The Bryan Times,

Re: The Dec. 26, 2019, The Bryan Times Public Forum, “Preventing potential problems,” by Jerry Bergman, that proposed some “quaint” solutions to the climate change crisis. What the writer neglected to account for is the fact that we are adding roughly 80 million people to this planet every year. It’s not that the solutions won’t work, but they would simply be overwhelmed by the sheer size and scope of the problem that confronts us.

Another problem that looms even larger in the background but nobody wants to discuss is the ticking time bomb of overpopulation. We are barely 20 percent in to the new century and we are already over 7.5 billion people on this planet. Demographic projections show a global population of 9 billion by 2050 and 12 billion by 2100. Widespread famine and starvation in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, South America and even the U.S. will probably prevent us from reaching those levels, but the upward trajectory is unmistakable.

Certainly, if there was a breakthrough in fusion technology and clean, unlimited energy became available, we could address some of our more pressing problems. We could build massive air scrubbers in remote parts of the world and let them run unabated for a few centuries. We would no longer have to burn fossil fuels to produce our energy.

If science and technology could develop a method whereby people could upload their thoughts and feelings, their intellect and personalities to the ‘cloud,’ a majority of people would select that option rather than face overcrowding, old age and infirmities. We would not only have a repository of human knowledge, we would also have a storehouse of billions if intellects that would otherwise be lost to death and dementia. This would solve the Social Security and pension crises and free up the medical field to discover cures for diseases and conditions instead of squandering scare resources on palliative treatment of people suffering from old age.

These ideas are pure speculation and, if developed and implemented, would cause tremendous upheaval in our society, but we must rise to the challenge and search for solutions to these intractable problems. Humanity can no longer muddle through and hope for the best. If we continue on that path, we shall surely perish as the planet becomes hotter and more uninhabitable.

Dave Wells


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