Author Topic: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?  (Read 68271 times)

Beric01

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #200 on: August 07, 2014, 11:13:32 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.

Or just maybe, more people means more potential for good in the world? The more people that exist, the more people that can solve the world's problems, discover new technologies (which don't have to be just for more consumption). Why is more humans always a bad thing? Through every obstacle, humanity has persisted. I have positive prospects about the future of our race, and for our ability to deal with environmental issues as well. And once we have matter fabrication, who needs to harvest a specific resource anyway? ;-)

I dislike this fatalist thinking that assumes negative outcomes. As MMM would say, be optimistic!

fixer-upper

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #201 on: August 07, 2014, 11:22:53 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.

Or just maybe, more people means more potential for good in the world? The more people that exist, the more people that can solve the world's problems, discover new technologies (which don't have to be just for more consumption). Why is more humans always a bad thing? Through every obstacle, humanity has persisted. I have positive prospects about the future of our race, and for our ability to deal with environmental issues as well. And once we have matter fabrication, who needs to harvest a specific resource anyway? ;-)

I dislike this fatalist thinking that assumes negative outcomes. As MMM would say, be optimistic!

Current scientific thinking indicates that populations (such as deer) should be controlled for the benefit of the deer.  Why do you assume it's different for people?

When you actually have matter fabrication, it may be a different story.  Until then, we should live within our means and control our population as MMM did say earlier in the thread.

terrier56

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #202 on: August 08, 2014, 12:29:52 AM »
http://populationaction.org/Articles/Whats_Your_Number/Summary.php

useful website about how big the earths population was when you were born.

Personally I can't believe how many people on this thread feel this is not a problem. Its a standard predator prey model. We are the predictor and resources are the prey.

Here's a fantastic TED talk on the issue.

https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth

big_owl

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #203 on: August 08, 2014, 03:13:13 AM »
Big Owl, could you catch yourself up by starting from the first post?

Maybe you could be so kind as to fill me in.  What's your point?

DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #204 on: August 30, 2014, 11:34:45 PM »
Current scientific thinking indicates that populations (such as deer) should be controlled for the benefit of the deer.  Why do you assume it's different for people?

When you actually have matter fabrication, it may be a different story.  Until then, we should live within our means and control our population as MMM did say earlier in the thread.
The difference between humans and deer is that there aren't deer running around the US using three times more in the way of natural resources than deer from Europe, thirty times more than an antelope in Africa, or even ten times more than another deer in the US.

Deer also can't reduce their resource consumption as much as many humans can, especially the humans that consume the most resources per capita.

If we were already minimizing resource use, then I'd be inclined to agree that we should limit population growth if it wasn't already approaching some steady state.

With that said, the majority (including myself) of the people on this forum probably fall in excess resource consumption category, even with mustachianism, and when I see posts about overpopulation, it's as much (or more) about other people limiting the poster's ability to over-consume as it is about over-population.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 11:41:38 PM by DarinC »

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #205 on: August 31, 2014, 05:42:29 AM »
Current scientific thinking indicates that populations (such as deer) should be controlled for the benefit of the deer.  Why do you assume it's different for people?

When you actually have matter fabrication, it may be a different story.  Until then, we should live within our means and control our population as MMM did say earlier in the thread.
The difference between humans and deer is that there aren't deer running around the US using three times more in the way of natural resources than deer from Europe, thirty times more than an antelope in Africa, or even ten times more than another deer in the US.

Deer also can't reduce their resource consumption as much as many humans can, especially the humans that consume the most resources per capita.

If we were already minimizing resource use, then I'd be inclined to agree that we should limit population growth if it wasn't already approaching some steady state.

With that said, the majority (including myself) of the people on this forum probably fall in excess resource consumption category, even with mustachianism, and when I see posts about overpopulation, it's as much (or more) about other people limiting the poster's ability to over-consume as it is about over-population.

Fixer-upper doesn't disagree with you given what was said.

fixer-upper

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #206 on: August 31, 2014, 11:56:17 PM »
Current scientific thinking indicates that populations (such as deer) should be controlled for the benefit of the deer.  Why do you assume it's different for people?

When you actually have matter fabrication, it may be a different story.  Until then, we should live within our means and control our population as MMM did say earlier in the thread.
The difference between humans and deer is that there aren't deer running around the US using three times more in the way of natural resources than deer from Europe, thirty times more than an antelope in Africa, or even ten times more than another deer in the US.

Deer also can't reduce their resource consumption as much as many humans can, especially the humans that consume the most resources per capita.

If we were already minimizing resource use, then I'd be inclined to agree that we should limit population growth if it wasn't already approaching some steady state.

With that said, the majority (including myself) of the people on this forum probably fall in excess resource consumption category, even with mustachianism, and when I see posts about overpopulation, it's as much (or more) about other people limiting the poster's ability to over-consume as it is about over-population.

