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Can Overpopulation Fix Itself?


Tekime
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Maybe the solution to overpopulation is to have more kids.

 

The more people we have working on the problem, the sooner we'll find the answers that give us food and energy at no cost to nature.

 

Obviously, if resource demand rises to epic proportions things could get ugly fast. It could be delayed by focusing population efforts where there is access to education and technology. Anyone with a basic education and Internet access is able to contribute something. More hungry, uneducated kids aren't going to help so much.

 

So if you can read this post, you got what it takes. Now go and copulate like IT'S YOUR JOB!

 

70,000 years ago there were just a few thousand people left on Earth. Thank goodness they pulled through! In 70,000 years, perhaps human civilizations in distant galaxies will look back on this precious moment in history. The entire human species, a mere six billion, all on one fragile speck of rock called Earth. Thank goodness they pulled through! Then again, being so advanced and awesome, they probably wouldn't say something corny like "thank goodness".

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Maybe overpopulation isn't a problem to be fixed. If a smaller population was better, why do populations grow? Declining population, infant mortality, low fertility, early death are problems. Limited resources, clean water, expensive food and transportation costs are problems, population growth can bring progress, a solution to the fragile speck problem.

 

The concept of Earth, with a maximum carrying capacity. The idea that sustainable development creates less waste, the view of the "thin veil of atmosphere" is an outer space perspective. The construct of the natural balance, for CO2 or thermal balance ignores an ever changing exchange, a constant, immensely chaotic and complex dynamic process with a fantasy of a natural balance in perfect set or an out of control tumble toward catastrophe.

 

The fragile speck of rock called Earth is the biggest planet we've ever visited. 70,000 years ago, the climate was different, 70,000 years from now, there will be change. More billions of people, more brains and eyes working on progress, will give us a more realistic view.

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Maybe the solution to overpopulation is to have more kids.

 

The more people we have working on the problem, the sooner we'll find the answers that give us food and energy at no cost to nature.

 

I agree that overpopulation fixes itself, but the solution, often seen in nature, is less than pretty.

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I remember Professor Ian Lowe, head of the Australian Conservation Foundation, saying that just 5% of the world's military budget could give all the poor in the world access to fresh clean water, adequate nutrition, adequate shelter (NOT McMansions), education, health, and access to family planning.

 

If we EDUCATE WOMEN and empower them to enter the workforce, then population growth tends to fix itself. There's no need for Nazi like population laws, the "Demographic Transition" does it.

Demographic transition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

This is why first world populations tend to be stable (apart from immigration). Women are empowered and can help the couple provide some economic security in old age, and so:

* the children are less likely to die of diseases of poverty such as dirty water, malnutrition etc, so they don't have to have as many kids so that 'some will survive'.

* the rest of the society is fairly empowered, so children are not viewed as an insurance policy or superannuation plan.

 

Kerala India instituted good health care and certain basic education levels for women, and their new self-determination and drive created a demographic transition in that large region of India and it no longer has problems with population growth.

 

So in answer to the question above: I think given that we face the reality of peak oil, peak gas, peak coal early this century, and various rare earths running out quite soon, and topsoils being eroded, farmland degraded, increasing salinity, dead zones in the oceans, 90% of fisheries in decline, forests being over-plundered, more human beings being born per day than there are great apes in the wild, toxic build up in the environment (dioxins, endocrine disruptors), all sorts of species extinction, the near destruction of many ecosystem services we can currently use for free, and of course.... climate change!.... I think lowering the world population through a humane demographic transition makes common sense!

 

Basically, the world is full and we have have more than enough educated people to solve this problem IF we could only act!

 

(I note with disgust BrianG trying to turn this into another anti-climate anti-science debate when he won't answer 4 basic questions in the other thread).

 

So if climate change is a con, then it's a wonderful con, because it aims to:

* prepare us to use alternative energies (and given that no government has REALLY acted like oil, gas, and coal are finite, we're going to be in a bad way as the oil peaks around 2015)

* prepare us to live more locally (which we'll need to do in a post-oil world if some amazing "Mr Fusion" doesn't arrive overnight)

* help the 3rd world and developing with money towards clean energy, which will hopefully help them also develop basic clean water and functional infrastructure so that they can have their own "Bright Green" demographic transition

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You can't be serious, Brian.

 

Declining populations is only a problem for tax-hungry governments who see their income base shrinking. For every person not born, the planet sighs in relief because of smaller resource demand. If you believe that declining populations are a problem in the age of automation and robotization, where you need less and less of a workforce to tend to the ever-aging population, then volunteer to double your tax load and you will see government stop moaning about it.

