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Author Topic: Population: Public Enemy No. 1  (Read 55636 times)

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #100 on: September 09, 2013, 06:05:30 PM »
With so much information about "renewable energy" being a savior from GHG
surely
we'll soon be seeing various controlled methods proposed to reduce population
without resorting to genocide.

IMHO, as the fossil fuel industry seems to oppose total conversion to renewable's
what - which segment of society will oppose population reduction?


As much I agree the JimD,  the originator of this topic/thread, about excess population.

I guess it is unreasonable for me to pose a question such as
"How to purposeful eliminate 90% of the population"
without having to wait for an extinction event.

Jack

Even if we all agreed that population reduction was critical (and there are many people who do not feel this way) I highly doubt that any reduction program which would result in significant drops in population could ever be agreed upon.  The reasons for this is that there is no painless and fair way to rapidly reduce population levels and many people will naturally try to ensure that their group does not suffer this fate equally with others (its human nature).

Up thread we discussed the most fair and least painful program I could think of and I believe that it is also so painful that I cannot conceive of ever getting a global agreement to implement it.  That program would requires that we skip an entire generation of children; in other words no woman anywhere in the world would birth a child for 20 years.  Pretty fair, also pretty painful, and no violence required.

Outside of voluntarily not having children I am not aware of any way to quickly reduce population levels that does not require a vast scale of violence.  Sorry.

I won't propose any specific type of violence to accomplish this as circumstances will likely lead to most any method you can think of anyway.  All will likely occur pretty much simultaneously as the climate continues to destabilize and food and resource shortages become endemic.  We are likely just going to have to wait for it to happen.  I think it most likely that we will just drift into the situations where rapid population loss happens, but it is also a reasonable possibility that some entity will precipitate it on purpose.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Anne

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #101 on: September 09, 2013, 06:17:19 PM »
I reckon the Four Horsemen could achieve their mission without any help from us heathen.

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #102 on: September 09, 2013, 06:51:48 PM »
Anne

That is my bet as well.  But then again..genocide (War) is one of the Four which requires heathen assistance.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Anne

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #103 on: September 09, 2013, 06:53:12 PM »
Jim

But no one from this forum, I trust.  :o

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #104 on: September 09, 2013, 08:52:17 PM »
Well I'm a Pagan so that leaves me out...I think.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #105 on: September 09, 2013, 11:05:41 PM »
Jim

But no one from this forum, I trust.  :o

My nym should give me away.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 04:28:35 PM by Shared Humanity »

JackTaylor

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #106 on: September 10, 2013, 06:11:21 PM »
snippet ~ "Even if we all agreed that population reduction was critical (and there are many people who do not feel this way) I highly doubt that any reduction program which would result in significant drops in population could ever be agreed upon." ~ 
Yes - I agree, there will not be an agreement.
I hope a solution is not needed.
But, that does not preclude you talking about running the numbers on no births for 20-years or my 99% not allowed to reproduce.

Hopefully, the UN demographers are correct in that 9.7 Billion will be max achieved and then decreases.

So nothing will be done about public enemy number one.

Was it a waste of time to have this topic-thread?


JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #107 on: September 10, 2013, 06:33:16 PM »
Jack

More coffee!   8)

So nothing will be done about public enemy number one.

Was it a waste of time to have this topic-thread?

While a few people here probably have some hope that these discussions we have on the forum will result in educating some people and maybe making a small positive change, I suspect that most of us are just  very interested in the entire process and find it intellectually stimulating to work our way through all the complexity of what is going to happen.  It is a more interesting version of turning on the  movie and cooking up the popcorn. 

So all topics have some value I guess and the number of reads and responses show the interest in talking about them.  But I, for one, have no expectations of making any difference via my posts.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #108 on: September 10, 2013, 07:04:38 PM »
snippet ~ "Even if we all agreed that population reduction was critical (and there are many people who do not feel this way) I highly doubt that any reduction program which would result in significant drops in population could ever be agreed upon." ~ 
Yes - I agree, there will not be an agreement.
I hope a solution is not needed.
But, that does not preclude you talking about running the numbers on no births for 20-years or my 99% not allowed to reproduce.

Hopefully, the UN demographers are correct in that 9.7 Billion will be max achieved and then decreases.

So nothing will be done about public enemy number one.

Was it a waste of time to have this topic-thread?

It is not a waste of time.

I agree with the conclusions drawn here. Humans collectively are very unlikely to take ethical action to address the issue of over-population. The decision to reproduce is a very personal one. I have a degree in economics and believe in the "economic" human in so far as personal decisions are based on maximizing utility for the person making a decision. A decision to reproduce is made based on the personal desires and values given to having a child. Religious Christians will choose to have many children due to their desire to be "fruitful and multiply". Agrarian cultures with relatively high mortality rates will result in more children. Wealthy nations with the associated high costs of raising children will have relatively low fertility rates. U.S. fertility rates have dropped to historical lows since the recession of 2007 as couples delay the decision to have children. This delay will have a decades long impact in U.S. population growth but the decisions were made individually.

