Anthropocene Apocalypse – Scenario 2 – The Population explosion and the future!

Anthropocene Apocalypse

beauty vv

In Scenario 1 the population continued to grow eating up space, wilderness and destroying all naturally living creatures. Technology dealt with the problems of food, water, energy, weather and even oxygen in the atmosphere. We lived in huge urban developments and the world is devoid of wild-life and natural areas.

Scenario 2.

The premise:

a. We realise the impact of our actions on the environment and limit our numbers, conserve the wilderness and wild-life, stop our habitat destruction and pollution.

b. We lay aside 50% of the planet for wilderness and wild-life. We do not allow roads, hunters or development in these areas.

We are extremely good at solving problems. We can easily create a sustainable future where wilderness and wild-life has a place.

The result:

a. We introduce contraception, education and family planning on a global scale and successfully reduce our population.

b. We use technology to produce better transport, housing, energy production, and food.

c. We do not have urban sprawl, deforestation, overfishing, or other unsustainable exploitation of the environment.

d. We raise the standards of life for all people globally so that there is no longer war, conflict or poverty. There are social services, pensions and sick pay enabling people to live without requiring large numbers of children to support them through hard times.

e. We produce technology that is not polluting and is sustainable. We have ample energy (probably through nuclear fusion and solar) and our farming methods are not cruel or ineffective. We can produce ample good food to support the population without encroaching on the wilderness areas.

f. The forests are conserved. Fishing is sustainable. The weather and global warming is controlled.

g. 50% of the world is teeming with wild-life that we can marvel at. The air, water and soil are not contaminated with carcinogens. We globally control the weather and global warming. Everything regarding conservation and pollution is controlled and enforced globally.

I know which of the two possible future scenarios I would prefer to live in.

The future is for our grandchildren’s grandchildren. In my own life-time we have destroyed over half of the world. I feel we are at the precipice. Will we jump?Posted in EcologyenvironmentExtinctionTagged conservationEcologyeducationExtinctionidealismjournalismLiteratureNatureOptimismPoliticsPopulationSciencethe futureWritingZeitgeist4 CommentsEdit


Anthropocene Apocalypse – Scenario 1 – The natural conclusion to our population explosion.

Anthropocene Apocalypse


Let us look into the future and extrapolate from where we are to where we are heading.

Scenario 1

The premise:

a. The population continues to grow

b. There are no catastrophes that wipe us out

Man is extremely good at solving problems. So let us assume that we negotiate our way through problem after problem. We do not annihilate ourselves through nuclear war or manufactured biological warfare. We do not succumb to a virus. We merely continue to grow in numbers.

These are the consequences:

a. Space and shelter. We need land and housing and our cities, towns and villages grow. The countryside becomes consumed in plastic and concrete. Roads connect and transport systems enable easy access.

b. The Wilderness. The wilderness and natural world become open to us and exploited for farming, mining, logging and habitation until there is no more inaccessible wilderness areas. Roads run through every place.

c. The Wild-life. The wild-life now has no habitat left, no food, shelter or way of living. It is butchered for meat, hunted for ivory or medicine (The rarer it gets, the more it is worth, the higher the price, the more worth the risk). The remnants of the wild things are corralled into parks or zoos and confined, protected and used as objects of tourism. Those considered pests, unpleasant or dangerous are eradicated.

d. Food. Even with all the wilderness opened up for farming, the seas fully harvested and hydroponics, genetic modifications and intensive farming methods there is not sufficient food for the burgeoning population. Food is produced from bacteria and fungus in vast industrial vats (Pruteen, mycoprotein etc. – already produced in large quantities – in our pies, sausages etc.), textured, flavoured and used as a meat substitute. Proper meat is a luxury food item.

e. Water. Water is a dwindling resource and desalination plants provide supplies.

f. Energy. Fossil fuels are replaced by large-scale sustainable technology – probably nuclear fusion supplemented with solar.

g. Weather. The effects of global warming are alleviated. The hurricanes and extreme weather conditions are now able to be controlled.

h. Oxygen. Oxygen is a natural product of photosynthesis. With the destruction of the forests and pollution of the oceans it is no longer being produced in sufficient quantities. Oceans are seeded to produce algal blooms and hydrolysis plants produce oxygen from water.

Our lives in these huge metropolises are highly controlled. Our environment is plastic. Our food, water and even the air we breathe is manufactured. We take our children to see the last remaining trees in the tree museum. We then go to the zoo to get a glimpse of and wonder at the little animals that used to run free in the wild.

It’s a vision of the future. It is quite possible. But is that the way we really want to live? Is that the world we want to pass on to our children?Posted in EcologyenvironmentTagged AlternativeconservationEcologyeducationExtinctionidealismNatureOptimismPoliticsPopulationWritingZeitgeist

Education – why the Tories changed the Education system.

