Hey, it’s Tuesday, and you survived another work day! Great job. Pat yourself on the back and have a cookie.
That is, if you’ve got one. One what? Well, one, in this case, could mean if you’ve got a job, or if you’ve got a cookie, or even if you have a laptop or smart phone on which you’re reading this blog, and the electricity to charge it up every night. All of those are things to be grateful for (especially the cookie) – and things that a lot of the world may have to live without, according to a United Nations report released on Monday.
The bare-bones numbers are, without me saying the dreaded “s” word, grim. And they’re un-
Nevermind, you don’t want to hear about that again – I’m sure all you lovely vegetables could finish that sentence in your sleep. Regardless, the cold hard truth is the following:
- The world’s population now: 7 billion
- The world’s population in 2040: 9 billion
- The amount that “middle class” consumers will increase by 2040: 3 billion
- The amount current food production will have to rise to meet this: 50% more
- The amount current energy production will have to rise to meet this: 45% more
- The amount of extra water we’ll need: 30% more
Perhaps more disturbing, though, are the facts presented about just how quickly we’re using our resources up:
There are 20 million more undernourished people now than in 2000; 5.2 million hectares of forest are lost per year – an area the size of Costa Rica; 85 percent of all fish stocks are over-exploited or depleted; and carbon dioxide emissions have risen 38 percent between 1990 and 2009, which heightens the risk of sea level rise and more extreme weather.
Yeah. About that.
But despite the fact that the United Nations is reporting it, we still in this country have viable presidential candidates that don’t consider climate change to be….real.
See, the problem is that the problem itself is much bigger than anything that can be solved by “Drill Baby, Drill!” We’re not talking about a couple dollars per gallon of price that you pay at the pump; we’re talking about millions (even billions) of people whose basic needs of food, energy, and water cannot be met. Historically speaking, that’s never a good combination. People who are really hungry and really desperate tend to eventually get very upset. And by very upset, I mean….that’s how wars and dictatorships start.
And, as with most major transitions or changes, this one might be a little more fun if we plan ahead. It’s kind of like that annoying parking ticket that you got when you didn’t think you should get a parking ticket – the more you put it off, the bigger the problem gets. Just on a global scale. Managing undesired events is usually a better idea as a life strategy than just letting them hit you unprepared with their full force.
Then again, there’s always this solution, brought to you by the jounalistic geniuses at The Onion: