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  #41  
Old 23.08.2016, 12:37
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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How much of the meat (or food in general) consumed here is imported? I'm not all that concerned about the amount of water it takes to produce a foodstuff, but the fuel used to transport it from the other side of the planet bothers me. You can't taste the diesel in imported strawberries, but it is there. If you could taste it it would probably overpower the equivalent amount of ground black pepper.

On the contrary - water is a far more pressing concern. The amount of fresh water hasn't increased significantly in millennia, hovering around 2.5% of the total water content of Earth, but only 1% of that water is actually accessible.


What has changed is the rate at which that water is used. In some parts of the world, the single biggest factor contributing to places becoming less habitable is drought - the lack of water. Think of California, for example.


Water use has grown at twice the rate of population growth in the last 100 years - and this isn't sustainable. The UN estimates that by 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change. 2025 is less than 10 years away.

Last edited by J2488; 23.08.2016 at 12:40. Reason: Sauce: http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/freshwater-crisis/
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  #42  
Old 23.08.2016, 12:46
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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I think the issue is more where we put those 2 billion people (or, for that matter, 10 billion people).
Not all of the earth is commonly habitable (yet). But there is enough that is habitable for our current population and more so besides. The question is how we use the space.
Our bathtub is flooding, but only because we purchased an unreasonably small bathtub in the first place.
Improving the ability of people to live in more parts of the world will ultimately increase the size of our little bathtub, and we wont be spilling so much water. That involves doing things that are hard and not profitable - like making a serious effort to slow down climate change, preventing conflict, and investing in the poorer parts of the globe. But since the ROI there is pitifully small or non-existent, nobody wants to really do it.
Case in point - Eritrea. If the powers that be were to make Eritrea less of a shithole, perhaps more people would choose to stay, and less come to Europe and contribute to greater resource use in Europe. The fact that the single biggest push factor from Eritrea is, in fact, governmental policy is just some lovely icing on the Irony Cake.
but what is the overall goal here? to have as many people as we can? why? what is the practical difference between having 2 bil homo sapiens or 10? other than 10 bil is more difficult to sustain.

i am sure we can sustain many more billions with proper use of the space we have. go full nuclear to tie us over until fusion. if solar really is an alternative thats even better. save the oil for the nearly unlimited other applications. colonize space, then we need the growing population, right now its useless or even dangerous.
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  #43  
Old 23.08.2016, 12:46
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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What do you base your claim on, the majority of the ones I know look very unhealthy & are Obese.
And the majority I know are healthy and slim. Both statements are meaningless, however the stats I have seen clearly indicate that vegetarians are healthier on average than meat eaters.

In any event J2488's answer is actually relevant here.
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  #44  
Old 23.08.2016, 12:51
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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On the contrary - water is a far more pressing concern. The amount of fresh water hasn't increased significantly in millennia, hovering around 2.5% of the total water content of Earth, but only 1% of that water is actually accessible.


What has changed is the rate at which that water is used. In some parts of the world, the single biggest factor contributing to places becoming less habitable is drought - the lack of water. Think of California, for example.


Water use has grown at twice the rate of population growth in the last 100 years - and this isn't sustainable. The UN estimates that by 2025, an estimated 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity, with two-thirds of the world's population living in water-stressed regions as a result of use, growth, and climate change. 2025 is less than 10 years away.
The water scarcity thing is highly regional, and looks different depending on how you define issues like purity.

I'm not saying that water isn't an issue. If anything, the transport of foods from water stressed regions to non water stressed regions compounds the issue. In places like the praries, for crops like corn and wheat (rarely artificially irrigated), as long as the groundwater isn't being contaminated, then water isn't an issue. California, or any other semi arid region is a different story.
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  #45  
Old 23.08.2016, 12:57
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

solve energy problem -> solve water problem with desalination

or reduce the number of water drinkers and prevent the problem...
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  #46  
Old 23.08.2016, 13:01
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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And the majority I know are healthy and slim. Both statements are meaningless, however the stats I have seen clearly indicate that vegetarians are healthier on average than meat eaters.

In any event J2488's answer is actually relevant here.
I don't know of any life insurance companies who give discounts for being Vegetarian, however many do if your a non smoker. Same for health insurance outside Switzerland that does not underwrite the individual risk.

