Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Too damn many people dept. + more

King Hubbert is the guy who upset a bunch of people by observing that the more you use of a finite commodity the less you will have left. Seems simple enough, but when the commodity is oil, a considerable of souls want to put their hands over their ears and chant 'nyah-nyah-nyah-I-can't-hear-you.' I'm forever saying that I wish the economists of the world, believers in the goodness of growth and its infinite sustainability, would go have lunch with a biologist. I should add geophysicist to the biologist as educational companions for the economists, who live in a world where money is the only thing that matters.
From an interview with Hubbert in Leading Edge magazine, published in February, 1983:
A non-catastrophic solution is impossible, Hubbert feels, unless society is made stable. This means abandoning two axioms of our culture.. . the work ethic and the idea that growth is the normal state of affairs. Hubbert challenges the latter mathematically and concludes the exponential growth of the last two centuries is the opposite of the normal situation.
"It is an aberration. For most of human history, the population doubled only once every 32,000 years. Now it's down to 35 years. That is dangerous. No biologic population can double more than a few times without getting seriously out of bounds. I think the world is seriously overpopulated right now. There can be no possible solutions to the world's problems that do not involve stabilization of the world's population."

Read the long but informative article here. This guy, a Texan by birth, may have been one of the smarter people of the 20th Century.

1 comment:

Pilot said...

Thanks for the link. A riveting piece. Read it to the end flicking people off like flies trying to get my attention. Interestingly, he left out the wild card aspect of fossil fuel reserves, that those who control them are squat where the urge hits them bunch, a notch above the bedouins they sprung from. That may be for him, with his immense technical knowledge, an abstract but insignificant part of the equation.
Yes, a very smart man, and one whose theories likely should be studied and taken to heart by world leaders and insustrialists.