Tad Patzek, a professor of petroleum engineering and physicist, gave a talk on January 16, 2019 at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.
His talk is titled “How Can We Salvage Our Global Civilization?” however Patzek does not answer his own question. Instead he reviews the brief history of humans and shows that we are in a severe state of overshoot with a population that exceeds the carrying capacity of the planet by about 30 times thanks to fossil energy, which he predicts will soon rapidly decline due to depletion. In the Q&A that follows the talk, Patzek advocates for population reduction policies. Also in the Q&A, Patzek gets quite aggressive with audience members who make ignorant points about technology being our savior. He concludes that we will probably use nuclear war to correct overshoot. I wonder if he’ll be invited back next year?