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Old 10.12.2009, 09:33
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Humanity, nice to have known you.

Right enough of the lighter side of life, time to wallow in our misery again:
Did anybody watch the BBC Horizon program late last night?
How many of us Humans can the planet take? What I found fascinating was not the sanitized for TV report, but the parts that were hinted upon.
The program's mainstream relied heavily the Club of Rome's 1972 book "Limits of growth" What is going to happen to us a race have been known since then, the leaders of our planet chose to ignore the warnings, politicians are not known or expected to think farther than the legislations period and longtime planning is to them what holy water is to vampires.
The predictions made in 1972 gave us the options and dictated the "roadmap." or the way to go. Since then the human race has gone and blundered it's way irrevocably down the path of least resistance, the one road we should not have taken, with that our fate is sealed.
We are now almost seven billion people on this rock, all wanting, demanding a fair share of the resources on offer, thing is there is not enough to go around. The program stated that there would be enough for 15 billion of us if we all lived at the level of people in the 4th world or just around starvation level, but there is room for only 1.5 billion at the level of our "western" society and 90% of them would be Americans!!!
Should we worry?
No!
Firstly there is nothing we can do about it, our genetic "programming" as it would be known is to consume, consume until there is nothing left, then over to the next land and consume that as well, if the locals object bring out ethnic cleansing.
Consume, consume, consume ourselves to extinction. It's just the way we are.
Secondly when the resources of food, water, energy reach peak, the point in time when no more water is available, no more food can be grown and no more energy can be released, the overshoot of population will start to die off.
A coming Malthusian catastrophe!

Then there is our real tragedy. Those of us lucky to have been born here in the "advanced western society" are in the best place for survival, our culture may drop back to a level near the end of the mediaeval period but only if we detach the ballast of the rest of the world, the second, the third and especially the forth world must die for us to live.
What cruel god puts us on a rock with so few resources, gives us a brain and the ability to reproduce like, well, humans?
The show finished on the note that maybe our intelligence might save us..
The same thing that got us into this mess in the first place?
Cute!
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Old 10.12.2009, 09:46
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

Dont despair.

MYTH: The world is overcrowded and population growth is adding overwhelming numbers of humans to a small planet.
.
In fact, people do live in crowded conditions, and always have. We cluster together in cities and villages in order to exchange goods and services with one another. But while we crowd together for economic reasons in our great metropolitan areas, most of the world is empty, as we can see when we fly over it. It has been estimated by Paul Ehrlich and others that human beings actually occupy no more than 1-3% of the earth's land surface.
.
If you allotted 1250 square feet to each person, all the people in the world would fit into the state of Texas. Try the math yourself: 7,438,152,268,800 square feet in Texas, divided by the world population of 5,860,000,000, equals 1269 square feet per person. The population density of this giant city would be about 21,000 -- somewhat more than San Francisco and less than the Bronx.
.
Another fact: World population growth is rapidly declining. United Nations figures show that the 79 countries that comprise 40% of the world's population now have fertility rates too low to prevent population decline. The rate in Asia fell from 2.4 in 1965-70 to 1.5 in 1990-95. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the rate fell from 2.75 in 1960-65 to 1.70 in 1990-95. In Europe, the rate fell to 0.16 -- that is, effectively zero -- in 1990-95.And the annual rate of change in world population fell from 2% in 1965-70 to less than 1.5% in 1990-95.
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Old 10.12.2009, 09:49
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

Derv I agree with you, we should not despair. Still, we should be respinsible with our decisions regarding our planet. After all, what do we want to leave for our children and grandchildren?
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Old 10.12.2009, 09:58
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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Derv I agree with you, we should not despair. Still, we should be respinsible with our decisions regarding our planet. After all, what do we want to leave for our children and grandchildren?
Good education and Wisdom on ways of survival and living a good life.
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Old 10.12.2009, 09:58
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

My rifle room is well stocked; my goats and chicken are hardy and graze on my roof terrace - which also affords 360 visibility - and the well is secure.

