Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist

By Sean Adl-Tabatabai | 19 June 2015
Your News Wire

Humans will be extinct in 100 years because the planet will be uninhabitable, said the late Australian microbiologist Frank Fenner, one of the leaders in the effort to eradicate smallpox during the 1970s. He blamed overcrowding, denuded resources and climate change.

One of the world’s leading scientists, Professor Frank Fenner, has made a grim prediction: He says that humans will be completely WIPED OUT in 100 years, as overpopulation and environmental destruction will cause humans to become extinct in a matter of years.

Fenner is an eminent microbiologist at the Australian National University blames “unbridled consumption” and the “population explosion” as the key reasons why the human race will not survive to see 2100 and beyond. reports:

Fenner told The Australian he tries not to express his pessimism because people are trying to do something, but keep putting it off. He said he believes the situation is irreversible, and it is too late because the effects we have had on Earth since industrialization (a period now known to scientists unofficially as the Anthropocene) rivals any effects of ice ages or comet impacts.

Fenner said that is only at its beginning, but is likely to be the cause of our extinction. “We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island,” he said. More people means fewer resources, and Fenner predicts “there will be a lot more wars over food.”

Easter Island is famous for its massive stone statues. Polynesian people settled there, in what was then a pristine tropical island, around the middle of the first millennium AD. The population grew slowly at first and then exploded. As the population grew the forests were wiped out and all the tree animals became extinct, both with devastating consequences. After about 1600 the civilization began to collapse, and had virtually disappeared by the mid-19th century. Evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond said the parallels between what happened on Easter Island and what is occurring today on the planet as a whole are “chillingly obvious.”

While many scientists are also pessimistic, others are more optimistic. Among the latter is a colleague of Professor Fenner, retired professor Stephen Boyden, who said he still hopes awareness of the problems will rise and the required revolutionary changes will be made to achieve ecological sustainability. “While there’s a glimmer of hope, it’s worth working to solve the problem. We have the scientific knowledge to do it but we don’t have the political will,” Boyden said.

Fenner, 95, is the author or co-author of 22 books and 290 scientific papers and book chapters. His announcement in 1980 to the World Health Assembly that smallpox had been eradicated is still seen as one of the World Health Organisation’s greatest achievements. He has also been heavily involved in controlling Australia’s feral rabbit population with the myxomatosis virus.

Professor Fenner has had a lifetime interest in the environment, and from 1973 to 1979 was Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies at ANU. He is currently a visiting fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the university, and is a patron of Sustainable Population Australia. He has won numerous awards including the ANZAC Peace Prize, the WHO Medal, and the Albert Einstein World Award of Science. He was awarded an MBE for his work on control of malaria in New Guinea during the Second World War, in which Fenner served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps.

Tribute to Frank Fenner

Professor Paul Ehrlich: Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided?

Al Bartlett – Democracy Cannot Survive Overpopulation

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  1. Most probably, not everyone will die at once. There may be a few survivors. If there are only a few humans left, we will have pretty much quit contributing to more global warming. It will eventually reverse (partly because the really big climate cycles are all heading toward an ice age right now.) Maybe those few survivors will be smarter than us. Not likely, but you never know.

  2. lol waaaaaaht?? yes, we know some of Easter Island's earlier peoples went extinct, and yes, we know why, but it wasn't from warring over food or overpopulation! the culture collapsed after 1600 because THE DUTCH WERE RAIDING AND ENSLAVING THE LOCALS!!! it's pretty well documented!

  3. I agree but it's far far worse than that. I work in the nuclear industry. If people only knew the truth they would be terrified. If any global catastrophic event occurred such as say a pandemic occurred we would all be dead within a few weeks and I don't mean from the virus. Nuclear reactors are not designed to be unmanned. There is no emergency automated plan for an unmanned reactor. In any emergency scenario they scram. However the core still requires cooling for months or it goes into meltdown followed by containment breach. Reactors on average have a few days of diesel to run the backup generators. After that the cooling systems fail followed by meltdown. There are 451 reactors around the world! It gets worse. HLW (high level waste) cooling pools have no containment facilities and also require cooling or the HLW will meltdown owing to decay heat. As opposed to one reactor containing a few tons of nuclear fuel a HLW facility could have a few hundred tons of fuel. As I write this there are 225,000 tons of HLW in cooling ponds globally. So what we have done is build the doomsday machine on the assumption that no catastrophic event will ever occur. There is no hope of survival should it occur. Keep in mind it doesn't even have to be global. If an event struck say the US (99 reactors) or France (58) it's still the end. It is sheer lunacy and no one is doing anything about it.

    • Interesting take on the problem of pandemics.

      I'm very much opposed to nuclear power as we're not smart enough or moral enough (yet) to use it properly, and might never be. But I think you're overstating the problem. Yes, meltdowns will be a massive problem and will likely cause explosions when superhot material breaks cooling water into hydrogen and oxygen which then ignites, scattering radioactive material over the landscape (as happened at Fukushima and Cherbobyl). Some other places might experience the "China Syndrome" where molten radioactive material melts its way down to the Earth's core, causing volcanic events. But there won't be nuclear explosions. Nuclear bombs require the radioactive parts to be brought together very fast in order to trigger sufficient energy release. That just won't happen. The other problems are bad enough though. Imagine Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters in hundreds of places all over the Northern Hemisphere.

  4. The Venus Project, The Zeitgeist Movement

    We can prevent it though, with the condition that we need to look past the old ways of managing resources and society. However majority of the people are those who don’t care, who don’t want to change and who don’t understand how we can change.

  5. Until the central banks give up control of the money so we can all stop working in this current system you will never see any real change to a viable sustainable system. We all need to be free from our current mundane consumer driven way of life in order for everything to slow down. As long as we all have to go to work every morning to earn money to pay bills our world is going to keep going down the same path.

  6. Sounds like he is referring to this study. Hugely over simplified. They assume what they want to prove basically. They think that human population can only level off due to resource scarcity, actually it does that because of resource abundance. Japan's population is declining and that's a very wealthy country and worldwide it's the same pattern – just naturally without need of any policies as such, as prosperity increases, populations level off and then decrease. EU population not yet declining because of net immigration but the immigrants also have declining populations once they enter the EU. And despite all the impression you get from the news, food security and prosperity is improving year on year worldwide, also life expectancy up every year, child mortality down in that situation people are more secure and they don'[t need to have huge families. Part of it is education, the generation whose parents needed big families just to have a couple of children healthy enough to look after them in old age now need education that their generation is better off investing in just two children, that they will be healthier than a big familiy of half a dozen.

    In projections most of the increase by 2100 is in Africa, projected to increase population from 1 billion to 4 billion and that could be averted by education + helping them to achieve prosperity faster. But it is also the least developed continent with rather backward methods of agriclture that could be improved hugely by scientific methods. So it can support the 4 billion by improving agricultural practices and scientific methods of better crop varietiese and better ways of growing crops more efficiently -something that happened everywhere else about 50 years go. Reducing child mortaility helps reduce population growth a bit counter to intuition.

  7. The author, Sean Adl-Tabatabai, wrote this article in 2015 — FIVE YEARS AFTER FENNER'S DEATH — yet writes as though Fenner was alive and kicking during this article's publication. This is an example of either laughably bad journalism or intentional deception. Shame on the author AND this website for such deliberately misleading "news."


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