(NaturalNews) We are facing a world-wide disaster on a scale much larger than any Al Gore could ever have imagined. This disaster is not the climate; it's not a meteor, and it's not a pandemic. The disaster is ourselves.
Every aspect of human endeavor requires resources. We need food to eat and live, water to drink, materials for building homes, and so forth. School children are told that Americans are only about 5% of the world's population, but we consume almost a third of the world's resources.
That's only the tip of the iceberg. The Chinese use more than we do and India is working hard to catch up. Europe is almost on par with the U.S. and the rest of the world wants desperately to have the rich Western lifestyle of prosperity.
The problem isn't the prosperity; it's the consumption. Think of just oil, which by nearly every measure is the anchor resource from which all others flow in our modern economy. At current growth rates, China will consume 98 million barrels of oil per day by 2025. Current world production is about 74 million per day. Even conservative estimates show that we won't be able to meet that demand and everyone else's too.
On the other end of the spectrum, we're getting close to drowning in our own garbage. Mountains of it occupy dumping sites around the globe. New York City ships 12,000 tons of garbage to places as far away as Virginia. Athens, Greece ran out of space for their 6,000 ton daily refuse pileups and had to beg the EU to help them.
There are floating refuse dumps in both the Pacific and the Atlantic. The more well-known Pacific Ocean garbage collection is the size of Texas. The smaller, but no less disturbing pileup, in the Atlantic is at the point where currents meet in the Bermuda Triangle.
Our population continues to grow at a fast pace and is up to 7 billion people. Modern, industrial farming methods allow us to produce enough food to actually feed all of them, but the process of industrial farming is perilously close to collapse. It's unsustainable on several fronts.
Every single thing we do requires resources. Your food, your clothing, your cell phone, your pets, even the very air you breathe require resources to exist. The problem is we practice no husbandry over those resources. We merely consume.
Our cycle of consumerism cannot last much longer. If we continue at our current pace, we will soon have stripped away the resources that are easy to get. The harder resources are to acquire, the more they cost. The more they cost, the more difficult they are to utilize.
If we don't have cheap oil, cheap potassium, cheap nitrogen, and cheap water, we cannot grow food through industrial farming. If we cannot grow food through industrial farming, most of the world
will starve. Those are the basic facts. Food is only one facet of the problem, but it is by far the largest in terms of humanity's existence.
We must make ourselves sustainable. We can't do this through government; it must be done individually and in communities. Governments can only force; they cannot change. Much of our sustainability woes are due to governments anyway, so relying on them to change it is asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
Resources:Municipal Solid Waste in the United States, Facts and Figures
, U.S. Environmental Protection AgencyLandfill Data From China: Addressing Information Needs for Methane Recovery
, A. Robinson U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al.The Sustainability Factor: What Sustainability Means and Why You Need to Know
, by Aaron TurpenMinerals Scarcity: A Call for Managed Austerity and the Elements of Hope
, by Dr. Andre M. Diederen, Msc.
About the author
Aaron Turpen is a professional writer living in Wyoming in the USA. His blogs cover organic/sustainable living and environmental considerations (AaronsEnvironMental.com
) and the science debunking mainstream medical and proving alternatives (HiddenHealthScience.com