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Superboy
02-21-08, 06:27 PM
This thread is born out of the One and Only Global Warming thread, because the discussion there shifted along a tangent that detracts from focusing strictly on the issue of global warming. There were greater issues and therefore, ideologies that were being discussed. Furthermore Dr. Mabuse has shown himself to be well-educated and tactful enough to share ideas which would be conducive to starting a new thread.

I tend to avoid the overt generalizations that come with economic studies; i say this because I am a student of economics itself. It is because the foundation of economic theory is somewhat far removed from the world itself. Ceteris Paribus is a disclaimer that is consistently attached to most economic theorem; that all things being equal, the outcome can be predicted based upon the causal or correlative connections between two variables.

However, we do not live in a world that is equitable, or one in which people are completely rational. A holistic study of economics leads one not to just include the relationship between two singular variables, but also other variables as well which are critical to predicting the outcome of the application of economic principles. Cultural factors, environmental factors, political factors cannot be ignored because they affect the very attitudes of the people who are participating in the economy. A culture that values participation and cooperation ironically makes for a more successful capitalist economy because the government needs to intervene less in order to protect people from force and fraud, especially with concern to the treatment of workers. A society that values individuality and personal gain will always need the government to step in because force and fraud will run rampant because the thirst for gain will lead to immoral acquisitions of wealth. The 20th century has certainly showed this is true.

This discussion is the foundation of the issues being debated: environmentalism, resource warfare, the expense upon the environment - the very thing that sustains us - for what appear to be gains that are insubstantial next to the cost incurred for current and future generations of mankind. Entire cultures and nations have gone from being the dominant world power to quickly becoming nothing more than a page in history because they did not adequately manage their resources. There is a generality though that life went on, society went on, despite the collapse of economic systems due to resource depletion because of human ingenuity and the discovery of new resources, or the ability to harness current resources to create a greater yield of food (through agricultural advances), water (through processes such as desalination), energy (such as the burning of coal), and labor (through education).

It does appear, as Dr. Mabuse has stated very eloquently and showing a great degree of education, that we are swiftly approaching another peak of resource usage which will cause yet another dramatic shift in society, culture, in economics. And while there will no doubt be innovation and human civilization will go on, it is prudent that we shore ourselves against what could potentially be another catastrophe. The expense on human life in past was immeasurable; as Santayana said: Those who do not remember the past are forever doomed to repeat it.

kvrdave
02-21-08, 06:38 PM
Eventually, sure. Even if that means 5 billions years from now when the sun goes out.

das Monkey
02-21-08, 06:41 PM
Eventually, sure. Even if that means 5 billions years from now when the sun goes out.
"Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu and Einstein and Morobuto and Buddy Holly and Aristophenes; and all of this, all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars." - Commander Jeffrey Sinclair

Tracer Bullet
02-21-08, 06:52 PM
"Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu and Einstein and Morobuto and Buddy Holly and Aristophenes; and all of this, all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars." - Commander Jeffrey Sinclair

Nerd.

Okay, okay. Everytime I watch that, I tear up a little.

movielib
02-21-08, 06:56 PM
Eventually, sure. Even if that means 5 billions years from now when the sun goes out.
Finally a prediction Paul Ehrlich could get right.

VinVega
02-21-08, 10:06 PM
"Ask ten different scientists about the environment, population control, genetics and you'll get ten different answers, but there's one thing every scientist on the planet agrees on. Whether it happens in a hundred years or a thousand years or a million years, eventually our Sun will grow cold and go out. When that happens, it won't just take us. It'll take Marilyn Monroe and Lao-Tzu and Einstein and Morobuto and Buddy Holly and Aristophenes; and all of this, all of this was for nothing unless we go to the stars." - Commander Jeffrey Sinclair
Check out the return to the moon thread in other. Nobody there seems to think human exploration of the solar system has much of any benefit in relation to the cost.

