Many readers have likely noted the phrase “Logging the Onset of the Bottleneck Years” prefacing many editions of the “Another Week of Global Warming News” series.
A recent commenter asked what this means. I forwarded the question to het. I think his reply makes an interesting post.
The term ‘bottleneck’ refers to the ecological crisis humans are experiencing as resource limits, climate change, species extinction and environmental degradation, exacerbated by population pressure, make daily life more difficult for increasingly large numbers of people.
The term ‘bottleneck’ has been in the air for some time, but one reference to it would be E.O Wilson, _The Future of Life_ [ISBN: 0-679-76811-4] page xxiii. “The race is now on between the technoscientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. We are inside a bottleneck of overpopulation and wasteful consumption.”
There is currently a degree of controversy and denial, primarily driven by vested interests, about the reality of the crisis. I think that in the coming years, probably after it is too late to do anything significant to avoid it, there will be a general recognition of the gravity of the situation in which we have placed ourselves. These will be the Bottleneck Years proper.
In the words of a grumpy old ecologist character in the novel I am currently writing:
“We have before us a most grievious ordeal. Failure is not an option. We must learn how to run this Spaceship Earth for the good of all its inhabitants. And the first commandment shall be, ‘Thou shalt not destroy thy life support system.’”
I notice I haven’t updated this page since 2008, but if you care,
you could track developments of the novel at: