01 June 2010

Rise of the Ultra-Megalopolis Makes Human Dieoff More Likely

As metropolitan cities continue to grow at incredible rates alongside each other across the globe, their boundaries start to blur. This has given rise to a new scale of geography known as "mega-regions". These vastly populated settlements have interlocking economic systems, common natural resources and shared transportation links....According to a new UN report, the world's mega-cities are merging to form these vast mega-regions which may stretch hundreds of kilometres across countries and be home to more than 100 million people. _AsianInfrastructure_via_BrianWang

Image from NextBigFuture

The Hong Kong-Shenhzen-Guangzhou region is home to over 120 million people and it is here where a significant chunk of China's economic boom is happening.

..."The top 25 cities in the world account for more than half of the world's wealth. And the five largest cities in India and China now account for 50 percent of those countries' wealth," he added....Asian cities are growing more equally according to the report, but primarily because they were already uniformly poor with a greater volume of slums. _AsianInfrastructure

As the populations of the world huddle together in ballooning megalopolises, what will happen should something suddenly go wrong? What if war breaks out, and the enemy targets civilian infrastructure such as power, transportation, communications, water, fuel, food delivery, sanitation, health care facilities? What will 100 million people packed together to the gills, do when faced with sudden loss of food, water, fuel, medicines, and such?

Clearly, the strong will prey on the weak, until there is no one left to prey on but other predators.

If a diabolical green leftist scientist wanted to eliminate at least 90% of the human population, the task is made so much easier by the concentration of hundreds of millions of people into small areas. Under such conditions, the effect of the EMP, or the bioengineered lethal virus or toxin, will be magnified. Particularly with the calculated demolition of particular bridges and highway overpasses.

A highly centralised population is a highly vulnerable population -- vulnerable to a decapitation strike. The simultaneous loss of transportation hubs, research and production centers, centers for delivery of health care, and destruction of food, fuel, and water distribution along with bureaucratic infrastructure -- would likely lead to rapid collapse and terminal disorder. Particularly when the same thing was happening to most of the megalopolises of an entire region or continent.

The technology of the 21st century will allow for comfortable rural living -- a reversal of the compulsive urbanisation the 20th century bequeathed to the early 21st. But we have to learn to use it, then make the choices that allow us to break the chains that tie us to the urban lifestyle. Otherwise we are the ones who tie ourselves to the railroad tracks while the black-suited villain in the background pulls the track switch lever, sending the hurtling train our way.

Take your pick of black suited villains, but as long as the radically insane third world nations such as North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela are not allowed to possess reliable nuclear weapons and delivery systems, it is most likely that the threat will come from within high tech societies themselves.

The radical greens have never made a secret of their wish to cleanse the planet of most of humankind. Let's not make it any easier for them than we have to.

Previously published at abu al-fin

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger yamahaeleven said...

While individual mega cities may be vulnerable, the fact that there are many of them could make them quite resistant to a single "head shot." Take New York city as an example, it has suffered repeated attempts to destroy it, and most have merely been irritants, despite their huge emotional impact. Even if radical movements were able to bring wholesale destruction to a mega city, it would not diminish the trend of humans gathering in such vibrant, welcoming, and efficient communities of vast opportunity, the type of place "anthrophobes" love to hate.

Tuesday, 01 June, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

An interesting point.

But remember how amazingly easy it is to knock out electrical power to large areas. You do not need to destroy the city. Just deprive the inhabitants of the things that are necessary for a livable life.

Think in terms of dynamic interaction, and pivot points in a modern infrastructure.

Villagers in the bush may find it easier to grow their own crops and adapt their lives to the seasons, than residents of a megalopolis. Particular residents of a megalopolis that is burning around them from the actions of their co-residents.

Tuesday, 01 June, 2010  
Blogger yamahaeleven said...

Electric distribution is rather fragile, but again, past disruptions have been mere blips on the overall economic growth of cities. Large cities in developing countries have less organized power distribution, and thus have more minor disruptions, but far fewer major ones.

Cities are certainly vulnerable to mishaps, but the division of labor they allow creates efficiency, and resiliency that more than overcomes most any disaster in short order, and that is not to say that things won't be uncomfortable for denizens while they adapt. People living in cities are the same humans that live in more self-sufficient communities, but reap the benefits of diversity and proximity.

People living in more self-sufficient communities are that way mostly because they lack capital resources, and as a result are far more susceptible to whims of man and nature. Living in a megalopolis extends the benefits of capital resources to those who haven't been able to accumulate them yet.

Hypothetical your scenarios may be, nonetheless, residents of mega cities would do well to make them part of their contingency planning, and keep a reasonable stock of bare necessities to tide them by while regular life is restored. The best way to restore normalcy quickly after a calamity would be to eliminate price-gouging laws, hardly anything beats people who want to turn a dollar in getting people what they need!

Tuesday, 01 June, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

Yes. I have described several technologies over the years which might help a megalopolis to survive attack -- or more likely, a collapse.

Societies are propped up by belief, and when the belief no longer exists, the society collapses. That is the greatest threat to advanced human civilisations, not outside attack.

Wednesday, 02 June, 2010  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts