TED Conversations

Jeffrey Fadness

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Are we as a species like a viral infection that will eventually destroy its host...?

Modern man can trace its origins back some 200,000 years, at least anatomically, and 50,000 years back in behavioral modernity. Yet in just 211 years, from 1800 to 2011, human population grew from 1 billion to 7 billion souls. In the year 2011 alone, it's estimate that 135 million human beings were born, 57 million died, resulting in a net population increase of 78 million people in just one year! That's an average increase of nearly 214 thousand people daily, or ~8,900 per hour.

Assuming the rate of population growth stays constant, at this pace global population will double to more than 14 billion people in just the next 10 years. And then what? Do we double once again to 30 billion+ by the year 2033?

And will population growth actually continue to accelerate, with less attrition from continued gains in life expectancy through better health care and medical science?

Clearly, all these folks are going to need food, shelter, and things to do. More cars, streets, shopping and entertainment centers, business centers, government centers, learning centers, clothing, homes and the list goes on and on!

We as a species have been incredibly successful; much of which has come at the expense and impact upon other species, and our environment.

The Earth is a finite space with finite resources. How does this all play out? Do we eventually deplete and destroy our Host -- Mother Earth? What are the implications and what are the solutions...?


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    Mar 5 2013: Society has never truly changed when it has been slightly altered. We need forward thinking to break the mold... and not forward thinking as an end goal but as a ever evolving process. Teaching children to not see what is in front of them but rather what COULD be in front of them.
    The way that our world is operating craves attention.
    All of the problems we face as a planet are rooted in the need for resources and the control of said resources through the monetary system. This results in war, poverty, discrimination, possessive behavior, insatiable greed, etc.
    There is a project that incorporates technology, societal change, environmental awareness, and a global mindset.
    The Venus Project is the big picture view of the world's discrepancies placing emphasis on technological ways to alter the seemingly inevitable fate of our species.
    The open minded of our world have often been drawn to mindsets that promote the idea of interconnectedness within humanity as a whole and furthermore the connectivity between humanity and nature. This project affected my view of the future as a result of those aspects of thinking being upheld throughout the proposed society. Our world needs to begin working together to solve our problems instead of using bombs and threats to keep the top on top and the bottom on the bottom. The same concepts are used in our flawed economy.

    Eventually, the fighting OF resources (working against mother nature) and the fighting FOR resources (working against each other as humans) will fail or prevail. We will rise up against a previous way of thinking with new ideas and a broad/open mind to the technological possibilities for the future or we will be the reason behind our own extinction.

    My comment is a combination of my thoughts on the world and the thoughts of Jacque Fresco. To hear his Ted Talk click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzirIG55fkE

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