The Real World Problems today

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Over the years, and after having read about all the problems and dangers besetting this world, I have come to the conclusion that the main ones likely to destroy our planet and its various modes of life (aka its civilizations) are global warming and over-population; both of which if properly understood and firmly handled could be controlled. Unfortunately many people only discuss them superficially, but don’t follow through to thinking about the real implications and manifestations of these issues.


I, too, was in that camp. I knew about both issues, but I had never thought about them acting together, or the effect one might have on the other if viewed concurrently. When I did I was appalled and very frightened.


Global warming we all know is caused by greenhouse gases (mainly CO2) coming from the burning, or incomplete burning, of fossil fuels – which also releases long buried carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. This, as we are all well aware, is starting to alter our environment, causing some parts of the planet to become excessively hot (thus preventing successful agriculture) and melting the polar caps which, in turn, raises sea-levels. The latter puts great parts of the earth under water and reduces our living space.


If the Greenland ice-shelf melted (as it has been doing for some time+) sea levels would rise by 6 metres. If the Antarctic ice melted (which has already begun to do) it would increase levels by a further 60 metres. Today, there are 33 countries that have land below sea level, where the sea is currently kept out by natural or artificial means, but in the event of even a 10 metre rise of sea level these would all be flooded: there would also be huge losses in other countries. A lot of London and some of the East of Britain would go, together with most of Holland and Denmark, parts of Florida (USA) and a lot of low-lying land in Asia. In Greece the Parthenon and Plaka would survive, but Glyfada to Sounion would not, though the temple would probably stick up above the waves (see map for further details: https://geology.com/below-sea-level/). And this is for only a few metres rise.


Imagine the destruction if most of Greenland and Antarctica melted by the end of 2099, raising sea-levels by over 50 metres. For Greece, this would be loss of half the country and for many other areas, a lot worse. It would also mean a greatly reduced living space for an ever-increasing population.


Currently most scientific publications appear to show sea level increases in a few millimetres per annum, but they only seem to be viewing the phenomenon historically. They don’t seem to consider the fact that the rate of ice melting (and the amount of ice) has drastically increased in the past couple of years and appears to be rapidly accelerating. Wikipedia display a graph showing 8 cm rise from 1992-2016, but it doesn’t appear to show the acceleration of the past 24 months, which will probably continue to speed up.   


I believe that this reduction of living space will eventually and within a relatively short time period, result in wars being started with the intention of taking over other territory and then eliminating its inhabitants, so that the belligerent has more room for its excess population. It has happened in the past, so why could it not happen today?


It is to avoid this frightening scenario that it is imperative we work at lowering global warming.


The next part I would like to dwell on concerns the methods we have used, and those in the future we might use to at least control, and perhaps reduce the levels, of our current or future population.


In Britain, from the 1700s onwards, whenever we had a prisoner glut or a lack of jobs, we sent the excess population to the colonies. Initially, North America took most, and then Australia was used after the American Revolution. Later we sent people to other colonies in India and Africa by offering cheap land and a better future.


Due to land closures in, the 18th and 19th centuries, driving people without work into towns, there were riots demanding jobs and food. Many turned to poorly paid factory work to make ends meet, while others went to the Army. The Crimean War of 1858 and the Boer War of 1898 were amply supplied with men when it started recruiting soldiers. This version of population control was also aided by the fact that most miners and factory workers died in the 40s and early 50s. In the 20th century WW1 and WW2 also took out about 70 million and the Flu Epidemic of 1919 took out another 20 million. So Europe had no population problem in 1945, though some other parts of the world fared differently, especially China and India.


In Greece and Ireland lack of work and food were solved by emigration; America, Australia and Africa receiving millions of immigrants from 1840 onwards.


China was the first country to try limiting its population growth by law in the 1950s, by allowing couples to only have and bring up 1 child. Any other pregnancies had to be aborted. But only China did this; India, the rest of Asia and Africa continued adding greatly to the spiralling general population.


However, over the past 70 years medicine and agriculture have improved by leaps and bounds. Workers who would have died in their late 40s are now living to their mid 70s. The number of children who previously died, either at birth or in the first 5 years of life has today fallen by more than 70%. And this is not limited to Europe. All these facts have now given us a ratio of 7.8 deaths, worldwide to births of 18.5, which increased the world’s population from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7.7 billion by November 2018.


A further important fact is that (according to scientists) the earth is not expected to be able to support (even with increases in agriculture) more than 10 billion which it will have reached in a few years, at the current reproduction rate. (https://www.google.com/


At this point what will people do? Will they start killing each other simply to survive and would further survival only be possible through cannibalism, or wars designed to totally eliminate the loser? In other words, total genocides of weaker nations.


Now all these aforesaid calculations were made in an expectancy of the world having the same available living space. But what happens if the world loses 25% of that space (due to rising sea levels) and of course a lot of its agricultural land? Then the earth would probably lower its host potential to 7.5 billion humans; and we are at over 7 billion now. Decisions need to be made ASAP if we are to avoid this fate.


At present the problems attached to fully applying the Paris Conference are a mere walk in the park compared with the catastrophes we’ll face fairly soon.


Please think about this and tell me what you think. Are there, perhaps, other ways we might explore?•





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