Author Topic: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?  (Read 70105 times)

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2013, 07:42:07 PM »


So yes, I would argue that overpopulation is in fact a major problem in many underdeveloped countries.   

I'd say it's a problem with property rights and government abuses of the people. The reason they are undeveloped is due to tyrannical government. Check out the progress of East Germany since liberation.
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East Germany at its worst was far more developed than India at its best.  India has a myriad of problems, but tyrannical government isn't one of them.  Highly ineffective government at times, most assuredly....  Having said that, both China and India are dealing with severely degraded environments due in part to their enormous populations and lack of pollution control infrastructure.  The Ganges River basin is a modern day horror story.

I think it's intentionally misleading to view government tyranny as merely "inefficiencies." Though in India i'd say they have a fair amount of tyrannical government staving people to death: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-28/poor-in-india-starve-as-politicians-steal-14-5-billion-of-food.html

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Again, I'm referring to quality of life as a whole rather than just the ability to sustain the quantity of the population.  Mass starvation has been supplanted by different challenges in an increasingly prosperous China.

The trend for most nations is that as overall wealth increases, population growth falls off (because as the cost of raising kids skyrockets in developed nations people voluntarily choose to have less children).


This is the basic fallacy- the wealthiest countries can't afford the cost of raising kids? You have the right correlation, but declines n fertility are caused because people in wealthy countries have retirement money, and don't need kids in old age.

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For many developed countries the looming problem is not the size of the population, but the increasing age of it.

You mean people dying and the population shrinking? That's what old people do, they die.

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2013, 02:25:01 PM »
I'm not convinced. According to this website the entire population of earth could fit into Texas with 1100 sq ft per person, and we already grow 10x more potatoes than is necessary to feed everyone on earth.

I did a geography degree at a liberal arts college, so I'm pretty well aware of the arguments. But I still don't find them convincing. In fact, I don't think overpopulation is a problem at all. I'm more concerned about the trend of birth rates getting dangerously below that 2.1 rate at which populations remain stable.

Been a few decades when I was in Future Farmers of America, but from my talks with old friends we do grow enough food to feed the world a several times over.  The problems are:

1.  waste - much food rots, spoils, or is not harvested do to effort versus return.

2.  other uses - Alcohol production consumes lots of grain, potatoes, sugar, etc.  Add in ethanol for car fuel and it gets stupid silly.

3.  Nutrients -  You can get enough calories out of potatoes and rice to feed the world, you will still die for lack of vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients.

  The potato stats are likely correct but misleading. 
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 05:43:10 PM by Luck better Skill »
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SomeYoungGuy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2013, 02:34:21 PM »
Continuing on from MMM's article on Soldier of Luxury - If all 320 million Americans started roaming the country like his idealized soldiers of luxury (migrating and hunting), would our nation's resources be sufficient to return to a Native American lifestyle?  Estimates of peak Native American population ranges from 1 - 5 million and there are a lot less buffalo...  although it sounds like a nice ideal.

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2013, 04:55:40 PM »
Continuing on from MMM's article on Soldier of Luxury - If all 320 million Americans started roaming the country like his idealized soldiers of luxury (migrating and hunting), would our nation's resources be sufficient to return to a Native American lifestyle?  Estimates of peak Native American population ranges from 1 - 5 million and there are a lot less buffalo...  although it sounds like a nice ideal.

The Soldier of Luxury was an allegory. It would be highly impractical and downright impossible to return to a Native American lifestyle. You do realize you are saying no infrastructure, modern medicine, running water, electricity...etc. Also I seriously doubt we'd be able to sustain 320 million people with hunting, it is only with the advent of organized agriculture that we've been able to have population levels at this concentration.

Also not sure what it has to do with the discussion at hand.

Uhm what about the Wikipedia data I posted that shows the human population will be in decline in the next few decades? What about the Washington post article that reviews UN and other NGO research that shows extreme poverty should be eliminated within 20 years?

My take is those who disregard these facts have the ulterior motive to sow fear either to generate contributions to their wasteful "charities" or to support government human rights abuses.

To the vast majority of people on this planet, let alone the USA, overpopulation is a myth.

You mentioned two predictions, then talked about "these facts." Are you calling the predictions facts and using them to support a claim that overpopulation is a myth?

There are many facts complied at those washington post links, but here are the main two of my claim that yes overpopulation is a myth:

Fact 1: Human population growth has been slowing for over 60 years.
Fact 2: Between 1990 and 2010, the share of the population of the developing world living in extreme poverty (under $1.25 a day) was cut in half.
See The Economist:
http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21578643-world-has-astonishing-chance-take-billion-people-out-extreme-poverty-2030-not?fsrc=scn/tw/te/pe/im/notalwayswithus

Yes it is difficult to let go of our stereotypes and ideologies, but that's why we're here at MMM, to challenge erroneous conventional thinking.

My question would be how do those two facts equate that overpopulation is a "myth" as you say? Population growth is still population growth especially given longer lifespans, and what does the poverty level of the developing world have to do with whether overpopulation is a problem or not. I readily admit that with increased prosperity family sizes get smaller but that still doesn't mean that the overall population will not continue to grow. A slow rate of growth is still a growth.

What I'm saying isn't about stereotypes or ideologies but how the facts you present may not be supporting your assertion.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2013, 10:18:44 PM »
He's some more facts from Nature: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v451/n7179/abs/nature06516.html
(I hear the liberal statists really like this source) Mod Edit: Striking out comment but leaving it as an example of the sort of comment that is not necessary to make your point, or furthering the discussion in any way.  Please play nice in this thread, there's no reason a discussion like this should lead to a thread lock.[/END MOD EDIT]

"The probability that growth in the world's population will end during this century is 88%." 

Well if the number of people on this planet is a problem, it will soon reverse.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 07:00:39 AM by arebelspy »

matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #55 on: December 11, 2013, 04:45:58 AM »
Thank you for the article. That is much closer to supporting your point. Now do you have proof that we do not have overpopulation right now?

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2013, 05:16:39 PM »
Or you could lay out your case why we do have overpopulation.

I know some localities have an overpopulation problem, but not the entire world.  if you are confident we have an overpopulation problem, a 3 day drive across the U.S. or Canada should disabuse you of that thought.
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matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2013, 06:06:32 PM »
Or you could lay out your case why we do have overpopulation.

I know some localities have an overpopulation problem, but not the entire world.  if you are confident we have an overpopulation problem, a 3 day drive across the U.S. or Canada should disabuse you of that thought.

I've laid out my case already above. I believe it is too complex of an issue to say there is or there isn't and anyone claiming otherwise is oversimplifying the issue. I can just as easily say take a walk through Shanghai or the Tokyo metropolitan area, just because you reference a small slice of the world doesn't mean that overpopulation does or does not exist.

And you do bring up an interesting point, as I take my three day drive across the U.S. I can see a massive impact of attempting to feed and produce fuel with large tracts of agriculture, although the land may be devoid of a population it is by no means lacking in evidence that the population of the continent is large.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2013, 06:44:49 PM »
if you are confident we have an overpopulation problem, a 3 day drive across the U.S. or Canada should disabuse you of that thought.

I don't think so.  If anything, it would convince me that we do have a serious problem.  The places that aren't overpopulated by the definition of sheer overcrowding, like for instance the Great Basin & parts of the Great Plains, are still overpopulated in the sense that they are using, and often over-using, local resources such as water.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2013, 11:13:23 PM »
I suppose my case rests on mitigating the supposed cause of the problem by showing the raw amount of people will soon decline and then also point to the very questionable data of deaths caused by overpopulation.

I will even try to define what is a problem by saying there should be evidence of property damage or bodily injury, as most social issues people believe to be problems usually present these damages.

Earlier I have proposed that many deaths are falsely attributed to overpopulation, when they can be explained by poverty, and there is ample empirical evidence that poverty is sharply declining though matchewed accuracy pointed out that the population is still growing. Obviously these assertions cannot all be in agreement.

That's my story!
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matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #60 on: December 12, 2013, 06:38:32 AM »
I suppose my case rests on mitigating the supposed cause of the problem by showing the raw amount of people will soon decline and then also point to the very questionable data of deaths caused by overpopulation.

I will even try to define what is a problem by saying there should be evidence of property damage or bodily injury, as most social issues people believe to be problems usually present these damages.

Earlier I have proposed that many deaths are falsely attributed to overpopulation, when they can be explained by poverty, and there is ample empirical evidence that poverty is sharply declining though matchewed accuracy pointed out that the population is still growing. Obviously these assertions cannot all be in agreement.

That's my story!
p.s. Interesting the moderators feel that labeling someone a liberal statist is insulting, I am happy to be labeled a Christian and libertarian so please leave those when direct toward me.

I'm not sure you've proven that the raw number of people will decline though. Although you've proven that growth rates may decline the overall human population will still grow in the short term and may or may not keep growing (see attached from wiki).

I think you hit the nail on the head in reference to why we may talk past each other on this subject. You're defining overpopulation as being a problem if and only if it causes property damage or bodily injury. In that case my point still stands that it is a problem in some places and not in others. Consider the Ganges River, 400 million people are affected by the pollution in that river. I think it would be hard to refute that overpopulation is not a problem there.

Furthermore the idea that overpopulation is only a problem when it causes property damage or bodily injury is too limited in scope. I can refer to the Ganges again with this as the side affect of overpopulation, environmental damage, is what is causing the damage to people.

I'm not sure where there was discussion about deaths being attributed to overpopulation. I think that would be a strange claim and hard to back up. But again deaths are not the only measuring stick for overpopulation.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #61 on: December 12, 2013, 02:31:01 PM »
... falsely attributed to overpopulation, when they can be explained by poverty...

I don't see how you can divide between these two causes of someone dying without implying that you can never attribute any death to overpopulation.

As long as resources are distributed unequally, some people will have enough to live on. You could then say the rest are dying of poverty, never overpopulation. I guess if everyone simultaneously did at once of overpopulation, but when a group overpopulates, its members don't die of "overpopulation," they die of lack of whatever bottlenecks affect them at the time -- could be hunger, thirst, disease, etc. No doctor's chart has a checkbox for overpopulation.

In other words, poverty results from an unequal distribution of resources. If there were enough resources, even very poor people could get enough to live on. If they don't, doesn't that imply there isn't enough food?

If we could distribute all resources equally or even just more efficiently we could increase how many people the resources of the planet could sustain, but given billions of people with competing interests and rights, plus history that led to the system we have, can't we conclude we've created the most efficient system we can? If you can come up with a better system and get it implemented, why don't you? If you can't how can you conclude otherwise?

Given the system we have, I don't see how you can say people dying from lack of resources doesn't imply overpopulation, at least locally in a lot of places.

To be clear, I'm not arguing that we are overpopulated or not. I'm just trying to check the meaning of what you wrote -- in particular, could someone who said what you said ever accept overpopulation as long as some people still survived? To put it yet another way, as long as some people survived anywhere in the world, couldn't you say "While some places are overpopulated, that's only a local condition. We're not overpopulated everywhere, so we aren't overpopulated."

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #62 on: December 12, 2013, 03:11:17 PM »
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I'm not sure you've proven that the raw number of people will decline though. Although you've proven that growth rates may decline the overall human population will still grow in the short term and may or may not keep growing (see attached from wiki).

Sure, an asteroid could hit tomorrow too, its nearly impossible to prove with definitive certainty something that hasn't happened yet. But we can use statistics and calculus to estimate and according to both those tools (see the second-derivative of population has been negative for over 40 years, and the Nature research that says The probability that growth in the world's population will end during this century is 88%) most be should satisfied of this (coming) reality.

