Is the earth getting overpopulated?

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by -1- » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:19 am

Science Fan wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:54 pm
Isn't this an epistemological issue? How can any person know whether there are too many people or not? Is a single person in a better position to decide whether a person should have a child than the person having the child? Based on what? Is a single person in a better position to decide on the precise number of people that should be living now, as opposed to the billions of people who are alive and who decide whether to have a child or not? How could anyone know such a thing?
Same thing I think with eradicating poverty. Currently the poverty threshold in Canada is an income of $21,000 per annum per single person. 20% of Canadians live in poverty. How can we eliminate poverty altogether? Easy. set the poverty line to $0 annual income. This way only those will be declared poor who have lost more money than they have made. So if a millionaire's asses go from 34,993,382 in one year to 32,033,943 dollars the next, he is under the poverty line. As long as the poverty line is established to be a positive real number.

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Greta
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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:02 am

Science Fan wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
If one assumes that the Earth is overpopulated because we have environmental problems, then one is assuming that the environmental problems are due to overpopulation as opposed to other causes. If we behaved differently ...
If if if. If only we could have world peace too.

The fact is that this is how human beings behave - the demonstration of this is in front of you. So, based on the way real human beings behave in the real world, we are unsustainably overpopulated. We are very flawed but it's to be expected, given that we only stopped nailing people to bits of wood a couple of thousand years ago. There was never a manual telling intelligent, empowered species how to build sustainable societies numbering in the billions.

Since we are unable to control the situation and unable to agree on how many is too many, nature will inevitably take its course and let us know how many humans are sustainable. My guess is it will be between 10% and 30% of our current numbers.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Dubious » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:45 am

Science Fan wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:21 pm
If one assumes that the Earth is overpopulated because we have environmental problems, then one is assuming that the environmental problems are due to overpopulation as opposed to other causes. If we behaved differently, we could easily see a situation where the environmental concerns were reduced, even with a rising population.

I still see no one coming forward with an explanation for how we could even know whether there are too many people, the right number, or too few.

Your inquiry presupposes we can calculate a fixed number as a limit which is almost impossible to do. There are far too many variables ecological and sociological; the factors are manifold in each due to its own distinct operations without further mention how it all gets reticulated into one system with all of its consequent abounding interactions. It's conceivable that in the future earth can only support a billion or two, which now supports eight billion or that it could hypothetically support 15 or 20 billion if nature looks kindly on us providing we don't screw up and also plan for societies to be far more efficient.

As I see it, the number is a variable based on what nature does AND how we arrange our infrastructures and behaviors. Unfortunately, it seems we need a new human to get it right once and for all.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by gaffo » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:05 am

yes

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Science Fan » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:43 pm

Gaffo: Please identify the equation you used to come up with your unsubstantiated claim that the Earth is overpopulated, and tell us precisely what the actual population should be? Or, are you simply engaging in leftist ideology, which consists of bullshit, yet again?

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Melchior » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:27 am

Not by humans. There are huge tracts of empty space in West Virginia and eastern Germany.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:54 pm

Greta wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:48 am
... circling around seeking rare parking spaces ...
You can't find a place to park in the trendy part of town, therefore the earth is overpopulated?

You used to be a rather thoughtful type. What happened?
Greta wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:48 am
... inflating housing prices and rents ...
The rent is too damn high? Remember Jimmy McMillan? He's the founder of The Rent is Too Damn High party. Your kind of guy.

From this you draw the conclusion that 70% of the world's population should die? If you were teaching freshman logic, would you pass a student who made that argument?

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:17 am

wtf wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:54 pm
Greta wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:48 am
... circling around seeking rare parking spaces ...
You can't find a place to park in the trendy part of town, therefore the earth is overpopulated?

You used to be a rather thoughtful type. What happened?
Greta wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:48 am
... inflating housing prices and rents ...
The rent is too damn high? Remember Jimmy McMillan? He's the founder of The Rent is Too Damn High party. Your kind of guy.

From this you draw the conclusion that 70% of the world's population should die? If you were teaching freshman logic, would you pass a student who made that argument?
You completely ignored all of the global factors mentioned (extinctions, wars, displacement, ecosystem collapse, loss of arable land) and focused on the more personal ones. Why? Seemingly to hold up a straw person example of how "trivial" my concerns are. Weak.

