Agriculture: Good or Bad?

Here’s a rather lengthy (OK, very lengthy) article on agriculture and human history.

Agriculture: Unsustainable Resource Depletion Began 10,000 Years Ago

I’ve been of the belief for quite a few years now that agriculture has been very bad for humanity. It is true that it allowed increased specialization into scientists and slaves, kings and serfs, executives and janitors, etc.

However, I would note that long before agriculture was invented, people were already producing impressive art in places like Lascaux. So, clearly, even at a time when there were far fewer humans on the planet, people were capable of some impressive culture.

Overall, has agriculture really been good for the individual members of the human species?

For some, certainly. But, on average? I don’t think so. Here are a few good quotes from the article.

Read and Leblanc (2003) suggest that humans, in areas of low resource density, tend to maintain generally stable populations, while high resource density, such as that produced by agriculture, decreases the spacing of births more rapidly than the increase in resource density, which results in repeating cycles of carrying capacity overshoot and population collapse.

Even though intensive cultivation agriculture did produce more food than subsistence food production on a specific area, severe local food shortages were not eliminated by the development of these techniques. Famine was caused by cyclic drought, climate cooling episodes and the natural propensity of humans to increase population numbers to meet then surpass any elevation of carrying capacity during benign conditions (Hopfenberg 2003).

Societies grew and prospered until soils were exhausted or as long as there was new land to cultivate, but they declined when they ran out of fertile soil options (Montgomery 2007). Temporary overshoot of carrying capacity has caused human numbers to fall back precipitously with some regularity throughout history (Stanton 2003), while less regular complete collapses of societies have been the norm since the advent of agriculture (Costanza et al. 2005).

I’m thinking we’re long overdue for another precipitous drop or complete collapse. I’m not saying I want this, merely that I’m worried it may happen very soon. Perhaps the global economic collapse that is in progress will be a large contributing factor. Let’s hope not.

Thomas Malthus (1826) predicted that agricultural production increases would not be able to meet the requirements of a steadily growing human population. However he was not aware that the depletion of soils by the agriculture, that was feeding less than one billion humans in the 1700s, was already unsustainable in the long term.

The Green Revolution produced the last major improvement in food production during the latter decades of the twentieth century as new crop varieties were created by plant breeders. These new varieties depended on large inputs of fossil-fuel dependent fertilizers, irrigation, insecticides and herbicides. William Paddock (1970) warned, at the time of the beginning of the Green Revolution, that the increased agricultural productivity would simply produce more malnourished poor people if curbs were not applied to the increase in human numbers that would result from increased food availability. Global population growth since the beginning of the Green Revolution has borne out the futility of increasing food availability in the absence of measures to control human fertility (Diamond 2002).

There’s lot’s more than this in the lengthy article. I hope at least a few people will read it in it’s entirety.

Please note that I expect to be in the minority here, but am really curious for other opinions. Also, if you have read the entire article, please say so.

Thanks rit.


22 Responses to Agriculture: Good or Bad?

  1. Cinaedh says:


    Somehow, the link to the article has no link attached, even though it certainly looks like a link.

  2. Thanks Cinaedh,

    The link should be fixed now. I have no idea how that happened. Serves me right though for not testing it myself.

  3. eideard says:

    Agriculture did eventually provide enough surplus to allow the transition to slave/serf societies. Eventually products that discovered markets that didn’t previously exist.

    The quest for scarce goods doesn’t come an end when enough [previously scarce] goods are available. Human beings are always capable of refining and expanding those felt needs.

    Though the upper limits seem to be making themselves known nowadays – and the slow food movement, smaller is better, etc. responses are becoming more rational than Luddite.

  4. Nathaniel says:

    One point about agriculture. While it is possible to bemoan the slavery/dictatorial societies that evolved in earlier human history, it is increasingly the case that such societies have been reformed/thrown off with the rise of more politically equal democratic nation-states. Modern slavery is frequently illegal and the whole western hemisphere (and many other parts of the world) give citizens the right to vote-which is self determination/consent of the population as a whole. It is still possible for the politically democratic societies to be challenged or corrupted from within by well moneyed or connected individuals but even then these are sometimes challenged in turn by reformist movements.

    It is correct to attach slavery to the history of agriculture, but not to use it to sum up the whole of agricultural history.