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I think you hit the nail on the head in reference to why we may talk past each other on this subject. You're defining overpopulation as being a problem if and only if it causes property damage or bodily injury. In that case my point still stands that it is a problem in some places and not in others. Consider the Ganges River, 400 million people are affected by the pollution in that river. I think it would be hard to refute that overpopulation is not a problem there.

Furthermore the idea that overpopulation is only a problem when it causes property damage or bodily injury is too limited in scope. I can refer to the Ganges again with this as the side affect of overpopulation, environmental damage, is what is causing the damage to people.


I'm open to discussing other measures and consequences of overpopulation, but if it doesn't meet those levels of damage it might be difficult to justify infanticide or genocidal "solutions."

Regarding the ganges river, this one is actually easy to refute by seeing the apparent cause of its pollution is lack of indoor plumbing and sewer systems by residents due to impoverishment. A simple case in the US is the Chicago river which was polluted by slaughterhouses over 100 years ago, and now 50x the people live near it and it's much less polluted. How is it that more population around a river could not yield more pollution in it if you assigned the causation of pollution to overpopulation?

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I'm not sure where there was discussion about deaths being attributed to overpopulation. I think that would be a strange claim and hard to back up. But again deaths are not the only measuring stick for overpopulation.

This is my point, seems not to be the most pressing problem if you are saying it's a strange claim and hard to back up with deaths. Auto accidents is a problem, 30,000+ people die annually in just the USA.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #63 on: December 12, 2013, 03:26:06 PM »
I don't see how you can divide between these two causes of someone dying without implying that you can never attribute any death to overpopulation.

As long as resources are distributed unequally, some people will have enough to live on. You could then say the rest are dying of poverty, never overpopulation. I guess if everyone simultaneously did at once of overpopulation, but when a group overpopulates, its members don't die of "overpopulation," they die of lack of whatever bottlenecks affect them at the time -- could be hunger, thirst, disease, etc. No doctor's chart has a checkbox for overpopulation.
 

In other words, poverty results from an unequal distribution of resources. If there were enough resources, even very poor people could get enough to live on. If they don't, doesn't that imply there isn't enough food?
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Yes good point that resources are not distributed equally, any guess what are some contributing factors?

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If we could distribute all resources equally or even just more efficiently we could increase how many people the resources of the planet could sustain, but given billions of people with competing interests and rights, plus history that led to the system we have, can't we conclude we've created the most efficient system we can? If you can come up with a better system and get it implemented, why don't you? If you can't how can you conclude otherwise?

Given the system we have, I don't see how you can say people dying from lack of resources doesn't imply overpopulation, at least locally in a lot of places.

I wouldn't give up hope so soon, there is much room for improvement to our system. Daily people are rising out of poverty and enjoying more of their rights. There is a better system, and yes part of my responses on here are an effort to implement it. Just like MMM, clearly we believe his lifestyle is superior to the average in America, but it takes a lot of work, and there are competing interests that gain at the suffering of others, namely the coercive government. Just like the battle for civil rights still rages in this country and internationally, it's a hard fight. We have to convince people of a better way against the mental inertia of daily life and also that sacrifices will pay-off. That takes a lot of hard work and leadership, something that I hope we can foster here and that I've been unfortunately frustrated with and difficult to accept. We have to be the change we want to see. There was pain for me switching to Ting, how much pain will there be to close down prisions holding non-violent offenders, or convincing north korea to stop murdering its own people?

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To be clear, I'm not arguing that we are overpopulated or not. I'm just trying to check the meaning of what you wrote -- in particular, could someone who said what you said ever accept overpopulation as long as some people still survived? To put it yet another way, as long as some people survived anywhere in the world, couldn't you say "While some places are overpopulated, that's only a local condition. We're not overpopulated everywhere, so we aren't overpopulated."

I see it more as a carrying capacity issue, but combined with the debunking of Malthusian, I think it's a hard argument to make.

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #64 on: December 12, 2013, 06:50:55 PM »
I see it more as a carrying capacity issue, but combined with the debunking of Malthusian, I think it's a hard argument to make.

When you use the wodr 'debunk' in connection with Malthus, you put yourself in the same camp as Young Earth Creationists, global warming denialists, the people who believe that vaccines cause autism, and other cranks.  Malthus' theories are logically consistent, and fit the available evidence.  The only reason we haven't experienced the consequences yet is that we've been able to use stored fossil fuels to temporarily boost agricultural productivity.  What happens when artificial fertilizers become too expensive, running diesel-fueled farm equipment becomes impossible, those giant factory fishing vessels have netted everything larger than a minnow...?

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2013, 07:43:21 PM »
Well I think by then there will be far less people, less total fuel will be used, I actually think the opposite is in our future: post-scarcity. MMM is sort of possible because we're entering the age of post-scarcity. The main impediment is government at this point wasting so much resources and lives for their friends' benefit.

I'm not sure who all those people are at camp, but  Malthus inspired  the term "the dismal science" by his conjectures that luckily didn't come to be. Such as "That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, ". Well he might be shocked to learn about most of Europe and Japan.

Free your mind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic-economic_paradox
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_transition
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 11:18:31 PM by CDP45 »

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #66 on: December 12, 2013, 09:32:56 PM »
Hold up. The question was "is overpopulation a problem", not "is overpopulation a problem such that we should kill people". Over population is a problem. Is it a problem for humans on earth? Possibly. Killing people is a solution. However killing people is not necessarily the best solution. It's one possible solution of many. Also, this conversation stikes me as awfully anthropocentric. Is the earth overpopulated with cows, potatoes or cabbages? Do we have some information on that?

