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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #750 on: November 30, 2020, 01:17:05 PM »
El Cid, why are African countries stuck in low food production, if we know how to increase it?
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

Général de GuerreLasse

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #751 on: November 30, 2020, 03:24:11 PM »
El Cid, why are African countries stuck in low food production, if we know how to increase it?

My name is not El CId  ;) , but if I can allow myself to intervene I would say that I do not see how Africa could in the not so distant future produce anything. As proof, here are two images, one from Climate Reanalyzer and the other from the work of Camilo Mora. If I can understand these 2 images: where there will be no desert, it will be so hot and humid that human life will be impossible almost 365 days a year. Good luck with that for African farmer friends.

You will also notice that according to the scientific works referred to, the inhabitants of the Horn of Africa will die either of thirst or of excessive humidity and heat.

figure 3-d page 3
http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/mora/Publications/Mora%20059.pdf
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 08:22:33 PM by kassy »
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oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #752 on: November 30, 2020, 04:24:31 PM »
1) African and East-Asian grain yields were both around 1-1,5 t/ha in the 1960s. Asia is now at 4 tons. Africa is stuck at 1960s levels. It is "easy" (meaning we have the knowledge how to) raise yield enermously in Africa, they only need to use basic organization and methods well know. There needs be no food crisis.
I am unable to make an analysis at the level of JimD regarding global food production. However, I am quite certain that with Eastern Africa, Western Africa and Middle Africa projected to double their populations yet again in the next 30 years, adding another billion, trouble will follow.
Amazingly 2100 UN projections are an addition of a further 1.650 billion to these regions.

vox_mundi

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #753 on: November 30, 2020, 04:40:56 PM »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Général de GuerreLasse

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #754 on: November 30, 2020, 05:42:26 PM »
https://mobile.twitter.com/undertheraedar/status/1332733136715780096


Population Density Graphic



Apart from Europe, the most numerous populations are concentrated in areas which will become unlivable according to the work of Camilo Mora.
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vox_mundi

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #755 on: November 30, 2020, 06:15:58 PM »


... and you can bet those 4 Billion people will NOT 'go gently into the night'
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 06:21:38 PM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

Général de GuerreLasse

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #756 on: November 30, 2020, 06:40:29 PM »


... and you can bet those 4 Billion people will NOT 'go gently into the night'

That's for sure! And you can add Africa and South America. In fact you can add the whole planet, there will be no places to hide. Neither Europe nor even New Zealand and good luck to those who want to take refuge in the areas where permafrost will melt.
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El Cid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #757 on: November 30, 2020, 08:30:09 PM »
El Cid, why are African countries stuck in low food production, if we know how to increase it?

Because they use outdated seeds, poor technology and no organization. They use middle ages technology. East Asia used to do the same until cca 1950-60. Now, they are self sufficient. They increased grain yields from 1-1,5t/ha to 4 t/ha.
And yes, Africa could do the same. And if you quadruple your grain yields then you can sustain 4 times as many people as now. Africa will have 4 times as many people by 2100 than 1995. It is totally possible to feed them.
The circle vox shows (4 billion people living in S-E Asia) is not bigger at all than Africa. And the climate is not less supportive in Africa than say in India or Indonesia. Africa is 30 M sq km. That is 3 billion hectares. If you use 20% of that for grains at 4 t/ha (which is nothing, given that with the right technology you can reap at least twice there!), that is 12 billion tons of grains. 3 tons for each if Africa's population hits 4 billion. That is 25 thousand kcal per capita, at least 7 times as much as you need.

The EU farms 173 million hectares which easily sustains 448 million people. That means that each hectare sustains close to 3 people. And still, the EU is a net food exporter:

https://www.dw.com/en/eu-food-exports-hit-record-level/a-37694195

So, please, don't tell me it can not be done. Africa should be able to grow enough food for 10 billion people if they had the same efficiency as Europe (3 people for one hectare of agricultural land). And never forget: Europe has one harvest annually, Africa potentially has a minimum of two! They should easily outdo Europe.

El Cid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #758 on: November 30, 2020, 08:39:53 PM »
There's more. Southern Africa had the same puny yields as everywhere else in Africa, cca 1 t/ha in the 60s. Now, they are around 5 tons. There is no reason why the others couldn't do what they did (other than stupidity, corruption and sociocultural backwardation - these are the impediments they need to overcome)

El Cid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #759 on: November 30, 2020, 08:56:41 PM »
There's more!

