It’s about the world.
As in, what if we were not here all of a sudden?
No people, in other words. How would things deteriorate? How would things improve? Who would answer you from the little speaker at the Drive-Thru? Stuff like that.
It was interesting as hell.
I may write a proper review of the book later, but for now, I just wanted to mention a real neat segment, where Weisman was discussing Global Population.
For the sake of brevity, I will not present a rundown of his sources, but the data seemed very well-researched and credible.
Let me summarize by saying that the current [as of 2004] worldwide human birth rate is 2.6 births per fertile female. Researchers speculate on what would happen if this current rate were reduced to one child per fertile female, and a projection is made.
Well. The numbers are interesting.
“If this somehow began tomorrow, our current 6.5 billion human population would drop by 1 billion by the middle of this century.” (By the way, if we continue at the current rate it will reach 9 billion by the same time!)
I already find that information quite astonishing.
But it gets wilder.
Keeping with this “one-child-per-human-mother” program: → “By 2075, we would have reduced our presence almost by half, down to 3.43 billion, and our impact by much more, because so much of what we do is magnified by chain reactions we set off through the ecosystem.”
And get this:
“By 2100, less than a century from now, we would be at 1.6 billion: back to levels last seen in the 19th century, just before quantum advances in energy, medicine, and food production doubled our numbers and then doubled us again. At the time, those discoveries seemed like miracles. Today, like too much of any good thing, we indulge in more only at our peril.”
In light of this amazing information [and particularly inspired by that last sentence] I am currently using some of the mathematical formulas in Weisman’s book to make my own prediction about something a little closer to home, for me.
Basically, I’m wondering: → If I limit my own hamburger-eating habits from the current 2.6 a day, down to just one, will I have a greater chance of LIVING to the middle of this century?