Fixer-upper doesn't disagree with you given what was said.

I don't disagree, but would like to point out that deer tend to be fatter in corn fields.  Differences in resource utilization aren't strictly limited to humans, and occur naturally wherever the conditions become favorable.

Left

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #207 on: September 01, 2014, 12:29:52 AM »
Quote
Until then, we should live within our means and control our population
are you talking financial means? Because I can do that and be very harmful to the environment at the same time if I choose to... How do you define means in terms of population? I mean yes the US consumes a lot of energy compared to the past, but our ability to produce energy has also increased so why not call it an energy "inflation" like how with money, we can increase our yearly withdraws for inflation.

but the deer also can't "make" more resources either, with improving technology, we could in theory produce more food/water/etc... but we don't because of the "costs" aka not easy/cheap.

and we could in theory just make "islands"/boats on the ocean and farm on them too instead of living there. With robotics, it could even grow/transport for us too.

that said, I do think overpopulation is a problem but not exactly the the predatory/prey model either. Look at population densities of tokyo/new york, or even bigger US vs Canada vs Euro zone (each similar in land size, or close but different population densities). I'd almost say that higher densities forces people to use less resources without lowering QOL (not predator/prey in that they run of food then die off). Buildings closer together = more biking/walking/public transportation (no space for individual cars). It also means stores are closer so no need to buy in "bulk" if you can make daily trips and not weekly/monthly.

edit, nice ted video, haven't seen it before
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 12:39:39 AM by eyem »

DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #208 on: September 01, 2014, 11:48:30 AM »
Here's a good article on the subject.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/oct/27/population-consumption-threat-to-planet

Population is to some degree a problem, but excess consumption is a far, far bigger problem.

Leisured

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #209 on: September 22, 2014, 04:26:02 AM »

I worked at an agricultural research station in Australia from 1969 to 1998, as a technician. Is it difficult to increase food production quickly enough to keep up with population growth? Of course! I am with terrier56 in being astounded at people who advocate indefinite population growth. How ignorant and irresponsible can you get? This is not a trivial matter; it concerns food supply!

Aloysius_Poutine, if we do grow ten times more potatoes than is necessary to feed the world (of course we do not!), what happens to the huge surplus? This is a fantasy. We are approaching a situation where increases in food supply can only be achieved by growing all the world’s wheat, rice and maize in giant glass houses covering a large fraction of the world’s surface, to stabilize variations in the weather experienced by these crops. This can be done, but at what cost? I presume that rising food costs will eventually force the world population to stop growing.

The long term prospect of modernity, that is applied science, is to create a paradise on Earth. The same modernity can be used to create a purgatory on Earth. I am forced to assume that those who want to risk mass starvation by advocating indefinite population growth are hoping to build a purgatory on Earth. A paradise on Earth would be a world population of say a billion, living the Good Life in the more attractive regions of the earth, supported by an automated economy. Why run the world any other way? There is no law that says we have to pack as many people into the world as possible.

marty998

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #210 on: September 22, 2014, 05:33:08 AM »

The long term prospect of modernity, that is applied science, is to create a paradise on Earth. The same modernity can be used to create a purgatory on Earth. I am forced to assume that those who want to risk mass starvation by advocating indefinite population growth are hoping to build a purgatory on Earth. A paradise on Earth would be a world population of say a billion, living the Good Life in the more attractive regions of the earth, supported by an automated economy. Why run the world any other way? There is no law that says we have to pack as many people into the world as possible.


That's very much an inconvenient truth for the other 6 billion people inhabiting planet earth.

You wouldn't want to go down in history as the wo/man who made it happen.

I take a different view on this. In a hundred years we have gone from the Wright brothers to scramjets and rockets and robots capable of reaching the boundaries of the solar system. In 2114 I reckon humanity will be polluting a sizeable fraction of the galaxy.

There's enough 'space' out there for all of us. We may even find a dark corner of the universe to dump ISIL and their ilk into.

GuitarStv

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #211 on: September 22, 2014, 06:12:25 AM »
I take a different view on this. In a hundred years we have gone from the Wright brothers to scramjets and rockets and robots capable of reaching the boundaries of the solar system. In 2114 I reckon humanity will be polluting a sizeable fraction of the galaxy.

There's enough 'space' out there for all of us. We may even find a dark corner of the universe to dump ISIL and their ilk into.

We went from wright brothers to scramjets and rockets because of vision and interest.  I see little evidence of either related to developing expensive, long term space travel programs.  With current technology, travel to the nearest inhabitable planets would take between 4 and 200 thousand years . . . and only once you get there would it be possible to determine if the planet is really inhabitable.  There are some rather substantial roadblocks in the way of further exploration.

