A study by the scientific journal Sustainability lists the best places to settle in the event of economic or climate collapse. A list that gives pride of place to several islands such as Iceland or Tasmania.
According to the authors of this study published on July 21, 2021 in the scientific journal Sustainability , a collapse of our societies could be illustrated in different ways in the years to come:
“Since its inception, human civilization has experienced a continuous trajectory of increasing socio-political complexity, a trend which has accelerated dramatically recently. This phenomenon has resulted in increasingly serious disturbances of the Earth system, which have recently manifested themselves in planetary effects such as climate change . These effects create an increased risk of a global collapse event, « said the researchers behind the survey.
Countries better prepared for environmental change
To carry out this study, the journal Sustainability drew on research results from the American University of Notre Dame-Global Adaptation Index , which in 2015 assessed and ranked countries in terms of vulnerability and preparedness to climate change to to come.
Several criteria were taken into account such as:
the ability to produce food for the population;
the ability to maintain an electricity grid;
overall production capacity.
Islands with a temperate climate and sparsely populated
The best-suited places in the world to survive a possible societal collapse according to the Sustainability report are:
Results that can be explained in particular by fertile agricultural land, low energy consumption, temperate climates and low population density.
« These places which have not suffered the most glaring effects of previous societal collapses are described as ‘lifesavers’ for human populations in the event of collapse, in particular thanks to the persistence of agriculture » , concludes l ‘study.
Like the median wage which separates a population into two halves with the same number of people: one earning less and the other earning more, median wealth follows the same principle. CEOWORLD magazine had fun ranking the countries in this way to find out in which countries the wealth was best shared. Not to be confused with average wealth, the criterion most often analyzed by experts and from which the Swiss often emerge the winners . But not this time.
With a median wealth per adult of $ 238,070 , Australians are the richest people on the planet. Clearly, 50% of Australians have wealth greater than $250,000 , 50% have wealth below this threshold. Surprising Belgians follow in second place with a median wealth of 230,550 dollars (193,000 euros).
Behind Australia and Belgium, Hong Kong collects the bronze medal (145,000 euros). The United States, the world’s leading power, does not even appear in the top 20 because of the abysmal wealth gap between the inhabitants.
The CEO of Tesla is really worried about the demographic decline of the planet. While population growth has never been lower in the United States, the billionaire warns that the population collapse could really threaten the future of humanity, not only on Earth… but also on Mars!
The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on the decline of the American population : it turns out that as of July 1, 2020, the total population of the United States had only increased by 0.35%, the rate of lowest growth ever recorded across the Atlantic. And for good reason: in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic , the number of deaths exceeded the number of births in half of the states.
Indeed, in the United States as in all developed countries, the fertility rate has been falling for several years; the economic uncertainty associated with the pandemic has only reinforced the trend. The subject appears to worry Elon Musk , who shared the Wall Street Journal article on his Twitter account . “ Population collapse is a much bigger problem than people realize, ” he tweeted a few days ago.
23 countries are expected to see their populations decline by more than 50% by 2100
According to INSEE , the French population increased by 0.3% in 2020, a weak growth which is again explained by the increase in deaths due to the pandemic. The fertility rate, which now stands at 1.84 children per woman, has been falling since 2015. According to the National Institute for Demographic Studies, we were 7 billion inhabitants on Earth in 2011, and will be 8 billion in 2022 or 2023. However, it is possible that this demographic explosion will end sooner than we think.
A study published in 2020 predicted a marked slowdown in population growth: after peaking at 9.7 billion people in 2064, the population is expected to decline to 8.8 billion in 2100. “ Continued global population growth during the century is no longer the most likely trajectory for the world’s population , ”said Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation , which led the research. Also according to this study, in 2050, 151 countries should have a fertility rate below the generation replacement threshold; In addition, 23 countries, including Japan, Thailand and Spain, are expected to see their populations decline by more than 50% between 2017 and 2100.