It appears that you have an undeclared emotional investment in this topic that is rendering you unusually non-responsive to reason. Your arguments here have been uncharacteristically unconvincing, short-sighted, shallow and emotionally manipulative. Consider 50, 100, 1000 years' time. Do you really think that the population can stabilise at around 11 billion or so, and the natural environment - already groaning under the impact of 7 billion - will continue to support them all? How many of the 11 billion would have a decent lifestyle - and for how long?

The idea of so many surviving reasonably is a fantasy - and a dangerous one, preventing concerted action being taken for humanity's very largest problem.

As mentioned earlier, the main issue with population reductions (aside from the pain and sorrow) is that smaller populations produce fewer innovators, although they also "waste" fewer of them. Meanwhile, AI is expected to be capable of greater innovations than humans could imagine well before the turn of the century, and in that may be humanity's best hope of stabilising what is currently an unsustainable situation. Or another problem.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by duszek » Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:30 pm

Is there any country or area whose density of population could be considered just right ?
In the UK perhaps ?

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:24 pm

Greta wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:17 am
You completely ignored all of the global factors mentioned (extinctions, wars, displacement, ecosystem collapse, loss of arable land) and focused on the more personal ones. Why?
Because your examples (you can't find a place to park) were so laughably weak, that they called attention to your emotional and irrational zealotry regarding these issues. I do wonder why as you were wring this ("I can't find a parking space! We're all doomed!") you didn't say to yourself, "Wow, that's a lame argument. Maybe I should step back and think about this." But you didn't. Your zealotry blinded you to rationality.

I was not going to respond to this post since I have no wish to argue with you and arguing with climate hysterics is pointless. But yesterday I saw this in the paper.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cha ... -1.3933598

A 60 year old man, a prominent gay rights attorney, suicided by setting himself on fire (surely an unpleasant death) to protest climate change. His suicide note ironically pointed out that he doused himself in "fossil fuels." I was immediately reminded of your uncharacteristically irrational posts in this thread.

What do you think of this story? Do you think his action was justified? You do seem to share his irrational passion.

The fact that you can't find a place to park your car is because we have a global economy based on fossil fuels. Do you want us all to go back to living in caves? If you live in any area where it's hard to find parking, then you live in a densely populated urban area. If the fossil fuel economy disappeared tomorrow morning, you would starve to death within a week.

I'm guessing you don't live on a farm. There's plenty of parking on farms, and you don't have to use fossil fuels to go to the store to eat. You just butcher a cow or a chicken. You know how to butcher cows or chickens? Why do you live in a densely populated urban area and complain about parking? You can always move to a farm. Although these days, farms run on fossil fuels and computers. You dream of a bygone agrarian age that no longer exists except in subsistence economies. I used to live in Mexico only 150 miles from where they pick strawberries for five dollars a day. Is that the kind of society you dream of?

You yourself in this thread said that 70% of the earth's population should die. Is this really something you advocate? It's something you wrote. It's exactly what would happen if our fossil fuel economy disappeared.

There is actually a solution for some of our dirty energy problems, and that's nuclear. France, Iran, and even Arizona run on nuclear energy. Yet environmentalists have forced a moratorium on nuke plants. Where do you think the electricity for your electric car comes from? It comes from dirty coal.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:53 pm

ps -- I could not say any of this better than in this opinion piece by James Delingpole.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government ... -insanity/

(Everything below here is copied from the article)

Environmentalism has a long history of attracting cranks, loons and zealots.
There was the Unabomber, whose Manifesto was all but indistinguishable from Al Gore’s Earth In Balance.

There was James Lee, the eco-terrorist who in 2010 was shot by police at the Discovery Channel after taking hostages, leaving behind rambling messages protesting about “overpopulation” and the need to “the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies.”

Now there is David S Buckel, a lawyer who burnt himself to death in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, apparently in the belief that this would set some kind of moral example to all those people out there bent on destroying the planet.

Here is how Buckel put it in an email to the New York Times:

“Pollution ravages our planet, oozing inhabitability via air, soil, water and weather. Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result — my early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

Buckel may, as the New York Times describes him, have been a “prominent” lawyer who did much good work in the field of gay rights. But the very last thing I hope anyone will do is to listen to his final words on the environment.

