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John John
10-12-1999, 08:02 PM
In just one decade we went from 5 to 6 billion people on the planet. What is the limit that this planet can sustain without degredation to the environment?

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

pmh
10-12-1999, 08:06 PM
3 billion

tomndebb
10-12-1999, 08:08 PM
Nah, we were degrading the environment back when there were only 1.5 billion of us.

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Tom~

John John
10-12-1999, 08:11 PM
How did we ruin the planet when we were 1.5 billion - 1492, other than kill each other? Seriously though, that was the pre industrial age and very few, if any, pollutants.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Satan
10-12-1999, 08:24 PM
My guess is we could support 12 billion people if we were doing things right. This would mean heavy recycling - not plastics, but regrowing timber, and replenishing any other natural resources we can do that to. It would mean feeding everyone instead of having people starve in some countries while other governments pay farmers to destroy good crops. It would mean more reliance on solar power the world over, and it would mean more urban areas with less cars and more effecient public transportation. Of course we will never get our shit together enough to do even 1/10th of these things well, yet alone the hundreds of things that I'm not mentioning, but ultimately, that is as much our fault as over-population is.

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Yer pal,
Satan

tracer
10-12-1999, 08:58 PM
Heck, just how much are we degrading the environment right now? Probably a heck of a lot less than the green alarmists would like to believe.

(And for a totally biased, but still popular-with-me, view on the subject, go to http://www.ecotrop.org/ .)

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

John John
10-12-1999, 09:09 PM
12 billion? We don't have enough WATER for 7 billion. Nah, that doesn't sound like something humans want to find out about. When I even conjure the image of 12 billion I also think about Solient Green. "Ok, on the menu tonight we have hpstrdufuz l'orange" Now, that's scary.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

tomndebb
10-12-1999, 11:04 PM
John John:How did we ruin the planet when we were 1.5 billion - 1492, other than kill each other? Seriously though, that was the pre industrial age and very few, if any, pollutants.

It was a joke, Cyb.

OTOH, long before 1492 Europeans had already wiped out (brought to extinction) a large number of species, (heck, the Romans wiped out the European lion to supply their games), and had eliminated the majority of their hardwood forests. Much of the Iraqi desert was originally a significant portion of the "Fertile Crescent" that turned to desert because of salinity poisoning due to irrigation. The desert of Afghanistan was also once a lush semi-forested region before irrigation and excessive goat-tending destroyed the vegetaion that held it together. (Goats browse of trees and shrubs, unlike sheep that eat grass.) The Mayan civilization most likely collapsed because it could not feed itself after its practices of swithen (to use a cross-cultural term) destroyed the fertility of its soil, allowing only rain forest/jungle to survive in that climate.

So, while I had simply intended a smart aleck remark, my comment was not without foundation.

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Tom~

SterlingNorth
10-12-1999, 11:09 PM
So maybe the question should be, How many people do we need to figure out how to take care of the environment.

[SterlingNorth's comment: The above was ment to be smartalecky]

John John
10-13-1999, 07:10 AM
Does anyone foresee a time when Governments say, as they now do in China, do not have more than one child per couple? Should we disallow tax exemptions for large families?

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

StrTrkr777
10-13-1999, 12:00 PM
Well since China has already done that I guess the answer is yes. Maybe India will be next. The US has not grown that greatly AFAIK in the last several years. We seem to do a good job of killing ourselves with smoking, drinking, heart attacks, etc.

If China has 1 Billion people, and we can figure that probably gender is split 50/50 and probably a majority of those people will marry and have one child. Then after just a few years you have added half a billion more people. Since the children of today will likely have children before their parents die, then probably in the next 20 years or so China will increase to 1.25 billion or more even with the one child per family.


We are all doomed. The world is going to get so heavy with all these people that it will through off its rotation. Especially if all the people in both China and India were to climb on a chair and jump off at the same time.

Stop the insanity.

Jeffery

John John
10-13-1999, 12:48 PM
I think we're off our rotation already.

The one child per couple is designed to be in line with date rate so there would be no sizable increase, if any. Each nation has different doubling times. India is probably the shortest.

There are so many things to considered with over population, such as predicted, if rates stay the same, i.e.,jobs, land, water.


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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Falcon
10-13-1999, 02:00 PM
Oh lord....time to try and remember that population class I took for the econ degree. (And the associated thesis....)

Short answer: no one knows what an increasing population will do to the environment. One school of thought (Malthus) says we'll overuse resources. Another school (Julian Simon) says with each new birth, we have the chance to have someone who will grow up and discover a BETTER way to utilize resources.

Personally, I think where we need to concentrate is not as much in the First World nations, but in the Third World. the problems of rapid population growth and environmental issues are worse there...most areas don't have the technologies needed to help themselves. Or the women aren't educated enough to know about how to control family size.

And one final thought....I am VERY opposed to a plan like China's where it's limited to one child per family. And Jeffrey, I know your post was semi-sarcastic, but I have to address something. As the one-child policy continues, China will become increasingly MALE. Female infanticide is still common, because it is more prestigious to have a boy.

John John
10-13-1999, 02:01 PM
DATE RATE? NO, NO, NO, DEATH RATE!! Looking in the mirror, duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Brille

StrTrkr777
10-13-1999, 02:14 PM
Well Falcon, then China will solve its own problem if it becomes increasingly male. If there are no females to breed with then the population cannot grow. Problem solved.

Jeffery

10-13-1999, 02:20 PM
I might add that the noble American Indian (whom we have idealized because of well-earned colonial guilt) totally screwed up the American forests by slash-and-burn agriculture. A lot of the U.S. deserts were lush forests 1,000 years ago or so.

By the way, native American tribes were whalin' the tar out of each other before the Europeans got here to do it wholesale--let's face it, ALL people are pretty much dreadful.

Falcon
10-13-1999, 02:35 PM
Oh yeah, Jeffrey...GREAT idea. Maybe I should restate. Admittedly, China will see a negative growth rate in the coming years. However, I don't think expanding their policy to other countries is worth it. Sorry, maybe I just like being alive too much to think that someone would kill me when I was born just for being a girl. :)

Occam
10-13-1999, 02:52 PM
The growing population isn't always a problem. Europe is loosing people. Italy in particular.

There has to be a time when growing up in office skyscrapers and taking field trips to see the sky gets to be too much. Most importantly, we is going to feed 12 Billion people? Functions can be Exponential but I don't think human population can be for long. I suspect it will slow down and reach a hell of a lot of people but only over a greater and greater amount of time. Remember, more people can breed more, but I think the density of populations lends itself to increased consequences from natural disasters. When is the last time 40,000 people died in American from a flood? In Bangladesh it happens all the time.

tracer
10-13-1999, 02:54 PM
Hell, if you want to see REAL wholesale environmental destruction, haul your buns back to 3 billion years ago. A selfish, monstrously overpopulating group of critters called Cyanobacteria emitted a highly toxic gas as part of their digestion process. This deadly gas literally burned alive almost every organism it touched, causing a world-wide holocaust that resulted in the greatest mass extinction the Earth has ever known.

The noxious gas they spewed forth was Oxygen.

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Lucky
10-13-1999, 03:42 PM
Just a semi-side note:

It's highly unlikely that India would ever institute a one child per family law. The vast majority of Indians are Hindu, and in the Hindu religion, one's son must perform certain rituals at one's death in order to ensure a good passage into the next life/reincarnation--whatever. I'm a bit vague on the specifics of the religious beliefs, but the bottom line is that if one doesn't have a son to perform the necessary rituals, one's afterlife is a bit precarious. Generally speaking, Hindu people take their religion quite seriously and not having a son would be a major problem.
Moreover, because many children don't live to adulthood, people find it safer to have, like the Royals, an heir and a spare (or 2 or 3).

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"I think it would be a great idea" Mohandas Ghandi's answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

John John
10-13-1999, 04:18 PM
If I'm reading some of you correctly you're saying, don't fret because a few natural disaters and wars will cure the population problem? I think if we curb population growth we can take care of the "war" problem.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

10-13-1999, 04:29 PM
Well, if those damned Arquettes and Baldwins would stop breeding like flies . . .

StrTrkr777
10-13-1999, 04:32 PM
Falcon, I was joking. I guess I should have included the smiley face, though in another post even that did not work.

I think killing babies of any sex is wrong, I was just going off your post and stating in a joking manner that they were solving their own problem. I am not suggesting that this happen there or anywhere.

I love my daughter, she is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. I would die before I would let anyone kill her.

Jeffery

StrTrkr777
10-13-1999, 04:34 PM
JJ, I think their point is people and other stuff usually add to the death rates and that in the end it all ends up kind of balanced. Should we work towards controlling population? Maybe. Should we work toward using solar energy and other things? Sure. Can we make other countries do a dang thing? Nope. All we can affect is America and it does not seem to have that great a population growth.

Jeffery

divemaster
10-13-1999, 05:07 PM
I hate to be the bearer of good news, but the ecological horrors predicted by Malthus and Ehrlich are bogus.

The world is not running out of food. Global per capita food production is 40%higher today than in 1950. Many countries have surpluses; we even pay farmers not to grow crops. 20th century famines are a result of politics, not agriculture or population. Fewer than half as many people die of famine each year now than a century ago, despite a 4-fold increase in population.

Birth rates have been declining (developing countries: from over 6 children/couple in 1950 down to 3; developed countries: from 3.3 to 1.6).

Given declining birth rates, why then does the population go up?

1) increased life expectancy (from 47.3 in 1900 to 76.7 in 1998) I think this is a good thing.

2) decreased infant mortality (from 99.9/1000 in 1900 to 7.2/1000 in 1998) Again, I see this as a positive sign.

And what are just a couple of the underlying causes? Better agricultural practices; better medicine and technology leading to vaccines and better worldwide health. As society advances, people (in general)worldwide enjoy longer, healthier lives.

We should be celebrating!

(Figures from the CDC and the Cato Inst.)

From your ever-optimistic divemaster who is logging off from work until tomorrow.

cmkeller
10-13-1999, 05:40 PM
Moreover, because many children don't live to adulthood, people find it safer to have, like the Royals, an heir and a spare (or 2 or 3).

The Royals do not have an heir to spare. Once George Brett retired, they've finished last or second to last almost every year.

Johnny Damon ain't the heir he was supposed to be.

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Chaim Mattis Keller
ckeller@schicktech.com

"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Falcon
10-13-1999, 08:55 PM
Jeffrey -

I apologize....about halfway through my post I realized you were probably kidding. I didn't mean to say you were advocating female infanticide. Just flashing back to my debates in college, I guess....

StrTrkr777
10-14-1999, 08:43 AM
Falcon, no problem. Just wanted to set the record straight.

Jeffery

Tymp
10-14-1999, 10:09 AM
The United States is roughly 9,629,091 km^2.
If all 6,000,000,000 residents of Earth decided to visit on the same day, we could all spread out at about 623 people per km^2.

This adds nothing to the topic at hand, but I thought you'd all be interested.

The OP asks, how many people can the Earth sustain before THE environment degrades. Well, it won't ever happen. The environment might evolve and become unfriendly to humans, but big mamma Earth herself can take anything we could possibly throw at her without flinching.

I don't think it's appropriate to ask this question as if you were actually concerned for the wellbeing of the planet. She'll be just fine no matter what we do. Rather, I think, we should concern ourselves with minor issues like food and water shortages among 6 billion bald monkeys.

We aren't doing much about the problem now because there is not a large enough portion of the population threatened. Once we are truly threatened, simple things like centralization can be achieved. Turn all those bland suburbs back into farm land and take your kids to soccer practice on the roof of a skyscraper. The Mall of America and its parking lot hide how much fertile soil?

Take to the sky and tear up all those freeways. Play a real sport and turn over all the golf courses. People short on water can take a hint and relocate where there's abundance.

We're not going to suddenly die off when we hit 7B, 8B, or 10B. Our society will evolve with respect to the restrictions of our habitat or we will reach a ceiling. We don't have to worry about maintaining a reasonable population density because it will be done for us. If we get out of hand, world wide food shortages will start killing us off until things are back under control.

All we have to do is keep rearranging the furniture until we've figured out how to build an addition. Once we've successfully annexed Mars, we can move all the sports arenas and toenail clipper factories there.

We're going to be fine.

Lucky
10-14-1999, 05:37 PM
cmkeller;

I just knew someone would make a KC Royals joke! Thanks for doing your part in mainaining the levity :)

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"I think it would be a great idea" Mohandas Ghandi's answer when asked what he thought of Western civilization

cher3
10-14-1999, 05:51 PM
I remember reading that a huge percentage of the aborted fetuses in India are female, so if they did do anything to limit family size they would very soon find the male/female ratio skewed as well, if it isn't already.

John John
10-14-1999, 08:07 PM
The OP asks, how many people can the Earth sustain before THE environment degrades. Well, it won't ever happen. The environment might evolve and become unfriendly to humans, but big mamma Earth herself can take anything we could possibly throw at her without flinching.>tymp

That is irresponsible and just not true. It takes 6000 years, yes, 6000, for some radiocative waste to neutralize and some plastics take a few generations or more. Once polluted Aquifers can never be cleaned. It's attitudes like this that make it hard to achieve change.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

StrTrkr777
10-14-1999, 10:02 PM
What do you care JJ, you will not be here in 6,000 years?

Jeffery

John John
10-15-1999, 06:32 AM
What do you care JJ, you will not be here in 6,000 years?
Jeffery>>>>>>>>>>>

We should try to be responsible. Don't piss upstream.


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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

BenDover
10-15-1999, 08:06 AM
That is irresponsible and just not true. It takes 6000 years, yes, 6000, for some radiocative waste to neutralize and some plastics take a few generations or more. Once polluted Aquifers can never be cleaned. It's attitudes like this that make it hard to achieve change.

This is looking at things from a human viewpoint - we might make the planet uninhabitable by humans and some other species, but Mother Nature will keep plugging along without us. Species that are resistant to radiation will survive and flourish. There are already naturally-evolved bacteria that clean up toxic dumps and eat some plastics. Ditto for species that can survive various kinds of water pollution. There are bacteria living miles below the ocean surfaces and deep within the earth's crust - we'll have to do an awful lot of damage to wipe those babies out.

Old Mother Nature has been around for billions of years, and survived worse disasters than anything humans have come close to causing. The world might be a lot different after we humans are gone, but it will still be going strong, with humans just a little hiccup in the time line.



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Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

John John
10-16-1999, 07:44 AM
This is looking at things from a human viewpoint ]]Ben

Well, yeah, that's the point.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

tracer
10-16-1999, 11:31 PM
tymp wrote:

big mamma Earth herself can take anything we could possibly throw at her without flinching.

Not if we invent the Death Star, it can't.

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

John John
10-17-1999, 08:09 AM
Not if we invent the Death Star, it can't.

------------------}}}}}}]tracer

We wouldn't need a Death Star to kill the planet. We'll kill the planet with over-population, improper disposal of radioactive waste,depletion of ozone, strip mining and the destruction of wetlands and rain forests.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

BenDover
10-17-1999, 05:39 PM
JJ, the point is that we WON'T kill off the planet, or even most of the life on it. We might kill off humans and lots of species that can't tolerate, for example, high levels of UV radiation due to depletion of the ozone layer. But millions of other living creatures who CAN tolerate the environmental changes will merrily continue on their way, probably delighted that we messy humans are gone.

Heck, there have been several massive extinctions in the past, at least one where it appears that 90% of all living things were wiped out, but here we are, piling dirty diapers in landfills while we wait on the next asteroid to come bumbling along and wipe us out.

BTW, Mother Nature has a tendency to correct serious overpopulation problems with diseases - I'm more worried about something like the Ebola virus showing up in New York City than I am the ozone layer.

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Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

Konrad
10-17-1999, 10:10 PM
What exactly would be the problem with the world supporting let's say... 100 billion? Lack of food is not a problem, we're only using a small fraction of the land right now for farming. The Ukraine alone could probably feed all of Europe if it was organized.

There is no lack of potable water. Only a lack of equipment to make it potable.

We have heating. What's to stop people from living in the Russian steppe? And even if they don't want to, what's the population density of the USA right now anyway?

Plenty of water, farmland and space, so what's the problem?

TVeblen
10-17-1999, 10:36 PM
Ben, you made an excellent point. The dangers of deforestation etc. (the "lungs' of the planet" pale in comparison to the risks we are running from disease and yes, famine.

Agriculture has become much more intensified and sophisticated, but it has been at the sacrifice of variety and resilience. Much of our food source is genetically engineered now, and that poses a real risk. The crops that are engineered to be extremely productive in relation to land use, resistance to *known* diseases, etc.have limited the genetic options and made our food supply more fragile.

Overuse is also a constant danger. If you order swordfish in a restaurant, you should know that swordfish are being badly overfished. This is just one example. How many elements can be removed from an ecosystem w/o damage? Add pollution, etc. and we are pissing in our own garden.

But human disease is a real threat. We have "over medicated" known diseases and made ourselves vulnerable to those little beasties that can evolve and adapt at a much quicker pace than we can. AIDS, Ebola, hepatitis---only a decade or so, there were only hepatitis A and B. We are now up around H.

We're spiritual creatures but we're physical creatures too. IMO we have not been good stewards of the garden we've been given.

Veb

John John
10-18-1999, 05:57 PM
I think environmental attitudes like I've seen displayed on this board will bear poisonus fruit in the early part of the next century. Silent spring is not far off, folks. tweet tweet

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

BenDover
10-18-1999, 10:43 PM
JJ, don't get me wrong, I'm not in favor of 'raping the environment'. However, I think that most environmentalists (as well as others who espouse 'causes') try to attract followers by preaching the 'greater good' and lose the more inteligent people because they make outrageous claims. We are NOT ruining the planet and making it uninhabitable - life will certainly go on without humans and most other species alive today. We ARE making the future survival of humans on this planet more precarious, but that's a different story. Don't try to tell me that I need to recycle because otherwise I'm contributing to the destruction of life on earth, cause it ain't so and I know it's not. That's nothing but guilt-tripping.

Many environmentalists (and others) get carried away, IMO, and also hurt their cause. Nature is not static - it changes constantly. Species become extinct all of the time, and have throughout history, because of changes in their environment that have nothing to do with humans. Preventing the building of a dam because of 10 little fish in an isolated pool that, because of their low numbers and restricted environment, are going to become extinct soon anyway, is plain ridiculous. Makes me want to go drop a stick of dynamite in the pool and end it all quick. The same goes for telling somebody that they can't build an addition on their house because it might disturb the kangaroo mice or whatever they are, or claiming the 3-acre low spot in the corner of my pasture is a 'wetland' and I can't drain it to keep the mosquito population down.

Sure, I think humans should strive to have less of a negative impact on the environment. But there's a basic conflict here - making the world a better place for humans is, in one way or another, going to negatively impact other living things, often in ways we can't predict, because we are all competing for the same resources.

Heck, the only way to 'save the world' from humans and our civilization is for everyone to take a quick drink of the Heaven's Gate potion and get out of the way.

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Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

tracer
10-19-1999, 04:10 PM
TVeblen wrote:

We have "over medicated" known diseases and made ourselves vulnerable to those little beasties that can evolve and adapt at a much quicker pace than we can. AIDS, Ebola, hepatitis---only a decade or so, there were only hepatitis A and B. We are now up around H.

Um ... the "overmedication" we're accused of has to do with the casual over-prescription of antibiotics, which caused antibiotic-resistant strains of bacterial diseases to develop, e.g. penicllin-resistant tuberculosis. All 3 of the diseases you just mentioned are viral. Antibiotics have no effect on viral diseases. Furthermore, there is no known "medication" for HIV/AIDS or Ebola that can prevent or cure either disease, and the vaccines against Hepatitis A, B and D only became available in this decade.

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Sam Stone
10-20-1999, 05:46 AM
If you look at the U.N's population projections, you won't worry as much. They projected three possible scenarios, and two of them have the population of the Earth actually declining in the future. If I recall correctly, the 'medium variant' model has the Earth's population stabilizing by 2100, and the low variant model has it peaking in 2050 and declining thereafter.

Most developed countries are already experiencing below-replacement fertility levels, and would be shrinking in size if not for immigration. Japan may actually see a drop in its standard of living because the population there may shrink rapidly, to the point where there won't be enough people to provide all the services they are used to. Japan's problem is that it is an insular society and doesn't have very high immigration levels. The population there may be cut in half in the next 50 years.

The U.N. low variant model has the world population spiking at 7.7 billion, and declining to 3.6 billion by 2150.

The medium-variant model has the global population growing to around 11 billion by 2100 and stabilizing there or shrinking slightly.

It should be noted though that the medium variant model originally (in 1992) predicted a population of 12 billion in 2100, and they had to revise that figure downwards by over .7 billion just three years later. And, the medium-variant model predicted that the Earth's population would be 6.5 billion at the turn of the century. They're going to miss that one by about 400 million, only 5 years after the model created. So it would seem that the low-variant is much more likely.

And, it's been in the news recently that demographers are realizing that they are going to have to re-evaluate what's going on once again, because fertility rates are dropping faster than expected, even in the undeveloped countries like India and China. Bangladesh's fertility rate has been cut in half in just ten years.

The fertility rate in the undeveloped countries as a group has dropped from 6.0 to 3.0 in the last 30 years.

Even if the population did continue to grow, I have a hard time with the gloom-and-doom stuff, since the world standard of living skyrocketed in the last 50 years when the population on Earth increased by 30%.

John John
10-20-1999, 08:57 AM
The U.N. low variant model has the world population spiking at 7.7 billion, and declining to 3.6 billion by 2150.

The medium-variant model has the global population growing to around 11 billion by 2100 and stabilizing there or shrinking slightly]]]]hansen

How is all this going to happen? You think the world population will decrease/increase by 50% in that short a time? You don't see that as catastrophic?

You all have some interesting views on the envirnoment.


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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

tomndebb
10-20-1999, 10:22 AM
John, think about it. As countries become more modernized, couples generally choose to have fewer children. The old 6 - 9 child families of the past are extraordinarily rare in the U.S., today.

If the overwhelming number of couples have only two children, the population will decrease without catastrophe simply because you need more than two children to maintain a steady population. There are still accidents and childhood diseases to remove kids from the population before they reproduce, teenagers still take reckless chances and die before they can reproduce, a certain number of people are simply going to be infertile, and a certain number of people are going to choose to refrain from having kids. Even allowing for some families continuing to have three or four kids, there will be enough other people who do not contribute a "replacement" human so that the population will decline. This is occurring throughout the first world countries and has begun to occur among the "emerging" nations, as well. There will still be a lot of people, but the population may begin to slowly shrink. No catastrophes or calamities are needed.

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Tom~

Akatsukami
10-20-1999, 11:16 AM
John John writes:The U.N. low variant model has the world population spiking at 7.7 billion, and declining to 3.6 billion by 2150. [...] How is all this going to happen? You think the world population will decrease/increase by 50% in that short a time? You don't see that as catastrophic?
The peak population in the low-growth model, according the U.N. population scenarios (http://www.undp.org/popin/wdtrends/execsum.htm) is expected around 2040. Given the extreme human lifespan, we would expect a population of zero a bit more than a century later, even in the total absence of catastrophes, unless some children are born in the interim.

It may be that Paul Ehrlich or ZPG is concealing evidence that immortality will be announced tomorrow, and that all of the people around in 2040 will still be around in 2150, but it seems unlikely.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Sam Stone
10-20-1999, 03:09 PM
There are several reasons why the population will decline. First, the median age is increasing. The rapid increase in population is partially due to the fact that we are living longer, and not necessarily that we are breeding faster. As this trend continues, the average age will increase, and older populations don't have as many children. In 2020 the largest demographic group in developed countries will be retirees, and children will make up the smallest percentage of the population in recorded history.

If you have a population of six billion, of which 2 billion are children, then you can reasonably expect that in the next generation those two billion will have 3 kids each, and we'll wind up back at six billion. However, if your six billion people only has one billion kids, you can see that a big population trough is on the way.

The other reason is that birth rates universally decline as countries become wealthier, and worldwide wealth is increasing. In Europe, the natural birthrate is so low that without immigration there would be a complete population meltdown. I think the fertility rate there is something like 1.2 kids per couple, which is less than half of the amount needed for replacement.

I'm not worried about natural resources. All of the main natural resources that we risk running out of (oil, certain minerals) have replacements, and most of those replacements are easily renewable. We have an unlimited supply of minerals in asteroids and other planets, if we could just afford to go get them. And if you project our increase in standard of living, we'll be able to go and get them long before we run out of stuff here.

jab1
10-20-1999, 04:05 PM
About a week ago, tymp said, in effect, "If all the people on Earth visited the USA on the same day, we'd have room." 623 people per square kilometer, to be exact.

My question is, "Who'd have to stand in Death Valley?" Or on the Alaskan tundra? Or in an active volcano in Hawaii? Or in the Everglades? Or the Sonoran Desert? Or any of the other inhospitable environments the USA has? (Inhospitable to humans, anyway.) And how much of our farmland are you willing to sacrifice to provide space? Where my mother lives in Texas, old pastureland is being sold to developers and manufactured homes and mobile homes are going up like weeds. Except for Alaska, I'll bet that there's not a square inch of land anywhere in the US that's not being used by SOMEONE. Even the so-called wilderness is really Federal parkland. And, of course, what farmland we do still have isn't used properly. Just how much topsoil have we lost in the last century? How much water and grain does it take to feed a cow?

Food for thought...

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Akatsukami
10-20-1999, 04:41 PM
jab1 asks:Who'd have to stand in Death Valley? Or on the Alaskan tundra? Or in an active volcano in Hawaii? Or in the Everglades? Or the Sonoran Desert? Or any of the other inhospitable environments the USA has?
Who's standing there now?
Where my mother lives in Texas, old pastureland is being sold to developers and manufactured homes and mobile homes are going up like weeds.
Never mind, I see that you already answered that question.


Funning aside, jab, the entire USA has an inhospitable environment (Hawaii and the southernmore tip of Florida may be exceptions). Try living in it without the aid of technology. No, no, I mean without any of that Iron Age technology, either (you surely didn't think that those mocassins and that hoe were plucked off of bushes in the wild, did you?).


Survival of human beings in any given place has almost nothing to do with its environment, and everything to do with the tech levels possessed by the would-be inhabitants. Indeed, that Death Valley and the Alaskan tundra are essentially empty of humans now has more to do with laws and not being near a Starbuck's, than it does with the essential inhospitableness of those places (you might ask yourself how desirable those abandoned pastures near your mother would be if we didn't have the technology for residential air conditioners).


As for farmland...dirt agriculture is quite possibly the most environmentally destructive technology that humans have ever invented (it's probably tied with metal smelting; agriculture is less destructive per unit area, but more widespread). When you're ready to talk about restoring things to the way they were 20,000 years BP, instead of 200 years BP, we'll talk.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
10-20-1999, 05:28 PM
My apologies for not responding. I have corneal abrasions in both eyes and cannot read. I have to wear two pairs of sunglasses and use magnifying glass to read. It has not healed in a week. I'll post when I'm better.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Boris B
10-20-1999, 05:46 PM
Heavens! How did your corneas get abrated? Or is too nasty to tell?

Sam Stone
10-20-1999, 07:11 PM
The first settlers in California starved to death. How many millions are supported there now?

Hong Kong has a population of many millions, in a very high population density, despite having almost no natural resources. And the standard of living there is among the highest in the world.

Right now the Earth is very sparsely populated. From orbit you can hardly see the effect of mankind. If you fly an airplane across North America, you're going to be flying over mostly unpopulated land.

A couple of years ago I flew my small plane from Edmonton to Denver. Along the whole flight I can scarcely remember seeing much of anything except open, unpopulated land. And that whole area is highly valuable real estate, nothing like Death Valley.

tracer
10-20-1999, 09:40 PM
Try flying over Kansas. The whole landscape looks like a big patchwork of farms -- even from the cruising altitude of a jet airliner.

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

jab1
10-21-1999, 04:00 PM
You're right, I DID answer my own question. But the POINT of that question is that that land should STAY uninhabitable. We need wild lands just as surely as we need homes. We need the sun just as surely as we need air conditioning. And we need farm land just as surely as we need urban land. My point was, if everyone came to the US at once, all that open land would be gone forever.

THEN what would we do?

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

John John
10-25-1999, 12:28 PM
I think you all will pass on the type of polluted, over-populated planet that you will tolerate now. How you miss the fact that clear, drinkable water will be harder to come by with a few billion more people astounds me.

Key to everything is a managable amount of world population that is balanced with nature. Almost every organization states that we are now at a critical amount and to exceed that is dangerous.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

jab1
10-25-1999, 06:55 PM
I live in Los Angeles. We get most of our drinking water from elsewhere, either the Sierra Nevadas or the Colorado River. A small amount comes from local wells. We've taken so much from the Colorado, that it doesn't even reach the ocean most of the time. And there was a big dispute over that Sierra water that SEEMS settled now, but these days, it seems like nothing is ever settled. (The movie CHINATOWN, though fictional, tells the story of how L.A. got Sierra water. It was a con job.)

Anyway, everything is related. We pave over more open land, then the water runs off into the ocean instead of percolating into the ground to re-charge the aquifer. Wells go dry, farmland is unused. (Or water is pumped in from elsewhere. See above.) Replace farm with houses, pave over more ground, more water runs into the ocean, ad infinitum. (And did you know that the big farms in the central valley have pumped out so much underground water that they're now facing salt-water intrusion from the ocean? Did you know that about 90% of all California water goes to agriculture?)

And there are more people coming here and being born here and elsewhere. The only thing to break the cycle is a lower birth rate.

I'm not a father and won't be one. This is not the primary reason why, but it's one of the reasons.

Someone's thinking, "Well, I won't hurt the world with just two or three children."

True, you alone won't do that. Trouble is, there are billions more thinking the exact same thing.

Maybe we should all go vegetarian. Some say that if we were all vegies, there would be enough food for all. As I said earlier, "How much water and grain does it take to raise a cow?" I haven't gone vegetarian yet, but I'm considering it.

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Sam Stone
10-25-1999, 08:56 PM
Jab1: Have you been paying attention? The U.S. has below-replacement fertilitity rates, and has had them for a long time.

It's actually possible that there will be a crisis in that the percentage of the world in developed nations will drop dramatically. This would be a crisis because the undeveloped nations depend on us for a lot of things. Perhaps the best thing we in the rich countries could do is breed like rabbits.

Akatsukami
10-26-1999, 09:13 AM
jab, you seem to laboring under a number of misconceptions.

You say:Maybe we should all go vegetarian. Some say that if we were all vegies, there would be enough food for all.
Perhaps you should look at the FAOSTAT agriculture database (http://apps.fao.org/cgi-bin/nph-db.pl?subset=agriculture), which shows quite clearly that diet improved in the last decade, both in terms of caloric and protein intake, despite the vile addiction to eating dead animals that many of us have.
And there are more people coming here and being born here and elsewhere. The only thing to break the cycle is a lower birth rate.
Which of course has already occured. Again, I refer you to the 1999 UN population projections (http://www.undp.org/popin/wdtrends/execsum.htm), which show this.

I suspect that the key phrase is "coming here". It is unfortuate that the population control hysteriacs often have two mututally contradictory agendas going; they wish to limit population growth to preserve wilderness, but at the same time seem to object to the movement of people to urban areas, freeing up more land for wilderness.

(Of course, many of them try to define wilderness as some place where the hand of man has never set foot. By this definition, there is no wilderness outside of Antarctica, and hasn't been for quite some time. The last bit of land that could be described as "temperate" without busting a gut laughing was Iceland, which was environmentally defiled by the ancestors of our favorite trolls over a millennium ago).
I live in Los Angeles. We get most of our drinking water from elsewhere, either the Sierra Nevadas or the Colorado River.
Why, yes, L.A. in its natural state is a desert, and ought to have a population of about six. On the one hand, perhaps all of the water should flow, unimpeded and unused, to the Sea of Cortez, and the population of L.A. should be six. On the other hand, I note in passing that you haven't moved yet.

So, what is your point in noting that most of L.A.'s water comes from elsewhere? Is it that water ought not to be moved more than fifty feet? Or that we, as Americans, enjoy a God-given right to use more than our fair share of resources in trivial, non-productive uses as roaring rivers? Or that people are too busy being NIMBYs and BANANAs to build another Owens Valley aqueduct?
My point was, if everyone came to the US at once, all that open land would be gone forever.

THEN what would we do?
Declare the rest of the world national parks and wilderness areas, probably.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

divemaster
10-26-1999, 09:24 AM
In the words of P.J. O'Roarke, many people seem to have the attitude of "just enough of me; way too much of you," referring to all the efforts of trying to stop "those people" from reproducing so much. "Those people" referring, of course, to all those disgusting poor peasants in other countries.

P.J. goes on to compare population densities of certain white-bread American cities, or urban centers such as NYC, to population densities in other countries.

Example:
Freemont, Calif.: 2250 people/sq. mile
Bangladesh: 2130 people/sq. mile

Manhattan comes in at over 52,000 people/sq. mile.

How many Bangladeshis petition the UN to do something about the crisis in Freemont? Do they come over here to preach about how many children Californians should have?

A world population of 8.2 million comes to 156 people/sq. mile. By comparison, Indiana has 154 and Pennsylvania has 265/people sq. mile. (And these figures do not include Antarctica). Of course the world has a ton of uninhabited space; so does Pennsylvania.

So we might be on our way to a world "as packed as that seething mass of pitiful humanity, the state of Pennsylvania (nearly 2 billion acres of state forest, and 9 million acres of farms, producing thirty-eight billion dollars per year in food and agricultural products)."

The horror.

Of course, O'Roarke is a satirist, and illuminates points through exaggeration. But the general idea is valid, I think.

divemaster
10-26-1999, 02:43 PM
Yes, '2 billion' acres of state/federal forested land in Pennsylvania has to be wrong. Change it to '2 million' and that comes out to be about 7% of the area, which sounds like a reasonable figure to me.

The city vs. entire country point is certainly a worthwhile distinction; however, I do not think it negates the point that space is available for 9 billion people on this planet (and that is assuming we ever get to 9 billion, not a given based on reproduction figures posted elsewhere on these pages). Maybe people will have to move away from the more urban centers and start filling in some of that empty space.

jab1
10-26-1999, 02:49 PM
I did make some mistakes, but at least I kept the thread going. :) I'm sure of my facts, I just didn't express them clearly enough.

Here's what I believe: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and he feeds himself for a lifetime." (Unless he hates fish. :o )

What does that mean? dhanson said, "...the undeveloped nations depend on us for a lot of things." Wouldn't it be better if they had their own industries, grew their own food, stayed with their loved ones instead of leaving them for months or years? Wouldn't it be better if people everywhere earned a living wage?

(Not everyone here does, and most of the ones who make below-minimum are recent immigrants, legal and illegal both. OTOH, it's better than earning twenty cents an hour making shoes or clothes. Here, they work by the piece, some making as much as TWO WHOLE dollars an hour. [Wow!] You wouldn't believe the number of sweatshops there are here in L.A. It's a quiet scandal. Every now and then, one is busted, the authorities make it appear they're doing something about the problem, then things continue as they have been. Remember that the next time you buy a shirt that says "Made in the USA.")

Here's what I also believe: Immigration and emigration should be unrestricted. Is that contradictory? No. If I may make an imperfect comparison, abortion should be unrestricted but unnecessary. (Did I just open a can of worms?) Immigration should be unrestricted but totally voluntary. In other words, no one should leave their families behind because they can't survive at home. These are ideal positions, but in the real world, of course, it won't happen. The best we can do is get as close to the ideal as we can.

No, I don't believe that we should totally cut off L.A.'s water. That would cause incredible chaos, to put it mildly. We'll just let an earthquake do it for us. :) If L.A.'s water WAS cut off, well, we'd just have to leave and possibly move to YOUR home towns.

Seriously, though, people moving to urban areas DESTROYS wilderness and farmland both. How? Read this partial quote from a recent story in the L.A. Daily News, dated October 15:

"Opponents of the 22,000-home Newhall Ranch development have found an ally in state Attorney General William Lockyer, who on Thursday filed a friend of the court brief in a Kern County Superior Court stating his opposition to the mini-city." ("Mini"-city? That's enough homes for 100,000 people!)

"Lockyer further asked the court for permission to testify for Ventura County, which is suing to halt the project." (Ventura County borders Kern and Los Angeles Counties on the west.)

"'This is tremendously exciting,' said Mary Ann Krause, field deputy for Supervisor Kathy Long. 'The interest of the state demonstrates how important the Newhall case is. It's potentially a landmark case.'

"Long spearheaded the suit against Los Angeles County, which approved a project she said will drain her county's groundwater supply and destroy its $1 billion agriculture industry.

"A ruling by the court is expected on November 4."

In other words, Los Angeles County approved the construction of a HUGE housing development that will cause neighboring counties - Kern and Ventura - to suffer, and for the reasons I've stated earlier: Loss of groundwater and agricultural land. Similar developments mean the loss of "wilderness." And I stated in an earler post that there is no real wilderness left; it's mostly federal parkland, and some of that is leased to ranchers at below-market rates.

I think my position is clear. Disagree if you like, but I stand by it.

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

jab1
10-26-1999, 02:52 PM
I meant to write "Unless he hates fish. :D

I'll get it right one of these days...

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Mr.Zambezi
10-26-1999, 03:59 PM
Anyone have the square mileage of Freemont vs. Bangladesh?

If we are looking at people per square mile does it really matter whether we are comparing a county to a country?

What I mean is that if the problem is not the number of people but the fact that they are all living on top of each other, is that really a problem. IF they have the same population density, why do they not just spread out?

Clearly there is some compelling reason beyond the mere number of people that compels the people of Bangladesh to live in a certain city, just there is a reason people live in Manhattan. The problem would seem not to be the number of people, but economic factors.

(I am of course assumiong that we are comparing habitable *land* and excluding mountaintops and lakes and such in the calculation of people per square mile.)

John John
10-26-1999, 07:22 PM
Just because we have open spaces does not mean that it should be filled with swarms of people. What kind of dumb logic says we must populate all free space and give no thought to attaining a managable world population? What kind of thinking is that ?

Think about the Great Plains and Grand Canyon, for example, should be put condo's there, or house the homeless?

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Akatsukami
10-26-1999, 07:32 PM
John John asks:Think about the Great Plains and Grand Canyon, for example, should be put condo's there, or house the homeless?
John John, I hate to ruin your day like this, but the Great Plains already have condos on them. The colloquial term for this noble ecological formation is "Kansas"/

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

tracer
10-27-1999, 01:29 AM
Akatsukami wrote:

Perhaps you should look at the FAOSTAT agriculture database, which shows quite clearly that diet improved in the last decade, both in terms of caloric and protein intake, despite the vile addiction to eating dead animals that many of us have.

Vile?! Hey, I'll have you know I love eating dead animals! They taste great! "Cow" is one of my favorite flavors. If the scorched carcasses of dead animals were good enough for our ancient ancestors, they're good enough for me!

And besides, I'm vegephobic.

tracer
10-27-1999, 01:37 AM
divemaster wrote, re P.J. O'Roarke:

Freemont, Calif.: 2250 people/sq. mile
Bangladesh: 2130 people/sq. mile

How many Bangladeshis petition the UN to do something about the crisis in Freemont?

Even though this is from a work of satire, I must take exception to P.J.'s use of these statistics.

Fremont, CA is a city. Bangladesh is a country. It is not fair to compare the population density of a city to that of a whole country -- even a small country -- as most countries consist of little pockets of dense population (cities) surrounded by large areas of sparse population.

Now, if P.J. had compared the population density of Fremont, CA with the population density of Dhaka, Bangladesh, then it would be a fair comparison.

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Boris B
10-27-1999, 01:50 AM
Pennsylvania's area is 45,333 square miles, or just over 29 millions acres. P.J. is telling me that 2 billion of those 29 million acres are state forest? I understand that this man is a satirist, but that's a pretty abstract joke. Is he making fun of Carl Sagan or something?
Maybe this was the "illuminating through exaggeration" part of the idea. I don't know, he still never makes me laugh.

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Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.
- Boris Badenov

John John
10-27-1999, 07:02 AM
[[[[[[[[John John, I hate to ruin your day like this, but the Great Plains already have condos on them. The colloquial term for this noble ecological formation is "Kansas"/]]]]
Akatsumkami

Damn, that was funny. Thanks for the chuckle. I get your point. Yes, that did ruin my day, but Kansas can do that. LOL.

Seriously, shouldn't we try to LIMITED the kind of expansion an over population that impacts the envirnoment negatively?



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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Akatsukami
10-27-1999, 08:08 AM
But, John John, we do have such limits. E.g., it is actually illegal for a developer to even try and build cliff-side apartments.


Now, I will concede that there is no overarching Ecology Board with the power to change the rules whenever it sees fit, conduct warrantless searches, seize any property it pleases, etc. But, advocates of any plan (by no means limited to environmentalism) like to say, "Hey, wouldn't it be so much easier if I had all of that power; of course I would never use it in the service of evil." One would think that the conflict between Stalin and Trotsky would give them at least a moment's pause.


Now, all the evidence is that the world is not being overrun by people like the Scandanavian peninsula by lemmings. The birth rate of the industrialized world has already crashed, and the problem (more social and political than environmental) is that an aging population will not have young'uns it needs to support the current old-age pension system (the name of which varies from country to country). The U.S. is in a slightly different position; continued immigration keeps the population growing and relatively young, but the ethnic makeup of the U.S. in 2050 will likely be considerably different from what it is today (whether that is to be considered a problem is, again, more social and political than anything else).


Again, Third World birth rates have crashed, and now stand at about replacement level (I say "about", because it's difficult to get good statistics out of countries like El Salvador and Myanmar). Only in sub-Saharan Africa does the population seem to be increasing -- and there, the rate of increase has still fallen by 75% in the last 35 years.


All of the data show that the doubling of population so widely feared just isn't going to happen. World population may stabilize at about 11 billion in about two centuries -- or may fall to a third of that. Older data, of course, is impressively scary -- but it's as relevant to the current situation as is Ken Olsen's prediction that time-sharing would be the wave of the future. After all, the population has several hit the limits of sustinence before -- around the 3rd and 14th centuries CE. We're not taking those data as relevant, are we?

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
10-27-1999, 08:48 AM
]]]]After all, the population has several hit the limits of sustinence before -- around the 3rd and 14th centuries CE. We're not taking those data as relevant, are we?]]Akats

Are you saying in the 3rd and 14th centuries AD we have hit limits of popualtion, or food to sustain the then population?


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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

AuraSeer
10-27-1999, 10:36 AM
It doesn't make much sense to talk about food supply as a limiting factor for world population, because there's more than one population group in the world. If you look at each country or region independently, you'll see that not everywhere will reach its limit at the same time.

For a hypothetical example, let's assume that everyplace on the planet has equal population growth, and that we can barely growing enough food to feed everyone. Does this mean that the whole planet will be eating only enough to survive? Not hardly!
Countries that produce a lot of food (like the USA) will feed their own populations first, and only export what they don't need. Countries which have more population than they can feed on their own (like, IIRC, Japan) will be in trouble, because no one will sell them all the food they need. Either they will institute strict population controls, or starvation will start doing it for them.

As I see it, if population growth continues we will begin to see major localized famines, some with great loss of life; but each time this happens, the overall world population will be reduced. IMO there will never be a time at which the entire planet is simultaneously in danger of starvation. (Aside from such catastrophes as an ice age, or global nuclear winter.)

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Laugh hard; it's a long way to the bank.

Sam Stone
10-27-1999, 10:49 AM
The problems of food production and distribution are political, and not due to population per se. The U.S. spends only a tiny fraction of its GDP on food production, and even at that we wildly overproduce to the point where the government sometimes pays farmers to not grow food.

In many of the parts of the world where people are starving the ground is fertile and ripe, a veritable bread-basket. They are starving because their government chooses to take their property and misuse it, or because they don't have the infrastructure (roads, refrigeration, etc) to make use of their resources, etc.

Agriculture is a self-sustaining exercise. Issues of soil erosion aside, it's a totally renewable resource. And we clearly have the knowledge to produce as much food as we ever need or will need. We still have left the oceans pretty much untapped, we don't use hydroponics because it's not economically efficient, etc. Our capacity to increase food production is almost unlimited.

So it's not a population problem. It's a problem of government and economics.

John John
10-27-1999, 06:35 PM
]]It doesn't make much sense to talk about food supply as a limiting factor for world population, because there's more than one population group in the world. If you look at each country or region independently, you'll see that not everywhere will reach its limit at the same time.]AuraSeer

You make an excellent point and one that has occured in the not so distant past, to prove your point,- 1840's Ireland. The problem was not that there was not enough food in the country but that it was not shipped to the famine sections that were affected. Add to this mixture the English intolerance and refusal to help distribute food and you have the catastrophe of a million plus people starving to death.

This, too, speaks to that as a political event as much as a natural calamity. I also do not think that could occur today, to that extent, because of communication and food distribution.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Akatsukami
10-27-1999, 08:23 PM
John John asks:Are you saying in the 3rd and 14th centuries AD we have hit limits of popualtion, or food to sustain the then population?
I admit to not being perfectly clear on the question, but the question is almost certainly, "yes", regardless.


The population appears to have levelled, as best we can estimate, around 200 million in a very slow (by modern standards, at least) process during the Hellenistic and Principate periods (the Roman Principate is generally reckoned to have ended in 235 CE, FTR). This seems to be the limit of sustinence allowed by the stick-plow and slave-labor agricultural technology of the time; the limits of growth (haven't I heard that phrse before?) were likely reflected in the breakup of the Roman and Chinese empires at that time (Diocletian and Constantine I patched together the Roman Empire; the Chinese Empire was nominally unified under the Western Chin, but wasn't a serious political entity until the rise of Sui Wen Ti).


The 14th century CE population of about 400 million represents the limits of the moldboard plow dragged by animals, together with the cooling climate of the "Little Ice Age" (which lasted until the end of the 18th century). Europe was already politically disunited (but suffered horrors beyond the normal despite that), but hitting the sustinence-limit from both sides, as it were, helped bring the Yuan (Mongol) dynasty in China.


There may have been population booms and levelling-offs during the two Neolithic revolutions, too, but we don't have any evidence as to whether and when they occurred.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
10-27-1999, 08:50 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
John John ]]]Are you saying in the 3rd and 14th centuries AD we have hit limits of popualtion, or food to sustain the then population?]]]]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I admit to not being perfectly clear on the question, but the question is almost certainly, "yes", regardless.]Akats Do you mean "answer is yes"?


Yes, we are both unclear on the question, it seems. Who said that in AD 300 and AD 1400 we were at peak population? Are you saying peak population with regards to food quantity, distribution and growth? Who's figures say that?

As AuraSeer wisely pointed out, not all regions will suffer the same shortages at the same time. One part of the globe can have a glut, while another is enduring a famine. Furthermore, at no time in our past, in all regions, did we ever have a popualtion that was not capable of feeding istelf. No food, very few births.

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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

divemaster
10-28-1999, 01:54 AM
I'll provide examples to further dhanson's point of 20th century famines being a consequence of politics and food distribution rather than agriculture per se. I'm not saying these are irrefutable examples, but they are food for thought.

1) China 1958-61; Ukraine 1932-34; Cambodia 1975-79: due to the imposition of Marxist theory on traditional agriculture.

2) Nigerian, Ethiopian, and Sudanese governments using famine as a weapon against non-favored subgroups.

3) Bengal 1943: British wanted to keep rice supplies out of the hands of the Japanese, and send it to India (under British rule at the time). Result: mass starvation in Bengal.

4) Bangladesh 1974: famine came in one of their most productive rice years; largely attributed to the socialist Mujibur Rahman's martial policies

5) During the sub-Saharan drought in 1983-84, Sudan and Ethiopia suffered ~12% declines in food production---> severe famine; however, Botswana (17% reduction) and Zimbabwe (38% reduction) had no famine. Reason? Probably political factors within the respective countries

6) In a investigative report for the Village Voice in 1993, the take-home message was that the dumping of free food into Somalia destroyed the agricultural economy. No one could sell their crops with piles of free food sitting at the docks of Mogadishu. Of course, only certain people were allowed to receive the food; others starved. Again, distribution policy and politics. Somalia, about the size of Texas, has a lot of fertile land and a population of only around 6 million (1993).

Sam Stone
10-28-1999, 03:19 PM
And with even today's technology, we have barely scratched the surface of our food production ability. If we needed to (say an evil sorcerer waved a wand and caused the Earth population to multiply by a factor of ten within ten years), we could produce enough food to feed everyone.

The oceans make up 70% of the surface area of the earth, and much more than that in terms of usable volume, and yet our use of them for food production involves skimming the very top layer sporadically for wild game (i.e. fish). There are lots of ways to develop the ocean as a food resource. A favorite of mine involves using the thermal differential between the surface and deep ocean as a power source, with a byproduct being a natural 'bloom' of animals due to the nutrient-rich cold water that is expelled.

We can increase production on land in a number of ways, including genetic engineering, hydroponics, soil management, new forms of machinery and automation, etc.

My uncle is a chicken farmer using a very modern, automated operation. He and an assistant run the whole place, which has several hundred thousand chickens. The whole farm takes up the space of a large condo development. High density agriculture like this is becoming more and more popular.

Akatsukami
10-29-1999, 01:44 AM
John John asks:Who said that in AD 300 and AD 1400 we were at peak population? Are you saying peak population with regards to food quantity, distribution and growth? Who's figures say that?
Ah, the original question becomes clearer. Thank you.


As you all know, we have a fairly good picture of Bronze and Iron Age technology (agricultural and otherwise), area cropped, etc. We also have the Roman and Chinese censuses (these tie in with some of the information previously mentioned). It's not too difficult, therefore, to come up with a decent estimate of the population of these areas on a decade-by-decade basis, and of the amount of calories that could have been gotten out of these areas.


Now, of course, the Roman and Han empires covered a rather small amount of the land area of the world. OTOH, other areas (from archaeological and literary evidence) were so technically and economically backwards that their carrying capacities were miniscule by comparison (the Romans never did invent foreign aid per se).


In medieval times, we don't have the equivalent of the Roman census for Europe, but we do have church registers (births and deaths), religious chronicles and secular histories. etc. In China, by contrast, we still have the Chinese censuses (done for purposes of tax assessments, of course) to go by.


So, yes, humanity has reached the limits of agricultural carrying capacity at least twice in the past (other times seem reasonable, but we lack the information necessary to back up our SWAGs). After all, carrying capacity is heavily dependent upon technology (unless we're going to discuss the term "carrying capacity" in a highly Platonic form that leads us to such absurd questions as, "How high can we stack people before they suffocate at the bottom of the pile?"). The land on which my house stands would, if a HFG type were to be confined to it, cause him to starve to death within a month or so; it would keep a medieval peasant barely alive, provided nothing ever went wrong. OTOH, although it is almost entirely wasted from an agricultural aspect, I make quite a comfortable living.
Furthermore, at no time in our past, in all regions, did we ever have a popualtion that was not capable of feeding istelf.
And, of course, the same is equally true today.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
10-31-1999, 04:19 PM
Akats]]]]It's not too difficult, therefore, to come up with a decent estimate of the population of these areas on a decade-by-decade basis, and of the amount of calories that could have been gotten out of these areas.]]]]]]

But where is the proof that we reached a land limit?


------------------
Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

John John
10-31-1999, 04:30 PM
dhanson]]]]We can increase production on land in a number of ways, including genetic engineering, hydroponics, soil management, new forms of machinery and automation, etc.]]

Both you and Akats have posted informative posts concerning feeding a growing world population but have totally ignored the central issue: at what point do we say the world has enough people to sustain a healthy planet and life forms?

We have a finite amount of land and a growing world popualtion endangers the land of the planet. Is 6 enough and is 7 too many?

------------------
Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Akatsukami
10-31-1999, 09:29 PM
John John asks:Both you and Akats have posted informative posts concerning feeding a growing world population but have totally ignored the central issue: at what point do we say the world has enough people to sustain a healthy planet and life forms?
"Enough"? The lower limit is evidently zero; the Earth got by quite nicely for at least three billion years without humans, and all the evidence, despite some of the shriller cries on both sides of the aisle, is that it will continue to do for at least several hundred million years more if we were to all drop dead tomorrow.


The upper limit is more questionable, but seems to be at least several tens of billions of humans, and may be one or two orders of magnitude higher.


It should be noted that the exact upper limit is dependent on our abandoning the Noble Savage™ attitude that we can burn anything, and toss garbage anywhere we please, expecting that we are so insignificant a portion of the landscape that natural processes will absorb whatever trash we throw.


Various factions, for whatever reasons, seem to find this attitude either attractive or inevitable, and seek to restore human impotence. History indicates, however, that even so quaint and nostalgic a technology as swidden agriculture is quire capable of ruining thousands of square miles of terrain. Short of reverting to a HFG existence, therefore, these efforts seem futile.



------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-01-1999, 06:55 AM
AkatS]]]]]]The upper limit is more questionable, but seems to be at least several tens of billions of humans, and may be one or two orders of magnitude higher]]]]]]

You state, quite correctly, that such numbers,[ those numbers are really quite fantastic],are not viable with our current disregard for such basic eccological fundementals as recycling and proper waste disposal etc. But Akats, where would you put these additional teeming billions of waste producers, water users, home builders and energy users? Hmmm? Can you picture a landscape of dense dwellings instead of open, breathing wilderness? Do we cut more rain forests down to house the the extra billions you say are possible on this already overcrowded planet? Would you agree to build on any open ground to house these extra billions?

I think your view of what this planet will tolerate in terms of population is optimistic.

Akatsukami
11-01-1999, 08:36 AM
John John wrote, in a posting that I overlooked:But where is the proof that we reached a land limit?
No proof at all; indeed, the FAO statistics proof exactly the opposite, as I said.
But Akats, where would you put these additional teeming billions of waste producers, water users, home builders and energy users?
I wouldn't put them anywhere; I'm a firm believer in the right of people to migrate when and where they choose, even if, by some perversity, they end up in LA.


Assuming that I get elected king of the world, however, and assuming that I don't have the strength of mind to immediately abdicate, may I suggest the Sahara?
It has an area of about 3,500,000 square miles; thus, we can put about 3 billion people there before it reaches the population density of Belgium (and, as I am sure that the Teeming Thousands know, the reputation of Belgium as a sinkhole of poverty, violence, and despair is high exaggerated, except when British soccer fans are in town).


But wait, I hear someone saying, the Sahara is a hot sandy, desolate place entirely unsuitable for human beings (not unlike southern California in its native state, in fact). Well, in 1904, the Owens Valley aqueduct (which, as a resident of LA, I am sure that you are familiar with) const USD2.3x107, about 0.1 year GDP for LA at the time. Given that LA has managed to survive until the present time, we may hypothesize that spending 0.1 year of GDP of a limited region will not cause economic collapse for at least a century. It is questionable as to what income is applicable to the reformation of the Sahara (whether or not US GDP is included makes a large difference, obviously), but USD1x1013 does not seem out of the question. Indeed, since subsistence agricultural bears part of the blame for destroying the Sahara's ecology of 10,000 BP in the first place, it seems only right, in my eyes, that the more environmentally benign industrial technology of the present do its part in correcting the matter.


Now, of course, we may offer various objections to this solution: the theory that the countries occupying this ground are real nations, and that their bosses are their legitimate leaders; that many people in the US and elsewhere in the "developed" world get the warm fuzzies at knowing that there is a vast stretch of waste somewhere, and that the inhabitants of the Third World are unlikely to show up in Yosemite; the objections that, instead of sitting on the couch watching Friends and trusting to Nature and to Nature's God(dess) that everything will turn out for the best, they will have to think about what they are doing; even the fantasy that three billion people will be only a drop in the bucket. This last nightmare, of course, is immediately refutable; the others are social and political problems. not, I freely concede, to be corrected by a wave of the hand.


As I previously said, we must give up the savage, childish attitude that we can make messes wherever we choose (and, say, destroy the savannahs of the Sahara or the forests of the American Southwest) in the hopes that someone or something will clean them up with no effort on our part. Unfortunately, the attitude of too many seems to be that someone else should be prevented from making those messes, that there are "just enough of me, and far too many of you".

