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Old 13.02.2007, 18:25
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Planet Earth..standing room only [climate change discussion]

Okay, suddenly the environment seems to be taking more headlines than terrorism. And so it should.

Its one thing for us to realise how much we are polluting the planet and exhausting fossil fuels, but as I see it the critical problem is overpopulation. There is too many of us.

The human race has risen above nature's first level population control measures. My question is: Will any efficiencies energy use or reduction in pollution be negated by our growing population? Can we do anything to control the population, and what effect would a decreasing population have on a world economy?


Discuss................
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Old 13.02.2007, 18:28
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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Okay, suddenly the environment seems to be taking more headlines than terrorism. And so it should.

Its one thing for us to realise how much we are polluting the planet and exhausting fossil fuels, but as I see it the critical problem is overpopulation. There is too many of us.

The human race has risen above nature's first level population control measures. My question is: Will any efficiencies energy use or reduction in pollution be negated by our growing population? Can we do anything to control the population, and what effect would a decreasing population have on a world economy?


Discuss................
Bird flu. That'll sort us out.

More acid rain. It'll solve the homeless problem, just need to cleanup afterwards...
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Old 13.02.2007, 19:02
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

At last... Someone has voiced the thought that's also been going around in my head since the environmental "thing" became too big to ignore.

Somehow we've this attitude that the expansion of the human race is not negotiable, that life and the right to produce innumerable children is something that should not be denied anyone. But it's such a holy cow that no politician has dared voice the thought.

Imagine, in every "civilised" country, one gets tax relief for having kids. It's like being paid to procreate. Now I know (and if I don't say it here someone is sure to forcibly remind me) that when I get old, I'll need all those youngsters to look after me, not to mention fund my pension, plundered over many years by governments everywhere. But I start to get the awful feeling that the world might be so crowded by the time I'm 80 that the youngsters might be looking for a way to help us oldsters die, so there's room and resources for them. After all, why should they be lumbered each trying to support 3 or 4 pensioners, who have largely enjoyed the environment at the youngsters' expense?

I like the advert currently running on NatGeo that says "we didn't inherit the world from our parents, we are borrowing it from our children".

My parents used to say to me when I was young "you don't know how well off you are" - referring to the personal hardships they suffered in the wake of WW2. If I had kids (thankfully I don't) I'd be really sad for the crap world they are inheriting from us, HIV, religious extremism, climate change etc., etc. I think my parents have had the best of the western European times.

It seems utterly logical that if the world population was 50% of its current level and not growing, that the problems would be far less severe. Think - 50% less jet flights, less C02, less, less.

I'm glad for people who enjoy the precious gift of kids, but would it make much difference if there was just one instead of 2 or 3? Unfortunately the choice is easy for westernised nations, but far harder for countries in the developing world where birth (and child death) rates remain much higher. Of course we santimonious modern folks expect them to curb their birth rates and ours are relatively flat, but we've already raped the environment and enjoyed ourselves. It's a bit unfair to expect poorer nations to sacrifice because we've been so profligate.

Let the arrows fly - I'm sure someone will take great exception to my views!

Richard S
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Old 13.02.2007, 19:30
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

Right to have abortion, euthanasia are a must in my book :-) Really don't understand how some people can have 8 kids :-O I guess their imaginary "god" told them to Frankly I have no hope for mankind.
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Old 13.02.2007, 19:45
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

Large families in many countries are the ONLY form of social security, and therefore deemed necessary.
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:09
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

I think it's a lot of huey.
Isn't it convenient for a lot of money makers that we "have a population problem"/"we're running out of food"/"The global warming is going to kill us".

Come on. Wake up. YOu are worried about the environment cause of this "scientific review" which came out after 4 days and produced, to quote the nyt, but in a smarter way, a "significance" at an alpha level of .1?
You're convinced of the global warming due to human activity blah blah blah because we only had one snow fall this year?

If this becomes policy *some people* will make a lot of money, all because a bunch of fools beleived that the sky was falling down on their heads. Tomorrow, policies will be in place to replace our cars...oh, wait that happened already!!! At who's expense? And at whose profit?
all because of the global warming.
Sorry, the verdict is not in just because the headlines said so. Besides we're far more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for. We think we know so much but we didn't know to wash our hands till just a few years ago.
out.
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:11
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

Quote:
Imagine, in every "civilised" country, one gets tax relief for having kids. It's like being paid to procreate. Now I know (and if I don't say it here someone is sure to forcibly remind me) that when I get old, I'll need all those youngsters to look after me, not to mention fund my pension, plundered over many years by governments everywhere. But I start to get the awful feeling that the world might be so crowded by the time I'm 80 that the youngsters might be looking for a way to help us oldsters die, so there's room and resources for them. After all, why should they be lumbered each trying to support 3 or 4 pensioners, who have largely enjoyed the environment at the youngsters' expense?

...

It seems utterly logical that if the world population was 50% of its current level and not growing, that the problems would be far less severe. Think - 50% less jet flights, less C02, less, less.