Since no collective decision can possibly affect this personal decision to reproduce, we should expect that war, famine and disease will be the most likely methods used to halt and reverse the growth in population. Discussing this is not useless as it allows us to grapple with the issues that such a future presents.

This discussion also provides us with the ability to at least partially approach the issue of population growth from the perspective of public policy. Nations could choose to enact policy that influences the decisions that individuals make about having children. This does not need to be draconian prohibitions such as China's "one child" policy. It would simply need to be policy that cause the decision to procreate to be less attractive on the margins. Such policies still allow for the individual to choose but will cause all individuals to make this choice in an environment of the "declining marginal utility" of children.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #109 on: September 10, 2013, 08:28:31 PM »
So nothing will be done about public enemy number one.

Was it a waste of time to have this topic-thread?

Not a waste at all, it's a key part of the problem and well deserving of the highlight as it's often sidelined and conveniently ignored by many people.

The absence of obviously ideal (and viable solutions) notwithstanding, identifying a problem is still a prerequisite to attempting to come up with solutions.

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #110 on: September 16, 2013, 07:38:34 PM »
Here is an interesting article that caught my eye.  As I was reading it the thought occurred to me that this is one of the impacts of technology which has the potential to eliminate vast numbers of jobs in the 3rd world while at the same time reducing the foreign earnings of those countries.  Which would put many of them much closer to the line where they no longer had the money to pay for food they could not grow. 

"3D Printed Guns Won't Hurt You - but Jobs of 50 Million Women Could Be in Danger"

The gushing is infectious. "3D printing could essentially eliminate the fashion manufacturing industry entirely," apparel industry rag Fashionista enthuses...

.... For if the fashion industry's wishes come true, 3D printing jeopardizes jobs for around 50 million women, spread across every continent, and in most countries of the world. That's a full fourteenth of the world's population - one woman in every seven - out of work. ...


(note the articles math sucks as 50 million is 1/144th of the worlds population and thus
about 0.7%, but 50 million jobs is not chicken feed either)

We may not be all that far from the point of many people being able to manufacture their own clothes in their walk in closet.  High end clothes first. 

I must admit I have very mixed feelings about the ultimate social value of robotics.  If we replace peoples jobs with robotics then we have to guarantee them a living minimum level of subsistence whether they work or not.  If you do not do this eventually the society will collapse.  However, none of our governmental/economic systems or cultural patterns are geared towards ever implementing a system which supports people who do not work.  And this is not a socialistic/communistic concept, even Friedrich Hayek recognized the need for such a system.

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18622-the-3d-printed-guns-wont-hurt-you
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #111 on: September 17, 2013, 05:24:43 AM »
I must admit I have very mixed feelings about the ultimate social value of robotics.  If we replace peoples jobs with robotics then we have to guarantee them a living minimum level of subsistence whether they work or not.  If you do not do this eventually the society will collapse.  However, none of our governmental/economic systems or cultural patterns are geared towards ever implementing a system which supports people who do not work.  And this is not a socialistic/communistic concept, even Friedrich Hayek recognized the need for such a system.

Well, in theory robots could do a lot of dangerous or boring jobs and free up human labour resource for more fulfilling work - or to free up potential to help our species advance efficiently. Unfortunately at the moment, the dominant paradigm (free market thinking, albeit strongly constrained in favour of the rich and powerful) seems to view an unused labour pool as an acceptable outcome - even a necessary outcome.

To me, this has the same feel of nations where women are unable to become educated - massive amounts of human potential are squandered and large amounts of suffering inflicted on people by other people for ideological reasons (counting both religion and the free market myth as such).

In the UK for example - I think there are plenty of things unemployed people could do that would positively contribute to society. The towns are dirty, graffiti ridden and litter is everywhere. Old people receive a bare minimum of care from the society in which they live. Even for people not possessed of remarkable intelligence or ability - there are plenty of potential jobs they could be doing that robots cannot yet do - but there isn't enough money to fund those jobs. There is however enough money to pour into failed banks (hardly a free market to do so!), or to fund various military adventures etc - so this represents a value judgement rather than an absolute limitation (and hell, money is essentially imaginary).

At the higher end of ability and skill I wonder how much talent and intelligence is simply squandered due to the market not assigning any value to the use of it. That is to say that when money drives everything - where is the incentive to spend large amounts of effort finding answers to the increasing shortage of antibiotics? When we let the market drive that - we have to wait until suffering increases to a point that it is profitable to do so - as opposed to trying to do so simply because it makes sense. In the modern world someone can have multiple degrees and be flipping burgers just to get by. They are again being underutilised - and there is a cost to society from that.

