Author Topic: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?  (Read 57728 times)

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #100 on: December 15, 2013, 10:45:46 PM »
James, it's freaking me out you can't see the axis on these beautiful graphs, can you not see the years as the control and population growth rate as dependent? I hope there is isn't a technical problem that prevents others from seeing it also.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 09:02:44 AM by CDP45 »

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #101 on: December 16, 2013, 12:00:09 PM »
James, it's freaking me out you can't see the axis on these beautiful graphs, can you not see the years as the control and population growth rate as dependent? I hope there is isn't a technical problem that prevents others from seeing it also.

There is a technical problem, founded in the ignorance/shortsightedness of Microsoft and whoever created the graphs.  A lot of graphics file formats have a background 'color' attribute.  Whoever created the graphs used that attribute instead of specifying a background color, but went ahead and specified label/text as black.

Now at some point in the development of Windoze/IE, Microsoft made the decision that their default color scheme was going to be black text on a white background.  (Despite the fact that white or amber on black is easier to read & causes less eyestrain.)  So the graph creators are shortsightedly assuming that everyone is going to view their creation on a white background tike theirs, oblivious to the fact that there are people who've chosen a more pleasant color scheme.

You can see this if you save that last graph to a file, and view it with tools like ImageMagick or GIMP.  The background attribute will show up as a pattern of grey squares.  And you'll note that the Y axis shows that a) the growth rate is still positive, and remains positive even when extrapolated out to 2050; and b) the extreme variation fom the beginning to say 1985 doesn't at all support an extrapolation from the last couple of decades tou to an indefinite future.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 12:11:33 PM by Jamesqf »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #102 on: December 16, 2013, 03:27:03 PM »
Hopefully this link is easily viewable for everyone, google is doing amazing things I just found out about this public data visualization they provide, (hit the little play button near the origin):

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&hl=en&dl=en&idim=country:IND:CHN:PAK#!ctype=b&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=s&met_s=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_x=ny_gdp_pcap_pp_cd&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&idim=country:IND:PAK&ifdim=country:region:SAS&pit=1324022400000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Yes total world population is still growing, but you can offer no explanation why that has slowed for the past 40 years other than it's temporary?

Here's a basic trendline in excel from this data: y = -1.05ln(x) + 12.102
R = 0.5905

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/correlation.aspx?v1=31&v2=67&y=2003&l=en
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 03:35:22 PM by CDP45 »

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #103 on: December 16, 2013, 03:51:57 PM »
Hopefully this link is easily viewable for everyone, google is doing amazing things I just found out about this public data visualization they provide, (hit the little play button near the origin):

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&hl=en&dl=en&idim=country:IND:CHN:PAK#!ctype=b&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=s&met_s=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_x=ny_gdp_pcap_pp_cd&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&idim=country:IND:PAK&ifdim=country:region:SAS&pit=1324022400000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Yes total world population is still growing, but you can offer no explanation why that has slowed for the past 40 years other than it's temporary?

Here's a basic trendline in excel from this data: y = -1.05ln(x) + 12.102
R = 0.5905

http://www.indexmundi.com/g/correlation.aspx?v1=31&v2=67&y=2003&l=en

But why does the slowdown matter when the population is still growing? When the basic question is "Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?" Your answer being no because the growth is slowing doesn't make much sense in light of the fact that regardless of the growth rate slowing the population is still growing and that is a problem give our consumption driven cultures throughout the world.

Why do we need to even investigate why they are slowing down in growth rate? What does that have to do with the core question?

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #104 on: December 16, 2013, 05:16:32 PM »
Pop Growth slowing in the face of exponential increases of resources per capita is clearly contrary to Malthusian conjecture. That data was more towards James, I hope he can accept the evidence.

Basically my argument is wealth provides more options, it allows us to invest in technologies that are more efficient that yes will eventually lead to less consumption, but also there will be less people in the future consuming so both factors will work to bring down total consumption.  Look at MMM, he's voluntarily choosing to consume less because his needs are met, he's at maximum consumption. Now he can enjoy family and friends all day and help educate the rest of the world to follow his example, I think more will follow his lead in the future when everyone's basic needs will be met.


matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #105 on: December 16, 2013, 05:50:13 PM »
Pop Growth slowing in the face of exponential increases of resources per capita is clearly contrary to Malthusian conjecture. That data was more towards James, I hope he can accept the evidence.

Basically my argument is wealth provides more options, it allows us to invest in technologies that are more efficient that yes will eventually lead to less consumption, but also there will be less people in the future consuming so both factors will work to bring down total consumption.  Look at MMM, he's voluntarily choosing to consume less because his needs are met, he's at maximum consumption. Now he can enjoy family and friends all day and help educate the rest of the world to follow his example, I think more will follow his lead in the future when everyone's basic needs will be met.

Sure but you do have to understand that MMM and the rest of the forum participants, including myself, are outliers to the mainstream culture. That isn't to say that it's not possible for the culture to catch on but in the meantime some real damage is happening due to current population levels and the associated consumption culture. By far I'm not saying just throw your hands in the air and say whatever, but when the question is phrased as is it was in the OP then I think the clear answer is closer to yes but it is still an extremely complex situation not easily boiled down to yes and no, especially with only one narrow set of criteria such as population growth rates and a hope that anti-consumerism catches on.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #106 on: December 16, 2013, 10:34:05 PM »
Pop Growth slowing in the face of exponential increases of resources per capita is clearly contrary to Malthusian conjecture. That data was more towards James, I hope he can accept the evidence.

I can accept evidence, if you'll provide it.  So where exactly are these exponential increases in resources, especially the resources relevant to population growth, such as food supply and living space?  And do look up the precise meaning of the word first.

The simple fact is that there have been only linear increases in food supply.  Most of these increases are due to unsustainable practices, such as use of fossil fuels & synthetic fertilizers, conversion of wild lands to agriculture, overfishing, &c, so at some not-too-distant date we can expect then to collapse.

As for living space, is it really necessary to point out that this is fixed, and that a large fraction of Earth's population already lives in conditions that would be considered intolerably crowded for livestock?

I'd also be interested in knowing how much of the slowing has been due to things like China's one child policy.

Finally, Malthus' theories say nothing about the about what the growth rate is, or is supposed to be.  It's basically just math: any exponential process will eventually overtake any linear process, as long as the exponent is positive.  So once again, where is the evidence that the population growth rate has ever been negative for an extended period?

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #107 on: December 16, 2013, 11:37:06 PM »
You're right, it is basic math, and when the 2nd derivative of an concave exponential function turns negative, it's no longer concave, and therefore not a positive exponential growth function. Boom exponent no longer positive, therefore:

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH IS NO LONGER EXPONENTIAL and hasn't been for 40 years.

And food production linear, that's a good one!

Regarding exponential resources, gee how can we have exponential growth in emissions without exponential growth in energy input??? We don't want to violate the laws of physics, but since were ignoring math I guess it doesn't matter..

Yes in sure all the people in Manila are just on the verge of death right now living in the densest city on earth..oh wait the GDP per capita is $23k, more than 2.3x greater the world average. Gee I guess cities aren't all that bad (I bet you live in one).

 I'm sorry you believe all the lies that we're running out of room, but with your theory you should really go long on Japanese real estate!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 11:43:36 PM by CDP45 »

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #108 on: December 17, 2013, 05:01:47 AM »
It's not that we're running out of room, room we have. We're running out of resources.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #109 on: December 17, 2013, 05:32:58 AM »
Pop Growth slowing in the face of exponential increases of resources per capita is clearly contrary to Malthusian conjecture.

Your quote led me to read a couple wikipedia pages on Malthus. One on Malthus -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthus -- and one on Malthusian Catastrophe -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusian_catastrophe. Two main ideas come to mind.

First, this quote from Wikipedia: "In later editions of his essay, Malthus clarified his view that if society relied on human misery to limit population growth, then sources of misery (e.g., hunger, disease, and war) would inevitably afflict society, as would volatile economic cycles. On the other hand, "preventive checks" to population that limited birthrates, such as later marriages, could ensure a higher standard of living for all, while also increasing economic stability." seems consistent with history. Places with lower population growth have higher standards of living. Other places have more hunger, disease, and war.

