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nowayout

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #200 on: August 26, 2016, 07:52:22 PM »
++

I guess, for a short time you will see some coverage in the MSM, marked graphic.

You might like to take a look at (i.e. google) "limits to growth". Short: we are on track.

Barely. They did not account for Climate Change.

nowayout

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #201 on: August 26, 2016, 08:21:25 PM »
Quote
No, but we have to stop being stupid.  And that is really hard to do.

To quote Emile Cioran : "Homo sapiens: what a pretension."

AbruptSLR

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #202 on: August 26, 2016, 10:51:50 PM »
The Sierra Club wrote the linked article entitled: "3 things you didn’t know about global population and climate change", see extract.  While the article seems to favor reducing consumption rather than limiting population growth (and to be real, politically there is no current will to control population by policy).  Reading between the lines of the article for me raises several issue which may well increase the likelihood that we will not only exceed the current mean population projection of 9.7 billion people by 2050, but also that our collective carbon emissions will be higher than expected, including:

a. The article indicates that rights-based access to family planning may not limit consumption.

b. Women are more impacted by climate change, which translates in to them losing more control of their fertility, which means more population growth.

c. The article indicates that the death rate is decreasing which may well result in higher than expected population growth.

d. As the per capita carbon emissions is projected to increase significantly in the third world in the next several decades.

http://www.sierraclub.org/compass/2016/07/3-things-you-didn-t-know-about-global-population-and-climate-change

Extract: "Yesterday was World Population Day, to commemorate that, we took a look at global demographic trends and how they affect people and their environments.

1.   Consumption plays a large role in contributing to climate disruption.
Often, when people talk about the impact of population on climate change, it is about the number of people. More people, more degradation. While this may carry truth for natural resources on a local level, the vast majority of climate emissions are a result of a handful of largely high-income countries. The United States for instance, while only five percent of the global population, produces 25 percent of the emissions. The average person in the United States produces 42 times the emissions of the average person in Bangladesh. On a national scale, that means the U.S. is producing 92 times more emissions than Bangladesh. The wealthiest 20 percent of people in the world consume 86 percent of its goods, with the poorest 20 percent consuming only 1.3 percent.

2.   Population growth has dramatically slowed. 
While population continues to grow, the rate of that growth has dramatically slowed. Today, our population is growing by 1.13 percent per year, nearly half the rate during peak growth in the late 1960s. While experts predict we’ll have 9.7 billion people by 2050, that represents a slowing of the population growth rate to an estimated half a percent growth.

Most of the continued growth we’ll witness through 2100 is based on population momentum. This is due to a lack of balance in births and deaths, largely attributed to a younger population. On  global scale, more than half the world’s population is under the age of 30 and as youth  enter reproductive years - even with a replacement rate of two children per woman - our population will grow. With these estimations, population will stop growing before the end of this century.

3.   Climate disruption has increased impacts for women and girls.
Climate disruption is not gender neutral. It’s impact on women and girls is disproportionate. Women are an estimated 14 times more likely to die from a natural disaster, which fueled by climate disruption are growing in frequency and intensity.  Women constitute up to 80 percent of global refugee and displaced populations, and typically in emergencies 70 to 80 percent of those needing assistance are women and children. As women, they are often the target of systematic rape, violence, and terror."

For projected increases in carbon emissions, see also:

http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/emissions.cfm
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 12:14:49 AM by AbruptSLR »
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OrganicSu

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #203 on: August 27, 2016, 11:15:10 AM »
High CO2 is a 'consequence' of a high population not the other way around.
High CO2 is a consequence of actions not population.
I caused more CO2 between age 29 and 32 than the rest of my years combined.

Your actions today determine how much pain and suffering they will experience.  That will be on you and me.
Totally 100% agree. If everyone accepted this we would be half way to mitigating the problem.

The only choice we have is to either choose to 'manage' in as humane as possible... (or) follow the Green/Black BAU sirens to an inevitable catastrophic civilizational collapse.
There is no humane way to reduce population by a factor of 7 or more. Agree, BAU of any colour won't work.
Another choice would be if everyone worked manually for mother nature to repair the damage. Move out of the cities. Pant diverse trees etc everywhere. Don't dig up or cut down anything unless it's for food. It's not society as we know it.

living in the homeless camp out in the trees on the edge of town.
:) Close. Old caravan, amongst the trees, no flushing toilet, solar panels, electric scooter, electric oven, happy wife (strange as that may seem). 5 liters of drinking water per day. 90% of food comes from within 10km. But if collapse came tomorrow I am in deep trouble. I need circa 10 more years to improve the soil, plant cover, wild plant knowledge, rainwater capture ststem.
Yes, I know my actions, do not alter at all society's direction.
But by eliminating dependency on society I reduce my CO2 and prepare.

If I was mother nature I would gladly accept another billion people (if they worked on healing the planet) in exchange for stopping all flights. Another billion people to stop all cars and trucks. Another billion people again in exchange for no more extraction of coal, oil, gas, metals.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #204 on: August 27, 2016, 02:40:55 PM »
The only way we are able to feed the current population of the planet is massive factory farming of key grains that absolutely depend on oil for fertilizers, pesticides and energy to pump aquifers dry and transport food. We have depleted vast areas of fertile land so that the only way to maintain crop production is to do more of the same. We absolutely must get a handle on population or BAU is required and a horrific crash is inevitable.

The only question in my mind is what is the carrying population of the planet. Prior to the industrial revolution, there were about 1 billion of us. I think that with all of the wonderful technology that we have developed we could sustain a population of 2 to 3 billion.

It goes without saying that these 3 billion would be living very simple lives.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 02:51:28 PM by Shared Humanity »

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #205 on: August 27, 2016, 05:55:27 PM »
.............

The only question in my mind is what is the carrying population of the planet. Prior to the industrial revolution, there were about 1 billion of us. I think that with all of the wonderful technology that we have developed we could sustain a population of 2 to 3 billion.

It goes without saying that these 3 billion would be living very simple lives.

Perhaps, but it depends on how one defines sustainable.  As we grew to a preindustrial population of 1 billion over several thousand years we managed to destroy or significantly degrade a large percentage of the Earth.  Preindustrial civilization was not living sustainably in any true sense.  While it is certain that the Earth could have supported such behavior for many additional thousands of years it could not have done it forever.  Of course the next ice age would have been a partial solution to the population of 1 billion as the globe could certainly not have supported that population during an ice age.  Not a problem we will be facing however.

I am not concerned with sustainability measured in permanent terms - if we can get it out to several thousand more years I would be satisfied I guess.  Like many I find the ultimate value of human civilization to be that constant striving towards ultimate understanding and expansion out into the universe.  But that is not happening this civilizational cycle as collapse is coming too soon once again.  But let us leave enough behind as we move on for our replacements to pick up the pieces once again and move the ball forward.  Our goal is not to worry about us but to not eliminate the prospects of those who come after us.
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

OrganicSu

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #206 on: August 27, 2016, 06:46:29 PM »
massive factory farming of key grains that absolutely depend on oil for fertilizers, pesticides and energy to pump aquifers dry and transport food.
This will lead to further environmental degradation, more species to become extint, CO2 to rise and a horrifying collapse is thereby inevitable.


Re deliberately getting from >7 billion to 1 billion will make the gas chambers in Germany during WW2 seem like... (what? I have no possible description). Are anyone of you who are hinting at this being the right way forward willing to flick the switch on 6 people from your immediate family? Or do you volunteer yourself?


I know that where I live is very different to most places, but uncountable tonnes of figs, of grapes, of almonds, of walnuts, of pomegranates, of quince etc fall to the ground every year. I would guess less than 5% of these foods that grow here are consumed.
The population in my nearest village has fallen from 10k to 1.5k. Warning - rough calculations follow: If we went back up to 10k, all lived simply, dug trenches to capture rainwater and burried all excess wood instead of burning it (during olive pruning time we have a constant haze for 2 months) then our village would be more sustainable and would reduce it's net CO2 emissions. With hundreds of trees per person, capturing CO2 (ok I know, temporarily), our net emissions could become negative. But like JimD said previously - it's like no-one is listening; in fact they think I am mad when they see me picking up wood to prevent it from being burnt.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #207 on: August 27, 2016, 07:24:56 PM »
I think that for "wicked problems" like sustainability the most useful approach is to take a "middle path" of encouraging: humane restraint in population growth; improving systemic efficiencies; reduced use of fossil fuels; regulations to limit pollution & waste; while also recognizing that the path that the global socio-economic is currently headed will sooner, or later, result in Mother Nature limiting population; aggregate consumption; and industrial activity via the Darwin Award, thus there is no point in clinging desperately (via magical thinking) to situations that will change significantly in coming decades (as we are currently in an overshoot situation, i.e. collectively we are currently stealing from future generations and at the moment we are accelerating the rate of such theft).
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #208 on: August 27, 2016, 09:47:08 PM »
Re deliberately getting from >7 billion to 1 billion will make the gas chambers in Germany during WW2 seem like... (what? I have no possible description). Are anyone of you who are hinting at this being the right way forward willing to flick the switch on 6 people from your immediate family? Or do you volunteer yourself?

Again, I doubt that anyone is proposing killing the extra 6 billion. But limiting new births could be much more humane (when you realize many of these newborns will live - and die - through a civilizational collapse), although of course slow-acting. China's dictatorial measure of one child per couple is probably more humane in the long run than a BAU alternative, IMHO. Of course globally that is a non-option unfortunately, but still should be said.
In addition, there are other measures that could slow our approach into the "wall" of carrying capacity. For example, giving up on marginally habitable locations that require a lot of energy expenditure (roads, imported food supply, battling rising waters) just to maintain. Quite a lot of other measures that have been posted on these forums over time.

Iceismylife

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #209 on: August 27, 2016, 11:39:35 PM »
The only way we are able to feed the current population of the planet is massive factory farming of key grains that absolutely depend on oil for fertilizers, pesticides and energy to pump aquifers dry and transport food. We have depleted vast areas of fertile land so that the only way to maintain crop production is to do more of the same. We absolutely must get a handle on population or BAU is required and a horrific crash is inevitable.

The only question in my mind is what is the carrying population of the planet. Prior to the industrial revolution, there were about 1 billion of us. I think that with all of the wonderful technology that we have developed we could sustain a population of 2 to 3 billion.

It goes without saying that these 3 billion would be living very simple lives.
There was someone running around preaching hydroponics.  Far less water loss if you grow in water.

I want to make a personal vehicle for myself that would get 600 mpg at 50 mph.

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #210 on: August 30, 2016, 02:12:17 AM »
..............

Re deliberately getting from >7 billion to 1 billion will make the gas chambers in Germany during WW2 seem like... (what? I have no possible description). Are anyone of you who are hinting at this being the right way forward willing to flick the switch on 6 people from your immediate family? Or do you volunteer yourself?


...............

Oh but you are dead wrong in your assumption you are not making this choice.  You are.  Everyone who makes the choices of following black BAU and green BAU are making the choice of catastrophic collapse and the result will be carnage much worse than any WWII level of suffering.   I point this out to people all the time.  What they are doing is choosing selfishness by holding out as long as possible by following BAU approaches so that they and their closest family may not suffer.

But this approach dooms their descendants and all those other lesser humans to untold suffering.  It is the standard human choosing of the present and letting the future worry about itself.  Such thought processes are why we are in this situation in the first place.

Choose to follow a path of massive population reduction now and a great amount of that inevitable suffering if we follow BAU approaches will be avoided.  But it means we have to overrule basically all of the global religions as well as telling an entire generation of humans that they do not get to have any children at all..zip...zero..period.  No kids for 20 years.  This single act would drop population by several billion and cause essentially zero real suffering.  And it might just save us if we also acted on the need to dramatically reduce standards of living and all the other stuff we need to do.  But if we don't dramatically lower population there are no other actions which can save us.

People who argue like you did above are always presenting a totally false picture of what is being discussed when the subject of population reductions are brought up.  Absolutely no one is talking about murdering people.  Phrasing it that way is ...utterly dishonest? 

We will get the massive murder you refer to if we don't act not if we do act.  So your argument supports murder it does not argue against it.
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 #211 on: August 30, 2016, 02:39:11 AM »
Thank you JimD. It needed to be said. BAU will result in a level of horror that is almost unimaginable, death by famine, disease and war on an unrecognizable level. Anyone arguing against the kinds of actions we need to embrace are guaranteeing this horror. In fact, putting forth these kinds of "Who do you murder?" opposition arguments is disengenuous at best and downright evil at worst.

Do I think humanity has sufficient will and wisdom to address the issues? No. Individually, we are the brightest species on the planet. Collectively, we're pretty damn stupid....and selfish.

Darvince

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #212 on: August 30, 2016, 05:05:34 AM »
Honestly at this point the only hope that I see that may be even remotely possible is a technological singularity and a massive portion of humanity to upload themselves to computers so that they only take the resources of the energy it takes to create the computers and run electricity to them rather than the much larger amount of resources it takes to keep a biological person happy and healthy... The proposals to make everyone stop having children for a certain amount of time are admirable but have a chance of happening smaller than 1 in 7 billion.

OrganicSu

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #213 on: August 30, 2016, 09:11:07 AM »
BAU will result in a level of horror that is almost unimaginable, death by famine, disease and war on an unrecognizable level.
100% agree. It has already started.
I see a car go past and I say to myself - you are blind, you do not see that you are killing yourself, your family and me.
My sister was going to post me 2 heads of home-grown corn. I didn't want to be responsible for the CO2 involved in their transport and 2 weeks ago asked her not to. She hasn't replied to that text.
I have tried to explain to my siblings what is coming. They either don't agree, don't care or don't want to know. And a close family starts to split apart.

"Who do you murder?" opposition arguments is disengenuous at best and downright evil at worst.
I felt that "rapid population reduction" meant killing people. I am against that as a solution while everyone I know flies, eats food from halfway around the world, waste so much. If that is not what is meant then let's move on.

Re: no births - even if it were to happen it won't solve the problem. It's too slow. In some countries like Japan we see a fairly rapid initial reduction but with something like 1/2 world's population under 30(sorry no link) the population won't go down fast enough. I fear society will have collapsed before then.

Everyone needs to radically change everything they do, today, not gradually. Every action by everyone I know leads us and most species over the cliff. That has to stop immediately if we are to have a small chance. It helps if you equate all unnecessary consumption, travel, waste with slitting your own wrists. To increase our chances the whole population of this earth needs to manually work on rehabilitating nature.

I am trying to get to net negative yearly emissions. I won't be able this year. The wicked part of all this though is if we take the holistic view of my lifetime, the emissions made by nature (wildfires etc) due to my past emissions means I can never really get to true net negative emissions.

AbruptSLR

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #214 on: August 30, 2016, 03:30:41 PM »
If people can choose to have a lower carbon footprint (in their daily activities) and/or to have fewer children; then logically they can also choose to avoid the intensive and expensive "end-of-life care" that is so rampant in developed countries and which clearly indicates a desperate clinging (in a "Me"-culture) to a BAU existence (at the expense of coming generations).

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160119135613.htm

Extract: ""End-of-life care is intensive and expensive, and what we know now is that the US does not have the worst end-of-life care and that no country is optimal. All countries have deficits."
Spending on end-of-life care was high in the U.S. at about $18,500 for hospital care in the last six months of life. Canada and Norway were even higher at $21,840 and $19,783 per patient, respectively, while Belgium, England, and the Netherlands were lower at $15,699, $9,342, and $10,936, respectively."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #215 on: August 30, 2016, 05:06:21 PM »
ASLR

I completely agree and I have full intention not to fall into that trap personally.  But avoiding useless and very resource intensive medical treatments at the end of life often falls out of ones personal control, as at that time, you are often no longer capable of exercising decision making power. 

My father in law died recently.  He had a very explicit living will on what was allowed to be done to him and what he wanted.  I sat at the kitchen table when he explained it exactly to his wife and children.

When he was dying and no longer capable of expressing opinions his wife overruled everyone and the doctors and insisted on treatment which had no chance of saving him and indeed prolonged his suffering.  This precipitated some serious arguments and confrontations in the family.  My wife went so far as to take his living will and medical directions directly to the doctor who was executing my mother-in-laws directions and pointed out that this is in the hospital files.  He literally said, "Oh my God", when he was forced to read them.  It was like, "You do what you are legally obligated to do.  Or else."  The hospital then figured out ways to work around his wife.  I am certain that this plays out tens of thousands of times a year in the US.  And not getting called on it makes the hospitals a lot of money.

Instituting a national policy on not wasting resources on dying citizens would be just as hard to implement as telling the population they cannot have children - however necessary both happen to be. 

I am reserving the right to self termination should the need arise.
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 #216 on: August 30, 2016, 05:15:46 PM »
Honestly at this point the only hope that I see that may be even remotely possible is a technological singularity and a massive portion of humanity to upload themselves to computers so that they only take the resources of the energy it takes to create the computers and run electricity to them rather than the much larger amount of resources it takes to keep a biological person happy and healthy... The proposals to make everyone stop having children for a certain amount of time are admirable but have a chance of happening smaller than 1 in 7 billion.

You describe being in the place where I think the bulk of the populations resides.  We face existential threats, no logical way out of them which lies within known human capabilities, and a lack of will to break out of our situation.

The vast majority of people are depending on a miracle to save them.  For most it is a religious miracle along traditional lines, and for the next largest group a religious miracle along Progress lines.  The belief in Progress in today's world closely parallels religious conviction.  We do not need either approach to succeed. 

The solution is staring us in the face.  We have to find the courage to act and behave rationally.  A huge step for humans who are largely irrational creatures, but not impossible.
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

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #217 on: August 30, 2016, 06:48:22 PM »
If people can choose to have a lower carbon footprint (in their daily activities) and/or to have fewer children; then logically they can also choose to avoid the intensive and expensive "end-of-life care" that is so rampant in developed countries and which clearly indicates a desperate clinging (in a "Me"-culture) to a BAU existence (at the expense of coming generations).

Thank you for bringing this up. I wanted to write something along these lines as one of the small solutions to overpopulation, didn't know how to put it in words. Crazy stuff going on with experimental drugs and treatments and prolonged suffering just to ease the psychological stress on the relatives. Not belittling anyone's pain, but it's important to know when to let go.

Paddy

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #218 on: August 30, 2016, 08:45:56 PM »
Tragic deaths are primarily the fault of a lack of preventative infrastructure. We currently have 1/8th as many total deaths from natural disasters worldwide as occurred around 1900, despite having five times the population; that's a 40-fold reduction in such deaths per capita. 

The big paradox of population growth is that it's happened through being victims of our own success. We're having fewer and fewer children year on year worldwide but on the flipside we're living longer and longer. That's where population growth really comes from - it's not that we're breeding ike rats so much as it is that we've stopped dying like flies. But the only ethical way to address this is to try to nudge the global birth rate still lower than it is already.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 08:10:15 PM by Paddy »

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #219 on: August 30, 2016, 10:32:28 PM »
Tragic deaths are primarily the fault of a lack of preventative infrastructure. We currently have 1/8th as many total deaths from natural disasters worldwide as occurred around 1900, despite having five times the population; that's a 40-fold reduction in such deaths per capita. 

The big paradox of population growth is that it's happened through being victims of our own success. We're having fewer and fewer children year on year worldwide but on the flipside we're living longer and longer. That's where population growth really comes from - it's not that we're being like rats so much as it is that we've stopped dying like flies. But the only ethical way to address this is to try to nudge the global birth rate still lower than it is already.

You are mostly right but there are cases. In my country ultra-orthodox religious people are having 10 children and more per family, because god said so. And naturally they are already 15% of the population, as this has been going on for decades. Since they are a large voting bloc, the government instead of trying to reduce this phenomenon through economic means is providing child allowances and other policies that tend to encourage this obviously unsustainable trend. The sane people left (there are still some) see this long-term process going on and are essentially helpless.

Archimid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #220 on: August 31, 2016, 12:49:23 AM »
I have not read this thread, so I apologize if this has been said before. I would gladly read and reply  to any counters to any of my arguments in this thread if you point me to them.

1. Population is not public enemy #1. If it was, then climate change would be public hero #1. Climate change can (at worst) make H. sapiens extinct and middle of the road scenarios could potentially reduce world population to city states or smaller units dispersed over lucky regions of the world. Only best case, safe for the public opinion scenarios is climate change a mild annoyance. So climate change is very likely to take care of population, if it was a problem.

2. Populations is good. The more the better, except that there are very real limits of growth. If humanity is to survive it must learn that there are limits of growth and learn how to work around them. For example let's say that to keep growing we must spend energy, but the waste of our best form of energy generation will warm the planet to the point of rendering it uninhabitable.

 That's a limit of growth. However it is a limit of growth that can be bypassed. If the world started a WW2 scale effort to change all power generation from FF to solar inside of a decade, then that particular limit of growth can be cancelled out. If humans are only using energy received from the Sun in the present, the world can't warm. Only when we use the stored solar energy of fossil fuels we change the energy balance of the biosphere.

If we solve that problem, then the next thermodynamic limit of growth is global cooling. But that only starts becoming a problem hundreds (thousands?) of years from now. 
 

3. There are many other limits of growth that must be overcome  besides global warming. Size is one of them, eventually humans will run out of land. However if we solve the energy problem, we can expand into skyscrapers, build underground or underwater cities. When that is not enough then space problem must be solved. We must expand into space. That  sounds like science fiction but it is not. It is merely economics fiction. There is nothing except for economics, that stops us from doing that today.  It is the same for any other limit of growth. It is "just" a matter of changing the paradigm.

4. Humans, like the animals they are, procreate like animals.  When they have plenty of space and need more children they have them. When they live bunched up in cities or they don't need them they simply don't. The only way to stop this will be by implementing draconian measures that would lead to the collapse of civilization as we know it.

5. This is just a personal story. Just today my wife and I talked about making child 2. The problem? My niece and mother just caught Zika. As the world warms and the mosquito spreads, there will be more and more couples making the same choice. So I implore you, if you can, have children while you can.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #221 on: August 31, 2016, 01:30:57 AM »
I have not read this thread, so I apologize if this has been said before. I would gladly read and reply  to any counters to any of my arguments in this thread if you point me to them.

1. Population is not public enemy #1. If it was, then climate change would be public hero #1. Climate change can (at worst) make H. sapiens extinct and middle of the road scenarios could potentially reduce world population to city states or smaller units dispersed over lucky regions of the world. Only best case, safe for the public opinion scenarios is climate change a mild annoyance. So climate change is very likely to take care of population, if it was a problem.

2. Populations is good. The more the better, except that there are very real limits of growth. If humanity is to survive it must learn that there are limits of growth and learn how to work around them. For example let's say that to keep growing we must spend energy, but the waste of our best form of energy generation will warm the planet to the point of rendering it uninhabitable.

 That's a limit of growth. However it is a limit of growth that can be bypassed. If the world started a WW2 scale effort to change all power generation from FF to solar inside of a decade, then that particular limit of growth can be cancelled out. If humans are only using energy received from the Sun in the present, the world can't warm. Only when we use the stored solar energy of fossil fuels we change the energy balance of the biosphere.

If we solve that problem, then the next thermodynamic limit of growth is global cooling. But that only starts becoming a problem hundreds (thousands?) of years from now. 
 

3. There are many other limits of growth that must be overcome  besides global warming. Size is one of them, eventually humans will run out of land. However if we solve the energy problem, we can expand into skyscrapers, build underground or underwater cities. When that is not enough then space problem must be solved. We must expand into space. That  sounds like science fiction but it is not. It is merely economics fiction. There is nothing except for economics, that stops us from doing that today.  It is the same for any other limit of growth. It is "just" a matter of changing the paradigm.

4. Humans, like the animals they are, procreate like animals.  When they have plenty of space and need more children they have them. When they live bunched up in cities or they don't need them they simply don't. The only way to stop this will be by implementing draconian measures that would lead to the collapse of civilization as we know it.

5. This is just a personal story. Just today my wife and I talked about making child 2. The problem? My niece and mother just caught Zika. As the world warms and the mosquito spreads, there will be more and more couples making the same choice. So I implore you, if you can, have children while you can.
I disagree with the basic premise, population is not good when there is too much of it, even if you could squeeze them in skyscrapers and underground I can't see the point. What is your desired number? 15 billion? 50? Agreed that humans will procreate like animals when left alone with abundant resources, this is exactly why an intelligent intervention is required to bring the number down to the Earth's carrying capacity.
Looking at your list, somehow food is not there. Even if you solve the energy issue (not as easy as described in your post, not everything can be done with electricity), growing enough food to feed all this population is one of the biggest obstacles you will meet, especially if all of them want to eat like the US average. Agriculture is already unsustainable with soil erosion and degradation and aquifer drawdown and a whole bunch of stuff, add to that growing population, growing affluence, climate change and loss of climate stability, sea level rise into the fertile river deltas, it can't work.

idunno

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #222 on: August 31, 2016, 03:20:20 AM »
Wow! Somebody posted something half-sane in this thread! Congratulations to Archimid.

First: the title is close to gibberish, innit?

Population is a synonym for 'people'. Public is a synonym for 'people'.

So "Population - Publlic Enemy Number 1" is either contradictory gibberish, or an obscure reference to American rap and R+B charts. I preferred NWA or Linkin Park.

Second, I think that any system of thought or belief that suggests that the existence of people, or of any particular group of people, is inherently a bad thing is in itself - and I have to use an old-fashioned and sweeping term here - evil.

Third, if anybody on here is proposing discussing the effects of global warming on polar bears with the polar bears themselves, do be warned that polar bears like to begin discussions by ripping out yer liver. Similarly, as seals can be trained to balance beach balls on their noses, perhaps walruses, provided they get rewarded with enough fish, might eventually learn to round up a decent load of the flip-flops, empty bottles, bits of old string and other plastic crap floating about the ocean. But I think you might run out of fish. Humans are probably a better bet.

Next, this forum is relatively welcoming even to science deniers, until they start posting utter rubbish, so carry on. From my reading of comments elsewhere (mainly Guardian), you've all pretty much given up disputing the pause, your solar cycle wittering, pirates and pixies, Monctons-a-leaping and leprechauns. This is all you've got left - no point in tackling carbon emissions because somebody in Africa might be having sex. This now represents about 50% of the deniers' input on the Guardian's comment streams.

Last, while population continues to grow, the population growth rates have been falling rapidly around  the world for decades. This is a pretty well understood phenomenon, with a very good statistical fit with the factor which sociologists regard as the cause of it, across continents, cultures and income levels. Populations growth rates, or at least birth rates, dramatically decline in correlation with the number of years that girls can stay on at school.

Now, I must now have seen about 200 comments from - let's call them global warming dismissers - saying that population is all that matters, and there's no hope for the environment with so many people on the Earth - and I still haven't seen one calling for extra investment  in women's education, particularly in developing countries.