Are we headed for a collapse? I don't think so, not in the near future. We will have to adjust our way of living to be more in harmony with nature (which we have already started doing), but life will go on.

Tracer Bullet
02-21-08, 10:15 PM
Check out the return to the moon thread in other. Nobody there seems to think human exploration of the solar system has much of any benefit in relation to the cost.

Myopia.

al_bundy
02-22-08, 07:49 AM
because civilization was so nice 3000 years ago and the world so equitable

biggest difference between my standard of living and say Bill Gates is that he will have people to drive him, a house larger than most people need and some more tech toys and his home furnishings are a lot more expensive

when you look at middle class people the standard of living is pretty close except they won't have over the top things like say a gold umbrella holder or a Hermes pocketbook that cost $3000 or their own airplane. but generally everyone has a warm and safe home, access to food and a level of nutrition that kings didn't have a few hundred years ago, clean water and luxuries so that they have more free time than people ever had in the history of civilization

das Monkey
02-22-08, 09:33 AM
Check out the return to the moon thread in other. Nobody there seems to think human exploration of the solar system has much of any benefit in relation to the cost.
I already put my hopeless failure of the human spirit stamp on that thread. :)

das

atlantamoi
02-22-08, 09:58 AM
when you look at middle class people the standard of living is pretty close except they won't have over the top things like say a gold umbrella holder or a Hermes pocketbook that cost $3000 or their own airplane. but generally everyone has a warm and safe home, access to food and a level of nutrition that kings didn't have a few hundred years ago, clean water and luxuries so that they have more free time than people ever had in the history of civilization I think about this sometimes and feel very fortunate to have been born when I was. Of course, I might miss out on some unthinkably cool tech in the future. Those people might look back at us and feel sorry. One thing for sure, whenever people talk about the good old days they conveniently forget about how bad crap's always been around.

I'm personally not worried about a cataclysmic collapse anytime soon.

GreenMonkey
02-22-08, 10:13 AM
Nerd.

Okay, okay. Everytime I watch that, I tear up a little.

A B5 quote for every occasion! :)

I don't see any reason we're headed for any sort of collapse. Since the end of the Cold War the threat of nuclear annihilation/nuclear winter is gone... I think we're quite a bit farther away from possible catclysmic collapse than we were in the 80s.

I doubt any sort of economic situation could cause a collapse of human civilization. Maybe a few countries though.

nemein
02-22-08, 10:16 AM
Since the end of the Cold War the threat of nuclear annihilation/nuclear winter is gone...

I wouldn't count on that myself. If anything it is more dangerous now IMHO and more likely someone at some point is going to set off a nuke. It may not lead to complete annihilation but I think the possibility is greater now than it was during the cold war.

EDIT: The people that maintain the Doomsday clock would seem to agree.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg/600px-Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg.png">

The avg during the cold war was about 11:52, if my calculations are correct, we're currently at 11:55.

movielib
02-22-08, 10:35 AM
I wouldn't count on that myself. If anything it is more dangerous now IMHO and more likely someone at some point is going to set off a nuke. It may not lead to complete annihilation but I think the possibility is greater now than it was during the cold war.

EDIT: The people that maintain the Doomsday clock would seem to agree.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock
<img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4b/Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg/600px-Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg.png">

The avg during the cold war was about 11:52, if my calculations are correct, we're currently at 11:55.
I don't trust the doomsday clock people very much. They have added "climate-changing technologies and 'new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.'" (from Wiki) Those are rather silly as catastrophic threats, IMO.

However I do agree with you that the nuclear threat remains (although nuclear winter was a figment of Carl Sagan's imagination)..

nemein
02-22-08, 10:45 AM
I don't trust the doomsday clock people very much. They have added "climate-changing technologies and 'new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.'" (from Wiki) Those are rather silly as catastrophic threats, IMO.

Ah... I missed that last part, I was looking mainly at the cold war data :o I have to agree w/ you on the above, I just remember the clock was all the rage during the cold war but you don't seem to hear about it much anymore, even though the threat is still out there IMHO.


