Imagine this; in an instant the entire world reduces their emissions by 50%. Some technological breakthrough like cheap solar power allows everyone to stop burning oil. Everyone all at once starts recycling. We all drink out of reusable aluminum bottles and no one uses paper plates. We stop printing tps reports out on paper, and we don’t let cows fart any more.
What would that do? Absofuckinglutely nothing. In the most developed country in the world, with probably the lowest fertility among it’s population, there are 15 children in the cul-de-dac of four houses down the road from where I live. The population growth in my neighborhood and the United States as a whole, is growing far less than that of less developed nations which make up the rest of the world. You see it’s not oil companies and shopping malls that are the scourge of the earth, it’s children.
Take the wildly optimistic fantasy land described above and double the population. All you’re progress just got erased. If you recycle half your trash, but you have 4 kids you’re still generating twice as much trash. The really bad news is that cheap solar and massive conservation of our resources isn’t going to happen (the people who run our world can’t profit from us using less).
There’s some good news though…kinda. The earth comes with built in population control. As population density increases fertility drops and we live shorter lives all despite advances in technology and medicine. We live and work in cubes, spend less time outside, and the quality of our food goes to zero. We must grow more corn in an ever decreasing surface area. Diseases spread more rapidly as we begin to live closer to each other. In undeveloped nations people starve and die. In developed nations people get fat and die. Over time we’ll eventually either start dieing faster or stop having kids faster, but by then the earth will be destroyed no matter what car you drive.
So next time you’re at the grocery instead of buying one of those reusable shopping bags, buy some condoms.