First, he is wrong historically. The history of human progress is the history of a journey from primitive conditions, long working hours and backbreaking toil into one of much greater leisure, abundance and health. This is one of the many things that fossil fuels have done for us: by supplying the energy intensity equivalent of many hundreds of horses, many thousands of men. Compare the average lifespan of people who lived in the West before the Industrial Revolution and people who live in it now. The disparity makes an absolute nonsense of that stuff about “many” dying “early deaths”: people had it way worse in the pre-industrial age.

Second, he is wrong economically. Every decision involves trade offs. When we opt to use, say, renewables over fossil fuels we are sending a message to the world: that we prize green virtue-signalling and the bank balances of crony capitalists in the renewables sector over the needs of ordinary energy users and the broader economy. There is nothing intrinsically noble about rejecting fossil fuels in favor of energy which is more expensive, more inefficient, more economically disruptive and, ultimately, more environmentally damaging.

Third he is wrong logically. Dousing yourself in gasoline and committing suicide by self-immolation is a horrible way to go. But it tells us no more about the evils of fossil fuels than driving your car at 100mph into a tree would tell you about the evils of cars. “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death,” claimed Buckel in one of his suicide messages. But there was no honor in this death. It was just ugly, pointless and sad.

Still, there are definitely lessons to be learned from Buckel’s tragedy. Perhaps the most obvious is the degree to which even intelligent, successful, educated people have been poisoned by green groupthink.

What does it say about our culture that a man of Buckel’s professional stature could live 60 years and never once stop to appreciate that all the things that have made Western industrial civilisation so generally comfortable and pleasant to live in stem ultimately from our access to cheap, abundant, efficient carbon-based energy?

Buckel’s death had nothing to do with fossil fuels; everything to do with the brainwashing of the environmental movement.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 pm

wtf wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:24 pm
Greta wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:17 am
You completely ignored all of the global factors mentioned (extinctions, wars, displacement, ecosystem collapse, loss of arable land) and focused on the more personal ones. Why?
Because your examples (you can't find a place to park) were so laughably weak, that they called attention to your emotional and irrational zealotry regarding these issues. I do wonder why as you were wring this ("I can't find a parking space! We're all doomed!") you didn't say to yourself, "Wow, that's a lame argument. Maybe I should step back and think about this." But you didn't. Your zealotry blinded you to rationality.
"Zealotry". Reduced to ad hominems I see. Your credibility is now shot. This is not surprising since your case is laughably weak and out of touch with reality. While the Earth and humanity suffer through overpopulation, you stay in denial.

I also note that you rabbit on about "climate hysterics", complain about my so-called weak arguments and then present at length the sad case of a mentally disturbed man as relevant to this topic. We do have the option of speaking like civilised human beings, which was something you used to do until this recent abandonment of your principles.

It's quite odd to see - are you connected with the fossil fuel industry in your work? I have met decent people who work in the coal industry who turn rather strange and nasty when you talk about replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. If this question offends you, it's a long way from suggesting that the other is insane and likely to self-immolate :lol: WTF indeed.
wtf wrote:I was not going to respond to this post since I have no wish to argue with you and arguing with climate hysterics is pointless.
Hmm, perhaps then you'd best stick with material you agree with? I believe the Murdoch tabloids and Trump's Twitter feed should provide satisfaction.
wtf wrote:Do you want us all to go back to living in caves?
No, I want us to modernise. You are the regressive here - wanting higher populations and to ignore global warming.
wtf wrote:I'm guessing you don't live on a farm.
90% of people live in cities. Do they matter?
wtf wrote:]You dream of a bygone agrarian age that no longer exists except in subsistence economies.
Your asinine assumption is diametrically opposite to my preferred option of hugely ramping up investment in R&D - in both renewable energy and AI. This was obvious from my other posts - if you'd bothered actually reading rather than stereotyping and shadow boxing.
wtf wrote:]You yourself in this thread said that 70% of the earth's population should die. Is this really something you advocate? It's something you wrote. It's exactly what would happen if our fossil fuel economy disappeared.
What I think is likely and what I want are two different things. The fossil fuel industry should be be replaced as a matter of urgency. I also note your alarmist doomsday scenarios should the fossil fuel industry disappear tomorrow. If any industry disappeared tomorrow there would be chaos and death - this is because we live in systems, obviously.

However, infrastructure systems don't just disappear (without bombing or natural disasters); they are replaced, and it's the pace of change that is at issue here due to the policy inertia encouraged by fossil fuel lies and lobbying.