Because that ain't the point innit? The point is that people in Kenya are still having sex, so I might as well fly my private plane around Kansas, because the world's going to hell in a handcart anyway, and that Viagra ain't all it's cracked up to be.

No siree Bob, its them young black women that's the cause of all the problems anyway, well them and Mexicans and Muslims and libtards.

Joking aside, if this were a discussion of how pressure could be brought on politicians to increase the flow of funding for girls' education, well and good.

It ain't.

Archimid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #223 on: August 31, 2016, 03:32:11 AM »

I disagree with the basic premise, population is not good when there is too much of it, even if you could squeeze them in skyscrapers and underground I can't see the point.

You can live a perfectly happy life in a skycraper or underground city. I don't live in either but if given the choice of not existing or existing in one of those setups I would chose the later.

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What is your desired number? 15 billion? 50?

As many as it take to fill all habitable planets in all galaxies, while the universe lasts. 

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Agreed that humans will procreate like animals when left alone with abundant resources, this is exactly why an intelligent intervention is required to bring the number down to the Earth's carrying capacity.
 

I think that using technology the earth's carrying could be increased.

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Looking at your list, somehow food is not there. Even if you solve the energy issue (not as easy as described in your post, not everything can be done with electricity), growing enough food to feed all this population is one of the biggest obstacles you will meet, especially if all of them want to eat like the US average.

2 things food and energy

1. Energy: I never qualified it as easy. Changing the world's source of energy will be the greatest challenge ever faced by humanity. If we don't meet it then overpopulation is solved.

 On your second part, "not everything can be done with electricity". Electricity is just a form of energy and can be changed to other forms of energy. The sun provides more than enough energy to provide for all of civilization needs for some time. We even have the technology required to do it. What we don't have is the deployment of that technology at a worldwide scale. I admit that is a huge challenge, but a doable one.

2. Food:   Lab created meat is a thing today. Unless climate change stops it, the next step is mass produced lab made food. I'm talking of factories producing hundreds of thousands of pounds of meat using nothing but energy, water and cells. I wouldn't be surprised if the same thing eventually happens with grains. Robotic facilities that take chemicals on one side and outputs grain like substances on the other. It sounds like science fiction but the technology is there, albeit in its infancy. 
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

TerryM

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #224 on: August 31, 2016, 07:12:50 PM »
I have not read this thread, so I apologize if this has been said before. I would gladly read and reply  to any counters to any of my arguments in this thread if you point me to them.

1. Population is not public enemy #1.

2. Populations is good.
 
3. There are many other limits of growth that must be overcome  besides global warming.

4. Humans, like the animals they are, procreate like animals.

5. This is just a personal story. Just today my wife and I talked about making child 2. The problem? My niece and mother just caught Zika. As the world warms and the mosquito spreads, there will be more and more couples making the same choice. So I implore you, if you can, have children while you can.


Re. Your opening paragraph.
 
Why on earth would anyone reply to a thread he has not read?


4 of your 5 bullet points have been discussed here and your opinions are not well though out.


Your final bullet is to plead with people to have children while they can??? Are you involved in some sect that expects to enrich itself when the starving parishioners pay the piper?


There are many on this forum for whom english is a second, or third language. You profess to speak the language, yet you write, "Populations is good", and expect to be taken seriously?
Perhaps your mother was infected many years ago.


Terry

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #225 on: August 31, 2016, 08:14:32 PM »
...
That's where population growth really comes from - it's not that we're being [breeding - sorry, typo] like rats so much as it is that we've stopped dying like flies. But the only ethical way to address this is to try to nudge the global birth rate still lower than it is already.

You are mostly right but there are cases. In my country ultra-orthodox religious people are having 10 children and more per family, because god said so. And naturally they are already 15% of the population, as this has been going on for decades. Since they are a large voting bloc, the government instead of trying to reduce this phenomenon through economic means is providing child allowances and other policies that tend to encourage this obviously unsustainable trend. The sane people left (there are still some) see this long-term process going on and are essentially helpless.

True, persuading such niche populations to also have fewer children is something of a challenge. Not sure what nudge factors would best take effect - sponsorships for orthodox women to go to uni, perhaps?

Archimid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #226 on: August 31, 2016, 08:56:11 PM »

Re. Your opening paragraph.
 
Why on earth would anyone reply to a thread he has not read?

To express an opinion?

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4 of your 5 bullet points have been discussed here and your opinions are not well though out.

Thought out. It's well thought out. It could be a spelling mistake but I choose to believe that you know nothing because you make mistakes. Instead of replying with logic, I will pretend that your statement is invalid because you are an uneducated brute who can't spell "thought".

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Your final bullet is to plead with people to have children while they can??? Are you involved in some sect that expects to enrich itself when the starving parishioners pay the piper?


No. I say it because climate change will put a strain in society and we might very well revert to the times were you must have many children because some of them will simply not make it to adulthood.



I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

budmantis

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #227 on: September 01, 2016, 12:47:08 AM »
I read replies 220 to 226, which began and ended with Archimid's posts. Trying to put in my two cents without insulting anyone. The discussion on population (to procreate with abandon or not), reminded me of Pope Paul the Sixth's encyclical from 1968 titled "Humanae Vitae". At the time, progressive Catholics wanted the church to allow the use of contraception. Holding to the conservative line as Pope's tend to do (present Pope possibly excepted), Pope Paul's encyclical defended the continuation on the ban forbidding the use of contraceptives.

Having been brought up Catholic I always felt the church just wanted us to feel guilty about everything and not have any fun! My argument against the encyclical and any call for mass procreation begins in the opening pages of the book of Genesis where god instructs Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. My argument ends by saying that we have successfully done that. In fact, we have been too successful.

I don't know what would be considered the maximum sustainable human population, but I do know that our current population is unsustainable. Our ever so widening footprint on this planet we call home has resulted in the extinction of numerous species, and the rate of extinction is accelerating.

oren

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #228 on: September 01, 2016, 01:57:28 AM »
Wow! Somebody posted something half-sane in this thread!
Must say I highly dislike your abrasive tone (I'm just an amateur nobody, my dislike probably does not matter).

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Next, this forum is relatively welcoming even to science deniers, until they start posting utter rubbish, so carry on.
Accusing posters in this thread (most much more esteemed than humble me) of being science deniers is plain stupid. Sorry.

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Last, while population continues to grow, the population growth rates have been falling rapidly around  the world for decades. This is a pretty well understood phenomenon, with a very good statistical fit with the factor which sociologists regard as the cause of it, across continents, cultures and income levels. Populations growth rates, or at least birth rates, dramatically decline in correlation with the number of years that girls can stay on at school.
Something factual amid the attacks, and quite correct. Unless religious factors intervene btw, as happens in my country. Ultra-Orthodox women complete 12 years of (religious) school, and then they get married and have 10 children while working to feed the family while the man studies the scriptures.
Regardless I find the need to point out that although global growth rates have slowed, absolute growth per year has not. After topping 90 million per year in 1990, and dropping to 78 million after 2000, it's back to 83 million per year at present. So the population overshoot continues at this stage, though in a linear fashion rather than exponential.

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Now, I must now have seen about 200 comments from - let's call them global warming dismissers - saying that population is all that matters, and there's no hope for the environment with so many people on the Earth - and I still haven't seen one calling for extra investment  in women's education, particularly in developing countries.
...
Joking aside, if this were a discussion of how pressure could be brought on politicians to increase the flow of funding for girls' education, well and good.

It ain't.
You could have simply posted such a comment calling for that, and moved the discussion in that direction.


The point you might be missing is that many solutions are needed. (Others can say it much better than me) . Just reducing emissions and consumption in each person's life and across the whole world will not work, same as just reducing population without reductions in aspired living standards will not work. And certainly at the level of the overshoot we are in compared to global carrying capacity, increasing the flow of funding for girls education, even if done in each and every country now, is too slow a solution by itself without many other more drastic measures. Had it been done in 1970 when Limits To Growth was first published then maybe it could have saved some/much of the overshoot.

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #229 on: September 01, 2016, 06:10:56 PM »
Archimid & idunno

I'll reply to both of you jointly as I think the mistakes, misunderstandings and plain biases of your responses are almost identical.  It would do you well to read on the topic a bit more.  Casual insults are fine however (as you seem to prefer) so indulge me a bit when I return the favor by pointing out that you need to engage the intellect a bit before you try and make sense of something or attempt to be logical.  Just saying.

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1. Population is not public enemy #1. ....

Perhaps the two of you are not American or knowledegable of American idioms and missed the social reference of the title?  That is fine as one cannot expect everyone to be familiar with it.  However this topic is full of the logic of the statement and there is huge body of evidence pointing out why indeed it is that human population totals are indeed the core of the problems of the Earth's carrying capacity and climate change.  To imply that climate change is " a mild annoyance." is pretty uniformed and undefenseable.  Thoughtless really.  And idunno thinks this yours a half sane response?  lol

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2. Populations is good. The more the better, except that there are very real limits of growth. If humanity is to survive it must learn that there are limits of growth and learn how to work around them.....

