Posts Tagged ‘gloom and doom’

When will earth reach her carrying point for humans? So the debate goes on in the scientific community. On one side of debate we have the idealist scientist who fell earth can never have too many humans. The gloom and doom philosopher will point out that we are already at earths carrying capacity.  Are you confused yet.

Let me try to clear up Monday’s muddy waters. Thomas Malthus was an 18th century philosopher, who wrote that the earth would reach a carrying capacity. The amount of people the earth can sustain has been argued, and I think will continue to be argued over for a very long time, by scientists from all areas.


You see most recently Eward O. Wilson wrote in his book, “The Future of Life”, that the Earth’s maximum capacity is 10 billion people. Wilson bases this calculation off of a limited resource model. However, remember the idealist scientist from the opening paragraph of the post?  The idealist will point out that sustainability can be reached and maintained despite growing populations. The maintenance of earths sustainability despite growing populations hinges on humans consuming resources smartly.  I know today is muddy waters Monday, muddy Monday and I apologize for the confusion, but allow me to explain.

Resources are limited, this is both true and false. In science there is a rule called the “conservation of mass” this rule states simply that no matter is created or destroyed it merely changes state. So a better way to state the whole “limited resources statement” would be “our optimal state of resources has a shelf life”.

More of an explanation can be seen in the timber industry. Paper and wood products are all around you an the industry has really begun to embrace a sustainability model that is admirable. Acres of trees are planted, cultivated destroyed and then replanted. This model is a prime example of resources changing shape and an understanding of conservation and sustainability.

Many energy companies are beginning to look into some  sustainable models for generating clean energy. There is much research to be done. The world still lacks the understanding of how crude oil is formed? But learning is taking place at a record breaking rate. So with the knowledge being gleaned from research into the earth and her many mysteries as well as responsible corporations, I way the future looks bright.

Now being a caring citizens of earth that we are, of course we look for ways to help out. What can I do?  According to a recent CBS news story, humans consumption of earth’s resources is currently unsustainable.  {I know gloom and doom right?) Hope is not lost though, as stated before many industries are working on research, building and implementation of sustainability models and at home we can take a page from our grandmothers advice and “just take what we need”.  Thee is an interesting website, that has a fun quiz you can take. The quiz will give you your “global footprint” and the website will give you tips for reducing this (if you need to). The tips are common sense things and most center on wasting nothing and not taking more than we need.

This idea of waste not want not is not new. It is tried and true, and, can make a huge impact on a personal level. When used, one will find that he or she basically has everything they need to live and enjoy a full life, without taking part in what seems to be an insatiable consumer desire. “Waste not, want not.” — Ben Franklin

Ben Franklin one of the founding fathers of the United States of America,  was a leading author, printer, political theoristpoliticianpostmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. It would be a hard sell to convince someone that Benjamin Franklin lead an unfufilled life, and yet he made famous the quote “waste not want not”

We would be smart to let the scientific community continue to debate the carrying capacity. While they debate we can do our part by not being wasteful and live a more full and rich life.