However I do agree with you that the nuclear threat remains (although nuclear winter was a figment of Carl Sagan's imagination)..

um... I wonder, could nuclear winter be the solution to global warming -ptth-

GreenMonkey
02-22-08, 10:59 AM
I wouldn't count on that myself. If anything it is more dangerous now IMHO and more likely someone at some point is going to set off a nuke. It may not lead to complete annihilation but I think the possibility is greater now than it was during the cold war.



I agree, but the OP was talking about a huge collapse. With the cold war, the nuclear annihilation could have been practically worldwide with a death count in the billions.

A few terrorists kill some millions of people, or India/Pakistan nuke it out, then yeah, a lot of people die. But that's not the collapse of human civilization.

GreenMonkey
02-22-08, 11:10 AM
I don't trust the doomsday clock people very much. They have added "climate-changing technologies and 'new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.'" (from Wiki) Those are rather silly as catastrophic threats, IMO.

However I do agree with you that the nuclear threat remains (although nuclear winter was a figment of Carl Sagan's imagination)..

Agreed on the top part.

Wikipedia disagrees with you on the nuclear winter though. It seems plausible as per the studies they've got listed there.

Nazgul
02-22-08, 11:54 AM
(although nuclear winter was a figment of Carl Sagan's imagination)..

I caught, for a few minutes last night, a documentary on the state of plant and animal life in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and how both are flourishing despite the "Nuclear Winter" type predictions after the 86 disaster.

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/epg/programDetail.jsp?scheduleId=553767720

VinVega
02-22-08, 12:17 PM
I caught, for a few minutes last night, a documentary on the state of plant and animal life in the Chernobyl exclusion zone and how both are flourishing despite the "Nuclear Winter" type predictions after the 86 disaster.

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/epg/programDetail.jsp?scheduleId=553767720
I thought nuclear winter was a result of all the debris kicked into the air by the nuclear explosions, not the radiation.

Tracer Bullet
02-22-08, 12:24 PM
Wikipedia disagrees with you on the nuclear winter though. It seems plausible as per the studies they've got listed there.

Are these studies located on the Caterpie or Jigglypuff page?

Dr Mabuse
02-22-08, 12:29 PM
'cataclysmic' is a strong word...

but yes... mankind is close to hitting a wall... and hitting it hard...

simple math reveals this... a very simplistic look at the basics reveals this...

no elaborate science, nor complicated consideration is necessary...

there is not enough food on this planet for humans now... and by a LOOONG shot too... this earth is in famine right now... take all the food and divide it up equally and everybody starves... you have to go into some form of denial to try and skip around that simple fact...

the earth is in the same situation with fresh water...

and yet the population continues to skyrocket...

for the comfortable life of ease and excess we enjoy here in the US... 5 times the population of the US must struggle in famine and poverty and misery... history tells us this won't last... most of the earth is already plotting our downfall... just as has happened many times before in history...

on the 'ease of living' here in the states... this can't last... our current Comptroller General for the US is resigning... he is acutely aware of the actual nature of the US economy... very, very, few are... the US is the place that is closest to an actual 'upheaval' type of change... he has been trying to point out the facts to people to no avail... and is resigning because of it... greed and mindless excess has run out of control in the US model... in fact that's what most of the world calls our approach to business over the last 20 years, "The US Model", and they want none of it... 20 years from today every dollar of the GNP of the US will go to entitlement government programs, this based on government figures, not fuzzy math... every single dollar... none for government itself, infrastructure, military, nothing... 20 years using very sound math, and we're there... and that's if things stay the same as today... in 2000 the outright financial liability of the US was ~30 trillion, today it's ~58 trillion... this can't last and anyone with with even a modicum of wisdom knows it... but the entire population of the US is apathetic and dependent... not willing to 'do' anything about it...

