a common feature of the decline and fall of civilizations, with up to 95% population loss over the one to three centuries that the fall of a civilization usually takes.

Suggest that to people nowadays and, once you get past the usual reactions of denial and disbelief, the standard assumption is that population declines so severe could only happen if there were catastrophes on a truly gargantuan scale. That’s an easy assumption to make, but it doesn’t happen to be true. Just as it didn’t take vast public orgies of copulation and childbirth to double the planet’s population over the last half-century, it wouldn’t take equivalent exercises in mass death to halve the planet’s population over the same time frame. The ordinary processes of demography can do the trick all by themselves.

Let’s explore that by way of a thought experiment. Between family, friends, coworkers, and the others that you meet in the course of your daily activities, you probably know something close to a hundred people. Every so often, in the ordinary course of events, one of them dies—depending on the age and social status of the people you know, that might happen once a year, once every two years, or what have you. Take a moment to recall the most recent death in your social circle, and the one before that, to help put the rest of the thought experiment in context.

Now imagine that from this day onward, among the hundred people you know, one additional person—one person more than you would otherwise expect to die—dies every year, while the rate of birth remains the same as it is now. Imagine that modest increase in the death rate affecting the people you know. One year, an elderly relative of yours doesn’t wake up one morning; the next, a barista at the place where you get coffee on the way to work dies of cancer; the year after that, a coworker’s child comes down with an infection the doctors can’t treat, and so on.  A noticeable shift? Granted, but it’s not Armageddon; you attend a few more funerals than you’re used to, make friends with the new barista, and go about your life until one of those additional deaths is yours.

Now take that process and extrapolate it out. (Those of my readers who have the necessary math skills should take the time to crunch the numbers themselves.) Over the course of three centuries, an increase in the crude death rate of one per cent per annum, given an unchanged birth rate, is sufficient to reduce a population to five per cent of its original level. Vast catastrophes need not apply; of the traditional four horsemen, War, Famine, and Pestilence can sit around drinking beer and playing poker. The fourth horseman, in the shape of a modest change in crude death rates, can do the job all by himself.

Now imagine the same scenario, except that there are two additional deaths each year in your social circle, rather than one.  That would be considerably more noticeable, but it still doesn’t look like the end of the world—at least until you do the math. An increase in the crude death rate of two per cent per annum, given an unchanged birth rate, is enough to reduce a population to five per cent of its original level within a single century. In global terms, if world population peaks around 8 billion in 2030, a decline on that scale would leave four hundred million people on the planet by 2130.

Thus it probably won’t be a matter of two more deaths a year, every year. Instead, one year, war breaks out, most of the young men in town get drafted, and half of them come back in body bags.  Another year, after a string of bad harvests, the flu comes through, and a lot of people who would have shaken it off under better conditions are just that little bit too malnourished to survive.  Yet another year, a virus shaken out of its tropical home by climate change and ecosystem disruption goes through town, and fifteen per cent of the population dies in eight ghastly months. That’s the way population declines happen in history.

In the twilight years of the Roman world, for example, a steady demographic contraction was overlaid by civil wars, barbarian invasions, economic crises, famines, and epidemics; the total population decline varied significantly from one region to another, but even the relatively stable parts of the Eastern Empire seem to have had around a 50% loss of population, while some areas of the Western Empire suffered far more drastic losses; Britain in particular was transformed from a rich, populous, and largely urbanized province to a land of silent urban ruins and small, scattered villages of subsistence farmers where even so simple a technology as wheel-thrown pottery became a lost art.

The classic lowland Maya are another good example along the same lines.  Hammered by climate change and topsoil loss, the Maya heartland went through a rolling collapse a century and a half in length that ended with population levels maybe five per cent of what they’d been at the start of the Terminal Classic period, and most of the great Maya cities became empty ruins rapidly covered by the encroaching jungle. Those of my readers who have seen pictures of tropical foliage burying the pyramids of Tikal and Copan might want to imagine scenes of the same kind in the ruins of Atlanta and Austin a few centuries from now. That’s the kind of thing that happens when an urbanized society suffers severe population loss during the decline and fall of a civilization.

That, in turn, is what has to be factored into any realistic forecast of dark age America: there will be many, many fewer people inhabiting North America a few centuries from now than there are today.  Between the depletion of the fossil fuel resources necessary to maintain today’s hugely inflated numbers and the degradation of North America’s human carrying capacity by climate change, sea level rise, and persistent radiological and chemical pollution, the continent simply won’t be able to support that many people. The current total is about 470 million—35 million in Canada, 314 million in the US, and 121 million in Mexico, according to the latest figures I was able to find—and something close to five per cent of that—say, 20 to 25 million—might be a reasonable midrange estimate for the human population of the North American continent when the population implosion finally bottoms out a few centuries from now.