    I tend to doubt overpopulation theories as the mass starvation Malthus predicted has not come to pass, but his theories were used (abused to me) to justify allowing local famines to run unchecked.

    I also wonder if he helped create a tendency to inaccurately attribute problems to overpopulation (as a default) when their actual causes relate to something other than population levels. For example, Global Warming being related to widespread use of fossil fuels for energy rather than population size but some have tried to argue (incorrectly to me) that overpopulation causes the global warming. The problems attributed to “overpopulation” that I can recall being mentioned include environmental, moral (poor treatment of others), and shortages (the most frequent of which has been food). Thus I wonder if there is a tendency to incorrectly assume that supposed overpopulation and lack of population control are causes of whatever problem occurs when the actual causes (and potential solutions) lay elsewhere.

    I am not a Global Warming (or many other environmental problems) skeptic, but I am of “overpopulation”.

  5. Nathaniel,

    A few points you may want to consider:

    1) Slavery is still practiced worldwide, even in countries where it is illegal. I agree it does not sum up the entire history of agriculture. However, it is a byproduct of it. And, it is still at alarming levels even in countries like the U.S., even when it is illegal.

    2) Malthus was wrong on two points in my opinion, and, it is just opinion. First, he dramatically overestimated the human carrying capacity of the planet. I do not personally believe that this planet can support anywhere near a billion people for any geologically significant period of time. Second, He dramatically underestimated the degree to which we would steal food from our children to feed ourselves.

    3) Regarding overpopulation as the cause of our ills, it may not be the only cause, but please think of a single major problem we face as a species that would be a major problem if there were only 6 million people on the planet rather than 6 billion. That thought experiment should convince you that overpopulation is at the very least one of the major causes of all of our serious problems.

  6. bobbo says:

    I didn’t read the entirety of the linked article but I skimmed most of it==I’m way behind in so much reading.

    The parts I read emphasized soil depletion as a major concern. How 20th Century–the future is hydroponics under glass or even various different pastes produced by pond scum. You and I won’t like it, but our kiddies will relish it.

    Scott–you’ve posed that question many times. Heres one problem that is worse served by fewer people==lack of input to problem solving by more people. At 6 million people, would Einstein have appeared?

    Have you decided on how to define the carrying capacity of the earth as far as how many species we are allowed to kill off in our lust to occupy every cranny of earth and sea?

  7. bobbo,

    At 6 million people, would we need Einstein to solve our problems? Yes.

    It would have taken many times the length of time our species has been alive. But, we’d have lived that long. Now? Who knows?

    How many species can we kill and still survive ourselves?

    Wouldn’t a better question be how many species we can save?

    Wouldn’t an even better question be knowing what we know and having what intellectual capacity we have, whatever one may think of it, is it ethical to keep killing them at all?

    How many can we kill? If we don’t care to live through it ourselves, the Permian/Triassic extinction is a good model for where global warming will take us if we don’t take swift and radical action to prevent it.

  8. bobbo says:

    Scott–we don’t “need” Einstein. Newton was just fine for his time and place–relatively speaking. But I guess with fewer people on earth, the question would then be, would we have Newton? Science?

    Scott==would you rather live in a hunter/gatherer society with primitive natural gods and animal worship as your only culture, or a more crowded world such as today? So–another answer to your question would be “the problem of how to develop modern culture can only be addressed with a world population in the billions.” Maybe now that our modern culture has been developed, we can inch population back down—if the multitude care to?

    I don’t know why but your question, maybe just your answer, or maybe just the assumptions of your answer, rankle me a bit. It negates the very function of science/technology/culture/change to think that the carrying capacity of the earth is as low as you argue for.

    I think the carrying capacity of the earth is X for any given set of assumptions of Y. You modify X by modifying Y. No set number of X unless you set the assumptions.

  9. bobbo,

    I would rather have been born into a hunter gatherer society in pre-agrarian times. I no longer have that option.

    Thus far, to my knowledge, science and technology have not altered the carrying capacity of the planet. Science does not create anything from nothing.

    What technology has done is:

    1) Allow us to learn a tremendous amount about the universe in which we live. — IMNSHO, this is a very good thing.

    2) Allow us to use far more of the planet’s resources in far less time than we otherwise could. — IMNSHO, this will be our undoing.

    We are gobbling up our renewable resources far faster than they are being renewed. Jared Diamond calls this mining our renewable resources, i.e. treating them like gold. There is so much gold in the ground. No new gold is being created. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether we mine it all today or stretch it out.

