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  • Aaryan Doshi

Finite Earth, Infinite Consumption


Finite Earth, Infinite Consumption image: adobe firefly

In my last blog, I discussed the finiteness of Earth's resources and how we continue to operate, thinking Earth's resources are infinite. 


I remember early 2020 when we were in the midst of Covid. We were all dashing to the stores because the stores were going to run out of "stuff ." The panic that set in forced many to make urgent trips to Walmart, Costco, and Target. We were confronted with rows and rows of empty aisles. Items like sanitizers were being sold on eBay at an exorbitant premium. Not to mention the fights and conflicts amongst anxious and worried customers for that last bottle of sanitizer or paper towels.



I sometimes wonder - what if our planet runs out of resources? What kind of panic will that trigger? What kind of wars will we see? I read about the super-rich buying underground bunkers fortified shelters designed to withstand catastrophic events. But seriously, though, how long can these bunkers last? How much food and "stuff" can they preserve? 1 year, 10 years, 30 years? And then what?



And should we be asking "when" instead of "what if"? Is it not inevitable that we will eventually run out of resources? Our population keeps growing at an exponential rate. It puts enormous stress on the most basic of resources, such as drinking water and food. Climate change compounds this issue. 'Day Zeroes,' a term used to describe the day when a city's taps run dry, have become more common. What would happen when the last conceivable drop has been pumped out of the planet? Clinging on to "normal" climate patterns to provide rain would not be enough when the "abnormal" is the "new normal." Will it trigger civil wars?



These are vexing questions in a world that is too busy grappling with other humanitarian crises - food crises, wars, pandemics, and so much more. We live in a world firm in our belief that we can consume and produce our way out of all problems. But in doing so, we are ignoring the inevitable finiteness of our planet's resources. The clock keeps ticking as we inch closer and closer to the day when we will finally exceed our planet's capacity to support us.



References:


Baker, N. (2022, October 19). These billionaire preppers are planning for the apocalypse. Here’s why. ABC News. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-20/tech-billionaires-are-planning-for-the-apocalypse/101546216



The Water Crisis In India: Everything You Need To Know | SIWI - Leading expert in water governance. (2023, March 13). SIWI - Leading expert in water governance. https://siwi.org/latest/water-crisis-india-everything-need-know/

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