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #67 on: December 12, 2013, 11:20:09 PM »
I think humanity is pretty cool with xenocide if the cows get out if hand, and it would be tasty mmmmm ribeye...

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #68 on: December 13, 2013, 07:49:31 AM »
Hold up. The question was "is overpopulation a problem", not "is overpopulation a problem such that we should kill people". Over population is a problem. Is it a problem for humans on earth? Possibly. Killing people is a solution. However killing people is not necessarily the best solution. It's one possible solution of many. Also, this conversation stikes me as awfully anthropocentric. Is the earth overpopulated with cows, potatoes or cabbages? Do we have some information on that?

Anthropocentric, sure, but on the other hand none of those things you listed have been shown to have a large effect on the planet as a whole.

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but with most of the [non-human] things, nature balances it out via various mechanisms.

You could argue starvation/wars/disease/etc. follow the same function, but we are aggressively trying to eliminate that problem.  I don't see an overpopulation of deer that eats its food supply and many starve, or a corresponding increase in their predators, trying to correct either of those problems (specifically with technology).

Anthropocentric?  Sure.  For good reasons?  It seems like it, yes.
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matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #69 on: December 13, 2013, 08:01:45 AM »
Hold up. The question was "is overpopulation a problem", not "is overpopulation a problem such that we should kill people". Over population is a problem. Is it a problem for humans on earth? Possibly. Killing people is a solution. However killing people is not necessarily the best solution. It's one possible solution of many. Also, this conversation stikes me as awfully anthropocentric. Is the earth overpopulated with cows, potatoes or cabbages? Do we have some information on that?

Anthropocentric, sure, but on the other hand none of those things you listed have been shown to have a large effect on the planet as a whole.

And, correct me if I'm wrong, but with most of the [non-human] things, nature balances it out via various mechanisms.

You could argue starvation/wars/disease/etc. follow the same function, but we are aggressively trying to eliminate that problem.  I don't see an overpopulation of deer that eats its food supply and many starve, or a corresponding increase in their predators, trying to correct either of those problems (specifically with technology).

Anthropocentric?  Sure.  For good reasons?  It seems like it, yes.

Interestingly enough even with not directly Anthropocentric examples ( cows and methane {Enteric Fermentation is a part of their digestive process}) are still indirectly Anthropocentric, we raise the cows. So our population size which demand things like oil based products and beef/milk have huge impacts on our environment which is a good measure of overpopulation.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 08:25:48 AM by matchewed »

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #70 on: December 13, 2013, 08:04:01 AM »
Anthropocentric, sure, but on the other hand none of those things you listed have been shown to have a large effect on the planet as a whole.
And, correct me if I'm wrong, but with most of the [non-human] things, nature balances it out via various mechanisms.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/methane-cow.htm, for instance.  Is it a large effect...well the flatulence taxers would have you think so...

How many small effects with their various interaction variables does it take to produce an unexpected large effect?  I don't think we know that.

One might think that anything humans do, and which influences the planet, creates an artificial imbalance.  But...is it artificial?  Now, that is the philosophical heart of the question.  One could easily argue that there is no such thing as artificial.  If so, then nature balances out via various mechanisms in the end through war, pestulence, disease etc. 

Overpopulation is just a swing of the pendulum. 
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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #71 on: December 13, 2013, 08:25:50 AM »
Anthropocentric, sure, but on the other hand none of those things you listed have been shown to have a large effect on the planet as a whole.
And, correct me if I'm wrong, but with most of the [non-human] things, nature balances it out via various mechanisms.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/zoology/methane-cow.htm, for instance.  Is it a large effect...well the flatulence taxers would have you think so...

I'm not sure how that's relevant.  Are you arguing cows have more of an effect on the planet as a whole than humans?  (I didn't specify greenhouse emissions).  And isn't that traced to us raising so many. Do you think cows, in the wild, would have a large effect on the planet?  I haven't seen many clear cutting forests to make more grasslands for themselves, but then again I haven't been looking.

Unless you'd like to argue cabbages or marmets or whatever have more of an effect on the planet than humans, then you're agreeing with me.

Anthropocentric, sure, but on the other hand none of those things you listed have been shown to have a large effect on the planet as a whole.
And, correct me if I'm wrong, but with most of the [non-human] things, nature balances it out via various mechanisms.
One might think that anything humans do, and which influences the planet, creates an artificial imbalance.  But...is it artificial?  Now, that is the philosophical heart of the question.  One could easily argue that there is no such thing as artificial.  If so, then nature balances out via various mechanisms in the end through war, pestulence, disease etc. 

Isn't that exactly what I said?

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You could argue starvation/wars/disease/etc. follow the same function

I also, though, pointed out how we're trying to eliminate those things, which is in direct counter to the "nature" solving it issue, and you didn't address that?

I guess this is why I generally ignore threads like this - a response that completely fails to address any of the points raised and in fact brings up things already addressed in the original post as if it wasn't even read can be pretty frustrating.

/shrug

Whatever.

My opinion on (over)population is in the second post of this thread.  The post above was merely pointing out that while it is an anthropocentric discussion, it makes sense as to why that is so.

Are you arguing that it shouldn't be an anthropocentric discussion, and we should talk about an overpopulation of cabbages?
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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #72 on: December 13, 2013, 09:27:37 AM »
arebelspy - you confuse me - given what matchewed posted almost simulateously...about cows - you may have also confused him/her. 

My turn to confuse you :-)

I sort of thought cows were non-human.  I also thought you were suggesting there was no evidence that the things listed (cows, potatoes, cabbages) have a (large) impact.  I was simply responding that they do.  Cows being an example (methane, land conversion, etc).  However, perhaps you are saying that all (modernish) cows (exception being some wild cow-like things) are there because of humans...and therefore are human - made and thus not an example of a non-human-influenced-thing that might be causing an impact on the planet? 

