GMO’s and overpopulation

I have good news and bad news about overpopulation.

The good news is that the rapid increase in the world population of humans seems to have been caused by the industrial revolution but once we’ve gotten past the transition, population is finally beginning to stabilize. The total number of human babies being born each year has leveled out in the last quarter century or so. It’s highly likely that we’ll peak at 11 billion and won’t go any higher than that.

The bad news is that 11 is probably way too high to be sustainable in the long run. Even if each of those people have a very small ecological footprint, it’s just too damned big when you multiply it by 11 billion. The question of what size human population actually would be sustainable is the subject of much debate, but I think the answer is someone around 1 billion.

Overpopulation is still a problem. And GMO crops are going to make it worse.

Even IF it turns out that GMOs are 100% beneficial and harmless, with no unintended consequences, the mere fact that it promotes population growth should be enough of a reason to dislike it. Add in the fact that GMOs promote monoculture and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. And that’s even assuming that they DON’T have dangerous side effects which we haven’t had time to identify yet.

Imagine you have ten mice in a cage. Every day you put in enough food for ten mice. Come back in a year, how many mice will there be? Ten. Keep putting in enough food for ten mice and the actual population will hover around ten mice. But suppose you are a malicious, cruel, sadistic bastard who actually wants to see lots of starvation. What strategy would maximize your cruelty? Gradually increase the food in the cage to feed 20 mice, then 40, then 80, then 160, then 320, until the mice are so overcrowded that they are wallowing in their own filth, and then abruptly go back to only giving them enough food for 10 mice. Watch 310 mice die of starvation almost overnight.

Mechanized agriculture doesn’t cure starvation. It helps to create the conditions which make starvation more deadly, when the system eventually fails.

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Sex is weird

When you think about it, sex is just plain weird. I mean, from a biological standpoint, the purpose is to get sperm from the testicles to the uterus. So what’s required is insert penis into vagina, eject sperm onto cervix, done. But that’s totally not what happens.

Think about getting an apple out of your refrigerator. Open the door, take the apple, bite it. Now let’s look at how it would go if this was like sex.

Approach refrigerator slowly. Compliment the refrigerator. Give the refrigerator a hug. Spend the next 10 minutes hugging. Slowly open the door. Now close it again. Open it again, a little faster, then close it. Open it, close it, open it, close it. Repeat for about 5 minutes. Reach in a grab the apple. Now put it back and close the door. Open and close the door rapidly for 2 more minutes. Grab the apple. Bite it. Close the door. Lean against the refrigerator for 10 minutes while you eat the apple.

Sex is weird.