We live in an interesting century, when the human population will reach a peak and then (hopefully) gently reduce to a sustainable level, and when fossil fuels on which we have depended for vast growth in the last century virtually run out.
There have been many forecasts of when natural oil and gas reserves will become commercially exhausted, but none of them go beyond the end of this century. We will of course find ways of satisfying our most serious energy needs, but the days when we could get all the fuel we needed by drilling a hole in the ground and the oil came out under its own pressure will be gone. We will have consumed in two centuries the product of two million centuries of sunlight and photosynthesis. Future energy will not be so cheap. We do not know what our lives will be like ‘when the oil runs out’, but we know it will be very different from today. We may have to live in a low-energy world.
Any long-term plan or vision of the future for our country should take into consideration the possibility of future world-wide overpopulation, food shortages, and increasing scarcity of other important resources. Our present relentless pursuit of growth as a way to prosperity does not do so.
The Sustainable Population Party calls for a long-term strategy to reduce our population to a sustainable level. There is no advantage in having a higher population, other than the ancient traditional one of military superiority, now obsolete. There are many advantages in having a lower population: we can become self-sufficient in food; our infrastructure will become generously adequate; we will be able to dismantle post-industrial squalor and engage in beautification of our country as a national endeavour; we will be able to recreate and extend natural habitat on a scale enabling a wonderful recovery in our biodiversity; we will be happier as a nation as a result of engaging in the society of discrete communities (towns and villages) instead of massive impersonal conurbations.
John Marett. 29th February 2015