Likewise - suppose a company that makes a lot of money selling HIV drugs (which must be taken for the rest of a lifetime and are not cheap) found a cheap cure for HIV (speaking hypothetically). How can it possibly be in their interests to bring this to market if they stand to make a lot more money selling people medicine for life?

Where I'm really going with all this - if we accept the reasonable assertion that population is currently much too high and a sustainable population would be substantially lower, we need to consider what the shape of human existence then becomes. I think a high population is a significant driver of innovation and hence the high technology we currently possess. There is a statistical certainty that with more people there will be both more geniuses and more good ideas floating around.

Given that population must be constrained and assuming that we want our members to enjoy a basically comfortable existence, and think it worthwhile to try to answer the big questions (like where did the universe come from and how does it work) - I would argue that we need to do a lot better at utilising our potential. We need to not squander people and potential, and potentially that means robots (and other things - like educating all members of the species, not letting poverty or the market discard potential, etc).

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #112 on: September 17, 2013, 05:47:13 AM »
"there are plenty of things unemployed people could do that would positively contribute to society. The towns are dirty, graffiti ridden and litter is everywhere."

Hey, are you the former mayor of Curitiba, Brazil? He gave empty bags to the homeless, and then gave them food for returning them filled with street trash, thus cheaply cleaning up the streets and relieving the most desperate needs of the poorest at the same time.

He did a lot of other things that were pretty cool that you might want to look into.

But, then, he was a commie so we can't pay any attention to him, right? :)

In other news, people seemed to have missed the NYTs piece that seemed to claim that the earth has unlimited carrying capacity. The author really seemed to mean that the carrying capacity was not easy or perhaps possible to define, but it seems to me he is trying to get attention by sounding polemic. Here's one of his responses to questions about his piece:

it is possible, though challenging,  for both humanity and biodiversity to thrive in the Anthropocene. 


"It is possible though challenging" could, of course, be said about any number of highly improbable outcomes, for example, "It is possible though challenging for monkeys to fly out of my butt." The prospects of the latter being pretty much on a par with the prospects of biodiversity thriving in the Anthropocene, especially in the presence of a few billion more people, and especially if they are using resources at even higher rates than we are now.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/16/an-ecologist-explains-contested-view-of-planetary-limits/#more-50615
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 07:05:16 AM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #113 on: September 17, 2013, 04:26:52 PM »


Where I'm really going with all this - if we accept the reasonable assertion that population is currently much too high and a sustainable population would be substantially lower, we need to consider what the shape of human existence then becomes. I think a high population is a significant driver of innovation and hence the high technology we currently possess. There is a statistical certainty that with more people there will be both more geniuses and more good ideas floating around.

Given that population must be constrained and assuming that we want our members to enjoy a basically comfortable existence, and think it worthwhile to try to answer the big questions (like where did the universe come from and how does it work) - I would argue that we need to do a lot better at utilising our potential. We need to not squander people and potential, and potentially that means robots (and other things - like educating all members of the species, not letting poverty or the market discard potential, etc).

I agree.

Fantasizing for a moment that we somehow manage to dramatically reduce population without civilization disintegrating, and also to retain a level of technology to support complex robotics, maybe we could free up enough of the trapped human creativity our current system results in that we would not lose that critical mass of creativity and innovation you speak of.

Our vast collection of human beings certainly has allowed us to access that well of human creativity to some extent.  But at what level of efficiency?  I have always thought that, given our huge population, we should have at any given time at least a few humans running around with an IQ comparable to Newton's, Da Vinci or Einstein.  But where are they?  I think they are out there but our civilizational structure does not allow them the opportunity to rise to the top.  Statistically speaking they must be out there unless modern society is decreasing human abilities significantly (I know people who claim this is the case and I think it true in certain respects).

If we had the capacity as a civilization to allow humans to seek out their interests and expand to their natural capacities I don't think we actually would need all that many people to continue to develop at an intellectual level.  In an ideal world where we could use technology to improve the human condition (rather than just orient it towards making someone richer) then robotics could free up that trapped human creativity which we cannot access today.  But we would have to have a structure in place that provided some reasonable form of subsistence that would allow them to be able to focus on their abilities and not the fact that there were no jobs.  I note that for a period of time a very large number of great minds thrived in ancient Greece at a time when populations were relatively small so unless we are much stupider than they were we should be able to accomplish equivalent things..

A perfect example of our current situation are the very large numbers of people one runs across who are clearly extremely intelligent but are stuck in some dead end job or situation where they have no opportunity.  When I ran my farm I would get a lot of young folks applying for work who had college degrees and were sort  of romantically enamored with the ideal of organic farming.  But almost all of them were some form of frustrated artist (music, art, pottery, etc) and what they really wanted to do was their art.  fBut there is just no way to make a living doing art for almost anyone.  Now I must admit that only one of the ones I hired ever had any significant amount talent (a gifted classical guitarist), but my point is that our next Einstein might be one of those poor migrant farmers trying to cross the Rio Grande and if we found him we would not need to have a large population and just hope he fell out of the crowd into our lap. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

NevB

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #114 on: September 17, 2013, 05:53:05 PM »
Here's a brief left field comment from a bystander,

Make smaller people. Not possible in this or the next generation but perhaps after then....

