A Perfectly Sustainable World Is Within Our Grasp

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You can pretty much reduce all of the big problems and predicaments facing the human race down to resources.

The over-indebted global economy? We’ve been living beyond the means of our current resources, stealing prosperity from the future to fund today’s demands and desires.

Society’s addiction to fossil fuel? Nothing will come close in our lifetime to replacing the energy we get from hydrocarbons. And as they deplete further over the coming two decades, higher prices, supply shortages and wars will result.

Accelerating ecological destruction? Vanishing species, topsoils, aquifers, canopies and ores are an alarm bell screaming that we are consuming our essential resources way faster than the planet can replenish them.

And the single greatest factor, by far, affecting consumption of the resources we humans depend on is the size and growth of our population.

This is a highly emotionally-charged topic; one that frequently triggers outbursts from any/every side. We’re taking a risk facing it head-on here, but we think to ignore it equates with sealing an unhappy fate for our species. In order to improve our destiny, society first needs to start having an adult-sized discussion on the matter. We have confidence the Peak Prosperity audience can do that better than most.

Too Many Of Us

As humans multiply on the Earth, our demands on the planet increase in proportion. And as new technologies enable us to harvest/mine/drill faster and more efficiently, our per capita impact on the planet increases, too.

When my Peak Prosperity co-founder Chris Martenson was born back in the early 1960s, human population on Earth was 3 billion people. Today it’s 7.8 billion. By the time he’s an old man, it will likely be over 9 billion souls.

That’s a 3x increase in humans on the planet during a single person’s lifetime(!). An infestation of humans, mind you, who are consuming more per capita with each passing year:

To truly get a sense for how fast the human race is multiplying, watch this short video from the American Museum of Natural History. As it notes, it took over 200,000 years for there to be 1 billion homo sapiens living on the planet. It only took 200 years more to exceed 7 billion. The jump from 7 to 8 billion is happening over the span of a single decade.

As you watch the video, notice how the clicks denoting the frequency of another million souls added resembles the sound of a Geiger counter detecting maximum radioactivity. It simply becomes a continuous droning hum when the present century arrives:

How much longer can the ferocious consumption demands of the human race continue before the last tuna is fished? The last tree in the Amazon is chopped down? The last freshwater aquifer is sucked dry?

And what will we do then?

Growth Is The Enemy

Nature is clear on what happens to organisms that exceed the carrying capacity of their environment: they experience mass die-offs. Always.

Be it amoebas in a petri dish, deer in a forest – excess population collapses when essential resources do.

Over the past few centuries, humans have succeeded in far extending their population limit by tapping the dense power embedded within fossil fuels while simultaneously expanding into new resource-rich territories.

But that era of limit extension has ended. There are no undiscovered continents left and the remaining deposits of fossil fuels are much harder to find and expensive to extract. And yet, the human population continues to grow.

So here we are, on a planet of finite and diminishing means, with too many people and more on the way.

Complicating matters further is the extreme imbalance of ownership of the resources that yet remain. As we’ve been pointing out for years, the deeply unfair nature of our elite-captured economy results in just a very few controlling the majority of the pie:

<img class=“aligncenter size-medium” src=“https://peakprosperity.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/2560px-Wealth_distribution_by_percentile_in_the_United_States-1.png” alt="“wealth distribution chart” width=“2560” height=“1283” />

The results we’re currently seeing from of all this?

Unsustainable overall demand and acute shortages among the dispossessed. Growing hunger, homelessness, oppression and conflict – and pandemic risk, too – across the globe. An increasing race to find, extract and consume the resources that are left. And a lack of investment in and maintenance of our existing world infrastructure, as that’s increasingly seen as ‘competition’ for the dwindling surpluses.

Our blind pursuit of ever more “growth” served our interests as a species as we evolved from nomadic hunter-gatherers into farmers and manufacturers. But it no longer does. In fact, it’s now an existential threat.

There are too many of us chasing too little. And it’s only going to get worse as we first exhaust what’s left and then succumb to the inevitable culling.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

In fact, we have the ability – right now – to create a PERFECT future for the human race. One in which our progeny will enjoy a higher average per capita lifestyle. Forever.

The Opportunity

A global society of nearly 8 billion people, primarily powered by non-renewable energy sources, is simply too much for this planet.

But the Earth is a big place. And while, yes, a growing list of key resources are beginning to “run out” given current overwhelming demand, what remains could be an inexhaustible supply if managed correctly.

