Author Topic: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?  (Read 62095 times)

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #150 on: January 18, 2014, 10:10:30 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.

We're talking about extreme poverty, not whining about traffic congestion. I haven't seen any evidence that people in major American cities live worse than those in Rwanda where only 18.8% of people live in urban areas yet 65% of the population live on less than $1.25/day. We all get it that we want to retire early but "toiling" in the office after a 45min commute is worlds apart toiling in the fields hoping to feed yourself the next meal before you perish of starvation.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #151 on: January 18, 2014, 11:09:26 PM »
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..

No, it doesn't.  We're obviously failing to communicate here: what I am trying to tell you is that whatever you're trying to show with the Google-crap at that link just doesn't work.  Maybe it does with Google's own browser, but I have no intention of installing that on my system. 

FYI, this is what I see at your link.  Informative, isn't it?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 11:10:58 PM by Jamesqf »

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #152 on: January 19, 2014, 01:33:48 AM »
Yah, I don't think custom configuring your setup to be different than 99% of the people out there and then complaining about comparability will get you far.  It works on my iPad, which is notorious for limited support.

I find it odd that you don't have another way to access things in a standard clean environment, through a VM or something, for the occasional time something that that happens.
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Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #153 on: January 19, 2014, 12:13:01 PM »
I find it odd that you don't have another way to access things in a standard clean environment, through a VM or something, for the occasional time something that that happens.

The question, though, is exactly how much of my limited time I want to devote to things like that.  It's a question of direction. if I am trying to communicate a point, I might put considerable effort into making sure it can be understood.  OTOH, if someone wants to communicate to me, I thing the onus should be on them.

Or to put it another way, I could doubtless find a way to answer questions by uploading a couple thousand lines of C/MPI/CUDA source, but I dare say most people would find that as incomprehensible as I find the Google-crap.

PS: as to my setup, I AM different from 99% of the people out there.  I configure things so I can use them productively, not so I can enjoy the pain of trying to pretend I'm 'normal'.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #154 on: January 19, 2014, 10:00:03 PM »
Thank you for your generous contribution to this topic James. Lol

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #155 on: January 19, 2014, 11:02:54 PM »
I find it odd that you don't have another way to access things in a standard clean environment, through a VM or something, for the occasional time something that that happens.

The question, though, is exactly how much of my limited time I want to devote to things like that.  It's a question of direction. if I am trying to communicate a point, I might put considerable effort into making sure it can be understood.  OTOH, if someone wants to communicate to me, I thing the onus should be on them.

Or to put it another way, I could doubtless find a way to answer questions by uploading a couple thousand lines of C/MPI/CUDA source, but I dare say most people would find that as incomprehensible as I find the Google-crap.

PS: as to my setup, I AM different from 99% of the people out there.  I configure things so I can use them productively, not so I can enjoy the pain of trying to pretend I'm 'normal'.

And you have no smartphone, or other way of testing things in a standard environment?

Seems like it'd be best for you to avoid the discussion then?

/shrug

Just odd is all.
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Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #156 on: January 20, 2014, 11:13:33 PM »
And you have no smartphone, or other way of testing things in a standard environment?

No, I have no smartphone*.  What on earth for?  Like I should have spent probably lotsa bucks on one just on the off-chance that at some time in the future I might want to look at something someone has created as part of a casual discussion, but can't be bothered to make viewable in a standard application - that is, any web browser.  I mean, who got to define smart phones as standard?

*And if I did, I probably would have taken steps to make it usable to me, or IOW 'non-standard'.

Quote
Seems like it'd be best for you to avoid the discussion then?

Oh, great discussion tactic!  Disagree with someone's points, couch your counter-arguments in a language he can't read, and suggest he leave.  Positively brilliant!

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #157 on: January 21, 2014, 07:32:25 AM »
Quote
Seems like it'd be best for you to avoid the discussion then?

Oh, great discussion tactic!  Disagree with someone's points, couch your counter-arguments in a language he can't read, and suggest he leave.  Positively brilliant!

Huh?  I haven't disagreed with any of your discussion points, or put anything in a language you can't read.