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Sam Stone
11-01-1999, 08:47 AM
John John: Your response is a good example of why there is no real answer to this question: It's a religious debate. To some environmentalists, the optimum number of humans equals zero. To other people, there are no environmental issues, because they have complete faith in our ability to overcome adversity.

In terms of raw ability to feed people, I think it's pretty clear that we could tolerate much higher populations. Other quality-of-life issues are harder to pin down, and very subjective.

One thing you should consider: The price of natural resources and food has been dropping steadily for the past 20 years, indicating that our supplies are increasing relative to demand, at least in the short term.

jab1
11-01-1999, 07:48 PM
Go to http://cnn.com/NATURE/9911/01/water.enn/index.html for a story that backs up John John's assertion that we're dangerously close to running out of fresh water. It's entitled "Populations outrunning water supplies." Aquifers are being depleted all over the world at an alarming rate. If we don't starve, maybe we'll die of thirst instead?

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Boris B
11-01-1999, 07:51 PM
I don't think we'll die of thirst, since they haven't died of thirst in a lot of incredibly dry areas. We may very well have to spend a lot of our GNP on desalination (reverse osmosis) plants, though. They work in Saudi Arabia, a country which has a guaranteed source of income and a moderate population. Whether or not they would be affordable in many other places ... I don't know.

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Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.
- Boris Badenov

Akatsukami
11-01-1999, 08:33 PM
I might also point out that Santa Barbara, CA, built a plant that desalinated water at a cost of about USD2,000/acre-foot. If all of California had gotten its water from desalination, it would have cost about USD7x1010 -- about 1/10 of the GDP of California at that time. California would have survived quite nicely, although there would no doubt have been the usual political whining and wriggling as everyone tried to stick someone else with the bill.


Fairly clean, potable water (by historical standards, at least) is not a problem. Getting it to the people who need it, and preventing them from doing something stupid with it like growing alfalfa in the Imperial Valley, <>is[/i] a problem, but it's a political problem, not a technological or environmental one.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-02-1999, 07:35 AM
AKats]]]]I wouldn't put them anywhere; I'm a firm believer in the right of people to migrate when and where they choose, even if, by some perversity, they end up in LA.]]]]

It seems that swarms of the worlds Tempest Toss'd are finding their way to your great City daily. What do you envision the mid 21st century to be like in Ca? Rots a ruck.

I couldn't help but notice the contradiction in your post. You suggest that the Sahara Desert, nice and far away, as a possible dumping ground for the extra few billion. Problem one- NO MORE DESERT, two, were is the next spot for all their offsprings? Do the math and you'll see that if each person has just 2 children that amount is staggering in a few generations.

Let's move closer to home. Would you house a few billion in the Grand Canyon? How about just one billion more in Ca? Take the Redwoods down to make room? Do you think Mulholand's dream was to quench the thirst of billions? Hmmmm? Think you would be able to water your lawn, wash your BMW? I don't think so. How expensive do you think water would be then?

Akats]]]]]]As I previously said, we must give up the savage, childish attitude that we can make messes wherever we choose (and, say, destroy the savannahs of the Sahara or the forests of the American Southwest) in the hopes that someone or something will clean them up with no effort on our part. Unfortunately, the attitude of too many seems to be that someone else should be prevented from making those messes, that there are "just enough of me, and far too many of you".]]]

Well, no, that is not what is being said. What is being said is that there are enough me's and you's and a few billion more will create the messes you mention, which will be irreversible. I submit that your view is savagely childish and bordering on the irresponsible.




------------------
Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

tomndebb
11-02-1999, 10:22 AM
John John:I couldn't help but notice the contradiction in your post. You suggest that the Sahara Desert, nice and far away, as a possible dumping ground for the extra few billion. Problem one- NO MORE DESERT, two, were is the next spot for all their offsprings? Do the math and you'll see that if each person has just 2 children that amount is staggering in a few generations.
Leaving aside what I am fairly sure is the facetious nature of the post to which you are replying, please note that you are again asserting an idea for which you have not provided any backup.

If we populated the Sahara, it would certainly be as an industrial (or, perhaps, post-industrial) culture. As several of us have pointed out in numerous posts, to which you have provided no substantive rebuttal, industrial societies have delining birth rates. This is true in theory. This is true in fact.

Once people realize that they do not have to breed nine children in the hopes that four will live long enough to support them in their old age on the family farm, people stop having as many children. Go back through the thread; the information has been explained and documented.

The Sahara is not going to become a farming community any time soon, so the analogy was made to Southern California. If we have a few extra people, build the next L.A. or Las Vegas out where the construction will not interfere with our ability to raise crops. Spend the money from our generally rising GDP to desalinate and purify water to ship in. The very nature of the society that lives there will ensure that the population does not rise through breeding. (Just as the populations of SoCal and Las Vegas are increasing through immigration, not birth replacement.) Your question beginning "if each person has just 2 children" is irrelevant because in such a society the birthrate will probably be 1.2 per couple and will never be 4 per couple.

Now, I am not so blasè regarding population and pollution as one or two posters, here, have appeared. They are serious issues. They do need to be addressed. However, most folks have reacted to your alarmist predictions. It does your argument no good to run in circles:

John: We're going to explode with people!
Response: The birthrate is falling.
J: Where will we put them all?!?!
R: If we get too many, we can store them in the Sahara.
J: They'll breed themselves out of space.
R: The birthrate is still hasn't stopped falling.

------------------
Tom~

John John
11-02-1999, 06:39 PM
Tom]]]]]]]]If we populated the Sahara, it would certainly be as an industrial (or, perhaps, post-industrial) culture. As several of us have pointed out in numerous posts, to which you have provided no substantive rebuttal, industrial societies have delining birth rates. This is true in theory. This is true in fact.]]]]]]]

What's the difference of HOW we populate the Sahara, post-industrial, pre-industrial, faux-industrial? If we populate it it will no longer be a desert but a huge housing development. Also, what difference does it make WHERE the teeming BILLIONS come from, First World, Second World, Third World? The question is not what socio-economic level they come from but the fact that there is a population limit this planet can SAFELY tolerate and no one, not me, not you, seem to know what that number is.

I will tell you though, Tom, it seems sensible not to overpopulate the world since history shows us how catastrophic that can be. Just think of China with 4 or 6 billion more? Would you feel safe being their close neighbor?



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Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

John John
11-02-1999, 06:54 PM
dhanson]]]]This is why I said that this was becoming a religious debate. I had a sense that John John was baiting us with his neutral-sounding questions. Now the real agenda is coming out]

Wish you'd share this "agenda" with me? Bait? I would say that my suggestions are irreligious and not the slightest bit neutral. I'm an advocate for less population and stricter environmental laws. How is that neutral?

dhanson]]]Our use of resources has just scratched the surface of the tiniest outer layer of the planet. Our food consumption has all but ignored 70% of the Earth's most plentiful food supply (the oceans). No large-scale attempt has been made to develop the oceans as a food resource, other than hunting for wild game. ]]]

We are too busy polluting and overfishing the seas to investigate new ways to turn the ocean floor into a shitheap, but that'll come. Have you read anything on what we are doing to the oceans? Fossil fuels are nearing the end of supplies and we are still not using solar and wind properly, or to the extent that have any impact on our energy needs.




------------------
Brille
"Wet Floor" sign does not mean do it.

Akatsukami
11-02-1999, 07:53 PM
John John, dhanson is right: you're preaching the faith of the Goddess Gaia.

In your OP, you wrote:What is the limit that this planet can sustain without degredation (sic) to the environment?
I believe that, I, dhanson, and several others have given you the information -- yea, have pointed to the very websites -- that contain the data that, at the least, cast serious doubt on your preaching. You have apparently shown complete refusal to even look at these data, preferring instead to pose a set of (to your meagre understanding, and that of your fellow worshippers) insoluble questions, ignoring each answer in turn and asking the question again.

You have not shown the slighest indication that you recognize that the economy, and thereby the ecology, of the world has changed in the last 150 years. Your information, such as it is, on population growth appears to be laughably out of date. Your prejudices towards energy sources are expectable, albeit completely wrong, as this report (http://www.misi-net.com./prssrel.htm) shows.

What you have done, with your misinformation and transparent advocacy of being assigned vast amounts of power, is to succeed in irritating me, and leading me to decide that you are deserving of public humiliation by exposing just how wrong your regurgitated ideas are.

What is the maximum human population that the world can sustain without environmental degradation? Zero. Zilch. Nil. Nada. One person, lighting one fire, degrades the environment. It may not be the permanent, severe degradation that a spoiled, rich, white city boy notices, but it happens, none the less.

How many people can the world sustain permanently? I say again that the number is several tems of billions, and may be one or two orders of magnitude higher. Deal with that fact. Learn it. Take it to bed with you at night.

Your nightmares of the starving hordes overrunning the world unless you and Paul Ehlrich are granted the exclusive use of the keys of heaven and hell isn't happening, and isn't going to happen. Deal with that.

Now, to the otherposters on this thread: I have, as I noted, committed myself on the carrying capacity of the Earth. I offer How Much Land Can Ten Billion People Spare For Nature? (http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/nature/nature.html) as the starting point for my assertions.

Criticisms?

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

tomndebb
11-02-1999, 08:20 PM
John John:What's the difference of HOW we populate the Sahara, post-industrial, pre-industrial, faux-industrial? If we populate it it will no longer be a desert but a huge housing development. Also, what difference does it make WHERE the teeming BILLIONS come from, First World, Second World, Third World? The question is not what socio-economic level they come from but the fact that there is a population limit this planet can SAFELY tolerate and no one, not me, not you, seem to know what that number is.
Johnny, after two years I should know better than to bother, but on the off chance that you will actually read something, for a change, instead of simply posting responses that ignore the material:

What's the difference of HOW we populate the Sahara, post-industrial, pre-industrial, faux-industrial?
Because if we happened to find a bunch of overflow people that we needed to store somewhere, placing them in any non-agrarian, non-subsistence environement will (based on historical developments) guarantee that they will reduce their birthrate so that if you moved two billion in on 01/01/2025, by 12/31/2050 there would be fewer than two billion people living there. You admantly refuse to acknowledge this, but modern society does not breed at replacement rates.

Also, what difference does it make WHERE the teeming BILLIONS come from, First World, Second World, Third World? The question is not what socio-economic level they come from but the fact that there is a population limit this planet can SAFELY tolerate. . .
The difference is crucial. The First World began failing to replace itself in the 1960's, the Second World (former U.S.S.R., China), has not been replacing itself for some time. Those countries in the Third World who achieve the level of economic and technological prosperity of what used to be considered the First World immediately see their birthrates drop.

There are only a limited number of societies left in the world with high birthrates, and as the general level of the world economy rises, the birth rates of those societies fall, as well.

and no one, not me, not you, seem to know what that number is.
Yet several posters have provided the educated guesses of a lot of researchers that think they do know the upper limits. The people who actually watch the world population levels have already discovered that not only are we not approaching those limits, it appears that we will never reach those limits.

This information has already been provided several times on this thread. If you are not going to bother reading the information and replying, with facts, to the information, then you are not participating in a Great Debate, you are whining. (Have you supplied any facts during this discussion? It seems that you have done nothing but dismiss every other post in order to cry "Woe, woe!")

As noted earlier, I think that the issues of pollution and clean water are serious ones. Addressing those issues, however, does not require committing suicide to make the world a better place for our grandchildren.

------------------
Tom~

John John
11-02-1999, 09:22 PM
Akats]]]What you have done, with your misinformation and transparent advocacy of being assigned vast amounts of power, is to succeed in irritating me, and leading me to decide that you are deserving of public humiliation by exposing just how wrong your regurgitated ideas are]

What power has been assigned to me, and by whom?

Your children will get the type of world you deserve. Get back to me when you pull your head out of the sand.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-02-1999, 09:41 PM
Tom[[[[[[Johnny, after two years I should know better than to bother, but on the off chance that you will actually read something, for a change, instead of simply posting responses that ignore the material]]]]

I've read those "what, me worry? the ship's not sinking" optimistic, irresponsible, uninformed articles many years ago. You can take solace in the fact that many feel as you do, which will really be small comfort when things go bad.

The problem with your tired "information" is that it says that there is no problem, total myopia, and conjectures that "it wil all work out in the end." Don't you believe it. I do not accept that there is no problem with adding billions more to this world. For you to say that is contrary to what is already known about the worlds drinking water. Come out of the cave guys!


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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

tomndebb
11-02-1999, 10:05 PM
In other words, you are not interested in an actual discussion. You have refused to actually look at any of the information presented, here. You simply came here to cry doom.

Good bye.

------------------
Tom~

Sam Stone
11-03-1999, 01:18 AM
This is why I said that this was becoming a religious debate. I had a sense that John John was baiting us with his neutral-sounding questions. Now the real agenda is coming out.

I agree that environmental issues are serious, especially in some areas. I do not agree that we are anywhere close to an environmental global catastrophe, nor will we be for hundreds or even thousands of years. ALL of the data available indicates that global population will either shrink, or at worst-case stabilize at around 11 billion. So forget about having to stack people like cordwood in every unoccupied location on Earth. It isn't going to happen.

Our use of resources has just scratched the surface of the tiniest outer layer of the planet. Our food consumption has all but ignored 70% of the Earth's most plentiful food supply (the oceans). No large-scale attempt has been made to develop the oceans as a food resource, other than hunting for wild game.

For a long time we thought we would soon be running out of oil and metals, but worldwide reserves of all these resources have been growing - we've been discovering new deposits faster than we can use it up. This can't last forever, but no one knows where the end is. I have faith that as these resources dwindle we will have an economic incentive to find replacements, and that we will.

We haven't begun to exploit the rest of our solar system.

There are many, many solutions to environmental problems and resource problems that we know about now but don't use simply because we have no financial incentive to do so. At some point, we will.

Sam Stone
11-03-1999, 01:43 AM
Why would anyone want to enter into a 'debate' when they've dismissed the other side's point of view 'years ago'? If you were expecting to come in here and recruit us to your side, you're doing it the wrong way. Folks around here care about data. Show us the science. Convince us. If you can't do that, crawl back under your apocalyptic rock.

John John
11-03-1999, 06:45 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
tom]]]]]]]In other words, you are not interested in an actual discussion. You have refused to actually look at any of the information presented, here. You simply came here to cry doom.
Good bye.]

No, what I'm saying is that the "information" you cite is really just a careless disregard for the inevitable. Look at it this way Tom, one person on an acre is ok, two people is ok,100 people strain it, 1000 people is more than the acre can provide.



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-03-1999, 06:53 AM
dhanson]]]]]]Why would anyone want to enter into a 'debate' when they've dismissed the other side's point of view 'years ago'? If you were expecting to come in here and recruit us to your side, you're doing it the wrong way. Folks around here care about data. Show us the science. Convince us. If you can't do that, crawl back under your apocalyptic rock.]]]]]

I guess I thought people were more aware of the distinct perils of overpopualtion and the future scarcity of clear water. Have you read anything from the Sierra Club, for instance?



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-03-1999, 07:56 AM
Tom (of tomndebb) writes:As noted earlier, I think that the issues of pollution and clean water are serious ones.
Right off, I will freely concede that the ability to do a thing is not the same as the will to do it. If we suppose that I can strike a rock and have an endless supply of potable water flow from it, I must still be induced to do so.


Now, the form that any discussion will take is going to be dependent on whether we suppose the ability or the will to be lacking. In the first vein, it will be principally technical ("How do we do X?"); in the second, it will be principally political ("How do we convince others to do X?"). I had thought that I had sufficiently covered the technical end, but perhaps it is not so?


As for "pollution"...well, that is a rather generic term :) . Perhaps if we focused on one type of pollution (e.g., pathogenic bacteria from improperly-fertilized fields), we could either dismiss it as a bogey, or go on to say, "Yes, this a serious problem (or, at least, a potentially serious problem)", and decide what the options are.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-03-1999, 07:58 AM
dhanson]]]Folks around here care about data. ]]

OK.

A Vote for Survival

By Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

If you were anywhere near a newspaper, radio or television the weekend after Earth Day, you know the Sierra Club's membership, by a large margin, rejected a controversial ballot measure to have our organization advocate curbing immigration into the United States.

The debate over immigration, which raged inside the Sierra Club for seven months, may have looked like a family feud, but it has ramifications far beyond our 600,000 members.

We were wrestling with a critical question not just for the Sierra Club, but for the nation and the world. Where do we draw the frontline in the fight to reduce overpopulation -- one of the most serious threats to our environment?

Some Sierra Club members argued that restricting immigration into the United States will ease America's environmental problems. But the majority recognized that moving people around, or keeping them from moving, will do nothing to decrease the total number of people on the planet, rein in the overall birthrate, slow the spread of pollution or curb our consumption of the Earth's resources. In sum, the Sierra Club concluded that birth control, not more border patrols, is the answer to overpopulation.

But even though the Sierra Club members have chosen this approach, our dispute was a harbinger of a larger, inevitable national debate.

As the world's population grows, as basic resources -- clean water, clean air, forests and fish -- become scarcer, we will have to figure out how to protect what's left. And there are no shortcuts. Simply put, we have to stop gobbling up the Earth and we have to put the brakes on population growth.

Americans make up just four percent of the world's population, yet consume 25 percent of its resources. At present consumption rates, even the 270 millions Americans we have today are, as one commentator recently wrote, "eating the world's lunch."

If Americans continue to consume in this way, the rest of the world will copy us -- regardless of how many of them copy us by joining us, or simply copy us back home in Bombay or Moscow.

The other hard fact we must face is that political myopia has kept us from doing the real work it will take to stabilize global population and protect our environment.

While the Sierra Club has been debating its policy on immigration, Congress has moved to end U.S. support for family-planning programs that serve hundreds of millions of families all around the world. The all too familiar excuse -- the issue of abortion -- even though US law already prohibits funding for abortion services in other countries. Down the drain, if the far-right gets its way, will be vital, necessary programs, and it's precisely here that environmentalists -- and not just population activists -- should be focusing their energy. Along with empowerment and education for women, these programs constitute a genuinely global approach to the population crisis -- the only approach, in the view of most Sierra Club members, that can effectively and compassionately solve a global problem.

By committing the Sierra Club to tackling the root causes of environmental degradation and overpopulation on this year's ballot, the Sierra Club's members have firmly rejected the view that if the global environment hits an iceberg, we can escape on our lifeboat. They have chosen instead to embrace Buckminster Fuller's notion of "Spaceship Earth," the view that we all sink or swim together.

The metaphor may be mixed. But the message could hardly be clearer. America has some hard choices ahead.

Carl Pope worked in family planning as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bihar, India, from 1967 to 1969, then served as political director of Zero Population Growth from 1970 to 1973. He is now the executive director of the Sierra Club.

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Top | Population Stabilization Campaign

tomndebb
11-03-1999, 08:53 AM
I should just walk away, but I found this irritating as I drifted off to sleep.
John John:I've read those "what, me worry? the ship's not sinking" optimistic, irresponsible, uninformed articles many years ago. You can take solace in the fact that many feel as you do, which will really be small comfort when things go bad.
You read articles "years ago" and have now succeeded in refusing to read current information provided by divemaster, dhanson, and Akatsukami.

When repeatedly pressed for information, you have pasted in an editorial by the leader of the Sierra Club that brings no facts to the table.

I am quite willing to discuss specific actions that will limit specific pollutants or specific governmental actions that will, (for example), encourage the free exchange of goods to reduce famine.

You are not here for that. The only proposal you have actually brought to this discussion is the taxation of families with "too many" children in the U.S. (where the birth rate is already in decline).

John, in two years I have never seen you actually read the information provided by people with whom you argue. Dismissing Akatsukami's or dhanson's information as simply optimistic when you have provided NO factual rebuttals to the information that they have gleaned from the U.N. and other sources is neither debate nor discussion. It is preaching. You have brought as much information and reasoned discourse to this thread as Hovind generally does to a discussion of Evolution or Ian Paisley does to a discussion of religion in Ireland. "My mind is made up; don't confuse me with facts."

Gentlemen, (I don't recall seeing any recent posts by ladies), you may continue posting to this thread, but you are going to find it a very frustrating experience. If you continue, you are going to find that John does not seem to be able to actually process information. He may, occasionally, discover a chart or a paragraph to quote, but I have never seen him actually develop a complete thought including objections and corollaries. His conclusion is generally his premise.

Sorry. I'm gone.

------------------
Tom~

divemaster
11-03-1999, 09:04 AM
Gawshalmighty John John, you have taken selective perception to its logical conclusion. You only hear want you want to hear and see what you want to see, and then have the nerve to tell others they are blind.

I've not posted in a while on this topic because I don't have the tolerance for such obstinance as some others do. More power to them for putting up with your mindless bleating. But even they are getting fed up.

I don't know where you get your information. It sounds to me that you have been hanging around too many Greenpeace and Earth First! rallies. If that's your thing, fine. But I advise you to analyze the actual science behind what you believe. You may find confirmation of some of your opinions (not everything they say is bogus), but you may not.

Remember, political organizations (even environmentally-oriented ones) require doomsday scenarios to garner support, money, and political power. Scientific organizations do not, or at least not nearly to the extent. They can be more impartial and focus on trying to find the correct answers rather than the answers that get them more money, notoriety, or power.

Believe me, I know how this game is played. Your mistake is trying to play it on this board with intelligent people. Not like your little 'save the world' rallies is it?

Akatsukami
11-03-1999, 09:06 AM
Well, JJ, it appears to be a fact that Carl Pope is something between an ignorant fool and a power-hungry thug. Unfortuately, the press release that you posted contains no other facts.


It claims that:In sum, the Sierra Club concluded that birth control, not more border patrols, is the answer to overpopulation.
But the facts that we not only have birth control, but that it is working. Or are we to suppose that by "birth control", Pope really means "population control", and that he wants the population to be reduced right this minute? Since he also may be under the delusion that the only qualification for being a demographer is knowing how to punch buttons on a calculator, he may be innocent of actually realizing the carnage that he is advocating.


I strongly suggest that, since the PC has become a common possession since Paul Ehrlich and the Club of Rome had their nightmares, that you create a spreadsheet that allows the emulation of reproduction, and that you discover for yourself just how many people have to be killed to achieve your dream of reducing the population in the next half century.
As the world's population grows, as basic resources -- clean water, clean air, forests and fish -- become scarcer, we will have to figure out how to protect what's left.
Now, here is a good example of Pope's savage, childish attitude. Does he (and do you) suppose that clean water is something that is simply found, rather than being made so by human efforts? Does he recognize that, since pre-industrial agriculture was largely abandoned in the U.S. at the turn of the century, the forested acreage in the U.S. has dramatically increased? Does he note, as dhanson has, that the decrease in wild fish stocks is due to attempts to impose a Paleolithic HFG regime on the oceans, and that the tonnage of farmed fish doubled between 1983 and 1993?
Americans make up just four percent of the world's population, yet consume 25 percent of its resources.
If that were true, would not the resources of the world be consumed in just four years? Of course, it is at best a gross misunderstanding: America consumes 25% of the resource flow.


And so what? Will the use of potable water increase tenfold in Rwanda if we blow up the Owens Valley aqueduct? Will everyone in India consume 7 Mcal/day if we go on diets? Is the failure of North Korea to electrify all its villages due to our hogging all of the good uranium for our own nuclear power plants? Or, is the fact that Americans take 25% of the resource flow due to the fact that America has 25% of the productive economic base?


The proper way -- and an eminently sustainable one -- to alter the balance of the resource flow is to see that those nations rise to American standards of living, not to force Americans to become as impoverished as they.
If Americans continue to consume in this way, the rest of the world will copy us -- regardless of how many of them copy us by joining us, or simply copy us back home in Bombay or Moscow.
Damn straight. And there is no reason why they shouldn't.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Polycarp
11-03-1999, 09:08 AM
My problem with the "solution" to the overpopulation question is twofold:

1. Deciding to regulate is a step that should be taken with care. Regulating the size of families is a drastic step that needs very careful consideration. Before, IMHO, being rejected. It has been noted that the birth rate is declining, both in America and worldwide. The U.N. study indicates the rate of increase to be lessening, with eventual change into a decrease. Can you not trust the majority of people to do what is needful voluntarily? If not, why not? And where do you claim the authority to regulate them? If you choose to do so by legislation, you have a major change in the majority viewpoint to accomplish before our esteemed Congress would even consider it. If you choose any other route, you may count me opposed.

2. Even were the population not stabilizing, we have an excellent example of a mixed economy (substantial rural and urban sectors) at a high standard of living supporting a population [b]averaging[b] over 300 persons per square mile. Coldfire lives there. Replicate the Netherlands' success in the high-density areas that have lower standards of living, and you don't have a "population problem," just a lot of people. Now, if your complaint is just that there are two many people (as opposed to too many for available resources), your solutions are two: (a) live with it; (b) take action to reduce it. In the latter case, you may find yourself violently opposed by almost everyone, unless your action is to reduce the number by one: yourself. [/sarcasm]

Falcon
11-03-1999, 11:52 AM
Thank you, Polycarp...you said most of what I wanted to say.

John, how the hell would you reduce population NOW? Kill off half of America? Institute one-child policies across the globe? Tom is right - as societies become more industrialized, the birth rate naturally falls, as does the mortality rate. The population then begins to have a negative growth rate.

Where efforts need to be concentrated is in the Third World. As people begin to realize that having 15 children is not necessary in order to have 5 survive, the birth rate will NATURALLY fall! By the same token, as people in those countries begin to value having female children as much as having male children, they won't have 15 children in the hopes of having a lot of boys. What is needed is education.

That's solely dealing with population growth...I'm not going to say a lot on its link to the environment. I wrote a paper on this for college...and quite honestly, after doing the research from BOTH sides, I couldn't find a link between population growth and the condition of the environment. I'm not sure there is a direct link. And yes John, I'm a freaking MEMBER of the Sierra Club, and I still think this.

Sam Stone
11-03-1999, 04:07 PM
I'll just add one more thing: The numbers I used came from the U.N. Population project, not exactly a hotbed of reactionary industrialists. The U.N. has been tracking population growth since its inception. When its early numbers appeared alarming, people like Paul Erlich were only too happy to use them, AND expound on how non-biased the U.N. advisory councils are.

Well, we now have two reasonable models left. One predicts the worldwide population to stabilize at around 11 billion by 2150. The other one predicts a decline in world populations to about 3.6 billion by 2050. The real number is probably somewhere in between, since the 'medium variant' model (11 billion by 2150) has already been modified downwards twice.

So let's rephrase the question like this: Can the Earth sustain a fixed population of 11 billion? If not, WHY? Give us some facts. Forget about stacking people like cordwood in the Sahara - it won't be necessary. 11 billion people just doesn't create a population density that high.

A more reasonable number might be a stable population of perhaps 9 billion. Certainly we're going to hit 7.5 billion in the next 20 years or so, regardless of which model you follow. Is that too many? If so, why?

Here's a start for you - have a look at crop yields per acre in the undeveloped countries, and compare it to crop yields in the U.S. Assume we can bring them up to our level of productivity. How many people can we feed? Have a look at our fledgeling efforts to actually grow and harvest fish, and extrapolate that to worlwide production. How many people can we feed?

How about natural resources? Are we really running out of water? How much would it cost to artificially desalinate what we need, and what percentage of our GNP would we have to spend to do it?

These are the kinds of questions you should be asking. They are amenable to analysis, and you can put hard numbers to them. This isn't utopianism, it's science and engineering.

John John
11-03-1999, 05:33 PM
Tom[[[[[[[When repeatedly pressed for information, you have pasted in an editorial by the leader of the Sierra Club that brings no facts to the table.]]]]]]

Tom, there is much that you need to find out about the global situation and where we're headed.

POPULATION AND OVERFISHING


Background

In 1996, the global fish harvest -- captured and farmed fish combined -- set a new record high of 116 million tons. Yet this seeming abundance masks a serious decline in the productivity of many important fish and shellfish species.

Why is a decline in the productivity of global fisheries a problem?