Those pages seem to say he predicted what could happen but that there was complexity to that. If humans actively slowed their population growth a catastrophe could be averted. He didn't seem to say it was inevitable. If we didn't, we'd see hunger, disease, and war, which our world seems to have more of where population growth is highest.

Second, my understanding of science is that we use data to refine ideas. We don't say Newton was wrong and reject him because he didn't account for, say, relativity and quantum mechanics. We look at his ideas as useful approximations that we've refined.

You seem to be rejecting everything about one aspect of his predictions without including two main issues:
  • His predictions were more nuanced than you allow for. Collapse was one outcome, but not the only one
  • Science has refined ideas since then and we have reacted to his ideas

I haven't read his original essays. Maybe you have and know better. But I'm less interested in fixed ideas and black and white evaluation of them than in seeing how those ideas have evolved and how we've used them. In other words, he could have been basically right given the data at the time, then refinements based on his general idea and new data could have both changed human behavior and kept his basic idea intact. I find the sections of the pages I mentioned covering refinements to his ideas compelling. You seem to outright reject his ideas and therefore miss these refinements. Maybe I'm misreading you?

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #110 on: December 17, 2013, 10:38:57 AM »
It's not that we're running out of room, room we have. We're running out of resources.

We're becoming more efficient with the resources and soon there will be less people and total resource consumption will fall. Luckily economics teaches that action reveals preference and that you probably have not moved all your investments to natural resources/commodities and sold your house in the city to live on large acreage to farm.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #111 on: December 17, 2013, 10:55:31 AM »
Josh, malthus may have been correct if applying his system to animals who are at the mercy of their environs, but his error was humans are clearly not. Plus he got it backwards, it's a higher standard of living that causes reduced population growth, not the other way around. War and famine "paradoxically" cause a higher fertility rate.

Anyone can collect data for a short time and draw a line and make up an explanation, but that explanation can be wrong if they didn't consider additional factors. This is the main argument James is using:

"That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice."

Which is wrong.
1. Human population slows and declines with higher "subsistence."
2. Human population hasn't been repressed by "misery and vice" as measured by the lowest poverty rates in recorded history.
3. Food is created to meet demand, not as much can be possibly created.

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #112 on: December 17, 2013, 11:16:57 AM »
It's not that we're running out of room, room we have. We're running out of resources.

We're becoming more efficient with the resources and soon there will be less people and total resource consumption will fall. Luckily economics teaches that action reveals preference and that you probably have not moved all your investments to natural resources/commodities and sold your house in the city to live on large acreage to farm.

Define becoming more efficient with resources as that is a rather broad statement that doesn't really mean much. Plus as affluence grows resource consumption increases. So your original premise of affluence reducing population while possibly true doesn't mean that resource consumption will fall but that it will increase as more people demand and have the means to live an industrialized lifestyle.

*Edit for some small amount of clarity and my poor grammar*
« Last Edit: December 17, 2013, 11:44:29 AM by matchewed »

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #113 on: December 17, 2013, 12:12:13 PM »
Josh, malthus may have been correct if applying his system to animals who are at the mercy of their environs, but his error was humans are clearly not. Plus he got it backwards, it's a higher standard of living that causes reduced population growth, not the other way around. War and famine "paradoxically" cause a higher fertility rate.

Anyone can collect data for a short time and draw a line and make up an explanation, but that explanation can be wrong if they didn't consider additional factors. This is the main argument James is using:

"That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice."

Which is wrong.
1. Human population slows and declines with higher "subsistence."
2. Human population hasn't been repressed by "misery and vice" as measured by the lowest poverty rates in recorded history.
3. Food is created to meet demand, not as much can be possibly created.

When you say "a higher standard of living that causes reduced population growth, not the other way around," I can see some cases of correlation, but also many cases of non-correlation. You go further, to say one causes the other. I still believe my first statement in this thread that we don't know, but I always want to learn more. How can you be so sure about that causality?

Also, I've been under the impression that human population growth has been increasing exponentially for thousands of years. I looked up Population Growth in Wikipedia -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth -- and saw a graph of human population over 12,000 years -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_population_growth_%28lin-log_scale%29.png. It showed faster growth over the past few centuries than ever before. Even if population is leveling off for fifty years, couldn't you be doing what you said: "Anyone can collect data for a short time and draw a line and make up an explanation, but that explanation can be wrong if they didn't consider additional factors."? Fifty years seems pretty short compared to thousands.

Is it possible you're not considering additional factors? Again, I don't know all the factors and maybe you've caught them all. It just looks like the graph you posted, showing "The population growth rate has been falling since the mid-1960s" consists of data collected for a short time. There were other periods of decline followed by growth before over the past thousands of years.

I've heard other explanations that could explain the data -- for example, that we have been growing based on availability of energy with high return, mainly fossil fuels. I find that explanation plausible too. It has different predictions for the future than yours, guiding behavior for me so knowing they're wrong would matter to me. Are you familiar with models like that? Are they wrong?

I don't know one way or the other. Your statement of causality combined with data on population rate decline since the sixties sounds plausible if you can prove causality and that population growth rate of the past few decades will endure, against the trend of recent centuries and millenia. I hope your view is right. If it is I would change how I live my life. While plausible, I don't find it compelling, especially in light of your own comments, which is why I'd love to find evidence ruling out other views.

Another question comes to mind. Is it possible that we are over the carrying capacity of the planet for essential things like clean water, fish, clean air, and oil, but since we have reserves we haven't noticed that we're using the reserves faster than we can replace them?

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #114 on: December 17, 2013, 12:59:34 PM »
You're right, it is basic math, and when the 2nd derivative of an concave exponential function turns negative, it's no longer concave, and therefore not a positive exponential growth function. Boom exponent no longer positive, therefore:

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH IS NO LONGER EXPONENTIAL and hasn't been for 40 years.

Sorry, but it is.  Population growth (or decline) is fundamentally an exponential function.  Wikipedia has a good explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth

What you are doing is to taking a piecewise linear approximation to a short portion of an exponential, and extrapolating.

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And food production linear, that's a good one!


Yes, it is.  Would you care to try to explain why you think it's not?

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Regarding exponential resources, gee how can we have exponential growth in emissions without exponential growth in energy input???

Who is claiming that we have either?

But in principle it would be easy to have both, for a comparatively short period.  If you have a population that's growing exponextially, each individual extracts (or has extracted on their behalf) X amount of fossil fuel, which is burned with unchanging technology, then there will obviously be exponential growth in both energy & emissions [until the supply of fossil fuel runs out[/u].

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Gee I guess cities aren't all that bad (I bet you live in one).

You lose :-)

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I'm sorry you believe all the lies that we're running out of room, but with your theory you should really go long on Japanese real estate!

I'm sorry, but I'm only believing what I see with my own eyes.  Even here in the western US, which is far from being the most densely populated place in the world, it's becoming intolerably crowded.

Now I'll grant that some of this is subjective: if you think it's ok for people to live in conditions that would have animal rights activists screaming about cruelty if battery chickens were kept that way, then sure, there's plenty of room.  Just stack the cages higher: http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/11/20/i-wish-these-buildings-were-photoshopped-but-theyre-not/

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #115 on: December 17, 2013, 02:44:29 PM »
You're right, it is basic math, and when the 2nd derivative of an concave exponential function turns negative, it's no longer concave, and therefore not a positive exponential growth function. Boom exponent no longer positive, therefore:

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH IS NO LONGER (POSITIVE) EXPONENTIAL and hasn't been for 40 years.

Quote
Sorry, but it is.  Population growth (or decline) is fundamentally an exponential function.  Wikipedia has a good explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_growth

What you are doing is to taking a piecewise linear approximation to a short portion of an exponential, and extrapolating.

Since you'd like to equivocate, I will try and be more precise, and thank you for conceding that population is fundamentally an exponential function, and therefore if the 2nd derivative of an exponential function is negative, it is not a positive exponential function, as population is currently increasing at a decreasing rate. (The only linear part of this discussion is the tangent line to total population where future points are BELOW it.)