Apart from these measures, I ask politicians awkward questions, vote where I can and try to use my consumer power wisely.

Not many give a toss, though, but hopefully the Kids will be around and obliged to sort this mess we made.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:00
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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Secondly when the resources of food, water, energy reach peak, the point in time when no more water is available, no more food can be grown and no more energy can be released,
... using current methods and technologies, you mean?
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:17
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

I don't think overpopulation in terms of mass of people is the main issue we are facing, it's one of resources and the destruction of our environment. What scares me more than anything else is that the only place my children or my grandchildren may be looking at the animals we take for granted is in books. The rainforests and oceans are my primary concern, and unless we take action then I think the damage will be irreversible.

Energy will eventually go along the way of consisting primarily of both renewable and improved nuclear methods (clear choice imo) and be plentiful for all, and I think oil and coal largely won't be needed in the next 50-100 years due to vehicles running on improved electrical methods and enhanced bio-fuels.

Food is a problem in many areas but I think this is all down to infrastructure... if you have a huge mass of people in some ****ed up economy (eg: many parts of Africa etc) with no real development or established supply chains then of course it will reach a critical mass... but I guess what's going to happen is that a lot of people are going to suffer before these countries and areas eventually work themselves out in that respect, and it likely won't be a quick process.

I also consider the risk of nuclear war very low in the grand scheme of things... no-one wants meltdown nowadays, many economies are so tied into each-other that there would be nothing to be gained from destroying them, not to mention the clear risk of an answering nuke hitting your capital cities. Maybe terrorists will get hold of one and use it, but I think the chances are slim.

All speculation on my part of course, but I think there isn't TOO much to worry about from a "The world will self destruct" perspective. Time will tell...
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:20
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

I don't think "each person needs just 1250sq ft to live" is an adequate representation of what people need to live.

This says nothing about food, water, sewerage, transport or anything.

Maybe all people could live in texas, but it would be a hell on earth (no offence to texans).
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:25
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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I don't think "each person needs just 1250sq ft to live" is an adequate representation of what people need to live.

This says nothing about food, water, sewerage, transport or anything.

Maybe all people could live in texas, but it would be a hell on earth (no offence to texans).
Maybe it expects humans to use a bit of intelligence and develop means of water supply, transport and sewerage... or perhaps double the size and spread out in 2 states the size of Texas?

Its just an illustration, re how the over population myth is sensationalised, where in fact its all to do with greed and bad planning.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:29
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

Dervaish: well said.

Malthus' (or his modern-day disciple Ehrlich's) rubbish is being pushed way too often. It is a nice one for media to pick up on as nothing grabs viewers or sells newspapers like a serious threat, however distant or improbable.

In my experience, the Malthusian catastrophe is often used by enviromentalists to justify whatever they happen to have an opinion on and the proposed solution is not palatable to anyone unless the consequences (eternal doom) are unavoidable. I find this unfortunate since they sometimes have sensible things to say (sustainable energy and food production are pretty good ideas).

Pushing around what appears to be a flawed and controversial theory, in this case proposing near annihilation of the human species, is not going to help in the long run; it will get attention to the immediate pet cause, but as soon as it is revealed to be inaccurate or possibly wrong antipathy against the cause and any related issues will increase, possibly resulting in an opportunity lost.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:32
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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Maybe it expects humans to use a bit of intelligence and develop means of water supply, transport and sewerage... or perhaps double the size and spread out in 2 states the size of Texas?