While some climate specialists may be delighted with these forecasts, believing that a decline in the world population is one of the pivots that could make it possible to fight effectively against the climate crisis, demographers are, on the other hand, very worried about the economic future. the world – and in particular here, the United States: indeed, a decrease in the working-age population could end up plunging the country into a lasting economic crisis, implying a notable rise in inflation.
Elon Musk says he’s worried not only about the future of Earth, but Mars as well. The businessman fears that the decline of the world population will harm his project of « interplanetary conquest »: » Mars has a great need for people, since the population is currently zero. Humans are the guardians of another life on Earth. Let’s bring life to Mars! « , He declared on his Twitter account. Musk sees this demographic decline as a major problem, adding that there is now a greater chance that our civilization will end up « in a groan » than in a « bang ».
Fewer young workers to innovate and support seniors
According to forecasts, by 2100, almost all countries (183 out of 195) will have a fertility rate below the generation replacement threshold (which is 2.1 births per woman). Fertility rates have already been falling all over the world since 1950; Europe, as well as Brazil and China, have already fallen below the replacement threshold. » The only zone where fertility rates are maintained is the intertropical zone between the Sahel and the Zambezi « , specifies Hervé Le Bras , researcher at the National Institute of Demographic Studies.
The birth rate remains high in sub-Saharan Africa: there are more than seven children per woman in Niger. In these countries, in the past, infant mortality was compensated by a high birth rate; but today, the situation has changed: advances in medicine and the education of young girls are gradually reducing fertility. While the decline will not be as rapid in this part of the world as in the developed countries – with falling death rates and increasing numbers of women of childbearing age – it will eventually occur.
The main problem associated with the declining birth rate is the aging of the population. And there will be fewer and fewer young workers to take care of these elderly people financially … In addition, fewer workers are also less potential to innovate and develop new technologies that could improve our living conditions and save the planet.
In this context, several developed countries, in Europe, America and South-East Asia, will undoubtedly have to call on migrants to increase their working population – a solution which unfortunately causes a lot of societal tensions. Some countries, such as Russia, have already put in place birth policies based on financial support; Iran has adopted more drastic measures , restricting access to contraception and abortion.
Is humanity really threatened with extinction? For some researchers, the decline of the population remains one scenario among others, which is based on hypotheses of fertility, mortality and migratory phenomena which could vary over the years. For others, the trend is inevitable: “ We cannot continue like this in the next century, otherwise, at the end of the day, there will be no one on Earth. At one point or another, we will have to find a solution, ”warns Christopher Murray.
According to a new genetic study published in the journal Science Advances , cannabis cultivation began in northwest China 12,000 years ago. An international team of researchers has traced the long history of human-weed relationships, and successfully demonstrated that cannabis was first cultivated by Chinese farmers, CNN reported on July 16.
The team, led by University of Lausanne biologist Luca Fumagalli, collected genomic data from 110 separate cannabis samples found across the world. These were both wild and cultivated plants, used to make industrial hemp, medical marijuana, and recreational cannabis, which share strong genetic ties. Thanks to this vast reservoir of genetic data, the team was able to identify the date and origin of human cultivation of cannabis.
“ We show that C. sativa [cannabis sativa] was first cultivated in the early Neolithic in East Asia, and that all current cultivars of hemp have diverged from an ancestral gene pool currently represented by plants. wild and landraces in China, ”the scientists write in the article.
Over the centuries of cultivation, two types of cannabis have emerged: hemp plants that are high in fiber but low in THC (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) and plants with a high THC concentration. This new study also shows that, despite their differences in composition, all of these varieties of marijuana share a single common ancestor, which has gradually spread throughout the world.
Eight meters deep, at the prehistoric site of Nesher Ramla in Israel, Dr. Zaidner probably did not expect to make a discovery that would revolutionize our knowledge of the origin of Neanderthals.null
During excavations near the town of Ramla, researchers found prehistoric human remains that they could not attribute to a species of the genus Homo already defined. In an article published in the journal Science , a team of anthropologists from Tel Aviv University and a team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem therefore define a new type of the Homo genus , the Nesher Ramla type. This is the first described in Israel and is named after the site where it was discovered. The human remains, which consist of part of the cranial vault and a mandible , belonged to an individual who is believed to have lived between 140,000 and 120,000 years BC.
