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No one blames over-population for our diminishing natural resources! WHY NOT?


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#1 charles brough

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 09:57 AM

....because no one wants to offend the Religious Right! Marxist China seems to be the only place on Earth that grasps the problem and does something about it.

Are we failing to face what is really causing our environmental and pollution problems because we hate to admit that their truly defective system still has
SOMETHING right?

It is a big mistake to think that science and technology will enable us to keep on growing in numbers without ending in an immense population crash. What is happening is that the growth of religiouness in our society and, indeed, in others as well, is cutting down science. Religious reaction is growing and has been for the last some 40 years. Even the periodic liberal phases of this cyclical down-trend are characterized by being always LESS liberal than the last such cycle.

A good source of info on this is the Atheistic Science Institute - home page   

charles

#2 Pyrotex

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 10:56 AM

You ask an excellent question. One that has been basically ignored since the publication of "The Population Bomb" back in the sixties.

I believe the reason no one wants to ask it publically, let alone deal with it, is that it has only two solutions (that I can think of):

1. You impose tyrannical reproduction constraints upon everyone (like China has attempted). This is pretty much guaranteed to outrage almost everybody, and probably trigger mass uprisings and revolts that you will have to put down by brutal force and the imposition of a police state. (Luckily, China already had a police state. :) )

2. You let the Bomb explode -- which it must, eventually. This will result in mass starvation and disease, and probably lots of really ugly wars; a time which I call the "Great Die Off". But at least there won't be any "authority" to blame. :) If the "Great Die Off" is only bad enough to kill off less than, say, 5% of the population, then you are faced with an unending series of "Great Die Offs", about one every 25 years.

The FUTURE -- Either live it or live with it. :confused:

#3 Nitack

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 11:38 AM

I believe there is another outcome that has not been put forth.

Remember, that as level of education and standard of living rises, the children per family generally falls. Individuals who do not expect a high child mortality rate and do not believe that children are a retirement plan will naturally have fewer children in order to concentrate their resources on the fewer that they have. Both India and China have rapidly improving standards of living. It can be expected (already the case for china) that birth rates will dramatically drop in those countries over the next generation or two. When you take over 2 Billion people out of the equation of exponential reproduction the predictions on the rate of overpopulation get much less steep. The standard of living is rising in both Latin America and in Asia. Once it reaches the tipping point we will actually see the world population start to decrease I think.

The major question mark is Africa. The continent as a whole is in shambles and it appears that it will continue that way for quite a while. Africa has plenty of resources to become economically powerful, but does not have certain resources (oil, except in a few places) that would make more developed powers impose order as has been done in the Middle East. The frank truth is that birth rates there will continue to be high because the standard of living will not go up as the political turmoil there continues. Individuals have a very high expectation of them, or their children dying from war, famine, AIDS, or other disease, and the rest of the world does not care enough to do anything about it just for the sake of humanity.

Africa aside. I think the population bomb will actually slowly snuff itself out. The truth threat will not be food riots due to overpopulation beyond what the earth can support. Rather, the true threat lies in energy wars. It is highly unlikely that any combination of renewable energy will be able to ween us off fossil fuels in the next thirty to forty years. We will fight over oil and possibly over natural gas.

#4 Pyrotex

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 03:28 PM

Let's hope you're right.

But remember, the Pop Bomb can be triggered by running out of: food, clean water, energy, strategic resources (for example, copper, manganese, platinum...), breathable air...

#5 Kayra

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Posted 03 October 2008 - 04:16 PM

Nitack nailed it I think.

There is no solution required because there is no over-population crisis. We are capable of sustaining our current population growth through to 2050 using only current arable land and technologies.

Rate of growth issues are resolving themselves as standards of living and contraception are made available.

The major possible failure in this future would be the widescale acceptance of religious fundamentalism that would disallow any form of contraception.

If this is the case it would be a self fullfilling prophesy of doom brought to us by gods.

(I do hope the irony is showing there.)

#6 charles brough

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 08:40 AM

Nitack says that as humanity grows wealthier, people have fewer children. That is certainly true and world population would begin to level off.

But it seems that only a small part of the world is getting wealthier. Even in China, it is only the urbane population that has few children. Most people in India, Indonesia, China and in Latin America as well as AFrica are having large families. Some have nine to twelve or more children.

Then, also, the economic crisis can very easily eliminate much of the economic gain in the last few decades. And every year, we use up more resources and add more pollution.

Kayra has a solution. Science just keeps progressing so that technology enables us to keep up improvising and developing better ways of reaching harder to get resources and finding substitutes.

