For the time being, the students have been looking at 4 major threats :
- Peak Oil (the Olduvai theory) whereby the rapid energy descent that may occur after 2020 could mean more than not being able to drive to ASDA. It could bring about social disorder, major conflict, or wars, disastrous effects on employment and living patterns and force the need to densify cities more than any other.
- Climate Change whereby we may see rising sea levels and extreme drought+floods, forcing some cities or even the population of entire countries having to reconsider their position. Climate change can no longer be met by old methods, such as turning up the aircon or mass migration.
- Rising Population, and increasing imbalance in populations; in some cases too many elderly eg China, Japan, or too many young, eg developing countries, or too much migration in a one way direction, eg rural to urban, or from drought regions to temperate.
- Water becoming increasingly difficult to conserve and manage and distribute, balancing between the needs of agriculture and industry, as against the needs of the population for well being and survival. Some needs can no longer be met in the old ways (dams or desalination) as these require collossal amounts of energy that we will no longer have.
The Students presented their findings on Oil, climate and Water on 2 Nov and will present the Population threat on 9 Nov.
Picture above, the students consider Water resources, smiling for the camera, but worried about the future.