Remember the 70s-80s with TV news showing starving Ethiopian children? Ever wondered what happened to them?
The malevolent, idiotic Derg (communist assholes basically) ruled Ethiopia from the 70s till 1991. Complete mismanagement led to starvation. Yields were around 1 ton. Then they were ousted from power by another junta, but this one was more sensible. They were not really clever, not even close to perfect, but much better than the Derg. Even this change led to grain yields more than doubling and total grain production up more than 6 times!!! and still, yields could go up by at least 50% more (100% and even more is absolutely realistic with the right technology).

Oh, there is absolutely huge room for improvement in Africa. If you stop complete stupidity, you increase food productuion many times, and you can easily feed billions.

Général de GuerreLasse

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #760 on: November 30, 2020, 09:04:26 PM »
El Cid, why are African countries stuck in low food production, if we know how to increase it?

Because they use outdated seeds, poor technology and no organization. They use middle ages technology. East Asia used to do the same until cca 1950-60. Now, they are self sufficient. They increased grain yields from 1-1,5t/ha to 4 t/ha.
And yes, Africa could do the same. And if you quadruple your grain yields then you can sustain 4 times as many people as now. Africa will have 4 times as many people by 2100 than 1995. It is totally possible to feed them.
The circle vox shows (4 billion people living in S-E Asia) is not bigger at all than Africa. And the climate is not less supportive in Africa than say in India or Indonesia. Africa is 30 M sq km. That is 3 billion hectares. If you use 20% of that for grains at 4 t/ha (which is nothing, given that with the right technology you can reap at least twice there!), that is 12 billion tons of grains. 3 tons for each if Africa's population hits 4 billion. That is 25 thousand kcal per capita, at least 7 times as much as you need.

The EU farms 173 million hectares which easily sustains 448 million people. That means that each hectare sustains close to 3 people. And still, the EU is a net food exporter:

https://www.dw.com/en/eu-food-exports-hit-record-level/a-37694195

So, please, don't tell me it can not be done. Africa should be able to grow enough food for 10 billion people if they had the same efficiency as Europe (3 people for one hectare of agricultural land). And never forget: Europe has one harvest annually, Africa potentially has a minimum of two! They should easily outdo Europe.

Who still needs soil to grow vegetables?  ;D

How a visionary in Rwanda is growing potatoes in the air

Aeroponics is a climate-friendly way of planting in which roots are suspended in the air and grow in a humid environment. No soil is involved. Instead the plants are sprayed with water and nutrient solution. This technique enables farmers to control humidity, temperature, pH and water conductivity inside a greenhouse.

http://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1332933/
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oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #761 on: December 01, 2020, 02:03:30 AM »
There's more. Southern Africa had the same puny yields as everywhere else in Africa, cca 1 t/ha in the 60s. Now, they are around 5 tons. There is no reason why the others couldn't do what they did (other than stupidity, corruption and sociocultural backwardation - these are the impediments they need to overcome)
I believe very high population growth reduces the ability to overcome sociocultural backwardation. Too many resources are poured just into maintaining living conditions for a rapidly growing number of people,

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #762 on: December 01, 2020, 03:51:13 AM »
And yes, Africa could do the same. And if you quadruple your grain yields then you can sustain 4 times as many people as now. Africa will have 4 times as many people by 2100 than 1995. It is totally possible to feed them.
While I appreciate you responses El Cid, it is important to check the numbers.
According to the UN, in 1995 Africa had 717M people. Today it is already double that at 1341M. it is projected to have 2489M in 2050 and 4280M in 2100 using the median numbers. So Africa will have 6 times as many people by 2100 than 1995.

El Cid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #763 on: December 01, 2020, 08:47:44 AM »
While I appreciate you responses El Cid, it is important to check the numbers.
According to the UN, in 1995 Africa had 717M people. Today it is already double that at 1341M. it is projected to have 2489M in 2050 and 4280M in 2100 using the median numbers. So Africa will have 6 times as many people by 2100 than 1995.

I  remembered 1 billion in 1995, 2 billions in 2050 and 4 billions in 2100. It seems that my numbers were "too much rounded" and not exact. Thank you for  correcting me.

