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Olduvai III: Catacylsm
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How Far Will You Go to Survive?

How Far Will You Go to Survive?

Cannibalism, infanticide, pet slaughter

Before I begin, let me apologize. This article is morbid. But it covers something that will probably happen in the future. It’s best to consider the subject now while still of sound mind.

The climate crisis is ultimately a food crisis. Unpredictable and changing weather patterns – compounded by resource shortages – threaten our ability to grow enough food to feed 8+ billion people.

The food crisis has already started. A visit to the grocery store reveals the increasing threat to food security. On a hotter planet, droughts worsen and floods persist increasing the probability of a breadbasket failure.

What happens to humans when food availability declines by 20, 50, 80%? The answer varies, but inevitably it all comes down to desperation, cognitive breakdown and violence.

Today these are words on your computer – ambiguous, nebulous. But what they really mean is unimaginable.

Side Rant: No, we can’t simply move farms to more ‘favorable’ locations. The food system depends on complex infrastructure that converts fossil fuels into the calories on your plate. This system evolved over generations, and would require a similar amount of time to fundamentally shift. Moreover, farming today already exists on the most arable land. What’s left is sub-par. Feeding today’s population depends on the unlikely combination of predictable weather, prime land and petrochemicals. Our population would have never reached today’s level without this lucky combination.

Some also argue that food supply isn’t at risk because food production has grown remarkably over the past century, primarily because we’ve become better at converting fossil fuels into calories. This argument suffers from normalcy bias. In reality, the world only surpassed 1.5 degrees above benchmark in 2023. We are just beginning to see the effects of our changing climate. Disasters are anticipated in the future, not the past.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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