Saturday, July 15, 2023


People are organized into communities that enable the acquisition, movement, manipulation, and use of resources in order to maximize the quantity and quality of what they value. Each community has its own strategy for doing so based on its values, its abilities and the composition of its environment. 

Averaged over the world population for more than 70 years, my simulations show that the annual distributions among people of biologically useful resources have maintained a common pattern, with communities changing what parts of the pattern they occupy and the parts they interact with. The primary distributions are people, habitat (resources composed of, and used by, other species), and waste (resources converted by humans into forms that are not biologically useful). 

Processed to display how their amounts change relative each other, the distributions can be used to indicate how much different parts of the world’s population value people, natural environments (habitat), and created environments (waste). As the number of people is added up in order of increasing habitat density (people per unit of habitat), the value of people rises; the value of created environments drops; and the value of natural environments climbs to a peak and then falls. This is shown below.

There are three distinct groups defined by the intersections of the trends. The smallest, amounting to 1% of the population, is dominated by the value of waste over habitat and people. The second, amounting to 24%, is dominated by the value of habitat over the rest. The third and largest group, 75% of the population, is dominated by the value of people. Based upon my simulations, any isolated population with limited resources (embodied by habitat), that is not consuming more than a critical amount of them, will have these characteristics. 

Consuming more than two-thirds (67%) of total resources results in the first group growing at the expense of the other two until the amount of remaining resources is less than the total number of people - who will be in just one group that values everything equally. My simulation that best matches history shows that this year humanity will be consuming more than the critical amount, as shown below, and will reach the end point bordering on extinction by 2040.

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