Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Unlimited Population Growth + Finite Resources=?

You would think that someone who lived in Saudi Arabia in the desert for 2 1/2 years would have a keen awareness for the need to conserve water.

I am often aware of my wasteful nature but not always. Even then, I often indulge myself instead of trying to be more conservative. So I acknowledge that I am often part of the problem instead of the solution but I am trying.

I was reminded of this today while I was cleaning my kitchen sink. Instead of filling a bucket once I got the water temperature right, I just let the water flow down the sink. I like the sound of running water.

I realized how wasteful of water and the energy to heat it was but continued to let the water flow away.

My first partner, J.C., taught me about the simple effort of not running the water while shaving or brushing my teeth. I usually follow his example but not always. It brings to mind an ad I saw that showed a couple showering together with the caption "Shower with a friend" in order to save water.

Eventually the population in my area will out strip the water supply. It won't be an occasional drought but a lifetime struggle. I hope not in my life time. And until we stop breeding like animals we will be bound by the same laws of supply and demand.

Someone will suffer.

In the animal kingdom, that would be the weak, the old, the young. With humans, this will not necessarily happen at first. We will try to maintain order but as things collapse, power will ultimately rest with the rich. At least until things become truly desperate. Then we will also return to our animal nature.

It seems that instead of just throwing money at disasters, we should take time between them to use some money to TEACH conservation.

No matter how modern a society is, if a stable population is not attained, eventually it will collapse upon itself. And when the country that everyone turns to when disaster strikes collapses, where will THEY turn for help?

As we've already seen with the banking industry, even the mere threat of our collapse affects the world. But did the world send us aid? No. They offered to loan us money. Our people began losing their homes and no one gave us money or land or homes. They GAVE us nothing.

Perhaps that is why we don't have a problem with people leaving our country. Our generous nature is still one of the things that people like about us. We are the ones that give. Money, jobs, promises of a better future.

We are by no means perfect. Our dependence on others for energy makes for a dangerous alliance. We have come to the point of invading others in an attempt to maintain stability in their countries to insure stability in ours all for the sake of energy.

So we've already far out-stripped our own ability to supply this resource, energy. Oddly enough, there are many ways to change this. Besides slowing down or stopping population growth, we can invest in solar, wind, and water energy sources.

But since capitalism has a strangle-hold on this country, money determines what is important, not the needs of the citizens. And until we are willing to pay more and have less, we will continue our spiral towards the end of the equation:

Unlimited Population Growth + Finite Resources = ?????? ?????? ??????

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