There must be some intersting bias behind such a bold and ignorantly wrong statement.  Are the two of you completely ignorant of what we are talking about here?  Have you read the scientific literature on biological carrying capacity limits?  Do you even have a rudimentry understanding of the laws of physics and the limitations they place upon us?  Rhetorical question in case you didn't notice.

Try to keep in mind that it is simply not true in any way that we can survive indefinitely when we exceed the global carrying capacity as when we are in that state we are destroying vast numbers of other species with whom our existence is intimately intertwined as well as destroying the soils we need to grow food in...and a host of other items you could learn about should you choose to pick up  a book.  Carrying capacity issues exist independently of climate change issues and are of critical importance.  Climate change exacerbates the carrying capacity numbers.  No technology cannot increase the global carrying capacity.  If we choose to use it wisely, with the objective being reaching a point our effects on the earth are sustainable, that would be a benefit.  But we have never done that and are not doing it presently.  We seek profit and growth and human expansion.  None of those are good things in an ultimate sense by the way.  It is not evil to say there are too many people on this earth.  That is nonsense and demonstrates some weird illogical bias  - you might want to come clean on what makes you think such a thing.

The anti-science and apparent religious bias of your and idduno's posts is not uncommon in today's world and sort of to be expected. We see that with the climate deniers all the time.  We also see it every time the issue of population comes up as that raises all the non-logical subconscious triggers which make it so difficult to make any progress in trying to deal with long term problems.

Idunno repeats a common denier meme that because we have seen moderate (far from 'rapid") drops in birth rates over several decades that we are on some path to sustainability and there is nothing to see here....move along.  IF we had actually seen rapid drops in birth rates we would not have such a large and rapidly growing population now would we?  See how illogical your position is?  There is a large body of scientific work out there that you could take the time to read which describes how fast our population is rising and the totals it will reach (and all of the factors like birth rates are taken into account).  These projections have demonstrated historical accuracy so they are not likely to be far off.  The Earth simply cannot support such totals and the effect those totals (and current population) will have on further destroying the global carrying capacity and worsening the effects of climate change are indisputable. 

Spend some time thinking and studying on the following - it will help you learn a bit.  Every single human requires a minimum amount of resources to survive - even as a hunter gatherer.  If everyone lived that way the global carrying capacity would be determined from that base usage. Add in some level of technological advancements and the other trappings of civilization along with their resource requirements and you will get another answer for what the global carrying capacity is.  Just in case you don't know what that term means it is the level of population/civilization that the globe can support sustainably.  We are already in deep overshoot.  Every day the amount we are in overshoot get worse and every day the worsening effects of climate change push us further into overshoot.  Climate change is a positive feedback to the global carrying capacity problem.

Population is the most critical factor in this equation (thus Public Enemy No 1) because each and every one of those humans uses resources.  It is not possible for a person not to do this. 

I point a fact out often in these discussions. We know approximately what the resource/carbon foot print of each standard of living is.  IF we average those numbers for Africa we get the smallest number found on the globe.  In other words us Americans are very high compared to an African.  But what if everyone on Earth lived at the standard of living of the average African?  Would that solve climate change?  Would that solve the global carrying capacity problem?  The answer to both questions is a resounding NO!!!  CO2 levels would continue to rise at a historically rapid rate (though much less than they are right now) and we would still be far beyond the global carrying capacity and thus constantly lowering it.  This is a recipe for utter catastrophe..a civilizational collapse.  I will point out that no one on earth wants to live at the standard of living of the average African.  We all want to be affluent and live well, to prosper so to speak.  Well the numbers don't lie..we cannot live that way with any where near our current population numbers.  2+2 does not equal 5 no matter what your bias towards this issue is.

Yes it is true if we do nothing like you desire that the situation will solve itself.  But it will solve itself in the most horrible way.  Denying problems exist and refusing to contemplate solutions is what you are doing here.  It harms us all.  It will harm those you love.  If you live long enough it will harm you.  We live in a truly frightening time but letting ones fears rule them is what the timid and weak fall prey to.  Have a bit of courage and step up.
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Archimid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #230 on: September 01, 2016, 06:58:29 PM »
Hello JimD.

 

 1. Population is not public enemy #1.
...To imply that climate change is " a mild annoyance"...

Just to be clear, that was idunno implication. Mine was the complete opposite. Climate change is public enemy #1 and climate change will solve the population problem. In respects of the title, I took the term literally. In regards to popular culture, it could have many meanings https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Enemy_No._1

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2. Populations is good.
... No technology cannot increase the global carrying capacity ...

I'm sorry but yes it can. If civilization was still hunter/gatherer, then the carrying capacity of the planet would have been exceed  long ago.If civilization still used pre-medieval farming implements, the earths carrying capacity would have been exceeded long ago. If civilization never discovered antibiotics/fertilizers/fossil fuels/automation then carrying capacity would have been exceeded long ago. Now current technologies are just enough to sustain current consumption, but not for much longer. I bet that new technology will flourish that will multiply available food many times over. BUt the capacity to generate those technologies  depend on a stable economy. If something like and ice free arctic happened before the technology is developed, then it will never be developed.

I make this assumption based on this technology:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/lab-grown-meat-is-in-your-future-and-it-may-be-healthier-than-the-real-stuff/2016/05/02/aa893f34-e630-11e5-a6f3-21ccdbc5f74e_story.html


IMHO the next iteration of human nutrition will be probably be independent of the earth natural environments (soils/weather). The only limit will be water, energy and access to raw chemicals. If that was the case the carrying capacity of the planet in terms of food production might approach infinity.

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But what if everyone on Earth lived at the standard of living of the average African?  Would that solve climate change?  Would that solve the global carrying capacity problem?  The answer to both questions is a resounding NO!!!  CO2 levels would continue to rise at a historically rapid rate (though much less than they are right now) and we would still be far beyond the global carrying capacity and thus constantly lowering it. 

You only assume that "CO2 levels would continue to rise at a historically rapid rate" because our main source of energy is a giant CO2 source. If all the energy of the world came from the sun, then your argument crumbles like a house of cards. That argument is only true under current energy use paradigms.



Frankly I see your argument as the Hitler/Donald Trump's/climate change denier solution to climate change. It is not a good solution. I tell you why. What if we let everyone on the planet die except USA, China and India? In that case CO2 emissions would still be too high to sustain our current climate even when we more than halved the population. Less population will not solve the CO2 problem. OTOH if all our energy generation came from the sun, the population could remain the same size and CO2 emissions would be reduced to 0. Global warming solved. 

Granted there are many other limits to growth other than Climate change or agriculture. Each of them is a challenge that must be solved. If those limits of growth are not solve then population problem is solved.
I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

Neven

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #231 on: September 01, 2016, 08:30:27 PM »
5. This is just a personal story. Just today my wife and I talked about making child 2. The problem? My niece and mother just caught Zika. As the world warms and the mosquito spreads, there will be more and more couples making the same choice. So I implore you, if you can, have children while you can.

Maybe this is the crux of the discussion. I assume Archimid wants to have a second child without feeling guilty about the massive carbon footprint that is involved with having children in the developed world.

I don't think one should feel guilty about that. Every person should have a right to have one child, which amounts to two children per couple. You might say less is better, but if everyone concerned about AGW and limits to growth stops having children, there will never be a cultural/societal shift needed to really work towards solutions.

I'm talking theory here, of course, as there are way more people unconcerned about AGW etc anyhow.

It's a bit like Idiocracy:  ;)



But getting more children than two? I still don't understand how anyone in his/her right mind can be so irresponsible. Okay, maybe in the 80's, 90's people were simply unaware, but it's 2016. I know the best possible, hardcore hippies out there who have 4-5 kids, and as great as these kids are wrt personality and everything, they have been brainwashed by consumer culture, and all need cars, computers, smart phones, holidays, etc, etc. And they're hippies too, so they'll probably start pooping out 3,4 or 5 of their own.

If you absolutely need to have more than two children, then adopt. As simple as that. There are so many unhappy, neglected children in the world. And don't send those kids to school, lest they be brainwashed.

But this is a personal story too. My wife and I opted to have just one child. Partly because of the carbon footprint, partly because our daughter had some physical ailments as a baby, and we didn't want to run the risk of going through that again. Our plan is to adopt in the near future, even though the authorities might not give us one because we're hell-bent on homeschooling.
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Bernard

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #232 on: September 01, 2016, 09:58:25 PM »
I've been following that thread for a while and the few last exchanges push me to come out of lurking mode.
Preliminary remark, the obvious fact that it's women who bear babies. I'm not sure what is the proportion of women taking part in the current discussion, but at first glance it looks like a discussion of males. (And yes, I'm a male, too).

