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A World in Trouble: Drought, War, Food, Flight


A World in Trouble: Drought, War, Food, Flight

Paul Rogers

Six years ago there were fears of a transnational famine developing across much of eastern Africa. At least 11 million people were at risk in what might have been the worst disaster of its kind since the early 1970s (see "A world in hunger: east Africa and beyond", 21 July 2011).

This impending crisis was not unforeseen.


The future will never again be what it should have been. The future where the Arctic Ice Cap still existed is fast becoming impossible. The future where arid lands could still support large numbers of people and their herds is fast becoming a future of deserts unable to support such populations. Deserts where water availability becomes a memory and drought unrelenting.

In short, the future we always expected to see has already become impossible but only just so. In ten years it will become even more impossible as will happen in twenty years and thirty et al. The future will never again be what it should have been. It will be something else entirely.

Drought conditions often cause famine in the third world until the droughts lift. That future is fading and we face a new future where the waterless conditions remain permanently. Where the droughts will never be lifted.

There is only this much grimmer future ahead and anti-immigrant policies now being put into place belie claims that global warming isn't real! It seems that waves of displaced refugees are already expected. One idiot even wants to build a wall while he loudly proclaims global warming is a hoax! Yeah sure it is.


The absolute real effects of global warming/poisoning are here now and will only intensify for the indefinite future. Things will only get worse from now on; they won't get better. Denial seems to be the administration's stand, which just exacerbates the problem. The military,(US) is one of the biggest emitters of GHG's so until they disband it the problem will intensify. Dystopia is here in some places already as water shortages, crop failure, intense heat, just adds to the overall problems. Perhaps a total collapse will usher in a real need for change because nobody wants to do what it will take to mitigate the coming disaster. It's real and the leaders won't do a damn thing, sad.


Funny how the climate change is sort of a problem, but The Population Bomb isn't.
Yeah, humans are really funny.


Climate change solves the population bomb..


The fact that we are still alive though is proof enough that the future is still worth fighting for. It might be too late to change a lot of things that are coming, most notably the effects of climate change, but at the very least we have a duty to fight to become a better people to face such a future.


Then what?

1) Countries MUST accept refugees.
2) IF there is enough food worldwide, THEN until populations are redistributed into areas where local produce is enough, transportation needs to supply the needed food.
3) Naturally we should all stop heating things up.
4) Naturally, we should all stop conflict.

But, for those of unable to work on some of the above, work on the others.


What over-population crisis with a global decline in birth-rates?...Oh, do you mean the "crisis" where more babies are surviving their early years and the old are living longer into their later years.
Let's bring back infanticide and euthanasia to solve this "crisis".
Eugenic proposers are really funny.


People act like extinction is inevitable. The end is not nigh! It isn't even near! Yes we make our lives miserable and can look ahead to dysfunctional dystopia but so? Yeah ...so?

So at some point we wake the F up and amid killer summer heat we invent a non fossil fuel civilization and we suffer through the worst before natural sequestering systems reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and the world stabilizes.

Yes we will have lost the bountiful Earth and created an Earth of scarcity and want but for that future, we strive to make it better.

Solar and wind power, electric vehicles, perhaps atmospheric CO2 scrubbing and sequestering etc. people act like the future is static. The end is nigh future in fact! I think the end of the good times and the days when all around us existed the biological miracle will be missed but we will adapt. Heck we might even figure out a way to solve overpopulation by traveling to other planets!

The future we make will be messed up by the greed of the present but by the time one future arrives (the global warming catastrophe) then we will be working on creating a new future (where it will be less climate chaos).

I think the natural world that we grew up in will be terribly damaged for a long time but eventually a new biosphere's distribution will stabilize. Palm trees in Alaska and boreal forest in Antarctica maybe but that is where our greed brings us! A cabana on the Artic Riviera? How about roads constructed of CO2 absorbing concrete? Solar paint?

No the future ain't what it used to be!

But then we won't be like the way we are now either.


A quick switch from mono-crops like palm oil, and a huge shift away fro animal agriculture could solve things for a long while.


You are 100% wrong. Climate change exacerbates over-population. People who are poor and starved have more children as bank accounts for the future. Crisis breeds breeding. Stability breeds educated girls who control their reproductive lives.


I started a FB group: Military, Militarism and the Environment with just that view.


The end term effects of climate change, that having the earth heated so hot that it can't sustain complex organisms, will technically solve the population bomb, if you consider extinction to be a "solution".


Thanks for your grim reply. I am one of those people who can look at what
is happening without denial. Consequently, I do not consider climate
change a solution -- only an exacerbater of suffering -- since I'm pretty
sure science says humans will go extinct because we wiped out biodiversity
and its ecosystem services far before climate change can kill us off.


So you are pretty sure are you? Science doesn't say any such thing. What it does say is speculative analysis based on present conditions and variables projected as they are to a future date. In other words, if you had projected a huge population increase in 1850 before the advent of electricity or the invention of internal combustion engines, phones, planes and eventually computers to the present era with no change in the technology (like from 1750 to 1850 for example) you would be sure based on science that our 7.5 billions would not be possible. And if the technology had remained as it was in 1850, you would have been right.

The technology changed and is now in a permanent inventive mode unlike any time in history. Look at the rapid change in solar technology in just the last ten years. Most people haven't kept up not realizing the changes and inventions from year to year are extraordinary. That invention technology which we are only just realizing is moving so fast that a decade now is like a century of change in earlier eras.

Will we be able to invent ourselves out of climate chaos?

We sure as heck could but not with a corrupt President like Trump attempting to prolong the use of fossil fuels and discouraging innovation in renewables.