Catastrophic convergence: drug resistance, climate change, and overpopulation

The 20th century saw a  number of failures that were potentially avoidable, and that all seem to be converging on the mid-late 21st century.

Image shows a petri dish with white lines of yeast growing in it.

From Washington Post – A strain of Candida auris in a petri dish

Aside from the many, many failures in the realms of war and economics, there are three big ones that worry me right now, and that I think will feed into each other in a horrific manner. The first, obviously, is climate change. The other two are overpopulation and drug resistance in diseases.


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Potentially electrifying development in battery technology

These days I’m a bit wary about new developments in renewable energy that have shown up in a lab. There are a lot of these that come out on a regular basis, and a vast majority of them have yet to actually be put to any practical use. They’re fun to check out, and it can be encouraging to see the things we could do, if we had a national effort to change our energy infrastructure, but it’s also frustrating, because it seems like most of these developments don’t really go anywhere, or if they are going somewhere, it’s not fast enough.

Another problem I have is that I don’t know enough about electronics, physics, and chemistry to make a concrete assessment of the practicality of any given technology, so I’ve gotten caught up in pipe dreams in the past. I don’t know which this is, but if it pans out, it’s a seriously big deal.

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Dancing on thin ice

In case you missed it, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced last week that Arctic sea ice had reached its annual winter maximum, and that was the lowest on record for the third year in a row. This is bad news, but we knew it was coming.

Over the years, I’ve found it necessary to remind people that the theory of human-caused climate change was a predictive one. We knew the temperature would rise decades before the rise was statistically significant. We knew that sea levels would rise too, and that ice would melt. We also knew that melting arctic ice would increase the amount of heat that the ocean absorbed, and lead to faster warming, and faster melting.

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