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And food production linear, that's a good one!

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Yes, it is.  Would you care to try to explain why you think it's not?

3. Food is created to meet demand, not as much can be possibly created. Demand is exponential right? Therefore so is food unless we were seeing an increase of poverty and hunger-related deaths (which we see the opposite, see prior links). Here's a google link to empirical data.
http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=l&met_y=ag_lnd_crel_ha&hl=en&dl=en#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=agricultural_production_index&fdim_y=prodution_index_category:2&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&ifdim=region&tdim=true&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

What evidence do you have that it is linear?

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Regarding exponential resources, gee how can we have exponential growth in emissions without exponential growth in energy input???

Quote
Who is claiming that we have either?

I am by pointing out that yes we do have exponential increases in "resources, especially the resources relevant to population growth, such as food supply and living space"

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But in principle it would be easy to have both, for a comparatively short period.  If you have a population that's growing exponextially, each individual extracts (or has extracted on their behalf) X amount of fossil fuel, which is burned with unchanging technology, then there will obviously be exponential growth in both energy & emissions [until the supply of fossil fuel runs out[/u].
Thank you for seeing my point, but of course you'll dismiss it as temporary that we can meet the current needs of the world.

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Gee I guess cities aren't all that bad (I bet you live in one).

You lose :-)

Quote
I'm sorry you believe all the lies that we're running out of room, but with your theory you should really go long on Japanese real estate!
Quote
I'm sorry, but I'm only believing what I see with my own eyes.  Even here in the western US, which is far from being the most densely populated place in the world, it's becoming intolerably crowded.

Now I'll grant that some of this is subjective: if you think it's ok for people to live in conditions that would have animal rights activists screaming about cruelty if battery chickens were kept that way, then sure, there's plenty of room.  Just stack the cages higher: http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/11/20/i-wish-these-buildings-were-photoshopped-but-theyre-not/

What is objective is that people that have moved to the cities, almost every measure of "conditions" per capita such as food, education, wealth, longevity, health, womens rights, etc are improved.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #116 on: December 17, 2013, 03:01:19 PM »
It's not that we're running out of room, room we have. We're running out of resources.

We're becoming more efficient with the resources and soon there will be less people and total resource consumption will fall. Luckily economics teaches that action reveals preference and that you probably have not moved all your investments to natural resources/commodities and sold your house in the city to live on large acreage to farm.

Define becoming more efficient with resources as that is a rather broad statement that doesn't really mean much. Plus as affluence grows resource consumption increases. So your original premise of affluence reducing population while possibly true doesn't mean that resource consumption will fall but that it will increase as more people demand and have the means to live an industrialized lifestyle.

*Edit for some small amount of clarity and my poor grammar*

We are seeing it in the USA where emissions per capita have been decreasing for the past 40 years, therefore if total "capita" decreases I infer decreases in resource consumption as well.
 
http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=b&strail=false&nselm=s&met_x=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_s=sp_pop_totl&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&dimp_c=country:region&ifdim=country&hl=en&dl=en&iconSize=0.5&uniSize=0.035#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=eg_gdp_puse_ko_pp&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:BMU:CAN:USA:CHN&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #117 on: December 17, 2013, 03:21:03 PM »

When you say "a higher standard of living that causes reduced population growth, not the other way around," I can see some cases of correlation, but also many cases of non-correlation. You go further, to say one causes the other. I still believe my first statement in this thread that we don't know, but I always want to learn more. How can you be so sure about that causality?

Children are economically a substitute good for retirement savings. As retirement security increases, fertility rate decreases. retirement security is basically synonymous with GDP per capita. Empirically fertility falls to sub-replacement rate around $11,000/capita. (2003 $$)

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Also, I've been under the impression that human population growth has been increasing exponentially for thousands of years. I looked up Population Growth in Wikipedia -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth -- and saw a graph of human population over 12,000 years -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_population_growth_%28lin-log_scale%29.png. It showed faster growth over the past few centuries than ever before. Even if population is leveling off for fifty years, couldn't you be doing what you said: "Anyone can collect data for a short time and draw a line and make up an explanation, but that explanation can be wrong if they didn't consider additional factors."? Fifty years seems pretty short compared to thousands.

Is it possible you're not considering additional factors? Again, I don't know all the factors and maybe you've caught them all. It just looks like the graph you posted, showing "The population growth rate has been falling since the mid-1960s" consists of data collected for a short time. There were other periods of decline followed by growth before over the past thousands of years.

I've heard other explanations that could explain the data -- for example, that we have been growing based on availability of energy with high return, mainly fossil fuels. I find that explanation plausible too. It has different predictions for the future than yours, guiding behavior for me so knowing they're wrong would matter to me. Are you familiar with models like that? Are they wrong?

I don't know one way or the other. Your statement of causality combined with data on population rate decline since the sixties sounds plausible if you can prove causality and that population growth rate of the past few decades will endure, against the trend of recent centuries and millenia.

Yes see causation above.

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I hope your view is right. If it is I would change how I live my life. While plausible, I don't find it compelling, especially in light of your own comments, which is why I'd love to find evidence ruling out other views.

Another question comes to mind. Is it possible that we are over the carrying capacity of the planet for essential things like clean water, fish, clean air, and oil, but since we have reserves we haven't noticed that we're using the reserves faster than we can replace them?

Really? What would you do differently? I honestly haven't thought much about how I would do things differently now that I'm aware of peak population. Well I guess I'm more comfortable investing for the long term because I think things will be ok.

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #118 on: December 17, 2013, 03:55:04 PM »
It's not that we're running out of room, room we have. We're running out of resources.

We're becoming more efficient with the resources and soon there will be less people and total resource consumption will fall. Luckily economics teaches that action reveals preference and that you probably have not moved all your investments to natural resources/commodities and sold your house in the city to live on large acreage to farm.

Define becoming more efficient with resources as that is a rather broad statement that doesn't really mean much. Plus as affluence grows resource consumption increases. So your original premise of affluence reducing population while possibly true doesn't mean that resource consumption will fall but that it will increase as more people demand and have the means to live an industrialized lifestyle.

*Edit for some small amount of clarity and my poor grammar*

We are seeing it in the USA where emissions per capita have been decreasing for the past 40 years, therefore if total "capita" decreases I infer decreases in resource consumption as well.
 
http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=b&strail=false&nselm=s&met_x=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_s=sp_pop_totl&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&dimp_c=country:region&ifdim=country&hl=en&dl=en&iconSize=0.5&uniSize=0.035#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=eg_gdp_puse_ko_pp&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:BMU:CAN:USA:CHN&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

1st you're linking gross domestic product per energy use, where is the per capita in that?

But since you're a fan of these visualizations - more agricultural land usage in nearly all regions since the 60's.

Or CO2 per capita over time (I think that's the one you wanted). I'm pretty sure that 17 metric tons per capita is not what we want the rest of the world to get to. Also a 3.5 metric ton reduction per person in the US is balanced by a .6 increase globally. Since this is a per capita measurement we can do some easy math.

US population 1971 - 206,827,000
US per Capita CO2 emissions 1971 - 20.98 metric tons

Total CO2 emissions 1971 - 4,339,230,460

US population 2009 - 307,007,000 (same source as above)
US per Capita CO2 emissions 2009 - 17.28 (same source as above)

Total CO2 emissions 2009 - 5,305,080,960

Not exactly a good trend to increase our emissions over that same 40 year period. You may infer what you like but the data doesn't suggest a decline in consumption or pollution production.

Want to see what the same analysis looks like globally?

1970 - Population - 3,711,961,664

1970 - CO2 Emissions - 4.07 Metric Tons (same source as other CO2 emissions)

Total 1970 Emissions - 15,107,683,972.48

2009 - Population - 6,755,987,239

2009 - CO2 Emissions - 4.71 Metric Tons

Total 2009 Emissions - 31,820,699,895.69

Those emissions doubled globally... Still want to make a claim that resource consumption is dropping? We can run these numbers for all sorts of things, cereal production, water pollution production, energy consumption...etc. It'll paint the same picture. Regardless of what you infer the actual scenario is getting worse not getting better because you used a per capita rather than looking at actual usage.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #119 on: December 17, 2013, 05:35:02 PM »

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1st you're linking gross domestic product per energy use, where is the per capita in that?

Shows world " becoming more efficient with resources"

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But since you're a fan of these visualizations - more agricultural land usage in nearly all regions since the 60's.

Yes agricultural land usage decreased over time in North America, yet we're still exporting food though population has increased during the same time period...which can only imply we're more efficient with our land, just as we're more efficient with our energy use.

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Those emissions doubled globally... Still want to make a claim that resource consumption is dropping? Yes in the United States and other high wealth countries We can run these numbers for all sorts of things, cereal production, water pollution production, energy consumption...etc. It'll paint the same picture. Regardless of what you infer the actual scenario is getting worse not getting better because you used a per capita rather than looking at actual usage.

Pollution/consumption/emissions are getting better in the USA and other high wealth countries. (Real total decreases) It's the high GDP/capita (wealth) that helps us make things better. Have things been getting worse the past 40 years on this planet? No. I think they will continue to improve for the next 40 years as well for my above mentioned reasons.

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #120 on: December 17, 2013, 06:16:27 PM »

Quote
1st you're linking gross domestic product per energy use, where is the per capita in that?

Shows world " becoming more efficient with resources"

Still doesn't show per capita which was your initial point. But whatever, you now want to make a point that we're more efficient with resources, I agree we are, but it isn't enough because it's not just efficiency here, it's actual amounts per year which are increasing even in the US (see my previous post).

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Quote
But since you're a fan of these visualizations - more agricultural land usage in nearly all regions since the 60's.

Yes agricultural land usage decreased over time in North America, yet we're still exporting food though population has increased during the same time period...which can only imply we're more efficient with our land, just as we're more efficient with our energy use.

Efficiency is great, but I think you're leaning on it too heavily to carry the weight of over consumption especially in the realm of finite resources. There will be an efficiency cap on those specifically fossil fuel based consumption.
Quote
Quote
Those emissions doubled globally... Still want to make a claim that resource consumption is dropping? Yes in the United States and other high wealth countries We can run these numbers for all sorts of things, cereal production, water pollution production, energy consumption...etc. It'll paint the same picture. Regardless of what you infer the actual scenario is getting worse not getting better because you used a per capita rather than looking at actual usage.

Pollution/consumption/emissions are getting better in the USA and other high wealth countries. (Real total decreases) It's the high GDP/capita (wealth) that helps us make things better. Have things been getting worse the past 40 years on this planet? No. I think they will continue to improve for the next 40 years as well for my above mentioned reasons.

But the emissions rose in the United States. The actual number on it increased. Math in my previous post.

We're also consuming more energy (source)-

US energy consumption 1971 per capita - 7,644 kg of oil

US energy consumption 2010 per capita - 7,165 kg of oil

Sure the individual consumption has dropped but given our positive growth rate in this country since 1971 we've actually consumed more energy - 1971 total energy consumption was the equivalent of 1,580,985,588,000, that's 1.6 trillion kg of oil. Seems like a huge amount, dwarfed by the 2010 energy consumption equivalent to 2,216,349,450,000, 2.2 trillion kg of oil.

So while per capita is decreasing and we can pat ourselves on the backs our annual actual consumption of energy as a whole country and annual actual CO2 emissions are increasing.

So not real total decreases, just per capita decreases while the actual populations have gotten larger resulting in real total increases. So your claim that the US is consuming less is not accurate at all. We're consuming more as a country, less per individual sure but that doesn't matter when the actual amount is still increasing.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #121 on: December 17, 2013, 07:17:42 PM »
Your own source earlier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions shows less total USA emissions today than in 2008. See EPA also:


My main point is that wealthier countries (not everyone) have stronger environmental protections and are able to have a big impact on reducing per capita energy use, and tied with slowing and shrinking populations do reduce their total CO2 emissions. I haven't been able to find an approximate value for what specifically that level of GDP/capital is when we start to see the benefits, but we're past it in the US and other wealthy countries. My point is they are an example of where the rest of the world will be as GDP/capita rises.

My claim is quite accurate for the past 4 years.  Its only in wealthy countries where GDP/capita can increase yet emissions can decrease or at least stay flat. The sky is not falling.


matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #122 on: December 17, 2013, 09:21:46 PM »
Your own source earlier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions shows less total USA emissions today than in 2008. See EPA also:


My main point is that wealthier countries (not everyone) have stronger environmental protections and are able to have a big impact on reducing per capita energy use, and tied with slowing and shrinking populations do reduce their total CO2 emissions. I haven't been able to find an approximate value for what specifically that level of GDP/capital is when we start to see the benefits, but we're past it in the US and other wealthy countries. My point is they are an example of where the rest of the world will be as GDP/capita rises.

My claim is quite accurate for the past 4 years.  Its only in wealthy countries where GDP/capita can increase yet emissions can decrease or at least stay flat. The sky is not falling.

So given a five or four year time frame we should be celebrating that we're in the clear regarding CO2 emissions? That is too narrow of a time frame to start popping the champagne.

Your main point has nothing supporting it. You claim that greater wealth means less total CO2 emissions. The US is the wealthiest nation on earth and has terrible CO2 emissions (we're #2), yet you claim that there is a particular level of GDP/capital (ratio? what is this even?) where we see a benefit (what benefit?) and that we're past if for the US. When did we pass this magical number? And what does this number have to do with actual emissions?

How does more affluence magically lower CO2 emissions? Because whatever way it does doesn't seem to be happening in the US, Germany, the UK, South Korea, or Japan. All five countries are considered quite affluent yet are in the top 10 of CO2 emissions. If we rely on the trend we see give our current affluent countries as an example all we can look forward to is even more CO2 emissions as those countries rise to our level of consumption and pollution.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #123 on: December 17, 2013, 11:08:47 PM »
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So given a five or four year time frame we should be celebrating that we're in the clear regarding CO2 emissions? That is too narrow of a time frame to start popping the champagne.

I agree, but given all the hysteria about emissions it's pretty amazing how much emissions per capita has dropped and that they have been flat and falling in the us for about 10 years now.


Your main point has nothing supporting it. You claim that greater wealth means less total CO2 emissions. Yes see graph above showing less total CO2 emissions and remember how much more people and wealth have grown in the past 10 years.
The US is the wealthiest nation on earth and has terrible CO2 emissions (we're #2), yet you claim that there is a particular level of GDP/capital (ratio? what is this even?) (it means GDP per capita.)

where we see a benefit (what benefit?) (reduced emissions per capita) and that we're past if for the US. (Yes see the graph on page 2 of USA emissions per capita) When did we pass this magical number? (early 1970s per the graph, so whatever GDP per capita was might be a start for that approximate $$ value) And what does this number have to do with actual emissions? (It's the average wealth amount apparently necessary to motivate countries to enact reductions in emissions per capita)

How does more affluence magically lower CO2 emissions? (countries can afford to invest in more efficient technologies) Because whatever way it does doesn't seem to be happening in the US(yes it is, literally look to the above graph), Germany, the UK, South Korea, or Japan. All five countries are considered quite affluent yet are in the top 10 of CO2 emissions. (I'll try and research if those countries have surpassed 1970s GDP per capita in real dollars) If we rely on the trend we see give our current affluent countries as an example all we can look forward to is even more CO2 emissions as those countries rise to our level of consumption and pollution.

It's a synonymous economic phenomenon with the population one, countries total pollution will continue to rise until they hit their own green wealth number that motivates them to start being more efficient, which is hypothesize will also be a higher number than the level of wealth number that reduces fertility to subreplacement levels.
Now that I think about it consumption might be more constrained by marginal utility individually, see this whole MMM site for example where people are just sated. Would you say someone would just keep eating ice cream until they exploded? No, they would eat their fill and be done. Due to the law of marginal utility I don't believe human consumption of food, energy, or making babies is unconstrained.