 

Populations exceeding their environment's carrying capacity inevitably crash, and when they do crash, they do it spectacularly well. If the population finally consumed the very last corn cob and there is nothing left, the population will reduce itself not to the limit sustainable by the cornfields, but to zero - because by the time the suddenly reducing population reaches the level sustainable by the cornfields, there is no more corn left at all. It takes longer for a cornfield to recover than what a human can go without food for. The complete and utter decimation of the resource pool leads to the complete and utter decimation of the population dependent on it.

 

As to the OP - a smaller population will free more resources to better train a smaller group of people. So - if lots of brains will solve your problem, what'll be your pleasure? A million PhDs, or a billion 6th graders?

 

Ye gods...

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So - if lots of brains will solve your problem, what'll be your pleasure? A million PhDs, or a billion 6th graders?

 

Ye gods...

 

That is SO what I was trying to say, but you beat me to the best one-liner.

 

Yep, don't campaign 'against' population growth or they'll think you are part of a mad eugenics mob. But DO campaign for education for girls who grow into productive, empowered women. The UN says:

Every three years of additional education correlates with up to one less child per woman.

UNFPA State of World Population 2005

 

Why?

The first factor, education, works in several ways. Literacy for women benefits families in a number of ways. It increases her health (a literate woman can read material about health and hygiene practices), it increases her family’s security (if her husband dies, she can get a better job), it increases her desire to see her children receive education and it increases her political power – she can read and understand national issues. Mandatory education for all children serves to remove children from the labour pool, and makes children not producers, but consumers, and thus parents are forced to view their children in that light.

 

and…

Women have high literacy rates and political power. Women are comparatively well protected from rape, and can choose their husbands. A 1994 study by Yale Economist Paul Schultz found that female literacy was perhaps the most defining factor in TFR in poor nations. In India, Kerala, with a 100% female literacy rate has a 1.7 TFR, compared to a 4.1 TFR in regions with a 30% literacy rate

 

Understanding the demographic transition | Energy Bulletin

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Global warming is offering multiple natural solutions to the overpopulation problem. On the positive side, a warmer earth means more water within the atmosphere, and therefore more fresh water for drinking, rain and irrigation. The higher water flow cleans out the rivers and lakes faster. More CO2, plus more rain, plus warmer temperatures means more plants and food production. The increased plants works up the food chain allowing more animals, including humans to survive, naturally. If we lengthened the growing season by 10 days, we get more food.

 

The negative side of global warming, means more possible natural disasters, which without sounding cold, helps to skinny down the world population, naturally. It does not play favorites, which is fair. This is better than the haves lording over the have nots. This might occur while the good side is already making provisions to help in the future. But in the long term, the good will outweigh the bad. We can predict and avoid natural disasters much easier than we can make more fresh water and grow more food for the growing populations. We brag about hurricane preparedness, but lament lack of food and water for the hungry. Global warming makes the more difficult of the two, naturally cheaper and easier to satisfy.

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Global warming is offering multiple natural solutions to the overpopulation problem. On the positive side, a warmer earth means more water within the atmosphere, and therefore more fresh water for drinking, rain and irrigation. The higher water flow cleans out the rivers and lakes faster.

Wrong, the models I've seen officials publish show LESS drinking water, less reliable rainfall, less water across Asia with the glaciers gone and the summer melt-wash drying up, and yet more flooding in certain areas that could do without more rainfall.

 

 

More CO2, plus more rain, plus warmer temperatures means more plants and food production.

Wrong: while some trees seem to do better with Co2 and lose less water in times of drought due to decreased transpiration, many crops don't do as well.

Nitrogen limitation constrains sustainability of ecosystem response to CO2 : Nature

YouTube - Climate Denial Crock of the Week - Don't it make my Green World Brown http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFGU6qvkmTI&feature=player_embedded

 

 

The negative side of global warming, means more possible natural disasters, which without sounding cold, helps to skinny down the world population, naturally.

Yep, agreed, and yet I'm looking for humane ways to meet both human and ecosystem needs.

 

But in the long term, the good will outweigh the bad.

How do you know this, and please be more specific as I'm not sure what you are discussing.

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A warmer atmosphere can hold more water until it reaches saturation. One only has to look at a humidity curve.

 

 

 

The surface gets warmer, the warm air rises and will still hit cold conditions higher up in the clouds. It is less soluble. so it rains.

 

Nature always evolves. So what if a couple of plants can handle the CO2. That makes more room for food plants which can be bred to like more CO2. Adding CO2 to greenhouses makes most humanly valued plants flourish. Adding warm helps. If we thrown in rain, off to the races.