I'm all for optimism, but at some point it becomes delusion.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #212 on: September 22, 2014, 08:19:12 PM »

I worked at an agricultural research station in Australia from 1969 to 1998, as a technician. Is it difficult to increase food production quickly enough to keep up with population growth? Of course! I am with terrier56 in being astounded at people who advocate indefinite population growth. How ignorant and irresponsible can you get? This is not a trivial matter; it concerns food supply!

Aloysius_Poutine, if we do grow ten times more potatoes than is necessary to feed the world (of course we do not!), what happens to the huge surplus? This is a fantasy. We are approaching a situation where increases in food supply can only be achieved by growing all the world’s wheat, rice and maize in giant glass houses covering a large fraction of the world’s surface, to stabilize variations in the weather experienced by these crops. This can be done, but at what cost? I presume that rising food costs will eventually force the world population to stop growing.

The long term prospect of modernity, that is applied science, is to create a paradise on Earth. The same modernity can be used to create a purgatory on Earth. I am forced to assume that those who want to risk mass starvation by advocating indefinite population growth are hoping to build a purgatory on Earth. A paradise on Earth would be a world population of say a billion, living the Good Life in the more attractive regions of the earth, supported by an automated economy. Why run the world any other way? There is no law that says we have to pack as many people into the world as possible.

"what if this?? what if that? risk of bad things happening! Don't you know what happens at infinity??"

I'm happy to consider any evidence regarding the threats of starvation or indefinite growth, and I'm not sure anyone here is advocating indefinite growth either. Many of your assumptions are actually wrong, such as food costs as a percentage of income are positively correlated with fertility rates (countries with lower food costs have LESS children) for the reasons explained previously in this thread.

marty998

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #213 on: September 23, 2014, 02:36:19 AM »
I take a different view on this. In a hundred years we have gone from the Wright brothers to scramjets and rockets and robots capable of reaching the boundaries of the solar system. In 2114 I reckon humanity will be polluting a sizeable fraction of the galaxy.

There's enough 'space' out there for all of us. We may even find a dark corner of the universe to dump ISIL and their ilk into.

We went from wright brothers to scramjets and rockets because of vision and interest.  I see little evidence of either related to developing expensive, long term space travel programs.  With current technology, travel to the nearest inhabitable planets would take between 4 and 200 thousand years* . . . and only once you get there would it be possible to determine if the planet is really inhabitable.  There are some rather substantial roadblocks in the way of further exploration.

I'm all for optimism, but at some point it becomes delusion.

You sound like an Aussie politician spruiking the benefits of copper wires over fibre-optic cable.

Do you really believe current technology is going to be all there is? I don't see these roadblocks as insurmountable. Sure they might be hard and difficult, but not impossible.

A Japanese company has come out and said they'll be able to build a space elevator by 2030 made from carbon nanotubes that will eliminate the need for rockets to launch people and things into space. They've already started. Imagine what they will accomplish with more advanced technology in 16 years time. 100 years down the track, I don't think it is so much of a stretch to start believing some pretty amazing things will happen.

* Yes I do understand the physics regarding the funny things that happen as you approach the speed of light (special relativity). Call me a dreamer, don't care, but one day someone will come up with a way to get around that problem. My guess it will happen when we can understand enough about quantum physics to harness the power of quark pairs and how a pair on opposite ends of the universe can seemingly be linked by their rotational spin.

GuitarStv

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #214 on: September 23, 2014, 07:21:24 AM »
There are clear benefits of fibre-optics over copper wires.  I probably sound more like someone 'spruiking' the benefits of fibre-optics over magic unicorn hair.  (Surely, in 100 years we will have discovered/bred magic unicorns that have manes of a material that give near infinite bandwidth!  Because, FUTURE!)

A space elevator has nothing to do with interstellar travel.  There's shockingly little research going into deep space related development.  I'd love to see it, but to paraphrase Jerry Maguire . . . Show me the hyperdrive.

Druid

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #215 on: October 10, 2014, 02:10:00 PM »
Despite all of the great sci-fi movies out there and the great belief that humanity can accomplish anything I am skeptical that we will have the ability to inhabit space to any significant degree. All major decisions in this world are determined by costs, and it would be much cheaper to wage wars or build cities upwards than to start over in space.

My guess is that overpopulation will be the end to overpopulation. Based on the rate we consume resources it is only a matter of time before major world powers start fighting over resources with wars that devastate their populations.  We see this already in the Middle East and the recent moves by Russia, but there will be a point when steel is easier and cheaper to take from other countries infrastructures than through mining practices. The world will get uglier as we populate it further. Capitalism and globalization will spread the wealth for a couple of decades, but as the world westernizes the worlds resources will eventually deplete closer to zero. As this happens countries will become desperate and afraid.