And yet! My main point is that although it would be desirable to reduce population growth and I believe that the optimal human population of Earth is likely below 1 billion people, an African population boom will not automatically cause starvation.

Africa is roughly 7 times as big as the EU. The EU has 448 million people. The EU is a food exporter. The EU's average growing season is just 6-8 months. I don't see why Africa couldn't sustain 4 billion people.

I am an optimist. I even think that we will have a Green Sahara due to climate change (just like during the Holocene Optimum).  I don't know why we wouldn't have a Green Sahara actually. That would really be amazing! 

Général de GuerreLasse

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #764 on: December 01, 2020, 05:14:35 PM »
While I appreciate you responses El Cid, it is important to check the numbers.
According to the UN, in 1995 Africa had 717M people. Today it is already double that at 1341M. it is projected to have 2489M in 2050 and 4280M in 2100 using the median numbers. So Africa will have 6 times as many people by 2100 than 1995.

I  remembered 1 billion in 1995, 2 billions in 2050 and 4 billions in 2100. It seems that my numbers were "too much rounded" and not exact. Thank you for  correcting me.

And yet! My main point is that although it would be desirable to reduce population growth and I believe that the optimal human population of Earth is likely below 1 billion people, an African population boom will not automatically cause starvation.

Africa is roughly 7 times as big as the EU. The EU has 448 million people. The EU is a food exporter. The EU's average growing season is just 6-8 months. I don't see why Africa couldn't sustain 4 billion people.

I am an optimist. I even think that we will have a Green Sahara due to climate change (just like during the Holocene Optimum).  I don't know why we wouldn't have a Green Sahara actually. That would really be amazing!

You are right El Cid, you are an optimist  :). On the other points you are wrong  :-[. If I understood correctly, African farmers would have to use the same destructive methods as Western farmers. You make the same mistakes as Greta who wants to apply to Africa the same methods of economic development which led us to destroy our planet.

I also think that the Sahel and the Sahara will never be places suitable for agriculture. It would take a century to transform the desert and make it fertile and at what cost !!! Until then, review my posts above, it will be much too hot and humid for human life to be possible or on the contrary too dry.

I am sorry to be so pessimistic. I think we have to prepare ourselves to disappear elegantly, that is to say that we will fight to the end, even if it is without hope.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #765 on: December 01, 2020, 06:14:08 PM »
So we use Haber-Bosch to create ammonia , which releases lots of CO2, then we transport the resulting fertilizer and spread it with large transport and farming machinery , emitting more CO2, and then till and cultivate the land on a regular basis which degrades the soil biome and releases the soil carbon and results in a reduced capacity of the terrestrial carbon sink. And those processes have enabled humans to far exceed the carrying capacity of the planet even if we weren’t spitting out billions of tons of CO2 for airplanes, automobiles, and heating our homes.
 If there are still places in the world where people have lived for thousands of years without modern agriculture , without tractors, without synthetic fertilizers, and still fed their people then by all means we must convert them to our highly productive farming technologies so they too can become fat and lazy and forget their connection to the other creatures and plants we share the world with.
 Progress

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #766 on: December 01, 2020, 06:54:46 PM »
And yet...  an African population boom will not automatically cause starvation.

I don't see why Africa couldn't sustain 4 billion people.

I am an optimist.
I am a pragmatist, which in our world is unfortunately a pessimist by circumstance.

No reason why humanity cannot transform its activities so they stop destroying the environment.
And yet, it's not happening or is happening way too slow. There are always other more pressing subjects and short-term thinking always wins, not to mention conservatism, denial and what not.

No reason why humanity cannot limit its reproduction within the carrying capacity.
And yet, it's not happening or is happening way too slow.

No reason why Africa cannot feed itself, using the same destructive methods used elsewhere. And yet, it's not happening or is happening way too slow (for better or worse depending on your viewpoint). The boom will end in a bang, I am sure, and not in 2100 either, the overshoot is simply too fast.

When the population grows too fast, worldwide or in Africa, it means that there are always demands - for more land, for more food, for more buildings, for more schools, for more hospitals, more ports and airports, more roads. This is exacerbated by growing affluence. The result is that long term and/or deep-rooted problems are not solved, as there is never enough time and never enough resources.

It's easy for me to see as I live in a very dense country that has a high population growth rate despite it being considered a developed "hi-tech" country. The country simply cannot keep up with the needs of the population, and yet for many social, political and religious reasons the reproduction just goes on, with the government doing its damnest to support it rather than try to curb it.

