Population: how to control it

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  • Thu, Jan 01, 2009 - 11:42pm

    #1

    pir8don

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    Population: how to control it

To me this is the only elephant. P = E + E + E.

But the problem is almost more than we can possibly tackle.

My solution is to stop transporting food. This would force us to live within our local resource base and effectively limit our population. I think we need to do this voluntarily before we are forced to do it by lack of transport. To get some practice in, as it were. I suggest we form groups with our immediate neighbours around a hundred people based on physical boundaries where possible and start by growing food together. And yes I’ve talked to my neighbours but it hasn’t started because most don’t see a need although many are growing for various reasons. Those of us that do see a need are too few so far and not my immediate neighbours. 

There are nearly 7 billion of us all together but the best estimates of sustainable population are around the one billion mark without extracted carbon.

Do you agree that population is the elephant?

Do you have an alternative solution?

Do you think that we can support a bigger population than a billion or so without extracted carbon?

 

Don

______________________________________

If the only fix is a big fix then there is no fix

 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 12:50am

    #2

    jrf29

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    Re: Population: how to control it

pir8don, 

Are you suggesting the systematic starvation of a large portion of our population?  Nature is certainly capable of accomplishing this herself, and if that is what ultimately must happen, then isn’t your solution no less brutal than the starvation which might occur naturally upon the exhaustion of resources?

Even if we were to concede that the end result of starvation for some people is unavoidable, and even to imagine that such a result was just, as Joubert said: There are some acts of justice which corrupt those who perform them.

Some acts, even those which are inevitable, are better left for nature herself.

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 01:11am

    #3

    Damnthematrix

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    Re: Population: how to control it

It’s going to get ugly, and justice won’t even get a look in…

Mike 

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 01:34am

    #4
    AnOregonian

    AnOregonian

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    Re: Population: how to control it

[quote=Damnthematrix]

It’s going to get ugly, and justice won’t even get a look in…

Mike 

[/quote]

That’s what I like about you, Mike. You’re always looking on the bright side!  Laughing

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 02:18am

    #5
    joemanc

    joemanc

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    Re: Population: how to control it

[quote=pir8don]

Do you have an alternative solution?

[/quote]

 

Yes – At least in the U.S., we can get rid of the child tax credits. If we want to go the China way, we could implement a 1-child per household law. I don’t know the numbers for sure, but I think the U.S. is actually a zero population growth country if you exclude incoming immigrants, legal or illegal.

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 03:10am

    #6

    pir8don

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    Re: Population: how to control it

Hi jrf29

I deliberately haven’t said anything about transporting people. Many people can move while we still have transport. Once we don’t we have a lot less options.

Isn’t it most likely that starvation follows from no food in the stores? Are we better to wait for it? I am not proposing a big or forced fix. I am suggesting we see if we can do it now ourselves rather than wait to see what happens. Like  a kind of insurance.

Don

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 04:18am

    #9

    Set

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    Re: Population: how to control it

At the risk of seeming politically incorrect, aren’t some of the most prominent religions responsible for encouraging couples to have many children?  And, if this is true, how will anyone ever discourage what many people consider to be “God’s will?”  Also, aren’t these same religions against abortion as well as birth control?     

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 04:19am

    #8

    jrf29

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    Re: Population: how to control it

[quote=pir8don] I deliberately haven’t said anything about transporting people. Many people can move while we still have transport. [/quote]

I think that halting the transportation of food would cause starvation whether or not people could be transported. 

As I understand it, the transportation of food merely enables a food producing region to support people elsewhere, who otherwise would have had to live within that food producing region.  So, the total population, speaking only in terms of food, remains roughly the same, except that some of those people who otherwise would have needed to live within the food producing area are now able to live elsewhere.

The problem is that we cannot speak only in terms of food.  Many of our resources—timber, metal, rock quarries, minerals and salts, fuels, even water—come from non-food producing regions.  It is these resources which allow our food producing regions to produce as much as they do. 

Without food transportation, the necessary population could not be maintained in mining towns, for example.  Without the mines, tractors and plows could not be produced and food production would collapse rapidly.  Our total ability to produce food would decrease by an order of mangitude.  Without food transportation, fuels could not be extracted from the earth in fuel-bearing regions. Agricultural production would be reduced to the amount possible through manual labor alone.  There is no possible way that manual agriculture could support the present population.  Without our modern capacity for mass food production, people would starve.

Even if we assume that our capacity to produce food would not be affected by the cessation of food transport, then the only result would be that everybody would move into the current food producing regions, which does nothing to solve the problem.

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 04:23am

    #10

    pir8don

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    Re: Population: how to control it

[quote=jrf29]

Without food transportation, the necessary population could not be maintained in mining towns, for example.  Without the mines, tractors and plows could not be produced and food production would collapse rapidly.  Our total ability to produce food would decrease by an order of mangitude.  Without food transportation, fuels could not be extracted from the earth in fuel-bearing regions. Agricultural production would be reduced to the amount possible through manual labor alone.  There is no possible way that manual agriculture could possibly support the present population.  Without our modern capacity for mass food production, people would starve.

[/quote]

You are describing a life without carbon extraction. We have to face it eventually. Why not start facing it now? To make the soil productive again without carbon fertilisers and carbon pesticides needs time. Why not use the time we have? Lets learn how to do it again so more of us can live. If we can’t transport food to cities wont they become wastelands?

Don

  • Fri, Jan 02, 2009 - 04:28am

    #11

    jrf29

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    Re: Population: how to control it

[quote=set] At the risk of seeming politically incorrect, aren’t some
of the most prominent religions responsible for encouraging couples to
have many children?  And, if this is true, how will
anyone ever discourage what many people consider to be “God’s will?” 
Also, aren’t these same religions against abortion as well as birth
control?  [/quote]

There is nothing politically incorrect in observing the truth.  And it may or may not be possible to dissuade such people.  However without making any judgement as to whether or not it might be the case, if the harsh reality of the natural world and the Will of God as interpreted by a religious movement were opposed, in the long run mother nature will prevail.  So the question is moot in either case.

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