They deliberately changed education from experiment, investigation and creativity to rote memory of ‘facts’ for exams.

They didn’t want people having fun investigating, doing experiments or creating. They wanted people learning to be controlled, sitting in rows being fed information. They wanted kids memorising information and regurgitating it for examinations. They then wanted to separate these into failure and success.

Hence they narrowed the curriculum, doing away with the creative arts subjects (not good for jobs) and altered the syllabi in order to be factual instead of experimental.

They did away with the GCSE, which worked for all levels of ability, hardened it up to create more failure.

Mind you, they did not impose this regime on the private schools. Those privileged kids could be creative and inventive, it was the hoi-polloi that they wanted as work fodder.

How stupid is this??

It was purely political. They did not want to encourage questioning or investigation in the general population. They wanted a quiescent population who could be easily channelled. They wanted workers who did not challenge them.

Unfortunately, this is plain stupid. We live in an age where all information is available at the touch of a keypad. There is no need to memorise it all. Information is no longer the most important factor. What society needs is inventiveness and creativity. That is what made this country so dynamic.

The Tories want creativity and inventiveness in the hands of the privileged. The rest of us don’t need to think – just to work and earn money for them.

We should know our place.

Poetry – The Exam Machine

The Exam Machine

Putting my kids through the exam machine –

A number in a box.

I’m proud she a fine statistic,

But she’d better pull up her socks.

She cannot let the side down;

She got to learn

To take the knocks.

There is no time for fun

In the shadow of the exam factory,

No skills, partnership

Or room for creativity.

They sit in lines

To learn the goods,

Raising standards

On the way.

As they tick the box

When you test them

They have all the rote

Things to say.

Opher 26.3.2016

The Exam Machine

As our schools continue down the path to achieve factory status and our children become units to be slotted in the machine I wonder how this will meet the needs of the modern world.

Each school will become a self-contained business, worshipping on the altar of flawed international PISA tables.

The religious fundamentalists and big business are keen to get in on the academy act. They do not have to employ qualified teachers. That’s fine when all you are doing is getting the poor mites to recite medieval verse or learn how to stack a shelf; it cuts running costs.

The government loves this academy business. They can farm out a lot of the costs to those people, whoever they are, who are dying to get their hands on our children. As a bonus they can zoom up the PISA tables, break the teacher’s pay and conditions, wrest control of schools away from commie county halls and parents, and appeal to nostalgia where previous generations were terrorised and fed boring drivel to regurgitate.

It’s a race back to the fifties with knowledge based exams. Because what we need now are kids who can recite facts. I know all facts and knowledge are readily available at the push of a phone key but regurgitating them is fun. We don’t really need any of those namby pamby social skills, teamwork, qualities, creativity, lateral thinking or all those useless subjects like music, art, ICT, history, drama or geography. Double doses of Maths and English are all that’s required.

We can employ ex-soldiers to control the bored lovelies as they progress through the tedium.

Besides – they are only state school kids. Anyone with anything about them pays so that they don’t have to kow-tow to Ofsted or follow all this rubbish. The Public School kids are the ones that really count.

The Corona Diaries – Day 197

It has been a nice day today! The sun was shining. My mate Bill came over for a socially distanced walk up my hill. It shows how much this isolation gets to you – I don’t think I stopped talking. He’s probably deaf now.

We had lunch in the garden and a natter.

Back at work on my Roy Harper book I’ve been playing some Django Reinhardt and boogying.

Out there in Coronaland our bunch of muppets continue to mess up. Having now allowed the virus to get well out of control – another 14,542 new cases and 76 deaths – they are compounding the issue with a pathetic track and trace system With 16,000 cases missed you would think that heads might roll – I suggest Johnson, Hancock and Harding for starters.

I’ve had one commentator on the blog saying what a good job these fools are doing. It seems that 42,000 deaths – a world-beating number – is no indication of incompetence.

Number of deaths:

UK – 42,445 (going on 67,000 really)

USA – 211,000

Brazil – 147,000

Vietnam – 35

Korea – 425

New Zealand – 25

Well it makes me embarrassed. As an island with a great health service and first world structure we find ourselves knocked into a cocked hat by China, Vietnam and Korea. Vietnam with all its poverty and overcrowding shut its massive borders and tested tested tested from the beginning – 35 dead and an unaffected economy. The UK – dithered, complacently watched – 42,445 deaths and a messed up economy. And this isn’t the government????

It is for me.

So what do the UK, USA and Brazil have in common??? Three populist clowns!!

We are paying the price for electing a clown.