We are likely living in the golden age of technology where we have a great balance of affordable technology and reasonable world peace. There will be a point when the world focuses less on using technology for convenience and entertainment, but instead on death and survival. It may be a 1000 years from now but my guess is a major world war will happen in the next 50 years. Perhaps the US will claim that Iran is preparing a nuclear attack, or Russia will just start marching west. Maybe China's and India's populations will just collide.

The world is already at a point where we can not feed everyone. As starvation becomes more rampant we will see more violence and diseases take out large populations of people. Ebola in Africa is a recent example. In a modern country we have 1 case in Africa we have 4000 deaths. If something more contagious happens in these countries and the population affected is greater we will likely not be able to afford to contain it and whole populations will be wiped out. As resources become scarce we may start allowing these countries to be wiped out from plague or viruses. I would not be surprised if diseases are artificially created for this purpose. If the planet is down to its last 20% of resources (oil, steal, food supply) what measures will countries use to grab hold of these resources?

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #216 on: October 10, 2014, 02:47:58 PM »
What an impressive amount of drivel, Druid. If you had spent the time researching these fantasies instead of leaving them here, you would realize what nonsense you just wrote. We've had quite the productive exchange considering evidence in this thread, please try to keep that standard.

MOD NOTE: Please read the forum rules.  Attack an argument, not a person.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 02:50:14 PM by arebelspy »

Druid

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #217 on: October 10, 2014, 04:09:18 PM »
You cannot research a fantasy; at least not effectively. Since my post was a prediction based on my understanding of economics, history, and human nature there was no need to research anything. I have studied economics. I have studied history. I am still figuring out human nature..

Historically wars have often been fought over resources. A few hundred years ago "civilized" countries were eradicating whole populations of people for resources and I see no reason to believe it will not happen again as resources diminish. As resources go down wars will go up. Likewise technology has been used to create all kinds of weapons and the creation of biological diseases would be an effective weapon. Not only could it wipe out huge populations, but it could be done so without an individual or country having to take credit for it. Considering nuclear bombs have been dropped I don't believe I am stretching to far here. Hitler would of used such a weapon. ISIS would use such a weapon.

My intention was not to take a side to an argument, but express a colorful view of the implications of what the world may turn into if we continue on our trajectory. Exchanges are often not productive, so I decided to appeal to people's imagination to see a possible outcome of both resource consumption and unchecked population growth. Look at a world where resources are close to zero but population is immense. Right now resources are immense and we have already seen wars fought over resources.

I also wasn't the one who started the fantasy talk about building populations in space, which almost has no chance of happening. I can build a wooden shack in my backyard for under $5000. That same shack on the moon would cost at least 500 million dollars.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 04:37:26 PM by Druid »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #218 on: October 10, 2014, 07:14:34 PM »
Care to share any evidence to support these conjectures?

DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #219 on: October 17, 2014, 07:10:46 PM »

I worked at an agricultural research station in Australia from 1969 to 1998, as a technician. Is it difficult to increase food production quickly enough to keep up with population growth? Of course! I am with terrier56 in being astounded at people who advocate indefinite population growth. How ignorant and irresponsible can you get? This is not a trivial matter; it concerns food supply!

Aloysius_Poutine, if we do grow ten times more potatoes than is necessary to feed the world (of course we do not!), what happens to the huge surplus? This is a fantasy. We are approaching a situation where increases in food supply can only be achieved by growing all the world’s wheat, rice and maize in giant glass houses covering a large fraction of the world’s surface, to stabilize variations in the weather experienced by these crops. This can be done, but at what cost? I presume that rising food costs will eventually force the world population to stop growing.

The long term prospect of modernity, that is applied science, is to create a paradise on Earth. The same modernity can be used to create a purgatory on Earth. I am forced to assume that those who want to risk mass starvation by advocating indefinite population growth are hoping to build a purgatory on Earth. A paradise on Earth would be a world population of say a billion, living the Good Life in the more attractive regions of the earth, supported by an automated economy. Why run the world any other way? There is no law that says we have to pack as many people into the world as possible.
I think infinite population growth is a straw man. I don't recall anyone of sound mind seriously suggesting it.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #220 on: January 18, 2015, 10:35:24 PM »
Please review this source that confirms my assertions, this is science, not fantasy:

http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth-vital-statistics/future-world-population-growth/

JAYSLOL

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #221 on: September 06, 2015, 12:44:32 AM »
Wow, i had a hard time reading some of these comments.  I simply can't understand why it is so hard for some people to accept basic concepts like that our planets finite amount of water, atmosphere, fertile land and wildlife MUST have some kind of limit of human consumption.  It's not about population density, or employment, it's about the the rate of resources we use up as a whole, the amount of pollution we create and the rate of ecosystems we change or destroy.  I'm not a scientist, so i can't even guess what the true population limit is.  For all i know we could already be over what our planet can sustain long term as it is, or perhaps the earth could handle a 100 billion more people just fine, but at SOME LEVEL of consumption our little green and blue world and those that live on it will be IRREVERSIBLY FUCKED.  So why deflect away concerns about it?  Why name-call and belittle those that actually give a shit about the health of our planet and its people?  Just because science doesn't have all the answers doesn't mean we shouldn't still take a step back and question our lifestyles and habits as human beings and try to make better choices for everyones future.  After all it's not like us humans haven't made mistakes in the past by blindly following others to extinction...

powskier

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #222 on: September 06, 2015, 01:58:05 AM »
I liked the planet better 1 billion people ago.