just as i posted in another thread... democracies last about 200 years... always have...

the ecosystem and natural balance of the planet has been so drastically changed in ways... again very, very, few are actually aware of... the reality of the absolute raping of every type of resource on the earth in the last 150 years is difficult to comprehend... hence many don't... it's so huge it's hard to believe... sounds like science fiction... all in 150 years... astounding... and there are many more people in outright population numbers today than there were 150 years ago... it's worse today...

simple common sense tells a thinking person this cannot continue...

and yes i think global events caused by lack of resources will back super powers into a corner and thermonuclear attacks will happen... not of the absolutely global nature of the cold war maybe... which is kinda worse as that was a huge deterrent...

so my short answer is...

Is human civilization invariably heading towards a cataclysmic collapse?

yes...

yes it is...

movielib
02-22-08, 12:41 PM
Agreed on the top part.

Wikipedia disagrees with you on the nuclear winter though. It seems plausible as per the studies they've got listed there.
...and there are other opinions:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-4580928.html

nemein
02-22-08, 12:48 PM
I agree, but the OP was talking about a huge collapse. With the cold war, the nuclear annihilation could have been practically worldwide with a death count in the billions.

A few terrorists kill some millions of people, or India/Pakistan nuke it out, then yeah, a lot of people die. But that's not the collapse of human civilization.

I disagree, w/ the balance the cold war brought about an all out nuclear conflict (not accounting for a mistake/accidental launch [which frankly I'm still very surprised we haven't had]) was very unlikely IMHO. Granted that's speaking from hindsight and at the time it did seem a very real prospect. Now however, without two sides keeping things in check, a limited exchange is a very real possibility and how people react to that is a very real unknown.

movielib
02-22-08, 01:01 PM
There's plenty of food and there could be a lot more. There are too many repressive governments that inhibit production and trade. The Green Revolution has outstripped the population growth by a longshot. Malthus was wrong. Ehrlich was wrong. He and his disciples are still wrong. Simon was right. Borlaug was right and did something about it.

Virtually all demographers agree that the population will increase to about 9-10 billion by about 2050 and decline thereafter. The falling birthrates all over the world and the historical fact that as societies get wealthier, they have less children attest to that. I don't see any long term problem as long as governments don't muck it up too much and we don't spend trillions of dollars on phantom menaces.

The real menaces:

Short or long term: nuclear war.

Long term: a comet, meteor or asteroid.

Ron G
02-22-08, 01:10 PM
I don't trust the doomsday clock people very much. They have added "climate-changing technologies and 'new developments in the life sciences and nanotechnology that could inflict irrevocable harm.'" (from Wiki) Those are rather silly as catastrophic threats, IMO.

However I do agree with you that the nuclear threat remains (although nuclear winter was a figment of Carl Sagan's imagination)..

The Cuban Missile Crisis seems to be missing from that chart.

nemein
02-22-08, 01:21 PM
The Cuban Missile Crisis seems to be missing from that chart.


Essentially it happened too quick for the people to adjust the clock. From the wiki page...

The setting of the clock has not always been fast enough to cope with the speed of global events, either; one of the closest periods to nuclear war, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, reached its head and resolution in a number of weeks, and the clock either could not be changed or was not changed to reflect any of this at the time.

Ranger
02-22-08, 01:22 PM
Petty resource battles aren't a threat to the human race. Lots may die from nuclear war, but some would still survive.

I think we can blast away asteroids pretty easily even now.

I think that before the sun goes out, the earth may experience a tilt in its axis, which may bring on extreme weather, geographic, and atmospheric changes. Sure, the orbit is stable now.

And as for space exploration, one thing to consider is that the vast majority of other planets are totally impossible to live on, we might have some luck finding something in another galaxy or build some massive self-sustaining space station.

nemein
02-22-08, 01:23 PM
there is not enough food on this planet for humans now... and by a LOOONG shot too... this earth is in famine right now... take all the food and divide it up equally and everybody starves...

