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Author Topic: Population: Public Enemy No. 1  (Read 67198 times)

Darvince

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #350 on: July 08, 2017, 10:56:34 PM »
Just because it is technically possible does not mean society will actually implement the technology. In 25 years, science will be far more focused on desperate geoengineering in an ultimately futile attempt to halt accelerating global warming.
My beliefs on where we're going re: climate change are much closer to those of Bob Wallace than the forum median. I think we don't know that yet wrt your expectations, but if the 2020s don't see sufficient climate action, that we are probably going to see it. I also don't think that climate change is literally unstoppable, because we did it to ourselves. Sure, I think there are feedbacks that are probably going to cause double the damage than would happen in their absence, but that does not dictate that society is most definitely going to collapse from global warming. Again, there's always robots for that. ;)

TerryM

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #351 on: July 08, 2017, 11:13:54 PM »
Although this is not the thread for it I see "an exploitative profit-based capitalism" as a much larger problem than either high or low population shifts.
The inefficiencies inherent in capitalism, combined with the pressure that climate change adds to the mix, is causing the haves to strike out blindly to preserve what they see as theirs, while the have-nots fight for their very existence.
If we all pulled together, as they have in Cuba, there would be enough for everyone. However, we've all been convinced that dog eat dog capitalism is the only way to get ahead no matter what this does to those less fortunate.


Apologize for the OT rant
Terry

Neven

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #352 on: July 08, 2017, 11:54:38 PM »
Ever read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World?
Yes, actually. I don't believe that because of its depiction in the book that the technology by itself is a horrible thing, but I also don't believe it will ever be widely necessary.
It's been a long time since I read the book, and at the time I was a bit of a pothead (to make reading classic literature even more fun/mindblowing  ;) ), but Huxley lets the characters explain the system quite clinically, and without judgment, in rather positive terms, very convincingly, much better than childbearing and family-induced neuroses. And remember, everyone in that ideal society is happy. But the Savage still hangs himself.

Man, I have to read that book again, this time without the weed.
Il faut cultiver notre jardin

Sigmetnow

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #353 on: July 09, 2017, 12:18:59 AM »
...
And with that, I went and checked his Twitter feed and the culprit tweet seems conspicuously absent  ???

It's there. It is under the New Scientist tweet he replied to, not his own timeline.

Elon Musk: @newscientist The world's population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/882939670895755264
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Paddy

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #354 on: July 09, 2017, 12:59:30 PM »
It's a very nuanced issue, but:

1) Anyone who tries to predict demographic trends in the 2070s is talking nonsense. Forecasting this kind of thing in advance is always sketchy beyond 10 years or so.

2) That said, all the countries with very low fertility rates today (Japan, South Korea, Singapore etc) don't seem to be falling any further on this index, and some are rising again slightly. So I don't anticipate any countries will go below a fertility rate of 1.2 or so, and a lot of western countries seem to be stable on rather higher rates, around or above the EU average of 1.6. Still subreplacement, but "fast enough" to keep things going.

3) The parallel question of how long life expectancy will go on rising will also play a big role in how demographic trends develop. Although I think personally that many countries are close to a peak, people have thought this before...

4) While some countries have too few children for replacement, others will go on having far too many for a good while to come. Different problems in each, and different measures required. And we shouldn't overlook either issue because of the other.

Paddy

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #355 on: July 09, 2017, 08:31:52 PM »
Incidentally, this article is worth a browse, despite the overly dramatic title: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/09/2017-the-year-we-lost-control-of-world-population-surge-london-family-planning-contraception-summit-trump

"On the eve of a landmark summit in London called to accelerate family planning progress in 69 of the world’s poorest countries, latest figures show that an eight-year programme to get contraception to more than 100 million women is way off target."

rboyd

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #356 on: July 09, 2017, 08:32:20 PM »
Why Are So Many Americans Dying Young?
A new pair of studies show why—and where—American life expectancy has grown worse in a generation.


"For the first time since the 1990s, Americans are dying at a faster rate, and they’re dying younger. A pair of new studies suggest Americans are sicker than people in other rich countries, and in some states, progress on stemming the tide of basic diseases like diabetes has stalled or even reversed. The studies suggest so-called “despair deaths”—alcoholism, drugs, and suicide—are a big part of the problem, but so is obesity, poverty, and social isolation.