Current science estimates that at a population of 1.5 to 2 billion people, the planet can guarantee ‘the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life’ to every person.

Let’s set a loftier goal, though. Let’s give everyone a great quality of life.

Assume for the moment, we could provide that to 750 million people, a population only 10% of the world today and yet twice that of the United States.

We’re talking excellent infrastructure: roadways, railways, ports, cities and towns built to last for hundreds of years with minimal maintenance.

100% organic food production, done sustainably and at scale within an ecologically closed system without the need for outside inputs like chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

This world would be powered by renewable energy which, given the much smaller density of cities, is much more realistic than today. Fossil fuels would be strategically tapped, but at rates far lower than today’s and only for investments that will increase society’s future self-sufficiency.

The unused infrastructure left vacant by the billions no longer using it can become a salvage source, reducing the need for mining for a long time. Centuries?

And stressed ecosystems can be allowed to recover and restored to their previous glory. Imagine the cod fisheries of the Grand Banks or the bison herds of the Great Plains back to pre-1900s levels.

It’s all possible. And we can do it all with existing technology. We don’t need to wait for cold fusion. Or for humans to start colonizing other planets.

It sounds amazing – no, unbelievable. Doesn’t it?

But it’s actually extremely achievable and simple. In concept.

If we were to work in concert as a global society, we can humanely create a gentle glide path to bring the world human population down to this 750 million level over just a few generations. Certainly within 150 years.

It can be done without a single person being euthanized, or being forced to live a diminished lifestyle (resource-wise).

It’s all about managing the birth rate. Mathematically-speaking, if we brought world births per woman down from its current ratio of 2.43 to 1, we’d halve the human population within 50 years or sooner.

Do this just a few more times and we’re at our 750 million target. At which point, we’d want to raise it again (but not too much!) in order to stay at that level.

In this way, we can create a global human society living in balance with natural resources, in which everyone participates in the resulting perpetual high degree of prosperity and comfort. Food, shelter, health care – all basic needs can be affordably met, sustainably.

The Obstacle

Of course, this sounds so easy and yet it's likely to never happen. Why? Because of our human nature.

I’ll bet nearly everyone reading this already has several questions/objections erupting in their minds:

Who gets to decide who can procreate and who can’t? Will certain ethnic/religious/socio-economic groups get preferred treatment at the expense of others? How will this be enforced? What will the penalties of non-compliance be? Is this just a veiled form of genocide?

Forgetting for a moment about the practicalities of getting all 7.8 billion people bought into this plan (40% of whom live in such poverty that they don’t have clean fuel to cook with), our human instinct for survival is our biggest obstacle here.

Our very reason to exist, evolutionarily-speaking, is to procreate. It’s hard-wired into our programming, just like breathing and eating. Convincing a single human to sacrifice their biological directive is a herculean challenge. Convincing billions seems an exercise in futility.

Humans can be extremely distrustful. And authorities these days only give us more scandal, fraud and abuse of power to be distrustful about. In a world full of victims of economic injustice, racial prejudice, class warfare, religious intolerance, ethnic conflict, and worse – how many will put their faith in authorities directing them to intentionally prune their future family tree, especially without any offer of an immediate benefit in return?

The fascinating field of behavioral economics helps us understand that humans are poorly-wired to face large, faceless future threats like overpopulation. As a species, we’re wired the same way our hunter-gatherer forebears were: for the visible immediate threat. The snarling tiger, crouched and ready to spring. Do we flee? Or fight?

Amorphous threats that will arrive at a future date, that we can’t directly observe worsening, and don’t feel any personal agency in (i.e., I could kill myself and the world will still have 7.8 billion people on it) – these we discount highly. Maybe the day of reckoning will never arrive. Maybe ‘someone’ will fix it. Maybe I’ll be gone by then and this will be someone else’s problem. Our brains are constantly looking to rationalize why we don’t need to pay attention to these indirect kinds of threats – even if the expected outcome is really severe.

So, the concept of planned humane depopulation is exceptionally simple. But the path to get from here to there is so filled with practical, ethical and behavioral minefields that it’s pretty much a guaranteed impossibility.

The Invitation

Given this impasse, what do we do? Simply resign humanity to a Mad Max future and pray it arrives after we're dead?

Here at Peak Prosperity, we are realists. We know our own efforts won’t be enough to turn the tide of humanity’s fate.

