This blog posting represents the views of the author, David Fosberry. Those opinions may change over time. They do not constitute an expert legal or financial opinion.

If you have comments on this blog posting, please email me .

The Opinion Blog is organised by threads, so each post is identified by a thread number ("Major" index) and a post number ("Minor" index). If you want to view the index of blogs, click here to download it as an Excel spreadsheet.

Click here to see the whole Opinion Blog.

To view, save, share or refer to a particular blog post, use the link in that post (below/right, where it says "Show only this post").

What If Science Cannot Save Us?

Posted on 7th August 2022

Show only this post
Show all posts in this thread (the environment).

I saw an article today on Flipboard where the link asked the question "What If Science Cannot Save Us?" I haven't included the link to the article, because the actual headline in it does not include that question.

The question has an obvious and trivially simple answer. What will happen, if science can't save us, is that climate change and other environmental damage will continue to get worse until enough people die that the environmental damage that humans are causing reduces enough to reverse climate change. Not to be forgotten is the fact that the environment only responds slowly to changes in pollution levels, which means that there will be overshoot: even after the population is reduced (due to heatwaves, food and water shortages and polluted food and water) enough to reverse the effects, things will continue to get worse (for perhaps another 50 years) before they improve. That, in turn, means that the human population will be reduced to even lower levels than are sustainable.

In short, if we fail to fix the problem, due to scientific limitations, political issues, stupidity, or simply cost, we can expect life on earth to become very very unpleasant and hard, and for there to be a massive culling of humanity, due to our own stupidity and incompetence.

Here are my predictions for the next 10 years, if we do not act quickly enough and strongly enough, based on current research and on what has already happened:

  • The total collapse of most Atlantic fisheries (see here), and probably also Mediterranean and other fisheries;
  • Widespread food shortages;
  • Widespread water shortages;
  • Increased incidence of cancers and other pollution related illnesses:
  • Significant reductions in human fertility rates in many parts of the world;
  • Another global pandemic (maybe more than one) - if the next pandemic is not monkeypox, it will be something else;
  • At least one war over access to resources (water, food or mineral resources), with more to follow (remember that war is one of the most polluting human activities).

It will not be only humans who die. There will be massive reductions in the populations of wild plants and animals, with very many extinctions. Planet earth a century from now could be unrecognisable to us. These other species have just as much right to live on earth as we do.

If you don't want this apocalyptic future to come to pass, it is time to act: use less energy, waste less food and water, generate less garbage, recycle more (buy products in fully recyclable packaging), travel less (especially less air travel) and vote for politicians who are committed to saving the planet. Make the change now; tomorrow may be too late!