Trump, fresh from his brush with death, pumped full of every possible cure known to man (immunoglobulins, antivirals, steroids and oxygen) is not dead.

He was gasping for breath having stepped up a few steps to his balcony for a bit of political theatre, but still claims that the virus is less lethal than flu.

I wonder if the average Americans, who won’t have access to a big team of doctors and all the expensive treatments, feel about that? I wonder what the tens of millions of Americans without any medical cover feel about it?

Over here education is in a mess. Kids in schools and universities are being put through a boring curriculum, delivered on whiteboards by frightened staff. They are trying to make up for lost time but 1500 schools have classes sent home and staff self-isolating. Kids are going to be in and out of school and the teaching is so limited it’s going to be crap.

It’s a nightmare for delivery. How can you deliver a syllabus with kids dropping in and out?

But the exams will go ahead – trimmed and later – but going ahead. We’ll see.

Fortunately, that is no longer my problem!

Take care everyone – stay safe!

Education, careers and Captain Beefheart – an extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

Religion is a compulsory subject in British schools. Every child has to be brainwashed every single day with a religious input, by law. Isn’t that absurd?

It is an archaic throwback to the days when religion was the cornerstone of society and schools were first conceived as places where children of the elite were schooled in Latin Grammar so they could read the Bible. Later, schooling became more widely available to the general public as society had progressed and there was a need for people with knowledge and skills to carry out the various tasks and careers needed by society.

But where does the concept of educating people to expand their minds fit in? A career is one thing but a questioning mind is something else altogether. I wanted my education to be expansive, fun, illuminating and thrilling. I wanted discovery, excitement and revelation. I received facts to learn for exams. I did not really count that as an education.



Captain Beefheart was on at Middle Earth up in Covent Garden in London. That was an event that would change the whole of anybody’s life. Captain Beefheart, complete with Zoot Horn Rollo, Rockette Morton, Alex St Claire, Drumbo and who knew who else. The whole Magic Band. That was worth £5,000,000 of anybody’s money!

The only problem was that it was right in the middle of A Levels.

This was a crisis.

No problemo. It was the week before my Biology. I wasn’t one for revision anyway. I always did well in Biology. Besides I needed a good night out. It would set me up for the exams. But I needed my grade to get my place at university to study medicine. No problemo. I told you, I always do well in Biology.

But this was the whole of my future!

No problemo!

There was no choice in the matter. It had to be done. Beefheart might not tour again. The world might end and I wouldn’t have seen him.

Besides – it was a whole week before.

I went. Rockette Morton was ill so they postponed. They put on Aynsley Dunbar instead. There was no comparison.

They put the Captain on the following week and made it a double bill with John Mayall, complete with Pete Green on lead.

Now that was a slight problem. That was the night before my Biology exam. But a double-bill with Captain Beefheart with John Mayall and Peter Green – who could possibly afford to miss that???

If I went I would not get back until three in the morning. My exam was at nine. That was about five hours sleep. That also meant no night before revision (the only revision I tended to do). I had this theory that it was pointless revising more than a day before an exam. You forgot it all. It really wasn’t so much of a theory as an excuse – back then my memory was very good. It was just that my mind was on other things that seemed much more important to me back then.

This was my future we were talking about! My future for fuck’s sake! My eminent career as a doctor, a surgeon even! Surely I was mature enough to understand that?

But then, Captain Beefheart might not tour again, the band might break up, and Pete Green was scintillating on guitar. Besides I always came top in Biology; I didn’t need to revise. I could breeze it.

But you had to admit that five hours sleep and no revision was hardly perfect preparation for a crucial exam.

I had to think this through for all of five minutes.

Where were my parents in all this? Where was my father’s guiding hand? My mum’s words of wisdom? I can’t remember. I think they had given up on trying to influence my choices. They had decided that I was a law unto myself. While not shining in my academic endeavours, I did seem to get by, so they tended to leave me to it.

The concert was brilliant! One of the best ever! The Magic band were storming! Beefheart was incredible! John Mayall, even with Pete Green, paled into insignificance.

The Biology exam was all right but there were a few questions that proved a little tricky. A bit of revision might not have gone amiss.

When the results came out I had missed the required standard by a grade. That could have been a single mark! One fact! One glance at one page of notes! The university was not impressed. They declined my services. Instead of studying medicine I did a Zoology degree at a lesser establishment. I went on to establish a scintillating career as a teacher. The pay of a teacher is not greatly comparable to the pay of a surgeon. But what the hell! Who wanted a career anyway? There was far too much real living to be getting on with, a whole universe to explore!

Some concerts are worth £5000,000 of anybody’s money.



Why is poetry not the only compulsory subject in schools?



There’s no doubt that nuclear energy is a big mistake in this age of global terrorism. A plane smashing into a nuclear plant could be a catastrophe.

