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Thread: Book Review -Bottleneck: Humanity's Impending Impasse

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  1. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Book Review -Bottleneck: Humanity's Impending Impasse

    Quote Originally Posted by leegs View Post
    I have to agree with you. Humans are like whitetail deer, or cockroaches, or . . . We are extremely adaptable. As you said, one can be very skeptical as to our future comfort, but short of nuclear or biowar armeggedon, its hard to imagine no humans within the span of a 100 or 1000 years.
    All too true. Humans, Homo sapiens, if you will are like all other animal species. When presented with an open niche, in our case, a niche created by the 'discovery' of the relatively under-populated New World by a technologically and socially advanced culture, the human population grew exponentially. Then, with onset of the Industrial Era, when fossil fuels became expoitable, beginning with coal, and then petroleum, natural gas, and nuclear fuels, our culture and population continued to grow, far beyond the population that was previously sustainable on a solar-based economy. That is exactly what any other species would have done and does do in the laboratory when conditions are altered. Unfortunately, our species is not unique. We will discover this as the fossil fuel underpining of our culture is kicked out from under us. No, our species will not become extinct. The population will shrink very significantly however. The question is how rapidly the population will shrink and how we will handle the drop off as individuals and as a society as a whole.

    Fortunately, whitetail deer didn't become extinct when they were hunted nearly into oblivion to make buckskin britches during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Recently, they have prospered since their predators were largely eliminated and human predation was regulated in a 20th Century environment that saw an explosion of the forest-grassland interface (think suburbs), their natural habitat. They really aren't very adaptable. They still stare at headlights after all. Cockroaches on the other hand.... :eek:
    Last edited by reallife; 11-27-09 at 12:58 AM.

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