Important Notice ….. WARNING!
[First Released October 2005]
Unless the global energy consumption is reduced rapidly—by mid 2006—to levels below 60 exajoules (6E+19 joules) annually (this level is about 12.4 percent of global energy consumption in 2005), our studies show that the runaway positive feedback loops and mechanisms that are destroying Earth’s ecosystems including ozone holes, global heating, extreme climatic events, toxic pollution, resources depletion, war, unethical behavior, and disease pandemics would reach the point of no return and overwhelm our life support systems rendering most of our cities uninhabitable by as early as 2015, possibly earlier.
Failure to rein back the global energy consumption to levels below 60EJ by mid 2006 would render the concept of sustainable management redundant (it seems highly unlikely that post industrial civilization would voluntarily sacrifice its perceived privileges and values in favor of sustaining life on Earth-see Stop Burning Earth). MSRB has replaced its EcoPreneur program with Ecological Disaster Rescue Operations.
Giga Trends [added March 28, 2008]
Consider the following scenarios that could dictate your future:
Global Heating. The earth is heating progressively resulting in the onset of many catastrophic climate events (and onset of new and old mosquito-borne and airborne infectious diseases exacerbated by global heating and dust storms from desertification). The mounting climate problems are just beginning to surface, however, there is a 30-year delay between the cause and effect: the exponentially growing human activities that release greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide, CO2; methane, CH4; chloroflourocarbons or CFC’s…) into the atmosphere and the warming of ocean waters. The rising sea levels caused by melting ice inundate all coastal cities and most of Northern Europe. Extreme weather conditions throughout the globe (arctic conditions in NE United States; long, severe droughts in China, US, Australia, S. Europe… a new ice age in Britain and Northern Europe…) disrupt life globally. About 20% the world’s cities with populations of 2-3 million or more become uninhabitable by 2012. Massive waves of human migration from the affected areas create domino effect that causes the collapse of the remaining population centers shortly after. But, we have the option to change that scenario!
Water, food and land scarcity. Planet’s supply of fresh water is simply running out. Water scarcity already affects about 40 percent of the world population, and the situation is worsening. The water quality continues to deteriorate globally from pollution, rising temperatures and overconsumption.
The exponential growth culture is irreversibly depleting also our natural food reserves resulting in collapsing fisheries, disappearing species …
The world’s arable land and top soil are shrinking. The pressure to produce more food is degrading the soil productivity resulting in desertification. About 6 million hectares of arable land are lost each year, blown away by the wind. The problems are further compounded by the eroding soils, mudslides… as well as contamination of the food chain by fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, synthetic chemicals, disease, harmful radiation, antibiotics…
More and more of the tropical rainforests are cleared, usually by fire, to provide land for grazing and cultivation resulting in the loss of innumerable plants and animal species. We are loosing more than 10 million hectares of forest and possibly as many as 27,000 species that inhabit them, each year.
Collapsing ecosystems. According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), at least 60% of ecosystems vital for supporting life are in danger of collapsing including fresh water, fisheries, air and water purification systems, and the ecosystems that regulate climate and natural hazards and control pests. The findings of the MA report have since been verified by numerous other reports.
The MA report findings are fully consistent also with the Pentagon’s so called ‘Weather Nightmare’ report, which describes dramatic worldwide ecosystem changes and rapid, Catastrophic Climate Changes resulting in massive political and social instability (from food shortages to violent storms, and from mass human migrations to wars for survival).
Collapse of Global Economy. The financial system disintegrates overnight: No banks; no money from customers, or to suppliers; no products or services; no employers or employees. Would you trade your last loaf of bread for a bar of gold?
Peak Oil. The world’s oil reserves are peaking: restricted movement by cars, fewer trains and planes; electricity blackouts, disrupted heating and refrigeration; restricted production of food and transportation; reduced utilities and services like water, sewage, garbage collection… fewer ambulances, poorer police services, disruptions to hospitals, schools, social services… closure of banks, stores, restaurants, bakeries…
Nuclear Energy. A Chernobyl-like meltdown has just showered your area with fallout (lethal radioactive dust).
