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End of the World Blues

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End of the World Blues
By David Glenn Cox

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In Winston Churchill's epic A History of the English Speaking Peoples, the story begins with the image of Julius Caesar gazing covetously across the English Channel. One hundred thousand people: England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They lived in a big world, a world bigger than they were, surrounded by an ocean brimming with fish and bountiful harvests. The sky's the limit until you run out of sky; there's plenty for everyone, until there's not. Today the area holds nearly seventy million humans.

We appear to be nearing the short end of the funnel. In one hundred and fifteen years the automotive population of the United States has risen from 35,000 to 255 million; one billion gas burning cars world-wide, pretending" pretending that this number is sustainable or unimportant. Believing by forgetting, that humanity can continue in this folly. An Ozzie & Harriet approach, believing the future will solve itself. Technology will save us; only technology is heartless and without conscience or pity. Technology in a capitalist system means watching the NBA on your mobile device, candy bars as culture, first rate medical care you can't afford and fifty shades of porn.

On the day that men left for the moon a TV commentator said, "Three and a half billion people on planet Earth are watching." Today, it's over seven billion and fifty years from today, will the available number of jobs double, will our resources expand indefinitely? What's our plan here? What exactly are those in leadership positions prepared to do to alleviate this threatening overpopulation?

According to Global-Change.Org, which mirrors the UN findings from 2006, the world's oceans are being fished from pole to pole. One third of the human race is dependent upon the oceans for food each day. The human population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and the ocean's harvest will be beyond sustainable capacity. Because of the decline in popular fish stocks, prices rise, whetting the capitalist appetite for more and bigger boats, dragging the bottom with nets five miles long to get more of the take, more efficiently, living a termite mantra of price-accelerating desire and desire-accelerating price, right down into a grave.

Twenty-one centuries into the modern era and few openly ask with existential weight, what are we going to do? Should we begin building rocket planes to colonize other planets? How should we manage dwindling resources brought on by over population? What good is a 25 or 30 percent carbon reduction when the population is expected to rise by 40 percent every ten years? What will life on Earth mean when the Amazon is a picnic area or Africa is a theme park? Some glacial ice for our cocktails perhaps, carving electronic moai as monuments to our collective wisdom.

Resource wars on Planet Easter Island: it doesn't matter how many iPods the factory can produce if the workers can't afford to eat; China and Japan saber rattling over an uninhabitable outcropping of rocks called islands because you can't call them anything else to claim fishing rights. Pirate fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry; corporations without addresses sailing ships without flags anywhere governments are weak and the catch is good. A planet of allegedly intelligent beings unable to agree and to enforce an agreement: "To not fish the world's oceans to collapse!"

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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