What do you call 1,000 lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean? A good start. So said Mark Twain. Of course that is a radical proposal.

Lydia, you make a good start but you aren’t seeing the biggest picture. Population is indeed a problem which I agree with you on. Here’s a post from this week.

But I’d like to suggest that as sincere as your ideas obviously are, they are DOA because you are telling people who really don’t want limits imposed on them, that they need limits. We have to find ways to get people to actually want to do some of the things you suggest. Like it or not, the free market will make having kids prohibitively expensive and we’ll have fewer. But there will be a lot of pain along the way.

Methane and CO2 are certainly problems but we can leverage them to our advantage. We’re running out of fossil fuels and in 50 years (DOE) it won’t matter we’ll be driving and living electric.

But forget emissions, our primary issue is removing carbon from the environment and keeping it out. That and spinning up a renewable energy paradigm will get us most of the way to survival by 2100. Done right we can take carbon out of the environment AND make more food.

72 percent of the planet is covered with ocean and very few people are discussing what we can do using the ocean as a sink. The discussion stops at dissolving CO2 in seawater which acidifies it and kills a lot of delicate creatures. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Fertilizing oceans with iron promotes phytoplankton growth which small fish eat. Larger fish eat them. Plankton are the grass of the ocean. Imagine how much protein we could get from the ocean if we could fertilize it and raise fish where there’s nothing right now. It’s not sci-fi and it’s low tech. It’s also an overlooked source of more protein.

Your numbers on Earth’s carrying capacity are way too pessimistic. A report from UNHCR tracks multiple studies that suggest carrying capacity is between 4 billion and 16 billion with a mean of 10 billion which we are on track to reach by 2050.

You are right to be concerned and perhaps we can bend that curve. But my point in all this is to say that while your goals are on track and admirable, we need more creative approaches that get us, willingly, to the results we all need.

Check out “Limits to Growth: The Thirty Year Update” and if I may be so bold, my own effort, “The Age of Sustainability.”


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