[The Chernobyl meltdown (Chernobyl, Ukraine, 1986) killed 31 people. More than 135,00 people had to be evacuated from the surrounding 20-mile radius due to a very large release of radionuclides into the biosphere. More than 200 people were hospitalized for burns and radiation sickness. By 1996 an additional 14 deaths occurred among the more severely exposed workers. Strong evidence suggest substantial increase in thyroid cancers among children living in the area.]
Industrial Crimes. A Bhopal-like explosion (Bhopal, India, 1984) has just rocked your city releasing plumes of toxic fumes over the entire area…
[Incident at the Bhopal chemical plant owned by Union Carbide Corporation: about 40 tons of Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) escaped into the air spreading downwind over the city of nearly 900,000, killing 4,000 people and large numbers of cattle, dogs, cats, and birds. More than 30,000 people were seriously injured. Plant life was also severely damaged by exposure to MIC gas.]
Ozone Depletion. Atmospheric ozone shield, which protects life against harmful radiations, is depleting. Without ozone, life on Earth is not possible. Ozone depletion allows higher levels of UV radiation (UVA and UVB) reaching Earth’s surface and poses the biggest threat to life and the ecosystems. Increased UV radiation impairs human immune system, causing genetic mutations and increasing the risk of various diseases and incidents of skin cancer. Increased UV radiation retards crop growth by altering the physiological and developmental processes of plants and contributes to eco-feedbacks that increase the buildup of greenhouse gases, and reduces ozone. During the Antarctic ozone depletion season, the amount of UV radiation reaching Antarctica increases by at least 50 percent seriously affecting animals (including humanoids) and plants in New Zealand and Australia. In addition to Antarctica, ozone depletion now affects North America, especially Canada, as well as Europe, Russia and most of South America.
Exposure to UV reduces the survival rates of phytoplankton that form the basis of aquatic food chains. According to estimates, ozone depletion of about 16 percent could result in a disastrous loss of about 7 million tons of fish per year – almost 10 percent of the current annual global catch.
Toxic chemical and Industrial pollutants. About 94 percent of babies in your area are born sexless – caused by pesticides, synthetic chemicals, hormone disrupters …
Diseases. A combination of AIDS and other diseases like airborne and waterborne infectious diseases decimates the population in your area… The world meat production declines by 98 percent due to a combination of BSE, foot-and-mouth disease, and new animal diseases.
[The recurring outbreaks of BSE, foot-and-mouth disease and avian flue are previews of the looming disasters that will afflict livestock, poultry and food production worldwide.]
Production and Export. Your number one export market bans the import of your products. Overnight, your sales decline by 90 percent. Your main distributors inform you about the buyers unwillingness to carry your products. Your loyal customers boycott the goods because they discover your production methods are unsustainable. The way you acquire your raw materials, manufacture your products, or merchandise your goods irreversibly harms the environment. Your industrial-military establishment has buried so much toxic leftover chemicals in the land [cf. deadly Agent Orange buried in New Zealand] your farm produce, food and wine products have become deadly for human and animal consumption.
Scoring an Own Goal. You are a high achiever. You have garnered wealth in excess of several million dollars, happy in the belief that your children can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately, your new infant is born with an incurable congenital disease, or deformity, caused by ingesting dioxin (or toxic chemicals, mercury, heavy elements, radionuclide…) through the contaminated food chain. What good is your wealth if all the money in the world cannot reverse her condition or buy her a cure?
Nuclear war fought over depleting natural resources: Country A fires a nuclear missile at country B …
Natural Catastrophes Exacerbated by Extreme Climatic Events. Natural Catastrophes include earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, tropical storms, cyclones, extreme rainfall events, landslides, volcanic eruptions, fires, droughts and cause loss of life, property, topsoil and food sources. Triggered by increased human activity, sever climatic events are increasing in intensity exacerbating natural disasters. Natural and man-made catastrophes claimed about 112,000 lives worldwide and resulted in financial losses of about US$225 billion in 2005. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and the Tsunami claimed about 300,000 lives and made about 1.5million people homeless.
According to a report by British “charity” Oxfam, weather-related disasters, caused by global warming, have quadrupled over the last twenty years, reaching a record 500 per year and affecting an average of 254million people globally.
Some or all of the above occur simultaneously…
The above episodes—the inevitable consequences of the industrial civilization—represent only some of the highly probable future scenarios that will occur and reoccur in your lifetime…