Don't be disingenuous, I'm not arguing about overpopulation (the topic of the thread), but commenting on your technological problems.
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CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #158 on: January 21, 2014, 10:19:52 AM »

grantmeaname

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #159 on: January 21, 2014, 10:59:30 AM »
I guess it would also help my argument that the Gates foundations shares my view:

annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/~/media/Annual%20Letter%202014/PDFs/2014GatesAnnualLetter_English.pdf
No, argument from authority doesn't get very far here.

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #160 on: January 21, 2014, 11:51:43 AM »
All the information from the Gates foundation supports the concept that affluence reduces growth rate. Something I agree with. However the one dot that hasn't been connected to all of this IMO is whether our current population size is a massive impact to our environments or not. I believe it is and our population will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Growth rate reduction is still growth. Without negative growth or some alternative to consumption of limited resources we still run into a problem that we're already overpopulated.

Applauding ourselves for growth rate reduction is fine and all but doesn't even start to hit the main problem IMO.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #161 on: January 21, 2014, 12:46:32 PM »
Growth rate reduction is still growth. Without negative growth or some alternative to consumption of limited resources we still run into a problem that we're already overpopulated.

Exactly.  What's needed is a population shrinkage rate.

It's also more than a bit disengenous to simply equate money with quality of life.  Suppose, just to take an extreme case, you are Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a billionaire spending your life in a Russian prison (until just recently).  Is your QoL going to be all that high?


matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #162 on: January 21, 2014, 01:02:18 PM »
Growth rate reduction is still growth. Without negative growth or some alternative to consumption of limited resources we still run into a problem that we're already overpopulated.

Exactly.  What's needed is a population shrinkage rate.

It's also more than a bit disengenous to simply equate money with quality of life.  Suppose, just to take an extreme case, you are Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a billionaire spending your life in a Russian prison (until just recently).  Is your QoL going to be all that high?

While I think we're in agreement on this one in the big picture James I'm sure you realize your example isn't exactly applicable due to the narrowness of it. Affluence has been shown to improve QoL, citing one Russian billionaire doesn't prove that affluence is sending us all to jail. More towards my point in affluence is things like running water, sewage treatment, modern medicine, and advanced technologies for farming and irrigation. These things come as people become more affluent and their economies improve. The downside is that these things take oil and natural resources that aren't replaceable or are currently difficult to do so.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #163 on: January 21, 2014, 02:38:23 PM »
Affluence has been shown to improve QoL, citing one Russian billionaire doesn't prove that affluence is sending us all to jail.

You missed the point, I think - which was to show that there's not a simple relationship between affluence and QoL.  For a broader one, suppose you're an upper-income Chinese, but your 'affluence' means you have to live in a crowded city with unbreathable air.  Simplistic (or even fairly complicated) economic analysis just doesn't consider such things.

Quote
More towards my point in affluence is things like running water, sewage treatment, modern medicine, and advanced technologies for farming and irrigation. These things come as people become more affluent and their economies improve.
 

And there's absolutely no reason such things can't be had by people living in uncrowded, non-urban areas.  There is, as usual, a good bit of mistaking correlation for causation in connecting urbanization and prosperity. 

Further, I will still argue that the truely affluent - those able to divorce their incomes from daily on-site labor - will tend to vote with their feet, and as far as practical remove themselves from urban overcrowding, because that is what they do, and have done throughout history.  The Summer Palace wasn't built in the center of Beijing, Versailles isn't in downtown Paris, Windsor Castle is a good ways from London, even the US has Camp David for its Presidents.


matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #164 on: January 21, 2014, 03:12:49 PM »
I think we're just working with two different definitions of affluent. I view middle class people as quite affluent, from your posts you seem to be using the more upper crust for that definition.

I haven't made any comment on city versus non-urban areas. Just as a general point that as economies develop people use more resources. Improving the economies of developing countries is good for reducing poverty but is bad for general limited resource usage.


Quote
More towards my point in affluence is things like running water, sewage treatment, modern medicine, and advanced technologies for farming and irrigation. These things come as people become more affluent and their economies improve.
 

