Archive for the ‘Water’ Category
This video is worth spreading. The reason there has not been widespread outrage over the BP oil spill is that the imagery has not been graphic enough. The following YT video shows the toxic sludge underneath the surface:
Don’t forget that fish swimming through the sludge will not only be covered, they will be breathing it. There will undoubtedly be toxic buildup in the wildlife, if not immediate death. Don’t plan on eating seafood from the Gulf of Mexico any time in the foreseeable future.
The image shows the outline of the Aral sea in 1960 superimposed on the current picture.
“Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the Aral Sea was the world’s fourth-largest lake. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union began a massive irrigation project in what are now Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, diverting water from the rivers that feed the Aral Sea to irrigate farmland. As its water levels dropped, the lake began splitting into smaller pieces: the Northern (Small) Aral Sea and the Southern (Large) Aral Sea. The Southern Aral Sea further split into eastern and western lobes. The Earth Observatory’s World of Change: Evaporation of the Aral Sea feature tracks this process over the past decade.”
Population control is not a new idea, but it has recently been discussed in the context of the environment, some articles with tact and some not. China’s one child policy was instituted in 1979 to address social, economical and environmental issues. While the policies of the Chinese government were not because they were green, and I don’t condone them, they illustrate the reality of scarce resources. Because of the population density, more people led to poverty, poor living conditions, disease and famine. There simply were not enough resources in some areas to sustain the population. Fortunately, the world is not to the point where we cannot sustain its current population. However, we may be soon.
One article with good coverage of some of these issues is in a recent Scientific American Earth 3.0. The article discusses Malthusian limits, where population growth outpace the growth in agriculture. Since the Industrial Revolution, where production of all types increased, world population has exploded. Most people are aware of issues caused by increased energy consumption, like climate change. Climate change can have various effects on agricultural output, changing weather patterns make areas previously suitable to grow crops completely desolate. Many people are also aware of fresh water issues, especially if you live somewhere like Australia. Fewer people are aware that peak phosphorus could limit fertilizer production, severely reducing agricultural output.
There is not a question of if these issues will limit the growth of the population, it is a matter of when they will limit growth. Whether population control is mandated and enforced or not, environmental factors will limit the population. If sustainable practices are adopted, and resources are used wisely, maybe we can avoid another Malthusian catastrophe.