It's my understanding it's not a growth problem but a distribution problem. Now I agree we don't have enough food for everyone to eat like an American, and Americans could/should all trim a bit from their diet, but I don't agree w/ the "divide it up equally and everybody starves" mentality.

Dr Mabuse
02-22-08, 02:07 PM
It's my understanding it's not a growth problem but a distribution problem. Now I agree we don't have enough food for everyone to eat like an American, and Americans could/should all trim a bit from their diet, but I don't agree w/ the "divide it up equally and everybody starves" mentality.

in the US everything you say is accurate, but only for the US, there is no reason anyone should go hungry in the US... but they do...

what i posted about the earth being in a state of famine is entirely accurate... there is not enough food for the earth's population now... and it is getting worse... ~100 million more births than deaths each year, i think that's still an accurate figure... it's not my personal theory or a 'mentality'...

Birrman54
02-22-08, 02:17 PM
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/img/worldgr.gif
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/img/worldpch.gif

we're not reproducing faster and faster

movielib
02-22-08, 02:52 PM
I think we can blast away asteroids pretty easily even now.
I'm sure we could become capable of it but I'm not so sure we are yet. While the next such threat is probably way in the future, it's inevitable it will happen some day. Let's be sure we're ready.

Dr Mabuse
02-22-08, 02:57 PM
the growth of the world's population in the last 50 years... a very short time... exceeds the population growth of the earth in the 1000 years before it...

assuming that second chart is roughly accurate... understand what you are looking at...

you are taking an additional 50,000,000 to 90,000,000(i believe we are above that level today) a year...

the worlds population has grown ~4 billion people since 1950 to today... 80,000,000 X 50 = 4,000,000,000... so we have averaged 80 million more births than deaths since 1950... to be more exact 4,000,000,000 / 58 = 68,965,517.2 ...

that is insane population growth... unprecedented in the entire history of earth...

now take that first graph... and again i will assume it is accurate... and apply those percentages...

6,500,000,000 X (1.5%) = 97,500,000... my earlier reference of ~100,000,000 was from memory... so we arrive at ~100,000,000 a year with only a 1.5% growth based on today's population... 6,500,000,000 X (1.25%) = 81,250,000... 6,500,000,000 X (1%) = 65,000,000... even at the low estimate of 1% growth that's ~2/3 of a billion people every ten years, added to this planet...

that is almost as many people as were on the entire earth in 1700... and that number added every ten years...

you need history, and historical context in EVERYTHING to understand it...

we are going to hit a wall... and uninformed denial won't stop it... and i don't think any actions we could take will stop it either...

a global pandemic the likes of the Spanish Influenza(bird flu) that took out an even greater percentage of the world's population would be necessary to slow the inevitable exhausting of resources...

and the world conflict on a scale never seen before that will result...

nemein
02-22-08, 02:58 PM
what i posted about the earth being in a state of famine is entirely accurate... there is not enough food for the earth's population now... and it is getting worse... ~100 million more births than deaths each year, i think that's still an accurate figure... it's not my personal theory or a 'mentality'...


I have to admit I haven't looked at this at all so I don't know what the various camps/positions are... these people would seem to disagree w/ you though

http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm
The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

nemein
02-22-08, 03:06 PM
you need history, and historical context in EVERYTHING to understand it...


Shouldn't you then also be factoring in things like the efficiency of farms and how less land is being used for farming (so theoretically if we did run into real shortages some land could be recaptured for farming)?