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #115 on: September 17, 2013, 10:31:03 PM »
Welcome, NevB.

IIRC, there is actually an organization committed to this goal. I'll see if I can hunt down a link.

But of course even very small people can operate very large machines that can do an awful lot of damage. I've seen some fairly tiny people clamber out of some pretty large Hummers and other SUVs, for instance.

If everyone were using the least they could use anyway, more small people of that type would fit on the planet with less long-term damage than us large types. But ultimately it is rate of total consumption of all resources (and therefore rate of effluents into the environment) that must be reduced, and that has only an imperfect with the size of the population and the size of the individuals that make up that population.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #116 on: September 17, 2013, 11:03:34 PM »
Make smaller people. Not possible in this or the next generation but perhaps after then....

Actually, it could be started almost right away.

Put America (and some western european nations including the UK) on a diet! (preferably after altering agricultural policy/subsidies so that farmers had incentives to produce healthy food rather than bulk cheap calories - as I think this is a key reason for obesity being far more prevalent amongst the poorer section of the population).

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #117 on: November 03, 2013, 04:44:38 PM »
Another aspect of population, and especially the increasing numbers of people and growth in urbanization, is the generation of waste.

Human waste production has multiplied tenfold in the last century....

...The average person in the US throws away his (or her) own body weight in rubbish every month. The detritus linked to modern living has not only grown tenfold in a century; by 2025 it will double again....

...Landfill sites near Shanghai, in Rio de Janeiro, and in Mexico City typically receive 10,000 tonnes of waste a day.  The world now has more than 2,000 waste incinerators, some able to burn 5,000 tonnes a day, creating attendant problems of ash and air-polluting fumes.

Landfill waste is of course also a notorious source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas...

....By 2000, there were 2.9 billion people in cities – 49% of the world’s population – creating more than three million tonnes of solid waste per day. By 2025, it will be twice that = enough to fill a line of rubbish trucks 5,000 kilometres long every day....

...Hoornweg and Bhada-Tata are the authors of a 2012 World Bank report in which they projected a world dustbin collection of 6 million tonnes a day by 2025. They calculate that under a business-as-usual scenario waste will grow with population and affluence as the century wears on, with increasing growth in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and by 2100 it will exceed 11 million tonnes a day ...


While projecting BAU to infinity does not make sense, and the 2100 numbers will surely be overtaken by events, it is not hard to imagine the 6 million tonnes per day happening and maybe even more before all the negative feedbacks kick in and turn the curves downwards.  A doubling of waste generation rates in the next 12 years or so is a staggering thought.  It strongly implies a more than doubling in negative effects as our ability to manage such amounts will be coming under increasing stress due to all the other negative factors of a growing population, worsening climate change, and crumbling financial systems.

http://www.climatenewsnetwork.net/2013/11/where-on-earth-will-the-waste-go/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #118 on: November 03, 2013, 06:22:26 PM »
While projecting BAU to infinity does not make sense, and the 2100 numbers will surely be overtaken by events, it is not hard to imagine the 6 million tonnes per day happening and maybe even more before all the negative feedbacks kick in and turn the curves downwards.  A doubling of waste generation rates in the next 12 years or so is a staggering thought.  It strongly implies a more than doubling in negative effects as our ability to manage such amounts will be coming under increasing stress due to all the other negative factors of a growing population, worsening climate change, and crumbling financial systems.

I think the question you need to ask yourself - even as to the viability of doubling waste production in a mere 12 years - is - what is all this waste and which holes in the ground in which countries must it dug up from and what regions must it be shipped through?

To me a doubling of waste implies a doubling of consumption (and if you look at the growth rate in China that seems a reasonable assumption - at their current rates of economic growth they will more than double their resource consumption in a decade).

So where are the extra planets?

How can business as usual even continue for another decade?

Even if we don't hit the rate and severity of collapse that I think we will (my opinion being predicated heavily upon rapid agricultural decline heavily assisted by other key stress factors like this) - it's hard not to see anything other than major economic instability, resource warfare and grinding deterioration in living conditions within a decade (in western nations especially, much depends how successfully China can wrest resource control to itself as to the distribution of problems between societies - but western nations still have a much higher branch to fall from). Inasmuch as many finite resources (including some near, at or past peak) are needed for agriculture, this alone represents a very serious threat without additional input from abrupt climate change.