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #124 on: December 18, 2013, 05:11:12 AM »
But I've already proven that reduced emissions per capita has no relation to actual emissions produced. The US has only increased actual emissions since 1970.

Quote
US population 1971 - 206,827,000
US per Capita CO2 emissions 1971 - 20.98 metric tons

Total CO2 emissions 1971 - 4,339,230,460

US population 2009 - 307,007,000 (same source as above)
US per Capita CO2 emissions 2009 - 17.28 (same source as above)

Total CO2 emissions 2009 - 5,305,080,960

Given that CO2 emissions per capita does not reflect an actual reduction in emissions why isn't the magic number working? The US emitting 1 billion more metric tons of CO2 into atmosphere now than in 1971, that is not a reduction.

I think you keep saying that emissions per capita is dropping, and I agree, your graph reflects that, but how does that matter given that the whole amount increased? When will we have an actual reduction lower than 1971?

Marginal utility is a great concept when applied to individuals, it's a microeconomic concept. And clearly doesn't apply to macroeconomic discussions because of the simple fact that we already have too many people for our consumption rates to be maintained.

madgeylou

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #125 on: December 18, 2013, 05:59:39 AM »
Is it possible you're not considering additional factors? Again, I don't know all the factors and maybe you've caught them all. It just looks like the graph you posted, showing "The population growth rate has been falling since the mid-1960s" consists of data collected for a short time. There were other periods of decline followed by growth before over the past thousands of years.

One big factor that actually happened in the mid-60, which I haven't heard anyone in this thread talk about, was that in the 1960s for basically the first time in human history, women got some kind of control over this reproductive biology. For the first time, they were free to pursue things besides babies in large numbers.

Fertility rates decline demonstrably as women gain economic power, education, and freedom -- including reproductive freedom. We see this happening all over the world, only increasing over time, and it's a true sea change from how we've done things for the last 10,000 years.
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JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #126 on: December 18, 2013, 10:32:19 AM »

When you say "a higher standard of living that causes reduced population growth, not the other way around," I can see some cases of correlation, but also many cases of non-correlation. You go further, to say one causes the other. I still believe my first statement in this thread that we don't know, but I always want to learn more. How can you be so sure about that causality?

Children are economically a substitute good for retirement savings. As retirement security increases, fertility rate decreases. retirement security is basically synonymous with GDP per capita. Empirically fertility falls to sub-replacement rate around $11,000/capita. (2003 $$)

If that is your threshold for causality, I find it hard to find your posts credible. Continuing with "Yes see causation above," implies you haven't critically looked at your own views. Your response led me to review your posts in this thread. They reinforce my earlier statement that "Anyone who tries to tell you a definitive answer almost certainly has an agenda beyond mere accuracy.', from your first post, confusing opinion and belief with fact and misinterpreting marginally relevant sources:

No there is not overpopulation. Capitalism and freedom have brough us to where we are today with all the amazing wealth we have to enjoy an MMM / FIRE lifestyle for the common man. We are approachingt he age of post-scarcity. The biggest threat to humanity's survival is the state. Maybe cylons one day.. Human population will peak in the next 30 years and then decline, many countries are already facing decline and due to increased world trade has rapidly decreased poverty and worldwide poverty could be eliminated in that time frame: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/09/these-three-charts-show-how-the-world-could-end-extreme-poverty-by-2030/

The overpopulation myth is just another scare tactic (though MMM continually reminds us to reject fear) to justify additional growth of the state at the expense of the people. One if the biggest reasons people have to keep working is the theft from their paychecks.

I read MMM because of the hope of his message and the strength of his example, I am undeterred by his ignorance in this subject.

through dismissive, emotional comments like "Enhance your calm bro-".

Everyone is free to their beliefs and I support you sharing them, but I'm here for rational discussion. Good day.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #127 on: December 18, 2013, 12:59:18 PM »
Children are economically a substitute good for retirement savings. As retirement security increases, fertility rate decreases. retirement security is basically synonymous with GDP per capita. Empirically fertility falls to sub-replacement rate around $11,000/capita. (2003 $$)

If that is your threshold for causality, I find it hard to find your posts credible. Continuing with "Yes see causation above," implies you haven't critically looked at your own views. Your response led me to review your posts in this thread. They reinforce my earlier statement that "Anyone who tries to tell you a definitive answer almost certainly has an agenda beyond mere accuracy.', from your first post, confusing opinion and belief with fact and misinterpreting marginally relevant sources:

I am honestly sorry to disappoint you Josh, I have been posting relevant statistics for days now trying to answer questions so I thought we were having a rational discussion for the most part. I guess I'm confused by the threshold for causation, do you disagree with the reasons for declines in fertility or you think there is lack of evidence for the reason? I think the 3 pages of questions and my answers had been a pretty good critique of my views here...

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through dismissive, emotional comments like "Enhance your calm bro-".

Everyone is free to their beliefs and I support you sharing them, but I'm here for rational discussion. Good day.

Is there something particularly irrational about stating a hypothesis and presenting empirical evidence to support it?

increases in per capita wealth leads to [increases in retirement savings] reduced fertility rates which leads to slowing of populations and eventually reduction when the fertility rate is below replacement.  <- This is an "positive" statement meaning it's measurable and falsifiable, testable.

I've presented cross-sectional and time-series data to support this claim. Yes I earlier made normative (value-judgement) statements on what leads to increased per capita wealth, I don't have great data to back that up, but that's somewhat of a separate topic.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #128 on: December 18, 2013, 01:02:16 PM »
Is it possible you're not considering additional factors? Again, I don't know all the factors and maybe you've caught them all. It just looks like the graph you posted, showing "The population growth rate has been falling since the mid-1960s" consists of data collected for a short time. There were other periods of decline followed by growth before over the past thousands of years.

One big factor that actually happened in the mid-60, which I haven't heard anyone in this thread talk about, was that in the 1960s for basically the first time in human history, women got some kind of control over this reproductive biology. For the first time, they were free to pursue things besides babies in large numbers.

Fertility rates decline demonstrably as women gain economic power, education, and freedom -- including reproductive freedom. We see this happening all over the world, only increasing over time, and it's a true sea change from how we've done things for the last 10,000 years.

Luckily counties without wide-spread use of contraceptives (because they are too expensive or illegal) also see the reduction in fertility rates when GDP/capita increases.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2013, 02:19:10 PM »
I'm not as confident in the relationship between per capita wealth and total CO2 emissions as there's not a lot of countries that I think are rich enough to implement environmental controls and technology efficiencies, we only started in 1960s, and also food and energy are relatively cheap and getting cheaper so there's not a great incentive for most countries to become more efficient

Note the following is simple math that are approximations as I believe all these variables (total population, GDP growth, emissions/capita are not linear)


But I've already proven that reduced emissions per capita has no relation to actual emissions produced. The US has only increased actual emissions since 1970.

Here's the relation: Actual (total) emissions produced = [total emissions/total pop] * [total pop]

US population 1971 - 206,827,000
US per Capita CO2 emissions 1971 - 20.98 metric tons

Total CO2 emissions 1971 - 4,339,230,460

US population 2009 - 307,007,000 (same source as above) a 48.43% increase in 38 years
US per Capita CO2 emissions 2009 - 17.28 (same source as above)
Total CO2 emissions 2009 - 5,305,080,960 only a 22.25% increase in 38 years

(yay decreased Co2 emissions per capita in the past 38 years!)

Now today we see the correlation between population in the US and CO2 emissions is negative:

Wikipedia:
Total CO2 emissions 2008 - 5,461,014
Total CO2 emissions 2009 - 5,273,760
Total CO2 emissions 2010 - 5,492,170   
Total CO2 emissions 2011 - 5,420,000
Total CO2 emissions 2012 - 5,190,000
5yr average                        5,367,389
Total CO2 emissions in 2012/5yr average=    -3.30%

US Population 2012 at 316,364,000/ US population 2008 at 304,375,000 = 3.94% increase implying a correlation of -0.84% decrease in total CO2 emissions for every 1% increase in population in the USA for the past 5 years.  THINGS ARE CHANGING HERE.

