The Most Important Video You’ll Ever See?…

The title of this video is “The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See“.
It’s a 80 minute lecture about the importance of understanding exponential growth, as it relates to population growth and resource consumption.

I’m usualy more than a little skeptical about these things. Over emphasized titles trying to alarm you and ridiculous conspiracy theories are not my thing, but I still watched it to make sure. Well, I have to say, the title is probably accurate: getting educated about the arithmetic Dr. Bartlett is detailing here is incredibly important, and I urge you all to watch it, bear with it, and make an effort to understand it.

Here’s the gist:

  • The doubling time for a growth rate of 1% per year is 70 years. The world population’s growth rate is ~1.15%. That sounds tiny, but if you’re under 20, you’ll probably live to see it reach *14 billion*. (Damn, we just reached 7 billion a few days ago!)
  • Optimistic estimates, which include all the oil *left to discover* (as in: that we have not found yet) put the peak oil production in ~2020. From there, we start having *less* oil every year. It’s a bell shaped curve and it keeps going down.

Put these two together, and you start getting the feeling we’re screwed. The best part: all this is fact, not belief or rhetoric. It is happening, there’s no way around it.

(Here is a link to the full playlist of all eight videos playing in sequence.)


The way we are living now will not go on forever. It actually won’t go on for more than a couple of decades. The only solutions are: stop population growth, and find alternative sources of energy. I’m confident we will do at least the second one, but we need to:
1) Understand how important all this is.
2) Hope to God it will be enough for everyone (it won’t).

Please do watch the lecture that goes into much more detail. It’s not some “hippie bullshit about saving mother earth”, as some people might see environmentalist movements. And it’s not some ridiculous conspiracy theory about the banks and secret societies controlling the future of the world either. I hope you know and trust me enough that you understand I wouldn’t serve you such nonsense.

It’s really about what is actually happening in the reality that we live in, and understanding where we are heading. And deciding for yourself whether you/we should do something about it. As the title says, mighty important stuff…

As usual, please let me know if there is something I’m missing here (which is always possible!)

PS: if you know how to embed the video so it plays the playlist, going automatically to the next video, please let me know.
November 13th, 2011