    To my knowledge, there has not been a significant case where technology has solved one problem without creating an even bigger one. As an example, cars were the solution to the problem of noise and smell caused by horses in New York City around 1900.

    Burning oil has been the solution to the back-breaking labor involved in agriculture.

    I think that the X and Y that you are modifying have no effect on earth’s carrying capacity.

    With fewer people on the planet, I think that we would progress through science at nearly the same pace when measured in humans-years (i.e. humans times years.) So, if we had 30 million people on the planet, it would take ten times as long to get Newton as with 300 million people. The odds are the same, the time is longer.

    Perhaps with 30 million people on the planet, we could survive for hundreds of millions of years, and thus have many Newtons and Einsteins. With 6 billion, we may not get another hundred years.

    You have way too much faith in technology to solve any problem. It is faith. It is not based on the evidence at hand. I’ll remain agnostic about whether science can get us out of our predicament. As yet, we have been unable to motivate the masses to care enough to want to solve the problem.

    An Einstein alone won’t do. People have to want the solution. This one is going to be painful. People may choose to ignore it until it’s too late.

    This may have already happened. Solar and wind exist. There’s not nearly enough movement toward them. And, we’ll need more solutions than that to survive.

  10. bobbo says:

    Scott–I agree with your Einstein analysis, I was obviously reaching to begin with because I basically agree with your position “in the main.” But I had a plausible response and enjoyed/liked/learned from your even better response. The value of the dialectic.

    But it is shocking to think anyone thinks variables don’t make a difference? I wonder if you stated your point a little bit off, or if I took it that way?

    Would you agree that the carrying capacity of the earth is X for a hunter gatherer society and X+Y for an agrarian one?

  11. bobbo,

    I am enjoying this debate as well. It is really making me consider my opinion. In this case, I have to think about the variables. I feel quite confident about stating an opinion (again, just an opinion) that agriculture does not increase the carrying capacity.

    However, you are making me think more about this. Let’s see if I can shock you with this opinion.

    Agriculture increases the resources used by each person in an agrarian society, especially those who are wealthy. Certainly one of the San (a.k.a. Bushmen of the Kalahari, though the term is derogatory) uses far fewer resources than an average New Yorker, such as myself.

    So, it seems to me that agriculture decreases rather than increases the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet while temporarily increasing the short term carrying capacity.

    I am not honestly sure, however, whether the average lifestyle of the 6+ billion agrarians on the planet uses more or fewer resources than the San. Perhaps the 1.2 billion who are starving or chronically hungry actually use fewer resources per capita than the San. I am also unsure about the average per capita use of resources by agrarians (including those in sweatshops and middle class members of developing nations and others) is higher or lower than that of hunters and gatherers.

    If and only if the agrarian average is lower than the hunter gatherer average, then it would be true that the carrying capacity is higher under agriculture. I personally would be extremely surprised if that condition were true.

    Do you really believe that agrarians use fewer planetary resources per capita than hunter gatherers?

    I think that if the sustainable carrying capacity of hunter gatherers is X then the sustainable carrying capacity for agrarians is X-Y (where Y is positive) or even X/Y (where Y is greater than 1).

  12. bobbo says:

    Scott–well ok. If you think that agrarians have a HIGHER or a LOWER carrying capacity THEN you agree that variables make a difference.

    I will be more than shocked if your gut fee/imagination would conclude that the carrying capacity would be the same???? So–given neither of us know what we are talking about, the SANE persons will guess that two wildly differing forms of support/interaction with Mother Earth will result in different carrying capacities. Could be higher or lower==but they will be different.

    Now that you are trapped like a bug under the thumb of your own common sense–there simply speaking are other variables that likewise would make changes.

    For myself, I think it is obvious that agrarian would increase the carrying capacity as the hunter/gatherer is only making use of the animals that nature provides. Agrarians on the other hand are making use of the land mass that is available. The have a shorter energy link to the sun some energy experts would say. Short link==greater carrying capacity.

    The more disagreeable questions/variables come later.

  13. bobbo says:

    It just occurred to me that “in Nature” the ratio of carnivores to the herbivores they prey on is like 1 to 200 or higher. Can’t find it on google but did fall across fact that humans digestive tract is more similar to herbivores than carnivores==has to do with acidity levels.

