The Puzzle of Life 2 : Will the World Outlive Me?

Catch a Falling Star

I remember the discussion in Biology class with Mr. Grosland back in 1973 about Paul Ehrlich’s book The Population Bomb. The book was pointing out that the rapidly growing population of human beings on Earth had been increasing exponentially for a long period of time and was creating environmental crises that could eventually cause extinction of life on Earth. In particular, he mentioned how farm-fertilizer runoff and the use of pesticides were contaminating the water table, threatening to kill all the fish in the Mississippi Watershed and eventually destroying life in the Gulf of Mexico. In particular, the fertilizer was overstimulating algae growth, eventually shutting off the oxygenation processes that make water breathable for fish and other water-breathing denizens of the lakes and rivers of the Midwest. Widespread famine, disease, and other devastating conditions were also predicted by that book.

Later, in the 1980’s concern began to grow over the…

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