SO, are you asking for a non-human thing (or related thing) that is/has/might cause a large impact on the planet?

Everything we do or don't do causes a natural shift in the natural balance.  Therefore, your consideration of our tendency to reduce starvation/wars/disease is not a counter to "nature" solving the issue, it is nature.  If you agree that whatever we do/don't do (in one way or the other) will balance out over time, then I agree. 

There are only temporary over-populations of anything.  There are however permanent under-populations (i.e. dodo).  Cabbages are probably safe....until an overpopulation of cabbage loving humans eats them all.
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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #73 on: December 13, 2013, 09:41:25 AM »
We need to get off this rock - The Universe beacons. Far as we know, it's all empty, waiting for us.
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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #74 on: December 13, 2013, 12:50:41 PM »
I'm not sure who all those people are at camp, but  Malthus inspired  the term "the dismal science" by his conjectures that luckily didn't come to be. Such as "That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, ". Well he might be shocked to learn about most of Europe and Japan.

Malthus' predictions haven't come to be yet.  To claim that that means they won't is like thinking the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building and is now passing the 40th floor has absolutely no reason to worry about his future.

Likewise, claiming that local, temporary reductions in popuplation growth invalidate the longer-term principle is like claiming that winter disproves global warning.  There have been other local decreases in population - e.g. the US northeast during the Gold Rush & westward migration, but the population has always recovered and gown to exceed previous levels.

As for your link, would you care to point out exactly where in Europe the population has decreased?

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #75 on: December 13, 2013, 01:00:58 PM »
Interestingly enough even with not directly Anthropocentric examples ( cows and methane {Enteric Fermentation is a part of their digestive process}) are still indirectly Anthropocentric, we raise the cows.

Not necessarily.  Consider the buffalo, which is closely related to the domestic cow - enough so that they can be crossed to produce 'beefalo'.  Now before European settlement there were an estimated 30-70 million of them roaming the plains, a number similar (especially considering that they're somewhat larger) to the number of cows today.  So the methane from bovine digestion is largely part of the normal background.

Do you think cows, in the wild, would have a large effect on the planet?  I haven't seen many clear cutting forests to make more grasslands for themselves, but then again I haven't been looking.

It's certainly the case for buffalo: their grazing prevented young trees from taking root, and so in effect creatd the Plains grasslands.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 01:09:10 PM by Jamesqf »

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #76 on: December 13, 2013, 01:11:34 PM »
SO, are you asking for a non-human thing (or related thing) that is/has/might cause a large impact on the planet?

Of course not.  An meteor can have, and has had, an large impact on our planet.  But that doesn't mean there's an overpopulation of them.  ;)

The post I was responding to was someone questioning why this was such an anthropocentric discussion.

My point is that it is necessarily so, yes, due to the impact we have on the planet relative to other populations, but further that we're the only ones trying to stop nature from correcting that problem, which can lead to obvious consequences.

Thus the necessity of it towards being an anthropocentric discussion.

Do you think it should not be an anthropocentric discussion, and we ought to discuss overpopulations of other things, but not humans?
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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #77 on: December 13, 2013, 01:35:06 PM »
Interestingly enough even with not directly Anthropocentric examples ( cows and methane {Enteric Fermentation is a part of their digestive process}) are still indirectly Anthropocentric, we raise the cows.

Not necessarily.  Consider the buffalo, which is closely related to the domestic cow - enough so that they can be crossed to produce 'beefalo'.  Now before European settlement there were an estimated 30-70 million of them roaming the plains, a number similar (especially considering that they're somewhat larger) to the number of cows today.  So the methane from bovine digestion is largely part of the normal background.

Do you think cows, in the wild, would have a large effect on the planet?  I haven't seen many clear cutting forests to make more grasslands for themselves, but then again I haven't been looking.

It's certainly the case for buffalo: their grazing prevented young trees from taking root, and so in effect creatd the Plains grasslands.

Even if we go under the assumption of equivalent methane production from both cattle and buffalo you still have to account for the fact that there are far more cattle today than there were buffalo back then. Using your 30-70 million for past buffalo population you have to understand that in the US alone we have over 90 million and 1.3 billion in the world. This moves it from a steady state background number to one that is in fact advancing due to human cultivation of cattle and other ruminants which produce methane.

arebelspy

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #78 on: December 13, 2013, 01:42:49 PM »
that is in fact advancing due to human cultivation

Indeed.
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CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #79 on: December 13, 2013, 02:02:41 PM »
I'm not sure who all those people are at camp, but  Malthus inspired  the term "the dismal science" by his conjectures that luckily didn't come to be. Such as "That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, ". Well he might be shocked to learn about most of Europe and Japan.

Malthus' predictions haven't come to be yet.  To claim that that means they won't is like thinking the guy who jumped off the Empire State Building and is now passing the 40th floor has absolutely no reason to worry about his future. 

Likewise, claiming that local, temporary reductions in popuplation growth invalidate the longer-term principle is like claiming that winter disproves global warning.  There have been other local decreases in population - e.g. the US northeast during the Gold Rush & westward migration, but the population has always recovered and gown to exceed previous levels.

As for your link, would you care to point out exactly where in Europe the population has decreased?

I could never be a teacher, I don't have the patience to keep asking "did you read the preceding?" ad infinitum.


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

Here's a fun wall chart from our statist henchmen: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2006/2006_wppchart.pdf

Malthus is a first year economics example of the many false (but popular) economic models/theory are.

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #80 on: December 13, 2013, 08:50:41 PM »
I could never be a teacher, I don't have the patience to keep asking "did you read the preceding?" ad infinitum.


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

Don't know why you (or the original creators) think a map without visible labels is in any way informative.  But since you want to play Wikipedia games, here's another link which thinks the populations of most European countries are growing.  The former Soviet Union is a temporary exception, persumably due to emigration: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Population_growth_rate_world_2013.svg 

Now whether Russia &c are properly considered European is perhaps a quibble, but even including Russia & the former Warsaw Pact countries, the total population is growing.

