If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. … Before the rising Pacific drowns these atolls, though, it will infiltrate, and irreversibly poison, their already inadequate supply of fresh water. The apocalypse could come even sooner for Kiribati if violent storms, of the sort that recently destroyed parts of the Philippines, strike its islands. For all of these reasons, the 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine. This is why [Kiribati's president Anote] Tong visits Fiji so frequently. He is searching for a place to move his people. The government of Kiribati recently bought 6,000 acres of land in Fiji for a reported $9.6 million, to the apparent consternation of Fiji’s military rulers. Fiji has expressed no interest in absorbing the I-Kiribati, as the country’s people are known. A former president of Zambia, in south-central Africa, once offered Kiribati’s people land in his country, but then he died. No one else so far has volunteered to organize a rescue.[more inside]
"The apartment block behind my shop wasn't there when I moved in either. That was just shanty houses stacked one on top of the other. It's tough these days for a developer to legally purchase a patch of land and everything above it, but 'connected' guys can be pretty persuasive. They kept the boat dock at water level, but demolished the rest. I know some of the folks who live in the lower levels of that building, but the guys up top keep to themselves. One thing I've learned living here for so long is not to ask too many questions." - Henry Li, On the NeighborhoodThe Cyberpocalypse is an incredible build featured at Brickworld 2013. Shuppiluliumas has been describing different bits of it in this photoset More pictures can be found in the creator's photostreams, linked inside [more inside]
A new, controversial super-trawler, the Dutch-owned FV Margiris, has set sail for Tasmania, off the south-east coast of Australia, to take a haul of jack mackerel and redbait, prompting concerns it is going to decimate several Australian fish stocks as factory fishing has done elsewhere in the world. Greenpeace claims the industrial super-trawler is part of the European Association of pelagic freezer trawlers (PFA), responsible for "some of the worst fishing excesses on the planet.'' It is scheduled to be roaming between the Tasman Sea and Western Australia this spring. [more inside]
Elizabeth Kolbert explores the case against kids. Drawing from the work of philosophy professors David Benatar, Christine Overall and economist Bryan Caplan, Kolbert examines the justifications for reproducing.
How do you build a mouse Utopia? In 1972, John B. Calhoun detailed the specifications of his Mortality-Inhibiting Environment for Mice: a practical utopia built in the laboratory. . . . To its members, the mouse civilization of Universe 25 must have seemed prosperous indeed. But its downfall was already certain—not just stagnation, but total and inevitable destruction.
The Nation recently interviewed public intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Bill McKibben (previously), and Dmity Orlov (previously) to produce a series of videos centered around Peak Oil and a Changing Climate. The first video, online now, combines all of the people interviewed while the videos yet to be released will be longer sections featuring them one at a time. [more inside]
“Wrap with care, save the polar bear.” Endangered species condoms: exactly what it says on the tin. Use them to prevent human overpopulation and leave some room on the planet for everything else!
Earth2100.tv is a project by ABC (video preview) to solicit ideas from the public and experts about the dangers facing world in the next 100 years. "The world’s brightest minds agree that the “perfect storm” of population growth, resource depletion and climate change could converge with catastrophic results. We need you to bring this story to life."
Why should I take up all this space? I'll get off this old planet, let some sweet baby have my place.
2BR02B is a short story by the late Kurt Vonnegut (so it goes) from 1962, brought to you now by Project Gutenberg.
The Global Baby Bust Summary: Most people think overpopulation is one of the worst dangers facing the globe. In fact, the opposite is true. As countries get richer, their populations age and their birthrates plummet. And this is not just a problem of rich countries: the developing world is also getting older fast. Falling birthrates might seem beneficial, but the economic and social price is too steep to pay. The right policies could help turn the tide, but only if enacted before it's too late.
The Empty Cradle. Our everyday personal experiences with traffic, sprawl and other irritants of modern life tell us there are too many people in the world and the problem is getting worse. However in truth world population growth peaked 40 years ago in 1963 and has been trending downward since. Demographers predict that absolute human population will peak at 9 billion by 2070 and then contract. Long before then, many nations will shrink in absolute size and the average age of the world's citizens will shoot up dramatically, including the fastest aging part of the world: developing countries, where for example Iraq is aging 2.5 times faster than the USA and Mexico 5 times as fast. Having averted the danger of overpopulation, the world now faces the opposite problem: an aging and declining population.
Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct, yet scientists insist that we make a great effort to save endangered species. If extinction is the natural course of evolution, why bother? And if humankind is the cause of these lastest extinctions and endangerments, should efforts be made to save people so that their exploitation of the natural world can continue? Aren't our efforts to fight diseases such as the aids epidemic in Africa not only a denial of evolutionly forces but also adding to the problem of overpopulation exerting unbearable pressure on the environment? If evolution is truely the force it's claimed to be can it's course be changed by mankind and if so, should it be? Should evolution be allowed to take its course?
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement "Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense." More inside...
a quarter of world species face extinction and for some reason the bush administration refuses to fund UN backed family planning programs opinions?
Kill everyone. (Well, virtually.)