Now of course those 20 to 25 million people won’t be scattered evenly across the continent. There will be very large regions—for example, the nearly lifeless, sun-blasted wastelands that climate change will make of the southern Great Plains and the Sonoran desert—where human settlement will be as sparse as it is today in the bleakest parts of the Sahara or the Rub’al Khali of central Arabia. There will be other areas—for example, the Great Lakes region and the southern half of Mexico’s great central valley—where population will be relatively dense by Dark Age standards, and towns of modest size may even thrive if they happen to be in defensible locations.

The nomadic herding folk of the midwestern prairies, the villages of the Gulf Coast jungles, and the other human ecologies that will spring up in the varying ecosystems of deindustrial North America will all gradually settle into a more or less stable population level, at which births and deaths balance each other and the consumption of resources stays at or below sustainable levels of production. That’s what happens in human societies that don’t have the dubious advantage of a torrent of nonrenewable energy reserves to distract them temporarily from the hard necessities of survival.

It’s getting to that level that’s going to be a bear. The mechanisms of population contraction are simple enough, and as suggested above, they can have a dramatic impact on historical time scales without cataclysmic impact on the scale of individual lives. No, the difficult part of population contraction is its impact on economic patterns geared to continuous population growth. That’s part of a more general pattern, of course—the brutal impact of the end of growth on an economy that depends on growth to function at all—which has been discussed on this blog several times already, and will require close study in the present sequence of posts.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: RE on August 14, 2016, 03:34:28 PM
This is one of the pieces I was thinking of...makes plenty good sense to me. The red part, especially.

In THEORY it could happen that way, and sort of has in Mother Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Dmitry Orlov wrote about how over time he has found out about many people he knew are now dead people, but mostly it's not really noticed how fast people are dieing off there.

HOWEVER, this is still occuring in a world where the economic system still kinda works.  There is so much dependency on this for moving around the food that once it breaks down, anyplace that cannot produce its own food for its population is going to be hit hard and fast. and this is most places on earth right now.

RE

When the dollar finally go
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: jdwheeler42 on August 14, 2016, 05:10:28 PM
This is one of the pieces I was thinking of...makes plenty good sense to me. The red part, especially.
In THEORY it could happen that way, and sort of has in Mother Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Dmitry Orlov wrote about how over time he has found out about many people he knew are now dead people, but mostly it's not really noticed how fast people are dieing off there.

HOWEVER, this is still occuring in a world where the economic system still kinda works.  There is so much dependency on this for moving around the food that once it breaks down, anyplace that cannot produce its own food for its population is going to be hit hard and fast. and this is most places on earth right now.
And, if you pay attention to the part after what's in red, but especially if you follow the Archdruid more generally, even he doesn't think a smooth depopulation is probable -- nor does he think it will go straight to the bottom.  His pet scenario is the stairstep collapse: a sudden disruption with resultant dieoff, followed by a fairly lengthy period of recovery, followed by another disruption, etc., repeated a number of times.  Part of the idea is that the dieoffs will outpace resource depletion momentarily, so there will be a temporary boost in per-capita resource availability, which will bring a small bit of relief.  But depletion will soon catch up, and the process will repeat.
Title: Re: Official Population Overshoot Thread
Post by: azozeo on August 05, 2017, 02:23:25 PM
2017-08-03 - Earth Overshoot Day - environmental groups say we have consumed more natural resources than the planet can produce:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/earth-overshoot-day-2-august-2017-year-planet-natural-resources-clean-water-soil-air-pollution-wwf-a7872086.html (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/earth-overshoot-day-2-august-2017-year-planet-natural-resources-clean-water-soil-air-pollution-wwf-a7872086.html)
http://www.sott.net/article/358244-Earth-Overshoot-Day-Environmental-groups-say-we-have-consumed-more-natural-resources-than-the-planet-can-produce (http://www.sott.net/article/358244-Earth-Overshoot-Day-Environmental-groups-say-we-have-consumed-more-natural-resources-than-the-planet-can-produce)
Title: 🌍 7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support?
Post by: RE on July 12, 2018, 02:35:43 AM
https://theconversation.com/7-5-billion-and-counting-how-many-humans-can-the-earth-support-98797

7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support?
July 9, 2018 6.28am EDT

(https://images.theconversation.com/files/225744/original/file-20180702-116135-sz2i2u.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&fit=clip)

Humans are the most populous large mammal on Earth today, and probably in all of geological history. This World Population Day, humans number in the vicinity of 7.5 to 7.6 billion individuals.

Can the Earth support this many people indefinitely? What will happen if we do nothing to manage future population growth and total resource use? These complex questions are ecological, political, ethical – and urgent. Simple mathematics shows why, shedding light on our species’ ecological footprint.
The mathematics of population growth

In an environment with unlimited natural resources, population size grows exponentially. One characteristic feature of exponential growth is the time a population takes to double in size.

Exponential growth tends to start slowly, sneaking up before ballooning in just a few doublings.

To illustrate, suppose Jeff Bezos agreed to give you one penny on Jan. 1, 2019, two pennies on Feb. 1, four on March 1, and so forth, with the payment doubling each month. How long would his $100 billion fortune uphold the contract? Take a moment to ponder and guess.

After one year, or 12 payments, your total contract receipts come to US$40.95, equivalent to a night at the movies. After two years, $167,772.15 – substantial, but paltry to a billionaire. After three years, $687,194,767.35, or about one week of Bezos’ 2017 income.

The 43rd payment, on July 1, 2022, just short of $88 billion and equal to all the preceding payments together (plus one penny), breaks the bank.
Real population growth

For real populations, doubling time is not constant. Humans reached 1 billion around 1800, a doubling time of about 300 years; 2 billion in 1927, a doubling time of 127 years; and 4 billion in 1974, a doubling time of 47 years.

On the other hand, world numbers are projected to reach 8 billion around 2023, a doubling time of 49 years, and barring the unforeseen, expected to level off around 10 to 12 billion by 2100.

This anticipated leveling off signals a harsh biological reality: Human population is being curtailed by the Earth’s carrying capacity, the population at which premature death by starvation and disease balances the birth rate.

Ecological implications

Humans are consuming and polluting resources – aquifers and ice caps, fertile soil, forests, fisheries and oceans – accumulated over geological time, tens of thousands of years or longer.

Wealthy countries consume out of proportion to their populations. As a fiscal analogy, we live as if our savings account balance were steady income.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, an environmental think tank, the Earth has 1.9 hectares of land per person for growing food and textiles for clothing, supplying wood and absorbing waste. The average American uses about 9.7 hectares.

These data alone suggest the Earth can support at most one-fifth of the present population, 1.5 billion people, at an American standard of living.
A man works recycling plastic bottles outside Hanoi, Vietnam. REUTERS/Kham

Water is vital. Biologically, an adult human needs less than 1 gallon of water daily. In 2010, the U.S. used 355 billion gallons of freshwater, over 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) per person per day. Half was used to generate electricity, one-third for irrigation, and roughly one-tenth for household use: flushing toilets, washing clothes and dishes, and watering lawns.

If 7.5 billion people consumed water at American levels, world usage would top 10,000 cubic kilometers per year. Total world supply – freshwater lakes and rivers – is about 91,000 cubic kilometers.

World Health Organization figures show 2.1 billion people lack ready access to safe drinking water, and 4.5 billion lack managed sanitation. Even in industrialized countries, water sources can be contaminated with pathogens, fertilizer and insecticide runoff, heavy metals and fracking effluent.
Freedom to choose

Though the detailed future of the human species is impossible to predict, basic facts are certain. Water and food are immediate human necessities. Doubling food production would defer the problems of present-day birth rates by at most a few decades. The Earth supports industrialized standards of living only because we are drawing down the “savings account” of non-renewable resources, including fertile topsoil, drinkable water, forests, fisheries and petroleum.

The drive to reproduce is among the strongest desires, both for couples and for societies. How will humans reshape one of our most cherished expectations – “Be fruitful and multiply” – in the span of one generation? What will happen if present-day birth rates continue?

Population stays constant when couples have about two children who survive to reproductive age. In some parts of the developing world today, couples average three to six children.

We cannot wish natural resources into existence. Couples, however, have the freedom to choose how many children to have. Improvements in women’s rights, education and self-determination generally lead to lower birth rates.

As a mathematician, I believe reducing birth rates substantially is our best prospect for raising global standards of living. As a citizen, I believe nudging human behavior, by encouraging smaller families, is our most humane hope.
Title: TOP 20 LARGEST COUNTRIES BY POPULATION (LIVE)
Post by: Surly1 on July 14, 2018, 07:32:07 AM
On this site you can watch the world population clock tot up births I n real time as we rush toward the Seneca cliff of population overshoot. China and India tip the scales at a billion and change, and the US is third with 326M.

Interesting site. Follow the link for much, much more including growth rates, forecasts, etc..