American life expectancy fell by one-tenth of a year since 2014, from 78.9 to 78.8, according to a report released last week by the National Center for Health Statistics. As The Washington Post reported, the last time the life expectancy went down instead of up was in 1993, during the throes of the AIDS epidemic. Meanwhile, the number of years people are expected to live at 65 remained unchanged, suggesting people are falling ill and dying young.

The overall death rate rose by 1.2 percent in 2015, the first time since 1999. The death rates went up for white men and women and for black men, but did not change significantly for Hispanics or black women."

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/12/why-are-so-many-americans-dying-young/510455/

Of course, there is still legal and illegal immigration to drive an overall increase in US population.

rboyd

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #357 on: July 09, 2017, 08:43:02 PM »
Average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030

"Average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030—and will exceed 90 years in South Korea, according to new research. The study, led by scientists from Imperial College London in collaboration with the World Health Organization, analysed long-term data on mortality and longevity trends to predict how life expectancy will change in 35 industrialised countries by 2030."

"The team calculated life expectancy at birth, and predicted a baby girl born in South Korea in 2030 will expect to live 90.8 years. Life expectancy at birth for South Korean men will be 84.1 years.

Scientists once thought an average life expectancy of over 90 was impossible, explained Professor Majid Ezzati, lead researcher from the School of Public Health at Imperial: 'We repeatedly hear that improvements in human longevity are about to come to an end. Many people used to believe that 90 years is the upper limit for life expectancy, but this research suggests we will break the 90-year-barrier. I don't believe we're anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy -if there even is one.'

Professor Ezzati explained that South Korea's high life expectancy may be due to a number of factors including good nutrition in childhood, low blood pressure, low levels of smoking, good access to healthcare, and uptake of new medical knowledge and technologies."

"The results also revealed that the USA is likely to have the lowest life expectancy at birth in 2030 among high-income countries. The nation's average life expectancy at birth of men and women in 2030 (79.5 years and 83.3 years), will be similar to that of middle-income countries like Croatia and Mexico. The research team say this may be due to a number of factors including a lack of universal healthcare, as well as the highest child and maternal mortality rate, homicide rate and obesity among high-income countries."

"The five countries with the highest life expectancy at birth for men in 2030 were: South Korea (84.1), Australia (84.0), Switzerland (84.0), Canada (83.9), Netherlands (83.7)"

Cool to be a Canadian man ....

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-02-average-life-countries.html



Sigmetnow

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #358 on: July 11, 2017, 03:49:17 AM »
Wildlife is dying out due to habitat destruction, overhunting, toxic pollution, invasion by alien species and climate change. But the ultimate cause of all of these factors is “human overpopulation and continued population growth, and overconsumption, especially by the rich.”

Earth's sixth mass extinction event already under way, scientists warn
Researchers talk of ‘biological annihilation’ as new study reveals that billions of populations of animals have been lost in recent decades
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/10/earths-sixth-mass-extinction-event-already-underway-scientists-warn
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Andre

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #359 on: July 11, 2017, 05:23:20 AM »
This is the paper that the Guardian article is based on:

Biological annihilation via the ongoing sixth mass extinction signaled by vertebrate population losses and declines

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/07/05/1704949114

Abstract
The population extinction pulse we describe here shows, from a quantitative viewpoint, that Earth’s sixth mass extinction is more severe than perceived when looking exclusively at species extinctions. Therefore, humanity needs to address anthropogenic population extirpation and decimation immediately. That conclusion is based on analyses of the numbers and degrees of range contraction (indicative of population shrinkage and/or population extinctions according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature) using a sample of 27,600 vertebrate species, and on a more detailed analysis documenting the population extinctions between 1900 and 2015 in 177 mammal species. We find that the rate of population loss in terrestrial vertebrates is extremely high—even in “species of low concern.” In our sample, comprising nearly half of known vertebrate species, 32% (8,851/27,600) are decreasing; that is, they have decreased in population size and range. In the 177 mammals for which we have detailed data, all have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges and more than 40% of the species have experienced severe population declines (>80% range shrinkage). Our data indicate that beyond global species extinctions Earth is experiencing a huge episode of population declines and extirpations, which will have negative cascading consequences on ecosystem functioning and services vital to sustaining civilization. We describe this as a “biological annihilation” to highlight the current magnitude of Earth’s ongoing sixth major extinction event.

gerontocrat

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #360 on: July 11, 2017, 12:03:36 PM »
The 6th Extinction.