My feeling is with hindsight we will recognise the period in which we live now as the beginning of the end - barring a rapid succession of near miracles. Around 2007 - in more ways than one - we started our descent in earnest.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 06:30:08 PM by ccgwebmaster »

JackTaylor

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #119 on: November 04, 2013, 04:18:00 PM »
Well, since you folks introduced a near topic item, let me say "Remember the Mobro"
http://retroreport.org/voyage-of-the-mobro-4000/

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #120 on: November 04, 2013, 05:25:18 PM »
A Real-Time Map of Births and Deaths

This simulation gives an eerily omniscient vantage on the world as it fills.

Did I mention I love maps?  Pretty awesome.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/a-real-time-map-of-births-and-deaths/280609/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #121 on: November 04, 2013, 05:27:35 PM »
Well, since you folks introduced a near topic item, let me say "Remember the Mobro"
http://retroreport.org/voyage-of-the-mobro-4000/


I remember that!  Chump change by todays standards.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #122 on: November 04, 2013, 08:59:33 PM »
Jim, since you like maps, here's a similar one, but with indications of GHG release as well as births and death, and with the added benefit of slightly creepy sound effects.

http://www.breathingearth.net/

The pulsing beat of births in India is quite...impressive.

On the issue of the transformation of waste, has anyone said it better than:

Patti Smith - 25th Floor (full song)
  ?

(She really gets into it at about the three minute mark.)
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 09:11:03 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #123 on: November 04, 2013, 10:20:34 PM »
~~
I remember that!  Chump change by todays standards.
~~

Remember, 26 years ago really doesn't show our ages.

"Chump Change by Today's Standards" - Regardless of the amount, which I think is immaterial to the story, was it a wake-up-call for recycling as stated in the article ? Debatable IMHO !

"a sensational fiasco, but it ended up fueling the modern recycling movement"


Other than aluminum cans, what was recycled in your neighborhood prior to 1990?

I can remember recycling glass bottles during the 1950's, for a refund. (Coke, 'soda-pop' etc)

How about WWII metals recovery? ( before my time)

But, recycling to conserve land-fill space !

Got to admire the Swedes,
http://www.pri.org/stories/2012-06-26/sweden-imports-waste-european-neighbors-fuel-waste-energy-program
"When it comes to recycling, Sweden is incredibly successful. Just four percent of household waste in Sweden goes into landfills. The rest winds up either recycled or used as fuel in waste-to-energy power plants"
Except for the dioxins and heavy metals in the ashes,
can the rest of the world make it as near a non-issue as they have?

Is it another matter, such as population control, which nothing will be done about?

JackTaylor

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #124 on: November 07, 2013, 09:40:21 PM »
JimD, since you notice things such as garbage, in the State of South Carolina, USA
we ACTUALLY have a BILL introduced in our Legislature to prevent other states from shipping
their garbage to us.

http://www.dontdumponsc.com/news
Taxes In, Garbage Out: The Need for Better Solid Waste Disposal Policies in New York City
http://www.cbcny.org/sites/default/files/REPORT_SolidWaste_053312012.pdf
“…the final destination for Staten Island waste is 660 miles away in Bishopville, South Carolina.”
8% of New York City refuse in 2010 was disposed of in SC
Staten Island Waste Transfer Station Does Dirty Work of Mayor’s Trash Plan – September 27, 2011
http://www.ny1.com/content/147975/staten-island-waste-transfer-station-does-dirty-work-of-mayor-s-trash-plan
Staten Islanders are grateful that landfill is not on the borough. Instead, it is in South Carolina.


And Atlanta wants our water.

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #125 on: November 08, 2013, 04:15:38 PM »
Jack

That garbage issue pops up over and over again.  A good 20 years ago there were lots of news items about states getting upset with garbage being shipped in.  Many places near the heavily populated big cities have just about run out of landfill space and finding a rural area that will create a landfill and take their garbage is a big deal.

If we had more poor people we could just stack the stuff in the street and let them use it up like they do in Africa.  Problem solved  ;)

The water wars are just getting started is my guess.  They should be quite entertaining in a macabre sense. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #126 on: November 10, 2013, 01:53:55 AM »
The water wars are just getting started is my guess.  They should be quite entertaining in a macabre sense.

Money talks - if fracking out oil is more profitable than growing food in Texas... anyone want to bet on food winning? I think many of the outcomes will be predictable. A bigger question is to what extent water will prove capable of acting as a driver of military conflict.

ggelsrinc

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #127 on: November 10, 2013, 09:11:12 AM »
The water wars are just getting started is my guess.  They should be quite entertaining in a macabre sense.

Money talks - if fracking out oil is more profitable than growing food in Texas... anyone want to bet on food winning? I think many of the outcomes will be predictable. A bigger question is to what extent water will prove capable of acting as a driver of military conflict.

I'll take that bet, because what you said doesn't make sense. Both energy and food are necessary and economics isn't determined by a limited money supply seeking the most profit. How much oil are people who have died of starvation going to buy?

The limiting factor on water is energy, we live on a planet with plenty of it. People learned long ago to collect the water and grow crops in arid areas. We have already developed technologies to make fresh water available to areas that don't naturally receive it, without fossil fuel pollution. Greening deserts simply requires the will to do so and that will doesn't exist when it's easier to produce food a different way.