And there's absolutely no reason such things can't be had by people living in uncrowded, non-urban areas.  There is, as usual, a good bit of mistaking correlation for causation in connecting urbanization and prosperity. 

Further, I will still argue that the truely affluent - those able to divorce their incomes from daily on-site labor - will tend to vote with their feet, and as far as practical remove themselves from urban overcrowding, because that is what they do, and have done throughout history.  The Summer Palace wasn't built in the center of Beijing, Versailles isn't in downtown Paris, Windsor Castle is a good ways from London, even the US has Camp David for its Presidents.

If you can provide those examples of broad prosperity without cities I'm all ears until then I think human history has shown that large scale human urbanization has massive benefits for economic, social, technological, and cultural development (also tons of negatives in other areas). Whether it is in fact caused by dense population or just a correlation to it doesn't really matter to my point about economic development reducing growth rates. Listing the getaways for the rich and the powerful doesn't really demonstrate a correlation or causation for prosperity and non-urbanization.

But now I think you're quibbling with my points even though I largely agree with your big picture view on resource consumption and whether we're overpopulated.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #165 on: January 21, 2014, 11:43:34 PM »
I think we're just working with two different definitions of affluent. I view middle class people as quite affluent, from your posts you seem to be using the more upper crust for that definition.

Not really, it's simply that the rich are extreme cases.  Since they have few if any financial constraints on their choices, their behavior likely tends towards what the middle class (or indeed, the poor) would do if only they could afford to.  So if we're aiming at maximizing quality of life (which has been my point), we should look at what the rich do.

Quote
If you can provide those examples of broad prosperity without cities I'm all ears...

Well, how about the US, for most of its history?  Most rural areas were (and are) fairly prosperous.  Where they weren't, as with say Appalachia, the external causes (conquest & occupation) are pretty obvious.
 
Quote
...until then I think human history has shown that large scale human urbanization has massive benefits for economic, social, technological, and cultural development (also tons of negatives in other areas).

And as you say, tons of negatives, which for the individual tend to outweigh the positives.  Though I'm not sure whether I'm quibbling, or your points really aren't at all related to mine.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #166 on: March 27, 2014, 08:25:00 PM »
The problem is that most people conceptualize population growth as a linear growth curve. In reality, it is an exponential growth curve. If we wait for population to be "a problem" it will be too late to solve it. I really like the Lester Brown story about the 29th day.

The lilly pads double every day on a pond. On the first day there is one lilly pad. On day two, two lilly pads. On day three, four lilly pads and day 4, eight lilly pads. On the 30th day, the pond is completely full with lilly pads and the ecosystem of the pond dies. On what day is the pond 50% full of lilly pads?

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #167 on: March 27, 2014, 10:33:34 PM »
The problem is that most people conceptualize population growth as a linear growth curve. In reality, it is an exponential growth curve. If we wait for population to be "a problem" it will be too late to solve it. I really like the Lester Brown story about the 29th day.

The lilly pads double every day on a pond. On the first day there is one lilly pad. On day two, two lilly pads. On day three, four lilly pads and day 4, eight lilly pads. On the 30th day, the pond is completely full with lilly pads and the ecosystem of the pond dies. On what day is the pond 50% full of lilly pads?

Day 29, obviously.

And what day would you propose we are at population-wise?  Day 3? 4?  Day 26?  29?

How long does it take to solve the problem?  If you can clear out a lot of lilly pads in 20 minutes, you may be fine dealing with it the day before.  Or not.  The analogy fails because it's not realistic and fails to account for many variables that are relevant.

Also you fail to address the many graphs and projections (example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population) based on data already raised about estimates for population leveling off.  You see it as an exponential growth curve, apparently continuing to infinity.  Many of us don't necessarily.

Further, what would you propose we do to "solve" it?