But we’re also optimists. We think that by becoming part of the solution, by bringing into existence the change we wish to see, we improve the future for ourselves, our families, and – if enough others take similar action – just maybe society at large, too.

Absolutely, humans have a tremendous capacity for resource consumption and destruction. But we also have the ability to be agents of tremendous regeneration and restoration. We can enable ecological recovery and production at a remarkable pace, oftentimes much faster than natural forces alone can achieve (watch this short video on soil building by Singing Frogs Farms as just one example).

Peak Prosperity’s focus on resilient living is rooted in this directive. Through this website, we do our best to educate and empower our readers to take informed action in their own lives to act regeneratively. And in the process, reducing their vulnerability to risk while simultaneously boosting their quality of life.

Chris Martenson has been very busy of late serving as a living model as he works to get his new property converted into a productive family homestead. His recent video detailing the specific projects and installations he’s implementing offers valuable and inspiring “how to” steps for those interesting in becoming more regernative to consider. (If you’re not yet a premium subscriber to PeakProsperity.com, enroll here to view it)

We get contacted all the time by readers who are desperate to start living differently, who feel trapped in a system they don’t believe in and crave a way of life better aligned to their values.

In Part 2: Breaking Free: Escaping the old system for a more meaningful life, we revisit a report Chris issued last year that has become even more important in the aftermath of covid-19 for those looking to change their trajectory for the better.

The virus has triggered an acceleration of the failure of the economic and social systems we depend on. Time is running out to decide whether you’re going to cast your lot with the failing order or become part of the solution.

Choose wisely.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access).

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/a-perfectly-sustainable-world-is-within-our-grasp/

The only way to save the earth that works with man’s nature is to go to space. To go to space for resources. To go to space to allow population to grow. Asking mankind to shrink like this article suggests is not possible given human nature as it has existed since Adam and Eve ate an apple. You would have better luck asking a wolf to become a cow. Whose population do you reduce first? The NAZI’s and the Communist Chinese have tried to answer that kind of question, and neither of their solutions was civilized or humane. We need to find solutions that work within the scope of human nature as it is, not as some might wish it to be. Either we go to space, or we will turn earth into Easter Island bit by bit. We might be able to slow our consumption through technology, but we won’t be able to out run the parabola of human population. People on Easter Island probably thought of changing their nature too, but it didn’t work.
The other issue I see is that people that embrace the idea of reducing population and who can grasp that we are facing an eventual existential problem if we don’t get our populations demand for resources under control, are exactly the people who should be having lots of babies but they are not. They are the smartest in terms of seeing the future, but they choose a biological path destined to fail. Instead the world is going to burst with population growing from the groups that do not control their population whatsoever and who are growing their populations exponentially faster than everyone else. They are the dumbest, perhaps, but biologically they are the smartest, because biology has always favored those who reproduce the most. And that works until you follow all the other lemmings off the cliff.

Many share your opinion. Jeff Bezos stated a similar sentiment when he explained why Blue Origin (his spaceship project) is most important to him, in an interview done some years ago.
The fact of this matter is that human beings have lived in steady state culture for many thousands of years before the recent exponential growth phase. We don’t have to consume and kill off everything and then move to unspoiled lands. That is not an inherent nature. (I keep thinking of the Edo Period in Japan, which developed a very sustainable society (recycled everything, stable population) for about 200 years in this context) We lost our ability to pay close attention to our immediate environment. We forgot to honor, respect and pay close attention to the physical forces from the environment that buffet us, such as weather. We need to get back to steady state culture again before starting another exponential growth phase in an extremely unforgiving environment in outer space that quickly kills those who act selfishly, emotionally and impulsively in my opinion. We need to unlearn consumerism that we learned from our exponential growth phase.
I suggest that a middle ground is best (and a likely alternative):
a. we will (have to) learn to live more sustainably for a generation or two or more. We need to develop homeostatic mores, cultural habits where we recycle everything and learn to live with our differences FIRST before we expand into outer space. This is because we must create sustainable ecospaces as the basic requirement of living in outer space. Outer space is not for mindless consumers of resources, for emotional non-rational people to inhabit, or for sociopaths. We are not ready yet.
b. Going out and living in outer space REQUIRES a more sustainable mind/set of values and habits. We need to live sustainably before we take off (pun intended) because living in outer space (especially long trips to far away places) is all about sustainability. We need to create and live within artificial ecospheres. That ability will be learned after we re-enter steady state during the new dark ages.
c. we will learn to tame nuclear transformations for energy, it’s coming along. I am confident that a hundred years from now or later, we will have the right stuff to combine with an enhanced ability to live sustainably (both physically and spiritually).
John Wayne and Lone Ranger types will not and cannot develop civilization in outer space. The people that succeed will come from sustainable communities.