Necessity is one of the mothers of invention and the mother of economics, so Edison had it half right. Many great inventions have been shelved, because the economic realities don't presently exist to implement them. Economic realities change with time.

Always remember, it ain't over until it's over! 

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #128 on: November 12, 2013, 07:10:18 AM »
"it ain't over until it's over"

Well, I guess that's true enough.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 12:50:28 PM by wili »
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #129 on: December 03, 2013, 08:37:08 PM »
As many readers likely felt I was disappointed when China announced it was dropping the one child policy (I think that should be the max globally at the very least - zero would be better) and suspected it was for economic  growth reasons.  Here are some takes on that suspicion.

Today, China faces a different problem: a precipitous decline in the ratio of working-age people to total population...

...This is bad news for the economy as a whole — working-age people are the engine of any economy


http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2013/11/15/245470830/chinas-going-to-get-old-before-it-gets-rich

...A preference for boys – not least because they can earn more to support their   parents – means endemic illegal sex-selective abortions and the abandonment   of baby girls. The sex ratio is estimated at 120 boys for every 100 girls,   far above the global average and leaving the country with 50m fewer women   than men.....


http://johnib.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/chinas-economic-boom-may-be-ending-due-to-lack-of-women/

A desperate measure to remain in a growth mode?  But, by the time this policy could have any effect, a period of a generation, they and we are going to be overcome by events and they are going to wish they never opened this box.  20 years from now the globe is going to be largely past the growth economy stage and deep into the growing effects of dwindling resources, worsening climate and the struggle to produce enough food.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #130 on: December 03, 2013, 11:19:13 PM »
One can't help but feel rather appalled by the prospect of selective abortions based on sex. But that will end up helping put a damper on any future population growth.

This is more clear if you take it to extremes--

A village with one male and 100 (fertile, willing, child bearing age) women, could increase its population in theory by about 100 kids a year for many years (if the one man was a busy boy  ;)).

A village with one woman and 100 men could only produce about one child per year, no matter how busy the boys are.

The difference is less extreme in most real life cases, though, but still significant.

I think China will not be able to spur a new baby boom, so I'm not all that worried about it. But as you point out, it is rather short sited, in many ways.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #131 on: December 04, 2013, 05:07:40 AM »
Another issue having 50 million men with no prospects of having a family is that it creates a situation ripe for trouble.  What kind of demands will they put on society?  How do you keep them as productive members of society when they will be unable to participate in a great many of the benefits.  Extremism is born in such situations.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #132 on: December 04, 2013, 06:18:08 PM »
Yup. The context where I first heard of the effect of female infanticide was a talk on the Vikings. The claim was that one reason they ended up going all over the world was that they were so short of women because female infanticide had become so widespread a practice.

Kinda puts a new perspective on "rape and pillage." The poor guys were just horny (pun intended; and yeah, I know, they didn't really wear horns on their helmets) as hell, looking for a little lovin'.  :)

It has been noted before that, sometime after the invasion, near takeover,  and widespread settlement of the Vikings in England, the language evolved that the term for male spouse "husband" came from Old Norse while the term for female spouse "wife" came from Anglo-Saxon.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #133 on: December 04, 2013, 06:34:40 PM »

It has been noted before that, sometime after the invasion, near takeover,  and widespread settlement of the Vikings in England, the language evolved that the term for male spouse "husband" came from Old Norse while the term for female spouse "wife" came from Anglo-Saxon.

File in "fun facts and interesting things" to be used to dazzle family and friends for the holidays. I have to admit, I enjoy reading your comments as you bring a wealth of intellectual disciplines in your arguments.

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #134 on: December 04, 2013, 06:43:02 PM »
Just wait till I start in on the Picenes, the Palasgians and the Paphlagonians! :D
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #135 on: December 31, 2013, 04:33:24 PM »
Here's one of those articles that just makes you grind your teeth.

I see a little blurb to an article which says "Depressing news about population growth".  One would assume that somewhere the population is growing faster again right.  Well no...some moron is upset that the population growth rate in the US last year was the lowest since 1937.  That's bad??!!  Idiots!

America's population is growing at its slowest rate in decades, and the sluggish economy is mostly to blame, according to one expert.

The U.S. population grew by just 0.72 percent in the year ended July 1, 2013, the Census Bureau reported Monday. That’s the slowest growth rate since 1937. Population growth has hovered at super-low levels for the past few years, according to William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan research organization. The trend is "troubling," Frey said, and is due largely to the weak economy...

...Indeed, this recent period of economic malaise has been plagued by low birth rates, fewer marriages and limited mobility, especially for America’s young people. Typically in a strong economy, workers and immigrants travel to where the jobs are, but the Census data show they’re not really moving, Frey said....


Can anybody get this guy fired?

