Exponential Change

Exponential Change August 12, 2021

Humans are prone to overshoot – acting only when it is too late.

Take climate change or population growth or both or similar.

Imagine there is big old pond in your back garden. On the first day there is 1 lily pad, the next day 2, the day after 4 and so on. On the 30th day, the pond is full of lily pads and lily disaster strikes.

When do you look at the pond and think – we’ve got a problem and we need to do act now?

The problem is that the answer is invariably “When it’s too late”. This is because when you look at the pond on day 29, it is still only half full. That’s a lot of pond space, still! That’s, surely, heaps of time.

Except, with exponential growth doubling, one day is all it now takes to fill the pond from being only otherwise half full.

Act, and act now. Better early than late; better day 20 than day 29.


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