Sure the earth "can manage" more, it's just less enjoyable in many ways.

GuitarStv

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #223 on: September 08, 2015, 06:31:59 AM »
I liked the planet better 1 billion people ago.

1 billion years ago?  I'm guessing you don't smoke and eat a pretty clean diet . . .

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #224 on: September 19, 2015, 09:35:47 AM »

partgypsy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #225 on: November 16, 2015, 10:50:17 AM »
5 pages of conjecture, hysterics, and hand-wringing above.

Science, facts, evidence here:
http://longnow.org/seminars/02004/aug/13/the-depopulation-problem/

http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth-vital-statistics/future-world-population-growth/

Wow you feel the reasoned and at least thoughtful responses of the posters in this thread are hysterics and hand-wringing, while your first link there is science facts, and evidence.  Hmm.

The 2nd link states if things go as we think we will, we will end up with 11 billion people on this planet. This is a planet that already has 7 billion people on it. We have NEVER had this many people on earth. It is unprecendented the amount of fossil fuel we are currently burning, the amount of land humans and human activity is using and hence amount of habitat loss for all other remaining species on this plant.

To me don't really care if you describe it as a human population problem, or a human consumption problem it is not a subtle thing to find evidence we may had already reached this planet's carrying capacity. Everything from the amount of energy being consumed, amount of arable land being used overfishing, amount of fuels used to simply make food, the amount of pollution and contamination of our air, water, land supply. Fact is, this planet is undergoing one of the largest mass extinctions on this planet, and there is compelling evidence it is due to human activities of habitat loss, hunting, pollution and introduction of non-native species into other habitats among other causes This is not even touching upon the fact we are altering and destabling our climate due to the greenhouse gases we are emitting because, at this point I have no patience to entertain climate change deniers.

In an economic model, population drops are bad from an economic, and possibly social perspective. Constant (positive) population growth is a positive thing, creating positive economic exchange and prosperity. However it is being conducted on an essentially closed system with finite amount of resources. It's physics folks. I am hoping and it is possible we may be able to almeriorate this situation, by individually or by aggregate consuming less energy, land, food, meat, etc etc and use existing or future technology and social change to minimize our already negative impact. But just because we can think of ways to help, doesn't mean there isn't a problem. There is being positive and optimistic, and there is fantasy (somehow science or doing nothing will pull our asses out of the fire).     

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/earth-carrying-capacity1.htm
« Last Edit: November 16, 2015, 11:00:40 AM by partgypsy »

branman42

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #226 on: November 16, 2015, 08:15:21 PM »
I liked the planet better 1 billion people ago.

1 billion years ago?  I'm guessing you don't smoke and eat a pretty clean diet . . .

It says people...  as in the time when we had one billion less people

SunshineAZ

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #227 on: November 16, 2015, 08:49:04 PM »
The question I always have in these discussions is: Why are more humans considered to be a good thing?  If population growth is slowing, why is that a bad thing?   I have never understood why the end goal should be as many humans as possible rather than a world where everyone is well cared for without destroying the earth in the process.

Because governments, economies and business are basically pyramid schemes that will crumble without growth is what I have always thought.  But I am not an economist, so its just a wild guess.  :)

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #228 on: November 16, 2015, 11:46:20 PM »

5 pages of conjecture, hysterics, and hand-wringing above.

Science, facts, evidence here:
http://longnow.org/seminars/02004/aug/13/the-depopulation-problem/

http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth-vital-statistics/future-world-population-growth/


Wow you feel the reasoned and at least thoughtful responses of the posters in this thread are hysterics and hand-wringing, while your first link there is science facts, and evidence.  Hmm.

The 2nd link states if things go as we think we will, we will end up with 11 billion people on this planet. This is a planet that already has 7 billion people on it. We have NEVER had this many people on earth. It is unprecendented the amount of fossil fuel we are currently burning, the amount of land humans and human activity is using and hence amount of habitat loss for all other remaining species on this plant.