TOP 20 LARGEST COUNTRIES BY POPULATION (LIVE) (http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/)

TOP 20 LARGEST COUNTRIES BY POPULATION (LIVE)

1 China1,415,248,554
2 India1,354,598,933
3 U.S.A.326,851,451
4 Indonesia266,898,088
5 Brazil210,925,959
6 Pakistan200,954,109
7 Nigeria196,060,166
8 Bangladesh166,430,601
9 Russia143,963,793
10 Mexico130,817,815
11 Japan127,174,404
12 Ethiopia107,630,346
13 Philippines106,570,833
14 Egypt99,443,047
15 Vietnam96,526,085
16 D.R. Congo84,104,103
17 Germany82,300,020
18 Iran82,042,954
19 Turkey81,960,054
20 Thailand69,188,507

World Population: Past, Present, and Future

(move and expand the bar at the bottom of the chart to navigate through time)
World Population : 610000000  | July 01, 1700
300400500600700800900100011001200130014001500160017001800190020002100200000000040000000006000000000800000000010000000000
Datetime World Population
Jul 1, 200 190,000,000
Jul 1, 600 200,000,000
Jul 1, 700 210,000,000
Jul 1, 800 220,000,000
Jul 1, 900 240,000,000
Jul 1, 1000 275,000,000
Jul 1, 1100 320,000,000
Jul 1, 1200 360,000,000
Jul 1, 1400 350,000,000
Jul 1, 1500 450,000,000
Jul 1, 1650 500,000,000
Jul 1, 1700 610,000,000
Jul 1, 1760 770,000,000
Aug 1, 1804 1,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1850 1,200,000,000
Jul 1, 1900 1,600,000,000
Jul 1, 1927 2,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1950 2,536,274,721
Jul 1, 1951 2,583,816,786
Jul 1, 1952 2,630,584,384
Jul 1, 1953 2,677,230,358
Jul 1, 1954 2,724,302,468
Jul 1, 1955 2,772,242,535
Jul 1, 1956 2,821,383,444
Jul 1, 1957 2,871,952,278
Jul 1, 1958 2,924,081,243
Jul 1, 1959 2,977,824,686
Jul 1, 1960 3,033,212,527
Jul 1, 1961 3,090,305,279
Jul 1, 1962 3,149,244,245
Jul 1, 1963 3,210,271,352
Jul 1, 1964 3,273,670,772
Jul 1, 1965 3,339,592,688
Jul 1, 1966 3,408,121,405
Jul 1, 1967 3,479,053,821
Jul 1, 1968 3,551,880,700
Jul 1, 1969 3,625,905,514
Jul 1, 1970 3,700,577,650
Jul 1, 1971 3,775,790,900
Jul 1, 1972 3,851,545,181
Jul 1, 1973 3,927,538,695
Jul 20, 1974 4,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1975 4,079,087,198
Jul 1, 1976 4,154,287,594
Jul 1, 1977 4,229,201,257
Jul 1, 1978 4,304,377,112
Jul 1, 1979 4,380,585,755
Jul 1, 1980 4,458,411,534
Jul 1, 1981 4,537,845,777
Jul 1, 1982 4,618,776,168
Jul 1, 1983 4,701,530,843
Jul 1, 1984 4,786,483,862
Jul 1, 1985 4,873,781,796
Jul 1, 1986 4,963,633,228
Jul 11, 1987 5,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1988 5,148,556,956
Jul 1, 1989 5,240,735,117
Jul 1, 1990 5,330,943,460
Jul 1, 1991 5,418,758,803
Jul 1, 1992 5,504,401,149
Jul 1, 1993 5,588,094,837
Jul 1, 1994 5,670,319,703
Jul 1, 1995 5,751,474,416
Jul 1, 1996 5,831,565,020
Jul 1, 1997 5,910,566,295
Jul 1, 1998 5,988,846,103
Oct 12, 1999 6,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2000 6,145,006,989
Jul 1, 2001 6,223,412,158
Jul 1, 2002 6,302,149,639
Jul 1, 2003 6,381,408,987
Jul 1, 2004 6,461,370,865
Jul 1, 2005 6,542,159,383
Jul 1, 2006 6,623,847,913
Jul 1, 2007 6,706,418,593
Jul 1, 2008 6,789,771,253
Jul 1, 2009 6,873,741,054
Jul 1, 2010 6,958,169,159
Oct 31, 2011 7,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2012 7,128,176,935
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2017 7,550,262,101
Jul 1, 2018 7,632,819,325
Jul 1, 2019 7,714,576,923
Jul 1, 2020 7,795,482,309
Jul 1, 2025 8,185,613,757
