In 1967….

I am born.

Massive demonstrations against the war in Vietnam take place in San Francisco, New York City and Washington DC.

Muhammed Ali is stripped of his boxing title and sent to prison for refusing to enter the US army.

83 people die in race riots in the US.

Aretha Franklin releases “Respect”.

The Rolling Stones appear on the Ed Sullivan Show – and get busted for drugs. Several times.

The Beatles release the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and John Lennon takes delivery of his psychedelic painted Rolls Royce.

Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu get married in Las Vegas.

The Apollo 1 fire kills 3 astronauts.

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom has already been on the throne for 15 years.

Francis Chichester becomes the first person to sail single-handedly around the world via the capes, in his boat the Gypsy Moth.

Che Guevara is executed.

climate_changeScientists Syukuro Manabe and Richard Wetherald become the first scientists to flag up the connection between atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and Earth’s climate.

The top films include The Graduate, The Jungle Book, Bonnie & Clyde, The Dirty Dozen, You Only Live Twice, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Casino Royale, Cool Hand Luke, and Valley of the Dolls.


Since then…..


The human population has more than doubled, from 3.4 billion to 7.1 billion.

World oil production, expressed in barrels per day, has risen from 37.12 million to 79.95 million.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen from 322 ppm to over 400 ppm.

The global average temperature has risen from 13.99 degrees C to 14.57 degrees C (2009).

Annual car production has risen from 19 million to 49 million.

Annual world grain production has increased from 1,014 million tons to 2,213 million tons (2010).

Annual fertiliser consumption has risen from 55 million tons per year to 163 million tons.

Number of undernourished people has remained around the same, up slightly from 878 million to 925 million.

Gross World Product has grown from 15.76 trillion US$ to 73.24 trillion US$ (adjusted to $4,343 per person to $10,728 in 2009 US$ terms).

The number of Earths needed to meet human demands (i.e. humanity’s ecological footprint) has risen from 0.77 Earths to 1.51 Earths (2007).


All this has happened on our watch. Even if we think it’s not our fault, how can we not care?


  • Hi Roz, Scary stuff you,re reciting. We all need the reminders. I have been quoting changes in life expectancy since 196 per country and current GDP when posting the soil collection journal on my blog found at Keep it up, I enjoy reading the posts and will never forget your feat. And by the way, I have been sending my friends to see your little boat at the Newport Beach California ExplorOcean display. Do you want the status of Chris Walsh’s program? Gary

    • Thanks, Gary. Would love to hear how Chris is doing. We had a fun and fascinating meeting with him last time we were in Newport Beach.

  • Roz: You forgot the part about how Tuvalu has completely vanished under the rising ocean. Oh, wait! Tuvalu is, in fact, not under water as you so boldly predicted on your podcast while crossing the Pacific in 2010. In fact, some scientists believe it has increased in size. Of course, that wouldn’t aid your cause now, would it?

    As far as the Earth’s population goes, I’m sure you are well aware that the all 7.1 billion people could fit into the borders of Texas with about the same population density as New York City. So how about framing your arguments with a bit of perspective?

    • Jack, that would indeed have been bold of me to make such a claim. Even the most pessimistic scientific projections don’t have serious impacts of sea level rise until the end of the century, certainly not by 2013.
      I don’t have a “cause”, as such. I don’t have investments in green energy companies (or anything else, for that matter!) – I’m just looking at what I see going on, and it worries me.

      • Roz: Please go back and check your interviews with Leo Laporte. I listened to every single one, as I was and am, a big supporter of many of your efforts. You did indeed indicate that getting to Tuvalu was important, as they island could “soon” be under water, and you wanted to call attention to their plight. Perhaps it was an off-hand remark, but it was indeed said. Jack

        • I recall Roz stating that increasing storm surges caused by more intense weather (greater atmospheric energy causes more intense storms, i.e., more wind, waves, rising water and flooding) is causing salty sea water to overtake islands — and coastal areas on continents — and infiltrate into the very shallow and fragile fresh water stores on the island. BTW, what does this have to do with the blog? I think the blog is a very insightful recap of incongruities in our unfettered economic growth paradigm within a finite resource system.

          • “What does this have to do with the blog?” Well, as stated by Roz herself on the podcast she did while on the Pacific row, “My whole mission on this stage of the row is to raise awareness and inspire action on climate change.” Obviously “raising awareness” (both in her podcast and her blog) means framing “the facts” in such as way as to scare those who are unaware of context (see the reference to the world’s population above). Most of her listeners and readers are only aware that the situation is “dire”, but don’t really know why. They would say, “Wow, the population has really grown”, without considering the fact that the earth’s natural resources could comfortably accommodate many times more people.

            Here’s what Roz said during episode 56 of Roz Rows the Pacific: “They (Tuvalu) are on of the unfortunate nations that are likely to disappear under the ocean if oceans rise 6-8 feet.” Here she recites a scary “fact” with absolutely no context. The question was not even asked by the host where there’s any evidence that the island is indeed shrinking. The fact is now that there is evidence indicating the the island has perhaps even grown slightly.

            And then this: “Australia will be impacted with an influx of climate refugees who can’t stay on their own islands, because their own islands are not there any more.” Once again, no context or evidence that anything like this is occurring, only theories meant to “inspire action on climate change.”

            You need look no further than the post from Gary Simpson, right before this thread got started, Gary says, “…Scary stuff you’re reciting.” Mission accomplished, I guess. That’s exactly what these “facts” are meant to do.

            The UncaDoug says, “Excellent recap…unequivocal.” Unequivocal, of course, means “leaving no doubt.” Leaving now doubt about what in particular? Again, without context, this is nothing but a series of facts that lead to nowhere.

            You know, I hung on Roz’s every printed and spoken word during her Pacific row and find her incredibly inspiring, but frankly can do without the constant fear mongering.

          • I believe there is no conventional wisdom that supports your statement “the fact that the earth’s natural resources could comfortably accommodate many times more people.”

            The nation of Tarawa indeed is implementing steps to prepare for the evacuation and transplanting of the island population into other societies/cultures with skills that will carry them into a new existence off their island over the next several decades. This is a fact.

            If you are not alarmed at what is happening in the Arctic, and what is happening in the midwest U.S. and what is happening in the southwest U.S and what is happening in Australia and what is happening in China and … and if you don’t fear the social and economic changes that loom over the horizon … well, I don’t know what to say.

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