Any time I read this idea of salvation through space travel I want to hit my forehead on the table in despair! Really? We stand on the edge of global collapse and we are going to get off this rock and what? colonize the solar system! I want to argue all the points why its so absurd but mostly I find it very discouraging that on this site of all places the idea is even taken seriously. Because I rather laugh than cry and Dan Aykroyd said it best:



Sorry, but this is absolutely NEVER going to happen in any form - we might as well be dreaming about colonizing Mars.
A short list:

  1. Strong disagreement among LOTS of people. Outright resistance by many, indifference by some, and ignorance of the program by a few.
  2. Biology. Never bet against the sex drive.
  3. Human nature and behavior. People respond to immediate concerns over abstractions.
  4. Stupidity.
  5. The real risk that such an initiative would end up as a genocidal, soul-crushing, totalitarian nightmare.
  6. The ultimate good result would accrue to a future generation - and we see how concern for the future generations is going. Not enough people are willing to change their behavior for an abstraction.
    Perhaps this result could be achieved if we were to turn the rest of the planet into Japan - but it will take too long and consume too many resources to make every other culture suicidal.

I’m a big fan of permaculture principals. Although it probably wont save the world, those who employ its fundamentals and pass it onto generations moving forwards I think will be better off than most.

@sebastian I never viewed this concept from the “we” view. I always inserted a “NOT” in your

we are going to get off this rock and what? colonize the solar system!
Humans though, a select few, are getting off this rock, right now. Some may well colonize the solar system. "We," on the other hand, are indeed stuck to the planet, right here, right now.

Great article, very well written. While the concepts are sensible and logical, we as humans can’t even get a reliable study done on HCQ. So much for saving the world.

As I see how hard it is to change behavior in the face of a relatively quickly exponential … covid19
I understand that there will be no serious societal response to Energy Descent and climate change. It is just too slow to be seen and understood by enough to make serious changes at a societal level

Great thought experiement article.
I like the math that shows everyone (current population of earth) could fit in texas with a reasonable single family home size with yard. You guys rock at dismantling bad arguments, so feel free to poke holes in that one.
But assuming it is basically accurate, it would seem that the earth could support our current population if we lived more efficiently. Nutrient cycling. Permaculture style.
So if we spread out, got self reliant, worked hard in the dirt like Chris. Then what. Would our kids reproduce at 1x or 3x rate? Where would parcel of dirt for them come from?
It does seem the reproduction rate / human nature issue will be a factor even in a thought experiment.
As weve seen w masks, scarcity and laziness leads to lying and graft which breaks trust. So unless we rebuild trust, we cant just make the rational case to fix our trajectory.
So, yes, a population collapse is coming. Perhaps its being engineered preemptively by those who claim to be situationally aware. Elite awoke.
But, put any color lipstick on that at its still democide.
I like your approach better. Do right, speak right, let the chips fall. Sleep well.

Can someone tell me what the resources are in space that will keep us all alive? Has a new energy source that can replace fossil fuels been found out there that I don’t know about? Have we even discovered water there? I don’t understand how this new frontier will be our salvation.
I certainly believe that if we invested as much time, money etc in conservation and technology to decrease consumption and increase conservation of resources instead of space travel, that would go a long way. Add to that a decrease in the enormous amount of useless waste in developed countries where frivolous consumption rules. The people growing all the food they need on a 1/4 acre and then some should be the norm. We can’t all have 182 acres :).