The morphology of these bones is remarkable in that some of the dental and jaw characters are common with those of Neanderthals , while those of the skull are shared with archaic individuals of the genus Homo . In addition, the Homo type of Nesher Ramla differs from modern man because of its cranial structure, because of its absence of a chin (which is a characteristic specific to H. sapiens ) and the presence of very large teeth.
The authors also indicate that the fossil of the Man of Nesher Ramla was found in association with bones of horses, deer and aurochs as well as tools attesting to advanced stone cutting technology . The authors recall that this fossil of Man by Nesher Ramla is not the only one whose classification has baffled anthropologists . Several human fossils previously unearthed in Israel showed similar morphological characteristics and can now no doubt be attributed to this new type of the genus Homo .
Homo Nesher Ramla: the “missing” population?
Nesher Ramla’s discovery of the human type shakes up the hitherto privileged hypothesis of an emergence of Neanderthals in Europe which would then have migrated in small groups towards the south to escape the formation of glaciers and which would have reached Israel 70,000 ago. years. Rather, the fossil suggests that the ancestor of Neanderthals in Europe lived in the Near East 400,000 years ago and migrated several times to Europe and Asia.
This “missing” population in the fossil record to which Homo Nesher Ramla now belongs is believed to be the source population from which most Pleistocene humans developed. This therefore implies that the Neanderthals of Western Europe would only constitute a residual population of a larger group originating in the Near East.
The authors of the study further suggest that individuals of the Nesher Ramla type have reproduced with Homo sapiens , which arrived 200,000 years ago in the Near East. The spatio-temporal localization of the fossil of Nesher Ramla would therefore make it possible to explain how genes of H. sapiens were found in the European population of Neanderthals long before the arrival of modern humans in Europe. However, the fossil of the Man of Nesher Ramla does not contain DNA and although its belonging to a « source » population of the genus Homo is today favored by the authors, it remains in suspense.
Faced with the challenge of the aging of its population, China is taking another step towards liberalizing its birth rate and authorizing a third child. But not sure that Chinese women are flocking to maternity hospitals.
The China is still the most populous country in the world with 1,412 billion. But its population is only increasing by 0.53% per year. And above all, the thirty-five years of the one-child policy, from 1979-1980 to 2015, profoundly modified its age pyramid. The objective of improving the standard of living of the population, aimed at by its initiators, has been achieved. But now that the “only children” are of parentage age, and their parents of retirement age, there is a big problem.
1. What is the problem for China?
The ageing of the population. The economic cost of its support in relation to the working population is mathematically unbalanced by the one-child policy. Each single child, now an adult, bears the burden of supporting both parents on their shoulders alone.
2. What was the impact of the authorization to pass to two children in 2015?
Apart from a weak rebound just after the announcement, this first authorization had no effect. The number of births resumed its fall in 2016 to fall to twelve million in 2020 against 14.65 million in 2019. That year, the birth rate had already hit a low since the founding of Communist China in 1949.
4. Is this authorization likely to be a game-changer?
Not really if taken alone. The low enthusiasm for the second child in urban and affluent circles since 2015 has shown that the authorities’ green light alone will not have a magical effect. Additional announcements are expected on social support for childcare, maternity leave, the cost of their education, etc.
According to a study, the maximum lifespan of a human being is between 120 and 150 years. Nothing could prevent this inevitable aging
Is this the end of the myth of the immortal man? The age of death cannot be pushed back indefinitely, according to a study on aging by researcher Andrei Gudkov, co-founder of Genome Protection, a biotechnology company specializing in anti-aging therapies.
It’s all about resilience
Death would therefore be inevitable, due to “the gradual loss of resilience” according to the study, that is to say the ability to recover after “stress”. At 40, humans take two weeks to recover. At 80, it takes six weeks. According to the study, between 120 and 150 years, the human being would completely lose his capacity for resilience and therefore could no longer recover from various diseases.