It's surprisingly hard (at least for me) to get Google to come up with a simple graph of European population, either by country or as a whole.  Here's a link to the best I could find: http://www.mortality-trends.org/3_special_graphs/77-pop_Eur_selected_HMD.png  Doesn't seem to be much evidence of any decline, except for France following WWI & II.

Quote
Here's a fun wall chart from our statist henchmen: http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/wpp2006/2006_wppchart.pdf

And?  I don't see any place in that chart that has a population decline that isn't readily explained by temporary factors, and there are few that have declines at all.

Quote
Malthus is a first year economics example of the many false (but popular) economic models/theory are.

Sorry, but the anti-Malthusians are, like those who reject Darwin, substituting religious/political dogma and wishful thinking for science.  Which, of course, is not to say that either Malthus' or Darwin's original theories are carved-on-stone-tablets revealed TRUTH, but the basic ideas are there.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #81 on: December 13, 2013, 09:41:55 PM »
Do you not accept the possibility that human food demand might not be insatiable? That the world could actually meet all human needs? That the total population could decline?

Maybe Japan is a better example. Do you think that's a temporary decline?

« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 10:01:13 PM by CDP45 »

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #82 on: December 14, 2013, 06:06:21 AM »
Do you not accept the possibility that human food demand might not be insatiable? That the world could actually meet all human needs? That the total population could decline?

Maybe Japan is a better example. Do you think that's a temporary decline?



Mumble mumble double(triple?) negatives...

The world could meet all human needs if how we generate our needs was changed. With our current methods on pure efficiency as king and waste be damned we won't. Could total population decline? Sure, there are predictions that it may, there are also predictions that it may not. Your crystal ball is as clear as any other one. Linking to Japan's population spread doesn't prove global population decline, just that the spread changes over time, which is more of a demonstration that we live longer when you take into account that a nation is peaceful and industrialized. Also taking a landmass half the size of Texas and trying to imply global trends using the population demographics of said landmass is kinda silly.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #83 on: December 14, 2013, 10:41:34 AM »
I would like to hear what a Malthusian says about Japan's population, other than trying to explain it away as temporary. The reason for the decline is that as wealth per capita increases, the fertility rate drops, why does this happen?  Because people can afford to save for retirement instead of relying on children. Here's some empirical evidence globally. So the real question is will global growth slow or stop in the next 50 years and reverse this trend? Highly unlikely.


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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #84 on: December 14, 2013, 11:03:30 AM »
I would like to hear what a Malthusian says about Japan's population, other than trying to explain it away as temporary. The reason for the decline is that as wealth per capita increases, the fertility rate drops, why does this happen?  Because people can afford to save for retirement instead of relying on children. Here's some empirical evidence globally. So the real question is will global growth slow or stop in the next 50 years and reverse this trend? Highly unlikely.



I'm not saying it is temporary, I said it's a narrow datum on an otherwise large global question.

What is your picture empirical evidence of? The fact that as countries grow in affluence that their birthrates lower. Sure that's fact but it doesn't answer the main point of this thread. Is overpopulation a problem? You seem to assert that a decline in growth means it is not a problem. To use an metaphor, a car slowing down and hitting a wall still hit the wall, doesn't matter if it was going 90 mph or 75 mph. Is 7 billion people a problem right now? How we do it? Yeah probably as evidenced by our impact on the global climate (primarily driven by all those affluent countries so kinda difficult if we take your premise that affluence will solve all when it may in fact just make it worse).

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #85 on: December 14, 2013, 11:44:52 AM »
Do you not accept the possibility that human food demand might not be insatiable?

Not as long as the population keeps growing.

Quote
That the world could actually meet all human needs?

No, because it can't meet all human needs at current population levels.  Unless of course you are limiting your definition of 'need' to the human equivalent of a cattle feedlot or battery chicken operation.

Quote
That the total population could decline?

Of itself, by a sufficient number of humans choosing to have fewer offspring?  Not likely, on past evidence.  It's one  of those 'tragedy of the commons' things.

I would like to hear what a Malthusian says about Japan's population, other than trying to explain it away as temporary. The reason for the decline is that as wealth per capita increases, the fertility rate drops, why does this happen?  Because people can afford to save for retirement instead of relying on children. Here's some empirical evidence globally. So the real question is will global growth slow or stop in the next 50 years and reverse this trend? Highly unlikely.



Once again, why do you think a graph that's a mere scatter of points on a background, with no legend of any sort - not even axes on this one - conveys useful information?

But on the question of Japan, quite a few other countries (or areas within countries) are as prosperous as Japan, if not more so.  If prosperity indeed causes population to decline, then surely their populations should decline as well?  But they don't, which suggests that you need to look elsewhere for the cause of Japan's decline.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #86 on: December 14, 2013, 12:06:42 PM »

I would like to hear what a Malthusian says about Japan's population, other than trying to explain it away as temporary. The reason for the decline is that as wealth per capita increases, the fertility rate drops, why does this happen?  Because people can afford to save for retirement instead of relying on children. Here's some empirical evidence globally. So the real question is will global growth slow or stop in the next 50 years and reverse this trend? Highly unlikely.


Quote
Once again, why do you think a graph that's a mere scatter of points on a background, with no legend of any sort - not even axes on this one - conveys useful information?


Are you guys fooling with me? You can't see  GDP per capita as the control axis with Total fertility rate as the dependent variable?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-replacement_fertility "As of 2010, about 48% of the world population lives in nations with sub-replacement fertility." heres the data: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_territories_by_fertility_rate

I'm sorry I guess I should break it down barney-style here: The dotted line is the fertility replacement rate 2.33, and all the points below that line are countries with rates lower. But notice the correlation between wealth and fertility.

