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We were given a lecture by Seaton Baxter from Dundee University looking into ecological design.

Baxter pointed out the current trends that humanity are showing and that – if we continue as we are now – surely catastrophe will result. In Baxter’s opinion, it would surely make sense to seek recession and shy from growth. He points out this does not need to be taken in a negative light, and that we could view it as “falling into paradise, not climbing into hell.”

Baxter’s views are well founded, I think. There are simply too many human beings on the planet, not enough food to support our ravenous hunger, not enough raw material to make our stuff, not enough fuel to burn and we are simply not clever enough to dig ourselves out of this hole.

There definately needs to be a social change involved in the solution (if there even is a solution). This social change is not just large scale (political) but also small scale (personal).

However, there seems to be a large part of the problem that baxter seems to have overlooked. The decline that Baxter is hoping for would inevitably result in millions of humans suffering and dying.

We in the west would be in a better position to ride out a large scale fall, but people in developing nations would seriously struggle. What about the families that need many family members to work, to bring in money and food so that that family can survive? This is the problem with just saying “oh well, just adopt China’s one child policy.”

It may work for us, with our relative comfort in the west. But, for much poorer families and communities – this is simply suicide.

I don’t really know what my point is here. I suppose this highlights how complex the problem is. There is really no easy way out of the hole that humanity has dug itself. Even with some world-saving energy source (such as nuclear fusion), there are still massive problems getting away from fossil fuels, growing enough food, sustaining the environment, etc.

Short of kulling 3/4 of the population, how can we possibly get out of this?


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