I read a story from this friend of mine who is into permaculture and climate change. His parable went like this: “Suppose there is a group of bacteria doubling themselves every minute. This bacteria is in a closed jar. It occupies one fourth of the jar, that is 25 % of the jar is full. Some of them are worried about the growth rate and try to warn the others. Others say 'Oh look here, we have so much space to expand. Three quarters is empty.' How long will it be before they fill up the jar and run out of space?”
Of course the answer is easy: Since they double every minute, they'll be 50 % in one minute and the next minute they occupy the whole jar. That is in two minutes: No more space, game over.
It's an impressive story.: At first sight. However, when you think about it some more... Unfortunately, or rather fortunately, life is not so linear as in the case of bacteria. Since I read about the horse shit problem in Michael Crichton's “Travels” I stopped caring about doomsday scenarios. What's the horse shit problem you might ask. It's the thing people were so worried about once upon a time. Just like we talk about population explosion and climate change today, people at those times were worried “Oh we have so many horses, these horses are producing so much shit, soon all streets will be covered in horse shit. What are we going to do?” Then, of course, their fears did not come true; the automobile was invented. Now, surely, we have other problems. Like air-pollution, running out of fossil fuels. But, and a big BUT at that, I believe there will be new technology which will make all these worries obsolete. Albeit, the same goes for the over-population fears. Who knows what awaits humankind? Who knows what disasters will strike? Who can say that there will not be a big natural disaster that wipes out a big part of our population? Why the need to predict the future? We all know of the many famous predictions and assertions of prominent people which turned out wrong and are only laughable to those us looking back from where we stand now.
There are also contrary predictions about population growth:
I prefer to believe in the more optimistic predictions.
This is not to say that we should act irresponsibly with a “Hell break lose after I die” mentality. (There are, in fact, so many things we need to change in the world and in how we live.) Just to not get caught up in the negative and live in fear. Just to do our best and hope for the best. Live with a trust in life.
Yes, Have trust in life.
It goes on as long as it goes on. That's how the game of life is set up. Both on an individual basis and for humanity as a whole.