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But on the question of Japan, quite a few other countries (or areas within countries) are as prosperous as Japan, if not more so.  If prosperity indeed causes population to decline, then surely their populations should decline as well?  But they don't, which suggests that you need to look elsewhere for the cause of Japan's decline.

Correct, please see the graph above, the list of the entire should satisfy you.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 12:17:17 PM by CDP45 »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #87 on: December 14, 2013, 12:11:28 PM »
Quote
I'm not saying it is temporary, I said it's a narrow datum on an otherwise large global question.

What is your picture empirical evidence of? The fact that as countries grow in affluence that their birthrates lower. Sure that's fact but it doesn't answer the main point of this thread. Is overpopulation a problem? You seem to assert that a decline in growth means it is not a problem. To use an metaphor, a car slowing down and hitting a wall still hit the wall, doesn't matter if it was going 90 mph or 75 mph. Is 7 billion people a problem right now? How we do it? Yeah probably as evidenced by our impact on the global climate (primarily driven by all those affluent countries so kinda difficult if we take your premise that affluence will solve all when it may in fact just make it worse).

Thank you you recognizing that fact as that negates Malthusian theory. To your other point, luckily developed countries have the best environmental controls as well. And a wall? Please, don't tell me your a doomsday prepper!
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 01:39:48 PM by CDP45 »

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #88 on: December 14, 2013, 12:16:26 PM »

Do you not accept the possibility that human food demand might not be insatiable?

Not as long as the population keeps growing.

Good because the prior evidence I've shown projects total population to peak in the next 20 years and then decline.

Quote
That the world could actually meet all human needs?

No, because it can't meet all human needs at current population levels.  Unless of course you are limiting your definition of 'need' to the human equivalent of a cattle feedlot or battery chicken operation.

Luckily the evidence in the WashPost links shows global poverty should be eliminated within 20 years also.

Quote
That the total population could decline?

Of itself, by a sufficient number of humans choosing to have fewer offspring?  Not likely, on past evidence.  It's one  of those 'tragedy of the commons' things.

See the 48% of the countries that are choosing to have fewer offspring currently.


matchewed

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #89 on: December 14, 2013, 02:32:07 PM »
Quote
I'm not saying it is temporary, I said it's a narrow datum on an otherwise large global question.

What is your picture empirical evidence of? The fact that as countries grow in affluence that their birthrates lower. Sure that's fact but it doesn't answer the main point of this thread. Is overpopulation a problem? You seem to assert that a decline in growth means it is not a problem. To use an metaphor, a car slowing down and hitting a wall still hit the wall, doesn't matter if it was going 90 mph or 75 mph. Is 7 billion people a problem right now? How we do it? Yeah probably as evidenced by our impact on the global climate (primarily driven by all those affluent countries so kinda difficult if we take your premise that affluence will solve all when it may in fact just make it worse).

Thank you you recognizing that fact as that negates Malthusian theory. To your other point, luckily developed countries have the best environmental controls as well. And a wall? Please, don't tell me your a doomsday prepper!

You still haven't addressed the point that I raised. I wasn't debating Malthusian theory with you that was James, I was debating whether we have an overpopulation issue. The number of people we currently have is unsustainable with our current affluent lifestyles. Your hypothesis that if everyone becomes affluent then all the threats from overpopulation disappear because the population will go down is short sighted in that it doesn't recognize the damage that affluent lifestyle does to the world around it. Regardless of the environmental controls in place in affluent countries those very countries are still impacting the world around them.

Do you believe the United States of America is one of if not the most affluent country in the world today? Then by your theory all these environmental controls would mean that we produce less pollution. But that is demonstrably wrong.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #90 on: December 14, 2013, 03:27:02 PM »
Here is my evidence no one reads (Matchewed's source is counter to his point) : The link to list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions shows that in 2012 the US produced less emissions than in 2008, yet there are more people in the USA. A better list would be emissions per capita and the USA is an excellent example to my point:




Then by your theory all these environmental controls would mean that we produce less pollution.
FACT: the USA produces less C02 emissions than 4 years ago (with higher population today) and per capita less emissions than in 1965.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #91 on: December 14, 2013, 03:48:38 PM »
More Evidence to show that matchewebs point is demonstrably false:
(emissions per capita)

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #92 on: December 14, 2013, 04:36:27 PM »
The number of people we currently have is unsustainable with our current affluent lifestyles.


You should have inserted a period after the word unsustainable.

Quote
Your hypothesis that if everyone becomes affluent then all the threats from overpopulation disappear because the population will go down is short sighted...

It's also not supported by evidence.  Affluence may well cause birth rates to go down, but AFAIK there's no affluent country other than Japan in which the population is declining.  Those that do show declines are mostly the former Warsaw Pact countries, which experienced a period of high education combined with local poverty.

FACT: the USA produces less C02 emissions than 4 years ago (with higher population today) and per capita less emissions than in 1965.


Which is not exactly relevant.  The question is not the relative amount of emissions (or land/water use, or whatever), it's whether those levels can be sustained without causing an amount of envionmental degradation that will lead to eventual collapse of parts of the ecosystem.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #93 on: December 14, 2013, 05:28:50 PM »

Quote
Your hypothesis that if everyone becomes affluent then all the threats from overpopulation disappear because the population will go down is short sighted...

It's also not supported by evidence.  Affluence may well cause birth rates to go down, but AFAIK there's no affluent country other than Japan in which the population is declining.  Those that do show declines are mostly the former Warsaw Pact countries, which experienced a period of high education combined with local poverty.

It's ok to learn something new, things change in the world, but I think they are changing for the better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_decline#Decline_by_nation_or_territory

Germany, Italy, Portugal...I guess Japan isn't good enough for the list..

But hey, now you know!

