PeakOil - Why a Sense of Global Community is Needed to...

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Unformatted text preview: Why a Sense of Global Community is Needed to Survive the Coming World-wide Energy Crisis Peak oil, ecological carrying capacity, and the perilous phase transition to renewable energy sources. Presentation at the LMU Bellarmine Forum, November 7, 2005 Dr. Michael Mills Psychology Department Loyola Marymount University Some bad news, and some good news, about our future … • The bad news (according to ecologists and population biologists): – Thomas Malthus : • The population of a species increases geometrically • But the carrying capacity of the environment is finite , • Populations fluctuate between geometic growth and sudden die-offs – Our species may be no exception. – Carrying capacity of earth for humans is maybe 1 - 2 billion people (?) » And we are already have over 6 billion people… • The good news (according to “cornucopian technologists”): – Ray Kurzweil : • Scientific knowledge, like populations, grows geometrically too… – May allow us solve problems of carrying capacity, cure disease and aging, » Technology will help us overcome population overshoot and collapse. • The outcome of the Malthusian / Kurzwilian “grudge match:” – More than just an academic exercise • One of the two scenarios will likely occur – within your generation’s (college students’) lifetime . Overview of Presentation • Part 1: The Coming Worldwide Energy Crisis – The world is running out of cheap oil and other fossil fuels at a time when demand is increasing. • Part A: Malthusian Perspective : Possible worldwide economic problems, societal collapses, wars, and even population die-offs. • Part B: Kurzweilian Perspective : Technology will come to the rescue • Part 2: Why a Sense of Global Community is Needed to Survive the Coming World-wide Energy Crisis – Declining energy results in what game theorists call a “Negative-Sum Game” • This condition creates greater risks for social conflict and war. – How can people of the world cooperate to survive the energy crisis? Part 1: The Coming Energy Crisis • Part A: The Malthusian Perspective We have become “Oilcoholics.” • “Oil Storm” movie trailer: – FX Channel movie: “Oil Storm” (June, 2005). – Exemplifies our dangerous dependence on oil – What would happen if our access to oil was interrupted? • http:// www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/oilstorm/main “Oil Storm” movie trailer: Thomas Malthus An Essay on the Principle of Population • "It is an obvious truth, which has been taken notice of by many writers, that population must always be kept down to the level of the means of subsistence; but no writer that the Author recollects has inquired particularly into the means by which this level is effected..."-- Thomas Malthus, 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population • http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stepha Population in a Petri dish (from: http://321energy.com/editorials/petch/petch070505.html) Geometric rates of increase in a finite world…...
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2011 for the course PSY270 d54633 taught by Professor Hall during the Spring '05 term at University of Phoenix.

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PeakOil - Why a Sense of Global Community is Needed to...

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