Its just an illustration, re how the over population myth is sensationalised, where in fact its all to do with greed and bad planning.
It might be oversensationalised, but it doesn't do any good to grossly over simplify it. Simply saying we'll have to use our intelligence to develop adequate solutions shows that even you realise there is a problem, the solutions still need to be developed.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:36
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

Hi MathNut, as to current levels of technology, I think that they are the pinnacle, nothing better that what we have now will be invented or developed and all the "new technologies" for our "bright" future are just window dressing for the plebs.
Oil is the one and only energy source on or off this planet with enough power to just about sustain the current level of population, as peak oil approaches the agricultural yields will fall triggering a free for all fighting for resources, water, food and energy being the main ones, just ask Nestlé why they want to purchase African and south American water reserves (the last James Bond movie was not too far fetched), also the ongoing landgrab in the third world by western society's multi's shows that the key players are already jostling for position in the endgame.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:36
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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It might be oversensationalised, but it doesn't do any good to grossly over simplify it. Simply saying we'll have to use our intelligence to develop adequate solutions shows that even you realise there is a problem, the solutions still need to be developed.
Dearie me... You are right!!

Here I thought the wheel invented itself and ways of irrigation were taught by our Alien masters!
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:38
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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In my experience, the Malthusian catastrophe is often used by enviromentalists to justify whatever they happen to have an opinion on and the proposed solution is not palatable to anyone unless the consequences (eternal doom) are unavoidable. I find this unfortunate since they sometimes have sensible things to say (sustainable energy and food production are pretty good ideas).

Pushing around what appears to be a flawed and controversial theory, in this case proposing near annihilation of the human species, is not going to help in the long run; it will get attention to the immediate pet cause, but as soon as it is revealed to be inaccurate or possibly wrong antipathy against the cause and any related issues will increase, possibly resulting in an opportunity lost.
We pay for (mineral) water already, and now for Carbon emissions.. just waiting for the day we will get an Oxygen Tax for breathing too much and causing global warming.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:39
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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but only if we detach the ballast of the rest of the world, the second, the third and especially the forth world must die for us to live.
I agree, we should abolish all aid to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th world. Costs too much tax anyway especially in this economic crisis, we can use it better to subsidize our own farmers.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:39
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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Hi MathNut, as to current levels of technology, I think that they are the pinnacle, nothing better that what we have now will be invented or developed and all the "new technologies" for our "bright" future are just window dressing for the plebs.
You're probably right then; after all, nobody has ever thought that before...
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:40
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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We pay for (mineral) water already, and now for Carbon emissions.. just waiting for the day we will get an Oxygen Tax for breathing too much and causing global warming.
Well I once read that jogging results in 100 g CO2 / km... Jogging should be forbidden and everyone should be given a VW Polo bluemotion (89 g/km), much better for the planet
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:43
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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Dearie me... You are right!!

Here I thought the wheel invented itself and ways of irrigation were taught by our Alien masters!
Yes I know, everything is simple, building a massive infrastructure is a simple as saying we have irrigation.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:43
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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Oil is the one and only energy source on or off this planet with enough power to just about sustain the current level of population, as peak oil approaches the agricultural yields will fall triggering a free for all fighting for resources, water, food and energy being the main ones, just ask Nestlé why they want to purchase African and south American water reserves (the last James Bond movie was not too far fetched), also the ongoing landgrab in the third world by western society's multi's shows that the key players are already jostling for position in the endgame.
Have you ever thought we need Oil as energy because it was available and discovered and the modern inventions and life developed around it.

Say we reach Peak Oil and there is no oil left? Will the humanity cease to exist or suffer dire consequences?

NO... we will just go back to the way we used to live before or perhaps develop new ways.

Cities expanded and its possible for people to Drive 100kms everyday to seek their economic means because we have Oil and Motor Transport. Motor Transport developed cause cities grew and effecient fuel, Oil was available.

There is no bigger threat to Human well being than stupidity and greed of the few.
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Old 10.12.2009, 10:47
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Re: Humanity, nice to have known you.

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You're probably right then; after all, nobody has ever thought that before...

While I don't doubt that technology will keep up, what are you going to end up with as we slowly creep over every useable bit of land. Even if technology does keep up, if population keeps growing we will eventually hit a wall, even if it's not in the forseeable future.
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