Of the 4 'fussy eaters' coming to my wedding, none of them look better than the average guest of the same age. Average age must be around 50, not one of the vegetarians has a good body. The major carnivores are in way better shape.
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  #47  
Old 23.08.2016, 13:01
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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but what is the overall goal here? to have as many people as we can? why? what is the practical difference between having 2 bil homo sapiens or 10? other than 10 bil is more difficult to sustain.

i am sure we can sustain many more billions with proper use of the space we have. go full nuclear to tie us over until fusion. if solar really is an alternative thats even better. save the oil for the nearly unlimited other applications. colonize space, then we need the growing population, right now its useless or even dangerous.

That's just it - its foolish to set a 'target human population' because it is so far out of the realm of control.


Population itself is a resource, as well as being something that requires resources. It is the vehicle of human advancement. You need people to do stuff, to make the state of the world better. You need people to produce food, you need people to produce electricity, you need people, and with them skills, to effect any actual change.


Having lots of people is not bad - the earth can sustainably support many more people. Its not as though the entire earth is crammed full - though certain parts of it are. Subsequently, it follows that reducing the number of people isn't likely to help the issue either, unless you kill off 2 billion of the most resource-intensive (read: richer) people. Switzerland has liberal euthanasia policies, but I expect this pill to be too bitter, even for Switzerland.


Professor Corey Bradshaw, a well respected ecologist suggests that it is nearly impossible to say what this 'optimum' number would be, because it is entirely dependent on technologies like farming, electricity production and transport – and on how many people we are willing to condemn to a life of poverty or malnutrition.


The UN went a bit further and studied exactly what population the earth could afford under different scenarios. Their conclusion was that depending on how we use resources, the Earth can support anywhere between 2 billion, all the way to 1024 billion.

Population is not the issue - consumption of resources is.

https://na.unep.net/geas/archive/pdf...g_capacity.pdf
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  #48  
Old 23.08.2016, 13:02
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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solve energy problem -> solve water problem with desalination

or reduce the number of water drinkers and prevent the problem...

Desalination is very, very energy intensive, and doesn't actually produce that much freshwater.
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  #49  
Old 23.08.2016, 13:05
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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I disagree - humans have shown time and again that there are two times when incredible advances are made very quickly:


When survival depends on it
When lots of money can be made from it.


Whether one way or the other, science will rescue us.
I dont think science will solve this.

The only way to solve it is either

at the end of a condom
or
a bullet

stop breeding cannon fodder people..
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:08
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

Science doesn't need to. People just need to stop consuming so much crap.
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  #51  
Old 23.08.2016, 13:17
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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That's just it - its foolish to set a 'target human population' because it is so far out of the realm of control.


Population itself is a resource, as well as being something that requires resources. It is the vehicle of human advancement. You need people to do stuff, to make the state of the world better. You need people to produce food, you need people to produce electricity, you need people, and with them skills, to effect any actual change.


Having lots of people is not bad - the earth can sustainably support many more people. Its not as though the entire earth is crammed full - though certain parts of it are. Subsequently, it follows that reducing the number of people isn't likely to help the issue either, unless you kill off 2 billion of the most resource-intensive (read: richer) people. Switzerland has liberal euthanasia policies, but I expect this pill to be too bitter, even for Switzerland.


Professor Corey Bradshaw, a well respected ecologist suggests that it is nearly impossible to say what this 'optimum' number would be, because it is entirely dependent on technologies like farming, electricity production and transport – and on how many people we are willing to condemn to a life of poverty or malnutrition.


The UN went a bit further and studied exactly what population the earth could afford under different scenarios. Their conclusion was that depending on how we use resources, the Earth can support anywhere between 2 billion, all the way to 1024 billion.

Population is not the issue - consumption of resources is.

https://na.unep.net/geas/archive/pdf...g_capacity.pdf
yes i know we can sustain many more people. but just like the prof you quote, how many are we willing to condemn to "indian level" instead of "swiss level".

of course it depends on consumption, what else. but we currently have a problem, we agree on that right? so current number of people (x) times current consumption (y) = z. x is going up and y is not going down evenly so z is rising. very simple. i hope y gets a boost in the right direction in time before x goes down automatically. earth itself will be fine.(carlin classic)

your link is not working btw

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Desalination is very, very energy intensive, and doesn't actually produce that much freshwater.
thats why i said "solve the energy problem"
nuclear or solar i dont care. its possible, do it.
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  #52  
Old 23.08.2016, 13:18
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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The water scarcity thing is highly regional, and looks different depending on how you define issues like purity.

I'm not saying that water isn't an issue. If anything, the transport of foods from water stressed regions to non water stressed regions compounds the issue. In places like the praries, for crops like corn and wheat (rarely artificially irrigated), as long as the groundwater isn't being contaminated, then water isn't an issue. California, or any other semi arid region is a different story.