(Also I'm not sure why this topic was revived after two months.)
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CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #168 on: March 27, 2014, 10:43:19 PM »
The classics never die ;)

mxt0133

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #169 on: March 27, 2014, 11:07:48 PM »
If this doesn't calm you down about overpopulation control then at least it will give you a good chuckle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrO3TfJc9Qw

The take away is for most first world countries they do not have a overpopulation problem they have a declining population problem. As developing countries advance and birth control becomes more accessible their populations will taper off as well.  Rising wealth gives people options and automation is slowly eliminating the need for a lot of manual labor.

I was born in a third world country on both sides of my grand parents they had 10 siblings, my parents generation had 4-6 siblings each, my generation 1-3.  My brother and I are outliers in our generation as most only have one child.  This is general trend in all socioeconomic classes in my country. 

To put that into perspective the birth rate (births/1000 population) of where I was born is 24.24 60th highest, the US is 13.42 150th highest.  While Niger the highest is at about 46, total population of 16 million and a life expectancy of 54.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #170 on: March 31, 2014, 06:05:16 AM »


Day 29, obviously.

[/quote]


While the answer might be obvious to you, it is not obvious to many. I teach at a University and only about 75% of the students understand the concept in class. When I give it to them on the test only about 50% get it correct. Many pick the answer 15 days which is evidence of a linear relationship. Lester Brown talks about this concept in his book Plan B, 4.0. He has some good ideas.

I think you are taking the example a little too literally. The concept is very simple. You figured it out in about 1 second. However, this is not the case for many.

I feel like the strongest argument to derail overpopulation is education. The most educated countries have the slowest population growth trends. 

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #171 on: March 31, 2014, 06:33:30 AM »
I feel like the strongest argument to derail overpopulation is education. The most educated countries have the slowest population growth trends.

Absolutely.  And that solves a whole host of other issues as well.

(And I'll add: Education for women, specifically.)
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Ian

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #172 on: March 31, 2014, 08:14:22 PM »
Adding one more voice of support for education. It's common knowledge in the development field that education reduces overpopulation - when it focuses on women it often drops it within a generation.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #173 on: April 01, 2014, 09:53:39 PM »
...and what factors lead to an increase in women's education? A higher adherence to communism? Pro dominantly Muslim faith practices? Countries with little respect for property rights? Hmmmmm, what ever could lead to the utopian state of women education? Or does it just spontaneously happen?


EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #174 on: April 03, 2014, 01:38:15 PM »
Women growing mustaches will help :)
Transitioning to FIRE'd albeit somewhat cautiously...

bikebum

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #175 on: April 08, 2014, 01:00:37 AM »
I am contributing to overpopulation right now, encouraging organisms to reproduce and consume at an unsustainable rate and thus die in their own waste! I am making wine in my kitchen!

Seriously though, I think it could easily become a problem if we ignore it. But if the developed countries focus on consuming less and creating less waste, and the developing countries focus on reducing their birth rates and bringing their people up to a higher standard of living, I think we'll be OK. I agree that education for women (and economic opportunities too) is a great way to better the conditions in the developing world.

fixer-upper

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #176 on: April 08, 2014, 03:37:56 AM »
Can our current population feed itself without oil based fertilizers, gmo crops, dangerous degrees of monoculture, and poisoning of the environment with pesticides?  If not, we have a population problem.

bikebum

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #177 on: April 09, 2014, 07:09:24 PM »
Can our current population feed itself without oil based fertilizers, gmo crops, dangerous degrees of monoculture, and poisoning of the environment with pesticides?  If not, we have a population problem.

I think probably not right now. In my ideal world, we would gradually reduce the world population by reducing the birth rate. First, everyone would need to be educated and accept that having as many kids as you want is not a right. Then people would voluntarily have less kids, but slowly so we don't end up old-people-heavy. Then when a stable population is reached, we would monitor it and encourage each other to voluntarily have more or less kids to keep it stable. It sounds kinda crazy, but I think it could become a social norm. In the past it was considered crazy to expect people to give up slavery.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #178 on: April 10, 2014, 05:21:04 PM »
Keep your laws of my body!

bikebum

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #179 on: April 13, 2014, 02:18:27 PM »
Keep your laws of my body!

Assuming you are talking to me:

What laws? Do you know what "voluntarily" means?