El Cid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #767 on: December 01, 2020, 08:47:13 PM »
Bruce,

As far as I know regenerative ag people can have pretty good yields without imported nitrogen. They don't till, they use covercrops, they integrate animals, etc. They surely don't grow 15tons of corn per hectare but 7-8 tons is perfectly doable as far as I know. That is 5 times as much as current average African yields.

oren,

You are right on many points, I hear what you say. Yet, let's not forget that your agriculture is a great example what people can do in a semi-desert. You have almost 9 million people on 22000 km2? And even half of that is a desert. And yet you grow wonderful fruits and vegetables, etc. You reputedly produce 95% of your own food. C'mon. Africa is 1500 times as big as your country!!! How many people could they feed with your technology?

General,

You say that it is going to be too hot to grow anything in Africa and you can not grow anything in deserts anyway. As for the first, that is might be true for 10-20% of Africa (though I am not at all sure about that), as for the second, ask the Israelis how they do it :)


My main message to you all is: don't lose hope for mankind yet!!!

gerontocrat

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #768 on: December 01, 2020, 09:14:04 PM »
General,

You say that it is going to be too hot to grow anything in Africa and you can not grow anything in deserts anyway. As for the first, that is might be true for 10-20% of Africa (though I am not at all sure about that), as for the second, ask the Israelis how they do it :)

WATER

Back in 2003-2005 I worked on and off in the water business in Jordan.
I looked at water resources in the region - Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia.
Awful. I even wrote a letter published in the Guardian about what the Israelis were up to, especially on the West Bank and the Golan Heights.

I am out of date on what the situation is now.
"Para a Causa do Povo a Luta Continua!"
"And that's all I'm going to say about that". Forrest Gump
"Damn, I wanted to see what happened next" (Epitaph)

WildFit

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #769 on: December 01, 2020, 09:16:37 PM »
No reason why Africa cannot feed itself, using the same destructive methods used elsewhere. And yet, it's not happening or is happening way too slow (for better or worse depending on your viewpoint). The boom will end in a bang, I am sure, and not in 2100 either, the overshoot is simply too fast.


One factor not to be underestimated is that as long the U.S and the E.U. are giving away their excess production at prices lower than that it could be produced locally on the african continent and at the same time empty their fish-grounds and other resources, it CAN'T happen.

Don't wanna go to deep into this but taking the idea and reading things up a bit is very enlightening to anyone who is interested.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #770 on: December 01, 2020, 09:39:47 PM »
El CID, I don’t think regenerative agriculture can do the things it is purported to do. Or not at scale in  areas currently farmed in deserts or areas with marginal rainfall. Take Israel or Calif. for instance. Where does the organic material to build compost at scale come from in desert environs? What happens to soil that is allowed to dry out ? Can we just pour more water on the desert ?
 I have put out a winter cover crop for our rain season every year for twenty years. I had my soil tested this year and both nitrogen and carbon are abysmally low, still. Yes I can grow crops with additions of fertilizer far below commercial recommendations or by buying compost or building some from manures produced on site but my yields are low. I can’t keep the soil wet year round and yes I till my land so I am lucky if I can get cover crops to mitigate part of what is consumed by production. Almost all no till farmers till on occasion.
 There are parts of the world where agriculture is regenerative but I would think that area shrinks every year rather than growing and vast swaths of forest are plowed to make room for more farmland to feed the growing numbers of humans. I would be interested in any population , a small town, a city or a country that feeds its population with regenerative agriculture . If they exist they are likely still farming with preindustrial ag practices . I have looked for farms or communes that have closed food systems that both grow and consume all their own food. There are very few examples. Primitive cultures have a better chance than those of us working ag lands intensively cultivated. That is it is easier to do what is sustainable with land before years of tilling has degraded soil biomes, soil structure and carbon content. Restoration is a long slow process.
 I like examples of working farms doing the right thing. But those places tend to have soils built over the eons by nature as well as adequate rainfall. We wouldn’t be worried about population density if humans had stuck to those places and methods of farming in the first place.

https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/05/regenerative-agriculture-climate-change

 

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #771 on: December 01, 2020, 10:14:21 PM »

Total population projected in 2050 is now 9.73 billion, an increase of more than 180 million since 7 years ago. This will sure make things worse in terms of food. OTOH, the increase is outside the rich countries, so at least emission intensity and resource consumption is somewhat less impacted.

