Commentary

7/2/2018: Delayed Gratification

If we evaluate the future in terms of how many people there are, years that can be lived, and how satisfied people are with their lives, then extending the amount of time humanity can survive can be understood as the indefinite delay of gratification. This is detailed below.

Seeking maximum population (P), life expectancy (L), and happiness (H) by following the historical trend in ecological resource consumption will result in success between 2020 and 2022 as experienced by Timeline 2, followed by precipitous drops for all of them. The following graph shows each variable as a fraction of its maximum value(Pmax, Lmax, and Hmax), along with the product of all three (PLH).

PLH

The approach to their respective peak values is slowed in the Fix timeline, shown below.

Fix

Note that happiness is used here in place of economic activity per person as a future outcome to be measured. The combined value PLH (calculated as P/Pmax * L/Lmax * H/Hmax) can be used as a proxy for all three outcomes, and is directly dependent on the ratio of required consumption to the amount of unconsumed resources.


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