We’re taking bets now on which of the glaciers in the continental United States will be the last to melt. All those in Glacier National Park are expected to be gone in less than twenty years, but a handful in the highest elevations of the California Sierra Nevada may last a while longer.
The impacts of global warming are becoming increasingly apparent even though they’ve only just begun.
The planet’s minerals and metals have been so thoroughly exploited that mining them to meet the rising demand will require ever-increasing amounts of energy even as our supply of fossil fuels continues to decline.
We’ve overfished our oceans to the point that we have driven to near extinction many of our favorite species.
Our farmlands are becoming less fertile as monoculture agriculture spreads.
Fresh water supplies are becoming insufficient.
What’s driving all this? People. That’s the underlying problem. We have gone forth and multiplied to the point that the world population has passed seven billion. Check out this link and click on the various countries for an eye-opener.
No wonder the prosperous countries grow increasingly nervous about all those wretched poor desperate to immigrate.
Various studies have calculated that the maximum sustainable world population is somewhere between one and two billion, which means we need to lose at least five billion people.
Fortunately, the human race is resilient, and we have highly effective traditional methods of addressing this problem: war, famine, and pestilence.
But wait: The Pope’s new encyclical on the growing impact of global warming says it’s due “mostly” to human activity but that population growth is not to blame for ecological problems. Well of course not since God wants the human population to continue to rise forever, which is why contraception is immoral. Therefore, there cannot possibly be an upper limit on the carrying capacity of God’s own planet. Perhaps His Holiness expects all that human flesh and blood will somehow undergo a reverse transubstantiation into bread and wine. I anticipate a subsequent encyclical with the details.
My only question is whether, like the Easter islanders, we’ll embark on a program of devoting our remaining resources to the erection of useless monuments.
Some would say we’ve already started.
Meanwhile, there’s a bright spot at the end of Sparrow Street off Valencia. The decorated building is on Caledonia Street.