Maybe you are joking; I can't tell :)

marty998

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #180 on: April 15, 2014, 04:43:31 AM »
I agree bikebum. Something will need to be done at some point, but the human race has a very long history of always running like lemmings of the cliff until nature takes its course.

It's hard to override 3.5 billion years of evolution & basic instinct.

DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #181 on: July 06, 2014, 11:52:16 AM »
If we planned and did it wisely, no, maybe not.

The way we're doing it, yes.
And by "we", we're talking about the affluent (globally). For instance the average American uses roughly 30-100 times the energy of the average low income resident (from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Morocco, El Salvador, etc...). In the aggregate, in terms of energy, ~10-35 billion low income use as much as ~.3 billion Americans. If we break it up strictly on income, it's probably worse. Many resources follow this pattern.

The worse part is that the average American could fairly easily cut their fossil fuel energy consumption by ~75%, and with a few more years of DIY work, cut it by ~80-90%.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #182 on: July 06, 2014, 02:11:38 PM »
Can our current population feed itself without oil based fertilizers, gmo crops, dangerous degrees of monoculture, and poisoning of the environment with pesticides?  If not, we have a population problem.

This is an interesting circular argument. We need X technologies to feed the population but "eventually" these same technologies will lead to starvation and famine.

My counter is that the solution to pollution is dilution, and therefore we haven't seen any negative impact on human caloric intake per capita. In fact the least percentage of the population is starving to death in the history of mankind currently, maintaining a 2000 year trend.

So it's tough to disprove your wild conjecture, but on the other hand there isn't any evidence of it coming to fruition. Yes there are side affects to every technology, even water is deadly to us in sufficient concentration. Most technology is quite helpful in advancing the physical well-being of humanity.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #183 on: July 06, 2014, 02:15:11 PM »
I agree bikebum. Something will need to be done at some point, but the human race has a very long history of always running like lemmings of the cliff until nature takes its course.

It's hard to override 3.5 billion years of evolution & basic instinct.

But have we really run of the cliff? I imagine you're typed that missive from an air conditioned room while using the internet to communicate instantly with people thousands of miles away.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #184 on: July 06, 2014, 02:22:12 PM »
If we planned and did it wisely, no, maybe not.

The way we're doing it, yes.
And by "we", we're talking about the affluent (globally). For instance the average American uses roughly 30-100 times the energy of the average low income resident (from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Morocco, El Salvador, etc...). In the aggregate, in terms of energy, ~10-35 billion low income use as much as ~.3 billion Americans. If we break it up strictly on income, it's probably worse. Many resources follow this pattern.

The worse part is that the average American could fairly easily cut their fossil fuel energy consumption by ~75%, and with a few more years of DIY work, cut it by ~80-90%.

Any evidence this could be done by Americans without skyrocketing mortality? You need to count energy usage per capita, so that means all the physical objects that took a bunch of energy to make also. Like if a computer is purchased and used in America that should be counted to Americas energy use and not China's, because those people don't get the benefit of consuming the energy required to make it.

People use less energy in those countries you mentioned because they are poor and suffer great poverty, not because they are environmentally concerned. They die from preventable diseases because they don't have access to energy because they can't afford it.

But I do encourage you to move and reduce your energy consumption to fulfill your fantasy, even swap places with an Afgani or Moroccan. 

marty998

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #185 on: July 06, 2014, 03:59:31 PM »
Give it a rest and please let this thread die. After 185 posts we've all said our 2c.

Want to change the world, go out there and just do it. Arguing with us is not going to solve anything.

davisgang90

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #186 on: July 06, 2014, 04:18:31 PM »
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DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #187 on: July 07, 2014, 01:57:27 AM »
If we planned and did it wisely, no, maybe not.

The way we're doing it, yes.
And by "we", we're talking about the affluent (globally). For instance the average American uses roughly 30-100 times the energy of the average low income resident (from Eritrea, Afghanistan, Morocco, El Salvador, etc...). In the aggregate, in terms of energy, ~10-35 billion low income use as much as ~.3 billion Americans. If we break it up strictly on income, it's probably worse. Many resources follow this pattern.