It's a quite recent evolution of mankind (the last century, say) that women has something to say about whether they want children, and when, and how many. But it's now, (fortunately) more and more the rule than exception. From my experience (living in France), in most "modern" couples, it's the woman who decides about having children, even if she lets the man believe he's taken part in the decision. When I say my experience, I had 2 children from a first marriage, and had another one with my wife who was also already mother of 2. So we had 3 children each, which makes a total of 5, so goes the strange arithmetic of stepfamilies. And to complete the figure we have now 3 grandchildren.
So to answer Neven
But getting more children than two? I still don't understand how anyone in his/her right mind can be so irresponsible. Okay, maybe in the 80's, 90's people were simply unaware, but it's 2016.
My children were born in 1981, 1984 and 1995, but I was not "unaware". When I was 20 (in 1973) I was pretty much "aware" of the limits to growth, I remember my friends smiling at my early rants about C02 levels, SLR, limited resources, overpopulation, etc. and actually at that age I did not want any child, and I remember discussions with friends Neven would call "hippies" who wanted many children to raise them as so many "revolutionaries" (yes this was a time we still dreamt of changing the world).

But you meet a woman, and everything changes. And if she wants a baby, if you love her there is no argument. Even if you are both over 40 ...

Don't get me wrong. I don't blame women. My point is that the decision is in their hands and heart. And no consideration about the future of humanity can do anything about the decision of a woman to have a child.

That's for the natality end. About mortality, who will have the determination to say "I'm now over 60, I've been a happy parent and even grandparent, I've done what I had to do in the chain of life, we are too many on this boat, so I'll jump off"? I have no shame to say I won't be able to do that, for what ties me to life, there again, is stronger than the future of mankind. Sorry about that.

Neven

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #233 on: September 02, 2016, 09:39:46 AM »
Thanks for your honesty, Bernard. I don't mean to blame you personally, but it does seem that having babies is a kind of Tragedy of the Commons problem, where even people who are aware of the cost of having babies, still choose to have them for personal reasons.

And yes, I have met several women who are addicted to having babies. I don't know if that's biological or psychological, probably a mix. Some of them did it to tie a man to them (and then the next, and the next). Some of them do it for the child allowance they get, I suspect. With a good garden, some dole money, and 4-6 of those critters, you can live a pretty good hippie life.

I no longer congratulate people who have a third baby. But I'm the only one who does that, so they don't care.  ;) ;D
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

JimD

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #234 on: September 02, 2016, 05:15:45 PM »
Archimid

This is completely incorrect.  A bit of study on the issue will enlighten you.

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2. Populations is good.
... No technology cannot increase the global carrying capacity ...

I'm sorry but yes it can. If civilization was still hunter/gatherer, then the carrying capacity of the planet would have been exceed  long ago.If civilization still used pre-medieval farming implements, the earths carrying capacity would have been exceeded long ago. If civilization never discovered antibiotics/fertilizers/fossil fuels/automation then carrying capacity would have been exceeded long ago. Now current technologies are just enough to sustain current consumption, but not for much longer. I bet that new technology will flourish that will multiply available food many times over. BUt the capacity to generate those technologies  depend on a stable economy. If something like and ice free arctic happened before the technology is developed, then it will never be developed.

I make this assumption based on this technology:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/lab-grown-meat-is-in-your-future-and-it-may-be-healthier-than-the-real-stuff/2016/05/02/aa893f34-e630-11e5-a6f3-21ccdbc5f74e_story.html

Where you are confused is a common place.  Technology does not change the carrying capacity.  What is occurring is that technology allows us to more efficiently overuse resources.  In other words it allows us to exceed the drawdown of those resources even further beyond the carrying capacity than we were before.  Thus it accelerates overshoot.  It gives you the impression it is providing all the resources you need but it is stealing them from the future.  Study commercial fishing, deforestation of the Amazon and other parts of the world, loss of top soils globally, etc..all of these things will lead to collapse eventually.  Every single person adds to the problem.  It is not possible to exist without using part of the carrying capacity.

An analogy here should help explain it.  One needs firewood to heat ones house.  One has a woods of a certain size in which the trees grow at a specific rate.  One can gather all the dead wood which falls out of the trees and burn it.  This seems infinitely sustainable ..but it is not.  One can do it for a long time of course, but you are removing nutrients which the rotting wood would have left behind that are needed by the growing trees.  So the forest will slowly die.

Along comes a salesman with an axe.  Now you can cut the trees before they are dead and stack the wood to let it dry.  All of a sudden you have all the firewood you need to keep warm rather than being cold part of the time.  This situation is much less sustainable than the former, but people prefer it.  And so on. 

When it comes to sustainability technology accelerates the short term supply but brings the eventual biological collapses forward in time.  And results in a much quicker collapse when one can no longer find a way to steal from the future. 

One can also think of it like using a credit card to borrow against further earnings.  One can keep running up debt beyond ones means..until they will give you no more credit.  Then your finances collapse.

There is a large volume of scientific literature on this subject one can learn from.

The Earth's carrying capacity is constantly shrinking since we are in overshoot.  Each additional person requires resources as does each additional technology deployed.  There is no free lunch and no technology can create resources or more energy than you start with.  As we degrade soils we lessen the ability for things to grow and eventually there is not enough food to feed all living beings.  Raising food hydroponically consumes far more resources than via natural means for example.  Climate change has adverse effects on all of those factors as well.  The only way this situation gets fixed is when resource consumption drops below carrying capacity and then natural ecosystems get a chance to recover.

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Frankly I see your argument as the Hitler/Donald Trump's/climate change denier solution to climate change. It is not a good solution. I tell you why. What if we let everyone on the planet die except USA, China and India? In that case CO2 emissions would still be too high to sustain our current climate even when we more than halved the population. Less population will not solve the CO2 problem. OTOH if all our energy generation came from the sun, the population could remain the same size and CO2 emissions would be reduced to 0. Global warming solved. 

You are incredibly confused.  I am as far from the Hitler solution as it is possible to be.  Your position on this matter brings the possibility of such things much closer to happening... in fact following the current mainstream green and black BAU paradigms guarantees what you fear will come to pass.  Get off the train.

I am not talking about solutions which favor the US or any country.  I favor the human race and its survival.  I specifically said that even if everyone (that means everyone) lived like the average African we could not stop the rise of CO2 levels and, obviously, we could not get to a resource usage below the carrying capacity limit. It is not 'mathematically' possible.  This is not an opinion it is a calculated fact.  What I am saying we have to do to avoid the mass death all of us want to avoid is to reduce the 'global' population dramatically.  This results in a dramatic lowering of carbon emissions no matter what technology we deploy as less people means less emissions.  This slows the adverse rise in climate change effects (but it does not stop them).  It buys us time.  While it is certain that the wealthy countries must reduce their standards of living the most in order to also reduce consumption/emissions reducing their populations has an even larger effect.  We must do both things at once. 

The below is stupidly wrong.

Quote
OTOH if all our energy generation came from the sun, the population could remain the same size and CO2 emissions would be reduced to 0. Global warming solved.

It is physically impossible for that to be true.  All technology produces emissions and there is no renewable energy source which does not result in significant carbon emissions and does not have significant deleterious effects on the global carrying capacity.  I am an advocate of a complete cessation in the burning of fossil fuels..but I also know that just doing that is woefully insufficient top solve our problems.  The adverse effects of renewable technologies are not as severe as those from fossil fuels but there is no way to eliminate them totally either.  There is no perpetual motion machine.  Nothing is free.  Thinking these kinds of things is childish and totally unscientific.  And once again the problem is not just global warming.  It is carrying capacity.  Climate change as it worsens lowers the carrying capacity number. The issues are inseparable.  The Earth can only sustainably support a certain mass of living creatures of which man is just one.  We die without the others and we are killing them off to sustain ourselves.  This method works for a time and then the interlocking systems of nature collapse and we go with them.

I can see you desperately want a simple solution.  It does not exist and it will not exist.  You need to accept that and try and be a part of the solution rather than try and promote the behaviors which got us here in the first place.
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

TerryM

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #235 on: September 03, 2016, 12:23:05 AM »
Last night at a monthly dinner I brought up the subject of reducing the population load through culling the aged, of which I am one. The consensus seemed to be that we were too valuable as repositories of arcane knowledge, knowledge that we would presumably pass along to younger generations.

It's difficult to judge the sincerity of the expressed opinions, & whether they would hold if draconian rules restricting child birth were being considered as alternatives.
While it certainly feeds my ego to see in myself a resource worthy of retention, even at the expense of restricting others reproductive options, I'm unsure just how reasonable that proposition is.

I personally meet with a generally younger crowd at least twice a month. Our discussions are wide ranging and my position seems to have evolved into one in which I'm often an opponent of the more radical suggestions, rather than an innovator who's ideas often required a moderating influence.
In this role I may have saved a few from the expense of chasing after unattainable solutions, but I may also have deprived them of the knowledge they would have gained through failure.

I miss the youthful enthusiasms that formerly lead me to run off in all directions simultaneously, while at the same time appreciating my present position as something of a gatekeeper, attempting to bound inspiration within the constraints of reality.

Mentoring has an important history, but given the democratization of knowledge that the internet represents, is the aged mentor indispensable, or merely a throwback to times when fact were hoarded and the elderly had access.

My once formidable library has been reduced to a few hundred tomes. Google serves in it's place. My apparatus, meters and tools have been dispersed. It's easier to find a U-Tube that demonstrates a particular process than to dig up a test tube to perform the experiment myself. If I serve a purpose, is it merely as a mnemonic that saves a few key strokes when quick solutions are called for?

