The backlash of agriculture could lead to wars, famine, starvation, pandemics, and weather related disasters. These accelerating events exacerbate destruction, especially through climate change, and could signal the decline of the human race.
There are many reasons why some people think humanity is doomed, and we are in "the end times." The most resounding, and possibly sound idea, is that agriculture at its present pace of gobbling up space and arable land is not sustainable. With more than seven billion people, the argument goes, more and more land is taken over for farming. There are declining pollinators at the same critical time that mono culture, (farm focus on non-diverse crops, such as corn) and invasive species are spreading. There is also concern over more released methane as a warmer planet unveils permafrost.
More and more diversity, necessary to life is disappearing, and more and more erosion, artificial fertilizers, toxic pesticides and herbicides, are deteriorating the quality of the soil. Most treatments of the soil began as methods to increase immediate production, but did not look at long term impacts, or dire consequences of "borrowing" from fossil fuels with no thought of how to re balance what comes due. Another example is factory farming which not only releases methane, but also requires arable land to raise mono-culturated corn, which requires more and more space to grow, and is artificially sustained through big business subsidies paid by taxpayers.
The backlash is everything occurring in agriculture today that once allowed tremendous success and high yields. The introduction of artificial fertilizers, high impact agribusiness, and manipulation of seeds, genetic modification, and pest management created what was optimistically termed "The Green Revolution." Nothing could be less "green" by the movement by which modern speakers use the term green now, to indicate environmentally sound and sustainable practice. Depleting soils means eventually, depleting yields, and human populations.
Environmentalists, then, do not find it hard to relate higher seas, less fresh water, and increase in greenhouse gasses, at least in part to agriculture and its overzealous aim toward higher yields at the cost of loss of life as we know it.
At present, people are seeing vast increases in food prices worldwide. Conflicts over land are especially severe in parts of Africa. The fallout from such conflict is usually refugees, increased starvation, disease and famine. Resource conflicts, such as those over oil, mineral rights, water, and sustainable land are increasing predictably, as both population increases, and desperation for a fair share. Both science and faith can identify the four horsemen of the apocalypse, although from different perspectives. And the horsemen are galloping through our amber waves of too much corn.
The soil is also at risk, because industry creates pollution in the water, and air, which returns as acid rain. Erosion and development further accelerate the pace and viable soils are lost. Deforestation adds to this destruction. In short, almost anything that human beings can do to influence the soil upon which they depend, tends to wear it out faster than we can enrich it.
Some ideas concerning the end times, or the end of days are based on religious fanaticism. Other ideas may come from the more rational evidence rooted in agriculture, biology, ecology, geology, and even archeology. The past is studied to see how humans coped with shortages, and how those shortages led to catastrophic population crash. Sadly some lessons of the past teach short term gain, and the gainers will always be in favor of that.