Just imagine how many tens of thousands of terrorists, each consuming twenty tins of beans, it would take to sabotage a field of Wind Turbines?


Religious Beliefs – extract from Farther from the Sun.

I don’t believe in doing good, in the hope of heavenly rewards in some what I consider fictitious after-life.



My Dad was certainly not a church-goer. I don’t think he believed in religion, but I think he may have had some vague spiritual beliefs but he certainly would not talk about them. I know he had been quite shocked by my Mum’s belief in spiritualism.

When he first met her family they had invited him to a séance. He’d treated it as a joke. He’d had a close friend who was a submariner who had been reported missing in action during the war and took along a cap-band of his friends. During the séance he offered the cap-band and was given a set of numbers. He followed it up and discovered that they were coordinates. The MOD enquired where he had got them from. The coordinates were fifty miles from the last known position of the submarine.

Dad never went to another séance and did not want to know about it. Anything to do with religion, death or spirituality was off the table; he did not want to give it headroom.

I don’t know how true any of that was.



I taught a section on evolution. California State law stated that equal time had to be given to Creation. I had parents sitting in with stopwatches, and one with an egg-timer, to check that I kept to the law. That was a new experience for me. It is quite difficult to generate enthusiasm and involvement with a group of sullen adults staring at you as if you were Satan.

So, what, as a non-believer, do you tell anybody about creation theory that can possibly take as long as explaining the intricacies of Darwinian evolution through natural selection?

Easy. I sent the whole thing up. To start with I put on my best, over the top, Monty Python voice. I made expansive arm movements. I got them to close their eyes and imagine nothing. We spent ten minutes trying to hold that concept. I then got them to picture God. I asked them what they thought he looked like. It is astounding to me how many eighteen-year-old students and forty-something -year-old parents actually believed that God was this old geezer with long robes, long hair and a great straggly white beard.

I find that absurd. If someone proved to me that there was a god and asked me to picture what god was like, I would automatically think more in line with the forces released in the centre of a hydrogen bomb, or the energy that holds atoms together.

But they all did as they were asked and took it very seriously. They closed their eyes and tried to make everything black and empty. Then this old geezer comes in stage right and does some hocus pocus, mumbo jumbo complete with hand movements and there is a great flash of light. Then he makes this plasticine stuff and spends six days rolling zillions of stars and planets and spinning them around and painting oceans and mountains. Then he made living stuff and breathed into them to give them life and last of all, the crown of creation, he made man – little models in his own image. Then he took a bit out of one of his models and made woman. I have always thought that this story was a bit demeaning towards women. It was straight out of the Abrahamic tradition of pandering to some mediaeval theory of women being lesser beings, subservient and not really made in God’s image. But there you go. You give the folks what they want to hear. That’s entertainment!

What it isn’t is education.

My lesson on creation worked a treat! They were well pleased. All the Monty Python, over the top Magnus Pyke presentation, was British eccentricity and passionate theatre. After all, they were used to it with all those evangelist preachers. I was in good company. They loved the ranting, visualisations and role-play. They could visualise the old man rolling up balls of plasticine. That made sense to them. Two of the parents actually commended me on my lesson.

Liz castigated me for making a mockery of peoples’ beliefs. I protested. That wasn’t really the case. I’m a tolerant person. I just do not believe that religion has a place in education. For me to teach it as if it was factual made a mockery of education.

Liz said that I should not have ridiculed their faith in such a manner.

Perhaps she was right.

See. Liz says I’m arrogant. I acknowledge that at times I can certainly come across that way. I sometimes think that I have good reason to be. Many people are simple and stupid. They don’t delve below the surface. How long does it take to roll up a few zillion balls even if one takes point zero zero zero zero zero zero zero zero one of a second? Can you do it in six days?

Why does God, who is infinite, get knackered and have to have a rest on the seventh day?

How big was this dude?

No. They were more than happy with the old bloke rolling up balls, breathing life into stuff, modelling mountains and spitting out oceans. Especially as I took longer over the creation theory than I did with the evolution bit plus I was far less animated and theatrical with evolution. I did that in my normal voice.

It seemed to me that half my class were born again Christians and half the class were stoners. The strange thing was that half of the born againers were stoners. I found this bemusing and asked one of them.

“Where’s it say in the bible that you can’t smoke dope, man?”

Well he had a point.



I do believe in infinity, mystery, wonder and awesome beauty.


How much do you know about the Human Population? Are you pessimistic or optimistic about our future?

This is a fascinating little quiz that is extremely informative. Is progress being made? Should we feel pessimistic or optimistic about the future?

 How much do you know about the achievements of the WHO? Try taking the little quiz and finding out a lot more!