I disagree on two accounts.

1) African and East-Asian grain yields were both around 1-1,5 t/ha in the 1960s. Asia is now at 4 tons. Africa is stuck at 1960s levels. It is "easy" (meaning we have the knowledge how to) raise yield enermously in Africa, they only need to use basic organization and methods well know. There needs be no food crisis.
2) If population increase came from the rich countries I think it would be better as there per capita energy consumption has been going down for years. In many developing countries it is still booming. they still have roads to build, factories to construct, etc.

It's hard to even respond to these 2 comments so I will not answer either directly. I am simply attaching charts and a link which tell a story.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/per-capita-energy-use?region=World

I will follow up with some other charts shortly.

Anyone who suggests that human population is not a problem is not paying attention.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #772 on: December 01, 2020, 10:22:25 PM »
So we use Haber-Bosch to create ammonia , which releases lots of CO2, then we transport the resulting fertilizer and spread it with large transport and farming machinery , emitting more CO2, and then till and cultivate the land on a regular basis which degrades the soil biome and releases the soil carbon and results in a reduced capacity of the terrestrial carbon sink. And those processes have enabled humans to far exceed the carrying capacity of the planet even if we weren’t spitting out billions of tons of CO2 for airplanes, automobiles, and heating our homes.
 If there are still places in the world where people have lived for thousands of years without modern agriculture , without tractors, without synthetic fertilizers, and still fed their people then by all means we must convert them to our highly productive farming technologies so they too can become fat and lazy and forget their connection to the other creatures and plants we share the world with.
 Progress

Yep...the green revolution, using fossil fuel based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides applied to monoculture crops allowed the population to expand dramatically in an entirely unsustainable manner and it will have disastrous results. It is amazing to me that persons here cannot wrap their minds around the concept of exponential growth.

All growth systems constrained by a finite resource (the planet) will suffer the same fate...COLLAPSE.

El Cid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #773 on: December 02, 2020, 08:30:51 AM »
Bruce,

have you looked at Gabe Brown's farm (ND, 300-400 mm of rain, 100 day growing season)? One of the most well known reg-ag farmers. He takes visitors for free.

SH,

I did not say that human population growth is not a problem. It is. I explicitly said that I think the optimal population size is below 1 billion.  All I said is that feeding 10 billion people is not a problem. And I stand by that. Africa will not starve.
Besides, it is not an exponential process any longer. We will likely top out at around 10 billion and start to go down from that.
Therefore the only question is whether you can sustain 10 billion people FOR A WHILE. Yes we can.

sidd

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #774 on: December 02, 2020, 09:05:39 AM »
Re: I can’t keep the soil wet year round

Can you collect water ? like dig a hole in clay and call it a "watering station" for animals ?

One of my neighbours wanted to build a dam across a ravine, couldnt get thru the paperwork. EPA, DER, water, and fed guys guys agreed, but the deal breaker was fire department access to the pond. Too much work to put the access road in. He's one of the county commisioners too, and a first responder, drives a fire truck when needed, and even he couldn't get it thru.

So now he has a bunch of "animal watering stations" down the ravine ...

This was in PA, you probably got bigger problems out west.

Perhaps we should have and "agriculture" thread.

sidd

Hefaistos

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #775 on: December 02, 2020, 11:20:54 AM »
A small case study from Indonesia.
I currently stay long term on Bali, (just east of Jawa, on 8 degrees South lat.).
Living in a place surrounded by rice paddies, I closely follow the mostly manual procedures.

Typical size of a paddy is 0.2 - 0.5 hectar. Owned and farmed by village people.
Two harvests per year, and that even gives time for a month in between for the soil to rest. (the rice growth cycle is less than 5 months here)

Tilling is done by very simple tractors.
Planting is manual.
They use just a little fertilizer, which is spread by hand.
Most of the paddies are hand sprayed once with small amounts of some weed killer. (RoundUp)
Harvesting is done either manually, or by a mechanical rice harvester (Kubota, run by some local firm)
The yield from the Kubota is much better than from manual harvesting, (and that's what creates their business).
The stumps left after harvesting are usually plowed back into the soil, even if some farmers still burn them.