Sorry. I would like to, but I just can’t believe flying off-planet will solve our problems. The first overwhelming issue is that everything near enough for us to colonize in the next century or more will need massive provisioning from the very earth we’re already exponentially depleting. Massive provisioning. Resource-wise, those colonists would be the most expensive members of the human species, consuming many times what even the most extravagant earthling consumes. The calculus is not good.
Really, I think the conceit of moving off-world is just an extension of the same fanciful idiocy that makes the megalopolis seem like a good idea. People in cities think everything they need and want is available at the local supply depot (bar, club, grocery or department store, uber delivery, drone shipment). They seldom have any to-scale understanding of the real cost in resources of appropriating, processing, and delivering their lifestyle to their door. It’s all abstracted. And then the detritus is shipped back out from the city to the rural areas they’ve colonized to supply them. No muss, no mess, no fuss living. It ain’t really real. And to top it off, the urbanites cop condescending attitudes toward the rural people whose lives have been oriented around supplying distant mega-cities from local resources, which impoverishes local economies and ecology. (I mean the disdain of “coastal elites” for “flyover country” rubes.)
Economists talk about this issue as the provisioning of resources, and the appropriation of resources. The questions are about who is responsible for provisioning, who has rights of appropriation, how the two are interconnected or distinct, and what are the benefits of compliance and penalties for cheating or breaking the rules. My take-away from looking at the material: if the appropriators are not also the provisioners, there is no accountability for resource appropriation and cheating is far more likely. That’s because the appropriators don’t understand the true cost (in time and labor) of provisioning, and so use resources with abandon. When appropriators must first provision the resources they get to appropriate, they are much more conscientious and show greater willingness to follow group provision and usage norms.
Cities don’t provision what they appropriate. They get away with extracting resources from the countryside around them - even from the third world - and exporting their trash back to the countryside - and even to poor countries - because they have the numbers to overwhelm local desires in the locales over which they exert economic, cultural, and political power. That’s not democracy; certainly not self-rule or localism.
But no city, especially megalopolis, can survive on its own resources, while every rural village could. So cities are fascist and elitist by necessity - residents have to think they deserve what they extract from others, and they need their government strong and embedded into business in order to assure regularity in provisioning and to secure some rough adequacy (recognized fairness) in appropriation rights within the city; they also have to dominate governments and enterprise in other locales, at far distances, to expropriate wealth from afar to be consumed in the urban area.
Flying off earth and colonizing other planets is nothing more than megalopolis living writ large. Like all city living, colonization of space will require strong governments to regulate the flow of resources in and the flow of garbage and sewage out. In space, regimentation has to be stronger because the risks of provisioning breakdown or appropriation cheating become more immediately life-and-death for everyone.
The provisioning will all have to come from earth, the appropriation will all take place far away from earth. The costs in resources just to go off-planet would stress our planet’s ecology. Plus the structural dependence of the colony on earth necessarily breaks the accountability standard. Only a strong off-planet government will be able to regulate in-colony appropriation and punish cheating with sufficient severity to curb it. And only a strong on-earth government will be able to both limit the demands of the colony and force the provisioning of the colony by earth’s people as planetary resources become increasingly scarce or very expensive.
Imagine the tensions. There is no salvation in the idea. Only a resource-rich planet can afford to subsidize such space-based visions.We are not that planet. We can’t even sustain our currently sized urban centers indefinitely, and they’re still growing. Looming disaster seems increasingly easy to predict, without adding a space colony.
I don’t hold out hope we’ll get wiser about how we live on earth. Human progress has been motivated as much as anything by our innate quest to develop technology simply to make it easier to survive, thrive, and multiply. Who chooses to work harder rather than smarter? (Answer: only those who know they have a resource safety net under them. Third world people will always adopt machines to increase results with decreased labor because their survival depends on it and it makes a material difference to the quality of their lives. First world people will sometimes - not often, but sometimes - choose the hard way because their survival is assured, and they have a good enough quality of life in reserve that they can play at going off-grid or working by hand or draft animal, understanding that if it becomes tiresome they can get a tractor or move back to the suburbs and city. Meanwhile, they won’t skip a meal or face an injury without access to medicine.)
The longer I live on my rural acreage and involve myself in the seasons and patterns of nature, the clearer it becomes that every species and every individual within a species seeks its own expansiveness. I fight a continual battle with wild raspberry plants that want to convert my natural field into forest. I understand why nature seeks dense canopy coverage, and I know the role of aggressive colonizers in the grand scheme. But those raspberries do not grow into a space without crowding out - killing - prior species. And each plant within the patch seeks to extend its own reach in competition, not cooperation, with each other plant. Together, they operate to cover my field with a more dense protective layer than the underlying grasses can achieve, which also assures the ongoing survival of wild raspberry as a species. But individually, they mindlessly grab what resources they each can even if doing so works against the welfare of other wild raspberry plants.
The rabbits, hedgehogs, field mice, birds, foxes, and bears are no different. Nor, for that matter, are my chickens who will thoughtlessly start consuming an injured - not even dead, yet - coop mate if they have the opportunity. And each bird will grab as much of the resources available to the flock as that bird’s strength allows, at the expense of each other bird.
We are no different. We are animals, and deep down that rules over our sense of morality and ethics, it governs our reasoning and most often turns rational thought into thoughtless rationalization. It gets steadily worse for us when we cut ourselves off from ongoing interaction with nature and natural processes.
I am convinced cities are not just destructive for extracting far too many resources from “away,” and wasting them on unfettered appetite fulfillment, but that they untether the human mind from the limits imposed by nature as experienced in the country - where streetlights don’t come on at dusk to banish the dark, where there is no local all-night restaurant or bar, where you can’t call up for pizza delivery at noon, let alone at midnight, where animals need to be fed and milked and turned out to pasture and brought in for winter no matter how cold you feel or how hot the summer sun and humidity have made you, and crops have to be planted in the spring even if the black flies and mosquitoes extract their pound of flesh from you in tiny bites and welted, itchy skin, then weeded and harvested and either sold or put up for the winter before frost kills a hard summer’s work.
If we were still a predominantly agricultural society (or species) I could harbor some hope we’d learn from our daily interactions with the real world around us that we cannot keep multiplying and consuming with abandon, however increasingly efficient we become, without exhausting our niche and causing our own die-back. Since our daily “wants” are no longer limited by the provision supplied by nature where we live, nor by the limitations imposed by natural processes, I think we have no chance of choosing limits for ourselves. We see no inherent reason to impose unwanted personal limits; and even though we recognize the necessity of strong governments to guarantee that the provisioning processes and appropriation rules operate, we don’t recognize their right to limit our “freedom.”
I heard a wag comment that Americans don’t favor “socialism,” we favor “gimme-ism” on both the Left and Right. We want what we want. We might think our society squanders too much resource wealth, but we also each think we individually should be able to have whatever we want and can afford - or even if we can’t afford it. (Bernie Sanders, America’s iconic Socialist, thinks we don’t need several dozen brands of deodorant, but he also thinks he has the right to own 3 homes. Who among us is really all that different? Looters have been gang-rushing stores, even before the recent protests, because they think they have a right to take things they want but can’t afford.)
We’re not going to learn to forego our “wants” either soon or easily, because we have confused fulfilling our appetites with securing our individual rights. That confusion is going to get worse as our cities grow larger and our government less ethical. I don’t believe the trajectory will reverse until something breaks. And when something big enough breaks, all hell will follow.
We’re facing a lot of breaks in our future until we finally exhaust the carrying capacity of earth for the human animal. Then comes the die-off we’ve so successfully forestalled through exponential increases in our rate of depletion of that carrying capacity.
That’s why I’m building out a generational ark as a “100 Year Solution.” I can’t assure my family will continue to use it, but I can give them that option. I think it’ll soon become obvious it’s their best option to rediscover living close to the land, tending one’s own garden.