I'm glad for people who enjoy the precious gift of kids, but would it make much difference if there was just one instead of 2 or 3? Unfortunately the choice is easy for westernised nations, but far harder for countries in the developing world where birth (and child death) rates remain much higher. Of course we santimonious modern folks expect them to curb their birth rates and ours are relatively flat, but we've already raped the environment and enjoyed ourselves. It's a bit unfair to expect poorer nations to sacrifice because we've been so profligate.
Economic development leads to drastic reductions in birthrates. This is proven at this point. In Europe the rates are rather low, as they in developed Asian countries such as Korea and Japan, along with China (the one child policy plays a role, but as China continues to develop patterns that have developed in other Asian countries are just as likely to take hold there). And yes, there is a major difference when couples decided to have only one child instead of two or three children -- it makes the social state as currently constructed unsustainable, particularly in countries such as Germany with such low birth rates. There will not be enough individuals in the work force, for example, to fund public pension schemes.

Why do you provide tax incentives and relief for parents? Because it costs a great deal of money to have children, which is one of the reasons why Europeans have fewer. In addition, these incentives are necessary if Europe is to return a sustainable birth rate, as exists among the native population in the United States (with a birthrate of 2.1 or so). The growth in the US is almost entirely attributable to immigration and the habit of first generation immigrants to procreate more than natives. Their children, however, are know to adapt to local habits. Studies show that second generation Turkish immigrants in Germany, for example, tend to have fewer *children* than their parents, and that this trend continues with each generation. There is the desire to establish one's self and to make a career, which is not compatible with having many children.

This would mean that the primary problem is the lack of economic development and modernization across the Third World, wouldn't it?

Last edited by spmull06; 13.02.2007 at 20:51.
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:35
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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Studies show that second generation Turkish immigrants in Germany, for example, tend to have fewer parents than their parents, and that this trend continues with each generation.
This is indeed disturbing...
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:37
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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I think it's a lot of huey.
Isn't it convenient for a lot of money makers that we "have a population problem"/"we're running out of food"/"The global warming is going to kill us".
Actually we DO have an over population problem and human activity IS having an effect on our climate
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:49
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

What "Over population" ? there is enough food for all, we can sort out ther enregy problem if we throw enough money at it (the Sun is not going out any time soon, nor is Uranium).

For those who would like to dispute the hunger problem - please note that there was never a famine in a country with free press.
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:53
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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This is indeed disturbing...
Agreed!
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:54
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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What "Over population" ? there is enough food for all, we can sort out ther enregy problem if we throw enough money at it (the Sun is not going out any time soon, nor is Uranium).

For those who would like to dispute the hunger problem - please note that there was never a famine in a country with free press.
Enough food? Tell that to the fish...The ocean ecosystems are verging on collapse due to overfishing. Current fishing levels and methods are not sustainable.
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Old 13.02.2007, 20:59
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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What "Over population" ? there is enough food for all, we can sort out ther enregy problem if we throw enough money at it (the Sun is not going out any time soon, nor is Uranium).

For those who would like to dispute the hunger problem - please note that there was never a famine in a country with free press.
Umm and the whole world has free press?

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ey...opulation.html

According to the United Nations, population increases have slowed or even stopped in Europe, North America, and Japan. Nevertheless, global population continues to rise at a rate of roughly 78 million people per year. Most of the growth is taking place in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South and Western Asia—areas least able to afford more people. Not coincidentally, the same places are plagued by deforestation and other unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
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Old 13.02.2007, 21:11
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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Umm and the whole world has free press?

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ey...opulation.html

According to the United Nations, population increases have slowed or even stopped in Europe, North America, and Japan. Nevertheless, global population continues to rise at a rate of roughly 78 million people per year. Most of the growth is taking place in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of South and Western Asia—areas least able to afford more people. Not coincidentally, the same places are plagued by deforestation and other unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
My point exactly - it's not the quantity, it's the quality (of government). well run countries can sustain their population, whereas not so well run can not manage even in better conditions (Africa & Asia are much more suitable for humans than cold northern europe). But it much easier to buy Bio than to ask for clean government in Madagascar
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Old 15.02.2007, 14:58
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

There is enough food and water for the growing population it’s the unequal distribution of these resources that is the problem.
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Old 15.02.2007, 15:22
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

We are due something to wipe out a large chunk of civilisation - black plague was the last decent culling nature managed.

The advances in medicine are perhaps doing us no favours and we will make ourselves extinct - The Matrix was somewhat ironic where the Agents refer to humans as "A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet" in nature.

We will bring about the end of the world - the question is how and of course when.

And I don't see how it could be avoided.
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Old 15.02.2007, 15:33
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

Get your Poisson Distribution out fer the lads, and tell us when ! Is it too late for a holiday this year ? Are we really doooooomed ?

dave

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We are due something to wipe out a large chunk of civilisation - black plague was the last decent culling nature managed.
....
We will bring about the end of the world - the question is how and of course when.

And I don't see how it could be avoided.
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Old 15.02.2007, 15:36
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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For those who would like to dispute the hunger problem - please note that there was never a famine in a country with free press.
Ireland 1845-1849.
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Old 15.02.2007, 15:45
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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Ireland 1845-1849.
I very much doubt Ireland had a free press expressing, for example, opposition to the British occupation during that period...
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Old 15.02.2007, 15:52
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Re: Planet Earth..standing room only

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I very much doubt Ireland had a free press expressing, for example, opposition to the British occupation during that period...
Agreed. At least not for the Catholic part of the population.
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