Dr Mabuse
02-22-08, 03:20 PM
Shouldn't you then also be factoring in things like the efficiency of farms and how less land is being used for farming (so theoretically if we did run into real shortages some land could be recaptured for farming)?

yes i think so... i think absolutely you should... but the population numbers are so large now they simply outgrow the ability even with advanced farming...

i'm still looking at that site you posted the link to... but let's face it they are coming from a place of hope... which is always a good thing don't get me wrong... even within they context of that site, it's pretty clear that evenly divided the food would sustain the population as of 2002,(which was less people by a half billion btw)... but would leave them in a state of what that site refers to as 'micro nutrient' famine... malnourished...

and look only 40 years down the road... the most widely agreed upon projections put the world's population at around 9,000,000,000... 9 billion people...

try and apply any model of food and water to those numbers...

and assuming that chart above is accurate that's an annual population growth of 90,000,000 a year...

simple common sense reveals what is coming for man... and it's a cataclysm...

not for the earth, it will recover... i mean look at 'The Great Dying' for example... the earth can recover... mankind won't...

the few humans left will live in a very different world...

creekdipper
02-23-08, 05:34 AM
What year does the cataclysm take place?

I need to know since I want to be sure to watch the extended versions of Lord of the Rings first.

Anyway, it's all good since it's just evolution. Embrace the change.

nemein
02-23-08, 06:49 AM
What year does the cataclysm take place?

According to the Myans, 2012 ;)

Tuan Jim
02-23-08, 09:39 AM
Myopia.

Why would we want to go there? Mars is a lot more closer. j/k

Movielib - interesting about the 2050 population forecast. I still remember Bad Religion and others - "10 in 2010".

I guess we don't have much chance of achieving a singularity in the near future at this rate :(

dhmac
02-23-08, 10:25 AM
http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/img/worldpch.gif

we're not reproducing faster and faster
I'm calling "bullshit" on that graph's future projection. Data clearly showing an overall "real" population annual size increase over the past 50 years does not logically lead to a projected annual size decrease over the near future. It's like someone is projecting what they hope for instead of what the data actually indicates.

movielib
02-23-08, 10:33 AM
On-point article for this thread:

http://www.scientific-alliance.org/ (click on "Latest Newsletter")

Newsletter 22nd February 2008
22.02.2008

The "overpopulation" of the UK

Readers of the Telegraph will have seen this week a report that the United Kingdom is actually only capable of supporting 17 million people rather than the nearly 61 million currently living here. This rather worrying conclusion comes from a report published by the Optimum Population Trust, a think tank which, in its own words, " campaigns for stabilisation and gradual population decrease globally and in the UK.".

The majority of people (assuming they are not already OPT members) will probably simply ignore this, but it is worth digging a bit deeper to see what lays behind this. The feeling that the Earth is overpopulated (with human beings, at least) is widespread, particularly in the mainstream environmentalist movement. In their view, reducing the number of people would be beneficial for the planet. At the extreme, there are those who would prefer to see the extinction of human life.

Such views are not new. Perhaps their best known exponent was Mathus, who put forward his influential arguments at the turn of the 19th Century, when the world's population was still less than one billion. His thesis was essentially that populations increase geometrically, while food production can only increase arithmetically. The result would be inevitable mass famine and an automatic cap on population, similar to that for other species.

Paul Ehrlich wrote "The Population Bomb" in 1968, when the population was 3.5 billion. This expanded on an article published a year earlier, from which this often-used quote is taken "the battle to feed all of humanity is over ... In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." More recently, Jared Diamond's book "Collapse" argued that a number of civilizations had failed because they had simply used up all their natural resources.

Malthus was wrong, Ehrlich was wrong, and there is considerable evidence that Diamond was wrong, but their views remain influential. What the Optimum Population Trust and other neo-Malthusians forget or ignore is that nothing is static. They make the mistake of assuming that because food production (or any other variable you care to mention) was X at a certain point and Y in the present, it will continue to evolve smoothly along the same path (or meet an upper limit because of a known constraint). This view takes no account of innovation and progress.

Ehrich also wrote "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980." When he wrote that, India's population was about 0.5 billion. Now it is over 1.1 billion. By most measures, food security has increased markedly over that period. Average energy intake per capita continues to increase, and the proportion of undernourished (though still unacceptably high) is falling slowly.