Food Source: An estimated 950 million people, mostly in low income countries depend on fish as their primary source of protein. On the average, fish supply 16% of the animal protein that humans consume.
Employment: The fishing industry, composed of subsistence fishers, large scale mechanized fishing vessels and everything in-between, directly or indirectly employs some 200 million people worldwide.
The world’s fish production comes from three sources: the marine catch (harvests from coastal waters and the high seas), inland catch (lakes and rivers), and aquaculture. We have witnessed growth in all three sources, yet this growth in fish harvests reflects not only the steady growth in the number of fishing vessels and the sophistication of their gear but also the increasing demand of a growing world population.

The Population Connection

*****The underlying threat to global fisheries is an ever-growing human population.***** Worldwide, rising coastline populations are intensifying pressures on coastal fisheries and wetlands. Currently 3.8 billion people, more than 60 % of the world, live within 100 km. of the coastline. In the next 30 years, more than 6.3 billion people are expected to make their home in densely populated coastal corridors worldwide. Unfortunately, coastal population growth and the lack of employment opportunities often result in a continual increase in the number of peoples fishing in a given area despite declines in nearshore catch.

How Do We Know There Is a Problem?

11 of the world’s 15 major fishing areas and 69% of the world’s major fish species are in decline ***according to the United Nation’s**** Food and Agriculture Organization.
Decline in the size of individual captured fish. The average size of typical swordfish decreased from 120 kg. to 30 kg. during the past 20 years. This has resulted in a 50% decrease in the rate of swordfish reaching maturity.
Changes in the composition of global catch to species of lower economic value. Species such as sardines and anchovies, which are lower on the food chain, have accounted for nearly all of the growth in marine harvests since the 1970’s. In addition, these types of fish are often processed into fish oil and fish meal which are used primarily for nonhuman purposes such as aquaculture.
The prices of most fish species continue to rise as harvests shrink -- making fish a less affordable meal among low income populations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sources of the Problem

Overfishing

Open Access - Fish stocks have generally been considered common property open to exploitation by anyone with a boat and gear. As long as enough fish are caught to cover operating costs, there is little economic incentive to stop fishing once a vessel is built. As more fishers enter the system, greater effort is required to catch a dwindling supply and revenues will fall. By this time fish stocks will probably be severely depleted.

Overcapacity - Over the past two decades, the size of the industrial fleet has expanded twice as fast as the rise in catches. The UNFAO estimates that the world’s fishing fleet has at least 30% more capacity than it needs. Overcapacity combined with powerful new technologies, such as fish finding electronics, results in rampant exploitation.

Subsidies - Large economic losses have plagued the global fisheries sector for more than a decade. The UNFAO concludes that total expenses for the world fleet typically exceed total revenue by $50 billion. However, national governments have traditionally heavily subsidized the industrial fishing sector because it is an important source of employment, food, and export earnings. Unfortunately, these subsidies have historically been used with little consideration of the long-term damage to the resource they encourage. Subsidies, approximately $13 billion globally each year, encourage fishers to remain in a depleted fishery even when it is not profitable, further extending themselves and the marine resources.

Coastal Degradation

Coastal areas are collecting pools for wastes and runoff. Coastal ecosystems can be damaged by conversions of wetlands, filling and development, as well as pollution of critical areas such as estuaries and bays. For example, due to agricultural runoff in the Mississippi River Delta, the Gulf of Mexico has a biological dead zone the size of New Jersey.

The Bottom Line

Marine fishery conservation measures are necessary not only to allow a larger global fish catch but also to keep fish diversity high, to reduce impacts on marine ecosystems, and ultimately to maximize sustainable employment in the fisheries sector.

Sustainable fisheries management requires conservative limits on fishing to be set well below the biological level of maximum sustainable yield, decisions based on local conditions and needs, and some form of property rights. The future of global fisheries may rest with consumers who buy fish products that have been produced sustainably and demand that policy makers support the recommendations of scientists to close fisheries and reduce harvests. Researchers estimate that rebuilding healthy marine stocks could add another 20 million metric tons of high value fish to the annual harvest.

In September of 1996, the Senate reauthorized the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Under this act all U.S. fish species must be assessed and recovery plans developed within a year for those species identified as overfished. Yet there is still much more to be done...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Take Action !

Urge the U.S. government to encourage other top fishing nations to sign the U.N.Fish Stocks Agreement which sets international standards for the conservation of marine fishes. (Including the U.S., only 4 of the top 20 fishing nations have signed and ratified.)

Global demand for fish is expected to continue its steady growth as the world’s population expands. In order to diffuse population pressures on the fishing industry encourage your senators and representatives to support funding for international population programs and sustainable development, including programs for primary health care, family planning and the education and empowerment of women.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-03-1999, 05:45 PM
_____________________________________________Drivemaster]]]]]Gawshalmighty John John, you have taken selective perception to its logical conclusion. You only hear want you want to hear and see what you want to see, and then have the nerve to tell others they are blind.
_____________________________________________

I really could have applied that paragraph to you guys,actually. It's how I feel about how yo all see things. Drive, you need to understand that if we keep up our current irresponsible practices we, our offsprings, will wind up in a global Calcuta.

Y6B: The Real Millenium
Think the population explosion is over? Think again
On or about October 12, 1999, human population is expected to reach 6 billion. While it took until about 1800 to reach the first billion, the trip from 5 billion to 6 will have required a mere 12 years. Those born in 1930 will have seen humankind triple within their lifetime.

That makes all the more surprising the strange take of the national media, which over the past few years have been full of stories like "The Population Explosion Is Over" (The New York Times Magazine) or "Now the Crisis Is Global Underpopulation" (Orange County Register). These contrarian stories are based on two recent demographic trends: fertility in nearly all developed nations has fallen below the population-stabilizing "replacement" rate (2.1 children per woman, where mortality is low), and fertility is declining in most of the developing world. These trends led the United Nations to revise its population projections, reflecting a slower rate of growth than previously forecast.

"Slower," however, does not mean slow. At the current global growth rate, 1.5 million people-roughly a new metropolitan Milwaukee-are added every week. Despite fertility declines, birthrates in much of the world remain high. For example, Guatemala's fertility is 5.1 children per woman, Laos and Pakistan's 5.6, and Iraq's 5.7. And those are not even the high end of the spectrum: Afghanistan's fertility rate is 6.1. The 43 nations of East, West, and Central Africa average 6.0, 6.2, and 6.3 children per woman, respectively. Countries that have reduced their birthrate to three or four children per woman are also growing very rapidly. This is partly because of "population momentum," in which earlier high fertility yields a large proportion of young people. Even fertility rates fractionally above replacement can perpetuate rapid growth.

What if every nation's fertility stayed at its present level? Human population would exceed 50 billion by the year 2100-if the earth could support that many. The UN "medium" projections (perhaps the most realistic) now assume that fertility in developing nations will fall to about 2.2 children per woman over roughly the next 30 years. Even so, world population would reach 8.9 billion by 2050. The 2.9 billion gain would itself equal the world's entire human population in 1957.

Most future growth will occur in the most distressed regions of the earth, many of which are already experiencing severe deforestation, water shortages, and massive soil erosion. In the medium projections, sub-Saharan Africa's present population of 630 million will more than double to 1.5 billion by 2050. By that time, Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, and Pakistan will also more than double, as will Bolivia, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Paraguay. Bangladesh will grow by two-thirds, and India will increase by more than half a billion persons to 1.5 billion.

These projections presume that many more people will soon have effective access to family-planning services. That may not happen. One reason is the abysmal failure of most rich nations to provide family-planning aid at levels like those envisioned at the population conference at Cairo in 1994. In the United States, such aid to developing nations has become hostage to the debate over abortion, even though access to contraceptives reduces abortion rates. Family-planning aid from the United States has been slashed by at least 30 percent since 1995, and is now a fraction of what it needs to be.

There is still time to attain world population stability through means that respect human freedom and dignity-and that therefore are conducive to women's equity and empowerment. "I have the audacity to believe," said Martin Luther King Jr. in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, "that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirit." It will take many steps to reach that dream. A gentle but early end to the population explosion is one of them.—William G. Hollingsworth

Bill Hollingsworth wrote Ending the Explosion: Population Policies and Ethics for a Humane Future (Seven Locks Press, 1996). He teaches at the University of Tulsa College of Law.



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-03-1999, 05:51 PM
---------------------------------------------Falcon[[[[[[[[John, how the hell would you reduce population NOW? Kill off half of America? Institute one-child policies across the globe? Tom is right - as societies become more industrialized, the birth rate naturally falls, as does the mortality rate. The population then begins to have a negative growth rate.
---------------------------------------------

Not reduce it NOW but take measures to CURB the exponential, irresponsible growth towards CRITICAL overpopulation, which leads to global degredation and depletion of natural resources.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-03-1999, 05:59 PM
---------------------------------------------Polycarp]]]]]]My problem with the "solution" to the overpopulation question is twofold:
1. Deciding to regulate is a step that should be taken with care. Regulating the size of families is a drastic step that needs very careful consideration.
---------------------------------------------
yes, of course, it really is a big step and one that should be given careful consideration, but a step MUST be taken.

Do you feel a step is needed and that we should be made aware of the problem ?

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-03-1999, 08:29 PM
At last some interesting messages.

First, overfishing is certainly a problem in many areas, and for the reasons the article states. Among the most important reason is subsidies. Atlantic Canada has seen declining fish populations, but the number of fishermen remains relatively constant because the government subsidizes them heavily, and allows them to collect unemployment in the off-season. I'm dead-set against subsidies of any industry for these reasons - subsidies screw with natural market mechanisms which tend to regulate resource allocation.

But then you go on to say,
<BLOCKQUOTE>
Not reduce it NOW but take measures to CURB the exponential, irresponsible growth towards CRITICAL overpopulation, which leads to global degredation and depletion of natural resources.</BLOCKQUOTE>

This is an example of the kind of statement that marginalizes your position. After quoting a bunch of figures from the U.N. showing reasonable population estimates, you go on to make this alarmist statement, which is factually wrong. The world's population is not growing exponentially - the growth curve is slowing, and the population may even decrease. You say that the Earth's population is growing TOWARDS CRITICAL OVERPOPULATION, which is never defined by you, and again which may be factually wrong since one of the U.N's estimates has the population decreasing.

Sam Stone
11-03-1999, 08:41 PM
Here's an example of the shoddy tactics used in these messages:

<BLOCKQUOTE>On or about October 12, 1999, human population is expected to reach 6 billion. While it took until about 1800 to reach the first billion, the trip from 5 billion to 6 will have required a mere 12 years. Those born in 1930 will have seen humankind triple within their lifetime. </BLOCKQUOTE>

This is a standard scare tactic. The information is meaningless, but included to scare the reader, and leave the impression that the Earth's population is careening out of control when the facts indicate otherwise.

<BLOCKQUOTE>
What if every nation's fertility stayed at its present level? Human population would exceed 50 billion by the year 2100-if the earth could support that many. </BLOCKQUOTE>

But it isn't, and no one thinks it is, even in their wildest nightmares. So why include this in the article? For the same reason above. To stick that magic number of 50 BILLION people into the casual reader's head and leave an alarming impression that isn't warranted by the facts.

<BLOCKQUOTE>The 2.9 billion gain would itself equal the world's entire human population in 1957.
</BLOCKQUOTE>
More of the same. These types of numbers are all included to give the casual reader the impression that the Earth's population is growing like mad, and will continue to do so. Why doesn't the article go on to say that the very projection they used to come up with this number has the Earth's population increasing by only 2.1 billion for the next 100 years after that, and then not increasing at all? Better to leave that unsaid, so that the average reader will think there's a trend that actually doesn't exist.

By the way, that 8.9 billion by 2050 number has already been revised downwards to about 8.2 billion, and the latest data indicates it may be revised downwards again to about 7.5 billion. Just as when the 'medium variant' model came out in 1992 it predicted a global population of 12 billion by 2100, and has been revised downwards twice since. And the current prediction of 11 billion by 2100 also predicted 6.5 billion by the year 2000, which is going to be high by about 400 million. So expect the 11 billion number to be revised downwards again soon.

11-03-1999, 09:24 PM
You will please note that the UN, an organization you like to quote, predicts an additional 4 billion by 2050, which will strain our ecosystems. That is really all I'm saying: LOOK WHERE THIS IS LEADING US.

Population and Biodiversity

"The one process ongoing in the 1990s that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly that our descendants are least likely to forgive us."

Edward O. Wilson


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Extinction is not new to the planet. It is, in fact, an integral part of the history of life on Earth. However, the current rate of species loss is 150 times higher than the natural background rate of extinction. Human population growth interacts with resource consumption patterns in many complicated ways to produce this unprecedented mass extinction. This fact sheet addresses the main causes directly related to population size and growth: habitat alteration, invasive species, and overexploitation.

What is Biodiversity?

Short for "biological diversity," the term "biodiversity" describes the richness and complexity of life on Earth. Biodiversity is usually measured in numbers of species but is really much greater in scope. Biodiversity refers to both the number of living species and the number of different genes in those species' gene pools, for example. The loss of our planet's diversity is a disturbing fact.

Growing and Declining Numbers

On average, 2.37 people are born every second. Today, 6 billion people inhabit the planet. The United Nations projects that over the next 50 years, we may add nearly 4 billion more, totaling 9.4 billion people. ****ninety-eight percent of the growth is expected to occur in low-income countries where natural resources and ecosystems are already stressed and fragile, and where social services are limited.*****

With an expanding human population, many non-human species face decline or total extermination. We destroyed 30 percent of the natural world between 1970 and 1995. At the current rate of extinction, the Earth will have lost 25% of its present number of species by 2050. Roughly 50,000 species vanish every year. Scientists estimate that Earth harbors between 7 and 20 million species, of which only 1.75 million have been catalogued. Sadly, many creatures will forever remain unknown to us, for they are disappearing before we get a chance even to learn about them.

Should We Care?

Yes! The loss of our planet's diversity touches us all. Biological diversity underpins our existence--only a species-rich environment can provide us with food, fibers, and many other products which we usually take for granted. Plants and microorganisms create our soils; forests cleanse the air and replenish our groundwater supplies; frogs, fish, and birds control pests; insects provide pollination services without which many plants would not reproduce. The list is long and many interactions have not yet been explored.

Keeping Options Alive

The reason for the preservation of Earth's natural communities can be summed up in one concise phrase: We must keep options alive. Ultimately we depend on the natural world for everything. For example:

We depend on the natural world for our food supply. Genetic diversity of our crops and livestock is vital for our future food security in a rapidly changing world. Genetically impoverished stocks are more susceptible to pests and disease. All agricultural crops must be periodically bred with wild varieties to increase or maintain their productivity levels.
Scientists also note that biodiversity supports our health care system. Twenty-five percent of drugs prescribed in the U.S. contain chemical compounds derived from wild species. The cure for AIDS or cancer may be hidden in the vast tracts of still unexplored rainforests. By destroying forests today, we are limiting our options for treating illness in the future.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Why Mass Extinction?

As more and more people inhabit the planet, less room, or habitat, is available for other species. Our behavior has caused broad-scale modifications of the natural world, affecting animal and plant life in many ways. Three human-induced factors stand out as primary causes for the unprecedented rate of species loss: habitat alteration, the spreading of invasive species, and overexploitation

Habitat alteration

Habitat alteration is by far the most significant cause of global species decline. Humans claim more resources today than any other organism on Earth. In the process of making room for our growing numbers, we plow under and pave over, split up and cut down, drain, pollute, contaminate, and sell away previously intact landscapes, and thereby destroy invaluable habitat for thousands of species. Industrial and agricultural pollutants poison individuals of many species and make their habitats unfit for continued survival.

Today, only 27% of Earth's habitable land mass remains undisturbed. Large land mammals with a need for large home ranges, and endemic species (species that are highly adapted to a restricted geographic area and do not occur anywhere else on Earth) are most affected by habitat destruction.
As habitats dwindle, so does the possibility for species to move and migrate. This becomes particularly dangerous given the threat of global climate change. Should weather patterns change, plants and animals cannot shift their range as they were able to in the evolutionary past, and are thus more vulnerable to extinction.
Deforestation is quite possibly the greatest threat to biodiversity at present. Forests are biodiversity >hotspots". The alarming rates of deforestation are clearly linked to the actions and aims of commercial logging companies, large landowners, distant consumers, international development agencies, and government officials. Socio-economic and political factors like inequities in wealth and land ownership also play key roles in the loss of habitat.
Invasive Species

Either intentionally or unintentionally, a traveling or migrating human population contributes to the spreading of so-called "invasive" or "alien" species. These are highly adaptable plant or animal species that, once introduced into a new environment, manage to reproduce successfully, and then compete with native species for valuable resources. These "pests" oftentimes outcompete or even prey on more susceptible and vulnerable species. Endemic species are especially threatened by the invasion of non-native species.

In Hawaii, 75% of the original flora and fauna has been replaced by non-native, invasive species. The archipelago's unique bird populations were among the hardest hit. Approximately 90 Hawaiian bird species were endemic to the islands. Barely one-third have survived the onslaught of alien species introduced by Polynesian and European settlers. About 66% of the remaining native birds are threatened with extinction.
Overexploitation

Humanity has always utilized nature's services for survival. Exploitation of species for food, clothing, and shelter has seldom led to serious problems in the past. But in today's densely populated and profit-driven world, many species are hunted, trapped or killed above their rate of replacement. This is overexploitation. Profiteering and fashion fads fuel global demand and drive commercial overexploitation.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What Can We Do?

Species loss is a difficult problem to tackle. It is the ultimate, measurable result of many interacting and mutually reinforcing factors. A successful approach to biodiversity conservation must therefore be integrated.

Protected Areas

National governments have established parks and other designated protected areas to combat the rapid decline in biodiversity. A worldwide total area of 1 billion hectares, equivalent to the size of Canada, is officia

11-03-1999, 09:24 PM

tracer
11-03-1999, 09:47 PM
I'd just like to mention, at this juncture, that last weekend I learned that most salmon sold in U.S. grocery stores is farmed freshwater salmon, rather than wild ocean salmon.

We now return to your tirade already in progress.

Sam Stone
11-03-1999, 11:18 PM
Here are some more recent numbers (1997) since the U.N's population predictions in 1994:

<BLOCKQUOTE>
BROADENING AND DEEPENING OF FERTILITY DECLINES IN LESS
DEVELOPED REGIONS

Population Division
Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis

According to the 1996 Revision of the United Nations population
estimates and projections prepared by the Population Division, the
world's average fertility level in 1990-1995 was 3.0 births per
woman. The world average conceals the disparity between major areas
and countries of the world. Fertility varies from 1.6 in Europe to
5.7 in Africa, and from 1.2 in Italy to 8.8 in the Gaza Strip.

Taking into account new demographic surveys, the 1996 Revision
shows that the number of developing countries where fertility decline
had newly begun has increased and in several countries previously
documented fertility transition proceeds at a faster pace. Thus,
fertility in Cote d'Ivoire was previously estimated to remain at 7.4
births per woman through 1995, while in fact it begun to decline in
1985-1990 and by 1990-1995 decreased by almost one quarter, to 5.7.
In Kenya, where fertility until the late 1970s had remained at over
8 births per woman, it is now estimated to have declined to 5.4
births per woman in 1990-1995 rather than 6.3 births as it has been
anticipated in the 1994 Revision. New data also indicate that in
Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Pakistan, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab
Republic and Turkey fertility has also decreased faster than
previously estimated. For example, fertility declined in Bangladesh
from 6.2 births per woman in 1980-1985 to 3.4 births in 1990-1995
which is one birth less than it was anticipated for the same period
two years ago. In the Syrian Arab Republic fertility was reduced
from 7.4 births per woman in 1980-1985 to the current 4.7 which is
1.2 lower than the previous estimate for 1990-1995.

Over the last 20 years, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean
and Northern Africa underwent a broad and fast fertility transition:
in less than a the length of just one generation the reproductive
behaviour changed so deeply that the number of children born to an
average woman was reduced from more than 5 in 1970-1975 to less than
3 in 1990-1995 (see figure). Although the trends of fertility
decline were roughly similar in both major areas, in individual
countries fertility transition did not necessarily follow similar
patterns. For instance, even among the large countries (e.g., with
population of more than 20 million in 1995) the overall 20-years drop
in fertility levels varied from less than 1.5 births per woman in the
Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Philippines to 3.0 and
more in Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Mexico, Morocco and Thailand,
while smaller countries were characterized by even more extreme
variations.

The evolution of sub-Saharan Africa was quite different. Only
10-15 years ago sub-Saharan Africa was characterized by
monolithically high fertility levels. The onset of fertility decline
in the region is a new phenomenon and it brought the diversification
in the national fertility levels. However, in spite of the clear
signs of the start of fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa,
current levels of fertility in most countries of the region remain
high and in 17 countries are equal to or exceed six births per woman,
showing little of no sign of decrease.


------------------
Source: Population Division, Department for Economic and Social
Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations Secretariat,
World Population Prospects: The 1996 Revision (annex tables), United
Nations, New York, 1996.
</blockquote>

Akatsukami
11-04-1999, 03:41 AM
I agree with dhanson that overfishing of wild stocks is, and will doubtless remain for some time to come, a genuine problem. Of course, aquaculture is more than making up for this problem, as the UN FAO report on the state of world fisheries and aquaculture (http://www.fao.org/docrep/w9900e/w9900e05.htm#P4) shows.

It is important to note demographics is a subject which the vast majority of self-styled “environmentalists” have not mastered. The UN population projections for 1996 state: If all couples of the world had begun to bear children at the replacement-fertility level in 1995 (about 2 children per couple), the growth momentum of the current age structure would still result in a 67 per cent increase in the world population, to 9.5 billion by 2150. (emphasis added). We also note in the same report that 2.4 of claimed 4 billion (60%) would be added to world population by 2050 under this scenario. Thus, it must be concluded that calls for immediate “population control policies” are either:
[list=1] An implicit admission that the speaker doesn’t know what he’s talking about; or
Thinly disguised demands for mass slaughter[/list=1]
We might well ask, however, what policies are to be adopted in place of either the genocidal murder that “environmental” organizations advocate, or the ecological collapse that they fear. Surprisingly, these policies are already in place, and functioning to our desires. In the U.N.’s Long Range Population Projections (http://www.popin.org/longrange/exesummary.htm), we read: In the developing world, only 17 countries with less than 4 per cent of the world population, had shown no signs of a fertility reduction by 1995 and in many of the countries where fertility reductions had started, the decline had been rapid. Furthermore, in countries that are already far advanced in the transition from high to low fertility, fertility does not necessarily stabilize at replacement level. Thus, the number of countries with below-replacement fertility is large and increasing. and, more importantly, whereas the medium scenario of the preceding long-range projections, consistent with the 1996 Revision, yielded a world population of 10.8 billion in 2150, the present ones, which are consistent with the 1998 Revision, produce a population of 9.7 billion, 1.1 billion lower.
Thus, we see that in fact the scary tales of the world being overrun with people, or even of world population growing to 10 billion in 50 years, are based on outdated and misleading statistics.

Where is this leading us? To a wealthier, environmentally stabler, freer world where mother hunts by the minions of the Fertility Board will not be conducted, because there is no need.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-04-1999, 06:53 AM
tracer]]]]]I'd just like to mention, at this juncture, that last weekend I learned that most salmon sold in U.S. grocery stores is farmed freshwater salmon, rather than wild ocean salmon.
We now return to your tirade already
---------------------------------------------

Yes, most, if not all, of the salmon we eat is farmed and mass produced. Isn't salmon a river fish, not an ocean fish?


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-04-1999, 07:29 AM
Akats]]]]]]]It is important to note demographics is a subject which the vast majority of self-styled “environmentalists” have not mastered. The UN population projections for 1996 state:

quote:
If all couples of the world had begun to bear children at the replacement-fertility level in 1995 (about 2 children per couple), the growth momentum of the current age structure would still result in a 67 per cent increase in the world population, to 9.5 billion by 2150.
---------------------------------------------

Didn't the UN predict 4 billion more by 2050, raising the total to 10 or 10.5?

You might also take note that overfishing, which dhanson and I have pointed out to you, is just one area of the eccology that is affected by the need to feed more billions. What you seem to want is an artificial world of fish farming and desalination plants. How costly do you think that would be?

I can't understand why you persist in ignoring the problem, or even admitting that there is one. If your home State, for example, were to increase population by 25 million you would see a marked difference in quality of life and depletion of water. How much of the Colorado do you think can be diverted?

The link between population growth and environmental impact is obvious, more people consume more resources, damage more of the earth and generate more waste. Humans are a force of nature. Hello! As nations develop, they increase consumption.

-------

"A very small proportion of the population consumes the majority of the world's resources. The richest fifth consumes 86% of all goods and services and produces 53% of all carbon dioxide emissions, while the poorest fifth consumes 1.3% of goods and services and accounts for 3% of C02 output. (1)

· Per capita municipal waste grew 30% in developed nations since 1975 and is now two to five times the level in developing nations. (1)

· An average American's environmental impact is 30 to 50 times that of the average citizen of a developing country such as India. (1)

The need is to balance the requirements of a growing population with the necessity of conserving earth's natural assets.

Human action has transformed between one-third and one-half of the entire land surface of the earth. We have lost more than one-quarter of the planet's birds, and two-thirds of the major marine fisheries are fully exploited, over-exploited or depleted. (2)

· Every 20 minutes, the world adds another 3,500 human lives but loses one or more entire species of animal or plant life - at least 27,000 species per year. This is a rate and scale of extinction that has not occurred in 65 million years. (3)

· Spreading deserts and declining water tables in a third of the planet are contributing to famine, social unrest and migration.

· Two thirds of the world's population lives within 100 miles of an ocean, inland sea or freshwater lake: 14 of the world's 15 largest megacities (10 million or more people) are coastal. Their impacts include growing loads of sewage and other waste, the drainage of wetlands and development of beaches, and destruction of prime fish nurseries. (4)

Technological advances can mitigate some of the impact of population growth, and market mechanisms raise prices for some diminishing resources, triggering substitution, conservation, recycling and technical innovation so as to prevent depletion.

But market systems often subsidize industries such as logging, mining and grazing without tallying environmental costs. No market considers commonly held resources such as groundwater levels or atmospheric and ocean quality. Nor do markets consider earth's "services," such as regulation of climate, detoxification of pollutants or provision of pollinators, much less questions of human equity and social justice. When water quality is degraded, well-off people can buy bottled water, for example, but poorer people cannot..

· A world conclave of 58 national Academies of Science agreed in 1993 that unchecked consumption and rapid population growth are likely to overwhelm technological improvements in affecting the environment. (5)

Clearly, the greatest environmental threat comes from both the wealthiest billion people, who consume the most and generate the most waste, and from the poorest billion, who may damage their meager resource base in the daily struggle to avoid starvation. In addition, the billions in between are doing their best to increase their standard of living, in part through increased consumption.

· Although the world's supply of water remains constant, per-capita water consumption is rising twice as fast as world population. Humanity now uses more than half of the available surface fresh water on earth (2); at least 300 million people live in regions that already have severe water shortages. By 2025, the number could be 3 billion. (6)

· The world's forests have shrunk from 11.4 to 7.3 square kilometers per 1,000 people since 1970. The loss is concentrated in developing countries, mostly to meet the demand for wood and paper by the industrialized world. Wild species are becoming extinct 50 to 100 times faster than they naturally would. (1)

· Over the last 50 years, 17% of the planet's soils have been severely degraded. That's nearly 2 billion hectares, the size of China and India combined. (1)

· The global emission of carbon dioxide, a "greenhouse gas" most researchers say causes global warming and disruption in weather patterns, has quadrupled since 1950, largely from deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels. The atmosphere now contains 30% more CO2 than at the beginning of the industrial revolution. (2) Where the industrialized world produces 60% of it today, the developing world will be producing 60% of it by 2015.(1) "

Sources: (1)United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report 1998 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998); (2) Jane Lubchenco, past president, American Association for Advancement of Science, speech: "Women, Population and Science in the New Millennium," Dec. 1, 1998, AAAS, Washington DC. (3) Ken Strom, Population and Habitat in the New Millennium, National Audubon Society and The Global Stewardship Initiative (Boulder CO 1998); (4)Population Action International, Why Population Matters (Washington DC: PAI, 1996); (5)Report, Population Summit of the World's Scientific Academies (Washington DC: The National Academy Press, 1993); (6)Simon, Paul, Tapped Out (New York: Welcome Rain Publishers, October 1998). Developed by World Population Foundation and the Communications Consortium Media Center, with editorial contributions from the U.S. NGOs in Support of the Cairo Consensus.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-04-1999, 07:36 AM
John John asks:Isn't salmon a river fish, not an ocean fish?
I would have hoped that everyone, particularly those who cut and paste Sierra Club handouts, knew that salmon are anadromous, i.e., they spawn in fresh water, and the fry make their way to the ocean to mature.


