Saturday, October 10, 2009, posted by Q6 at 8:30 PM
WARNING: This particular blog post contains perspectives and opinions that no one wants to acknowledge. (It's also probably the first in an infrequent series on this topic.)

I consider myself environmentally-minded. I print documents as little as possible. I recycle, both at home and at work (in fact, my recycling bins in both locations are regularly fuller than my trash cans). I drive the cleanest car on the planet, which emits nothing but water from the tailpipe. I turn lights off when I'm not using them. My front lawn is artificial. I use recycled paper products. I firmly believe that if more people did this the planet would be better off.

There is, however, a sad truth to face: it's not going to make a lot of big-picture, long-term difference.

As any scientist or logical person will tell you, the environmental problems facing this planet have largely to do with consumption. The more we consume, the more waste we generate; the more waste we generate, the larger the pile of trash we must deal with. Recycling helps to minimize this waste (and I use the term "minimze" loosely, since most recycling efforts don't put a dent in said trash pile). Even with all the recycling and greening we attempt, the amount of waste is so large that it's difficult with which to contend. Even if we recycled the majority of our waste, the pile of trash would still be huge, and the reason for that is simple:

There are just too many people on the planet.

In the year 1900 the world population was a mere 1.6 billion people, up from 275 million in the year 1000 (it took nine hundred years for the population to multiply to six times its size). By 1990, it rose to 5.3 billion. The curve growing ever steeper, today's population is 6.8 billion. By 2050, the world population is estimated to grow to 9.4 billion. Even if we recycle in every facet of our lives, there's only so much breathable air and drinkable water the planet can provide at a given time; that level is called the planet's "carrying capacity" for humans . . . and for the Earth, scientists calculate that level at 13 to 15 billion (which we could, theoretically, hit by the end of this--or the next--century).

I will, however, continue recycling, driving my clean car, and turning off my lights--I mean, what else can I do?

At 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

A valuable post on Personal Development

Karim - Positive thinking