Jul 1, 2030 8,551,198,644
Jul 1, 2035 8,892,701,940
Jul 1, 2040 9,210,337,004
Jul 1, 2045 9,504,209,572
Jul 1, 2050 9,771,822,753
Jul 1, 2060 10,222,598,469
Jul 1, 2070 10,575,846,551
Jul 1, 2080 10,848,708,184
Jul 1, 2090 11,050,055,193
Jul 1, 2100 11,184,367,721
30040050060070080090010001100120013001400150016001700180019002000
Datetime World Population
Jul 1, 200 190,000,000
Jul 1, 600 200,000,000
Jul 1, 700 210,000,000
Jul 1, 800 220,000,000
Jul 1, 900 240,000,000
Jul 1, 1000 275,000,000
Jul 1, 1100 320,000,000
Jul 1, 1200 360,000,000
Jul 1, 1400 350,000,000
Jul 1, 1500 450,000,000
Jul 1, 1650 500,000,000
Jul 1, 1700 610,000,000
Jul 1, 1760 770,000,000
Aug 1, 1804 1,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1850 1,200,000,000
Jul 1, 1900 1,600,000,000
Jul 1, 1927 2,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1950 2,536,274,721
Jul 1, 1951 2,583,816,786
Jul 1, 1952 2,630,584,384
Jul 1, 1953 2,677,230,358
Jul 1, 1954 2,724,302,468
Jul 1, 1955 2,772,242,535
Jul 1, 1956 2,821,383,444
Jul 1, 1957 2,871,952,278
Jul 1, 1958 2,924,081,243
Jul 1, 1959 2,977,824,686
Jul 1, 1960 3,033,212,527
Jul 1, 1961 3,090,305,279
Jul 1, 1962 3,149,244,245
Jul 1, 1963 3,210,271,352
Jul 1, 1964 3,273,670,772
Jul 1, 1965 3,339,592,688
Jul 1, 1966 3,408,121,405
Jul 1, 1967 3,479,053,821
Jul 1, 1968 3,551,880,700
Jul 1, 1969 3,625,905,514
Jul 1, 1970 3,700,577,650
Jul 1, 1971 3,775,790,900
Jul 1, 1972 3,851,545,181
Jul 1, 1973 3,927,538,695
Jul 20, 1974 4,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1975 4,079,087,198
Jul 1, 1976 4,154,287,594
Jul 1, 1977 4,229,201,257
Jul 1, 1978 4,304,377,112
Jul 1, 1979 4,380,585,755
Jul 1, 1980 4,458,411,534
Jul 1, 1981 4,537,845,777
Jul 1, 1982 4,618,776,168
Jul 1, 1983 4,701,530,843
Jul 1, 1984 4,786,483,862
Jul 1, 1985 4,873,781,796
Jul 1, 1986 4,963,633,228
Jul 11, 1987 5,000,000,000
Jul 1, 1988 5,148,556,956
Jul 1, 1989 5,240,735,117
Jul 1, 1990 5,330,943,460
Jul 1, 1991 5,418,758,803
Jul 1, 1992 5,504,401,149
Jul 1, 1993 5,588,094,837
Jul 1, 1994 5,670,319,703
Jul 1, 1995 5,751,474,416
Jul 1, 1996 5,831,565,020
Jul 1, 1997 5,910,566,295
Jul 1, 1998 5,988,846,103
Oct 12, 1999 6,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2000 6,145,006,989
Jul 1, 2001 6,223,412,158
Jul 1, 2002 6,302,149,639
Jul 1, 2003 6,381,408,987
Jul 1, 2004 6,461,370,865
Jul 1, 2005 6,542,159,383
Jul 1, 2006 6,623,847,913
Jul 1, 2007 6,706,418,593
Jul 1, 2008 6,789,771,253
Jul 1, 2009 6,873,741,054
Jul 1, 2010 6,958,169,159
Oct 31, 2011 7,000,000,000
Jul 1, 2012 7,128,176,935
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2013 7,213,426,452
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2014 7,298,453,033
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2015 7,383,008,820
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2016 7,466,964,280
Jul 1, 2017 7,550,262,101
Jul 1, 2018 7,632,819,325
Jul 1, 2019 7,714,576,923
Jul 1, 2020 7,795,482,309
Jul 1, 2025 8,185,613,757
Jul 1, 2030 8,551,198,644
Jul 1, 2035 8,892,701,940
Jul 1, 2040 9,210,337,004
Jul 1, 2045 9,504,209,572
Jul 1, 2050 9,771,822,753
Jul 1, 2060 10,222,598,469
Jul 1, 2070 10,575,846,551
Jul 1, 2080 10,848,708,184
Jul 1, 2090 11,050,055,193
Jul 1, 2100 11,184,367,721

The chart above illustrates how world population has changed throughout history. View the full tabulated data.