The worse part is that the average American could fairly easily cut their fossil fuel energy consumption by ~75%, and with a few more years of DIY work, cut it by ~80-90%.

Any evidence this could be done by Americans without skyrocketing mortality? You need to count energy usage per capita, so that means all the physical objects that took a bunch of energy to make also. Like if a computer is purchased and used in America that should be counted to Americas energy use and not China's, because those people don't get the benefit of consuming the energy required to make it.

People use less energy in those countries you mentioned because they are poor and suffer great poverty, not because they are environmentally concerned. They die from preventable diseases because they don't have access to energy because they can't afford it.

But I do encourage you to move and reduce your energy consumption to fulfill your fantasy, even swap places with an Afgani or Moroccan.

Fulfill my "fantasy"? Are you trying to be offensive? Not that it matters I guess....

Going back on topic, you're conflating two separate statements. One is that most of the impact on the environment is done by a relatively small and wealthy part of the world population. The second is that by virtue of that wealth, this group could have minimal impact without the downsides normally associated with low consumption/impact, but they choose not to.

The idea that someone needs to live like someone in a third world country is a false dilemma. That comparison was just used to illustrate where most of the impact comes from, wealthy individuals in the first world, and to a lesser extent in other places.

If you're interested in specifics, take a look at this.

http://www.withouthotair.com/

It's a UK centric overview, but plug and chug for where ever you live... Look at the stuff chapter for more info on items. A 3 bedroom house for example requires ~42000kWh, which is a lot, but it's amortized over many decades (a 50 yo house would require ~1000kWh/year). For comparison, this is only 25000 miles of driving in a 20mpg vehicle, which plenty of Americans roll through in a year or two.

In the aggregate, the energy associated with making stuff for someone requires ~12000 kWh per capita per year. Someone on the frugal side would probably need half of this, or less. Food requires about the same amount, and could reasonably be cut to ~4000kWh/year with a frugal/mostly vegetarian diet. Heating, cooling, electricity, and transportation can in most cases be configured to use only renewable energy.

This puts the total energy requirements at ~10000kWh/year as opposed to the US average of ~83000kWh/year, which, like I mentioned, would minimize the majority of impacts people have on the planet, and that would also be minimized as agriculture and manufacturing adopt better production standards/use more and more renewable energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

clifp

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #188 on: July 07, 2014, 02:38:31 AM »


If you're interested in specifics, take a look at this.

http://www.withouthotair.com/

It's a UK centric overview, but plug and chug for where ever you live... Look at the stuff chapter for more info on items. A 3 bedroom house for example requires ~42000kWh, which is a lot, but it's amortized over many decades (a 50 yo house would require ~1000kWh/year). For comparison, this is only 25000 miles of driving in a 20mpg vehicle, which plenty of Americans roll through in a year or two.

In the aggregate, the energy associated with making stuff for someone requires ~12000 kWh per capita per year. Someone on the frugal side would probably need half of this, or less. Food requires about the same amount, and could reasonably be cut to ~4000kWh/year with a frugal/mostly vegetarian diet. Heating, cooling, electricity, and transportation can in most cases be configured to use only renewable energy.

This puts the total energy requirements at ~10000kWh/year as opposed to the US average of ~83000kWh/year, which, like I mentioned, would minimize the majority of impacts people have on the planet, and that would also be minimized as agriculture and manufacturing adopt better production standards/use more and more renewable energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

Withoutthehotair.com is hands down my favorite book about energy and conservation.  So much of the discussion about these matters, like this thread, involve adjectives and not numbers.
What is affluent, upper middle class, how many is a lot of people, what is too crowded.   Not everything in the world can be quantified, but as I think we have found in discussion about retirement have numbers  $40K/year vs adjectives like comfortable or bare bones is really important.  Without The Hot Air provides a common reference point for energy discussion. I urge everyone to check out the website and at least read the summary of the book.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 02:54:23 AM by clifp »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #189 on: July 07, 2014, 08:29:13 PM »
Give it a rest and please let this thread die. After 185 posts we've all said our 2c.