No doubt such things are difficult to learn in this environmentally-sensitive age. Fortunately, the engineers who built fish ladders around dams were of an earlier, hardier, and more knowledgeable breed.



------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-04-1999, 07:40 AM
What Akatsaumi and Tom fail to point out when they say, the Sahara desert can house a few billions- bingo! no more desert - or deslaination plants can replace fresh water, is the cost of all that technology. Yes, we have the technology to feed more billions BUT THE COST IS PROHIBITIVE. Only the wealthy can eat and drink then?

The world would then favor the wealthy who could afford the costly fruits of that technology. Think about that.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-04-1999, 08:10 AM
John John, has it occurred to you that perhaps the answer then lies in making people around the world wealthier? They could then afford the technology to improve crop yields, desalinate their water, etc.

Insofar as the Sierra Club's new, Luddite philosophy impedes wealth creation, it becomes part of the problem and not part of the solution.

BTW, to answer your other question about the Earth's population in 2050 - the U.N. medium variant model in 1994 predicted that it would hit 8.9 billion, on the way to stabilizing at around 11 billion by 2100. That number has now been revised downwards several times. I believe the current 'best guess' is for a population of about 7.5 billion by 2050, stabilizing at around 9 billion by 2100.

On the other hand, perhaps the low-variant model is more accurate, since the medium variant seems to get revised downwards every couple of years. The low-variant model has the Earth's population maxxing out at 7.5 billion on the way to an overall decline to 3.6 billion by 2150.

Does that sound terribly alarming to you?

Even if the medium variant is correct as it stands, we'll only grow to about 9 billion in the next century. Do you really think that we can't manage to feed that amount of population increase? An increase of 3 billion over 100 years. We increased 2.7 billion in the last 30 years, and world famine levels have decreased and resource reserves have increased. Just what is there about this trend that is catastrophic?

divemaster
11-04-1999, 09:13 AM
It doesn't surprise me in the least that an acknowledeged Sierra Club member and 'protector of the environment' wouldn't know that a salmon is an anadromous fish.

Most of my interaction with the deep ecology movement confirms that their actual grasp of biology and ecological principles is based on political concerns and what they wish to be true rather than reality. And what they wish is for this world to be going to hell in a handbasket so that their message can be stronger.

Their desire to improve the world is certainly noble. You think I don't want to see the world a better place? That's why I studied biology. I grew up on Ranger Rick, National Geographic, and haven't looked back since.

But when one's desire to save the planet runs counter to actual ecological principles; well that is when the politics come in. Despite what one may think, organizations like the Sierra Club, Earth First!, Greenpeace, etc... are mainly political organizations. Sure there are biologists on board, but take a tally at an organizational meeting. How many biological degrees are represented? How much does that person who hands out pamphlets actually know about the subject vs. what they think they want to know, based on the 'message.'

This is not to say that people from all walks of life can't get involved (they should, and more power to them); only that the message is driven by "action now!" rather than learning the truth about how our natural world works.

The message of such groups depends on capturing public opinion. That entails getting loads of media attention. So they offer up their apocalyptic scenarios and make simplified, dramatic statements, and ignore or downplay any good news.

You may not want to believe this J-J, but I am an ecologist. My sense of decorum does not lead me to post my creditials, but I will if you ask. I will let you know, however, that I work with the Endangered Species Act every day. I work with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act on a regular basis. I write Biological Assessments, and the biological portions of Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements. (I am not a demographer--I'll leave that to the others who are doing so well).

It is so very frustrating to me to see people with very little grasp of ecology try to save the planet from us humans.

I was involved with a battle in Arizona trying to protect a particular endangered plant. The actions of several groups, including Forest Guardians, and the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity (whose leader is a dentist IIRC) made sure that this species was not going to make it. Of course, their intentions were to save the species, but their ignorance of general ecological principles and plant biology prevented them from seeing reality, even when real biologists/ecologists
tried to tell them over and over that their efforts were counterproductive.

I see this over and over again. People who want to 'save the planet' latch on to any political movement and doomsday theories they can to try to get a message out to the people. And they just don't know jack shit about it.

Akatsukami
11-04-1999, 10:45 AM
John John asserts: Yes, we have the technology to feed more billions BUT THE COST IS PROHIBITIVE.
Oh?

California has a population of about 32 million, and uses about 35 million acre-feet of water (as the Teeming Thousands will know, an acre-foot is the amount of water that will cover an area of one acre to a depth of one foot, or about 1,233 m3). That total usage, then, is about 4.3x1010 m3. (I hate these conversions between metric and customary units, but that’s another thread).

The population of the U.S. is about 270 million, so, assuming that U.S. water usage is proportional (it is probably less, as California is the #1 dollar value producer of agricultural stuffs, mostly in a climate totally unsuited to that use), the total U.S. usage would be about 3.7x1011 m3.

Now, Santa Barbara has built a desalination plant that produced potable water at about USD2,000/acre-foot, or USD1.70/m3. Assuming that the entire water usage of the U.S. were produced by desalinization, and that all of the water must be purified to potable standards (neither assumption is true, but I may as well push this to absurdity), it would cost about USD6.3x1011 to carry out this task annually. The last time I looked, the GDP of the U.S. was about USD9.6x1012, so we are talking about consuming roughly 6.6% of U.S. GDP in this incredibly costly, inefficient, and highly unrealistic way of getting its water.

But wait, you say, that’s just the U.S., arguably one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest, countries in the world. Very well, let us look at the rest of the world. As we know from this thread’s title, world population is 6 billion. I shall assume for purposes of calculation that everyone uses water at the same rate as Californians do. (This would probably mean that they are approximately as wealthy as Californians, which we know is not the case. Perhaps the Rwandans left their toilets running, however.) Then, piling a Pelion of absurdity on an Ossa of meaninglessness, worthy of a Greenpeace press release, I shall assume that every drop of water that is used by people is purified from sea water to potable standards. Then, world water usage would be 8.1x1012 m3, and cost about USD1.4x1013 to produce annually. GWP is on the close order of USD3.8x1013, probably (a lot of countries are cooking the books on these figures, and, in the early ‘90s, we were apparently a trade deficit of USD1x1011 with Mars), so, assuming that we were stupid enough to actually carry out this plan, we would have to spend a whopping 36% of GWP on it.

(The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, incidentally, claimed (http://www.mwd.dst.ca.us/pa/docs/news/96-06/desalapp.htm) that it can beat this price by 60%, but, surprisingly enough, I tend to look a wee bit askance at as-yet-unbuilt technologies.)

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Polycarp
11-04-1999, 11:26 AM
John John, you are asserting one argument and backing it with evidence for another, IMO. Like this:

Hypothesis: There are too many people.
Proof: Many people don't have enough to eat. (evidence) As a result, overharvesting of food organisms is threatening them. (evidence)

There may be a problem of current or future overpopulation, i.e., too many people for the world to support, no matter how resources are allocated. I think evidence has been adduced that population growth is not the problem it was viewed as in the past.

So we turn to the problem of people with inadequate nutrition. There are numerous steps that can be taken to attempt to resolve this. Something as obvious as jojoba crops in desert areas (it's xerophytic and grows well with minimal water supply, though it obviously needs some) can begin to help resolve the problem. There are large amounts of rural (not wild) America that lie fallow and overgrown, and could be cropped if the market permitted.

The fisheries question is obviously one for a competent marine ecologist to essay, not for me. But I have noted that in general, whenever there is a resource to be harvested, there is (1) a quick in-and-out process that leaves the ecosystem hurting, and (2) a process that requires more effort than the in-and-out but not only leaves a healthy ecosystem but also obtains more of the resource than the other and is more economical in the long run. (There is also a (3) do not harvest the resource in order to "save the Earth" option.) I make no claim this is always the case, but I suspect that someone like Divemaster could examine the situation and come up with a functional system that would meet the criteria of my (2) above.

In short, we are not looking at Standing on Zanzibar, and probably will not need any color of Soylent, if we just apply some common sense to solving the problems.

Akatsukami
11-04-1999, 12:37 PM
John John again writes:Didn't the UN predict 4 billion more by 2050, raising the total to 10 or 10.5?
Yes, they did. They also admitted that they wrong. Why haven't your predictions based on those incorrect numbers also been admitted to be wrong. Is it because the correct numbers wouldn't lead to scaring as much money out of the pockets of the people at your "Save the Earth" rallies?
You might also take note that overfishing, which dhanson and I have pointed out to you, is just one area of the eccology that is affected by the need to feed more billions.
First off, JJ, whilst I don't claim to have total knowledge, I think that dhanson might not appreciate being mentioned in the same sentence as you.

Second, you may notice that both he and I raised the question and specified solutions to it before you had done anything more than paste a Sierra Club press release into the thread. In fact, both of us concluded that the Paleolithic harvesting regime for wild fish was absolutely untenable.
What you seem to want is an artificial world of fish farming and desalination plants.
What you seem to want is a world where all of the trout streams and hiking trails are reserved for the Greenpeace BoD, and the rest of us are conveniently dead. Sorry, ain't gonna happen.
How costly do you think that would be?
Already answered that one.

Now, you have repeatedly screamed that what the worlds needs is "policies". Let's hear some of those "policies". Remember, however, that they will be rejected, not only by me, but the vast majority of people (other than you and Carl Pope), if:
[list=1] require mass murder (no "First we'll reduce the population of the world to 2 billion by next Wednesday")
attack problems that aren't occurring (the population isn't increasing exponentially)
are based on outdated information (don't tell what the birth rate in 1950 was; tell me what it is now)
show a complete ignorance of grammar school arithmetic and basic scientific facts (get a flipping wildlife biologist who knows where salmon come from to draw up your fisheries policy).[/list=1]
The ball's in your court, now.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-04-1999, 03:03 PM
dhanso>>>>>>Does that sound terribly alarming to you?
---------------------------------------------
No, if true and accurate.

Has it occured to anyone that perhaps the reason that births are declining in the industrial nations is because of the alarms that have been sent out since the 60's?


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-04-1999, 03:19 PM
Akats>>>>>>>I think that dhanson might not appreciate being mentioned in the same sentence as you.
_____________________________________________

Try speaking for yourself.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-04-1999, 03:29 PM
polycarp>>>>>>>>>>There may be a problem of current or future overpopulation, i.e., too many people for the world to support, no matter how resources are allocated. I think evidence has been adduced that population growth is not the problem it was viewed as in the past.

_____________________________________________

From the material I've read we are heading towards global overpopulation that will cause many catastrophes in the future, if nothing is done. So, no, I do not agree that a few more billion[remember, we went form 5 to 6 in one decade] will not pose a major world problem.

Global overpopulation really needs more attention then I've seen demonstrated by the lackadasical Akats.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-04-1999, 03:34 PM
John John attemps a save by asking:Has it occured to anyone that perhaps the reason that births are declining in the industrial nations is because of the alarms that have been sent out since the 60's?
No, because that doesn't explain why:
[list=1] Birth rates were declining for twenty years before that, and
Birth rates have declining in the non-industrialized world for the same period of time[/list=1]
Has it occurred to you that the reason that birth rates have declined everywhere might be because people are smart enough to figure out that they no longer need to have five kids in order to have a reasonable probability that one will live long enough to support them in their old age?

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-04-1999, 03:50 PM
Akats>>>>>>>>>California has a population of about 32 million, and uses about 35 million acre-feet of water (as the Teeming Thousands will know, an acre-foot is the amount of water that will cover an area of one acre to a depth of one foot, or about 1,233 m3). That total usage, then, is about 4.3x1010 m3. (I hate these conversions between metric and customary units, but that’s another thread).
_____________________________________________You might want to change the battery in that calculator, Akats.

"When The Well Runs Dry Population pressures threaten global water supply will face similar shortages, affecting more than 2.8 billion people, 35% of the world’s population.

While our fresh water supply accounts for less than 3% of the water on the earth's surface, experts contend that the water crisis does not result from an actual decrease in water supply. Surprisingly, in fact, the earth has virtually the same amount of fresh water as it did when dinosaurs roamed the planet. According to Joel E. Cohen of the Rockefeller University Laboratory of Populations, "Our planet has more than enough fresh water for every living person, it is often just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

As with most natural resources, water supply distribution is uneven. Approximately two-thirds of the world's population live in areas that receive only 25% of the planet's rainfall, while much of the world's fresh water is inaccessible because, for example, it is trapped in polar ice caps. Additionally, most countries do not have the capital to invest in necessary technology, such as desalinization plants, which would make ocean water potable. As one Swedish water engineer observed, "There may be more than enough fresh water for every thirsty person, but for many people it is hard to get."

What's the role of population growth in all this? Distribution problems are aggravated by global population growth and excessive water consumption by affluent nations. As population grows, the average amount of renewable freshwater available to each person declines. When certain ratios of human numbers to renewable fresh water supplies are exceeded, water scarcity becomes inevitable. In recent decades these ratios have been exceeded in more than two dozen countries.

Middle Eastern countries live with the dangerous ramifications of water scarcity. Serious international tensions between Turkey, Syria, and Iraq have surfaced as a result of disagreements over water rights to the Euphrates River. The Euphrates River is seen as a lifeline in this arid region and is a primary source of water for millions of people. The river supplies the water for irrigation, hydropower generation, and individual and other domestic needs. Although conflict between the three nations with regard to the river continues, these tensions have been exacerbated recently, in part due to Turkey's rapidly growing population and the proposed dam project of the Turkish government. In an attempt to ensure access to this valued resource, Iraq and Syria have threatened military action.

Nearly two and a half centuries ago, America's wells were overflowing with safe, clean water. Today, however, America's water supply is being exploited by both poorly planned consumption and contamination. Agrarian practices and industrial waste have been the primary sources of pollution of our waterways and groundwater, rendering many sources useless. A paramount example of such pollution was the pollution of the Mississippi River, often called the mightiest of the waterways. Though the Mississippi no longer receives raw sewage, Robert H. Meade, a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey reports that the river has advanced into a greater state of contamination. Meade attributes much of the contamination to herbicides and insecticides used in farming.

In addition to water contamination, the United States has also seen its share of conflict over water supply. Many states, from California to Maryland, are seeing lawsuits filed to ensure access to a safe, clean water supply. Baltimore, MD, recently threatened to take legal action to gain unfettered access to the Susquehanna River for the region's drinking needs.

********Diminishing water supplies have forced many cities and farmers in the arid southwestern region of the United States to siphon water from the Colorado River. The river seldom reaches the Gulf of California—as it did prior to this siphoning. **********

Over a century ago Benjamin Franklin wrote, "When the well is dry, we know the worth of water." Those words have been prophetic. With world population slated to reach the 6 billion mark this year and with current water consumption rates rising twice as fast as the world's population, the global water supply faces some dangerous challenges. Personal responsibility and commitment to reducing consumption of water, coupled with effective policy initiatives (such as the U. S. Safe Drinking Water Act and Israel's agricultural, drip-irrigation procedures) may be the only way out of the downward spiral that our current water crisis presents.

Sources
Parfit, Michael, "Sharing the Wealth of Water." National Geographic Special Edition, Vol. 184, National Geographic Society: 1993.

Engleman, Robert and Pamela LeRoy, "Sustainable Water: Population and the Future of Renewable Water Supplies." Population Action International:1993.

Hinrichsen, D., "Solutions for a Water-Short World." Population Reports, Series M, No. 14, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Population Information Program: 1998.

Wheeler, Timothy, "Planet's Thirsty, Not Drowning" Baltimore Sun, September 11, 1998.

Reid, T.R., "Feeding the Planet." National Geographic Magazine, October 1998.





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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-04-1999, 05:15 PM
John John attemps a save by asking:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Has it occured to anyone that perhaps the reason that births are declining in the industrial nations is because of the alarms that have been sent out since the 60's?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


No, because that doesn't explain why:

Birth rates were declining for twenty years before that, and SOURCE?

TWENTY YEARS BEFORE THAT WAS THE WORLD WAR II ERA- MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS WERE KILLED, LESS PEOPLE. AFTER THE WAR POPULATIONS EXPLODED. SO, WHERE DO YOU GET THIS MISINFORMATION?

Birth rates have declining in the non-industrialized world for the same period of time. NOT TRUE

THAT IS NOT THE INFORMATION THE SIERRA CLUB HAS


Has it occurred to you that the reason that birth rates have declined everywhere might be because people are smart enough to figure out that they no longer need to have five kids in order to have a reasonable probability that one will live long enough to support them in their old age?]]

YOU WOULD THINK SO BUT THAT DOES NOT SEEM TO BE THE CASE IN THE THIRD WORLD.

BIRTHS RATES HAVE NOT DECLINED EVERYWHERE.

My use of caps is not shouting but to disassociate the text.


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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-04-1999, 05:31 PM
]polycarp>>>>John John, has it occurred to you that perhaps the answer then lies in making people around the world wealthier? They could then afford the technology to improve crop yields, desalinate their water, etc.
_____________________________________________

Well, that's a more difficult question to answer because it would mean economic relativism, kind of. Prices would increase along with wealth. If everyone in the world had a minimum of a million dollars, let's say, then those with hundreds of millions-billions- would be wealthy and those with just one million would be considered poor. You must remember that prices for things would increase proportionaly.

I think what you mean is educated, which I agree with.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

edward
11-04-1999, 05:32 PM
I don't think anyone here will argue that raising the standard of living lowers the birth rate of a country. Solution: raise the standard of living in poor countries.

However, per capita, it seems that citizens of developed countries have a greater impact on the environment than poor countries. We (speaking for those of us in rich countries) create much more pollution per capita than any citizen of a poor country. What will happen when everyone in the world has the same western standard of living? Even if there is only 7.5 billion in 2050, won't the impact be greater than the 700 million or so now from North America/Western Europe?

I'm not trying to troll into an already raging debate; these are questions myself and coworkers have asked before. How sustainable is the western lifestyle, especially if applied to the world population?

John John
11-04-1999, 06:23 PM
Ed, you raise excellent points. The impact on the envirnoment of a world population of technologically Americanized people, using resources and dispelling waste, is very frightening indeed.
_____________________________________________

]]]I don't think anyone here will argue that raising the standard of living lowers the birth rate of a country. Solution: raise the standard of living in poor countries]]]]

That is a very good point and one that would bring results in a short time.

Ed, I do not view this as a "raging debate" but rather and exchange of ideas and information. I would agree that one poster left upset and frustrated because his views were not adopted as gospel and in fact challenged as inaccurate. I think that is to be expected.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

divemaster
11-05-1999, 08:20 AM
John John says yet again:

YOU WOULD THINK SO BUT THAT DOES NOT SEEM TO BE THE CASE IN THE THIRD WORLD.

BIRTHS RATES HAVE NOT DECLINED EVERYWHERE.

Repeating from my first post on this topic: Birth rates have been declining (developing countries: from over 6 children/couple in 1950 down to 3; developed countries: from 3.3 to 1.6).

I am not the only one keeps telling you this; is it no wonder people get frustrated with you? Repeating inaccurate information, even in all caps, does not make it true.

You may be able to point out pockets of regions where the birthrate is increasing, but the overall trend even for the third world is a decline so significant that it surprised many demographers.

On the subject of water availability, J-J posts (look for the one with the 'literature cited' section) various quotes and opinions concerning water availability. Did you not notice that the problem, even as stated by your supporting quotes, is mainly one of politics and distribution?

This is the point several of us have been making from page 1. Politics and distribution are the major forces in play concerning water and food availability, not resource abundance and population size. Go back and read the first two pages again, if this point has escaped you. Heck, read your own quotes.

This is not to say there is not a problem. Sure, people may fight, argue, and even kill each other over a resource. Less powerful nations will always be at the mercy of those with more military or political strength.

One could make the argument that new policies should be adopted to make sure the less fortunate are not left in the wake of the more fortunate; but it it not really a question of birth rate as postulated in the OP. Why don't you start a new topic over the politices of resource distribution, instead of trying to place the problem at the feet of a growing population?

tomndebb
11-05-1999, 09:08 AM
John John:I would agree that one poster left upset and frustrated because his views were not adopted as gospel and in fact challenged as inaccurate. I think that is to be expected.
Since I am the only poster who had declared an intent to leave, I believe that this calumny is directed at me. Go back (as you never do) and actually READ what I said. At the point where I bowed out you had dismissed a number of factual posts by at least four posters, simply claiming that the information was "wishful thinking" and presenting no evidence to challenge any single fact that had been presented.

Since that time, (probably spurred by my accusation), you have at least begun providing quotes from various places. You still follow the ancient Cyberian54 method of 1) laying a quote on the table, 2) failing to analyze anything in it critically, and 3) claiming that the quote "proves" some conclusion that you appear to be incapable of drawing, yourself.

I did not drop out because my word was not treated as gospel. (It never is, to begin with, and Akutsami and dhanson have been carrying the heavy water in this discussion, anyway; I was simply trying to get you to look at the information rather than typing platitudes.) I have posted to numerous threads where both my facts and opinions have been challenged. I have never left a thread simply because my view was not accepted. If my facts are proven to be in error, I acknowledge that. If my opinions are held to be in error, I will discuss the situation until I change, my opponent changes, or we agree to disagree.

I dropped out because I have been through this several times with you before (over the last two years), trying to use reason and discussion even when other posters were calling for your evisceration, and I now find that your techniques have not improved in any way in the several months since our last go around.

If anyone joins this discussion on "your side" who appears to be capable of rational discourse, I may return. If God strikes you with the capacity for reasoned discussion, I may return. Until then, I'll save my pearls.

I type too slowly to justify extended conversations with walls.

------------------
Tom~

John John
11-05-1999, 08:02 PM
Drive}}Repeating from my first post on this topic: Birth rates have been declining (developing countries: from over 6 children/couple in 1950 down to 3; developed countries: from 3.3 to 1.6).

Source?

Birht rates have not been decreasing in the developing, third world countries.Sierra Club is not of that opinion and I would suggest you check out what the Sierra Club says.



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-05-1999, 08:16 PM
John John spews:Birht rates have not been decreasing in the developing, third world countries.Sierra Club is not of that opinion and I would suggest you check out what the Sierra Club says
JJ, the source is the U.N. FAO (http://www.fao.org)

Evidently:
[list=1] You're lying, or;
The Sierra Club is lying, and you're stupid enough to believe it.[/list=1]
I challenge you to provide the readership with data -- not your WAG, not a propaganda handout from the Sierra Club -- but data -- that backs up your assertion.

Otherwise, you're a fraud.

John John
11-05-1999, 08:17 PM
Tom........You still follow the ancient Cyberian54 method.............

You labor under many delusions, it seems, and it's too much fun to stop you. You arrived at that conclusion the way you arrive at the ones in this discussion, you suppose you're right, ergo you are right. Sorry

What you have said in this thread runs contrary to the Sierra Club and ZPD, two organizations I have more respect for than you. I strongly suggest that you unplug your head from the sand and learn the facts. The SC & ZPD know more about this than you.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

manhattan
11-05-1999, 08:35 PM
I've been lurking this thing for 143 posts, and I finally can’t stand it! Please refer to The BBQ Pit (http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000361.html) for my take on this.

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Livin' on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

John John
11-05-1999, 08:56 PM
Akats rantsI challenge you to provide the readership with data -- not your WAG, not a propaganda handout from the Sierra Club -- but data -- that backs up your assertion.

Otherwise, you're a fraud.

All you have to do is look at the steadily growing population of India to relize that you are mistaken. You need to learn the real facts.


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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

tracer
11-05-1999, 09:16 PM
Akatsukami wrote:

salmon are anadromous, i.e., they spawn in fresh water, and the fry make their way to the ocean to mature.

Not all salmon are this way.

Ocean salmon do indeed live as adults in seawater and spawn in fresh water. Their adult bodies are not equipped to handle salt-free water, though, so the trip into the freshwater spawning grounds kills them within a few hours after spawning. (You can see the skins of these fish change from pink to gray as they venture into freshwater streams -- it's an eerie sight.)

There are, however, other salmon breeds than can live their entire lives in fresh water. These are the kind of salmon grown by salmon farmers.

Most American consumers prefer the freshwater salmon, as it has a milder flavor.

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Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Sam Stone
11-05-1999, 10:18 PM
Ok, this is finally about it for me. I quote John John:

Birht rates have not been decreasing in the developing, third world countries.Sierra Club is not of that opinion and I would suggest you check out what the Sierra Club says.

He makes this statement about 12 hours after I posted a LONG, attributed article snipped right off of the U.N. Population Project's web site, which has as a headline:

BROADENING AND DEEPENING OF FERTILITY DECLINES IN LESS DEVELOPED REGIONS

Which goes on to document the drastic declines in fertility in the less-developed nations, far in excess of what was believed to be the case just two years previously. Some examples:

Fertility in Cote d'Ivoire was previously estimated to remain at 7.4
births per woman through 1995, while in fact it begun to decline in
1985-1990 and by 1990-1995 decreased by almost one quarter, to 5.7.

In Kenya, where fertility until the late 1970s had remained at over 8 births per woman, it is now estimated to have declined to 5.4 births per woman in 1990-1995 rather than 6.3 births as it has been anticipated in the 1994 Revision.

New data also indicate that in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Pakistan, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Turkey fertility has also decreased faster than
previously estimated. For example, fertility declined in Bangladesh from 6.2 births per woman in 1980-1985 to 3.4 births in 1990-1995 which is one birth less than it was anticipated for the same period two years ago.

In the Syrian Arab Republic fertility was reduced from 7.4 births per woman in 1980-1985 to the current 4.7 which is 1.2 lower than the previous estimate for 1990-1995.

Over the last 20 years, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and Northern Africa underwent a broad and fast fertility transition: in less than a the length of just one generation the reproductive behaviour changed so deeply that the number of children born to an average woman was reduced from more than 5 in 1970-1975 to less than 3 in 1990-1995 (see figure).

John John: THESE ARE 3rd WORLD COUNTRIES. In the case of India and China, they were two of the biggest contributors to the population explosion, and both countries have seen drastic reductions in fertility in the last 20 years, and fertility rates are STILL decreasing in those areas.

Once again, for the factually challenged, here is where this information comes from (lest ye think it's a meat-eating baby-whale killing right-wing plot):

SOURCE:
Source: Population Division, Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis of the United Nations Secretariat,
World Population Prospects: The 1996 Revision (annex tables), United Nations, New York, 1996.

Sam Stone
11-05-1999, 10:20 PM
Sorry... Forgot a trailing /B at the top of the last message. It wasn't all supposed to be in bold.

On the other hand, maybe that will help pound some of this information into John John's thick skull.

John John
11-06-1999, 08:30 AM
tracer]]There are, however, other salmon breeds than can live their entire lives in fresh water. These are the kind of salmon grown by salmon farmers.

Most American consumers prefer the freshwater salmon, as it has a milder flavor.

Would that be walleye or sockeye salmon?



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-06-1999, 09:17 AM
Akats, dhanson and Tom, please stop misstating the facts. The c&p below should help you understand what is in store for the World if nothing is done, or your view is believed to be accurate, which of course is not. I'm trying to be patient with you chaps.

World Population Profile: 1996 -- Highlights

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In 1994, the governments of 180 nations came together at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, Egypt, to seek agreement on how to cope with the task of integrating population and development issues and programs. One of the most difficult elements of the task is that of stabilizing world population growth.

The latest projections of the Bureau of the Census indicate that world population will increase from its present level of 5.8 billion persons to pass the 6 billion milestone by the year 2000. These projections also show world population reaching a level of 7.6 billion persons over the next quarter century, an increase over 1996 roughly equivalent to adding three more Sub-Saharan Africas to the present world total.

In 1996, 95 out of every 100 persons added to world population live in less developed countries (LDC’s).