But thats not the best predictor of reduced emissions, a better correlation is total GDP.
US GDP 2012 15.79 trillion\US GDP 2008 14.57 trillion = 8.37% increase implying an even greater magnitude of negative correlation of -3.30/8.37= -.39% for every 1% increase in GDP. But the real predictor is GDP/capita and total CO2 growth.

Quote

Given that CO2 emissions per capita does not reflect an actual reduction in emissions why isn't the magic number working? The US emitting 1 billion more metric tons of CO2 into atmosphere now than in 1971, that is not a reduction.

I think you keep saying that emissions per capita is dropping, and I agree, your graph reflects that, but how does that matter given that the whole amount increased? When will we have an actual reduction lower than 1971?
Im pointing out that it was 1971 we hit an inflection point where increases in GDP/capita wealth were leading to reduced growth in CO2 emissions per capita.

Total CO2 emissions 2012 - 5,190,000,000
Total CO2 emissions 1971 - 4,339,230,460
Looking for a 16.39% drop, so if our correlation with GDP is -.39% we would need about a 42% increase in total GDP if Co2 emissions per capita stayed constant, which since they are decreasing now I think it we will get there faster.

The better variable is real GDP/captia 2012 $49,594.19 / prior 5yr average ($48,198)  = 1.03% real per capital GDP growth.  -3.3/1.03 = -3.207% reduction in every 1% increase in GDP/captia

Therefore 16.39/3.207= 5.11% increase in real GDP/capita should correlate to a 16.39% drop in CO2 emissions bringing us back to 1971 level. I don't know how long it will take to increase real US GDP/capita by 5.11% to a level of $52,128. (especially because it only grew at 1.03% over a 5 year period, so at current growth rates it could take like 25 years! yikes!)

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Marginal utility is a great concept when applied to individuals, it's a microeconomic concept. And clearly doesn't apply to macroeconomic discussions because of the simple fact that we already have too many people for our consumption rates to be maintained. <- opinion


« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 02:46:20 PM by CDP45 »

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #130 on: December 18, 2013, 05:18:38 PM »
Actually our consumption rates and CO2 emissions and other pollution and environmental issues are not totally a matter of opinion. We're already generating climate change with our current consumption rates and the like. That isn't sustainable given the very real and very large impact we have. So I'm not so sure that's a matter of opinion rather than a consequence of thinking that it is solely a matter of opinion.

marty998

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2013, 05:50:42 PM »
My brain has exploded 3 times after reading all of this. Kudos to anyone else who has got this far.

I fear that by contributing to this thread I will get slapped down 15 times before I hit the ground so I will refrain.

I only hope that one day when the technology becomes available to solve the worlds ills that corporate greed does not get in the way. Sadly that horse may have already bolted.


CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #132 on: December 18, 2013, 07:34:21 PM »
Marty, this place is a nest in a tree of trust and understanding. We can say anything here.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #133 on: December 18, 2013, 09:22:01 PM »
Since you'd like to equivocate, I will try and be more precise, and thank you for conceding that population is fundamentally an exponential function, and therefore if the 2nd derivative of an exponential function is negative, it is not a positive exponential function, as population is currently increasing at a decreasing rate. (The only linear part of this discussion is the tangent line to total population where future points are BELOW it.)

Again, wrong.  You are correct that population would be decreasing if the exponent was negative, but it is not.  The only reason you have for thinking that it might become negative at some time in the future is extrapolation from a carefully-selected, short period.  Choose a longer period - that is, include more data - and you get a much different result.  You're simply selecting the data to get a result that conforms to what you've chosen to believe.

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3. Food is created to meet demand, not as much can be possibly created. Demand is exponential right? Therefore so is food...

Again wrong.  Food is not magically created to meet demand: production is determined by a host of variables such as the amount of land under cultivation, weather, soil fertility, the inherent (in)efficiency of photosynthesis, etc.

I'll have to make this brief, as thanks to a broken wrist I can only type one-handed, but I'll try for asimple explanation.  First, you'll have to agree that the surface area of the Earth is fixed, hence there is an upper bound to the amount of agricultural land?  Likewise, that the amount of solar energy is fixed?  So any increase in the amount of farm land is linear, or actually asymptotic to the maximum.  Plant productivity can be (and has been - see e.g. the 'green revolution') increased somewhat, but those increases are likewise linear and limited to at best insolation * efficiency of photosynthesis.

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...unless we were seeing an increase of poverty and hunger-related deaths (which we see the opposite, see prior links).

Because, once again, you are looking at a short-term linear increase temporarily outpacing exponential population growth.

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What is objective is that people that have moved to the cities, almost every measure of "conditions" per capita such as food, education, wealth, longevity, health, womens rights, etc are improved.

Do remember that correlation is not causation.  Various conditions have improved over time due to scientific & technical advances.  Over the same period, people have been relocated to cities, often forcibly.  But we find that health conditions in cities are not all that great today, and were far worse historically.

Economically, until comparatively recently the limits of communications technology made city living an economic necessity for many people.  But even then, those who achieved a measure of financial success often used that wealth to escape the city.  The truely wealthy bought vast country estates; the moderately prosperous might buy a summer cottage; others might only get away to a resort for a week or two.  As transportation increased, those who could moved to suburbs, commuting first by train, later by car.

Modern communications has mad it possible for many of us to be economically successful without the need for city living.  Cities are becoming an anachronism, and a place for warehousing vast masses of poor & unskilled.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #134 on: December 19, 2013, 02:57:34 PM »


Year           Population    Annual Growth Rate (%)
1962   3,139,919,051   2.22
1963   3,209,631,895   2.223
1964   3,280,981,862   2.109
1965   3,350,186,115   2.096
1966   3,420,416,498   2.036
1967   3,490,051,163   2.062
1968   3,562,007,503   2.1
1969   3,636,825,800   2.076
      
1970   3,712,338,708   2.09
1971   3,789,941,225   2.011
1972   3,866,158,404   1.953
1973   3,941,664,971   1.89
1974   4,016,159,586   1.804
1975   4,088,621,062   1.739
1976   4,159,718,199   1.729
1977   4,231,619,236   1.702
1978   4,303,647,736   1.741
1979   4,378,565,589   1.653
      
1980   4,450,929,761   1.865
1981   4,533,928,518   1.766
1982   4,614,015,853   1.758
1983   4,695,112,999   1.678
1984   4,773,874,962   1.714
1985   4,855,692,131   1.73
1986   4,939,715,093   1.752
1987   5,026,262,667   1.737
1988   5,113,554,741   1.698
1989   5,200,376,354   1.682
      
1990   5,287,869,228   1.569
1991   5,370,833,520   1.58
1992   5,455,716,183   1.512
1993   5,538,201,967   1.458
1994   5,618,942,438   1.438
1995   5,699,768,392   1.413
1996   5,780,312,511   1.363
1997   5,859,124,817   1.322
1998   5,936,610,692   1.298
1999   6,013,679,354   1.274
      
2000   6,090,319,399   1.26
2001   6,167,064,399   1.245
2002   6,243,867,851   1.225
2003   6,320,371,175   1.218
2004   6,397,322,922   1.202
2005   6,474,229,144   1.203
2006   6,552,104,498   1.201
2007   6,630,764,007   1.189
2008   6,709,620,605   1.171
2009   6,788,203,578   1.147
      
2010   6,866,054,281   1.127
2011   6,943,437,438   1.114
2012   7,020,760,225   1.107

Here's 50 years of data, which is also summarized in the graph above, as it shows a local maximum and if we were to approximate a function to this data, it would not be a positive exponential function. Because the 2nd derivative of population is negative, it cannot be a positive exponential function. Increasing at a decreasing rate, look up what that means: U Chicago summary

Since you'd like to equivocate, I will try and be more precise, and thank you for conceding that population is fundamentally an exponential function, and therefore if the 2nd derivative of an exponential function is negative, it is not a positive exponential function, as population is currently increasing at a decreasing rate. (The only linear part of this discussion is the tangent line to total population where future points are BELOW it.)