To add to the gloom, when the paper says "In the 177 mammals for which we have detailed data, all have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges ", one should also remember that that implies all the life forms in the food chain on which those mammals depend may also have lost 30% or more of their geographic ranges.

ps: Population is not Public Enemy No. 1, homo sapiens is.

pps: We are in Joni Mitchell territory, and have been for a long time (Big Yellow Taxi).

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don't it always seem to go   
That you don't know what you've got
'Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And they put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Sigmetnow

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #361 on: July 11, 2017, 09:09:23 PM »
Elon Musk: Burning Fossil Fuels Is the 'Dumbest Experiment in History, By Far'

"If we don't find a solution to burning oil for transport, when we then run out of oil, the economy will collapse and society will come to an end.

If we know we have to get off oil no matter what, we know that is an inescapable outcome, why run this crazy experiment of changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans by adding enormous amounts of CO2 that have been buried since the Precambrian Era?

That's crazy. That's the dumbest experiment in history, by far."

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/4x3pmn/elon-musk-burning-fossil-fuels-is-the-dumbest-experiment-in-history-by-far
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #362 on: July 12, 2017, 02:43:09 PM »
Virtually everything humanity constructs provides an example of habitat destruction

You don’t need a scientist to know what’s causing the sixth mass extinction
(us)

Paul Ehrlich

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/11/sixth-mass-extinction-habitats-destroy-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."

numerobis

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #363 on: July 12, 2017, 07:23:28 PM »
Canada is not a monolith. Here's the fertility rate by province:
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/tables-tableaux/sum-som/l01/cst01/hlth85b-eng.htm

It varies from 1.4 to 1.9 in the provinces. It's over 3 in Nunavut. Live expectancy here is also quite bad. Accordingly, senior discounts start at 65, but elder discounts start at 55 for beneficiaries (Inuit people). Nunavut is just starting the demographic transition.

You'll see about the same if you break out the stats for First Nations versus the rest of the population, across Canada. Nunavut is 80% Inuit, everywhere else is just a few percent.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #364 on: July 15, 2017, 04:30:54 PM »
Unplanned birth control:  Lowered sperm counts in China.

China’s Sperm Count Problem Has Created a Billion-Dollar Market
A study in central China showed that only about 18 percent of those tested had healthy enough semen to be sperm donors in 2015. That number had been much higher at 56 percent in 2001....
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/as-sperm-counts-drop-in-china-the-fertility-market-cashes-in
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #365 on: July 15, 2017, 05:32:48 PM »
Elon Musk: Burning Fossil Fuels Is the 'Dumbest Experiment in History, By Far'

"If we don't find a solution to burning oil for transport, when we then run out of oil, the economy will collapse and society will come to an end.

If we know we have to get off oil no matter what, we know that is an inescapable outcome, why run this crazy experiment of changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans by adding enormous amounts of CO2 that have been buried since the Precambrian Era?

That's crazy. That's the dumbest experiment in history, by far."

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/4x3pmn/elon-musk-burning-fossil-fuels-is-the-dumbest-experiment-in-history-by-far

And burning these fuels in ever increasing amounts is what allowed for the industrial revolution which is the very foundation of the world wide market economy that we know today. And the attendant technologies and benefits of the market economy made available to everyone is what has allowed the dramatic growth of the human population.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #366 on: July 15, 2017, 06:27:23 PM »
Elon Musk: Burning Fossil Fuels Is the 'Dumbest Experiment in History, By Far'

"If we don't find a solution to burning oil for transport, when we then run out of oil, the economy will collapse and society will come to an end.

If we know we have to get off oil no matter what, we know that is an inescapable outcome, why run this crazy experiment of changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans by adding enormous amounts of CO2 that have been buried since the Precambrian Era?

That's crazy. That's the dumbest experiment in history, by far."

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/4x3pmn/elon-musk-burning-fossil-fuels-is-the-dumbest-experiment-in-history-by-far

And burning these fuels in ever increasing amounts is what allowed for the industrial revolution which is the very foundation of the world wide market economy that we know today. And the attendant technologies and benefits of the market economy made available to everyone is what has allowed the dramatic growth of the human population.

“For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.”

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
 ;)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Paddy

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #367 on: July 19, 2017, 07:46:08 AM »
Some bad news on this front from the USA: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/teen-pregnancy-donald-trump-funding-cut-projects-213-million-prevent-projects-pro-life-a7844886.html

Cutting funding for family planning in rich countries is particularly problematic due to higher levels of resources consumed per additional baby.  And It's worth noting that this is also bad news on the public health and inequality fronts as well.