Friday, October 23, 2009

By Subsisting on Air, We can DOUBLE our populationh

By Subsisting on Air, We can DOUBLE our population

Proponents of 'green living" tell me that by adopting spartan habits and living like Ghandi, we could make room for many more billions of human beings. Makes a lot of sense. Squeeze together more tightly so that more people can fill in the gap. Then repeat the process ad infinitum. But how could we feed such a population? Vegan proselytizers argue that we could do that by abstaining from meat consumption, thereby freeing up more resources to feed more people, who of course, will breed more people who will in turn inflict even greater ecological damage than ever before. Gotta love those efficiency paradoxes! But why stop at veganism? Why not a permanent fast, modeled on the lifestyle of cultists who claim to be drawing nourishment exclusively from oxygen?
Perhaps we could become a race of 15 billion “breatharians” who simply subsist on air in a world where thirst is decoupled from water use and hunger is decoupled from food use. As our population grows, so grows the pool of our ideas. As Julian Simon hypothesized, the law of averages would dictate that twice the number of people would double our chance of finding a genius who could invented a technology that would resurrect extinct species and replenish the soil without fossil fuel fertilizers. Failing that, we could experience a decoupling of our temporal existence entirely from a new extemporal life as disembodied spirits. A thermonuclear war over the desperate competition for scarce resources, the collapse of biodiversity services or searing temperature rises would do that for us. Freed from our earthly moorings, we would then be free from all ecological constraints, a state of being which growthists have already attained---in their imagination. The sky is the limit!

Tim Murray

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