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #94 on: December 14, 2013, 10:29:08 PM »
It's ok to learn something new, things change in the world, but I think they are changing for the better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_decline#Decline_by_nation_or_territory

Germany, Italy, Portugal...I guess Japan isn't good enough for the list..

But hey, now you know!

It's ok to learn, not ok to make stuff up because that's what you, or the sources you cite, want to think.

If you check just a bit further than a Wikipedia article, you'll find that Germany's 'population decline' is a statistical artifact.  Because for decades Germany didn't conduct a census, other methods were used to estimate population, and they produced an estimate that was about 1.5 million too high.  So when they finally did hold a census and got a correct number, it appeared that the population declined.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/world/europe/census-shows-new-drop-in-germanys-population.html?_r=0

For Italy, here's a link to population figures, up to 2010: http://www.indexmundi.com/italy/population.html  While there were a few years of close to zero growth back in the '80s and '90s (and one year of actual negative growth), the rate has increased in the last decade.

Same for Portugal: http://www.indexmundi.com/portugal/population.html

If I'm remembering my history correctly (can't find exact dates) it wasn't until the late '80s to '90s that birth control became legal in Italy & Portugal.  Thes suggests that the decline was a temporary result of women being able to postpone having children for a few years.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #95 on: December 15, 2013, 12:28:23 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Germany shows population peaked about 10 years ago. But isn't your conjecture these populations would grow unabated? Or more specifically why aren't the natural citizens having more children? How can you explain the drop in fertility rates? How do you explain more people over over 45 than under 45 in Germany?


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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #96 on: December 15, 2013, 02:34:02 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Germany shows population peaked about 10 years ago.
Quote

See above link about erroneously high population estimates, not (as far as I can see) taken into account in that article.  Also note the graph in the sidebar, which clearly shows a growing population.

Quote
But isn't your conjecture these populations would grow unabated?

Over the long term, yes.  That doesn't preclude short-term fluctuations, which happen for all sorts of reasons.

Quote
Or more specifically why aren't the natural citizens having more children? How can you explain the drop in fertility rates?

As with Italy and Portugal, short-term fluctuations owing to factors such as choosing to postpone having children.

Quote
How do you explain more people over over 45 than under 45 in Germany?


I'd guess a temporary fluctuation caused by post-WWII baby boom, combined with increased life span, and perhaps some emigration by younger people seeking opportunity elsewhere.

CDP45

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #97 on: December 15, 2013, 03:04:29 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_growth


The population growth rate has been falling since the mid-1960s.

Are you going to brush this off as temporary? How do you explain the decline in growth given the climb in wealth? Given your logic shouldn't a Germanic baby-boom create an even bigger baby-boom especially with income per capita at all time highs? Do you have any evidence that the decline in world fertility is temporary?

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #98 on: December 15, 2013, 08:54:51 PM »
Here is my evidence no one reads (Matchewed's source is counter to his point) : The link to list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions shows that in 2012 the US produced less emissions than in 2008, yet there are more people in the USA. A better list would be emissions per capita and the USA is an excellent example to my point:




Then by your theory all these environmental controls would mean that we produce less pollution.
FACT: the USA produces less C02 emissions than 4 years ago (with higher population today) and per capita less emissions than in 1965.


Why is my source counter to my point? My point is affluence does not affect whether a country is a large producer of pollution. Why would per capita be a better measurement than actual pollution production? It doesn't make it any less and just gives a ratio based on population, that ratio doesn't change the actual amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere. Yay us we release less than four years ago... so what? You keep asserting that affluence will fix everything when affluence is actually one of the key problems. Making more people more affluent will mean more production and fuel consumption which releases more pollution regardless of actual population. As James pointed out, with a current consumption that is unsustainable why would adding more people to that consumption level suddenly become sustainable?

How does emissions per capita suddenly make my point demonstrably false? The more affluent countries produced more CO2 per capita according to your second post which is actually supportive of my argument and not supporting yours. Affluence will generate more people who have unsustainable consumption habits.

And also I have to mention again that population growth does not equal population number, slow growth is still growth. Especially with better medicine and increasing longevity, populations numbers will still continue to rise with low growth.


Quote
Your hypothesis that if everyone becomes affluent then all the threats from overpopulation disappear because the population will go down is short sighted...

It's also not supported by evidence.  Affluence may well cause birth rates to go down, but AFAIK there's no affluent country other than Japan in which the population is declining.  Those that do show declines are mostly the former Warsaw Pact countries, which experienced a period of high education combined with local poverty.

It's ok to learn something new, things change in the world, but I think they are changing for the better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_decline#Decline_by_nation_or_territory

Germany, Italy, Portugal...I guess Japan isn't good enough for the list..

But hey, now you know!

Umm... you do realize what you linked as for the countries with populations in decline only account for 8.64% of the entire world population? All the countries listed add up to 616 million people; not a good representation of a decline in global population. But I'm sure that they may have missed some countries given that they went so far as to mention the well known country of Niue. Also population declines are as affected by emigration and other aforementioned short term causes rather than trying to determine some long term trend given a 10 year track record.

Jamesqf

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Re: Is Overpopulation Really A Problem?
« Reply #99 on: December 15, 2013, 09:04:11 PM »
The population growth rate has been falling since the mid-1960s.

(Sigh)  Yet another one of those mostly-invisible graphs.  Honestly, how can you expect me to take you seriously, when you (or your sources) can't even be bothered to produce portable, legible graphs? (end rant)

So what if the growth rate has been decreasing a bit?  It's still way over there in positive territory, isn't it?  Let me know when/if it ever becomes sufficiently negative for long enough to produce meaningful levels, or when any locality reduces population to sustainable levels.

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Do you have any evidence that the decline in world fertility is temporary?

Do you have any evidence that it's not, or that it ever has or ever will decline enough to produce meaningful declines?  All you have is speculation based on an extrapolation of a short-term trend.