Global Population Issues

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Dragline
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by Dragline »

Apparently Donald Duck came up with a solution to this issue in the sixties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2DkiceqmzU#t=182

Can you imagine Disney making this kind of film today? (It was funded by the Rockefellers.)

Love the guy spraying the DDT in one of the scenes about progress.

methpearice
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by methpearice »

I think obviously more people on this earth increases carbon emissions, but this is a problem that should not be fixed using Nazi-style sterilization techniques or mass genocide. Rather, it can easily be fixed with a global carbon tax. Last time I checked, the cost of having a child is about $250,000 on average. If a carbon tax were introduced, that $250k cost of having a child would increase and parents should on average reduce the number of children they have according to price.

It is true that in advanced countries the average person pollutes more, but in these advanced countries, the cost of having a child is significantly higher. People in advanced countries have very few children because of high costs and the population in advanced countries tends to shrink.

All that is required is that government implement a carbon tax. If government does not implement a carbon tax (or an emissions trading scheme) then you can simply hope that private suppliers of energy will price fix and increase the price of energy high enough so that people reduce their emissions or reduce the number of children they have.

If a left-wing government goes into power, the government will implement a carbon tax that will push prices up, which will reduce energy consumption and reduce population growth. If a right-wing government goes into power, the government will implement privatization in the energy sector, which will lead to collusion and price-fixing behaviour, which will push up prices, which will reduce energy consumption and reduce population growth.

theanimal
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by theanimal »

John B. Calhoun's mouse experiment that mirrors human population growth quite well. I stand by my points made previously in this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z760XNy4VM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._C ... xperiments

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Ego
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by Ego »

I read the novel "Game Control" a few weeks ago. The author used those mouse experiments along with most of the evidence of the time (it's a few years old) to build the case that something needs to be done about the population problem. Sadly she chickened out and turned the main character into a psychopath.... because, of course, any person who would want to actually do something must be a psychopath, right?

Chad
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by Chad »

Ego wrote:I read the novel "Game Control" a few weeks ago. The author used those mouse experiments along with most of the evidence of the time (it's a few years old) to build the case that something needs to be done about the population problem. Sadly she chickened out and turned the main character into a psychopath.... because, of course, any person who would want to actually do something must be a psychopath, right?
It's kind of what US culture still somewhat promotes and religion definitely does. If you don't have children there must be something wrong with you.

http://time.com/3640988/jennifer-anisto ... lfill-you/

I find the old person admonishing the younger person to have kids (usually disguised as a push for marriage), as extremely selfish and closed minded.

Chad
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by Chad »

Dragline wrote:Apparently Donald Duck came up with a solution to this issue in the sixties: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2DkiceqmzU#t=182

Can you imagine Disney making this kind of film today? (It was funded by the Rockefellers.)

Love the guy spraying the DDT in one of the scenes about progress.
They would never do anything even remotely like this. Even if the country was 100% behind something. There is no way Disney allows any of their characters to be used in this manner.

workathome
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by workathome »

theanimal wrote:John B. Calhoun's mouse experiment that mirrors human population growth quite well. I stand by my points made previously in this thread.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z760XNy4VM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_B._C ... xperiments
His conclusion is interesting, but I think what the experiment really proves is that the removal of "natural selection" leads to exponential mutation growth - and not that overcrowding is problematic. This also would lead to the conclusion that "idiocracy" isn't going to be a gradual problem, but a really sharp rise/curve.

So from this position, the encouragement of "family planning" and "birth control" will actually *amplify* the problem. Those who are most capable of voluntarily choosing not to have kids are the ones who should be having kids. So while those who are most capable limit their growth, the part of the population that is incapable of managing their offspring, or lack even the most basic foresight, will have a huge explosion in population growth.

This, of course, could reverse really rapidly in a "black swan" event, but no matter what happens I think the current strategy will backfire and increase total suffering in the long run.

theanimal
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by theanimal »

workathome wrote: His conclusion is interesting, but I think what the experiment really proves is that the removal of "natural selection" leads to exponential mutation growth - and not that overcrowding is problematic. This also would lead to the conclusion that "idiocracy" isn't going to be a gradual problem, but a really sharp rise/curve.
Exactly. I would also state the obvious that the experiment started with four mice. Since there was no check on growth (as WAH stated) and there were "unlimited" resources the population greatly increased, rising exponentially. Notice the resemblance to humans in the modern agricultural system? Now do people see where I'm getting at here?

Another interesting bit from the video that a friend pointed out to me starts at 3:38. "Other young mice growing into adulthood exhibited even a different type of behavior. Dr. Calhoun called these the beautiful ones. Their time was soley devoted to grooming, eating and sleeping. They never involved themselves with others, engaged in sex, nor would they fight. All would appear as a beautiful exhibit of the species. With keen alert eyes and a healthy well kept body."

One can draw a strong comparison to Japan's "grass eaters." http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/yumikos ... 61817.html

Edit: This article does a good breakdown of the mouse experiment with applications to the real world. http://www.returnofkings.com/36915/what ... experiment

This article mentions Easter Island and I think it is an important case study in history to consider. Odd that it hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet (?). I'd say its almost a perfect model of showing the effects of human overpopulation on a small scale. Yet the masses haven't seemed to have learned from their mistake and you can pick from a number of things in current society to replace their giant stone heads. I haven't read much of Collapse, but I believe Jared Diamond goes into this further? I need to finish that book!