For those not aware the Brookings Institute is a centrist to slightly liberal (by US standards) think tank.  It is considered the most influential think tank in the world.  And they "think" that low birth rates and slowing population grow in the US are bad.  Green-BAU anyone?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/30/population-growth-rate_n_4520485.html

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #136 on: December 31, 2013, 06:03:16 PM »
That really is sick. Given its high consumption rate, it is exactly places like the US that need to crash their populations fastest (and of course it would help if they crashed their consumption rates as well).

Meanwhile, globally, there really is bad news. Latest figures show that the World Population Growth Rate just ended its three year decline and is now going up slightly again.

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?v=24&c=xx&l=en

Year     2000   2001   2002   2003   2004   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2011   2012
WPGR    1.3   1.25   1.23   1.17   1.14   1.14   1.14   1.17   1.19   1.13   1.09   1.1

The rate change is probably statistically indistinguishable from flat, but it certainly does not reflect the kind of drops in growth rate seen from 2008 to 2011 and from 2000 to 2004. Of course, a growth rate of 1.1 still represents a lot of growth, especially given the massive numbers involved.

The world populations counter shows us at over 7.137 billion, probably hitting 7.2 later this year.

http://www.census.gov/popclock/

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?v=21&c=xx&l=en
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JackTaylor

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #137 on: December 31, 2013, 06:50:15 PM »
wili,
All is not bad news: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports;

U.S. home electricity use declines for 3rd straight year
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/u-s-home-electricity-use-declines-for-3rd-straight-year-1.2479249

the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)  http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/er/index.cfm
"The growth of electricity demand (including retail sales and direct use) has slowed in each decade since the 1950s, from a 9.8-percent annual rate of growth from 1949 to 1959 to only 0.7 percent per year in the first decade of the 21st century"  http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/MT_electric.cfm

 predicts 28% increase by 2040

Win Some - Lose Some - Expect Some to Get Rained Out .

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #138 on: December 31, 2013, 11:17:49 PM »
Maybe the Shakers had the right idea.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakers

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #139 on: January 03, 2014, 11:22:27 AM »
Thanks, Jack. Now we need to turn 'reduced rate of growth' into rapid radical reduction, especially of ff-based electricity, of about 10%. Where might those reductions come from?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

JackTaylor

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #140 on: January 03, 2014, 06:59:49 PM »
Thanks, Jack. Now we need to turn 'reduced rate of growth' into rapid radical reduction, especially of ff-based electricity, of about 10%. Where might those reductions come from?
wili - we can forget a true reduction - unless something catastrophic occurs - we can only hope their 28% predicted increase by 2040 is too high.

Big Money must believe there will be an increase of energy use because of continual investments.

Until non-ff ( renewable's ) become profitable for investors - we're just making idle talk,
(barring catastrophic again)
but, perhaps renewable's will help keep the cost (competitive threshold) down for the low to middle level consumers.

Laurent

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #141 on: January 18, 2014, 02:19:00 PM »
Who is culprit ?
Germany and UK are bad boys compared to their size and the population !
http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129523.100-the-seven-deadly-sinners-driving-global-warming.html?cmpid=RSS|NSNS|2012-GLOBAL|environment#.Utp-cqFKHUJ
Well ok France is just behind  :'( :'( :'(

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #142 on: January 18, 2014, 03:16:14 PM »
<<Until non-ff ( renewable's ) become profitable for investors - we're just making idle talk,
(barring catastrophic again) but, perhaps renewable's will help keep the cost (competitive threshold) down for the low to middle level consumers.>>

Remember.....the easy picking fruit of fossil fuels has already been picked.  The cost of pulling oil out of the ground will continue to climb....and the cost differential continues to shrink.

The other "large issue" with fracking (for both oil and nat gas) still lurks.  Anyone with any common sense KNOWS that fracking poisons groundwater (sprinkling pixie dust on it does not work:).  It's just a matter of time.

The oil and gas companies will do ANYTHING to protect their hen house....so this is a VERY LONG GAME.  Record annual temperature records will continue to be set around the world........wild fires will continue to grow......the oceans continue to rise.......and the ice sheets continue to melt.

The truth NEVER goes away.  Sometimes it takes MUCH LONGER for people to see.....especially when money is being stuffed in their pockets.  But it is CITIZENS JOB to (a) call out those people at EVERY TURN, (b) vote for people in office that have some semblance of ethics, (c) be determined in your everyday lives in showing people WITH FACTS what is actually happening.  You can't eat an elephant....especially a very large elephant.....with one bite. 

FOX News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #143 on: January 18, 2014, 03:42:14 PM »
 
[/quote]


Likewise - suppose a company that makes a lot of money selling HIV drugs (which must be taken for the rest of a lifetime and are not cheap) found a cheap cure for HIV (speaking hypothetically). How can it possibly be in their interests to bring this to market if they stand to make a lot more money selling people medicine for life?