At the dawn of agriculture, about 8000 B.C., the population of the world was approximately 5 million. Over the 8,000-year period up to 1 A.D. it grew to 200 million (some estimate 300 million or even 600, suggesting how imprecise population estimates of early historical periods can be), with a growth rate of under 0.05% per year.

A tremendous change occurred with the industrial revolution: whereas it had taken all of human history until around 1800 for world population to reach one billion, the second billion was achieved in only 130 years (1930), the third billion in 30 years (1960), the fourth billion in 15 years (1974), and the fifth billion in only 13 years (1987).

  • During the 20th century alone, the population in the world has grown from 1.65 billion to 6 billion.
  • In 1970, there were roughly half as many people in the world as there are now.
  • Because of declining growth rates, it will now take over 200 years to double again.

Wonder how big was the world's population when you were born?
Check out this simple wizard or this more elaborated one to find out.


Sources:
Title: Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030
Post by: Surly1 on July 04, 2019, 05:56:38 AM
Over One-Tenth of Global Population Could Lack Drinking Water by 2030
(https://truthout.org/articles/over-one-tenth-of-global-population-could-lack-drinking-water-by-2030/)

(https://truthout.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019_0701-drought-faucet.jpg)
As civilization faces existential threats, Trump is trying to end long-term climate studies. Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically.
SAWITREE PAMEE / EYEEM


Dahr Jamail

Outside on my front porch, alder chip smoke billows out of my small smoker. The racks inside the tin smoker are filled with wild-caught Alaskan Coho salmon, provided to me by my friend Jonathan. He and his wife take their three daughters in their fishing boat and head north from our town on the north coast of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula for the late summer salmon runs in Southeastern Alaska. They return with a hull full of frozen fish, for those of us here lucky enough to have placed our orders for it.

Several friends here attached to the land where I live are also outside, busy doing their own things: one is preparing his sailboat to launch in a week, another is working in the garden, two others are pitching a tent, another is out working his summer job with the Washington Conservation Association, and still another is reading and contemplating what she might write in the next column we co-author for Truthout.

It is truly idyllic. A dream I’ve had for decades is finally coming true: I’m living in a way that is close to the Earth, which enables me to minimize my carbon footprint. I’m growing much of my own food and living in community with like-minded people.

Yet all is taking place against the backdrop of a global climate crisis. Runaway human-caused climate disruption is already making life unlivable for millions around the globe, and is an integral reason why we are already in the Sixth Mass Extinction Event.

Each of us in this small community of ours is fully aware of the crisis that is upon us. We understand we are living in a bubble, in that we are able to grow much of our food, smoke this fish, go for hikes, share healthy meals, and have enough water to do all of this. Our conversations tend to run the gamut: ranging from discussing the latest breakdowns of portions of our global life support system, to when are we going to hang the bat house, to where to put the clothesline, to what happens when the cities run out of food, to when am I leaving for my next climbing trip.

Meanwhile, the news of the collapse continues to roll in.

A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that sea-level rise could be twice as bad as previously expected, due to accelerated melting in the Antarctic and Greenland. Instead of the previous worst-case scenario of 1 meter by 2100, the study has doubled that figure. Several scientists this writer has interviewed believe the realistic figure of sea level rise by 2100 will be even higher than this recent study’s prediction.

Another report showed how the state of Florida could be facing a $76 billion bill to mitigate and adapt to climate crisis impacts by just 2040, mostly from rising sea levels.

To give you an idea of how far along we already are in this crisis, in some areas of China, fruit trees have to be pollinated by hand due to lack of pollinators. Climate disruption is a major contributing factor toward the loss of insects around the planet.

The Arctic, our proverbial canary in the climate coalmine, just saw its hottest May ever recorded. Coastal erosion of permafrost is happening at a rate of up to one meter every day, and the current rate of coastal erosion is already six times higher than the historical rate.

In Siberia, carbon-laden permafrost has warmed by 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (1.6°F) in just the last 10 years alone. This is an ominous sign, for as the permafrost thaws it releases carbon and methane, making this one of the most dangerous feedback loops in the climate crisis, given that permafrost around the globe contains twice the amount of carbon that is already in the atmosphere. In fact, it has now been shown that the permafrost is thawing 70 years sooner than previously predicted.

According to a 2017 study, tundra in Alaska is already warming up so quickly that it has become a net emitter of CO2 ahead of schedule — rather than sequestering carbon, as it has historically done. Thawing is occurring so rapidly in the Arctic now, sinkholes are becoming increasingly common across the region.

To make matters worse, Arctic sea-ice extent for early June was at a record low, and the ice could be on track now for a record melt year at the current trajectory.

