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2021年6月27日 (日)

Predicting "After oil"

 Junior high school textbooks have been revised significantly this year. A generation earlier, in a Japanese language textbook published by Mitsumura Books for second-year junior high school students, there was an essay written by environmental archaeologist Yoshinori Yasuda entitled "Moai Speak: The Future of the Earth. It is a good essay that works slowly.

 There are giant statues called Moai on Easter Island in the South Pacific. The largest one is 20 meters high and weighs 80 tons. It weighs as much as 2.5 JR Chuo Line commuter rapid cars. About 1,000 of these things have been found on Easter Island, which is half the size of Tanegashima. It was an international research team, including Yasuda, that tracked and unraveled the disappearance of this civilization.

 Mr. Yasuda is also a natural geographer. At the end of this essay, he writes that the earth has a maximum of 2.1 billion hectares of agricultural land, and its population support capacity is barely 8 billion people. On the other hand, the world population estimate for 1950 is 2.5 billion people. The year 1950 can be regarded as the year just before the world became a petro-civilization. In Japan, the year was 1950, so it was the "before oil" period depicted in Yasujiro Ozu's "Tokyo Story" (1953), when the country was neither pre-war nor in a period of rapid economic growth.

The population was 2.5 billion before it was soaked in oil jugs. The world population estimate for 2019 is 7.7 billion people. We are approaching 8 billion, the maximum population of the oil civilization. In other words,

8 billion people - 2.5 billion people = 5.5 billion people

 This means that 5.5 billion people are likely to starve to death if the "stick" of oil dissipates. This number may cause us to lose our sense of reality for a moment, but we should not take our eyes off it.


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