We will never run out of resources and while we might send a few hundred to establish a beachhead on another planet/moon in our solar system, that won’t impact population one bit.

That’s it/

I’m glad that overpopulation has finally been brought up. It’s such a taboo subject to talk about.
My husband and I have decided not to have children for so many reasons, and he just got his vasectomy last week. It wasn’t a hard decision for us as it seems impossible to raise a child in this current culture and I wouldn’t want to bring them into this depressing world.
It can allow us to have the time and the means of at least creating a beautiful permaculture homestead in our community, even if it doesn’t change the trajectory of the rest of the world.
It definitely feels like the movie Idiocracy has become reality, and there are days where as a species I wish we were done for. But then I spend time in our food forest or sit around a fire watching the lightning bugs and shooting stars and have some hope for us yet.

I agree.
Once I posted on another bulletin board that we must reduce the world population. The responses that I received were to the effect “that there is plenty of room for population growth we just have to …” - and then there followed a litany of energy intensive, ecologically destructive techno-fixes that would supposedly allow us to keep adding billions to the global population without end.
A lot of people think like that.
In many developed countries population is decreasing naturally, but governments actually institute programs to encourage population growth in order to increase “economic growth.” In Denmark, for instance, the government actually sponsors advertisements encouraging couples to have more children.
In France, Emmanuel Macron denounced French citizens who oppose mass immigration, calling their objections “racist.”
It is the same here in the United States. If you oppose immigration due to concerns about overpopulation you are roundly denounced as being xenophobic. People won’t even listen to environmental or quality of life arguments. If you oppose mass immigration, you are simply a “racist.”
Every time I see trees being being bulldozed for a new housing development or a new strip mall, I just shake my head and say to myself “when will this end?”
Well, it will end.
The problem of overpopulation will indeed be solved.
But it will be solved by a systems crash, not by rational planning.

The best and biggest farming, farming technology, sustainability conference in the world happens to be in the mid-west of the US: acresusa.org . I suggest (strongly if I may) that folks join Acres, get their quarterly paper, and go to their conferences!! Huge huge can’t talk up Acres enough! For a decade we’ve known (from Acres speakers) that global warming can be reversed with “mob grazing of grass fed animals”. Carbon sequestration of how nature is supposed to work, and WILL work if nudged is amazing.
The Dollar; I’m but one semi educated guesser on the topic of dollar crash vs rally; My views are; The dollar will not crash (sorry gold bugs) due to TINA; there is no alternative in the world and will be the reserve currency for life times (probably) certainly for the near future. IMHO the best thing for the economy, stock market is for the dollar to drop into the 70’s!!! Our exports will fly off the shelves and the stock market go to the moon. BUt as it is hovering in the high 90’s edging into a rally its hurting everything! I wish for a dollar drop. But am pretty certain it will not happen any time soon.
I remember one force selling the dollar was the Japanese yen/bond carry trade in the 2000’s helping the market rally and dollar drop into the low 70’s for a while. I don’t know enough about world dynamics to not understand why the carry trade seems to be dead and TINA forces more in play propping the dollar up but I fear we’ll have a strong dollar for some time to come. ;(
Mean time please look into acresusa.org . This part is great news.

Hi, I left a longer comment at the bottom, mentioning here an increadible org dedicated to advancing farming sustainability and saving the soil, earth and the family farm is:
acresusa.org annualy conferences every fall in the mid-west, a qtrly newspaper and training / education events around the country. JIMHO if you believe in peak you’ll love acresusa. Take care.

Man did live sustainably before the development of agriculture. But, ever since we figured out how to produce more than we could eat we have been on the exponential path of growth and our nature has been on that same path. I should say we should try both solutions, but let’s give up the ideas about controlling population. There is no way to do that without becoming totalitarian. The question will instantly become whose population do we control first? I don’t about you, but I won’t be a volunteer for taking the jump depicted in the video attached below with my family. I don’t think many people that will volunteer for it either…so then that leaves force, and somehow I don’t think that will be very interesting to many people either. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpMvIZRUPf4
Let’s pursue conservation ideas, and try to be more sustainable for sure. But, let’s also get into space. Sooner or later something will happen to make earth unsustainable for most human life, lets make sure that we have gotten sustainable in space before that happens. Sustainable communities will be best able to weather the things that earth will do to try to return to stasis. The hoards won’t be able to adapt, but the smart will. In the meantime, my advice is that the people who are here at PP should be looking to grow their populations. Have kids! Tell your kids to have kids. Grow strong and sustainable families. Western Civilization is self selecting to disappear currently, so sustainablity will disappear as we disappear. The whole idea of living a life of expensive vacations, driving fancy cars, being wealthy in $, but having 1 or 2 kids doesn’t work in the long term. What works is having farm, raising 6 kids to work it, and teaching them to be good stewards of the land, and good honest upright people. Until something changes biology selects based on the populations that grow and survive. Those who have 1-2 kids will be controlled by those who have 10 kids with three wives. To save earth, the smart people need to have lots of smarter kids. I know it is simple minded, but I don’t see any other solution working.

Like that idea can ever work, not having kids gives the world to those who will have lots kids, and those people do not share any of the PP mindsets. My advice to those considering this issue is to look at the Middle East. Ruled by a religion and a mindset that is growing incredibly fast in population, it is a desert there in part because they do not understand sustainability whatsoever. There were once large forests in areas of Syria,Israel,Iraq, and they cut down every tree to support their growth. Their concept is more, more, more. It is a huge demonstration of man affecting his environment, and this was done long ago when man didnt even have oil to burn. Now, look at Norway, people have lived there for thousands of years and you can still drink the water in most lakes and rivers there. Mindset matters, but you have to have kids who have enough power to protect those ideas of a civilization that can lead to or maintain sustainability.