Yield is more than 6 tonnes per hectar.

My impression is that this rice growing is more or less sustainable. It is mechanized to some degree, but the energy intensity is rather low compared to what we have in OECD countries.
The industrial NPK fertilizer could be replaced by organic fertilizer, but at a cost.
The use of weed killer is so sparse that it's almost negligible.

Given abundance of water and good soil, there is nothing in this that cannot be repeated in other developing countries.

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #776 on: December 02, 2020, 12:10:41 PM »
What happens when the population grows and grows but the rice paddies do not? Do you expect deforestation in order to make way for agriculture? As it seems to be the norm in regions with tropical forests, most especially Indonesia.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #777 on: December 02, 2020, 02:56:48 PM »


Perhaps we should have and "agriculture" thread.

sidd

I have to agree and cannot believe someone has not created one.

Crisis on the High Plains: The Loss of America’s Largest Aquifer – the Ogallala

http://duwaterlawreview.com/crisis-on-the-high-plains-the-loss-of-americas-largest-aquifer-the-ogallala/

"The grain-growing region in the High Plains of America—known as America’s breadbasket—relies entirely on the Ogallala Aquifer. But long term unsustainable use of the aquifer is forcing states in the region to face the prospect of a regional economic disaster. As the High Plains states reach the verge of a major crisis, the states have taken different approaches to conservation with varying results.

The Ogallala Aquifer supports an astounding one-sixth of the world’s grain produce, and it has long been an essential component of American agriculture. The High Plains region—where the aquifer lies—relies on the aquifer for residential and industrial uses, but the aquifer’s water is used primarily for agricultural irrigation. The agricultural demands for Ogallala water in the region are immense, with the aquifer ultimately being responsible for thirty percent of all irrigation in the United States. The Ogallala Aquifer has long been unable to keep up with these agricultural demands, as the aquifer recharges far slower than water is withdrawn."


One, very vivid example at how our methods to grow the food to feed the world's population is unsustainable. The article talks about the potential 'economic disaster' of losing the aquifer. What a myopic view. The disaster is not economic but far more serious than this.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #778 on: December 02, 2020, 03:04:57 PM »
Of course with regards to soy bean production, Brazil has proven itelf capable of dramatically increasing production. With disastrous consequences I might add.

Brazil soy trade linked to widespread deforestation, carbon emissions

https://news.mongabay.com/2019/04/brazil-soy-trade-linked-to-widespread-deforestation-carbon-emissions/

I would argue that little about modern agriculture methods is sustainable.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #779 on: December 02, 2020, 03:09:52 PM »
Topsoil Erosion

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2015/ph240/verso2/#:~:text=%22The%20estimate%20is%20that%20we,30%20to%2040%20times%20faster.

"With the world population projected to grow to 9.6 billion people by 2050, feeding the people on our planet will undoubtedly be a considerable challenge. [1] Unfortunately, topsoil erosion is threatening to make this daunting task considerably more difficult than it already is. Soil erosion is a huge problem, yet it is hardly ever talked about by the media or public. Cornell ecology professor David Pimenel explains, "Soil erosion is second only to population growth as the biggest environmental problem the world faces. Yet, the problem, which is growing ever more critical, is being ignored because who gets excited about dirt?" [2] In fact, some experts fear that the world will run out of usable topsoil to grow food within 60 years. [3] Clearly this is a major issue that needs to be addressed."

And, of course, what topsoil is not being eroded is becoming sterile due to the use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2020, 11:12:02 PM by Shared Humanity »

Général de GuerreLasse

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #780 on: December 02, 2020, 03:18:05 PM »
Prof. DENNIS MEADOWS spoke, ite missa est.

If you're in a hurry you can go directly to the third one, but it would be a shame to miss the correction that Mr. Meadows inflicts on an idiot ex-minister (yes I know I used a swear word, but I have the right because this minister always bothered me  >:( ).