Between now and the year 2000, population increase will be concentrated in Asia because its present population is so much larger than that of any other region. Also, interregional differences in growth rates -- the second key determinant of shifting population distribution -- have a relatively limited effect in the short term. Developing countries of Asia will contribute 176 million persons to world population increase during the next 4 years, with a fourth of this increase, or 44 million persons, to be added in China. The Asian increment to world population is about 25 percent greater than the net addition attributable to all other countries combined. Other developing countries will contribute about 126 million persons; the United States and other more developed countries, about 18 million persons.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth rates will be the highest of all major world regions for the next 25 years. In spite of rising mortality in some countries due to the HIV/ AIDS pandemic, total population for the Sub-Saharan Africa region as a whole will double within 32 years if present trends continue.

India and Nigeria are emerging as two countries making disproportionate contributions to world population growth during the 1996-2020 period because of their continued high fertility and already massive populations. India presently contributes about 19 percent of total world population increase, more than any other country. If Nigeria’s rapid growth continues, its population will nearly double during the coming quarter century, boosting Nigeria past Bangladesh, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, and Brazil among the world’s most populous nations.

The elderly population is the fastest growing age group worldwide. Persons ages 65 and over will increase more than twice as fast as total population between 1996 and 2020. The growth rate of this age group in less developed countries will be double that in more developed countries. By 2020, two-thirds of the world’s elderly will live in LDC’s.

Even with the rapid growth of the elderly, however, most of the dependent population (ages 0 to 14 and 65 and over) in developing countries is, and will remain, children. Nearly 9 in every 10 persons making up the combined dependent age groups in less developed countries are under age 15 in 1996. This fraction declines, but is still 8 children in 10 dependents, in 2020.

At least 132 million births will occur every year for the next 25 years despite falling fertility. The continued high level of births in the face of declining birth rates largely reflects the still increasing numbers of women of reproductive age (the result of past high fertility) in less developed countries.

About 8 million infant deaths will occur in 1996. More than 90 percent of these will be in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. If present trends continue, however, the total number of infant deaths worldwide will drop by nearly half, to 4.5 million, by year 2020 as a result of a leveling off in number of births (and, hence, number of infants at risk) and decreases in infant mortality rates.

Of 100 babies born this year in Sub-Saharan Africa, 9 will die within 1 year. In the world’s more developed countries, it will take about 60 years for these 9 deaths to occur. The difference reflects a continuing gap in mortality levels faced by the populations of the world’s more and less developed countries.
A child born this year in Sub-Saharan Africa can expect to live only about 50 years, while a child born in one of the more developed countries of the world may expect to survive to age 74, or about 50 percent longer. Over the course of the coming 25 years, life expectancy at birth in more developed countries is projected to increase by 5 years; that of less developed countries, including Sub-Saharan Africa, by about 6 years; only slightly reducing the gap in life expectancy between more developed and less developed countries.

The world community adopted an agenda for action at the ICPD and the regional preparatory conferences which emphasizes demographic goals, economic growth within the context of sustainable development, improved access to reproductive health care, and the empowerment of women.


Projections of the Bureau of the Census indicate that only 50 to 60 percent of the developing nations are likely to achieve the ICPD mortality reduction goals set for the year 2015 in spite of ongoing improvements in child survivorship in the developing world. Few countries, whether developing or more developed, will meet the goals adopted for the year 2000.
Fewer than half of the developing countries of Asia are likely to achieve the regional goal of replacement level fertility by year 2010. China already has. India probably will not.

The African regional goal of an annual natural growth rate of 2.5 percent by the year 2000 appears attainable; however, the follow-on goal of 2.0 percent by the year 2010 will be difficult to achieve if present trends continue.


Access to reproductive health care, including family planning, is a key goal adopted in Cairo. Women are, in fact, using family planning in increasing numbers in every world region. In developing countries today, five times as many couples are using contraception as in the 1960’s.Nevertheless, the full range of modern methods is unavailable to as many as 350 million couples worldwide.
Improved availability of family planning services would carry important maternal and child health benefits, particularly in less developed countries. In addition, more widespread use of contraception could reduce unwanted fertility, which may be as high as 15 to 20 percent of all fertility in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, and as high as 30 percent in Latin America and North Africa.


Fifteen million high-risk births occur each year to adolescent mothers, and 8 of every 10 of these take place in the developing nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. A substantial proportion of these births are unwanted, yet the young women involved are not using any means of contraception to delay or prevent them.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: U.S.Bureau of the Census, World Population Profile: 1996, pp. 1-2.
Last Revised: 16 Mar 1999 22:34:13 EST



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-06-1999, 10:00 AM
Some state, correctly, that most developed countries have, and will, stabilize population growth into the early part of the next century, but what you fail to add to the equation is population growth due to immigration. Example, if we achieve zero increase from births in the United States but have a million per year added from immigration, which is our current quota, the net effect is MORE POPULATION.

Sadly, the Sierra Club has not addressed this problem, chosing instead to see it in political terms rather than as a environmental issue.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

edward
11-06-1999, 10:25 AM
John John said:

<QUOTE> The impact on the envirnoment of a world population of technologically Americanized people, using resources and dispelling waste, is very frightening indeed. </QUOTE>

But you don't state what the impact will be. I posted originally to ask a question, which, over reading this thread for the past month or so, doesn't seem to have been answered: how would the environment be affected if everyone had the same first world standard of living? Not at all? Irreversibly changed for the worst? Sure, people have mentioned such things as fisheries and clean water, but the average U.S. citizen (or European citizen) consumes much more than fish and water.

I guess I'm trying to retrieve this thread from the shouting match it's become. I've learned a lot from reading this, and the posters appear to have a lot of info at their fingertips. The original thread started with the question of (more or less) what is the human carrying capacity for the planet? My question asks what is the carrying capacity for the planet for a western lifestyle? So far I really haven't seen anything to answer that (although I could be wrong, since I've read the thread as it's come up, and could have forgotten/missed something).

John John
11-06-1999, 11:17 AM
Edward]]]quote]But you don't state what the impact will be. I posted originally to ask a question, which, over reading this thread for the past month or so, doesn't seem to have been answered: how would the environment be affected if everyone had the same first world standard of living? Not at all? Irreversibly changed for the worst? Sure, people have mentioned such things as fisheries and clean water, but the average U.S. citizen (or European citizen) consumes much more than fish and water.[/quote]

I've found nothing that addresses that specific question exactly in the terms you phrased it but it is not hard to imagine. I will continue to search for an answer though. [Anyone else know the answer?] But, let us reasonably conjecture.

EXAMPLES:
Just think of the packaging of goods we use and their resultant disposal, extra water use, cost of desalination to make up for scarcity of potable water, extra demands on energy and energy sources, use of resources, buildings, loss of open space, strain on environment, longer life span, to name just a few.

In short, the more we develope the more waste we produce, resulting in more pollution. Timber would be used at a faster rate, or some synthetic product would be invented to replace it, perhaps causing more of an invironmental problem. Does that seem like a reasonable scenario?

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-06-1999, 02:45 PM
John John, it's becoming clear to me that you don't read, don't think, or both. You accuse me of misstating the facts, then as proof of this post a message that doesn't refute anything I said.

It's always easy to discern 'press releases' that have a political agenda. They tend to selectively choose how to represent data. For instance, if the fertility rate is dropping rapidly in India, choose instead to say something like, "India will continue to be one of the biggest contributers to population growth". True, but irrelevant.

You can also mislead by posting 'facts' out of context when they contain scary large numbers. Whenever I see some screed that tells me how many more people will be born as I read it, my critical faculties engage. Since it's a meaningless statistic, it must have been included for some reason, which indicates the writers are not impartial.

Your sources continually mix short-range and long-range numbers, whichever suit their purposes. If a country has high population growth now but a drastically reduced rate of growth in the future, your sources print the current numbers. If the country has a fertility rate that is not declining much, your sources use THAT number, implying that this trend exists for most or all countries.

It's clear that your mind is closed, if the only information you are willing to read are the political tracts from the organizations you already agree with.

Himself
11-06-1999, 06:07 PM
For example, due to agricultural runoff in the Mississippi River Delta, the Gulf of Mexico has a biological dead zone the size of New Jersey.

There is an "anoxic" area in the Gulf. Low oxygen content. But it's scarier to give it a Steven King name. Such anoxic areas occur from time to time and from place to place and are due to a variety of causes. That the spot in the Gulf is "due to agricultural runoff in the Mississippi River Delta," is a stretch, since the "dead zone" is in the western part of the Gulf and Mississippi runoff is carried eastward by the currents, ultimately into the Gulf Stream.

+ + +

The birth rate in the USA has been declining linearly (with the usual fluctuations) since at least 1820, as published by the STATISITCAL ABSTRACTS OF THE US.

John John
11-06-1999, 10:34 PM
Akatsukami and dhanson now accuse the US Census Bureau, the Sierra Club, ZPG and National Geographic with playing hard and fast with the facts. These informed groups predictions, based on current population figures and present trends, are accurate. Your head in the sand outlook would be truly laughable, if it weren't so sad.

It is near-sighted people such as yourselves that thought the Titanic could never sink, that Hitler wanted peace, the levy would hold and thalidomide was safe for pregnant mothers. It really doesn't seem to matter to people like you that informed sources have shown that current trends indicate severe problems from overpopulation.

I advise you not to depend solely on the UN figures and safe predictions but, rather, heed the warnings of organizations who's job it is to know these things. Think, who are the majority members of the UN and what countries do they come from? What political mindset drives the UN? If you do not believe the US Census Bureau then who will you believe?

You are fiddling while Rome is ablaze.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-07-1999, 01:57 AM
John John, please stop misstating the facts. The U.N. 1998 Revision of the World Population Estimates and Projections (http://www.popin.org/pop1998/) shows that your favored organization is playing with data that are, at best, outdated and misunderstood.

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Sam Stone
11-07-1999, 05:12 AM
I don't disagree with the U.S. Census, I disagree with the way its numbers have been abused by ZPG and the Sierra Club.

Zero Population Growth is a militant organization with an agenda. They START looking at the data with a bias in that they want the results to come out a certain way to justify their extreme bias. The Sierra Club never used to be that bad, but in the last few years has grown increasingly militant.

And BTW, ZPG has a history of being wildly, spectacularly WRONG with its predictions of doom.

So no, I don't trust a single thing I read from those two organizations. And if they quote respectable data from the U.N. or the U.S. Census, I try to go back to the original data to see if their conclusions are warranted. I have, and they're not. ZPG and the Sierra Club are playing fast and loose with the numbers, data-mining the data for isolated figures that support their position while ignoring others, and presenting other information out of context.

You should be skeptical when you read ANY 'scientific' data that comes from an organization with an agenda. If the NRA puts out a press release saying guns are good, don't trust the data until you've verified it yourself. If Handgun Control Inc. puts out a press release saying guns are bad, CHECK THE DATA. This only makes sense to anyone with half a brain. You are unlikely to get the whole picture from any organization who's mandate is win you over to their side.

John John
11-07-1999, 08:23 AM
Hanson, do you have any reservations about the information that is collected by the UN on population predictions? The consequence of the predicted overopulation disaster, as stated by the valid organizations I've named, is very real and impending ? Would you agree that the UN is Third World oriented in thinking on population issues?

You have asked me to ignore the respectable, unbiased organizations I've provided informaton from but YOU seem unusually comfortable quoting an oranization that is comprised of the very offenders of the population problem. Curious.

Below are the countries.

Andorra
United Arab Emirates
Afghanastan
Antigua and Barbuda
Anguilla
Albania
Armenia
Netherlands Antilles
Angola
Antarctica
Argentina
Ascension Island
American Samoa
Austria
Australia
Aruba
Azerbajan
bosnia
Barbados
Bangladesh
Belgium
Burkina Faso
Bulgaria
Bahrain
Burundi
Benin
Bermuda
Brunei
Brunei Darussalam
Bolivia
Brazil
Bahamas
Bhutan
Belarus
Bouvet Island
Botswana
Byelorussian SSR
Belize
Canada
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Central African Republic
Congo
Cantons of Helvetia
Confederation Helvetique
Switzerland
Cote D'Ivoire
Cook Islands
Chile
Cameroon
China
Colombia
Commercial Organization
Costa Rica
Czechoslovakia
Cuba
Cape Verde
Christmas Island
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Deutschland
Germany
Djibouti
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Algeria

Ecuador
Educational Institution
Eslovaquia
Estonia
Egypt
Western Sahara
Spain
Ethiopia


Finland
Fiji
Falkland Islands
Malvinas
Micronesia
Faroe Islands
France

Gabon
Great Britain
Grenada
Georgia
French Guiana
Guernsey Islands (inc Alderney, Sark and Brethou Islands)
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greenland
Gambia
Guinea
Government
Guadeloupe
Equatorial Guniea
Greece
Guatemala
Guam
Guinea Bissau
Gyana
Hong Kong
Heard and McDonald Islands
Honduras
Croatia
Hrvatska
Haiti
Hungary

Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
The Isle of Man
India
British Indian Ocean Territory
Iraq
Iran
Iceland
Italy

Jersey Island
Jamaica
Jordan
Japan

Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Cambodia
Kiribati
Comoros
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Korea - Democratic People's Republic of
North Korea
Korea - Republic of
South Korea
Kuwait
Cayman Islands
Kazakhstan
Lao
Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic
Laos
Lebanon
Saint Lucia
Liechtenstein
Sri Lanka
Liberia
Lesotho
Letonia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Latvia
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Lybia

Morocco
Monaco
Moldova
Madagascar
Marshall Islands
Military
Macedonia
Mali
Myanmar
Mongolia
Macau
Northern Mariana Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Montserrat
Malta
Maldives
Mauritius
Malawi
Mexico
Malaysia
Mozambique
Namibia
New Caledonia
Niger
Networking Organisation
Norfolk Island
Nigeria
Nicaragua
Netherlands
Norway
Nepal
Nauru
Neutral Zone
Niue
New Zealand
om
org Oman
Non-profit Organization
Panama
Peru
French Polynesia
New Guinea
Papua
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Pakistan
Poland
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Pitcairn
Puerto Rico
Portugal
Palau
Paraguay
Qatar
Reunion
Romania
Russian Federation
Rwanda

Saudi Arabia
Solomon Islands
Seychelles
Sudan
Sweden
Singapore
Saint Helena
Slovenia
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
Slovakia
Sierra Leone
San Marino
Senegal
Somalia
Suriname
Sao Tome and Principe
Soviet Union
U.S.S.R.
El Salvador
Syria
Syrian Arab Republic
Swaziland
Turks and Caicos Islands
Chad
French Southern Territories
Togo
Thailand
Tajikistan
Tokelau
Turkmenistan
Tunisia
Tonga
East Timor
Turkey
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
Taiwan
Tanzania
uz Ukraine
Uganda
United Kingdom
United States Minor Outlying Islands
United States
United States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
vu Vatican
Vatican City State
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Venezuela
Virgin Islands (UK)
Virgin Islands (US)
Vietnam
Vanuatu

Wallis and Futuna Islands
Samoa
Yemen
Yugoslavia

Zuid Africa/South Africa
Zambia
Zaire/Democratic Republic of Conga
Zimbabwe



------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-07-1999, 11:23 AM
Actually, I cross-verified many of the U.N. numbers with census numbers from a number of countries, and they all match. I think it's currently the most accurate data available.

What was the point to your list of countries? To show that there are a lot of members in the U.N.? Thanks for that breaking announcement.

BTW, your OWN data didn't contradict the U.N. data. The Sierra club simply selected the numbers that looked the worst and ignored the rest.

For example, facts like the birthrate in India and China dropping from 5-6 to under 3 is remarkable and startling. It should cause you to reconsider everything you thought about overpopulation. A birthrate near 3 in a country with above-average infant mortality translates into replacement or even below-replacement levels. A birthrate of 6 implies an exponentially growing population. So a transition in fertility from one to another implies massive changes in our policies regarding overpopulation.

Yet the Sierra Club and Zero Population Growth have not changed their dire pronouncements one bit, and if anything are even more strident.

Akatsukami
11-07-1999, 12:54 PM
I of course dis the Sierra Club's and ZPG's "figures", since these do not represent any independent research or analysis, but rather the fund-raising proclivities of these organizations.

I note that your own attitude towards the data provided by U.N. FAO and Department of Economic and Social Affairs has changed from "Oh, they don't say that" to "Of course they say that, but they're wrong", as incontrovertible proof of the nature of the data is provided.

In Future Expectations for Below-Replacement Fertility (http://www.undp.org/popin/wdtrends/belowrep/estimate.htm), we read what must be consider the final nail in the coffin of the population controllers' claims:The historical experience up to date does not suggest the stabilization of fertility at replacement level. Instead, total fertility rates often cross the 2.1-line and go further down.
(A lifetime crude birth rate of 2.1 children/woman is generally considered to be replacement level fertility, although this varies from population to population depending on mortality).

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-07-1999, 07:18 PM
HansonWhat was the point to your list of countries? To show that there are a lot of members in the U.N.? Thanks for that breaking announcement.

Whosssssssssssssssssssssh

BrilleWould you agree that the UN is Third World oriented in thinking on population issues?



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-07-1999, 07:31 PM
AkatsI of course dis the Sierra Club's and ZPG's "figures", since these do not represent any independent research or analysis, but rather the fund-raising proclivities of these organizations

I dis the UN as a Left Wing, Third World stooge organization.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

jab1
11-07-1999, 07:48 PM
John John, you listed Antarctica as a country with membership in the U. N. Antarctica is a continent, and no nation has sole claim to it.

Just tryin' to help.

------------------
Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

11-07-1999, 09:05 PM
United Nations Member States

With the admission of Kiribati, Nauru and Tonga, there are now 188 Member States of the United Nations. The Member States and the dates on which they joined the Organization are listed below:

Member -- (Date of Admission)
Afghanistan -- (19 Nov. 1946)
Albania -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Algeria -- (8 Oct. 1962)
Andorra -- (28 July 1993)
Angola -- (1 Dec. 1976)
Antigua and Barbuda -- (11 Nov. 1981)
Argentina -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Armenia -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Australia -- (1 Nov. 1945)
Austria-- (14 Dec. 1955)
Azerbaijan -- (9 Mar. 1992)
Bahamas -- (18 Sep. 1973)
Bahrain -- (21 Sep. 1971)
Bangladesh -- (17 Sep. 1974)
Barbados -- (9 Dec. 1966)
Belarus -- (24 Oct. 1945)
--On 19 September 1991, Byelorussia informed the United Nations that it had changed its name to Belarus.

Belgium -- (27 Dec. 1945)
Belize -- (25 Sep. 1981)
Benin -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Bhutan -- (21 Sep. 1971)
Bolivia -- (14 Nov. 1945)
Bosnia and Herzegovina -- (22 May 1992)
Botswana -- (17 Oct. 1966)
Brazil -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Brunei Darussalam -- (21 Sep. 1984)
Bulgaria -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Burkina Faso -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Burundi -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Cambodia -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Cameroon -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Canada -- (9 Nov. 1945)
Cape Verde -- (16 Sep. 1975)
Central African Republic -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Chad -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Chile -- (24 Oct. 1945)
China -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Colombia -- (5 Nov. 1945)
Comoros -- (12 Nov. 1975)
Congo -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Costa Rica -- (2 Nov. 1945)
Côte d'Ivoire -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Croatia -- (22 May 1992)
Cuba -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Cyprus -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Czech Republic -- (19 Jan. 1993)
--Czechoslovakia was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 10 December 1992, its Permanent Representative informed the Secretary-General that the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic would cease to exist on 31 December 1992 and that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, as successor States, would apply for membership in the United Nations. Following the receipt of its application, the Security Council, on 8 January, recommended to the General Assembly that the Czech Republic be admitted to United Nations membership. The Czech Republic was thus admitted on 19 January as a Member State.

Democratic People's Republic of Korea -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Democratic Republic of the Congo -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Denmark -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Djibouti -- (20 Sep. 1977)
Dominica -- (18 Dec. 1978)
Dominican Republic -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Ecuador -- (21 Dec. 1945)
Egypt -- (24 Oct. 1945)
--Egypt and Syria were original Members of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. Following a plebiscite on 21 February 1958, the United Arab Republic was established by a union of Egypt and Syria and continued as a single Member. On 13 October 1961, Syria, having resumed its status as an independent State, resumed its separate membership in the United Nations. On 2 September 1971, the United Arab Republic changed its name to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

El Salvador -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Equatorial Guinea -- (12 Nov. 1968)
Eritrea -- (28 May 1993)
Estonia -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Ethiopia -- (13 Nov. 1945)
Fiji -- (13 Oct. 1970)
Finland -- (14 Dec. 1955)
France -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Gabon -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Gambia -- (21 Sep. 1965)
Georgia -- (31 July 1992)
Germany -- (18 Sep. 1973)
-- The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were admitted to membership in the United Nations on 18 September 1973. Through the accession of the German Democratic Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany, effective from 3 October 1990, the two German States have united to form one sovereign State.

Ghana -- (8 Mar. 1957)
Greece -- (25 Oct. 1945)
Grenada -- (17 Sep. 1974)
Guatemala -- (21 Nov. 1945)
Guinea -- (12 Dec. 1958)
Guinea-Bissau -- (17 Sep. 1974)
Guyana -- (20 Sep. 1966)
Haiti -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Honduras -- (17 Dec. 1945)
Hungary -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Iceland -- (19 Nov. 1946)
India -- (30 Oct. 1945)
Indonesia -- (28 Sep. 1950)
--By letter of 20 January 1965, Indonesia announced its decision to withdraw from the United Nations "at this stage and under the present circumstances". By telegram of 19 September 1966, it announced its decision "to resume full cooperation with the United Nations and to resume participation in its activities". On 28 September 1966, the General Assembly took note of this decision and the President invited representatives of Indonesia to take seats in the Assembly.

Iran (Islamic Republic of)-- (24 Oct. 1945)
Iraq -- (21 Dec. 1945)
Ireland -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Israel -- (11 May 1949)
Italy -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Jamaica -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Japan -- (18 Dec. 1956)
Jordan -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Kazakhstan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Kenya -- (16 Dec. 1963)
Kiribati -- (14 Sept. 1999)
Kuwait -- (14 May 1963)
Kyrgyzstan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Lao People's Democratic Republic -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Latvia -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Lebanon -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Lesotho -- (17 Oct. 1966)
Liberia -- (2 Nov. 1945)
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Liechtenstein -- (18 Sep. 1990)
Lithuania -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Luxembourg -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Madagascar -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Malawi -- (1 Dec. 1964)
Malaysia -- (17 Sep. 1957)
--The Federation of Malaya joined the United Nations on 17 September 1957. On 16 September 1963, its name was changed to Malaysia, following the admission to the new federation of Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak. Singapore became an independent State on 9 August 1965 and a Member of the United Nations on 21 September 1965.

Maldives -- (21 Sep. 1965)
Mali -- (28 Sep. 1960)
Malta -- (1 Dec. 1964)
Marshall Islands -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Mauritania -- (7 Oct. 1961)
Mauritius -- (24 Apr. 1968)
Mexico -- (7 Nov. 1945)
Micronesia (Federated States of)-- (17 Sep. 1991)
Monaco -- (28 May 1993)
Mongolia -- (27 Oct. 1961)
Morocco -- (12 Nov. 1956)
Mozambique -- (16 Sep. 1975)
Myanmar -- (19 Apr. 1948)
Namibia -- (23 Apr. 1990)
Nauru -- (14 Sept. 1999)
Nepal -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Netherlands -- (10 Dec. 1945)
New Zealand -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Nicaragua -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Niger -- (20 Sep. 1960)
Nigeria -- (7 Oct. 1960)
Norway -- (27 Nov. 1945)
Oman -- (7 Oct. 1971)
Pakistan -- (30 Sep. 1947)
Palau -- (15 Dec. 1994)
Panama -- (13 Nov. 1945)
Papua New Guinea -- (10 Oct. 1975)
Paraguay -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Peru -- (31 Oct. 1945)
Philippines -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Poland -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Portugal -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Qatar -- (21 Sep. 1971)
Republic of Korea -- (17 Sep. 1991)
Republic of Moldova -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Romania -- (14 Dec. 1955)
Russian Federation -- (24 Oct. 1945)
--The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 24 December 1991, Boris Yeltsin, the President of the Russian Federation, informed the Secretary-General that the membership of the Soviet Union in the Security Council and all other United Nations organs was being continued by the Russian Federation with the support of the 11 member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Rwanda -- (18 Sep. 1962)
Saint Kitts and Nevis -- (23 Sep. 1983)
Saint Lucia -- (18 Sep. 1979)
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines -- (16 Sep. 1980)
Samoa -- (15 Dec. 1976)
San Marino -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Sao Tome and Principe -- (16 Sep. 1975)
Saudi Arabia -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Senegal -- (28 Sep. 1960)
Seychelles -- (21 Sep. 1976)
Sierra Leone -- (27 Sep. 1961)
Singapore -- (21 Sep. 1965)
Slovakia -- (19 Jan. 1993)
--Czechoslovakia was an original Member of the United Nations from 24 October 1945. In a letter dated 10 December 1992, its Permanent Representative informed the Secretary-General that the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic would cease to exist on 31 December 1992

11-07-1999, 09:05 PM

John John
11-07-1999, 09:11 PM
Take a look at the countries on the above list, Akats and dhanson - this will sail over their heads again for sure.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-07-1999, 09:31 PM
From the Population Council:

What’s next? Population explosion or decline?
Will recent declines in fertility rates lead to a "birth dearth"? Has the "population explosion" been defused?

These simple questions are not simply answered and should be put into a proper perspective, says Population Council demographer John Bongaarts. Current trends in reproductive behavior differ sharply between regions and should not be confused. "In the already crowded developing world, despite plummeting fertility rates, both the number of births and population size will keep growing," he says. "The expected addition of several billion more people will hamper ongoing efforts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development."

"On the other hand, in parts of the developed world, particularly Europe and Japan, already low fertility is causing consternation over the potential adverse effects of an aging or declining population. This concern should not be overblown, however, since reported fertility measures do not reflect the fact that couples are still having about two children—they’re just having them later in life. Fertility rates are not as low as they appear to be," Bongaarts explains.



The world is only at mid-point in population growth

Bongaarts pointed out in a recent issue of Science that contraceptive use in the developing world, once rare, is now widespread: the average number of births per woman has fallen by half—from the traditional six or more to near three today. This "revolution in reproductive behavior," says Bongaarts, has led some to speculate that "the world population explosion is over." But instead of being near the end of the "explosion" with today’s population of 5.9 billion, Bongaarts comments, "we are just past its mid-point. After a record-breaking increase of 2 billion people over the past 25 years, the same increase is projected over the next 25 years."

***Large increases in population growth are expected in Africa, Asia, and Latin America*** yeah, but Akats and dhanosn say otherwise - who to believe? for three reasons, Bongaarts says: Fertility is still about 50 percent above the two-child level needed to bring about population stabilization. With more than two surviving children per woman, every generation is larger than the preceding one.

Declines in mortality—historically the main cause of population growth—will almost certainly continue. Higher standards of living, better nutrition, and expanded health services have increased life expectancy by 50 percent since 1950. The unhappy exceptions will be life expectancy declines in sub-Saharan African countries with severe AIDS epidemics.

****The historically largest generation of women about to enter the childbearing years will produce more than enough births to maintain population growth for decades even if they each have only two children—the result of population momentum.****



Not a birth dearth, either

Europe, North America, and Japan face quite a different demographic future, Bongaarts says, along with such rapidly developing Southeast Asian countries as Hong Kong, Korea, and Singapore, which also have experienced steep declines in population growth rates since 1960. But because of immigration, rising life expectancy, and population momentum, the populations in even these countries are projected to remain close to current levels for several decades, with modest increases expected in some (e.g. the U.S.) and small declines elsewhere (e.g. in Europe).

Bongaarts feels that concern about underpopulation in developed countries has been exaggerated. Although observed fertility has reached historic lows in many developed countries and the percentage of women remaining childless is relatively high, it is likely that birth rates will not drop further and may even turn up. To support this conclusion, Bongaarts points to a puzzling discrepancy between expressed preferences for family size and measured fertility in most low-fertility societies.