Again, wrong.  You are correct that population would be decreasing if the exponent was negative, but it is not.  The only reason you have for thinking that it might become negative at some time in the future is extrapolation from a carefully-selected, short period.  Choose a longer period - that is, include more data - and you get a much different result.  You're simply selecting the data to get a result that conforms to what you've chosen to believe.


Lans Holman

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #135 on: December 19, 2013, 03:10:23 PM »
Total side note, but do we know what's responsible for the big dip in that graph around 1960?  Is that all just the Great Leap Forward?

marty998

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #136 on: December 19, 2013, 07:42:48 PM »
Marty, this place is a nest in a tree of trust and understanding. We can say anything here.

Ok I'll bite.


Here's 50 years of data, which is also summarized in the graph above, as it shows a local maximum and if we were to approximate a function to this data, it would not be a positive exponential function. Because the 2nd derivative of population is negative, it cannot be a positive exponential function. Increasing at a decreasing rate

So I get that it is not an exponential function. But your % figures don't tell the full story. 4th column added to show the absolute numerical increase in mouths to feed. Even though the % growth is slowing, it is not due to the number of births falling. It's just that the denominator (total number of people) is getting very large. Amazing how linear the function is.

I see this same argument about China's economic growth rate all the time. Everyone is falling over themselves worried that China's growth rate is slowing. Well that's because they are now very very large. The nominal increase might be the same, it's just that the growth is measured against a much larger base.

77m is an awful lot of people calling planet earth home each year. Population of Australia is 23million. Although we have the 7th largest land mass in the world I doubt we can support many more given the lack of water and changing climate.


Year               Population        % growth   abs increase
1962    3,139,919,051     2.22   
1963    3,209,631,895     2.22    69,712,844
1964    3,280,981,862     2.10    71,349,967
1965    3,350,186,115     2.09    69,204,253
1966    3,420,416,498     2.03    70,230,383
1967    3,490,051,163     2.06    69,634,665
1968    3,562,007,503     2.1            71,956,340
1969    3,636,825,800     2.07    74,818,297
1970    3,712,338,708     2.09    75,512,908
1971    3,789,941,225     2.01    77,602,517
1972    3,866,158,404     1.95    76,217,179
1973    3,941,664,971     1.89    75,506,567
1974    4,016,159,586     1.80    74,494,615
1975    4,088,621,062     1.73    72,461,476
1976    4,159,718,199     1.72    71,097,137
1977    4,231,619,236     1.70    71,901,037
1978    4,303,647,736     1.74    72,028,500
1979    4,378,565,589     1.65    74,917,853
1980    4,450,929,761     1.86    72,364,172
1981    4,533,928,518     1.76    82,998,757
1982    4,614,015,853     1.75    80,087,335
1983    4,695,112,999     1.67    81,097,146
1984    4,773,874,962     1.71    78,761,963
1985    4,855,692,131     1.73    81,817,169
1986    4,939,715,093     1.75    84,022,962
1987    5,026,262,667     1.73    86,547,574
1988    5,113,554,741     1.69    87,292,074
1989    5,200,376,354     1.68    86,821,613
1990    5,287,869,228     1.56    87,492,874
1991    5,370,833,520     1.58    82,964,292
1992    5,455,716,183     1.51    84,882,663
1993    5,538,201,967     1.45    82,485,784
1994    5,618,942,438     1.43    80,740,471
1995    5,699,768,392     1.41    80,825,954
1996    5,780,312,511     1.36    80,544,119
1997    5,859,124,817     1.32    78,812,306
1998    5,936,610,692     1.29    77,485,875
1999    6,013,679,354     1.27    77,068,662
2000    6,090,319,399     1.26    76,640,045
2001    6,167,064,399     1.24    76,745,000
2002    6,243,867,851     1.22    76,803,452
2003    6,320,371,175     1.21    76,503,324
2004    6,397,322,922     1.20    76,951,747
2005    6,474,229,144     1.20    76,906,222
2006    6,552,104,498     1.20    77,875,354
2007    6,630,764,007     1.18    78,659,509
2008    6,709,620,605     1.17    78,856,598
2009    6,788,203,578     1.14    78,582,973
2010    6,866,054,281     1.12    77,850,703
2011    6,943,437,438     1.11    77,383,157
2012    7,020,760,225     1.10    77,322,787

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #137 on: December 19, 2013, 08:48:12 PM »
Here's 50 years of data, which is also summarized in the graph above

And guess what?  It's all positive :-)

I also have to say, once again, that the extrapolation seems really shaky.  I'm really limited as to what I can do right now, but just for fun I edited your graph, and added (in green) what seems a more reasonable extrapolation based on the curve from 1990-present.  That leads to a pretty constant growth rate of around 0.8-1.0 by 2050.

But of course that period is arbitrary.  There are wild swings in earlier years: what justification is there for assuming there will be none in the future?

And again, even if we accept your extrapolation as valid, it still leaves us with positive growth in 2050 :-(
« Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 08:52:27 PM by Jamesqf »

lorne4664

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #138 on: January 15, 2014, 10:26:30 AM »
while technically it is not, I think it is a problem because of over-consumption, pollution, fossil-fuel depletion, allocation of resources and population ..

Size-wise, according to the World factbook, for example, the European Union has 509,365,627 (July 2013 est.), living in less than one-half the size of the US..

you can also look at population density on wikipedia by countries, cities around the world, US states, and more.. there are some quite dense places on earth. Apparently Manila, Philippines has 111,002 ppl per square mile.

perhaps in the future we will stop depleting non-renewable resources (maybe space travel will allow us to dump some waste in space and/or to get more resources from space), and perhaps there will be a real energy breakthrough.. one that will be practical. it will be affordable and it will generate enough power that we won't need to use fossil fuels for electricity or vehicles anymore. If electricity becomes cheaper than fuel, i bet people will start to use electric ovens and stoves and boilers/water-heaters too

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #139 on: January 15, 2014, 01:25:04 PM »
Size-wise, according to the World factbook, for example, the European Union has 509,365,627 (July 2013 est.), living in less than one-half the size of the US..

Very little of the land area of the EU is semi-desert or Arctic tundra.

Even taking that indo account, I think you fail to ask about living conditions, food imports, and sustainability.  It certainly seems from published accounts, and from my own experience of living there, that a substantial fraction of the Europen population lives a deprived urban life.  Just as with feedlot cattle & battery chickens, you can cram quite a number into a small space if you don't care about their quality of life.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #140 on: January 16, 2014, 12:42:05 AM »
Oh please...you're the first to wax on about the progressive statism of Europe, and regardless of all that clearly people continue to choose the EU vs their shit-whole countries of origin: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=ee&v=27

You should be happy James, there will be less people in the future and your anxiety will be for naught.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #141 on: January 16, 2014, 12:22:50 PM »
...regardless of all that clearly people continue to choose the EU vs their shit-whole countries of origin: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=ee&v=27

You really need to understand that there's a fundamental difference between a choice of good vs bad, and one of bad vs even worse.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #142 on: January 16, 2014, 08:47:31 PM »
...regardless of all that clearly people continue to choose the EU vs their shit-whole countries of origin: http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=ee&v=27

You really need to understand that there's a fundamental difference between a choice of good vs bad, and one of bad vs even worse.

When subsistence farmers and the impoverished move to cities, almost every measure of human development improves dramatically. You need to understand the fundamental difference that wealth is a continuum and small gains in nutrition add decades to longevity. 

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #143 on: January 16, 2014, 10:13:44 PM »
When subsistence farmers and the impoverished move to cities, almost every measure of human development improves dramatically.

Got data to support that?  Because there are plenty of historical examples to the contrary.

In any case, it's pretty much irrelevant to EU immigration, as most of the migrants there are either coming from 3rd-world urban hellholes, or are leaving their homes because in Europe today one is unlikely to be killed for one's politics, religion, or ethnic origin.

PS: Just ran across a scientific study on happiness, which finds that
Quote
Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments..