OFFICIAL DENIAL OF PR. DENNIS MEADOWS FOLLOWING THE FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF FORMER MINISTER LUC FERRY
On October 29th, Mr. Luc Ferry published in Le Figaro a column entitled "For infinite growth in a finite world".
In it (see attached photo), he asserts that infinite growth in a finite world is possible and relies on the international reputation of Prof. Dennis Meadows, main author of the famous "Meadows report", to whom he attributes a point of view contrary to the truth.
Dennis Meadows himself, having heard of Luc Ferry's text, has just published an official denial of the report.
We publish below Mr. Dennis Meadows' right of reply following the publication of this column which he believes to be inaccurate:
The column "For infinite growth in a finite world" published on October 29th in Le Figaro distorts the analysis of our book "The limits to growth" to support a vision of the future that we consider as an impossible fantasy. To do so, three strategies were used.
First, the column took our work out of context. Our book contained 240 pages of analysis. The column quoted one paragraph and ignored everything else. Our book presented ten possible futures. The column cited the scenario most favourable to its point of view and ignored all the others.
Second, the column fallaciously attributed to us opinions that we do not have and that are directly contradicted by everything we have written so far. According to the text, we accept the possibility of infinite growth. There is not a single sentence in our entire book that suggests the realistic possibility of infinite growth. Even the scenario mentioned in the column clearly shows a demographic and economic growth that stops before 2050.
Thirdly, the chronicle ignored our main initial assumptions. We showed that implementing extreme technological measures in the year of our analysis, 2002, could help preserve the world's population if steps were first taken to limit population and economic growth. Without these social changes, technology will only delay the collapse by a few years. The column ignored all our necessary conditions and argued that growth was possible without social and economic change.
You don't have to look at our model to form an opinion about the possibility of perpetual growth. One need only look around the world today and observe the rapidly worsening ecological devastation caused by the growth of material consumption. While these problems exist after a century of tremendous technological growth, no one should imagine that a few more decades of technological growth will suddenly reverse the trend.
Dennis Meadows

https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/societe/luc-ferry-pour-une-croissance-infinie-dans-un-monde-fini-20201028?fbclid=IwAR3rPeA3Is13xgGJvoLHhYTKW8asaxFKuBNrN-2QZ9d9cJSzYQjFzihfXXc

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
La cravate est un accessoire permettant d'indiquer la direction du cerveau de l'homme.
Un petit croquis en dit plus qu'un grand discours, mais beaucoup moins qu'un gros chèque.
Pierre DAC

Hefaistos

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #781 on: December 02, 2020, 10:12:49 PM »
What happens when the population grows and grows but the rice paddies do not? Do you expect deforestation in order to make way for agriculture? As it seems to be the norm in regions with tropical forests, most especially Indonesia.

The paddies are age-old, dating back several centuries, many even 500 years when the Dutch first came here to colonise the place.

Essentially, the paddies cannot be extended, as all good places for paddies are already employed.
Also, they are really productive. If you get more than 12 tonnes of rice from 1 hectar per year (two harvests), it will feed a lot of people. There is essentially not a food problem due to the green revolution and the potential for improvements in productivity due to mechanization!

The issue here is quite another one: the work on the paddies is still a lot of hard, manual labour. Too many young people don't want to become rice farmers...

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #782 on: December 04, 2020, 04:46:59 AM »
A few charts from https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth , click to enlarge.

It appears annual net population growth is finally about to drop below 80 million per year, due to rising deaths and stable births.

sidd

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #783 on: December 04, 2020, 06:55:43 AM »
From last month, Lawler at calculatedrisk: Slowdown in US Population Growth Accelerated in 2020

"US population growth, which slowed significantly over the past few years, almost certainly grew at an even slower pace in 2020. All three key components of growth – births, death, and net international migration – should contribute to the slower population growth."

"Census 2017 population projections even before 2020 were way above the latest estimates, and that gap probably surged in 2020 to almost 3.4 million. "

Lawler exhibits US Census esstimates and his own. He sees USpop growth rate dropping from 0.52% in 2018 to 0.48% in 2019 to 0.31% for this benighted year.

Forgot to add the link:

https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2020/11/lawler-recent-slowdown-in-us-population.html

sidd
« Last Edit: December 04, 2020, 07:25:16 AM by sidd »

wili

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #784 on: December 04, 2020, 07:23:29 AM »
Thanks, sidd.

I recall also getting excited when the global growth rate dropped from 1.2% to 1.1 percent in just 3 years, from 2008 - 2011.

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

Extrapolating that forward, it looked like we may be able to reach zero/negative population growth by the 2040's. But then the growth rate basically didn't budge for the next three years, and hovered around 1.06 for the following three years after that.

Which leads me to my favorite cartoon about extrapolating: https://xkcd.com/605/
"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."