A barrel full of must

Now, with reference to the problem of population
growth in a limited space, it might be useful to
consider the example of a barrel full of must.

The vine has collected light and
carbon dioxide through its leaves.

It grew on the one hand it stored
sugars in the grapes on the other.

The fermentation bacteria that will make the wine,
take from the sugars the energy they need to live.

The space inside the barrel is limited,
as is also the food supply.

The few fermentation bacteria, which already
exist in there, have of course no idea about
the energy supply situation and they start with
carefree optimism and enthusiasm (and the
"nonchalance of the newly rich") to eat the
food and to multiply ever faster quite happily.

And the growth is in full swing and the fermentation at
full speed, the must is bubbling and everyone is happy.

The must is bubbling
in the barrel.
The bacteria are having a
great time and multiplying without a care in the world.

But for how long?

The end comes just at the moment of
greatest happiness, when feeding is at the
height and reproduction out of control.

When the population and with it the speed
of its growth has reached its maximum.

And the end may come in one of two ways.

This depends on the sugars content of the must.

If the grape is low in sugars, then the end is death by starvation.

The hordes of hungry fermentation bacteria, which
until yesterday found abundant food, and multiplied
at a constantly increasing speed, suddenly find
nothing more to eat and suffer mass starvation.

A tragic end with a horrible
death by starvation.

The dead fermentation bacteria fall as dregs to the
bottom of the barrel and we have our fine dry wine.

The other way occurs when the juice is rich in sugars.

Then there is no fear of the food supply failing.

The end comes from a different cause; it comes from the alcohol.

Alcohol is a by-product of the metabolism of fermentation bacteria.

It is, you could say, the leftovers from their digestion,
their excrement. And in large concentrations it is toxic
for the fermentation bacteria, as well as for many other organisms.

So, high levels of sugars, many fermentation bacteria,
much alcohol, equals death by poisoning.

An even more tragic end
with an even more horrible
death in their own excrement.

Then we have a nice strong sweet wine, because
there is still unfermented sugar remaining.

The unfortunate fermentation bacteria die,
drowning in their own dirt.

Something similar to that which threatens us, as we
have messed up the whole planet with our waste.

The problem of the Augean stables.

His large herds were a blessing.

But if one fails to remove the waste on time, then a
labour of Heracles is needed to solve the problem.

Really, is it not interesting that Heracles applied a technical
solution and faced the problem by diverting the river?

Let's keep Heracles, we will need him later,
and let's go back to the problem of
the growth of our population.

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