Further, if there is an answer to the nuclear waste problem - either with thorium of intensive recycling of radioactive materials) - and it becomes a viable threat to the fossil fuel industry, then you can expect the companies to similarly interfere with progress there. Fossil fuel companies have been stymieing progress towards cleaner energy for over half a century and they will no doubt continue fight all measures that don't result in their profit.

When it comes to fossil fuel company behaviour, it's to be expected. They have been amongst the most wealthy and powerful entities in history, and they won't give up their position without a fight, even if it means radical biosphere change and what that entails: https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... on-patents

Too many people, too much carbon being burned, too many species dying out too quickly. There is perhaps no happy answer, in which case we return to the scenario of a significant portion of the world's human population going away. I note that you assumed that this was something I wanted, which is simply loony :lol: We are allowed to acknowledge things we'd rather not be happening, you know.
Last edited by Greta on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:07 am

Greta wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 pm
I note that you assumed that this was something I wanted
I read what you wrote. I don't think you did else you would not have made such a weak argument as to complain about parking.

Do you support the guy who committed suicide because of global warming? He lived in Brooklyn. No parking there, probably drove him to his act.

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Greta
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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am

wtf wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:07 am
Greta wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:41 pm
I note that you assumed that this was something I wanted
I read what you wrote. I don't think you did else you would not have made such a weak argument as to complain about parking.

Do you support the guy who committed suicide because of global warming? He lived in Brooklyn. No parking there, probably drove him to his act.
You read nothing - obviously. I was pissed off about parking hassles and slipped it in there - and now you are obsessed with it and chosen to deliberately ignore my other points - to present me as only interested in parking, thus, trivial, thus wrong. A simple ad hominem by implied metonymy.

Now we have this repeated referencing of a tragic case of mental illness, parading this grotesquery triumphantly like a symbol of some kind of "victory" in your mind that you can maintain as long as you ignore everything I write (aside from parking).

In truth, you have lost this discussion badly - but I am not at all pleased because you remain intransigent and lost on the issue, and it should have been a discussion rather than an argument in the first place. So I haven't been able to help and thus I am not pleased with the obvious "win" - just a pointless pyrrhic victory that means nothing. The parking reference was a mistake - it gave you the chance to distract and play games and derail the talk, and then for some reason you felt compelled to add this loony burning man tragedy as "evidence" of problems with my arguments ...?

I prefer to not speak defensively like a lawyer. I'd rather not fuss with minor details, trusting that others will try to understand my gist, as I try to understand theirs. However, the adversarial approach of politicians, lawyers and the media has infected philosophy forums, with people arguing like politicians rather than debating like philosophers - just looking for loopholes, tricks, tiny "chinks in the armour" to exploit, or using rhetoric to distract or diminish. This, as opposed to simply aiming for the closest approximation of reality in any given matter.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:14 am

Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am

You read nothing - obviously. I was pissed off about parking hassles and slipped it in there
You -- repeat YOU -- asked me why I mentioned it. I answered YOUR QUESTION. The answer is that it's such an obviously lame argument that I wonder why you didn't stop yourself as you were typing it. And why is that by the way? If a philosopher makes a weak argument that they know to be weak, and they make the argument anyway, whose fault is it that someone calls them out on it?

Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am
Now we have this repeated referencing
Once?
Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am
of a tragic case of mental illness
Yet his rhetoric and lack of perspective was eerily similar to yours.
Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am
, parading this grotesquery triumphantly like a symbol of some kind of "victory" in your mind that you can maintain as long as you ignore everything I write
Now that I've seen you lamely trying to defend what you already know was a weak argument, I'll be happy to ignore everything you write from now on.
Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am
and then for some reason you felt compelled to add this loony burning man tragedy as "evidence" of problems with my arguments ...?
I was struck by the similarity of his rhetoric to yours, and to so much of the loony climate rhetoric from the left.
Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am
I prefer to not speak defensively like a lawyer. I'd rather not fuss with minor details, trusting that others will try to understand my gist, as I try to understand theirs.
I do understand your gist. You're a climate nut incapable of rational discussion of the issue. You made that perfectly clear. I was disappointed in you but now that I know, I'll stop reading your posts entirely. It's a waste of my time.

Greta wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:22 am
This, as opposed to simply aiming for the closest approximation of reality in any given matter.
So did you find a place to park yet? And if you hate fossil fuels so much, what is you're trying to park? Electric cars burn MORE net fossil fuels than gasoline powered cars. You could look it up.

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