Underscoring the severity of the crisis, yet another well-researched report has recently been released warning the end of human civilization could be on the horizon if we don’t change course. In the report, climate scientists predict 2050 as the year we face complete climate catastrophe.

The authors predict, “More than a billion people may need to be relocated, and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end.”

They found that by 2050, total ecological collapse could bring about huge social consequences like “increased religious fervor to outright chaos.” The report warns that catastrophic environmental disasters could result in widespread pandemics, forced migrations from places that no longer support humans, and the spread of war over diminished resources.

The report describes one possible scenario, in which “planetary and human systems (reach) a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown of nations and the international order.”

It would be an error to think there is that much time before this kind of breakdown. If you live on the delta in Bangladesh, or in Paradise, California, or on the coastline of northern or western Alaska, the crisis is already upon you.

Earth

Extreme weather events fueled by human-caused climate disruption are already severely affecting food production, causing food price shocks in the U.S. A report focusing on the recent flooding in the Midwest illustrated how rain-sodden fields across the Corn Belt, along with massive numbers of drowned livestock, are contributing factors. This issue is only set to deepen.

Meanwhile, despite the fact that human-caused climate disruption is, in many ways, a geoengineering experiment gone badly, ongoing discussion within the scientific community of using geoengineering to completely solve it continues to escalate.

Despite the clear dangers of unforeseen consequences, generating conflict between nations, and the immorality inherent in the idea of attempting to control parts of the biosphere, some scientists are proposing strategies like spraying aerosols of sulphate particles into the stratosphere and using tall ships to pump salt particles from the ocean into polar clouds to brighten them in order to attempt to refreeze warming parts of the polar regions.

Meanwhile, experts from 27 different national science academies released a report showing how climate disruption is already negatively impacting people’s health via heatwaves and floods, but also indirectly by things like the spreading of mosquito-borne diseases and deleterious mental health impacts.

“There are impacts occurring now [and], over the coming century, climate change has to be ranked as one of the most serious threats to health,” Andrew Haines, a co-chair of the report for the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council told The Guardian.

Water

The endangered North Atlantic Right Whale’s already scant population is declining, and this decline has been linked directly to oceanic warming, which is of course, being caused by climate disruption, according to a recent report. Warming oceans have caused the whales’ food supply to shift locations, causing them to have to travel farther to find it, along with moving them into areas closer to shipping lanes which are dangerous for them.

Meanwhile, dozens of grey whales have been found dead and washing up onto beaches up and down the west coast, from California to well up into Canada, causing U.S. scientists to launch an investigation into the unusually high mortality event. Scientists believe the number found dead is but a fraction of the actual number, since most of the dead whales will not wash ashore.

“Many of the whales have been skinny and malnourished, and that suggests they may not have gotten enough to eat during their last feeding season in the Arctic,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) spokesman Michael Milstein told reporters of the mortality event.

Also, hundreds of “severely emaciated” dead puffins have washed ashore at St. Paul Island in the Pribilofs of Alaska, believed to have starved to death from the warming waters they forage from having less food available for them to eat. Estimates of the total number of dead puffins range from 3,000 to 9,000.

A stunning study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that warming oceans will likely reduce the oceanic content of fish and other marine life by one-sixth by the end of this century. The study warned that for every 1 degree Celsius (1°C) warming of the world’s oceans, the total mass of sea animals is projected to drop by five percent.

Meanwhile, the global water crisis spurred by climate disruption continues to unfold dramatically. A recent report warned that by 2030, half of the entire population of India (roughly 700 million people, or to put another way, one tenth of the entire population of the globe), may lack adequate drinking water. (This is, of course, in addition to all the other places in which drinking water supplies will be inadequate.) The same report warned that the cities of Bangalore and New Delhi could run out of useable groundwater by as early as 2020.

India’s sixth biggest city, Chennai, is already dealing with massive water shortages as that city’s four reservoirs recently ran dry. People are fighting while lining up for water. Many are unable to take showers, and hotels are warning people about water shortages. Most of that city’s population of 4 million are already relying solely on government tankers for their water.

Back in the U.S., southeastern Alaska, normally a rain-soaked temperate rainforest, is experiencing its first ever recorded extreme drought. This is normally the wettest region of the state of Alaska.

Things aren’t any better underwater. A stark report has shown that the Southern Ocean of Earth could be less of a “carbon sink” than previously thought. In fact, it could well already be belching more CO2 into the atmosphere than it is absorbing.

Furthermore, climate disruption is altering the composition of the world’s plankton communities, according to another study. “Large and globally consistent shifts have been detected in species phenology, range extension and community composition in marine ecosystems,” reads the abstract of the study. It is worth remembering that plankton provides a large percentage of the oxygen on the planet, with scientists estimating they provide between 50-85 percent of the oxygen to Earth’s atmosphere. There has been a 40 percent decline in phytoplankton since just 1950.