    So, having a choice, the carrying capacity of the herbivore lifestyle should support 200X the carry ing capacity of the carnivore life style. Makes sense the omnivore would be even higher? I take it the hunter/gatherer is mostly hunting and not gathering? Gee====MORE VARIABLES!!!!!!!

  14. bobbo,

    For myself, I think it is obvious that agrarian would increase the carrying capacity as the hunter/gatherer is only making use of the animals that nature provides. Agrarians on the other hand are making use of the land mass that is available. The have a shorter energy link to the sun some energy experts would say. Short link==greater carrying capacity.

    Now I think you’ve trapped yourself under your own logic in the same way. hunter-gatherers use only what nature provides. Agrarians take more. Taking more leaves the earth with less. Therefore the carrying capacity is lower as agrarians are taking more from nature.

    The short link argument doesn’t work at all. Instead of taking plants that are grown by nature without help, agrarians trash an entire ecosystem, thus throwing away a huge number of natural resources, then replace that ecosystem with a monoculture. Then they feed the monoculture to cows, chickens, and pigs. Then they eat a tremendous amount more meat, at least in wealthy society, than is available to hunters-gatherers, thus lengthening rather than shortening the food chain.

    All of these variables that you think you’ve caught me on, however, are variables in how much each person consumes. Further, by consuming too much, we reduce the ability of the planet to replenish, thus reducing the amount of resources for future generations. Desertification is the most visible of these huge reductions we have made to the planet’s carrying capacity. However, the far less visible destruction of the ocean, where 90% of all commercially harvestable fish have already been removed, may have an even greater affect on the earth’s carrying capacity.

    Regarding your second post, I don’t have time at the moment to search for links. Feel free to request them if the details are important to you.

    The predator-prey ratio for cold blooded species is typically 1:5. For warm blooded species it is typically 1:20. I think this may not be exactly the number you’re looking for, however.

    The more correct number for your argument is that it takes about 6 pounds of vegetation to make a pound of chicken, about 8 pounds of vegetation to make a pound of beef, and about 200 pounds of vegetation to make a pound of tuna (leopard of the sea, a top level predator).

    So, yes, eating less meat leaves more vegetation for humans to eat. However, humans still need protein.

    Soy is the best plant for protein. However, a farm that grows only soy can produce a certain amount of protein. An identically sized farm where a small area is set aside as an aquaculture pond for growing carp, tilapia, or catfish, will produce more protein by growing wheat or rice or some other grain and feeding it to the herbivorous fish in the pond.

    So, yes, changing our diet can also have an effect on carrying capacity. Unfortunately, our current changes to lifestyle worldwide are all about increasing consumption of meat, and consumption in general including electronics, cars, and in short trying to get a first world lifestyle in many developing nations, are all about decreasing carrying capacity by increasing per capita consumption of literally everything.

    So, the trend is toward increasing short term population and decreasing the world’s carrying capacity by both increasing consumption and increasing ecosystem collapses that leave land unable to produce. The prognosis for having a great many people on this planet is only getting worse.

  15. bobbo says:

    Scott–you say: “hunter/gatherer is only making use of the animals that nature provides.” //// I’m pretty sure that H-G’s have hunted some species into extinction? Like some bird for its feather for head dresses? Some other food examples exist as well?

    Then further you see agrarians as only being able to “trash an entire eco-system” setting up monocultures?

    Quite a black/white set of assumptions you have there. I think the point of going agrarian is that it utilizes RENEWABLE resources–water, sun can’t be “used up” in the way you suggest. It appears we are polluting our water supply and popultion numbers are outstripping the supply in certain areas===but that is still not using it up. Every day brings more sun. Every rain storm brings more water.

    Well==aren’t you still suggesting that variables make a difference? The carrying capacity of the earth is greater with good HG’s than with the bad Agrarians?

    If you want to revert back to variables don’t make any difference, then that should lead to a single hard number as to what the carrying capacity of the earth is. OK–allow for a little plus or minus factor, not for variables, but for rounding errors? When will that number be published?

  16. bobbo,

    Certainly hunter-gatherers were also not living in balance. Ever since we left Africa, we’ve been a blight on the planet, hence my severely misanthropic view.

    Within 1,000 years of human arrival in the Americas, for example, 83% of all large North American mammal species were extinct and 87% of all large South American mammal species as well.