My observation, however, is that Religious Reaction and science do not mix. The more one becomes militantly Old Religion, the less science. After all, they are not compatible! One is always at the expense of the other. And Religious Reaction has been increasing for the last 40 years. It is just a matter of time before creationism goes in and evolution goes out. That is the trend, and there is good reason for it. . . cause and effect. People are desperately falling back on it because our secular system is weakening. We only give lip service to our secular ideals and easily give them all up when we feel threatened.

charles
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#7 Nitack

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Posted 04 October 2008 - 10:47 AM

But it seems that only a small part of the world is getting wealthier. Even in China, it is only the urbane population that has few children. Most people in India, Indonesia, China and in Latin America as well as AFrica are having large families. Some have nine to twelve or more children.


Your observation of China is no different than what happened in the US for the first half of the last Century. Initially it was only in the cities that we saw standards of living raise across the board. In rural communities poverty, any large families by necessity, remained very common. As you can see now, even in the most rural areas of the US, you have a standard of living higher than most metropolitan areas of Latin America, Africa, and developing Asia.

Additionally, as borders start to erode more and more to the point of simply being a line on a map, we will see a general standard of living spread. The EU is the first example of that sort of system. Despite their relatively high standard of living before the EU, multiple countries gave up part of their sovereignty in order to form a more stable and more powerful union. I can see that happening eventually, Latin America especially where most people share the same language, rather unique in the world to have so many different countries sharing the same official language. It will require the ousting of chuckle heads like Hugo Chavez first, but it will happen.

#8 Racoon

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 02:22 AM

I've done a bit of sociological study on Human Overpopulation.

I feel its the greatest threat to the planet.
We may be able to sustain ~10 Billion people... (currently at about 6.5-7 :)
BUT we fail to consider the devistation on all other species.
Soon there will be little fish or game left.
Plants die off, and trees cut.
The Sahara desert grows. Usable water diminishes.

Use the Rats in a Cage scenario. The more rats in a space increase fueds and pollute the cage.

Its all very simple.
Just look at the environment.

If humans keep reproducing exponentially, then eventually Nature will take care of the problem.

Either by Super-Virus
Or we Kill Ourselves off in competition for remaining resources and exploitation.

AIDS is a good start on human population reduction.

Yes, of course, the solution resides in the education of women.
Educated women have fewer children, and those children are usually better off.
But it ain't happenin'.

#9 charles brough

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 02:18 PM

Use the Rats in a Cage scenario. The more rats in a space increase fueds and pollute the cage.


Yes, that's what happens. It is even worse. Rats and mice over-crowding ends in a dramatic change in behavior. There develops a behavioral breakdown. Gangs of mice invade family warrens, some of the rats become trance like. Other gangs pick on each other and rape. They sink into what has been called "a behavioral sink."

As we crowd each other for diminishing resources, we also are beginning to exhibit behavioral deterioration not only within our societies but also between them and between nations.

charles
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#10 Pyrotex

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 02:45 PM

You know, mankind has this wonderful, adorable trait which I call, Egyptian River Mentality. This trait is simply that mankind cannot believe in and cannot even worry about a natural disaster that has not occurred in a long, long time--if ever.

We don't worry about black holes slamming into our Sun.
We don't worry about giant comets slamming into the Earth. (well, not much)
We don't worry about mutant army ants eating all other animals on Earth.
We don't worry about mutant viruses killing half of mankind. (maybe we should)
And we definately don't worry about having so many humans on Earth that we kill all the other animals and pollute ourselves into near-extinction.

Hey, it's never happened before! :hyper: :doh: :pirate:
What're the odds????

Egyptian River Mentality. Living in Denial.

#11 Nitack

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 02:55 PM

Yes, that's what happens. It is even worse. Rats and mice over-crowding ends in a dramatic change in behavior. There develops a behavioral breakdown. Gangs of mice invade family warrens, some of the rats become trance like. Other gangs pick on each other and rape. They sink into what has been called "a behavioral sink."

As we crowd each other for diminishing resources, we also are beginning to exhibit behavioral deterioration not only within our societies but also between them and between nations.

charles
the Atheistic Science Institute - home page* *

I don't necessarily think that your behavioral sink example is quite right. Perhaps if we were to overpopulate in the realm of 20-22 billion, but not at 10-15 billion that estimates say the planet can support. The gist of the conclusion from the behavioral sink experiment was that individuals can only handle a certain threshold of forced social interaction (such as what happened to the overcrowded rats). The main argument for the Malthusian overpopulation is not a matter of space, but a matter of how much food and resources could be produced in a given year to sustain a given population. Although food/resource shortages/wars would exhibit all of the characteristics of the behavioral sink, the cause would not be the same. The cause would be the procurement of the necessarily resources, where in the experiment with rats they had enough food and water provided for the given population size, it was the lack of social space which is believed to have caused the break down.