People recorded the highest levels of happiness in marine and coastal locations, followed by mountains and moors, forests and farms.
http://www.thejournal.ie/sea-sun-happiness-study-973774-Jul2013/
« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 12:53:51 PM by Jamesqf »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #144 on: January 17, 2014, 07:47:47 PM »
When subsistence farmers and the impoverished move to cities, almost every measure of human development improves dramatically.
Quote
Got data to support that?  Because there are plenty of historical examples to the contrary.

http://www.voanews.com/content/urbanization-curbs-poverty-says-world-bank/1648092.html
http://reliefweb.int/report/world/global-monitoring-report-2013-rural-urban-dynamics-and-millennium-development-goals
"Urbanization has helped reduce poverty through the creation of new income opportunities, and has increased both access to and quality of services. However, the number of people living in urban slums is also rising, and cities often contribute to environmental degradation. At the same time, three quarters of the poor still live in rural areas, and better provision of basic services in those areas is essential to open up opportunities for the rural population."

Also I couldn't find a data set for % of population living in cities, so I substituted phone-line density:
Google public health data

Quote
In any case, it's pretty much irrelevant to EU immigration, as most of the migrants there are either coming from 3rd-world urban hellholes, or are leaving their homes because in Europe today one is unlikely to be killed for one's politics, religion, or ethnic origin.

Have any data to support they are emigrating from urban hellholes? I doubt that.

Quote
PS: Just ran across a scientific study on happiness, which finds that
Quote
Being outdoors, near the sea, on a warm, sunny weekend afternoon is the perfect spot for most. In fact, participants were found to be substantially happier outdoors in all natural environments than they were in urban environments..

People recorded the highest levels of happiness in marine and coastal locations, followed by mountains and moors, forests and farms.
http://www.thejournal.ie/sea-sun-happiness-study-973774-Jul2013/

I guarantee they weren't interviewing the impoverished as they probably weren't part of the "more than 22,000 people who downloaded an app Mappiness which was developed specifically for the study on their mobile devices."

« Last Edit: January 17, 2014, 08:04:19 PM by CDP45 »

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #145 on: January 17, 2014, 09:25:36 PM »
"Urbanization has helped reduce poverty through the creation of new income opportunities, and has increased both access to and quality of services. However, the number of people living in urban slums is also rising, and cities often contribute to environmental degradation. At the same time, three quarters of the poor still live in rural areas, and better provision of basic services in those areas is essential to open up opportunities for the rural population."

You don't think it's possible that those sources could be just a bit biased?  As in the people who work for these groups are busy pushing pro-urbanization 'development' programs, so creating the appearance that they're working is necessary for job security.  And all that's really necessary for this is a circular definition of 'poverty', such that anyone lacking urban services is automatically counted as poor - while the things available only in rural areas, which many of us comparative wealthy folk willingly pay goodly sums to attain, do not count at all.

Quote
Also I couldn't find a data set for % of population living in cities, so I substituted phone-line density:

Don't know what you intended to show there, because - as is typical of Google crap - the link doesn't do much of anything.  Still, phone line density?  Which century are you living in?

Quote
Have any data to support they are emigrating from urban hellholes? I doubt that.
Quote

Seems as though the links you posted above make a decent case.

Quote
I guarantee they weren't interviewing the impoverished...

So are you doing a reverse Fitzgerald, and claiming that the poor are different from you and me?  Sorry, but it just ain't so :-)  Thing is, most people have to endure quite a bit of unhappiness out of financial necessity - and it seems fairly obvious that the greater the (perceived) necessity, the greater the quantity of unhappiness one will be subject to.  Isn't that really one of the cornerstones of Mustachianism, to attain financial independence in order to minimize that unhappinness?

Indeed, if I can resort to anecdote, I see this in my own life: poverty forced me to spend time in a number of cities (where I was unhappy) as part of the process of becoming prosperous enough to live in a happier place.  I see the same thing reflected in living patterns throughout history.  Even today... Well, if cities are so great, explain why people's preferred vacation destinations are so often mountains, lakes, and - yes - those tropical beaches?

steveo

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #146 on: January 17, 2014, 09:49:43 PM »
People who claim that overpopulation is a major issue are really just being arrogant and trying to claim their superiority over people who have less money to buy food.  That's all it really is.

I think that this is the case. Interestingly I also think that as communities (or countries) become wealthier the birthrate declines.

Some more fact based information on this is available here:-

http://www.gapminder.org/videos/the-river-of-myths/
http://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-the-facts-about-population/

I do think that we need to be careful but we also need to be realistic.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #147 on: January 18, 2014, 11:12:47 AM »
People who claim that overpopulation is a major issue are really just being arrogant and trying to claim their superiority over people who have less money to buy food.  That's all it really is.

I think that this is the case.

Wrong.  As for example, Manhattan, Silicon Valley, the wealthier parts of LA...  All overpopulated, mostly by people with plenty of money.


steveo

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #148 on: January 18, 2014, 02:23:48 PM »
People who claim that overpopulation is a major issue are really just being arrogant and trying to claim their superiority over people who have less money to buy food.  That's all it really is.

I think that this is the case.

Wrong.  As for example, Manhattan, Silicon Valley, the wealthier parts of LA...  All overpopulated, mostly by people with plenty of money.

This argument doesn't cut it to me. Yes there will be some areas that are overpopulated but that has nothing to do with human beings overpopulating the world. I also assume that this issue will adjust over time. If too many people live in these areas and they don't like it (they might like it and feel that this isn't an issue) people will move elsewhere.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #149 on: January 18, 2014, 09:51:20 PM »
"Urbanization has helped reduce poverty through the creation of new income opportunities, and has increased both access to and quality of services. However, the number of people living in urban slums is also rising, and cities often contribute to environmental degradation. At the same time, three quarters of the poor still live in rural areas, and better provision of basic services in those areas is essential to open up opportunities for the rural population."
Quote
You don't think it's possible that those sources could be just a bit biased?  As in the people who work for these groups are busy pushing pro-urbanization 'development' programs, so creating the appearance that they're working is necessary for job security.  And all that's really necessary for this is a circular definition of 'poverty', such that anyone lacking urban services is automatically counted as poor - while the things available only in rural areas, which many of us comparative wealthy folk willingly pay goodly sums to attain, do not count at all.

No, I don't think the UN's data is particularly biased for these variables, they seem to be totally independently generated and verified by other sampling, let me know if you come up any evidence to the contrary.

Quote
Also I couldn't find a data set for % of population living in cities, so I substituted phone-line density:
Quote
Don't know what you intended to show there, because - as is typical of Google crap - the link doesn't do much of anything.  Still, phone line density?  Which century are you living in?

Wrong, my google-fu was just weak and I was searching within a data set that didn't capture the variable of % living in urban areas, this one does: Time-series of % in poverty vs urbanization rate. Note the correlation..

Today in countries where more than half the people live in cities, there are only 6 countries with poverty rates above 20% - all in Africa.

Quote
Have any data to support they are emigrating from urban hellholes? I doubt that.

Quote
Seems as though the links you posted above make a decent case.

No, the data and research say impoverished people living rurally are moving to urban areas to increase their standard of living.

Quote
I guarantee they weren't interviewing the impoverished...
Quote
So are you doing a reverse Fitzgerald, and claiming that the poor are different from you and me?  Sorry, but it just ain't so :-)  Thing is, most people have to endure quite a bit of unhappiness out of financial necessity - and it seems fairly obvious that the greater the (perceived) necessity, the greater the quantity of unhappiness one will be subject to.  Isn't that really one of the cornerstones of Mustachianism, to attain financial independence in order to minimize that unhappinness?

I'm talking about people who live spending less than $1/day. They are very different from us. They suffer horribly their entire lives with starvation, disease, death, and short lives.
Quote
Indeed, if I can resort to anecdote, I see this in my own life: poverty forced me to spend time in a number of cities (where I was unhappy) as part of the process of becoming prosperous enough to live in a happier place.  I see the same thing reflected in living patterns throughout history.  Even today... Well, if cities are so great, explain why people's preferred vacation destinations are so often mountains, lakes, and - yes - those tropical beaches?

We are not talking about rich people going on vacation. We are talking about the billions of people being lifted out of poverty ($1/day) by freedom and capitalism.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 09:56:06 PM by CDP45 »