Exponential growth

Exponential growth

Talking to people that are genuinely concerned about the survival of mankind, I frequently have heard the sentiment "It's politically not correct to say so, but the Covid-19 pandemic is the best thing that ever happened to the green agenda". If SARS-CoV-2 had turned out to be as infectious as the measles and as deadly as Ebola, it would have been an inhumane solution to the problem of global warming.
I predict that in the near future, a militant environmental activist with an excellent synthetic biology education will develop such a virus to rescue planet Earth. If this person does a good job, (s)he will replace Hitler as the incarnation of evil for all generations to come. SARS-CoV-2 was an accident, but perhaps already the next pandemic will truly be man-made, intentionally by a mad man. With PCR, Gibson Assembly and CRISPR/Cas, all the tools are available to everybody on this planet.

Exponential growth is understood by everybody, who has not been living under a stone for the last 9 months. Strangely enough, the only exponential functions that seem to be of interest at the moment are those of viral spread.

Everybody with basic mathematical understanding knows that the description "% growth per year" denotes an exponential function. And every scientist knows that any exponential growth in the real world must level off at some point, because everything is a limited resource. Therefore any economic model that requires a constant economic growth to keep the system going is doomed in the long run. The question is not WHETHER, but only WHEN the collapse will happen and HOW it will happen.

Exponential growth in nature levels off in different ways: It can gradually slow down approximating linear growth before coming to a standstill. But it can also almost instantaneously stop and fall back to the baseline. The first is true e.g. when bacteria grow in a test tube. The latter is true e.g. for growth of cancer cells in an organism.

Read more: http://www.igbp.net/globalchange/greatacceleration.4.1b8ae20512db692f2a6...