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How long until the next global war?

  1. Oct 24, 2010 #1
    It's been more than 60 years since the last world war. Society has become more globalized than ever. We (the Western world) are living in more luxury than kings were, a century ago*.

    I honestly can't see us - humanity - live for another half a century without major conflicts. There's just too many people on earth - we're on or over the edge of what is sustainable. China is growing out of proportions and so is India. Clean water will become very valuable. In Holland, where I live, much of our resources are imported. Even a lot of the meat and general food. The Western society is based on the ridiculously low prices of transportation for almost all resources, most importantly food. I think the chain can easily been broken and war is inevitable.

    This is not to mention how our weapons are more effective and deadly than ever before in history.

    Although it's not exactly a daily issue for me, I very much doubt we're going through the first half of this century without a major conflict. Opinions?

    *Might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 24, 2010 #2
    civil war in US in 20 years or less, similar thing in Europe, then Germany rapes everyone while the US is 2nd world and reeling :)

    so...30-35 years
  4. Oct 24, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I believe the Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention is accurate as a trend but not in absolute terms. I think it possible that WWIII will never be fought in classical terms.

    To a large extent, I also believe our choices wrt energy will determine whether WWIII is ever fought. So I think this is our choice, right now. Either we solve this problem now, in a controlled manner, or we let the market solve the problem for us.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  5. Oct 24, 2010 #4
    The war will start when there is a global drop of potatoes production...:rofl:
  6. Oct 24, 2010 #5

    Chi Meson

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    I will decide if the world goes to war or not! I don't want anyone making any moves without going through me first!

    'Scuze me, I just had a day of solo parenting, and I'm feeling a little omnipotent.

    Now that I think of it, please do not "go through me," because that would hurt.
  7. Oct 24, 2010 #6
    What do you think will be the cause of the civil war, Mr. .. Goethe?
  8. Oct 24, 2010 #7
    racial/economic discord

    historically, has always happened

    lack of $ to create contented last men will mean that it will occur again
  9. Oct 24, 2010 #8
    Civil War in US has aboslutely 0 chance. In Europe it is just over 0. This is mainly because Europe is made up of independent nations (with independent armies) so they could conceivably go to war.
    There is just no way an independent militia would be able to do anything to the US armed forces.
  10. Oct 25, 2010 #9


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    The fat cats of the western ex-colonial powers will need to eventually adjust to a more sustainable lifestyle as the rest of the world catches up and no longer exists solely to subsidize us (I'm looking at you, rioting French people!), but I don't see a global war breaking out. There's too much to lose. Too much of the world has seen what war results in and will realize it isn't profitable unless you have a ridiculously massive advantage and even then it might not be.
  11. Oct 26, 2010 #10


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    How long until the next global war?

    We look at the statement 'global war' in terms of what has preceded us, ie, nations against nations.

    I entertain the notion that there may well be a global war going on right now, that being one of Islam against the west.

    (Though if you do want to talk about nations against nations, perhaps China vs America as the principal antagonists, and perhaps within the next 10 years or so).
  12. Oct 26, 2010 #11
    I was surprised not to see discussion about that in those forums. I was not surprised to see how poorly the information is transmitted throughout international media. Do you happen to read french ?
  13. Oct 26, 2010 #12
    Every single time in the past, there has been bloodshed when multiple ethnic groups share space. The only reason this hasn't happened recently in the US is that there is lots of $ to go around, so everyone is content with luxury goods. What do you think will happen when capitalism doesn't meet the needs of everyone anymore? :3
  14. Oct 26, 2010 #13
    No offense but I HATE that argument... "There's too many people, it's not sustainable".

    Hundreds of years ago, to sustain the lifestyle we live today would have drained the human capital and resources available at the time many times over.

    As far as food production, if we took ONLY the farmland that's currently in cultivation right now across the world and utilized modern food production machinery and capabilities, we could overfeed DOUBLE the current population of the planet, and give 10% of that land back to nature.

    Transportation and other resources? New resources will being to show up (heck, they're already there) and will become more common when someone is able to make them less expensive than currently used resources.


    How many homes do you know that are still heated with a coal-fired boiler? How many trains run on coal? The house we used to live in in Cleveland had a coal-fired boiler, but it was converted to run on natural gas. The house had a room designed for holding coal, it had a door so that you could load it from outside right into the basement, etc.

    What happened? Someone came up with a much more cost-effective and convenient method for producing heat: Natural gas. They found a way to deliver it to houses inexpensively, without the added cost of another laborer to drive the delivery truck, and without the added time cost to the homeowner to shovel coal into the boiler all the time (which means they'd even be willing to pay a little more for the product because in the end it saves them time, which is a valuable resource). PLUS, it increased the air quality around the world by burning a new cleaner fuel as opposed to coal.

    And know what? All of this happened without government banning coal (like they probably would do today)... crazy.
  15. Oct 26, 2010 #14
    Lack of $? What is money? Money is nothing more than a sign that you have done something productive. It's just a medium we agree on to use as if it were a commodity.

    Honestly, take all the dollars in the world and put them in your house. You'd be the richest person in the world wouldn't you? Until everyone else in the world says "know what, I'm really not interested in your paper, you can keep it". Now you're flat broke. You have all the "dollars" in the world, but it's fake money, not worth anything unless someone else agrees to use it as a medium for trade.

    Money is just an illusion. Anyone who sees dollar bills as a means to curing ills in society is chasing the wind. The ONLY way to raise the standard of living in a country is for everyone on their own to decide to be more productive.
  16. Oct 26, 2010 #15
    Quite an overreaction. Think about what I wrote first. You seem to believe that I'm a supporter of fiat money.
  17. Oct 26, 2010 #16
    seems like it will be soon the way iran, north korea and other nations are acting.
  18. Oct 26, 2010 #17
    You say there's a "lack of $ to create contented last men". Aside from that having to be interpreted... I take that to mean that there's a lack of money (resources) to share amongst people, which will result in revolt.
  19. Oct 26, 2010 #18
    Pretty much.
  20. Oct 26, 2010 #19
    as soon as we run out of bread and circuses
  21. Oct 26, 2010 #20
    Yep. :/
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