To me don't really care if you describe it as a human population problem, or a human consumption problem it is not a subtle thing to find evidence we may had already reached this planet's carrying capacity. Everything from the amount of energy being consumed, amount of arable land being used overfishing, amount of fuels used to simply make food, the amount of pollution and contamination of our air, water, land supply. Fact is, this planet is undergoing one of the largest mass extinctions on this planet, and there is compelling evidence it is due to human activities of habitat loss, hunting, pollution and introduction of non-native species into other habitats among other causes This is not even touching upon the fact we are altering and destabling our climate due to the greenhouse gases we are emitting because, at this point I have no patience to entertain climate change deniers.

In an economic model, population drops are bad from an economic, and possibly social perspective. Constant (positive) population growth is a positive thing, creating positive economic exchange and prosperity. However it is being conducted on an essentially closed system with finite amount of resources. It's physics folks. I am hoping and it is possible we may be able to almeriorate this situation, by individually or by aggregate consuming less energy, land, food, meat, etc etc and use existing or future technology and social change to minimize our already negative impact. But just because we can think of ways to help, doesn't mean there isn't a problem. There is being positive and optimistic, and there is fantasy (somehow science or doing nothing will pull our asses out of the fire).     

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/earth-carrying-capacity1.htm

Your howstuffworks source claims:
Quote
Estimates put Earth's carrying capacity at anywhere between 2 billion and 40 billion people [source: McConeghy].
Not quite the best estimate given the upper bound is 20x the lower...maybe just a wild assed guess on his part?

There's not really a point to address your non-substantiated rant devoid of facts or evidence, other than to point out your silly arguments of "unprecedented" and "no patience" given every minute that passes is also "unprecedented." You know what's also unprecedented? Infant mortality, women's longevity, vaccines, etc...you know the stuff of progress in the classical sense. Physics and science are mutually exclusive from your patience and the concept of patience also, so thanks for professing your ignorant faith in fear and being "green."

Because what benefit would be to engage you and your fellow lemmings? After hundreds of posts and my numerous references the only rebuttals are emotional diatribes.

The evidence is clear, the science is clear: there is not a current threat to mankind's extinction due to overpopulation, nor is there any evidence for a future threat.

Want to hear more smart people explain why this is??
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/the-unrealized-horrors-of-population-explosion.html

partgypsy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #229 on: November 17, 2015, 10:37:14 AM »

5 pages of conjecture, hysterics, and hand-wringing above.

Science, facts, evidence here:
http://longnow.org/seminars/02004/aug/13/the-depopulation-problem/

http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth-vital-statistics/future-world-population-growth/


Wow you feel the reasoned and at least thoughtful responses of the posters in this thread are hysterics and hand-wringing, while your first link there is science facts, and evidence.  Hmm.

The 2nd link states if things go as we think we will, we will end up with 11 billion people on this planet. This is a planet that already has 7 billion people on it. We have NEVER had this many people on earth. It is unprecendented the amount of fossil fuel we are currently burning, the amount of land humans and human activity is using and hence amount of habitat loss for all other remaining species on this plant.

To me don't really care if you describe it as a human population problem, or a human consumption problem it is not a subtle thing to find evidence we may had already reached this planet's carrying capacity. Everything from the amount of energy being consumed, amount of arable land being used overfishing, amount of fuels used to simply make food, the amount of pollution and contamination of our air, water, land supply. Fact is, this planet is undergoing one of the largest mass extinctions on this planet, and there is compelling evidence it is due to human activities of habitat loss, hunting, pollution and introduction of non-native species into other habitats among other causes This is not even touching upon the fact we are altering and destabling our climate due to the greenhouse gases we are emitting because, at this point I have no patience to entertain climate change deniers.

In an economic model, population drops are bad from an economic, and possibly social perspective. Constant (positive) population growth is a positive thing, creating positive economic exchange and prosperity. However it is being conducted on an essentially closed system with finite amount of resources. It's physics folks. I am hoping and it is possible we may be able to almeriorate this situation, by individually or by aggregate consuming less energy, land, food, meat, etc etc and use existing or future technology and social change to minimize our already negative impact. But just because we can think of ways to help, doesn't mean there isn't a problem. There is being positive and optimistic, and there is fantasy (somehow science or doing nothing will pull our asses out of the fire).     

http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/earth-carrying-capacity1.htm

Your howstuffworks source claims:
Quote
Estimates put Earth's carrying capacity at anywhere between 2 billion and 40 billion people [source: McConeghy].
Not quite the best estimate given the upper bound is 20x the lower...maybe just a wild assed guess on his part?

There's not really a point to address your non-substantiated rant devoid of facts or evidence, other than to point out your silly arguments of "unprecedented" and "no patience" given every minute that passes is also "unprecedented." You know what's also unprecedented? Infant mortality, women's longevity, vaccines, etc...you know the stuff of progress in the classical sense. Physics and science are mutually exclusive from your patience and the concept of patience also, so thanks for professing your ignorant faith in fear and being "green."