I've put in my 3 score & 10, is it likely that over the span of another decade my value will exceed the carrying costs of my existence? A Do Not Resuscitate order is probably the greatest gift I can bequeath to those who follow.

Jesus, I can certainly wax maudlin before my second cup. 8)

Terry

AbruptSLR

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #236 on: September 03, 2016, 12:44:08 AM »
Per the linked article the 50%-50% estimate of world population by 2050 is 9.9 billion people (regardless of what we actively discuss in this thread):

http://climatenewsnetwork.net/soaring-population-raises-climate-concerns/?utm_source=Climate+News+Network&utm_campaign=ee73a4161f-Population_climbs9_2_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1198ea8936-ee73a4161f-38798061

Extract: "Human numbers are predicted to grow by 33% in the next 33 years – and that is worrying news for a world already struggling to deal with the impacts of climate change.
By 2050, there could be 9.9 billion people alive on the planet, and the global total is expected to hit 10 bn by 2053, according to the latest calculations by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), a private not-for-profit organisation based in the US."
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

AbruptSLR

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #237 on: September 03, 2016, 04:43:27 AM »
The linked article discusses the possibility of eliminating the deadliest species of mosquitoes; which, if done, would save tens of millions of human lives by 2050; almost guaranteeing that the world population would exceed 10 billion people by 2050.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mosquitoes-are-deadly-so-why-not-kill-them-all-1472827158
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”
― Leon C. Megginson

Paddy

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #238 on: September 03, 2016, 07:37:06 AM »
@Abrupt,

Reductions in the mortality rate tend to be followed by reductions in the birth rate, after a little lag. In particular because there's less pressure to have many kids if you're reasonably sure the kids you have will survive to adulthood.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 02:01:39 PM by Paddy »

Aporia_filia

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #239 on: September 03, 2016, 11:31:30 AM »
I'm with Jim. He is talking with data and logic in a scientific manner. I don't want to go over and over again with projections because the problem is here now, not in the future. As Jim pointed out, mathematically is very clear we are in an unbearable situation for the actual biosphere, and we are part of it. Part of Nature.
It is impossible to keep a perfectly unbiased position in this matter. We can not be totally scientific when we study ourselves.  As Scientific American questioned a few years ago: can the brain understand itself? When we try to understand how plants are able to recognise stimulus and react within multiples choices, not having a nervous system, we don't accept propositions other than facts (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/23/the-intelligent-plant)
Let's try the same approach with us.
When we fall in love what happens is that nature-evolution gives us a huge high. A huge, brain induced, drugs high. Whit the intention of making us forget how extenuating, how long, how energy and time consuming, bringing up is. This is also the reason why it doesn't last for ever.
If the effect of certain hormone (oxytocin) is eliminated, the mother will feel no love to her baby, among other problems.

We over estimate our intelligence. We don't have total freedom over our thoughts, as we tend to think. As some one use here as a sign: "reality is merely an illusion, although a persistent one"  (sorry if is not literal)

Knowing that we are not totally responsible of our acts when we fall in love is part of the proses to try to unlearn some of the bulls**t that culture (don't confuse with knowledge) and religion has hammered into our brains during our childhood.

It is not either a problem of gender. It is a problem of accepting us as part of Nature. The same rules for every being. We invented gods as a way to solve impossible questions to ourselves and we tend to think of us humans as if we were quasi-gods. Unique. And we are another animal with very special abstract skills, but very little difference in behavioural matters.

This is why my opinion is that we should prepare next generation for a collapse of our civilization with the hope that all this will bring some evolutionary changes to our genes that will allow the owners to survive in a very quickly changing world.

Cheers   

Darvince

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #240 on: September 03, 2016, 01:26:14 PM »
I am confused by one thing about this topic. Why have many in this topic said that the carrying capacity cannot be changed? I mean, sure, the carrying capacity of all animals on Earth cannot be changed but the equation can definitely be changed to benefit the population of certain species over others. The only thing that would degrade the carrying capacity is the decay in intensity and frequency of actions between animals and plants which are beneficial, such as the most obvious example of bees pollinating different flowering plants.

Also, I do not see how humans are completely dependent on the local ecosystems in an area. I mean sure, we are completely dependent on the various global ecosystems and climate patterns to contribute to a proper atmospheric composition and proper precipitation and temperatures, but does the leveling and construction of a building really decrease the world's carrying capacity?

I agree that we are decreasing the total carrying capacity for all animal life, but I disagree that the carrying capacity of humans was in overshoot the second we stopped living as gatherer-hunters, which is what those of you who are arguing that we are in global decay and headed for inevitable collapse seem to be saying. In case you were curious, the crop rotation and other various methods used for thousands of years before the industrial revolution were sustainable, as people were able to live on the same land for a very significant period of time (for human civilization) and it remained exploitable.

On a very general level, I view the energy systems of the Earth as having energy added to the biosphere through plants, and stolen from them by heterotrophs, and stolen from heterotrophs by each other, and then corpses of animals are raided by various heterotrophs to make the nutrients available to plants again (through the use of sunlight energy). The closer we can approximate the model of plants, the higher the share of the global carrying capacity we can occupy, and possibly even free ourselves from it (such as Archimid's chemically created food).

Edit: Before I am attacked by saying we are not necessarily doomed, I will say that I see the current way of life as very unsustainable for another century. Instead I see progress of technology (which apparently thinking it will progress is religious) as accelerating to such a rate that the current way of life will seem barbaric in 100 years due to advancements rather than complete collapse. Of course, I am not discounting the possibility of collapse, merely saying it is not inevitable.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2016, 01:32:52 PM by Darvince »

Archimid

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #241 on: September 03, 2016, 03:35:36 PM »
First, I would like to acknowledge that overpopulation is a problem. That can be  observed in any living organism from bacteria growing on a petri dish all the way to too many large mammals in a small space.  As I said before, there are very real limits to growth. Limits to growth are as real as the laws of motion or thermodynamics. IMHO all limits to growth can be eventually traced to the limits of the laws physics.


Technology does not change the carrying capacity.  What is occurring is that technology allows us to more efficiently overuse resources.

I did a quick catch up on the current estimated maximum carrying capacity and the number that keeps cropping up is 10 billion. I can agree with that number. However, I do not believe it will be reached under current social, economic and technologic paradigms. Because of the waste of our form of energy storage of choice, fossil fuels, the Earth has exceeded the energy budget for the climate that gave rise to civilization. As soon as a black swan event like an ice free arctic happens, human population could be decimated or more. If we go to war over dwindling resources, it will very likely be more than halved. 




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There is no free lunch and no technology can create resources or more energy than you start with.

Absolutely.  But look at this plant in a bottle that has not received water or nutrients for 40 years:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2267504/The-sealed-bottle-garden-thriving-40-years-fresh-air-water.html

The only thing it has received is light and the warmth of the room. That's enough energy for the plant to take raw chemicals in the soil and transform them into cells. Those cells will eventually die. Dead cells are digested by micro organisms that live in the bottle back to raw chemicals, where the cycle starts all over again.

This cycle is exactly the same cycle as the planet earth if the biosphere was the plant, space was the bottle and the light and heat was the sun.  Do the math, there is more than enough solar energy available to power our current civilization many times over.  We know how to catch it and store it, but we can not do it cheaply enough, yet. 

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All technology produces emissions and there is no renewable energy source which does not result in significant carbon emissions and does not have significant deleterious effects on the global carrying capacity

That is literally false, but figuratively true. A screw driver literally do not produce emissions. But if you calculate the FF's spent mining the raw materials for the screw driver, the FF's spent manufacturing the screwdriver and the FF's getting the screwdriver into my hands, then you can say that a screwdriver has emissions. However, if the internal combustion engines and power plants that power the machinery that creates the screwdriver were switched to electric motors, batteries and solar panels (lots of solar panels), then the same screw driver will have little or no emission, even figuratively.

So yes, your argument is true today, but it does not have to be. Fossil fuels can be replaced by current technology and emissions virtually eliminated if there was the will.  However fossil fuels interests will love nothing more than people to think that fossil fuels are irreplaceable. I think that by repeating this fallacy you are doing the FF's leg work. 

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There is no perpetual motion machine.  Nothing is free.

Of course not. Everything on the planet earth is powered by the sun. Even fossil fuels are solar powered. Life is just the Rube Goldberg machine the universe invented to temporarily store excess solar energy that could not be irradiated into space. As such, life as we know it can only happen withing certain thermodynamic limits. By digging up stored solar energy from millions of years ago and using it over a short 100 year period, the inevitable result is warming. However if we only used a fraction of the energy that already falls over earth, then warming is impossible, and you actually get cooling. You get cooling trapping solar energy in the form of whatever we make with it instead of letting it diffuse over the atmosphere, oceans and land. That effect is very small but if all energy was solar, it would be as significant as the heat island effect is today.
