In most low-fertility societies, the preferred family size is about two children and the actual childbearing experiences of women support this number, but this is not reflected in the most widely reported measure of annual fertility (the so-called total fertility rate). "The measurement of this fertility rate picks up a slightly different picture than we get looking at women’s actual reproductive histories," Bongaarts says. If women in a given country have the same number of children in their lifetime, but later in their lives than their predecessors, this will appear to be a reduction when we look at annual birth statistics. Family size may in fact not be changing in nearly as dramatic a fashion as is suggested by the year-by-year aggregate birth statistics.

"These distortions," comments Bongaarts, "are temporary because they exist only while the age at childbearing is rising. Once women stop deferring births, the distortion disappears and the very low fertility rates observed in the developed world should rise closer to the two children most couples want."



page modifed Nov 1, 1999

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-08-1999, 12:08 AM
Sigh.
***Large increases in population growth are expected in Africa, Asia, and Latin America*** yeah, but Akats and dhanosn say otherwise - who to believe?

We never said this. Apparently, you are incapable of reading, or of understanding what you read.

Both of us, using the U.N.'s numbers, said that fertility rates in these areas had dropped from 5-6 to close to 3. A fertility rate of 3 children per couple indicates a population growth. Just not as big as was previously forecast.

This is growing tiresome.

John John
11-08-1999, 07:48 AM
dhansonBoth of us, using the U.N.'s numbers, said that fertility rates in these areas had dropped from 5-6 to close to 3. A fertility rate of 3 children per couple indicates a population growth. Just not as big as was previously forecast.

Where did you say that? I believe it was Akatsumkami that said India and sub Saharan Africa's population was DECLINING. The information that I posted said that the mortality rate had decreased and therefore 2.5 to 3 births would add substantially to world population.

]quote]This is growing tiresome[/quote]

You mean the World's population problem? Oh, sorry, you don't think we have one.


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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-08-1999, 08:34 AM
dhanson, I believe that John John's continued harping on the nations that make up the U.N. is to reinforce his stated belief that the data collected by that organization from the various member states are unreliable, and have been since they began to vary from the horrifying statistics that empowered his preferred organizations in the '60s and '70s.

I agree with you that opposing the paranoid fantasies of the population controllers can and does grow tiresome. OTOH, whilst we have seen that few new participants enter this thread, there are some, and to fail to oppose this drivel might lead the new readers to suppose that they "population bomb" scenario has some validity to it.

One might suppose that the Population Council (http://www.popcouncil.org/) had some recognition, from JJ's frantic invocation of it now that the Sierra Club and ZPG have been debunked as a source of reliable information. Actually, it's a NGO created in 1952 by John D. Rockerfeller III.

Incidentally, John Bongaarts (note correct spelling of given name) apparently believes in "birth displacement" as the cause for fertility decline. The fact that the data from North America and Europe shows that, at a very minimum, births must be displaced from women in their 20s to women in their 40s (and are thus unlikely to occur at all) makes this belief highly untenable.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-08-1999, 05:45 PM
Akatsukamidhanson, I believe that John John's continued harping on the nations that make up the U.N. is to reinforce his stated belief that the data collected by that organization from the various member states are unreliable[ a glimmer of light], and have been since they began to vary from the horrifying statistics that empowered his preferred organizations in the '60s and '70s.[ light fades]

For a brief moment I thought some sense had filtered through the miasma of misinformation by you in this thread, but, no, Akats & Co still grope in the dark while the ship sinks.

]quote]One might suppose that the Population Council had some recognition, from JJ's frantic invocation of it now that the Sierra Club and ZPG have been debunked as a source of reliable information. Actually, it's a NGO created in 1952 by John D. Rockerfeller III.[/quote]

No, one might suppose that the Population Council knows a bit more than you do about this subject, which, apparently, they do. You say there is no problem. That contradicts the prevailing wisdom and accurate information on the subject. Not hard to believe you live in LA. I think you need to travel.



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

VegForLife
11-08-1999, 06:58 PM
As noted earlier, I think that the issues of pollution and clean water are serious ones. Addressing those issues, however, does not require committing suicide to make the world a better place for our grandchildren.
I just noticed this post from Tom, not quite a week ago. I beg to differ. I think the world will be a far better place for our grandchildren if John John commits suicide.

Rich

jab1
11-08-1999, 07:24 PM
John John, you've done it this time. According to their profiles, dhanson is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Akatsukami is from Glastonbury, Connecticut. I'm[/b] from L. A., and I was on your side.

Not anymore.

I'm not exactly on the other guys' side, either, because I'm skeptical how accurately anyone can predict how big the population will be in [i]ten years, let alone fifty. Could any of you pull up a past prediction of how much the population was supposed to increase so we can check its accuracy? Did anyone accurately predict we'd reach 6 billion by 1999?

And if the population does peak and then declines, I have to wonder what kind of a world the post-peak population will inherit. A world where former wilderness and farmland is now full of unoccupied homes and businesses? A world with fewer wild animals because of those abandoned structures? "Well, we'll just tear the buildings down and the land'll become wilderness and/or farmland again."

How much would that cost? And I guess you'll bring back the lifeforms we made extinct through cloning? Sure.

John John, you're on your own from now on.

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

jab1
11-08-1999, 07:26 PM
Ah, I messed up my italics and boldface. I really shouldn't be in such a hurry to post.

Proofread, proofread, proofread....

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

John John
11-08-1999, 08:21 PM
VegforlifeI just noticed this post from Tom, not quite a week ago. I beg to differ. I think the world will be a far better place for our grandchildren if John John commits suicide.
Rich

Flash: I won't be here when you have grandchildren.


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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

jab1
11-08-1999, 08:23 PM
Is that a promise?

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Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

John John
11-08-1999, 08:29 PM
posted 11-08-1999 06:24 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
jab1John John, you've done it this time. According to their profiles, dhanson is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and Akatsukami is from Glastonbury, Connecticut. I'm[/b] from L. A., and I was on your side.
Not anymore.

Ah, gee, I'm gonna miss all those expert, supportive posts by you. It didn't take much for you flee camp. ;)


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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-08-1999, 08:32 PM
jab1John John, you're on your own from now on.

So, why should you be any different? ;)



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-08-1999, 11:42 PM
Jab1: Population predictions have been notoriously unreliable in the past. The U.N.'s numbers have been probably the closest. I believe the 1994 medium-variant population projection had the Earth's population at 6.5 billion by 2000. So they were wrong, on the high side, but not by that much. But it's important to note that the U.N. isn't saying, "This is what the population will be" - they built three different models, with the middle variant being the 'most likely'. They acknowledge the possibility that the population could be as high as 13-14 billion by 2100, or as low as 3.6 billion. To state anything else with certainty is being dishonest.

As time goes on, the U.N. has released updates to the projections which indicate that the middle variant is tracking pretty closely, although slightly high. They've revised the numbers twice in 1996 and 1998, and both times they reduced the projected population.

The worst offenders for bad predictions BY FAR have been the organizations John John supports. ZPG, The Club of Rome, Paul Erlich, and other environmental doomsters were, in 1970, predicting global famine in the 1980's, massive shortages of oil and steel in the 1990's, and worldwide starvation by the turn of the century. The Club of Rome predicted a global population of 20 billion by the early 2100's.

One constant thread throughout all of this is that whenever predictions have been wrong, they have almost always been wrong on the pessimistic side, because the best models can only extrapolate from current trends, and therefore cannot cope with breakthroughs in technology, contraception, exploration, etc. They also have a hard time dealing with discontinuities in linear trends. We're in the middle of such a discontinuity now. The 'fertility transition' that is taking place in the 3rd world was unexpected, and caught almost all demographers off guard.

Phaedrus
11-09-1999, 03:23 AM
64,974,748,284,874,298,473,628,964,836,637

or thereabouts. ;)

John John
11-09-1999, 07:16 AM
dhanson, Who, or what, is the Club of Rome?

I think the UN's predictions have been notoriously low. Do you believe the US Census Bureau's predictions?

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

tomndebb
11-09-1999, 09:23 AM
Aaaaargrrgghhh!

I hate being sucked into this mess.

I think the UN's predictions have been notoriously low.

Which, of course, is why they have constantly had to be revised downward!

Have you ever in your life actually read any of the messages to which you respond?
If the U.N. estimates future populations and they continually have to change those estimates by lowering the numbers as they get closer to the target dates, that clearly indicates that they overestimated the populations. Their estimates are notoriously too high, not too low.

------------------
Tom~

John John
11-09-1999, 06:23 PM
tomWhich, of course, is why they have constantly had to be revised downward


Thomas, you are sooooooo challenged. UN has faulty data and underestimates population. You need to rely on more accurate information, as provided by Sierra Club, Greenpeace, ZPG, Population Council, to name a few.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-09-1999, 06:34 PM
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These projections also show world population reaching a level of 7.6 billion persons over the next quarter century
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, according to your own data, the rate of population increase over the last 10 years was 2.00% per year, while the projected rate of population increase over the next 25 years will be 1.07% per year.

Sounds like good news to me!]]tracer

Going from 6 billion to 7,6 billion in 25 years sounds like good news to you? Adding 1.6 billion more people in just 25 years is good? That's like say, "the bad news is your gonna die but the good news is you have one year to live."

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

manhattan
11-09-1999, 06:56 PM
Before I begin, John Johnknow that accusing anyone of living in L.A. is a flame of the worst order. Take it to the Pit, please. ;)

All right. Because you obviously won't listen to actual facts, preferring to listen to political groups' misinterpretation of those facts, and because I’m concerned that the learned heads of dhanson and Akatsukami[/I] and others are about to explode, I declare the right to [b]hijack to this thread.

Your most recent theory regarding the UN’s alleged bias in population studies is pure claptrap, since the UN insists on spending megabucks on population measures despite the findings of their very own scientists. Which segues nicely into my hijacking.

There are essentially two things behind the modern "population control" movement. The first is the desire of corrupt governments to receive foreign dollars, which said governments can redirect for their own nefarious purposes.

The other is racism. That's right, you read correctly. The rich white populace of the world running around telling the poor black and brown people in the world that the Big ProblemTM is that they are having too many babies is racist. The fact that the motivation is not bigotry, but rather a different kind of ignorance entirely, does not make the proposed polices any less racist in outcome.

So rather than blathering on about how we should be telling the poor people of the world just how many babies is the correct amount for them (I presume that this is your population control prescriptive, as opposed to actually killing people), why don't you spend some time trying to devise ways in which some of these new poor people might become new rich people, with increasing access to the bounties that this earth and its resourceful people make available to you and me?

Here, I'll start you off. First, instead of less immigration, the rich countries of the world (the U.S. first and foremost) should have more. And not just professors and programmers and professional athletes, either, but cab drivers and dishwashers and accountants and machinists and students and chefs. Second, the rich free countries of the world (again, the U.S. first) should do more to ensure the spread of the freedom and capitalism that have allowed us to prosper. That means no more supporting evil regimes, no more loaning money to "friends" like Indonesia and Singapore that suppress dissent, no more "crony capitalism" to bail out fiscally irresponsible governments like Brazil.

I trust you can pick up from there. Best of luck.

------------------
http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000361.html

John John
11-09-1999, 07:14 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ManhattanBefore I begin, John Johnknow that accusing anyone of living in L.A. is a flame of the worst order. Take it to the Pit, please.

I guess I lost my head.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-09-1999, 08:17 PM
John John writes:Thomas, you are sooooooo challenged. UN has faulty data and underestimates population. You need to rely on more accurate information, as provided by Sierra Club, Greenpeace, ZPG, Population Council, to name a few.
And they get their population data from...?

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

John John
11-09-1999, 08:47 PM
akatsAnd they get their population data from...?


Andorra
United Arab Emirates
Afghanastan
Antigua and Barbuda
Anguilla
Albania
Armenia
Netherlands Antilles
Angola
Argentina
Ascension Island
American Samoa
Austria
Aruba
Azerbajan
bosnia
Barbados
Bangladesh
Belgium
Burkina Faso
Bulgaria
Bahrain
Burundi
Benin
Bermuda
Brunei
Brunei Darussalam
Bolivia
Brazil
Bahamas
Bhutan
Belarus
Bouvet Island
Botswana
Byelorussian SSR
Belize
Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Central African Republic
Congo
Cantons of Helvetia
Confederation Helvetique
Switzerland
Cote D'Ivoire
Cook Islands
Chile
Cameroon
China
Colombia
Commercial Organization
Costa Rica
Czechoslovakia
Cuba
Cape Verde
Christmas Island
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Deutschland
Germany
Djibouti
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Algeria

Ecuador
Educational Institution
Eslovaquia
Estonia
Egypt
Western Sahara
Spain
Ethiopia


Finland
Fiji
Falkland Islands
Malvinas
Micronesia
Faroe Islands
France

Gabon
Great Britain
Grenada
Georgia
French Guiana
Guernsey Islands (inc Alderney, Sark and Brethou Islands)
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greenland
Gambia
Guinea
Government
Guadeloupe
Equatorial Guniea
Greece
Guatemala
Guam
Guinea Bissau
Gyana
Hong Kong
Heard and McDonald Islands
Honduras
Croatia
Hrvatska
Haiti
Hungary

Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
The Isle of Man
India
British Indian Ocean Territory
Iraq
Iran
Iceland
Italy

Jersey Island
Jamaica
Jordan
Japan

Kenya
Kyrgyzstan
Cambodia
Kiribati
Comoros
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Korea - Democratic People's Republic of
North Korea
Korea - Republic of
South Korea
Kuwait
Cayman Islands
Kazakhstan
Lao
Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic
Laos
Lebanon
Saint Lucia
Liechtenstein
Sri Lanka
Liberia
Lesotho
Letonia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Latvia
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Lybia

Morocco
Monaco
Moldova
Madagascar
Marshall Islands
Military
Macedonia
Mali
Myanmar
Mongolia
Macau
Northern Mariana Islands
Martinique
Mauritania
Montserrat
Malta
Maldives
Mauritius
Malawi
Mexico
Malaysia
Mozambique
Namibia
New Caledonia
Niger
Networking Organisation
Norfolk Island
Nigeria
Nicaragua
Netherlands
Norway
Nepal
Nauru
Neutral Zone
Niue
New Zealand
om
org Oman
Non-profit Organization
Panama
Peru
French Polynesia
New Guinea
Papua
Papua New Guinea
Philippines
Pakistan
Poland
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Pitcairn
Puerto Rico
Portugal
Palau
Paraguay
Qatar
Reunion
Romania
Russian Federation
Rwanda

Saudi Arabia
Solomon Islands
Seychelles
Sudan
Sweden
Singapore
Saint Helena
Slovenia
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
Slovakia
Sierra Leone
San Marino
Senegal
Somalia
Suriname
Sao Tome and Principe
Soviet Union
U.S.S.R.
El Salvador
Syria
Syrian Arab Republic
Swaziland
Turks and Caicos Islands
Chad
French Southern Territories
Togo
Thailand
Tajikistan
Tokelau
Turkmenistan
Tunisia
Tonga
East Timor
Turkey
Trinidad and Tobago
Tuvalu
Taiwan
Tanzania
uz Ukraine
Uganda
United Kingdom
United States Minor Outlying Islands
United States
United States of America
Uruguay
Uzbekistan


Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Venezuela
Virgin Islands (UK)
Virgin Islands (US)
Vietnam
Vanuatu

Wallis and Futuna Islands
Samoa
Yemen

Zuid Africa/South Africa
Zambia
Zaire/Democratic Republic of Conga
Zimbabwe



------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-09-1999, 09:01 PM
Akatsukasmi, one thing you all fail to grasp when you quote declining birth rates is, billions more people will be have the projected 2.5 births instead of few numbers having 3, 4.

If 4 million people have 4 births with high mortality rate, as opposed to 7 million having 2.5 births with decreased mortality rate, which will be the greater number?

Get fresh batteries. Are you anywhere near Southberry,Woodbury Ct?

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

MarkSerlin
11-10-1999, 01:01 AM
In just one decade we went from 5 to 6 billion people on the planet. What is the limit that this planet can sustain without degredation to the environment?
_______________________________________________

250 million. Humans don't react very well when they are jammed in among each other.

------------------
Mark
"Think of it as Evolution in action."

tracer
11-10-1999, 01:52 AM
John John wrote in the OP:

In just one decade we went from 5 to 6 billion people on the planet.

John John later quoted the U.S. Census Bureau's 1996 world population profile as stating:

These projections also show world population reaching a level of 7.6 billion persons over the next quarter century

So, according to your own data, the rate of population increase over the last 10 years was 2.00% per year, while the projected rate of population increase over the next 25 years will be 1.07% per year.

Sounds like good news to me!

------------------
Quick-N-Dirty Aviation: Trading altitude for airspeed since 1992.

Akatsukami
11-10-1999, 07:16 AM
Gee, John John, that list looks an awful lot like the list of member nations of the U.N. So, are you saying that the Sierra Club, et al. take the same data that the U.N. does, and throw out the parts that they don't like, or that they somehow have a different source of data from these nations?


As for declining fertility rates, you seem to have not grasped the fact (perhaps because the Sierra Club daren't admit it) that fertility rates are dropping through the replacement rate, and, contrary to the U.N.'s previous and Bongaarts' current beliefs, aren't rebounding.


As for your little arithmetic conundrum:If 4 million people have 4 births with high mortality rate, as opposed to 7 million having 2.5 births with decreased mortality rate, which will be the greater number?
it depends on the mortality rates; I'll have to re-read the IIASA studies to decide what the use of "high" vs. "low" mortality is.


Since we're doing these arithmetic puzzles, what will result in the higher population in 2100: 6 million people whose crude birth rate drops from 2.5 to 1.5 in that period, or 6 million people whose crude birth rate stays at 2.2?


I'm not particularly near Southbury now, BTW, but I will be in a couple of hours.


Mark Serlin writes:Humans don't react very well when they are jammed in among each other.
Which, of course, explains why the Netherlands is in a constant state of bloody, internecine gang warfare. We must get Coldfire to drop by here and regale us with tales of the atrocities committed in that conflict.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

divemaster
11-10-1999, 09:24 AM
John-John says:
You need to rely on more accurate information, as provided by Sierra Club, Greenpeace, ZPG, Population Council, to name a few.

This would be laughable if it weren't so scary. These should be the last organizations one should trust for objective, unbiased findings.

The more politicized an organization is, the more there is a chance for bias. This goes for left-wing, right-wing, green-wing, whatever.

Groups with a 'cause' depend on a wide political base (votes and money) in order to propagate their message and implement their ideas. This in itself is not a bad thing. There are all sorts of causes with varying degrees of nobility (depending on whose opinion you listen to). We expect this from politicians, activists, concerned citizens, etc.... Again, I'm not saying this is bad.

The nefarious part is when political groups try to disguise themselves as scientific and unbiased. Unsuspecting people may actually believe that the groups mentioned above are apolitical or objective. They are not. They have a definite agenda, and surprise, surprise, the only findings they cite will support their cause. Imagine that.

It's bad enough when the bias comes in the interpretation of research results or statistical findings; but when the actual results/findings are jimmied or ignored, well, all credibility is lost. The organizations listed above have zero credibility in my book, not because of their general intentions, but because of their 'propagate the message at all costs' mentality, which requires that the message look a certain way, regardless of reality.

John-John, here is a challenge to you. Provide me a few citations for original research funded by one of the groups you mentioned and published in a widely-accepted,peer-reviewed, scientific publication such as Science, Nature, Ecology, Ecological Monographs, Marine biology, American Naturalist, Coepia, JEMBE, Limnology and Oceanography, to name a few. I realize I run the risk of hijacking this thread into biology rather than population growth, but that is my area. Maybe we can proceed along parallel thought lines. You demographers may want to add other publications pertinent to your specialty.

Articles published in lay magazines do not count for this challenge, nor do interpretations of other people's research.

And do not merely post a list of articles you happen to agree with. I'm already accusing you of selective perception and the interpretive twisting of the research of others; you don't need to embarass yourself further by reinforcing that image.

John John
11-10-1999, 06:32 PM
drivemasterThe more politicized an organization is, the more there is a chance for bias. This goes for left-wing, right-wing, green-wing, whatever

Which is why I discount the UN and some of their findings on this matter. Very Third World, Left Wing.

I'll try to drop a line to the organizations and see if they'll provide me with what you've asked.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-10-1999, 06:48 PM
Drive, I've just sent off three emails to get the info you requested. If I'm able to I'll post what they send me, although I already know that you will disparage them when, and if, they do not agree with your view.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

jab1
11-10-1999, 08:36 PM
Another list of countries. I think John John is just trying to see how long he can make this thread go.

Maybe this post will start Page Five?

------------------
Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

SterlingNorth
11-10-1999, 09:04 PM
Which is why I discount the UN and some of their findings on this matter. Very Third World, Left Wing.
Yeah, that's right, John. The UN bases its whole operating philosophy on inflating the population for nefarious purposes.

Quick, John you must alert the authorities!!!

[sorry jab1, still page 4]

SterlingNorth
11-10-1999, 09:17 PM
very Third World, Left Wing

The UN?
left wing?
compared with the Sierra Club and Greenpeace???

you're kidding, right?

[still page 4]

John John
11-10-1999, 09:57 PM
SterlingNorthyou're kidding, right?

[still page 4]

:)

Go west, young man.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-10-1999, 10:02 PM
SNorhtYeah, that's right, John. The UN bases its whole operating philosophy on inflating the population for nefarious purposes.
Quick, John you must alert the authorities!!!


No, no, they underestimate it for their nefarious purposes.

No one listened to Ralph Nader, so why should they listen to the Sierra Club?


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

jab1
11-10-1999, 10:04 PM
PAGE FIVE!!!!!!!

------------------
Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

11-10-1999, 10:32 PM
U.S. 273,937,665
World 6,024,183,626
22:24 EST Nov 10, 1999
tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

[ok, let's see if that solves the problem -- DB]

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille




[Note: This message has been edited by David B]

SterlingNorth
11-10-1999, 10:43 PM
Jeez, I finally feel ready to reply to a topic; and then I do something like say "over" when I meant "under."

Exactly what would the UN gain from 'purposely' underestimating the population, (which they apparantly they don't do too well, if the actual pop. figures turn out lower than their estimates).
IIRC, one of their programs is to provide family planning programs to countries where the birthrate is high.
Now I'm sure they would like to claim a bit of success, BUT wouldn't they do better to bet the hightest possible number in order to scare more support?

What nefarious scheme do you think the UN is hatching where they ned a people to be ignorant of the "population explosion"

jab1
11-10-1999, 10:55 PM
JOHNNNNN!!!! Why did you put all those damn Z's there??? Good grief!!! Now we have to scroll left and right to read the page!

------------------
Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to relive it. Georges Santayana

Imthecowgodmoo
11-10-1999, 10:58 PM
Sorry if this point has been made, I couldn't stomach looking at the past 4 pages.

People are going to keep on making babies, even if their governments or common sense tell them not to. If you can't feed yourself, why bring someone else into the world who'll be at an even bigger disadvantage than you? I'm just glad I'll be dead and gone before the population goes comepltely out of control.

------------------
"I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information."-- Calvin and Hobbes
(__)
`\/-------\
`| |-----| |\
..c.c......c.c....

John John
11-11-1999, 07:11 AM
JOHNNNNN!!!! Why did you put all those damn Z's there??? Good grief!!! Now we have to scroll left and right to read the page!

Damn it! Did my posting the ZZZ's do that? I'm terribly sorry if I caused that. I didn't realize that could happen. Why does that happen? What can we do to undo it?



------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-11-1999, 07:46 AM
Imthecowgodmoo writes:People are going to keep on making babies, even if their governments or common sense tell them not to. If you can't feed yourself, why bring someone else into the world who'll be at an even bigger disadvantage than you? I'm just glad I'll be dead and gone before the population goes comepltely out of control.
I believe that sufficient evidence has been given in the past four pages to show that none of this is the case.

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Akatsukami
11-11-1999, 08:10 AM
Getting away from cheap, if justified, shots at the Sierra Club for the moment:


On another board entirely, someone proposed the idea of "TrillionWorld": an Earth inhabited by one trillion human beings, as a vehicle to shake out and examine the assumptions of both sides in this argument. Among his points were:

That the entire volume of ocean, and the less desirable half of the land surface, be off limits to human use (he proposed allowing backpacking trips by permit into the wilderness areas, feeling this to be a harmless use; I disagree with that position.)
That, very much by definition, each inhabitant gets 900 ft2 of land area; homes will be built underground, so the total land area (pretty much; see below) is available for agriculture. I did a BOTEC indicating that this area would provide less than 350 kcal/day, which limits the population of TrllionWorld to about 160 billion; it should be noted, however, that I assumed that crop would be rice, grown at actual 1996 yields, and that this is not the most nutritious crop imaginable (I'll pull the numbers from the FAO, but probably not before Sunday).
That 3 quarts/day of potable water will be provided for each inhabitant of TrilionWorld, with other uses receiving less stringent purification. Rain catchment and biological purification would play a part in this (as, perhaps, would heat sterilization).
Sanitation is through composting and biomass purification.
Building materials and possessions are essentially all plastic, derived from (some of) the biomass grown aboveground.
Energy will be entirely "renewable", derived from wind and direct solar entrapment and conversion (I think that he's overly optimistic here, but I haven't run the numbers).
For recreational purposes, a football-field-sized area is set aside at every intersection on a 1-mile grid (it need not actually be used for football).
For mineral resources, recycling and trash mining are used.

Now, as he him points out, this is the merest WAG, and the numbers are certainly open to challenge. OTOH, it gives us something concrete to talk about; we are no longer limited to handwaving and nebulous fears.


Comments? Criticisms? Apoplectic fits?

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

VegForLife
11-11-1999, 03:47 PM
What can we do to undo it?
If you don't post anymore, it won't happen again.

Rich

John John
11-11-1999, 04:39 PM
Here is one answer received, as promised, unedited. Curiously it states that the UN PREDICTS overpopulation problems.
Dear Brille,

Thanks for your query - and for your support. For the most part, we rely on
the United Nations' world population projections. The UN started making
projections in the 1950's, and they have proved to be quite accurate over
the years. You can visit the United Nations Population Fund's website at http://www.unfpa.org. The UN's "POPIN" of World Population Trends is at http://www.undp.org/popin/wdtrends/wdtrends.htm, and provides data on
mortality, age-specific fertility rates, demographic impact of HIV/AIDS,
historical world population milestones, populations of urban areas, and
women - on the urban, regional, national, and world scales.

Good luck.

Best regards,
Sydney Conner
Office of Public Information

Two notes: the Council is absolutely not an advocacy organization; if you
equate the fact that one billion people on the planet go hungry every day,
with overpopulation, the problem is not impending but rather has been with
us for some time.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Johnsbury1@aol.com [SMTP:Johnsbury1@aol.com]
> Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 6:49 PM
> To: pubinfo@popcouncil.org


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-11-1999, 04:47 PM
Imthecowgodmoo writes:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
People are going to keep on making babies, even if their governments or common sense tell them not to. If you can't feed yourself, why bring someone else into the world who'll be at an even bigger disadvantage than you? I'm just glad I'll be dead and gone before the population goes comepltely out of control.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


AkatsI believe that sufficient evidence has been given in the past four pages to show that none of this is the case.


Cowgodmoo, Akats does get that connection yet, more people having more babies, with lower mortality rates, equates to MORE WORLD POPULATION. I'm still trying to scale that hurdle with him.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-11-1999, 04:49 PM
Akats DOESN'T, IT SHOULD READ.

John John
11-11-1999, 04:57 PM
]QUOTE]That the entire volume of ocean, and the less desirable half of the land surface, be off limits to human use (he proposed allowing backpacking trips by permit into the wilderness areas, feeling this to be a harmless use; I disagree with that position.)

That, very much by definition, each inhabitant gets 900 ft2 of land area; homes will be built underground, so the total land area (pretty much; see below) is available for agriculture. I did a BOTEC indicating that this area would provide less than 350 kcal/day, which limits the population of TrllionWorld to about 160 billion; it should be noted, however, that I assumed that crop would be rice, grown at actual 1996 yields, and that this is not the most nutritious crop imaginable (I'll pull the numbers from the FAO, but probably not before Sunday).