Because what benefit would be to engage you and your fellow lemmings? After hundreds of posts and my numerous references the only rebuttals are emotional diatribes.

The evidence is clear, the science is clear: there is not a current threat to mankind's extinction due to overpopulation, nor is there any evidence for a future threat.

Want to hear more smart people explain why this is??
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/the-unrealized-horrors-of-population-explosion.html

Like I said, I don't really care if it is considered an overpopulation problem or a problem of overusing the planet's resources.  There are physical limits on how many people can live on this planet, and simply feed them, let alone all the other resources humans use. One estimate was we could feed 10 billion, if all arable land was converted to (vegetarian) food production (we can support 10 billion, if all were vegetarian). It is you (and others) that seem to have a problem with science and facts, unless you feel the law of physics, or depending on the earth's ecosystem doesn't apply to us somehow. There have also been a number of policy reports discussing our resource scarcity is actually the underlying cause of a number of human conflicts and civil war. Our and other countries have written policy reports on the impact of climate change on our national security, as it will reduce arable land and cause migration of people from those areas.


(edited to add a more recent discussion of this problem)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/29/earth-lost-50-wildlife-in-40-years-wwf?CMP=share_btn_link

http://science.jrank.org/pages/1244/Carrying-Capacity.html

And, maybe you should read the rebuttal letters of the editorial that you posted, that pointed out the bias and shortcomings of the opinion piece. Myself, rather get my science from peer reviewed and consensus papers. 

(here's an example)

K K
 London June 1, 2015
Another day, another article denying overpopulation on ideological grounds. This piece by the NYT attempts to strike a "balance" by framing those concerned with the (rather obvious) impact of population on the world's resources as placed on one "extreme", those who think resources are essentially infinite at another, and people like Fred Pearce, a noted population denialist, in the (implicitly more reasonable) "middle". Pearce seems to assume all consumption is optional and that massive cuts in global consumption are both feasible and likely to be implemented. Pearce also appears not to understand the difference between a fall in birth rates and a fall in actual population numbers, and assumes that whatever population size the planet ends up with will be sustainable. Apparently we have no serious global environmental problems and are doing fine at providing for the needs of everyone on this planet! [Except, we obviously do and we aren't.] The article also quotes an out-of-date UN population projection, and ignores Norman Borlaug's explicit concern that overpopulation would remain a problem regardless of the "Green revolution". Disappointing.

 
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 10:58:55 AM by partgypsy »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #230 on: November 17, 2015, 08:34:42 PM »


My conclusion after reviewing the pages of evidence:
The evidence is clear, the science is clear: there is not a current threat to mankind's extinction due to overpopulation, nor is there any evidence for a future threat.

Want to hear more smart people explain why this is??
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/the-unrealized-horrors-of-population-explosion.html


Like I said, I don't really care if it is considered an overpopulation problem or a problem of overusing the planet's resources.  There are physical limits on how many people can live on this planet, and simply feed them, let alone all the other resources humans use. One estimate was we could feed 10 billion, if all arable land was converted to (vegetarian) food production (we can support 10 billion, if all were vegetarian). It is you (and others) that seem to have a problem with science and facts, unless you feel the law of physics, or depending on the earth's ecosystem doesn't apply to us somehow. There have also been a number of policy reports discussing our resource scarcity is actually the underlying cause of a number of human conflicts and civil war. Our and other countries have written policy reports on the impact of climate change on our national security, as it will reduce arable land and cause migration of people from those areas.


(edited to add a more recent discussion of this problem)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/29/earth-lost-50-wildlife-in-40-years-wwf?CMP=share_btn_link

http://science.jrank.org/pages/1244/Carrying-Capacity.html

And, maybe you should read the rebuttal letters of the editorial that you posted, that pointed out the bias and shortcomings of the opinion piece. Myself, rather get my science from peer reviewed and consensus papers. 


 

Care to share any of those peer reviewed papers that deny my claim?? As opposed to linking to 5th grade level summaries that lack any evidence?

partgypsy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #231 on: November 18, 2015, 09:25:48 AM »


My conclusion after reviewing the pages of evidence:
The evidence is clear, the science is clear: there is not a current threat to mankind's extinction due to overpopulation, nor is there any evidence for a future threat.

Want to hear more smart people explain why this is??
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/us/the-unrealized-horrors-of-population-explosion.html


Like I said, I don't really care if it is considered an overpopulation problem or a problem of overusing the planet's resources.  There are physical limits on how many people can live on this planet, and simply feed them, let alone all the other resources humans use. One estimate was we could feed 10 billion, if all arable land was converted to (vegetarian) food production (we can support 10 billion, if all were vegetarian). It is you (and others) that seem to have a problem with science and facts, unless you feel the law of physics, or depending on the earth's ecosystem doesn't apply to us somehow. There have also been a number of policy reports discussing our resource scarcity is actually the underlying cause of a number of human conflicts and civil war. Our and other countries have written policy reports on the impact of climate change on our national security, as it will reduce arable land and cause migration of people from those areas.


