Back in the 1970’s, the early seventies, I remember reading about how overpopulation would eventually kill us all. Fifty years later, which isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things, too many people wanting too many things has created a chain reaction of events that will end us.
California, once a land of endless farms and millions of people is drying up. There is no more water. China, once a land of far too many people, slave labor for the rest of the world, is drying up. India, a land of far too many people, slave labor for the rest of the world’s extended car warranties, is baking. Food production is down everywhere due to drought, high temperatures, and more people to feed.
The war in Ukraine, predictably, caused food shortages, but toss in those people who make money off misery and things are even worse. Much worse. Greed is the accelerant that fuels stupidity. And people are going to act stupid in times of trouble. But the war was only supposed to last a few weeks, not months. Much production that ought to have been is not. Much of the crop is lost. America is facing her own shortages of food, and suddenly, we’re one more disaster away from famine on a scale that is not only unimaginable, but beyond our ability as a species to mitigate.
New York City, home to twenty million people has on hand, in storage, enough food for one week. After that, twenty million people are going to start a migration outward, and the areas around New York will be stripped bare. A ripple effect, a tsunami of hunger, will begin to spread to other states. Other large cities will collapse, and as soon as Boston, New Jersey and other parts of the east coast megalopolis cave, the disaster will spread westward and to the south. The loss of critical east coast ports and air cargo sites will acerbate the situation incredibly.
In China, where cities with tens of millions of people can be counted by the dozen, the collapse of food distribution will happen much more quickly and on a much larger scale. India’s population will implode, then head outward, millions of people in cars and trucks, then on foot, crushing neighboring countries with refugees, in a scene that will be played out over the entire Eurasian continent.
In America, fractured politically and disinterested in unity of any sort, addicted to video games, binge watching and plastic, it will be nearly impossible to have a national response. Famine will create the urge not to solve problems, but to arm everyone. As it was once said,
“It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.
War endures. As well ask men what they think of stone.
War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him.
The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.
That is the way it was and will be.
That way and not some other way…
War is the ultimate game because war is at last a forcing
of the unity of existence. War is god…
Men of god and men of war have strange affinities.”
Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian,1985
You may not have realized until now, or you may not realize it still, but your entire life’s existence has led to this moment in time, and you are responsible for what happens next.