    Here are a couple of resources being used by agrarians that were not depleted by hunter-gatherers.

    1) Top soil. Agriculture, especially as practiced today, depletes top soil far faster than it regenerates. This leads to desertification which reduces carrying capacity.

    2) Underground aquifers. This fossil water replenishes only very slowly. The Ogallala aquifer in the southwest of the U.S. for example is being sucked up for agriculture at many times the rate at which it replenishes.

    These are examples of what Jared Diamond calls mining our renewable resources. We are depleting them far faster than they replenish. We are treating them the way we treat non-renewable resources, and hence, are making them non-renewable.

    So, for sunshine, you’re right. When that is used up in 4.5 billion years, nothing else will matter.

    For water, however, we are indeed using up our fresh water. And, as you point out, much of what we are not using up, we are polluting to the point of toxicity.

    As for whether variables make a difference, time frame is too important to ignore. There is a maximum carrying capacity that a planet full of healthy ecosystems can support. Everything we do to attempt to change it for the short term ends up lowering the capacity in the mid term, say centuries or millennia, and likely having no effect on truly long time frames, say millions or hundreds of millions of years.

    We need to start thinking of mid term and even longer time frames if we want to consider what sustainable truly means.

    I am not optimistic that our species will live long enough to reach even the shortest of my concept of mid term. I think we may have already dropped the planet’s carrying capacity to zero. If we do indeed cause global warming so severe that we have another Permian/Triassic extinction on our hands, I find it difficult to imagine humans living through a planet with little or no life on it other than sulfur producing bacteria with an atmosphere that contains toxic levels of hydrogen sulfide gas.

    So, yes, our variables can make a difference in the mid and shorter end of the long term. However, the planet will rebound and be fine. At such time as it recovers, the carrying capacity of humans will be restored to its original level. At that time, however, it is very unlikely that there will be humans left to appreciate it.

    If we want to change that variable, we need to change rather a lot of others in a very short time. We need to prevent the worst of global warming. We need to reduce our numbers to a sustainable level. We need to remove the threat of global thermonuclear war.

    In Collapse, Jared Diamond lists 12 problems, including the above 2, that must be solved if humanity is to survive. If we solve 11 out of 12, we do not get a 91.5% score and an A grade, we die. Any one of the 12 left unanswered will kill us.

    Optimism may not be called for at this time.

  17. bobbo says:

    I agree with everything you have said==but the subject is “Do variables affect the carrying capacity of the earth?”

    The fact that any variable can be over utilized to a population collapse says NOTHING about how that variable affects the carrying capacity of the earth.

    The fact that any variable can be pushed to the destruction of a certain habitat says NOTHING about the carrying capacity of the earth unless you define it that way.

    I can only have a “feel” for how you define carrying capacity==something about keeping the earth as green as possible with as many animal/plant species as possible. With that definition, it seems to me only common sense to recognize that an agrarian policy would support the most number of people.

    If you disagree, then that is one sense we don’t share in common? (smile!)

    Because I feel good saying it: I think carrying capacity means how many humans can the earth provide a home for under what given technologies and life styles? Low==wide open spaces with lots of other animals. High==monoculture with mostly only humans with other species we approve of. Huge range between low and high==both sustainable, with the high end more subject to an error causing a crash.

  18. bobbo,

    I think your last line best makes my point. I think that the variables effect short term carrying capacity. I think that for the long term carrying capacity, the ecosystem must be robust, must be able to sustain itself through warm and cool periods. *

    So, one thing that you must consider when you think about your own last line “… with the high end being more subject to an error causing death” is the likelihood of such an error or of significant change either from natural or human events that might cause such a crash.

    Perhaps you think the odds are low, perhaps one in a thousand, perhaps one in a million. If so, keep in mind that there are 4.5 billion years remaining during which we might be able to inhabit this planet. If something only happens once in a million years, it is a near guarantee to happen and cause such a crash over the course of a million or ten million years.

    Thus, anything with a one in a million chance that could cause a severe crash is a premature death penalty for humanity.

    Currently, I believe we’re playing with near certainty of severe crash much much sooner than that. However, this is not really the topic for today. For today, I would strongly state that the lower number of people with a healthy and robust ecosystem with many and varied species is the only answer for sustainability over hundreds of millions of years.

    At this point, such an ecosystem is no longer an option. We are deeply into a mass extinction with a huge loss of both species and populations of extant species already under way.