With the greatest respect - no it isn't.


Freshwater is defined in this case as non-salinated water. When fresh water becomes scarce in one region, the people from that region wont hang around and wait to die - they migrate to places where water is more available, increasing the rate at which water is lost in that region.


Freshwater being lost in one region will have a knock on effect on other regions.


There isn't really any such thing as a different story - its all the same story.
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:19
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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Science doesn't need to. People just need to stop consuming so much crap.
People simply consume whatever happens to be available to them. I don't think its a problem of consumption, but a problem of producing better quality things. For this, I posit this is a commercial/economic challenge.
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:20
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

It's fine. We just keep the rest of the world in poverty and we can take their share!
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:20
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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but what is the overall goal here? to have as many people as we can? why? what is the practical difference between having 2 bil homo sapiens or 10? other than 10 bil is more difficult to sustain.

i am sure we can sustain many more billions with proper use of the space we have. go full nuclear to tie us over until fusion. if solar really is an alternative thats even better. save the oil for the nearly unlimited other applications. colonize space, then we need the growing population, right now its useless or even dangerous.

Malthus saw this coming a long time ago, but maybe its not the size of the population, but the minority that use the most resources.
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:26
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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yes i know we can sustain many more people. but just like the prof you quote, how many are we willing to condemn to "indian level" instead of "swiss level".

of course it depends on consumption, what else. but we currently have a problem, we agree on that right? so current number of people (x) times current consumption (y) = z. x is going up and y is not going down evenly so z is rising. very simple. i hope y gets a boost in the right direction in time before x goes down automatically. earth itself will be fine.(carlin classic)

your link is not working btw

thats why i said "solve the energy problem"
nuclear or solar i dont care. its possible, do it.
Apologies, try this:
http://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageW...?article_id=88

You've actually touched on something that has been reaseach to a far more advanced level: the IPAT equation.

I = PAT

I - impact on environment resulting from consumption
P - Population
A - consumption (affluence)
T - Technology efficiency
Now, that's a very simplistic way to look at it, too simplistic in fact but it does indicate the connections between the three factors.
Population can be thought of as an ever increasing constant, since we cant control it.
Consumption, however, can be controlled - through adoption of better practices. Legislation is the primary vehicle and it does work (ie, the EU ban on overpowered electrical appliances).
Technology efficiency can help too, but only if the right technologies are being pursued.

With the right legislation, and the right technology, it is quite possible for more people to live at the swiss level, without us screwing over the earth and everything in it in the process.
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:30
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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It's fine. We just keep the rest of the world in poverty and we can take their share!
Or we do what some african tribes do to get rid of surplus males and have us a nice war.
But even if in a war two or even three billion are killed that will still not be enough to ensure that the survivors live with a western style way of life, and one thing that we humans do as well as killing each other is boning, the three billion will be back consuming within two hundred years.
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:30
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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Malthus saw this coming a long time ago, but maybe its not the size of the population, but the minority that use the most resources.
youre not reading what i am saying.

i dont blame e.g. india for environmental issues. i simply stated in my initial post that we can have a lower world pop that all live on swiss standards OR higher world pop that lives on indian standards.

i would choose the first situation. if you agree with that, you have to face the fact that we need to limit world pop. if you disagree, you can start by switching lifestyles.
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:38
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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Or we do what some african tribes do to get rid of surplus males and have us a nice war.
But even if in a war two or even three billion are killed that will still not be enough to ensure that the survivors live with a western style way of life, and one thing that we humans do as well as killing each other is boning, the three billion will be back consuming within two hundred years.

The western style of life depends on a large number of non-westerners producing enough resources for the westerners. So if you kill off 3 billion non-westerners, your concept of a western style way of life goes out the window.


Now, if you killed off 2 billion westerners, you'd probably do far more good for the world.


Any volunteers?
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Old 23.08.2016, 13:44
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Re: Switzerland is the third worst for overuse of resources

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With the right legislation, and the right technology, it is quite possible for more people to live at the swiss level, without us screwing over the earth and everything in it in the process.
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The western style of life depends on a large number of non-westerners producing enough resources for the westerners. So if you kill off 3 billion non-westerners, your concept of a western style way of life goes out the window.


Now, if you killed off 2 billion westerners, you'd probably do far more good for the world.


Any volunteers?

The idea of "us" and "doing something about this" seem to imply someone somewhere taking control over the choices and decisions of the rest of humanity against its will. Who would that be, and would it be acceptable? Sounds like a pipe dream, or a nightmare.
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