(edited to add a more recent discussion of this problem)
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/sep/29/earth-lost-50-wildlife-in-40-years-wwf?CMP=share_btn_link

http://science.jrank.org/pages/1244/Carrying-Capacity.html

And, maybe you should read the rebuttal letters of the editorial that you posted, that pointed out the bias and shortcomings of the opinion piece. Myself, rather get my science from peer reviewed and consensus papers. 


 

Care to share any of those peer reviewed papers that deny my claim?? As opposed to linking to 5th grade level summaries that lack any evidence?

I'd be happy to. The question was whether the amount of humans on this planet and the amount of resources we are currently consuming, is a problem. Any one species (including humans), is dependent on ecosytem to survive. One way to frame this question is in terms of ecological "carrying capacity". A species is considered to go beyond it's carrying capacity, when natural resources are used at a faster rate than they can be replenished or restored.  So, if humans have gone past carrying capacity, one would see evidence of resources being used faster than they can be replenished. Some examples of this are fresh drinking water, fisheries, forestation of the earth, habitable land, carbon cycle balance, and inability for pollution etc to be absorbed.
Some people believe that the normal rules for other animals should not apply to humans, because of tool use and technology, we can use those things to increase our carrying capacity. And we have! However the ways that we have manipulated the environment, by increasing our energy production, crop and fisheries, has had unintended consequences, which ultimately degrade and reduce the carrying capacity of that ecosystem. Even if we are able to game the system, we cannot avoid physics and the basic fact all of us, depend on this earth for our water, air, food, and shelter. Paraphrasing Jared Diamond, when a society collapses the rich have the privilege of starving last. 

I'm using a lot of science daily, because it is a synopsis of a peer reviewed paper, with the citation if you want to read the original article.

Here's the scientific consensus report on climate change
http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151012181037.htm overview of marine fishery collapse
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029150250.htm (this is for atlantic cod, can also search under tuna, shark, salmon, for additional examples)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150720133252.htm (acidification's effect of the base of ocean food chain)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/02/150225151839.htm (deforestation)
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729093112.htm (water shortage)

There are many articles on chemicals created by human activity (manufacturing, mining etc) that are accumulating in ground or water that are not easily removed. I'm sure you have heard of the chemicals that mimic hormones and altering fresh water fishes. Here is discussion of decline of amphibians globally due to a variety of factors
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/02/000222064857.htm
accumulation of chemicals even in deep sea fish
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080609155135.htm

I can find more examples, introduction of nonnative species, the honeybee collapse, (another unintended consequence of beneficial technology (pesticides) that is now biting us in the butt. Nature is extremely complex, and sometimes we cannot predict the consequences of our actions until they have occurred.
   Need to get back to work.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 09:31:42 AM by partgypsy »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #232 on: January 04, 2016, 03:05:43 PM »
To piggyback on Partgypsy's post - we are acting like an r-type species instead of a K-type species.  And in the long run being a k-type species is nicer from an individual viewpoint.

To the (imaginary) inhabitants of UFOs we would look like a very successful invasive species - we are the purple loosestrife and Eurasian millfoil and zebra mussels of the mammalian world.

And yes, science daily is a great place to see what is happening in science.

PS Speaking of invasive species, if you live in New Zealand, start a campaign to kill off all your Canada Geese now.  You don't know what you have there.  But you will - world domination is their goal.

The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/meetups-and-social-events/ontario's-own-camp-mustache-2017/ - MEET US THERE!

davisgang90

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #233 on: March 16, 2016, 05:21:03 AM »
There are clear benefits of fibre-optics over copper wires.  I probably sound more like someone 'spruiking' the benefits of fibre-optics over magic unicorn hair.  (Surely, in 100 years we will have discovered/bred magic unicorns that have manes of a material that give near infinite bandwidth!  Because, FUTURE!)

A space elevator has nothing to do with interstellar travel.  There's shockingly little research going into deep space related development.  I'd love to see it, but to paraphrase Jerry Maguire . . . Show me the hyperdrive.
Not hyperdrive, but NASA is working on ion propulsion.  http://www.nasa.gov/content/next-provides-lasting-propulsion-and-high-speeds-for-deep-space-missions
Check out my blog.  Early retirement from a military perspective.

http://chartprepping.com




DarinC

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #234 on: March 20, 2016, 05:16:56 PM »
A couple recent spacecraft have used ion-drives in space. I imagine some combination of ion-drive and solar sail would allow fairly inexpensive travel around the solar system.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_thruster

But getting into orbit is still extremely expensive. Until we can get those costs down, activity will be limited.