#12 Pyrotex

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 09:13 AM

...but not at 10-15 billion that estimates say the planet can support...

Yes. It seems to me that I have seen that estimate before. But what does that estimate assume? Does it assume no changes in global climate? No great disastrous hurricanes like Katrina and Ike? No resource-destroying (or -consuming) wars? 100% efficiency in our chemical and agricultural systems? Does it assume that our electrical, transportation, chemical and financial infrastructures never wear out? Hmmm? :shrug: :xx: :shrug: :confused: :shrug:

#13 Symbology

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 10:49 AM

Yes, of course, the solution resides in the education of women.
Educated women have fewer children, and those children are usually better off.
But it ain't happenin'.


Woah Nellie!

Maybe if we educate the men, then they can start doing a better job around the world of treating women as equals, and being treated as real individuals vs. "them" - then we can see the better formal education of women.

To my observation women are plenty smart on the home front. They understand much better than men what the true costs are to parenting. It's the men who go around spreading their seed and not sticking around that are at least 50% of the responsibility here... if not more.


In the end, we will conserve only what we love,
we will love only what we know,
and we will know only what we are taught.

~Baba Diom, Senegal


A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.
~Benjamin Franklin




When you point a finger, three fingers point back at you.



#14 Symbology

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 10:54 AM

You ask an excellent question. One that has been basically ignored since the publication of "The Population Bomb" back in the sixties.

I believe the reason no one wants to ask it publically, let alone deal with it, is that it has only two solutions (that I can think of):

1. You impose tyrannical reproduction constraints upon everyone (like China has attempted). This is pretty much guaranteed to outrage almost everybody, and probably trigger mass uprisings and revolts that you will have to put down by brutal force and the imposition of a police state. (Luckily, China already had a police state. :confused: )

2. You let the Bomb explode -- which it must, eventually. This will result in mass starvation and disease, and probably lots of really ugly wars; a time which I call the "Great Die Off". But at least there won't be any "authority" to blame. :shrug: If the "Great Die Off" is only bad enough to kill off less than, say, 5% of the population, then you are faced with an unending series of "Great Die Offs", about one every 25 years.

The FUTURE -- Either live it or live with it. :xx:


I've read the other posts... and I still think Pyro has it correct. And I also think that #2 still ends up causing #1. We might be able to come up with something less than tyrannical. For starters I think free sterilization and/or birth control to anyone who wants it would be a great start.

From The Matrix:
Agent Smith: I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure.



#15 Pyrotex

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 11:07 AM

Thanks, Symbo! Yes, #2 will eventually trigger #1.
Hey, that won't be so difficult. We already have "Homeland Security"--just ratchet that up a few notches and we'll HAVE #1. :xx:

It seems to me that most of the population "problem" arises from unintended births. A possible "solution" would be to "vaccinate" a certain proportion of pre-pubescent girls and boys so that they would be unable to procreate without a second medical procedure to counter the vaccination. When one of these children became an adult and wished to procreate, then a "jury" of their peers, informed by a small state-appointed committee of experts, would choose whether or not to permit procreation.

Would this be popular? Not on your life! Not in a New York minute!

#16 charles brough

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:42 PM

Yes, pyroteck, that is a good idea. I was just thinking of limiting children to one per household until population leveled off, then two per houshold. Your idea is better.

Of course, it won't happen in our present system. All the old religions are against controlling or even slowing the birthrate, and our secular way of thinking is so cautions about alienating the faithful, that we have a public opinion in which the idea never pops up in the media at all. It is not even printed in magazines, books or scientific journals.

Yet, controlling our numbers is the one most important thing that must be done to slow and then stop the growing struggle between the religious-bonded mega-systems like "the West" and Islam---as well as individual nations---over the diminishing resources.

What it will take is a whole new world-view and way of thinking. Our present world-view came into existence in the 18th century. A possible replacement exists and can be found at http://athesitic-science.com

(I don't think "equality for women" is quite enough to solve the world's problems).....
charles

#17 Pyrotex

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:51 PM

I agree, CB.
I haven't gotten around to visiting atheistic science yet, but I intend to.