“This explains why even the most effective prevention and treatment of these diseases could only improve the average lifespan, but not the maximum lifespan, unless true anti-aging therapies are developed”, describes the ‘study. Which could raise many ethical questions.
According to the count of the NGO Oxfam, at least nine people have become billionaires thanks to the profits from the sale of vaccines against Covid-19.
The statement fell just before the G20 World Health Summit to be held this Friday in Rome. The NGO Oxfam, which fights for the reduction of inequalities, points to the nine new fortunes that have been built up « thanks to the huge profits of the pharmaceutical groups which have a monopoly on the production of vaccines against the Covid ».
These figures, published by the “People’s Vaccine Alliance” which brings together organizations and personalities demanding free vaccines against Covid all over the world and of which the NGO Oxfam is a part, are based onthe ranking of the American magazine Forbes .
A cumulative fortune that would allow the poorest countries to be vaccinated
The fortune accumulated by these nine billionaires, which amounts to $ 19.3 billion, would, again according to Oxfam, « vaccinate 1.3 times all low-income countries » which « have received only 0, 2% of vaccines produced in the world, in particular due to the large deficit of available doses ”. The press release also adds that by taking into account the fortunes of eight other billionaires with « large equity portfolios » in pharmaceutical companies that have experienced a cumulative increase in their assets of $ 32.2 billion, there would be » enough to vaccinate the entire Indian population ”.These figures revolt Sandra Lhote-Fernandes, health advocacy officer at Oxfam France, who believes that « these vaccines were financed by public funds and should above all be a global public good ». It also calls for « an urgent end to these monopolies ».
After Xi Jinping, he is the most famous Chinese in the world. The founder of Alibaba has fallen from grace, his empire could be dismantled
Where did Jack Ma go? For six months, the question has not only concerned financial circles but has also fueled speculation about a takeover of the digital economy by the Chinese state. Jack Ma is the richest man in China, the founder of Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company. In the space of two decades, thanks to its online shopping, payment and loan platforms, it has become both a commercial and banking player more powerful than a Bezos or a Zuckerberg. Today, Beijing is dismantling its empire.
With one exception, Jack Ma has not appeared in public since last October. He then criticized the Chinese banking regulatory system, considered outdated. At the time, the flamboyant entrepreneur was preparing the IPO of his bank lending subsidiary, Ant Group, which promised to set a new stock market valuation record. The operation was stopped at the end of the year by the Chinese regulator. Since then, signals have multiplied in China of a takeover of digital companies, mostly private, so that they conform to the same mold as the public sector. In early April, Alibaba was to pay a fine of 2.4 billion francs for “abuse of a dominant position”. This movement should be completed, according to information from the Financial Times, by transferring all the data of Ant Group’s 700 million customers to a subsidiary of the Central Bank of China. Which amounts to a form of nationalization.
About 1000 years before Charles Darwin wrote a book on how animals change through a process he called « natural selection, » a Muslim philosopher living in Iraq named Al-Jahiz had already preceded him. .
British scientist Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is one of the cornerstones of modern science.
The idea that species gradually change over time through a mechanism called natural selection has revolutionized our understanding of the living world.
But it seems that the theory of evolution itself also has an ancestor in the Islamic world.
His real name Abu Usman Amr Bahr Bahr Alkanani al-Basri is remembered by history by his nickname, Al-Jahiz, which means someone whose eyes seem to be sticking out of their sockets.
His most famous work, The Book of Animals, is designed as an encyclopedia featuring 350 animals, in which Al-Jahiz presents ideas that bear a striking resemblance to Darwin’s theory of evolution.
« Animals engage in a struggle for existence and for resources, to avoid being eaten and to reproduce, » writes Al-Jahiz, « environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure their survival. survival, thus transforming them into new species ”.
He adds, “Animals that survive to reproduce can pass their characteristics on to their offspring. «
It was clear to Al-Jahiz that the living world was in constant struggle for survival and that one species was always stronger than another.
Charles Darwin rightly deserves his reputation as a scientist who has spent years traveling and observing the natural world, and who founded his theory with unprecedented precision and clarity to transform the way we see the world.