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Is human population growth really a problem?

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  • Thu, Nov 25, 2010 - 04:37am

    #42
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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  • Thu, Nov 25, 2010 - 04:37am

    #41
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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I subscribe to Insider Score, and that is correct there has been scant insider buying. Insider Score’s market wide buying indicator tracks very closely my sentiment indicators.
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I subscribe to Insider Score, and that is correct there has been scant insider buying. Insider Score’s market wide buying indicator tracks very closely my sentiment indicators.

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  • Fri, Nov 26, 2010 - 12:22pm

    #43
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Is human population growth really a problem?

yes! it s a big problem!!!

 

so we need war or epidemic =((  I know its bad idea but I dont see any decisions…

 

  • Fri, Nov 26, 2010 - 04:22pm

    #44
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Is human population growth really a problem?

Thanks to danhalmar for starting discussion on this topic.  I would like to ask the posters a critical question –  how many individuals can this planet support?   In my mind, there are 4 key items that will determine this.  (I’m probable missing a few)

1) Fossil fuels are finite and will be largely unavailable in the future.  We can all provide dates for each fuel type, but in the end I think most of us will agree that oil, natural gas, and coal will be consumed and not an active part of our lives at some point in the future.

2) How many calaries of energy does it require to produce 1 calarie of food?  Kunslter (The Long Emergency) states this ratio is 16/1 and provides a reference, but it is not pier reviewed.  The recent James Quinn posting states this ratio as 10/1.  I have not researched this in great detail, but the 10/1 ratio appears frequently from different sources.  I think we can assume that the vast majority of the energy producing food is fossil fuel.

3) What was this planets population prior to fossil fuel use?  Different links puts the worlds population at 1850 from 1 to 1.5 billion.  One can argue that this number will be more or less, but it does provide us with a starting point as to how many humans we can support in a post fossil fuel world.

4) About 1 year ago Chris wrote about driving in around New England and observing soil quality (dirt poor).  He indicated that historically it took about 1 calorie of energy to produce 1.2 calories of food.  Has this number changed? 

If we integrate these issues (and the handfull of ones I’ve missed) we can determine about how many humans this planet will have around 2050.  Fire away.

Nate

  • Wed, Dec 22, 2010 - 09:31pm

    #45
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Is human population growth really a problem?

Could, would, should,…

 

I have no idea what the ultimate post-carbon population of the world will be, but I can venture some observations and opinions, not based on my own scientific research.

 

..…Some areas of the world are already overpopulated.  The land is not fertile or the climate inhospitable;   farmers can barely feed themselves, so food is imported and distribution is inequitable.  If the delivery of food were interrupted, there would be famine , suffering, and mass migration if the population could relocate.   That could drive other areas into overpopulation.

..….If climate change does raise water levels and dry the areas it is projected to, then those areas also would become overpopulated and the population would be considering migration.  Canada and Russia would be among very few countries that would benefit from this.

…..Every country has land that is not used for agriculture for many reasons.  It may be covered with buildings or concrete, perhaps well landscaped into attractive lawns and public areas or left to grow out naturally.  At present it is not considered feasible or desirable to  plant food crops on these lands.

Some of these lands are not considered to be prime farmland, some were.

 

Shifting to the U.S., which I can observe directly:

…..In the U.S. , garbage and its disposal are huge problems.  Virtually no food remains are returned to the soil, but rather they are bagged up in plastic bags to be sent  to the landfill.  Very few families have any thought to improving the soil beyond buying another bag of Miracle Gro for the flower garden.

…..Where I live, almost all agricultural grunt work is done by immigrants, mostly Mexicans.  The orchard owners say that Americans are too lazy and won’t take orders—and they won’t show up at 6:00 every morning and work until sunset. 

…..Drive through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee and you will drive  by empty fields, many growing up in weeds.  You’ll see some cattle and a few horses, but almost no sheep or goats.  There are very few large vegetable gardens now.    You will occasionally  pass a huge barn of a chicken house and all of those chickens are indoors.

…..The large agricultural companies have left this land alone.   The  soil is mostly heavy clay and can be difficult to work.  It never had the fertility  of the Midwest.  It is also not flat, so the large machines are not as efficient on it.  There is rain, but it is not always predictable.  Still, people used to grow food here, but don’t any more.  Young people have not only abandoned the land, they have left their communities, and the vitality has been sapped out of their little towns.

 

…..The United States is already bread basket to the world, mass producing industrialized food products .  It is, however,  in no way meeting its capacity as a food producer .

 

Looking just at the United States, we definitely could feed ourselves post carbon.  Perhaps the large land holdings will be sold in smaller plots, and more people will be back on the land to tend it.   I bet we’ll close our borders to the world.  I can visualize us growing biomass for energy that could otherwise feed the refugees flooding into  faraway places. 

…..We could emulate the Cubans, and learn how to grow things on the land again.  They were forced to change, and there is no authority to force us to work.   I read that every Cuban lost about thirty pounds in those years while they learned how to grow things without fertilizers and farm equipment.  It would be a dramatic change for us, but it could be done.  But the rest of the world?    They are going to have to do the same thing.

 

When we begin working the land again, we will agree with Full  Moon that children are a blessing.   Farming is a lot of work and helping hands will be truly appreciated.

  • Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - 04:09pm

    #46
    Peak Prosperity Admin

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    Re: Is human population growth really a problem?

very interesting info-comic strip on relevant topic

http://www.recombinantrecords.net/images/2011-02-St-Matthew-Island.pdf

  • Fri, Mar 02, 2012 - 11:26pm

    #47

    Damnthematrix

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    The Earth is full: Paul Gilding

Paul Gilding is one of my Australian Heroes……  enjoy, and share far and wide.

Mike

  • Sat, Mar 03, 2012 - 06:07pm

    #48

    xraymike79

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    Damnthematrix wrote:Paul

Damnthematrix wrote:

Paul Gilding is one of my Australian Heroes……  enjoy, and share far and wide.

Mike

Great video and thanks for posting. He’s firmly rooted in reality and refreshing to listen to. Nice to hear someone who has completely stepped out of the matrix and is looking down at the Big Picture with no blinders or self-delusion.

  • Tue, Jul 05, 2016 - 11:15am

    #49

    edward charette

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    Population Boom

Yes it is the burning issue now. With extreme poverty in some parts of the world and with increasing rich poor disparity and diminishing natural resources I would say it is a matter of serious concern

  • Fri, May 31, 2019 - 12:35am

    #50
    shrisshtibhandari

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    Is human population growth really a problem?

Human populations have put pressure on their natural surroundings throughout history. Yet the world is now facing truly global environmental challenges and rapid population growth in the final half of the twentieth century is a critical component to understanding these phenomena. With three representative environmental issue areas: forests, freshwater resources, and climate change. These connections raise the importance of meeting the commitments made at the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development. Benedick maintains that investments in measures to slow the rate of population growth-and thereby to reach a stable population earlier, and at lower levels, than under current trends-would significantly reinforce efforts to address the environmental challenges of the century ahead, and considerably lower the cost of such efforts.

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