The remaining problems are socio-economic rather than an inability to produce enough food. One of the key reasons for a situation which Ehrlich found inconceivable 40 years ago was the use of modern plant breeding to bring high-yielding dwarf cereal varieties to India and many other developing countries. The Green Revolution, despite its critics, has given the wherewithal to prove the Malthusians wrong. As Indian farmers are now increasingly adopting GM cotton to give a reliable income from an important cash crop, we can expect to see a further step-change in agricultural productivity in the next few decades.

Being British, the OPT does not advocate drastic solutions to what it sees as the people problem. Rather than advocating mass slaughter or starvation, its most radical proposition is for couples to remain childless or have a maximum of two children. What they take no account of is the tendency of populations to stabilise and fall as societies get richer. In a world of no migration, most European countries would already have shrinking populations, and our attention would be focussed on the people problem from a different perspective. Adapting to a falling population would present real challenges.

The experience in mid-income countries is similar. As life expectancy increases and infant mortality declines, there is an initial population bulge before fertility rates decrease. The Chinese and Indian populations are still increasing quite fast, but they too will doubtless show the same pattern. By mid-century, we may well be in the situation the OPT is promoting, with steadily declining populations in most countries. This will please some people and worry others. One factor which never seems to change is the human capacity for dissatisfaction.

Tracer Bullet
02-23-08, 10:51 AM
We need to get working on replicators and fusion energy. No shortages ever again.

movielib
02-23-08, 10:57 AM
Here is the abstract from a 2001 article in Nature (unfortunately, one needs a subscription to read the entire article):

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v412/n6846/full/412543a0.html

Nature 412, 543-545 (2 August 2001) | doi:10.1038/35087589; Received 30 April 2001; Accepted 22 May 2001

The end of world population growth

Wolfgang Lutz1, Warren Sanderson1,2 & Sergei Scherbov3

1. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
2. Departments of Economics and History, State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York 11794-4384, USA
3. University of Groningen, PO Box 800, NL-9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands

Correspondence to: Wolfgang Lutz1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to W.L. (e-mail: Email: [email protected]).

Abstract

There has been enormous concern about the consequences of human population growth for the environment and for social and economic development. But this growth is likely to come to an end in the foreseeable future. Improving on earlier methods of probabilistic forecasting1, here we show that there is around an 85 per cent chance that the world's population will stop growing before the end of the century. There is a 60 per cent probability that the world's population will not exceed 10 billion people before 2100, and around a 15 per cent probability that the world's population at the end of the century will be lower than it is today. For different regions, the date and size of the peak population will vary considerably.

And here is an graph, with various projections, from the article:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v412/n6846/images/412543ab.2.jpg

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v412/n6846/images/412543ab.2.jpg

bhk
02-23-08, 11:47 AM
Things have never been as good as they are now. The average person today lives better than kings and emperors did in the past, not to mention ordinary people. Resources aren't close to running out.

TheMadMonk
02-23-08, 03:03 PM
in the US everything you say is accurate, but only for the US, there is no reason anyone should go hungry in the US... but they do...

what i posted about the earth being in a state of famine is entirely accurate... there is not enough food for the earth's population now... and it is getting worse... ~100 million more births than deaths each year, i think that's still an accurate figure... it's not my personal theory or a 'mentality'...

Easy Solution: Soylent Green. Any easy fix to the problems of having too many people, and too little food.

rw2516
02-23-08, 05:35 PM
What does population growth and food shortages have to do with the fall of civilization? There will always be the "Haves" and "Have-nots". The "Haves" will always have enough food to keep civilization chugging along. The biggest threat will always be complancy(sp?) which leads to stagnation and then decay.

DVD Polizei
02-23-08, 05:47 PM
Lack of food will create rioting, stealing, killing. Katrina, for example.

crazyronin
02-23-08, 05:59 PM
http://img141.imageshack.us/img141/539/communismisneatdc9.jpg


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