 

Nature will redistribute the natural wealth. That is really what many are afraid of. The big fear creates the philosophy : we need to force fit nature the way it has always been which is great for us". I believe in American ingenuity. If some of the natural blessing goes to some poor countries, who could use it, we can still develop technology to compensate, and come out smelling roses. This is a challenge of the next century. This could stimulate agriculture in novo-lucky poor countries. This is a clean natural way to develop any new budding countries.

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Global warming is offering multiple natural solutions to the overpopulation problem. On the positive side, a warmer earth means more water within the atmosphere, and therefore more fresh water for drinking, rain and irrigation. The higher water flow cleans out the rivers and lakes faster blah blah blah

Higher rainfall, of course, also leads to higher erosion and soil nutrient depletion levels. You should know this.

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Again, watch the youtube above for the studies showing increased Co2 adversely affecting crops. Warmer temperatures also increase disease vectors and pests spread.

Your account of the humidity in the air acts like the atmosphere is a simple system. Sure past certain point humidity will cause rain, but what else is happening?

 

Increased heat is increased energy in the atmosphere, which changes wind patterns, etc. Increased heat trapped in the oceans could do ALL manner of things to local weather patterns. Australia's climate is predicted to go through some very nasty droughts, and a month doesn't seem to go by without the CSIRO announcing some new climate horror.

 

What if the monsoon shut down? What if El Nino got stuck? (Fortunately this is currently a minority position amongst climatologists. I'm glad. It is an EXTREMELY NASTY scenario... one I don't think the world economy would survive. We'd crash back to extremely introverted extremely nationalising and protectionist nations with a higher propensity to war... but that's an extreme scenario, as I have stated). There are dozens of other concerns for local weather events that either dry us up or dump too much rain at once. Flood or famine.

 

There might be just a few winners (like Canada's possible new 'bread basket') but by far the majority of the world's economy will be losers. Studies like the Stern review and Garnaut review have concluded that prevention is better than a cure.

 

And you're right on one thing though: we don't want nature to 'cure' overpopulation for us. :ideamaybenot:

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Global warming is also believed to make the weather more inconsistent and unpredictable. You might want to forget about those once-predictable spring rains and substitute an early hard frost or heatwave to spur those little seedlings on. I'm sure they'll thrive on the extra CO2, cold, and heat. :)

 

Or not.

 

From gardening and growing, I know you can only try to work with what you're given, and sometimes if you don't know, you'd better pray hard and adapt quickly. I don't depend on my gardens or plants for steady food, but imagine the African, Asian, or Central or South American farmer who does. Ingenuity and adaptability will go hand in hand.

 

Past a point, for every new person today, there is less for those who come tomorrow. We lock up nutrients, resources, materials, and energy in landfills, scatter them across the oceans, and release them into the air. Making room for more of us means bringing these resources, materials, and energy back into the systems they were drawn from and cycling them faster and better, so that there'll be more available for all. Furthermore, bringing back those into all the systems will make more available for all life, not just human life. We are not so special that our survival supersedes all others. Should we not increase the carrying capacity for most or all life? Many of them carry and support us at increasing expense. As long as we fail to understand this, we will be living on increasingly limited and finite resources that we made limited and finite in the first place.

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Past a point, for every new person today, there is less for those who come tomorrow. We lock up nutrients, resources, materials, and energy in landfills, scatter them across the oceans, and release them into the air. Making room for more of us means bringing these resources, materials, and energy back into the systems they were drawn from and cycling them faster and better, so that there'll be more available for all.

And that's a nice description of the "Cradle to Cradle" technologies we'll need for the future.

 

As their saying goes: "Waste = food".

That is, biological waste = food for the local ecosystems which eventually return us food. Carpets made with non-toxic inks so that local wine growers can buy cheap carpet off-strips to protect their soils from frosts, and are biodegradable and enhance the soils, rather than just being excess waste after installation.

 

Industrial waste = industrial 'food' or chemical / material feedstocks for the next generation use of plastics, papers, metals, etc that are all infinitely recyclable.

 

Furthermore, bringing back those into all the systems will make more available for all life, not just human life. We are not so special that our survival supersedes all others. Should we not increase the carrying capacity for most or all life? Many of them carry and support us at increasing expense. As long as we fail to understand this, we will be living on increasingly limited and finite resources that we made limited and finite in the first place.

Another great "Cradle to Cradle" philosophy is that we should maintain systems that allow all life on earth to thrive abundantly.

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