Melting ice and thermal expansion of warming waters are the two leading contributors to sea level rise, and they are continuing apace.

The Welsh village of Fairbourne is on track to become the first village in Britain to be abandoned to sea level rise, as the entire population will have to be relocated. Like others that will be abandoned, the resettlement plan for the refugees remains unclear.

The residents of Fairbourne are far from alone. Thousands of communities along the coasts of the globe will have to be abandoned as seas continue to rise. In the U.S., communities in which at least 21 percent of homes will be at risk of chronic flooding by 2060 include Miami Beach and Key West in Florida, Hoboken and Atlantic City in New Jersey, Galveston, Texas, and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Meanwhile, major climate disruption impacts have devastated Midwestern farmers, who in many places weren’t even able to plant their spring crops. And the question is not whether this kind of devastation will occur again, but when and how often. Croplands across that region were literally drowned by weeks of relentless rains over the spring.

This trend continued into May, as the U.S. officially had its second wettest May ever recorded, according to NOAA.

The same has been true in Canada, where once-in-a-century floods have happened two years in a row, deluging communities across Atlantic Canada and forcing residents to make a stark choice: rebuild or relocate.

Fire

The American West is set to experience chronic summer wildfire smokefrom megafires, according to a recent report. Nevertheless, most of the region has done next to nothing to prepare for what is seen to be a massive and ongoing threat to human health from respiratory issues.

This isn’t relegated only to the west. Minnesota, as far away as it is from the source of the smoke, is also already experiencing a dramatic increase in smoke because of the wildfires besetting the Canadian Rockies and the Western U.S.

Underscoring both of these situations is an analysis generated by Climate Central that shows how the afflicted region’s wildfire season is currently 105 days longer than it was in the 1970s, and is burning six times the area of acreage. The region also has three times more fires over 1,000 acres in size than it did in the 1970s.

Air

Temperatures in the Arctic Circle in Alaska were 22°C above normal in some places in March. This is critical for multiple reasons, particularly due to the fact that in the Arctic, ice functions as part of the infrastructure across that region given how roads, homes, buildings, and other structures are built atop the permafrost, and subsistence hunting is a way of life for many Inuit people. If current trends continue, that way of life is, devastatingly, on the way out.

A heat wave in Japan during May killed five people and hospitalized another 600 people suffering from symptoms of heatstroke. Then in mid-June, a major heat wave in India killed dozens of people as temperatures reached 120°F across vast swaths of the country. In one area alone, 49 people died in just a 24-hour period. It’s worth noting that 11 of the 15 warmest years on record in India have taken place after 2004.

In the U.S., a heat wave in June across the west saw temperatures reach 120°F, as record highs were seen across the region.

Denial and Reality

Meanwhile, the lengths the Trump administration is going to in order to placate its fossil-fueled backers continue to astound.

The Trump administration recently carried out one of its most overt attacks on climate science to date when it attempted to prevent an employee of the State Department from testifying about the climate crisis, according to The New York Times. Intelligence analyst Rod Schoonover had submitted his testimony to the White House for approval before he appeared in front of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to share his remarks covering the security risks posed to the U.S. by the climate crisis. But as The Washington Postreported, the Trump administration refused to approve his testimony for entry into the congressional record, stating that his analysis did not align with the views of the executive branch.

Additionally, Trump’s Energy Department rebranded U.S. gas exports as “molecules of freedom.”

Back in the world of reality, in May, a record number of students across the world walked out of their classes amid a global strike to bring attention to the climate crisis.

This is a good thing, as recent data shows no signs of the climate crisis slowing down. In fact, it is only accelerating, as atmospheric CO2 content has increased by its second highest annual rise in the last 60 years. That makes this the seventh year in a row of steep increases of CO2 content in the already overburdened atmosphere.

NOAA also recently reported that this year is on track to become the third warmest ever-recorded in 140 years of temperature records.

The signs of collapse of industrial civilization are all around us. We must pay attention, and prepare ourselves for living in the world that the disrupted climate has brought upon us.

For myself and my community, this means connecting more deeply to the Earth, to build psychological, social, spiritual and physical resiliency, in addition to taking as good care as we are able of the land that is caring for us. In this way, we are working to model on a micro scale what might be done on the macro, even in the midst of this era of great loss.

Dahr Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption (The New Press, 2019), The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan(Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq(Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last 10 years, and has won the Izzy Award and the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards. His third book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co-written with William Rivers Pitt, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in Washington State.