[/quote]

Jim, medical treatment/life and death in the medical field has/was become all about money. The CDC estimates that their are 150 million folks world wide the have hepatitis C, a disease that's not always fatal, but is chronic and aggressive,  costing society untold billions in health care cost.

In 1998 they, the medical industry or more accurately big pharmaceuticals started treating folks with hep C utilizing the interferon family of drugs, with a dismal cure rate-about 9%-.
Over the years they refined interferon better to suit their hundred thousand dollar "cure" to a 44 percent cure rate.  This was for folks with good insurance or those who could afford to outright buy the drugs.

Now in 2014 with the patent rights expiring on interferon. The pharmaceutical industry magically came up with a new family of drugs with an 85 to 95% cure rate for most geno type's of the Hepatitis C virus. These new drugs will be widely available starting next month. Wide spread phase three testing showed even the most difficult to cure geno types, were responding at over 90%.

So now, instead of interferon injections per week, which 50% of the folks that tried could not finish because of the terrible side effects or their bodily systems crashed and did not respond to rescue drugs, they take two pills a day, costing a $1000 per pill for 12 weeks with little or no side effects.

Sadly this has been the state of medicine/pharmaceuticals. In this case Hep C, this, if successful
will be the first time in human history that we have eradicated a virus from humans. Some doctors/mathematicians are dubious of this outcome, as the success of treatment/reinfection depends of a hypothesis developed in the 1950's called Error Catastrophe, now called lethal mutagenasis, mutates a viral strand to the point where it can not replicate. The problem is the sneaky little virons mutate ahead of the curve and you now have a drug resistant strain. Should a reinfection occur a entire new family of drugs would be necessary to again try to treat folks to a sustained viral response -(cure)-.

HIV has proven to be more difficult than Hepatitis, however, utilizing many of the same type of anti viral drugs, they, the pharmaceutical company's have been able to extend life but not cure HIV.












JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #144 on: March 21, 2014, 08:01:33 PM »
A great little utube video which really brings home why having a large population (and growing) just leads us down the road to disaster. 

Population growth and climate change explained by Hans Rosling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxbprYyjyyU
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Lord M Vader

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #145 on: March 21, 2014, 09:16:56 PM »
As newbie I have only read some of the posts, but it's an important scope that really few politicians are dare to talk about. But I don't think that we'll have to worry too much about the population issue in the long run. This is because we have some really worrysome threats that are impinging  upon us. Here are some of them, though not ranked:

1) Antibiotica resistance. The number of resistant bacterias are growing for every year and getting harder and harder to cure. This will lower the population in the future.

2) Chemicals and pollutioning. We're seeing it more and more. Chemicals are affecting us much more than most of us would like to believe. Just for example, here are the effects from Argentina where people are getting sick: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/10/agrochemical_spraying_in_argen.html Even if we are not directly exposed to them we are still eating those foods...

3) GM - food. While we are touting ourselves as the smart human animals who have the ability to choose avoids GMO's. Why would they avoid them if they are safe? I know there was a study where the hamsters became sterile over three generations after being fed GM - food.

4) New diseases. As we have seen, new flu viruses have recently developed with high mortality. Given our globalized world it would be very difficult to limit spreading of a flu virus. The recent flu strain H7N9 have a death rate of about 30%. so far it hasn't been able to infect humans easily. Next time a flu strain pops up we may not be that fortune.

5) Global warming. We know that the consequences of our emissions of GHG will alter the planets condition but we humans are just as inert as the oceans in taking actions for the future. That will also affect. For example, there are countries today that will get really big problems in a soon future as their water reservoirs are going to disappear. In Saudi Arabia the ground water will be gone in about 50 years or so if I remind a news article correct...

If we are summarizing all this I am rather confident that there is just a matter of time until the average age of people are starting to turn down.

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #146 on: March 22, 2014, 03:27:51 PM »
Welcome.

All fair points.

Many of us expect that big population declines will be the first irrefutable manifestation of collapse.  One can make the argument that we are already seeing small effects all the time, but that is more debatable.  The last time we had significant population declines was the Black Death or perhaps when the European diseases swept through the New World and killed somewhere near 100 million.  Right in line with your ideas.

Disease or famine.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #147 on: March 22, 2014, 05:11:46 PM »
Welcome.

Disease or famine.

Disease and famine while humans will help out with war.

jai mitchell

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #148 on: March 25, 2014, 06:39:53 PM »
Regional populations restore themselves to sustainable levels when education and economic self-determination among women allow them to choose to have children later in life.  It is a sociologically studied fact, duplicated all over the world.

In some countries they have changed government subsidies to convince women to have children earlier in life because they are afraid of a dwindling workforce.
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sidd

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #149 on: March 26, 2014, 04:21:31 AM »
" ... when education and economic self-determination among women allow them to choose to have children later in life"

Sing it. The one thing that will save us is educating the little girls.

sidd