I am an energy reservoir seemingly intent on lowering entropy for self preservation.

idunno

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #242 on: September 03, 2016, 05:27:10 PM »
Well, JimD, I'm sorry if me tone offends you - sorry, that is, in the sense of 'tough luck', rather than  that I feel any need to apologise. I'm afraid that you must regard me as an enemy.

If humans are your enemy, then I am certainly human. You have an increasing number of enemies, around 7 billion or so, and you may need quite a deep bunker - because that's the road you are taking.

Of the two obvious alternatives for you to take on your enemies - the bullet or the ballot box - I can't really see that "it's time we all jumped off a cliff" is going to be a winning ticket in electoral terms, so enforcing your interpretation of your sacred texts, "The Limits to Growth" et al, may take quite a lot of bullets. I'll admit that I haven't read it, so I just regard it as a failed exercise in econo-prognostication, which has been getting more wrong with each passing year for the past 40 years; and an addendum to Malthus, who is about to celebrate a bicentennary of real world evidence and data demonstrating that abstract models of predicted human behaviour DO NOT WORK.

By way of a small example of the behaviour and consumption patterns of one Western consumer, me. At the time that Erhlich was writing, I had embarked upon collecting some music - I had around 20 LPs or so, some 250 tracks. Let's say five kilograms of vinyl, which ultimately had to be pumped out of the ground somewhere. I remain a keen music fan, and my tastes have become more catholic, change over time and I'm generally not entirely happy unless I have somewhere around 6 billion songs at my disposal at any one time. For which I'd need a shed the size of Manhattan, and the exclusive use of most of the oil of Saudi Arabia for a month or two, just to get enough vinyl to... OTOH...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=music&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gws_rd=cr&ei=Nh7KV_ufOOvNgAah4aKwCw

Here, then, some of my  favoured econo-sociologi-futuro-prognostications, which I find slightly more credible than Malthus/Erlich...



Though I don't claim anything in there which I'd elevate to the status of a sacred pronouncement which, if only everybody else would pay heed would then give me the right, abrogated by US jurisprudence as a result of Roe versus Wade, to start dictating on issues of fertility, which are the concern, in my view, of each individual mother, on a case by case basis.

At a societal level, those of you who are concerned about an increasing population, if you want  to see more indivdual mothers decide to have less children later, then as much as anything in sociology is ever a hard and fast rule, then as women and girls have access to longer time in education, they tend to have less children; as they enter the formal workforce and pursue more rewarding careers, and achieve higher social and economic status, there are further gains in the field of women's rights, which have a knock-on effect of informing the choices and fertility even women who have not themselves benefited from extra years of education.

I have two further important points to make, which will follow, anon...




idunno

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #243 on: September 03, 2016, 06:58:58 PM »
A conundrum...

There is a negative correlation between falling population fertility levels and carbon emissions. Countries with higher birth rates tend to have lower carbon emissions. In many cases, the  more marginal and rapidly reproducing strata of societies earn their share of the available oxygen in ways which actually reduce carbon emissions, even when their own respiration is taken into account.

Consider the dishwashing machine. I'm sure many of you have domestic dishwashers, possibly with smart technology so that you can monitor its electricity consumption and carbon emissions.

Well, travel to India, and some twenty years ago when I last ventured that way, I would estimate that the total carbon emisssions from the life-cycle and daily use of dishwashing machines in the whole of the Indian subcontinent was approximately zero. Zero steel, copper, rubber annd plastic, to produce the machines; zero electricity to run them; zero detergent to flush away into the drains. There might be couple of dozen in the diplomatic quarter of Delhi, but I doubt it.

"Labour-saving devices" are a tough sell in India.

Let's compare recycling rates. I'm not an expert, but I believe that Western cities and metropoles, with stable family sizes, etc, an educated population who are increasingly environmentally conscious, aim for something in the region of 60% of waste to be recycled. Sounds like the sort of thing that the mayor of New York, London, Berlin would be proud to announce, at a great cost to the municipal budget and in associated carbon-belching machinery and equipment. Delhi, at a guess, is closer to 99%, with neither cost nor credit to the mayor, and very close to zero emissions.

Closer to home, when I finally tire of my toy with storage capacity the size of Manhattan, I dare say that the precious rare metals herein will be recuperated, probably on a rubbish dump somewhere in West Africa, by somebody who comes from a large family - and whom I am yet to be convinced is at the root of the current problem, what with all of that irresponsible breathing and breeding going on.

This then, under the heading of humans contributing to reducing negative impacts, and more to follow on actual positives...



budmantis

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #244 on: September 03, 2016, 07:29:33 PM »
idunno:

While you certainly have the right to state your opinion and defend it, your response is dripping with sarcasm, which in my opinion diminishes the effectiveness of your message.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #245 on: September 03, 2016, 08:31:53 PM »
Lost me with " regard me as an enemy ".  I could care less what Idunno's opinions are at this point. Ignor !

be cause

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #246 on: September 03, 2016, 08:59:09 PM »
funny .. idunno has talked more sense than most .
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 + 1 =  ' if only we could have seen it coming ' ...

idunno

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #247 on: September 03, 2016, 09:08:31 PM »
I am predisposed in favour of humans, having inter alia, as previously confessed, a passion for music. Subjective, but I prefer human music to walrus.

Then there's astro-physics, archaeology, anatomy, and through to zoology.

Within just the field of zoology (a bit of ethology and some ecology), there is a relatively recent and emerging concept of the "keystone species" - one whose activities within any particular environment have such a range of impacts on the range of other species present that the ecosystem virtually collapses, or is at least hugely impoverished, without them.

The most celebrated example being the  reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone. With the rearrival of wolves, going about their murky business, a whole host of spin-off, unexpected ecological benefits have emerged. Primarily, deer and moose no longer dawdle over their grazing, moving rapidly from place to place, looking pretty nervous as they do so. This is hugely in the interest of the flora which provide the deer with grazing, and the interest of the flora is ultimately the interest of the grazing herbivores, who are of course endlessly of interest to wolves. It's all a very virtuous circle.

Wolves in Yellowstone may be a celebrated local example; but by far the most ecologically significant, and generally beneficent, keystone species throughout their full range, which encompasses almost all of the globe, excluding the oceans and Antarctica, is a bipedal ape with opposable thumbs, whose extraordinary gifts for communication and co-operation and, pertinent today, anticipation, gave them the ability to completely out-compete all rival species, with unfortunate results for the mega-fauna.

The Serengeti may be the world's most famous and celebrated wildlife reserve; where megatonnes of wildebeeste are stalked by the king of the beasts, in scenes which evoke a pre-human past dominated by Nature Red in Tooth and Claw.

And is almost certainly the most continuously artifically managed landscape on Earth - managed by human artifice - today by the Maasai and other tribes, who still use fire to boost the production of fresh grass for their cattle. Quite when this process started is anybody's guess. I'd consider it unlikely that the quite local girl "Lucy", australopithecus afarensis, some 3.8My BP had control of fire. Homo neanderthals arrived in Europe an estimated 500,000 years BP, IIRC, and certainly had fire. A date for when some form of bipedal ape with opposable thumbs started playing with fire in the Serengeti should probably be earlier than later, imho, between those two dates.

You might not approve of this process. One could argue that the Serengeti should have been left without human interference, to become in turn scrubland, and possibly eventually some form of tropical dry forest. When the great white hunters such as Prince Philip and chums finally put down the rifles and picked up cameras their first moves as WWF - an error repeated by ecologists so frequently, in so many places, that words fail me - was of course to attempt to remove, restrict and curtail the traditional practices of the keystone species in this environment. The human.

And another thing...


Aporia_filia

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #248 on: September 03, 2016, 10:04:32 PM »
I agree that we are decreasing the total carrying capacity for all animal life, but I disagree that the carrying capacity of humans was in overshoot the second we stopped living as gatherer-hunters, which is what those of you who are arguing that we are in global decay and headed for inevitable collapse seem to be saying. In case you were curious, the crop rotation and other various methods used for thousands of years before the industrial revolution were sustainable, as people were able to live on the same land for a very significant period of time (for human civilization) and it remained exploitable.

I think it is not that CC was overshoot the second we stopped living as gatherer-hunters. Is that, seeing there were not enough food for all the family they created the technology to solve the problem: farming. But there you can see the problem, we are always late in changing our way of life. Not for us, but for the environment. The more diverse the biodiversity the more resilient is an ecosystem to changes.
IMHO all limits to growth can be eventually traced to the limits of the laws physics.
We are talking about the growth of living creatures so we should also consider the laws of live (biology...) that could constrain as well. In physics a single species could inhabit a planet but not in our reality. Unless going back to the origin of life?
For the rest of your arguments I understand that you don't worry that much for the very difficult times that are coming because men has always been capable of creating the right technology that will allow humanity to cope with the problem. Well, my answer to Darvince is good for you too. Thinking of humanity living comfortably in the middle of a mass extinction, with a changing atmosphere sounds very informative to me.


budmantis

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Re: Population: Public Enemy No. 1
« Reply #249 on: September 03, 2016, 11:47:57 PM »
funny .. idunno has talked more sense than most .

If that's the case, then were really in trouble!