Saturday, November 5, 2011

Catastrophic population decline following prolonged population growth

Like in the bangus fishkill in Taal Lake this year, populations don’t seem to decline gradually when placed under stress. Prior to the onset of environmental pressure, populations of most life forms seem to first multiply in ever increasing rates up to a critical mass then suddenly suffer a catastrophic drop in numbers when some sort of ecological tipping point is reached.

Maybe the signs of imminent collapse we look out for (rioting in the street and increasing hunger) are the wrong ones, and the collapse in population that might happen soon or later will come in a completely unexpected form.

The global financial collapse of 2008 for example was preceded up to the last minute by complete ignorance among the bigger community of “expert” economists. Same thing is happening with population growth. Nobody knows where it is headed and what it will do to us as a species.

[Based on a comment originally posted on Get Real Post.]

1 comment:

  1. I guess that you're sort of correct in stating "bigger community of expert economists." This guy may be, in the experts' heads during those times, the boy who cried wolf.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/magazine/17pessimist-t.html?pagewanted=all

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouriel_Roubini

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