Want to change the world, go out there and just do it. Arguing with us is not going to solve anything.

If I can convince 1 person to give to worthy charities such as http://www.unbound.org/ (take a look and see real human being suffering poverty that anyone here can greatly ease) with just dollars per day and actually change the world and do good vs make greedy politicians and scammers rich by spending money on "green carbon offsets" or "carbon neutral" crap, it would be a great moment.

Look up their ratings from different charity raters, you can even go on a trip and meet the people your helping. Ironically they also have a trip to Ecuador later this year: http://www.unbound.org/WhatsHappening/AwarenessTrips.aspx?TripID=3171
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 08:38:01 PM by CDP45 »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #190 on: July 07, 2014, 08:52:51 PM »
In the aggregate, the energy associated with making stuff for someone requires ~12000 kWh per capita per year. Someone on the frugal side would probably need half of this, or less. Food requires about the same amount, and could reasonably be cut to ~4000kWh/year with a frugal/mostly vegetarian diet. Heating, cooling, electricity, and transportation can in most cases be configured to use only renewable energy.

This puts the total energy requirements at ~10000kWh/year as opposed to the US average of ~83000kWh/year, which, like I mentioned, would minimize the majority of impacts people have on the planet, and that would also be minimized as agriculture and manufacturing adopt better production standards/use more and more renewable energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

Oh my! Canada uses more kWh per capita than the USA?? Tisk Tisk, I better post this to the canada thread...
Also the wiki sources says the USA is 9538.8kWh/yr.

Yes I am also in favor of hydroelectric dams for renewal energy.

DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #191 on: July 08, 2014, 12:00:05 AM »
In the aggregate, the energy associated with making stuff for someone requires ~12000 kWh per capita per year. Someone on the frugal side would probably need half of this, or less. Food requires about the same amount, and could reasonably be cut to ~4000kWh/year with a frugal/mostly vegetarian diet. Heating, cooling, electricity, and transportation can in most cases be configured to use only renewable energy.

This puts the total energy requirements at ~10000kWh/year as opposed to the US average of ~83000kWh/year, which, like I mentioned, would minimize the majority of impacts people have on the planet, and that would also be minimized as agriculture and manufacturing adopt better production standards/use more and more renewable energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

Oh my! Canada uses more kWh per capita than the USA?? Tisk Tisk, I better post this to the canada thread...
Also the wiki sources says the USA is 9538.8kWh/yr.

Yes I am also in favor of hydroelectric dams for renewal energy.
That's the value in (average) Watts. Per the table header, multiply by 8.766 to get the kWh/year figure.

Quote
The same value in W per capita (1 GJ/a = 31.7 W) (multiply by 8.766 to get kWh/year)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 09:37:15 AM by DarinC »

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #192 on: July 21, 2014, 01:38:05 PM »


If you're interested in specifics, take a look at this.

http://www.withouthotair.com/

It's a UK centric overview, but plug and chug for where ever you live... Look at the stuff chapter for more info on items. A 3 bedroom house for example requires ~42000kWh, which is a lot, but it's amortized over many decades (a 50 yo house would require ~1000kWh/year). For comparison, this is only 25000 miles of driving in a 20mpg vehicle, which plenty of Americans roll through in a year or two.

In the aggregate, the energy associated with making stuff for someone requires ~12000 kWh per capita per year. Someone on the frugal side would probably need half of this, or less. Food requires about the same amount, and could reasonably be cut to ~4000kWh/year with a frugal/mostly vegetarian diet. Heating, cooling, electricity, and transportation can in most cases be configured to use only renewable energy.

This puts the total energy requirements at ~10000kWh/year as opposed to the US average of ~83000kWh/year, which, like I mentioned, would minimize the majority of impacts people have on the planet, and that would also be minimized as agriculture and manufacturing adopt better production standards/use more and more renewable energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

Withoutthehotair.com is hands down my favorite book about energy and conservation.  So much of the discussion about these matters, like this thread, involve adjectives and not numbers.
What is affluent, upper middle class, how many is a lot of people, what is too crowded.   Not everything in the world can be quantified, but as I think we have found in discussion about retirement have numbers  $40K/year vs adjectives like comfortable or bare bones is really important.  Without The Hot Air provides a common reference point for energy discussion. I urge everyone to check out the website and at least read the summary of the book.

