Wednesday, June 16, 2010

January 2008

Now you'll have to understand that what I am about to type is mostly generalized information, although it is merely a base for you to draw your own conclusions.

We hear so much in the media about global warming this, and global warming that, that you'd almost think the world was going to end in 10 years. Yep, those arctic ice caps are going to melt and we'll all be under water. It'll be a like a bad Costner flick. Before that happens though, we'll run out of fossil fuels and the world economies will spiral out of control, oh, and that's after WW3 occurs.

So QUICK, buy Toyota and Honda hybrids, convince everyone to boycott petroleum products, starting building boats that double as bomb shelter because we're going to be going for a wild ride!

Or not.

In reality, scientists predict that even if most of Antartica melted, the rest of the world would only see a 20-30ft difference in ocean levels. Ya, I know, that puts some of your favorite beach destinations under water, but hey, at least you're not riding around on a catamaran looking for land. Oceans rising are definitely not the end of the world. Even if you said that it would only take 50 years for this event to happen, it would be so gradual that it would likely only affect those who now own beach front property. For the rest of us? We're just that much closer to the beach.

So global warming isn't that big of a deal, at least as far as the human race is concerned. A couple million years ago, give or take, the world was probably much warmer than it is today, or even will be in 200 years. Volcanic eruptions happened so regularly, that they drastically changed the earth's environment for millions of years, until they slowed, making the last thousand years pretty nice for modern human's. Let's say that average temperatures rise a few more degrees, some weather patterns get thrown off, and suddenly, Canadians can grow corn a little bit longer. More ethanol eh? Besides, if the ocean is that much closer, I'm going to want warmer weather, aren't you?

So far, even on catastrophic levels, global warming doesn't seem like a big deal, but I didn't write a blog post this long to tell you to start driving SUV's. Plus, why would you with gas prices this high?

No, I wrote a blog post to start an idea in your head.

What if Al Gore, instead of waging a war on global warming, was waging a war on population growth and urban sprawl?

Even the liberals would think he was nuts!

Informal projections believe that by 2050, there will be a total world population of 9 billion people. Current population is above 6 billion, so it's safe to say that for every 2 people there are today, there will be another added to the mix in 42 years. Argh, and traffic sucks as it is! That's the real inconvenient truth.

That means, we will need to meet the food production needs for a whole lot more people over the next 50 years. That means we will need to find space for the extra bodies, and keep them from fighting with other bodies.

That means, it'll be even harder to find a spot on the beach, even if it is a few miles closer! Drat!

Thing is, population growth has been affecting food production, urban sprawl, pollution, violent crimes, cost of living, the fall of the dollar and mountain lion attacks. The more the human race expands the more problems it seems to have.

So while driving a hybrid car to work may seem like a way to slow pollution, the problem is that you have to drive to work in the first place.

While we may someday run out of fossil fuels, the real problem is that we have to use them to fuel our vehicles to go get our food and our food has to be shipped to us because its all produced so damn far away because our farmland is being replaced with developments which in turn pushes agriculture to other areas destroying natural habits which force dangerous animals closer to populations.


What do we do?

Simple answer, we plan. We plan things better than we have over the last 100 years. Yes, there is tons of open space out there, but there is also much more open and unused space in our cities.

While yes, those ugly cookie cutter townhomes and apartments you see popping up everywhere may seem like suburban sprawl at its finest, it is actually that high density high efficiency housing that is future of housing growth.

Although the city might not seem like the best place to live, it offers many advantages to the country side. Your closer to work (most jobs in the U.S. are service or technology based), your closer to forms of entertainment, and closer to markets that more than likely have local produce that only travel a few miles to get there.

The reason Wal-Mart has grown is because people are willing to drive to the middle of no-where, or from no-where to the middle of some-where to get cheap stuff, but yet they won't buy from the produce stand right down the street.

The city isn't a bad place, it's just our society has in a sense "given up" on trying to solve the problem of high density populations.

Well I can tell you, those problems, no matter where you live, won't end anytime soon.

If we can expect to be living peacefully over the next 100 years (I could care less about after that because I'll be dead) we need to start moving towards our community ties.

Say hello to your neighbors, take a walk around town, go your local government meetings (planning/zoning commission meetings), volunteer, promote local small business, take birth control and where a condom.

The world ain't getting any bigger!

1 comment:

  1. The issue with the polar ice caps melting isn't rising sea levels, man. It's the drastic shift in weather patterns. All that ice is fresh water. That doesn't mix with the salt water once it melts and it shifts the global ocean currents. That's going to cause a big mess.

    I do agree with your points on urban sprawl though. There are way too many people out there.