I’ve been following Jack Alpert for many years. He’s an intelligent clear thinking engineer that was apparently born without any denial of reality genes.
Alpert’s devoted much of his life to diagnosing and prescribing remedies for the human overshoot predicament.
This interview by James Howard Kunstler provides a nice summary of Alpert’s work and includes a “solution” that would minimize suffering as fossil energy depletes and that would create a sustainable civilization of about 50 million people with comfortable lives that could continue to make progress in science, technology, and the arts.
The catch is that 3 billion people have to understand the nature of our predicament and vote to drastically constrain personal freedoms, especially the right to breed. We of course would be lucky to find 3 hundred such people, let alone 3 billion.
As a consequence, Alpert concludes that the best case scenario we can hope for over the next 75 years is a painful involuntary reduction of population, mostly due to starvation, from 7.6 billion to about 600 million subsistence farmers, with little preservation of science, technology, and the arts.
That’s a pretty big price to pay for personal “freedom”, and a tragedy given how rare intelligent life probably is in the universe.
Kunstler’s site with an introduction to the interview: