Is the earth getting overpopulated?

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by -1- » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:12 pm

Greta wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:57 pm
When we have replaced all environmental assets with poor people, does that mean that poor people then get to eat poor people?
I have known some alcoholics who paid for their last drinks in the month'by taking back their empties. A bit like people eating people to make more people.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Science Fan » 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?

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:05 am

Dubious wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:12 am
We rightly depend on the power of technology to supply those solutions if given that time. But if the screw-ups continue screwing up, well then...let's all pray together!
Yes that I wholeheartedly agree with. Our history is inventing technology that keeps us one step ahead of what everyone says the latest disaster is going to be. Malthus again. People love to worry and we're a clever species. As long as you agree it's possible we might figure out a solution to our present environmental dilemma that doesn't starve too many poor people, reasonable people can talk about what those solutions might be.

I would say that I jumped into this thread casually. Environmental issues aren't really one of my interests. In any conversation like this, I'll certainly be out-passioned by pretty much everyone. So if I casually toss out an unpopular opinion like, "The real problem is underpopulation," I immediately find myself having to defend my stance against people with strong opinions about the subject, when in fact I haven't got much investment in my own opinion. I do believe in the truth and validity of my underpopulation thesis, but if anyone strongly objects, that's ok. As long as I'm one of the population, that's all I need! I won't be around in fifty years to see if my thesis made sense or if I was completely wrong about everything.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:12 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?
Yes yes thank you that is my point. These days there are many strongly impassioned people who are simply certain beyond all certainty that there are too many people and that environmental catastrophe is upon us. I'm just not one of those people. I don't think we really know. Which, frankly, was why I posted that factoid about 95% of the people living on only 10% of the land. Of course land area is only one of the many dimensions of the problem. There are air, and water, and energy, and all the other factors. People really jumped on my casual factoid on the basis that I didn't write a thesis. I was a little surprised by that. Like I say, I'm more of a foreign policy type. John Bolton worries me. Climate change is not such an immediate concern.

But that's the thing. Malthus and Erlich. Wrong and wrong but equally certain. Maybe "this time it's different" and 8 million is the MAX and we are doomed. Or maybe not.

It's the inability of some people to even accept the possibility that "maybe not," that I don't understand. I do not understand the certainty of some environmentalists.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:39 am

wtf wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:12 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?
Yes yes thank you that is my point. These days there are many strongly impassioned people who are simply certain beyond all certainty that there are too many people and that environmental catastrophe is upon us. I'm just not one of those people. I don't think we really know. Which, frankly, was why I posted that factoid about 95% of the people living on only 10% of the land. Of course land area is only one of the many dimensions of the problem. There are air, and water, and energy, and all the other factors. People really jumped on my casual factoid on the basis that I didn't write a thesis. I was a little surprised by that. Like I say, I'm more of a foreign policy type. John Bolton worries me. Climate change is not such an immediate concern.

But that's the thing. Malthus and Erlich. Wrong and wrong but equally certain. Maybe "this time it's different" and 8 million is the MAX and we are doomed. Or maybe not.

It's the inability of some people to even accept the possibility that "maybe not," that I don't understand. I do not understand the certainty of some environmentalists.
However, if we are serious about this rather than just cunningly rhetorical, we observe the evidence before us - the crowds, gridlocks, discord, pollution, malnutrition, poverty, homelessness, war, extinctions - and it's so blindingly obvious that the Earth is unsustainably overpopulated with humans one can wonder how anyone can be oblivious to it.

One can imagine all sorts of idealism - if only wealth was spread more evenly, if only energy production and use was more sustainable, if only food was distributed better, etc. If only, if only, if only. Not reality.

In the real world, as humanity is today, the world is very much overpopulated by humans and their works. Most of the untamed parts of the Earth's land masses are either uninhabitable or support the remaining, but dwindling, ecosystems. No one has an explanation for how humans are supposed to live in the midst of broken ecosystems and ruined land. It's not been tried before. I suppose if the wealthy stayed in protected domes and ate 3D-printed food based on microbes, they could be okay.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Atla » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:01 am

Greta wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:39 am
the crowds, gridlocks, discord, pollution, malnutrition, poverty, homelessness, war, extinctions - and it's so blindingly obvious that the Earth is unsustainably overpopulated with humans one can wonder how anyone can be oblivious to it.
What sort of tunnel vision could it be that makes many people oblivious to this? It's really inconceivable for me.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:06 am

Atla wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:01 am
Greta wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:39 am
the crowds, gridlocks, discord, pollution, malnutrition, poverty, homelessness, war, extinctions - and it's so blindingly obvious that the Earth is unsustainably overpopulated with humans one can wonder how anyone can be oblivious to it.
What sort of tunnel vision could it be that makes many people oblivious to this? It's really inconceivable for me.
One that is looking through the lens of idealism, seemingly.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by wtf » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:54 am

The U.S. fertility rate just hit a historic low. Why some demographers are freaking out.

The United States is in the midst of what some worry is a baby crisis. The number of women giving birth has been declining for years and just hit a historic low. If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.

According to provisional 2016 population data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, the number of births fell 1 percent from a year earlier, bringing the general fertility rate to 62.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. The trend is being driven by a decline in birthrates for teens and 20-somethings. The birthrate for women in their 30s and 40s increased — but not enough to make up for the lower numbers in their younger peers.

A country's birthrate is among the most important measures of demographic health. The number needs to be within a certain range, called the “replacement level,” to keep a population stable so that it neither grows nor shrinks. If too low, there's a danger that we wouldn't be able to replace the aging workforce and have enough tax revenue to keep the economy stable. Countries such as France and Japan that have low birthrates have put pro-family policies into place to try to encourage couples to have babies. The flip side can also be a problem. Birthrates that are too high can strain resources such as clean water, food, shelter and social services, problems faced by India, where the fertility rate has fallen over the past few decades but still remains high.


More ...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to- ... 8f9b1e8be9

(May hit annoying WaPo paywall if you've read too many of their articles, but this link can be viewed in Chrome Incognito mode).

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Science Fan » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:18 am

If we only had technology that existed 200 years ago available to us today, then billions of people would be dying off soon as a result of overpopulation. However, given our greater technology, we can support a much larger population than existed 200 years ago, and provide a far better life than what anyone had 200 years ago. Most people who think there are too many people never look at the issue as one involving technology, and that with a larger population, comes more smart people who can invent better technology for us. So, I'm still puzzled how anyone could even come up with a way to rationally compute whether there are too many people.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Greta » Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:48 am

Do you believe ecosystems are necessary for human survival? If so, then we are profoundly overpopulated. End of debate.


Seemingly I am one of the few here who is not happy about record extinctions, loss of wild ecosystems, inflating housing prices and rents with increasing resultant homelessness, worse traffic jams, longer queues, crowded pavements, circling around seeking rare parking spaces, being jammed onto train stations, trains and buses so intensely that it constricts breathing, increased pollution, reduction of green spaces and removal of heritage homes for billion dollar apartments. Never mind the 60 million refugees and massively growing slave populations (which is what happens when there are too many people to control those on the fringes even to a small extent).

Further, immigration is increasingly conducted dishonestly, with migrants being drawn in with promises of opportunity when most of them will almost certainly be thrown on the scrapheap due to automation redundancy in the next decade and then reviled as "foreign welfare bludgers".

If we are building ever smarter machines to do our work, why would we want a world with 10, 20, 50 or 100 billion people? To do what? It's clear that many here see no possible human population limit. Just keep improving the tech and cramming them in. Got complaints about living in a smoggy shoebox? "Complain about your first world problems elsewhere" would seem to be the response.

If your visions of the future are the most influential then I am relieved that I will be dead and spared the torture, although I pity those who will be dealing with it. The future will bring the difference between living and survival into sharper focus.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Walker » Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:14 am

Greta wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:48 am
Do you believe ecosystems are necessary for human survival? If so, then we are profoundly overpopulated. End of debate.


Seemingly I am one of the few here who is not happy about record extinctions, loss of wild ecosystems, inflating housing prices and rents with increasing resultant homelessness, worse traffic jams, longer queues, crowded pavements, circling around seeking rare parking spaces, being jammed onto train stations, trains and buses so intensely that it constricts breathing, increased pollution, reduction of green spaces and removal of heritage homes for billion dollar apartments. Never mind the 60 million refugees and massively growing slave populations (which is what happens when there are too many people to control those on the fringes even to a small extent).

Further, immigration is increasingly conducted dishonestly, with migrants being drawn in with promises of opportunity when most of them will almost certainly be thrown on the scrapheap due to automation redundancy in the next decade and then reviled as "foreign welfare bludgers".

If we are building ever smarter machines to do our work, why would we want a world with 10, 20, 50 or 100 billion people? To do what? It's clear that many here see no possible human population limit. Just keep improving the tech and cramming them in. Got complaints about living in a smoggy shoebox? "Complain about your first world problems elsewhere" would seem to be the response.

If your visions of the future are the most influential then I am relieved that I will be dead and spared the torture, although I pity those who will be dealing with it. The future will bring the difference between living and survival into sharper focus.
If we are building ever smarter machines to do our work, why would we want a world with 10, 20, 50 or 100 billion people?

I thought there are not enough babies being born for that to happen. Replacement birthrate.

High birthrate countries are invading low birthrate countries.

Folks just naturally go where they need to go, to get the stuff they need.

Resources are being resourced even as we write.

Don’t panic.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Atla » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:26 am

Greta wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:06 am
Atla wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:01 am
Greta wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:39 am
the crowds, gridlocks, discord, pollution, malnutrition, poverty, homelessness, war, extinctions - and it's so blindingly obvious that the Earth is unsustainably overpopulated with humans one can wonder how anyone can be oblivious to it.
What sort of tunnel vision could it be that makes many people oblivious to this? It's really inconceivable for me.
One that is looking through the lens of idealism, seemingly.
Yeah it might be some sort of idealism plus an inability to see the big picture. Reminds me of the Sensing-Intuition dimension of the MBTI. For sensors, one topic is always pretty much disconnected from the next, they don't really make connections let alone see everything as part of one big whole. Inconceivable for me, but sensors make up like 73% of the population, it's their world.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Dontaskme » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:55 am

Philosophy Explorer wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:10 pm
Is the earth getting overpopulated?
No, there is nothing populating space, but space itself.

There is nothing in space that shouldn't be there, because quite simply there is only space here...space can't be separated from itself.....try stepping out of the space you occupy, or does space occupy you?

If there was no space to place space, then space would stop placing - but space can do anything it likes, just watch this space and see what happens, you'll see that no thing is watching, or placing, or spacing...but space itself.

.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by Science Fan » 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.

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Re: Is the earth getting overpopulated?

Post by -1- » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:11 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.
Right now there are not too many people. People are too many when the resources are not enough to fulfill the basic needs of everyone. That can be measured by the proliferation of war for fertile land, arable land, or drinking water supply.

Some wars have already been fought in modern times, for the securing of basic resources. The war in Darfour has been declared (I think by the United Nations, but I don't say this as a fact) as a war of direct consequence of loss of resources to sustain life of everyone over an area, and caused by Global Warming. Famines due to draught has historically been a localized force to make a population too numerous. The potato boom in Ireland was the reason for a population boom there, which fell on its face due to a bad crop. The Biafran and Ethiopian droughts also acted as getting a regular-sized population become too big of a population.

You see, it's a two-edged sword which squeezes mankind: more people (perhaps) generate an accelerated global warming, and global warming can (and this is not proven) act as a reducing force of arable land.

It is not sure that over the next few decades an increasing population will have less arable land available. The global wamming may cause the lowlands of the North of Canada (the Tundra) and of Siberia (The Pramplra) become immensely fertile land, source of a bounty of good food, because the lands there are full of nutritive contents. (Not having been sucked up by vegetation.)

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