I like Without Hot Air too.

Have you read Limits To Growth, the 30 year edition? If you liked Without Hot Air, I expect you'll appreciate it too.

DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #193 on: July 26, 2014, 01:27:47 PM »
I know that comment wasn't directed at my per say, but the LTG stuff I've seen tends to bug me because of some of the assumptions made regarding how resources can be converted. The first LTG model was off by leaps and bounds because they assumed all resources were interchangeable with some penalty, and as a result population increased drastically until we ran out of non-renewable resources and it crashed.

IRL, things don't work like this because we can't convert gold into oil or food into silver. I think the newer model is better, but still not realistic. On the flip side, I also love without hot air because it explicit, realistic, and doesn't make any unrealistic assumptions.

MoneyCat

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #194 on: July 26, 2014, 10:15:40 PM »
I have a great idea.  Everyone who thinks the world has a problem with overpopulation should just go get themselves sterilized.  Problem solved.  Unless, of course, you are trying to say that the problem is those "other people", which, of course, opens up an entirely new conversation.

Beric01

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #195 on: July 30, 2014, 03:32:30 PM »
I have to agree with many others in this thread. Overpopulation is not a problem - not in the slightest. In fact, the opposite may soon become a problem. Here's the issue: never in history has economic growth been accompanied by population decline. Population decline means economic decline. And at the current rate, world population will start declining, leading into a a global economic crisis.

Another problem is that developing countries are already using so much birth control. This may mean that their economy will falter before they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The birth rate of the early United States, in a capitalist economy, is the one of the major reasons it is an economic powerhouse today.

I would argue that the myth of "overpopulation" has done the human race huge damage, and my generation will be dealing with its effects for the rest of our lives. We need to focus on individual consumption, not population.

GuitarStv

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #196 on: August 05, 2014, 07:39:04 AM »
I have to agree with many others in this thread. Overpopulation is not a problem - not in the slightest. In fact, the opposite may soon become a problem. Here's the issue: never in history has economic growth been accompanied by population decline. Population decline means economic decline. And at the current rate, world population will start declining, leading into a a global economic crisis.

Another problem is that developing countries are already using so much birth control. This may mean that their economy will falter before they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps. The birth rate of the early United States, in a capitalist economy, is the one of the major reasons it is an economic powerhouse today.

I would argue that the myth of "overpopulation" has done the human race huge damage, and my generation will be dealing with its effects for the rest of our lives. We need to focus on individual consumption, not population.

Your argument contains conflicting points.  You discuss the need for constant population growth to (because more people consume more which aids the economy) first.  You end with the need for individuals to reduce consumption.

If a country were to seriously tackle individual consumption it would tank the economy.  Constant economic growth is not compatible with a tremendous reduction of consumption and a reversion to high savings in a population.  The economic model of constant growth is not a sustainable one . . . there are no systems in nature that can support it.

big_owl

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #197 on: August 07, 2014, 04:21:08 PM »
Obviously it's a problem.  Look at the wild habitat destruction and the vastly elevated rated of extinction vs. historical norms.  All of it comes back to one thing... too many people competing with wildlife for resources and living space.  And why the hell is a growing population a good thing?  Almost every stress in my daily life - whether it's traffic, crowds of people, long lines, pollution, destroying all the forests and so on all come back to one thing... too many people.  Earth's population has to stop growing at some point, it's a mathematical fact, so why is it better to have 9bn people vs. 1bn when it levels off? 

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #198 on: August 07, 2014, 06:57:13 PM »
Big Owl, could you catch yourself up by starting from the first post?

fixer-upper

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #199 on: August 07, 2014, 11:00:17 PM »
I'm long Ebola.

The world only "needs" more consumers to support the concept of inflationary currencies.  In the absence of pushing for constant inflation, fewer people on the planet would improve the quality of life as more sustainable resources could be allocated per capita.