That 3 quarts/day of potable water will be provided for each inhabitant of TrilionWorld, with other uses receiving less stringent purification. Rain catchment and biological purification would play a part in this (as, perhaps, would heat sterilization).

Sanitation is through composting and biomass purification.

Building materials and possessions are essentially all plastic, derived from (some of) the biomass grown aboveground.

Energy will be entirely "renewable", derived from wind and direct solar entrapment and conversion (I think that he's overly optimistic here, but I haven't run the numbers).

For recreational purposes, a football-field-sized area is set aside at every intersection on a 1-mile grid (it need not actually be used for football).

For mineral resources, recycling and trash mining are used.[/QUOTE]
SOMEONE INHALED.

This sounds as inviting as a trip to the dentist. Yo, you can't get people to follow the rules of ecology today. Exhale now.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-11-1999, 05:12 PM
quote:
---------------------------------------------[Brille]What can we do to undo it?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


If you don't post anymore, it won't happen again.
Rich

Let's see, you have made two posts to this thread, one invited me to commit suicide, highly inappropriate, and this one suggesting that I not post anymore.

Your input on this topic, World Overpopulation, has been invaluable, but perhaps I could suggest you put your talents to better use. FLUSH

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

VegForLife
11-11-1999, 05:44 PM
Everybody else was doing such a good job of providing facts for you to ignore that I thought I'd stick to the humor end of the posting spectrum. Your lack of appreciation is duly noted.

I'm surprised that you've been posting to this thread for so long without being more blatant about your real agenda, John. I look forward to your next post containing the word "immigration."

Rich

John John
11-11-1999, 06:19 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
vegEverybody else was doing such a good job of providing facts for you to ignore that I thought I'd stick to the humor end of the posting spectrum. Your lack of appreciation is duly noted.
I'm surprised that you've been posting to this thread for so long without being more blatant about your real agenda, John. I look forward to your next post containing the word "immigration."

Rich

Judging from your post you know as much about humor as you do World population. If you had been following this thread you would have taken notice that I did address the immigration problem. Excessive Immigration would just be one of the many downsides of overpopulation.

------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-11-1999, 06:30 PM
Okay, John John. Are you willing to accept the U.N's numbers now that one of your favorite organizations is using them?

I stopped posting to this thread the minute you changed tactics and starting attacking the very source of the data. After all, if we couldn't agree on that, there wasn't much use talking.

But if you'll accept those numbers, then we have some common ground from which to consider discussions.

If you do accept them, I don't want to see another big list of countries if the discussion isn't going the way you'd like it.

Akatsukami
11-11-1999, 07:14 PM
John John tries again, saying:you can't get people to follow the rules of ecology today.
Are those rules in Hoyle's, or do I have to write to the manufacturer?

------------------
"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

VegForLife
11-11-1999, 07:26 PM
If you had been following this thread you would have taken notice that I did address the immigration problem.
Of course, I have followed the thread, which is why I said that I was looking forward to your next post that contains the word "immigration." See, "next" instead of "first." See, "first" would imply that you hadn't addressed the topic at all, while "next" implies that you have, and that I was looking forward to your next post about it. You don't get it, do you? I see they didn't give you any reading comprehension books during your last trip to the country. . .

Rich

John John
11-11-1999, 08:19 PM
posted 11-11-1999 05:30 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
dhansonOkay, John John. Are you willing to accept the U.N's numbers now that one of your favorite organizations is using them?
I stopped posting to this thread the minute you changed tactics and starting attacking the very source of the data. After all, if we couldn't agree on that, there wasn't much use talking.

But if you'll accept those numbers, then we have some common ground from which to consider discussions.

If you do accept them, I don't want to see another big list of countries if the discussion isn't going the way you'd like it.

I'm in a bit of a quandry as to why these groups differ in projections sharing the same numbers? Is the UN actually in agreement with these other groups but just uses the lower variant so as not to alarm the world abouot the inevitable? Do the other groups use the higher variant to alarm the world to take action and head off problems in teh future?

You mistake attack with question. You will of course note that I did not hide the information I received, but, instead, chose to share it for your evaluation?


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-11-1999, 08:23 PM
VegOf course, I have followed the thread, which is why I said that I was looking forward to your next post that contains the word "immigration." See, "next" instead of "first." See, "first" would imply that you hadn't addressed the topic at all, while "next" implies that you have, and that I was looking forward to your next post about it. You don't get it, do you? I see they didn't give you any reading comprehension books during your last trip to the country. . .
Rich

You don't bring anything to the table, except your appetite for feuding over that which you do not know.


------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-12-1999, 12:50 AM
John John, I think what you are missing is the selective way in which your organizations are using the data. They are posting selective excerpts in order to make the situation seem worse than it is.

Have a look at this chart:


<table border=0>
<tr align=center>
<td>
Figure I. World population size: past estimates and medium-, high- and low fertility variants, 1950-2050

(billions)

<img src="http://www.popin.org/pop1998/f1-1.gif" border=0>


<font size=-1>Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 1998 Revision, forthcoming.</font>
</th>
</tr>
</table>

These are the projections until the year 2050 for the three variants. Notice that they look fairly similar. This is because there is a fair amount of inertia in population growth. If today's population suddenly decided to have only one child each, the population would still grow, until the parents who had the kids died. When the children reach reproductive age, the growth in population will slow, but there will still be people from the previous generation who can have kids, so it won't slow as much. But the population will begin to age, since the youngest component is the smallest. As the age bubble moves through the population, replacement slows, and then suddenly you hit a point at which the only contributers to population growth is the generation that was one half the size of its parent's generation. Now as the old population dies, you start to see a radical decrease in the size of the population. But it takes time, because humans live 80 years or more.

So, the really important question is, "What happens after 2050, when those of us alive now start to die?"

Have a look at this next chart:<center>
<table border=0>
<tr align=center>
<td>
Figure II. Proportion of total population aged 0-14 and 60 and over, more
and less developed regions, 1950-2050

(medium variant projections)

<img src="http://www.popin.org/pop1998/f1-2.gif" border=0>


<font size=-1>Source: United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 1998 Revision, forthcoming.</font>
</td>
</tr>
</table>
</center>

The striking thing is that the youngest generation is shrinking rapidly under the medium variant model. The real effect of this will be seen after the year 2020 or so, as the much larger, older percentages of the population start to die. The process will then begin to accelerate.

My point? If you want to overestimate the 'bad news' in the population projections, ignore what happens after 2050. Or, do a linear extrapolation using a short segment of the growth curve. This is what ZPG has done in the past. A straight-line extension of the population numbers gets you a constantly increasing population. So, you write something like this, "Using the U.N.'s numbers, the population will increase from 6 billion in 2000 to 10.5 billion in 2050. If that rate of increase stays the same, by 2100 there will be 15 billion people on the planet."

The statement uses the U.N.'s numbers (the high variant), and it's factually correct, but it's highly dishonest. Because the U.N's numbers don't suggest anything of the sort.

Looking at the graphs, it's easy to see that the slope of the curve is decreasing on the medium and low variant models. It's also decreasing on the high variant, but it's not easy to see on this graph. In fact, on the low variant the population actually begins to decrease after about 2037, after reaching a peak of 7.5 billion.

More dishonest tactics: I can even make statements like this - "Even the U.N's lowest estimate, the 'low variant' has the population increasing by 1.5 billion over the next 30 years. At that rate, there will still be over 10 billion people on the planet by 2100. That's the best we can hope for!" Again, this statement is factually correct, but neglects the far more important point that under the low variant the population will begin to collapse after this date, hitting 3.6 billion by 2100.

THAT is why the statements from your organizations don't seem to match the data.

11-12-1999, 07:14 AM
This page has gotten so hard to read because of the lack of right, left borders. My fault, sorry. Can we fix that somehow, or just fill up the page in order to start a new page? Will the new page be free of the border problem?

I've seen those charts and get the impression that no matter whose interpretation you use there will be an increase over present figures, which is really the point, if you think present figures are too high. Where does the UN get it's figures from? I think they partially rely on the US Census Bureau.

hanson, if we are not taking care of the present world population what makes you think we'll do better with a few billion more?

From the UN, which you might find interesting:
THE STATE OF WORLD POPULATION 1999
C H A P T E R 2
Population Change and People's Choices

Population Continues to Grow, and to Grow Older
At the beginning of the 20th century, the world’s population was approximately 1.5 billion; by 1960 it had doubled; and by late 1999, it had quadrupled to 6 billion. The global population is unlikely ever again to grow as fast as it has in the last few decades and particularly the past 12 years, in which a billion people were added.

Annual additions to the global population rose from 47 million per year in 1950–1955 to a peak of 86 million in 1985–1990. This unprecedented growth was the net result of faster declines in mortality than in fertility, both from initially high levels. As a consequence, the fourth, fifth and sixth billion marks in global population were achieved in only 14, 13 and 12 years, respectively.3

Today, a "demographic transition" from high fertility and mortality to low fertility and mortality is under way or has already occurred in much of the world. In many respects, the less-developed regions are now about halfway through this transition, approximately where the more-developed regions were a half-century ago.

Death Rate Cut by Half
The most important story behind the rapid rise from 3 to 6 billion people since 1960 is the unprecedented drop in mortality. This trend actually began in the 19th and early 20th century, but intensified after World War II as basic sanitation, clean drinking water and modern health care became more available in larger areas of the world. Since 1950, the death rate has been cut in half, from about 20 to fewer than 10 deaths per year per thousand people. At the same time, average global life expectancy has risen from 46 to 66 years.

The world’s population is healthier from infancy through old age than it ever has been. Global infant mortality has fallen by two thirds since 1950, from 155 per thousand live births to 57 per thousand; this rate is projected to be reduced by a further two thirds by 2050. Maternal mortality has also declined, but much more slowly and less generally (see Chapter 3). Other promising health trends include improvements in immunization levels and health education.

One positive effect of lengthening life-spans and better medical treatment has been that the annual number of deaths actually fell by more than 10 per cent between 1955 and 1975 even as nearly 1.5 billion people were added to the world population. Subsequently the number of deaths began to increase. The current number of deaths per year, 52 million, is the same as in 1950, when the population was less than half the size it is today.

Death rates have declined substantially in the less-developed regions since 1950, but have remained roughly constant in the more-developed regions because of their greater proportion of older people.

Fertility is Declining, but Unevenly
The number of births per year rose from 98 million in 1950 to a peak of 134 million in the late 1980s, and is projected to remain just under 130 million for the next 20 years while death rates slowly rise as the global population ages.

Although only a very few countries have declining populations, 61 countries (with about 44 per cent of the world’s population) already have below-replacement fertility rates (less than 2.1 births per woman). The number of such countries is projected to grow to 87 by 2015, encompassing about two thirds of the world’s population.

On the other hand, in 2050, 130 countries will still have positive growth rates, 44 of them above 1 per cent per year, about the rate observed in more-developed regions in 1965.

In 1950-1955, the average fertility rate in the more-developed regions was 2.8 children per woman; it has since dropped to 1.6 and is projected to begin a slow rise, to 1.8, by the middle of next century. In the less-developed regions, the fertility rate was almost 6.2 in 1950; it was slightly less than 3 by 1999, and is projected to fall to less than 2.1 by 2045.

Death rates have fallen by half since 1950,
accounting for much of the rapid growth of world population.

Fertility has declined most quickly in Latin America and Asia, less rapidly in North Africa and the Middle East, and much more slowly in sub-Saharan Africa. Asia’s fertility fell sharply in the last 50 years, from 5.9 to 2.6 children per woman. Sub-Saharan Africa’s has dropped much more slowly, from 6.5 to 5.5. Latin America and the Caribbean have seen a decline from 5.9 to 2.7, North Africa and Western Asia from 6.6 to 3.5.

Europe’s fertility rate fell from 2.6 to 1.4, well below replacement level. On the other hand, Northern America’s fertility fell from 3.5 in 1950-1955 to 1.8 in the late 1970s, and then rebounded to the 1.9 to 2.0 range, where it has remained. It is projected to stay around 1.9 to the middle of the 21st century.

Variations between and within regions, and among different population groups within countries, remain considerable. Some nations, such as Brazil and the Republic of Korea, have moved swiftly to near-replacement level or below; others, such as Nigeria and Guatemala, have seen only a slight fall in fertility rates. However, the pace of decline has varied dramatically in different parts of both Brazil and Nigeria.

Hopes of finding a simple and consistent explanation for the demographic transition 4 have been repeatedly dashed by the realities of data on local experiences.5 In fact, there is no tight statistical link between development indicators and fertility rates, and the reasons for fertility decline are widely debated by demographers, economists and policy makers. While development is still considered an important factor, it remains unclear why fertility transitions occur earlier in some places than others. The pace of development does not appear to affect the initiation or the rate of fertility transition. However, once a transition has begun, fertility declines more rapidly in countries with higher levels of development.6

Helping women and men to realize their family size desires
It seems clear that the family size desires of men and women are influenced by a variety of factors: mortality declines; increased social opportunity, especially for women; employment opportunities; incomes; and educational access. Women and men cannot realize these desires, however, without the means to translate social opportunity and choice into action. The creation and progressive strengthening of population programmes over the last 30 years 7 — along with the development and distribution of more-effective and safer forms of contraception — has been a crucial catalyst in reducing fertility rates.8 Population programmes have been given credit for about half the decline in fertility since 1960. 9
Since the ICPD, they have adopted an approach based on individual rights and needs.

Population programmes have been crucial
in reducing fertility rates in the past 30 years.

The spread of information about family planning techniques and new ideas about social issues — including the rights of women to reproductive health and equality of opportunity — facilitates the fertility transition.10 Discussion and debate among relatives, friends and neighbours, the diffusion of ideas between communities, and mass media images trigger changes in preferences and fertili

11-12-1999, 07:14 AM

11-12-1999, 07:14 AM

11-12-1999, 07:14 AM

Sam Stone
11-12-1999, 07:39 AM
John John, that article repeated, albeit in more detail, everything that I have said.

The population will continue to grow for some time regardless of fertility rates, because of momentum.

A generation from now, growth of the population will be dictated by average fertility rates throughout that period

The reasons for lowering fertility are not clearly understood, but there is no doubt that the entire world is undergoing a decrease in fertility. We don't understand why some countries are decreasing faster than others, however.

There is no doubt that the world's population will grow by at least one billion people over the next 50 years, but after that it could A) continue to grow, B) Stabilize at around 11 billion by 2100, or C) Shrink to as little as 3.6 billion people.

So, do we agree on these conclusions? Let's get past the 'my data is better than yours' stuff.

Something you won't see in any of this data: There have been a number of recent papers which indicate fertility decrease is continuing even faster than the last U.N. numbers in 1998. Expect another adjustment to the U.N. models in 2000 or 2001, and expect it to revise the numbers downwards yet again.

If anything is frightening about these numbers, it's the possibility of a global population meltdown. The percentage of population in developed nations is dropping rapidly. Under the low variant model, many countries will suffer serious problems with respect to care for the elderly and a lack of manpower to provide basic services. Japan is particularly vulnerable, because it doesn't have a lot of immigration, and the fertility rate is still dropping there. The big worry is that Japan's population will be cut in half, with most of those left being of retirement age. The size of the productive workforce may be so small that the elderly can't be cared for. The U.S. and Canada are facing the same problems, but not to the same degree because of immigration.

Sam Stone
11-12-1999, 07:42 AM
One more thing: If you accept these numbers, there is no point arguing about whether the Earth can handle another 1.5 billion people. It's going to get them, under all three variants. There's nothing we can do about that, because the processes that cause it are already in motion.

Unless of course you advocate genocide.

So, the discussion of the population problem can really only concern itself with the situation after 2050, when any steps we could take now will have an effect.

John John
11-12-1999, 08:16 AM
dhansonJohn John, that article repeated, albeit in more detail, everything that I have said.

The population will continue to grow for some time regardless of fertility rates, because of momentum.

A generation from now, growth of the population will be dictated by average fertility rates throughout that period

The reasons for lowering fertility are not clearly understood, but there is no doubt that the entire world is undergoing a decrease in fertility. We don't understand why some countries are decreasing faster than others, however.

There is no doubt that the world's population will grow by at least one billion people over the next 50 years, but after that it could A) continue to grow, B) Stabilize at around 11 billion by 2100, or C) Shrink to as little as 3.6 billion people.
So, do we agree on these conclusions? Let's get past the 'my data is better than yours' stuff.

Something you won't see in any of this data: There have been a number of recent papers which indicate fertility decrease is continuing even faster than the last U.N. numbers in 1998. Expect another adjustment to the U.N. models in 2000 or 2001, and expect it to revise the numbers downwards yet again.

If anything is frightening about these numbers, it's the possibility of a global population meltdown. The percentage of population in developed nations is dropping rapidly. Under the low variant model, many countries will suffer serious problems with respect to care for the elderly and a lack of manpower to provide basic services. Japan is particularly vulnerable, because it doesn't have a lot of immigration, and the fertility rate is still dropping there. The big worry is that Japan's population will be cut in half, with most of those left being of retirement age. The size of the productive workforce may be so small that the elderly can't be cared for. The U.S. and Canada are facing the same problems, but not to the same degree because of immigration.



dhanson
Member posted 11-12-1999 06:42 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
One more thing: If you accept these numbers, there is no point arguing about whether the Earth can handle another 1.5 billion people. It's going to get them, under all three variants. There's nothing we can do about that, because the processes that cause it are already in motion.
Unless of course you advocate genocide.

So, the discussion of the population problem can really only concern itself with the situation after 2050, when any steps we could take now will have an effect.

Since we have established that we share data, the argument of whose is better is moot. I think INTERPRETATION of the data is at issue. I will allow that the organizations I follow may use the high variant to impress the need for change. This is not a bad thing. Would you agree? I also feel that without them the population bomb would tick much faster. Would you agree?

You of course realize that another 1.5 billion in the next decade would have a destabilizing effect on the world?

I c&p'd your post so I could read it better.



------------------
"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Akatsukami
11-12-1999, 08:43 AM
John John writes:, if we are not taking care of the present world population what makes you think we'll do better with a few billion more?
Yet the U.N. publication that he quotes to support this includes such phrases as "Death Rate Cut by Half", "The world’s population is healthier from infancy through old age than it ever has been", and "Throughout the developing world, literacy and years of schooling have increased for both males and females over the last four decades".


Now, the publication does refer to the "impact of AIDS", which is a serious and immediate problem in terms of death and suffering. It seems not to mention food distribution (food production/i>, however, is adequate). Both of these, however, are more political than technical in both their causes and solutions, as dhanson and divemaster have previously pointed out.


(The mention of "political" solutions, incidentally, inevitably leads us into questions of "policy". If we suppose that people will be resistant to following necessary policies on handling sewage, why should we imagine that they will meekly submit to "policies" on limiting family size?)


In the OP of this thread, you wrote:What is the limit [of population] that this planet can sustain without degredation to the environment?
Note that that question is very different from "how many people [i]should this planet have?". The former question is more technical, the latter question more philospohical. Considering the latter question also leads to another question: "If another nation or group radically disagrees with our answer, what do we do about it?"

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

pldennison
11-12-1999, 08:45 AM
Geez, Rich, next thing you know, Kingsley's gonna show up and call you a "thread killer." ;)

Sam Stone
11-12-1999, 12:44 PM
Since we have established that we share data, the argument of whose is better is moot. I think INTERPRETATION of the data is at issue. I will allow that the organizations I follow may use the high variant to impress the need for change. This is not a bad thing. Would you agree? I also feel that without them the population bomb would tick much faster. Would you agree?

Well, that depends on how it is presented. If it is presented as the U.N.'s conclusion without mentioning the other models, it's intellectually dishonest. The high variant represents the upper bound on what the U.N. considers possible, but is not the most likely result. And it is getting more and more unlikely every day as new data comes in to verify the other two models.

But these organizations don't stop there. As I said, a common tactic is to to do a straight-line extension of the population function and use that as an 'estimate'. Since all three variants have a curve that is decreasing in slope, any straight-line extrapolation would result in an estimate that would be way too high. Whenever you see phrases like, 'At the current rate of growth', or 'if things don't change', you can guess that someone has jiggered with the real numbers in order to inflate a claim.

jab1
11-12-1999, 03:54 PM
Lord, is this page hard to read.

(Doing what I can to start a new page.)

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Fighting my own ignorance since 1957.

Falcon
11-12-1999, 04:10 PM
I just emailed David B....hopefully he can fix the sidescrolling problem.

John John
11-12-1999, 08:05 PM
I just emailed David B....hopefully he can fix the sidescrolling problem.

Yeah, this is too hard to read. Will Dave B be able t ofix it?

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-12-1999, 08:17 PM
John JohnDo they,UN, not predict a smaller
> population growth than you report?
>
> Thanks
>
> Brille

email from POP CouncilFrom: PUBINFO@popcouncil.org (PUBLIC INFORMATION)
To: Johnsbury1@aol.com ('Johnsbury1@aol.com')

Hi Brille. No, the UN does not predict less population growth than we do.
As I said, our researchers work with UN projections, which have proved to be
extremely accurate. One reason for this is that the UN reassess its numbers
every few years. Another is that, because population doesn't turn over very
fast, and the people who are alive today will be around for 40 or 50 years,
demographers in general have become pretty good at projecting population.
However, the issue is not so simple. I think if you go back to our web
site, you'll be able to resolve your confusion. On our homepage, click on
In our view/Six Billion and Growing: Views on Population - "Population
Explosion or Decline?" This essay is written by the head of our Policy
Research Division, John Bongaarts, who is an eminent demographer. He
explains that even though fertility rates are falling in the developing
world where most population growth occurs, and have reached replacement rate
or even a bit below replacement rate in developed countries, population will
still continue to grow because of population momentum in the developing
world, and the fact that the age of childbearing is rising in the developed
world. (And no one can argue the fact that, even though fertility rates
have been decreasing, many of the planet's people still go hungry, and do
not have access to safe drinking water or health care.)

Sydney.

I think all the organizations are in agreement that the World Population is growing steadily.



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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-12-1999, 10:31 PM
Normal borders again. Thank you. Was that you, David B.?

Sam Stone
11-12-1999, 11:20 PM
I think all the organizations are in agreement that the World Population is growing steadily.

It is not growing 'steadily'. The rate of growth is slowing. And in the near future, population growth will most likely stop, and even begin to reverse itself.

I'm a fan of hard numbers. Rather than just spouting platitudes about the hungry and the growing population, let's get specific: How much population is 'too much'? And why? And what price are you willing to pay to reduce it, both in terms of cash and human rights? If you are going to take political action, you have a responsibility to have an answer to those questions.

First, it seems clear to me that we are nowhere near any limits in terms of the population causing extra human suffering, other than in localized areas. We've doubled the Earth's population in the last 50 years, and at the end of that time we have more resources available than we ever had, we grow more food per capita than we ever have, and humans live longer and better than they ever have. Our ability to cope with increased population has grown much faster than the population itself, and it looks like this trend is increasing. So... will 7.5 billion hurt our standard of living? How about 9 billion? 20 billion?

The second issue is one of damage to the planet. If you see humans as being a sort of parasite outside of nature, then there is no question that a population of even one human does 'damage'. So what level of population is tolerable? And why?

In partial answer I'd note that pollution levels have been going down in most major cities, and that an important factor is that we are in the process of converting from a heavy-industry industrial economy into an information economy. Our ability to produce wealth is relying less on brute force manipulation of our environment and more on 'soft' technologies that rely on intelligence. This is also a trend that is escalating. Smart cars are more fuel efficient and cleaner. Telecommuting trades hydrocarbon burning for bits on a phone line. Computer-controlled machining produces parts with much less cutting waste. CAD/CAM design allows more parts to be stamped out of metal blanks. And the list goes on, and on, and on.

tracer
11-13-1999, 01:43 AM
John John wrote about Veg:

You don't bring anything to the table, except your appetite for feuding over that which you do not know.

I know you are, but what am I?

John John
11-13-1999, 07:51 AM
dhansonIt is not growing 'steadily'. The rate of growth is slowing. And in the near future, population growth will most likely stop, and even begin to reverse itself.

WORLD POPULATION IS GROWING. That is what your beloved source, UN, says.

"Population Council demographer John Bongaarts who gets his information from UN source: Current trends in reproductive behavior differ sharply between regions and should not be confused. "In the already crowded developing world, despite plummeting fertility rates, both the number of births and population size will keep growing," he says. "The expected addition of several billion more people will hamper ongoing efforts to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development."

A fast, short recap. All these organization share information on world population figures, low, mid and high variant but differ on the interpretation of which variant they adopt as probable in the future. They all say that we will add billions more in a short time, if current trends continue, as they seem to be. Since you love numbers it cannot escape you that more numbers, as predicted by all, producing more births with low mortality will produce greater population. Greater population means more of a drain on resources, poverty, hunger and the potential for land grab wars. remember our current energy source is finite. We seem to dumb to use the sun and wind more.

How would the world intervene to stop the burgeoning world population? I'm not sure, but that is one of the topics I was hoping to discuss in this thread. Something should be done to head off disaster.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

David B
11-13-1999, 07:54 AM
Yup, it was me. (What'd you think, some other message board God came in? ;) )

John John
11-13-1999, 08:58 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dave b.Yup, it was me. (What'd you think, some other message board God came in? )

There shall be no craven images or strange Gods before thee.

Oh,and, thanks, Falcon, for thinking of alerting Dave to the prob.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

John John
11-13-1999, 09:02 AM
Is there any other brave soul out there in the Cyberhood that agrees that we are heading towards a world population problem? It's getting lonely on this board on my side of the issue.

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"All rising to a great place is by a winding stair." F.Bacon

Brille

Sam Stone
11-13-1999, 12:46 PM
Okay, John John. What's the 'disaster'? Is a population of 7.5 billion a 'disaster'? That's what we're heading for in the next 30 years. How about a population of 8.5 billion. The latest numbers are pointing to a population about that big, with the max population maybe hitting 10 billion by 2100.


Is that a 'disaster'? Why? What is there about a population of 10 billion that is going to be a disaster for us or the Earth? Remember we're going to have 100 years of technological development before we hit that number, if we ever do.

Be specific, please. No one here wants to hear vague 'warnings' about doom. Tell us what type of apocalypse this particular horseman is carrying.

BTW, I took issue with your comment that the earth's population is growing 'steadily'. The growth is not steady, and this is very important. It is slowing down, and will probably stop at some point. I'm guessing you don't have any scientific training, or you would have understood that. I have no quarrel with the fact that the Earth's population is currently increasing.

edward
11-13-1999, 02:21 PM
dhanson said
Okay, John John. What's the 'disaster'? Is a population of 7.5 billion a 'disaster'? That's what we're heading for in the next 30 years. How about a population of 8.5 billion. The latest numbers are pointing to a population about that big, with the max population maybe hitting 10 billion by 2100.


OK, so one impact of an increasing population, and a westernizing world, is increased carbon dioxide output. Since the mid 1980's, global per capita carbon dioxide output has been about 1.1 metric tons/year (falling from about 1.2 metric tons/year in the 70s, but up overall 0.6 metric tons/year in the middle of the century). Total output has been rising, however, as the global population is increasing. Even if the population stabilizes at anywhere between 7 and 10 billion, that's still a lot of carbon dioxide to dump in the atmosphere.

Per capita output should go down, as cleaner technologies, such as natural gas and hydrogen are utilized. Given the coal/petrochemical reserves in the world, and the location of many of these reserves (poorer countries eager to export for cash) I don't see per capita output going down a whole lot, especially as industrializing nations increase their demands for energy as the standard of living is raised.

Akatsukami
11-13-1999, 07:25 PM
And the environmental establishment's take on CO2 emissions is...?

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."

Akatsukami
11-14-1999, 03:10 PM
Well, edward, granting that increased CO2 emissions are likely from a population that is increased in size and wealth over today's, what of it? Your response to dhanson's post, wherein he asked what the impending "disaster" was going to be, suggests that you feel such increased emissions are going to be of negative effect.


Now, I will heartily agree that the environmental establishment's "take" on this doesn't necessarily reflect what will happen. So, I will withdraw the question as irrelevant, and instead ask: Why should we consider the level of CO2 emissions as worthy of consideration?

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"Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away."