The Earth Is Full. What To Do? (Watch)

Scientists claim we need 1.5 earths to sustain the current consumption levels. What happens when China and India rise to America’s consumption level? Activist and social entrepreneur, Paul Gilding tackles this issue at his TED presentation in a talk called, The Earth is Full. Humans solve the big problems only when in a crisis, Mr. Gilding says. Will there be time this time?

Paul Gilding's TED Talk: "The Earth Is Full"

READERS OF this blog have been so engaged in Robert Johnson’s post on overpopulation entitled, Why Overpopulation Trumps Everything Else. Everything!, that I’m here going to add to the mix by embedding a video of Paul Gilding’s TED presentation, called: The Earth Is Full.

The basic idea it that Earth is too small to provide for what is estimated will soon be 9,000,000,000 of us, all wanting to eat meat, live in houses, drive cars, etc.

Paul Gilding outlines the crisis scenario and wonders what “Mom and Dad” will say to their children who will ask, “What did you do when you saw everything breaking down”.

He makes the following points, compellingly fleshed out in the video below.

Fundamentally, life as we do it is unsustainable.

Right now we live life based on a crazy idea — that infinite growth is possible upon a very finite planet, because technology will save the day, won’t it? Maybe, but it has limits.

When we operate a system past its limits it breaks down. This will happen to us if things don’t change. But change doesn’t seem to be imminent… we can’t even agree on the problem. For instance, do you believe in global warming, and if so, that human contribute to it? If this post is read by the normal distribution of people in America, there’s about an even chance that you will either agree or disagree with this supposition.

The crisis soon upon us is larger than climate. It involves every pillar upon which modern society is built — down to having enough potable water for the burgeoning world wide population. The warning signs are everywhere evident, but we aren’t slowing down.

Humans don’t seem to tackle the big things until we’re in crisis mode. Fear motivates a powerful response.

The crisis in inevitable. The question is, how will we react? We will have to change how we think and what we do. We need to act as if we only have one planet. We need to choose the right path.

Watch Paul Gilding’s heartfelt exhortation for us to tackle the issues linked to a very over consuming, overpopulated world.

What do you think about this? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the future? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Last Updated on March 27, 2012 by Joe Garma

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Joe Garma

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
David - February 3, 2016

Human overpopulation is, ultimately, the cause of all the environmental problems we are aware of today. Fix the growing problem of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions? Way to go! But if human population isn’t dealt with, some other environmental crisis will soon emerge, and it’ll likely be worse than the issue of global warming.

I like to look at boundary limits, to see what is at the extreme edges of possibility. Explore that, see if it’s feasible. If not, move back towards feasible space. In thinking this way (and ignoring the possibility of suicide or forced death), there is one way to bring human population to zero within about 100 years, and that is to stop having babies. I’m not necessarily advocating this, I’m just presenting it as the boundary where we might learn if we explore. Within a hundred years we could have almost any population just by controlling birth rate, ranging from 0 to 10 billion or more.

Estimates of the number of humans Earth can sustain range between 0.5 billion and 2 billion. My opinion is that Earth would be better with fewer people (<= 0.5 billion) than more; that's beside the point…

No one is reading this so I'll get to the point. We're fucked. Let's give China the benefit of the doubt, and give them full credit for instituting the 1-baby law for all the right reasons vis-a-vis controlling human population. Two things: 1. China's population grew during the 1-baby policy; 2. China no longer has this policy because it didn't work and/or was unenforceable, or maybe they now want their population to grow faster for socio-economic and political reasons? Anyway, it didn't work.

Human overpopulation is a real problem that strangely isn't talked about. It's odd, if you google it, the main result is this creepy guy who's given Ted talks saying "everything is going to be OK". And then there are websites, etc., talking about overpopulation, but they don't appear to be well funded. Maybe the reason it's not talked about is because no one can imagine a solution that's not somehow Machiavellian.


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