    This is a catastrophe.

    We do not know how much biodiversity can be lost before a crash of the ecosystem. We are gaining huge amounts of data that show that many changes result in slow and gradual change during which ecosystems and even geological systems such as the amount of ice on the planet, remain visibly unchanged for long periods of time and then undergo sudden collapse.

    We cannot sustain a collapse of the global ecosystem. Do you remember Biosphere 2? We thought we knew what it took to be sustainable. We were horrifically and catastrophically wrong. If we are to perform such an experiment on Biosphere 1, as we are doing, we may find ourselves in exactly the same situation on a much larger scale.

    Resiliency and robustness in the planetary ecosystem are critical for long term survival not only of other species, but of humans as well. Resiliency and robustness can only be accomplished through high biodiversity. And, we’re losing what little biodiversity we have left. How much do we need? Are we willing to find out the hard way?

    So, I still maintain that your variables are short term, not long term. Sustainability is measured in far longer terms than you are considering. Unfortunately, you are not alone. If we do not think in terms of millions of years, we will likely not live the next 50 or 100. We are in deep trouble right now. Agriculture, as we practice it today, has caused the majority of that trouble, from too many humans to too much habitat destruction, to mass extinction, to risk of nuclear war that can kill us at the touch of a button, to global warming that will kill us all if we simply do nothing.

    If we are to make agriculture our friend again, instead of our enemy, we must find a way to change our practices dramatically to ensure sustainability.

    * I deliberately left out hot and cold periods. These have not been good for the majority of life in which we are interested. Neither snowball earth nor the hot toxic hydrogen sulfide gas atmosphere of the P/T boundary is conducive to high biodiversity.

  19. bobbo says:

    Scott==once again we are in close agreement. I actually do think we are past a tipping point not because we don’t already have the technology that could support us all but because we won’t make the social changes necessary to be consistent with what the carrying capapcity would call for.

    I’ve posted this before, maybe even here, my favorite example of this: During the Irish Potato Famine that killed and exiled millions of Irish (a kind of carrying capacity I think), the English land owners exported wheat from Ireland to England to continue making profits.

    I expect our own coming crash will have that aspect about it as well.

  20. bobbo,

    You’re probably right. We’ll have a lot of that causing the crash. However, I believe the crash will happen regardless. We’re way past the planet’s carrying capacity.

    As you know, I have no kids that will have to deal with this mess. I’m hoping that we can do something to reduce our impact and avoid the worst of the catastrophe, a P/T level extinction. I’m also hoping to live out my life expectancy and that my wife can live out hers, which is a bit longer and started a bit later, giving her around a decade longer, before the crash.

    I don’t want to live through the crash itself and have my way out. If I see the beginning of the Great Human Die-Off, I intend to leave the planet in the first wave. I’m not going to wait for those who have prepared differently than I have (buying guns and canned goods) to kill me as food. I plan to go peacefully into that good night rather than raging against it when my time comes. I have a decent way out.

  21. bobbo says:

    Really? Gosh Scott–think some more. I have contemplated the same scenario and think it would be a wonderful time to eat cold beans out of a can with some good red wine. Use my days reading books by the sunlight and thinking that most triumphal of human thoughts: “I told you so!” I agree with you I don’t see myself engaging in end of times violence, but why take yourself out when you can spectate on the goings on? How much different is that from what we are doing already?

    Plus, I’d thinking helping the wifey as much as I could would provide some pleasure, if nothing more than the simple pleasure of your company?

    I doubt we will see that. I think what you will see is an acceptance of the VARIABLES that will have to be followed in order to carry 9 Billion people which may include those steps necessary to reduce the number==family planning, vegetarian diet, fascist governments, book banning, rebirth of religion……all the fun stuff.

  22. bobbo,

    You have such an idyllic view of the collapse of civilization and the Great Human Die-Off. My view is bleak. Mine involves rampant cannibalism and people like me being eaten for dinner by rednecks who’ve been stocking up on canned goods and weaponry for decades. I don’t want to be there for that. BTW, my wife agrees and asks only that I make sure that I have enough for both of us to get out. Enjoy the view of the cannibals feeding on my slightly rotting corpse. Or, better yet, if you come across my body, bury it at sea after removing all toxic waste, such as dental fillings. I hope to get back into the food chain quickly.

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