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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by jacob »

http://www.amazon.com/Overshoot-Ecologi ... 252009886/

This is the seminal work on overpopulation.

Incidentally, I came across an interesting factoid. It is often mentioned how the entire world's energy needs can be filled by covering some "small" landmass with PV panels. A quick google says 25000 square miles (West Virginia). No problem, eh? This doesn't sound like a lot (unless you live in West Virginia), but it roughly compares to the total area of ALL paved roads in the US. Since the US uses about 1/4 of the world's energy, it means building enough PV panels to cover up the equivalent of 1/4 of all roads in the US with panels. Imagine having to rebuild a quarter of US roads and make them out of silicone panels (that are kept dust/dirt free). Quite a project after all!!

Dragline
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by Dragline »

theanimal wrote:
workathome wrote: His conclusion is interesting, but I think what the experiment really proves is that the removal of "natural selection" leads to exponential mutation growth - and not that overcrowding is problematic. This also would lead to the conclusion that "idiocracy" isn't going to be a gradual problem, but a really sharp rise/curve.
Exactly. I would also state the obvious that the experiment started with four mice. Since there was no check on growth (as WAH stated) and there were "unlimited" resources the population greatly increased, rising exponentially. Notice the resemblance to humans in the modern agricultural system? Now do people see where I'm getting at here?

Another interesting bit from the video that a friend pointed out to me starts at 3:38. "Other young mice growing into adulthood exhibited even a different type of behavior. Dr. Calhoun called these the beautiful ones. Their time was soley devoted to grooming, eating and sleeping. They never involved themselves with others, engaged in sex, nor would they fight. All would appear as a beautiful exhibit of the species. With keen alert eyes and a healthy well kept body."

One can draw a strong comparison to Japan's "grass eaters." http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/yumikos ... 61817.html

Edit: This article does a good breakdown of the mouse experiment with applications to the real world. http://www.returnofkings.com/36915/what ... experiment

This article mentions Easter Island and I think it is an important case study in history to consider. Odd that it hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet (?). I'd say its almost a perfect model of showing the effects of human overpopulation on a small scale. Yet the masses haven't seemed to have learned from their mistake and you can pick from a number of things in current society to replace their giant stone heads. I haven't read much of Collapse, but I believe Jared Diamond goes into this further? I need to finish that book!
I thought the references to Japan, Korea and Germany were more relevant. But the article's conclusion is that we'll be facing depopulation, not overpopulation:

"The mice utopia experiment presents us with a stark vision of our present and our future. As time progresses we will see more evidence that we are heading for a decline in population which is largely driven by social decay."

Then, again, after reading the "About" section of that website, I'm inclined to think that there is heavy selection bias going on: http://www.returnofkings.com/about (see what you think of points 5 and 6).

Still, that the Calhoun studies are subject to multiple interpretive extrapolations, effectively in the eyes of the extrapolators, leads me to discount the value of such extrapolations.

theanimal
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by theanimal »

Yes, I can't say I agree with the website's premise. I provided the link more for an example of potential (real, perceived or not) relations of the study to the modern human world so to speak.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I just read an interesting factoid in "The Invisible History of the Human Race" by Christine Kenneally. It is estimated that approximately 16 million men living today are carrying Genghis Khan's Y chromosome because he fathered so many sons who had many sons themselves but he caused the death of so many other men carrying different Y chromosomes that his actions resulted in a high level of reforestation lasting around 200 years and causing a measurable (.1 part per million) decrease in carbon dioxide levels world wide. This is the only currently known action by a single human being to cause such a decrease.

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jennypenny
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by jennypenny »

Image


I'm trying to dig up the supporting research. Some of it surprised me.

theanimal
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by theanimal »

Here's the article where that image is from:http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 09185.html

Edit: And here's the original study from the journal, Ecology and Society (where the numbers come from):http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss4/art50/

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jennypenny
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by jennypenny »

theanimal wrote:Here's the article where that image is from:http://www.independent.co.uk/environmen ... 09185.html

Edit: And here's the original study from the journal, Ecology and Society (where the numbers come from):http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss4/art50/
That article is making the rounds. It appeared on Smithsonian.com the day before the Independent. I kept seeing the information repeated, but couldn't find the source. Thanks.

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Ego
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by Ego »

The growing trend of eating lower on the food chain might just have the same effect on peak food that fracking has had on peak oil.
http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2010/10/eating ... food-chain

jacob
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by jacob »

No worries, "they'll think of something(*)" ... or we can just eat into capital reserves, eh?

See first graph,
http://www.financialsense.com/contribut ... r-two-days

(most of the world's food reserves now only exist in the "pipelines" e.g. on a truck or ship going from point A to B)

With few exceptions food production is driven by the availability of energy per world capita which peaked around 1980. The US food system uses 15-20%(**) of the total energy available. Energy (and water, but energy (in the form of chemical fertilizer and tractor fuel) is usually the Liebig limit) becomes grain. Grain is then, very inefficiently, turned into meat for those who can afford this inefficiency (caloric waste). This means that cattle (and other farmed meat) acts as a buffer towards input shortages. For example, during the drought in 2013 which made grain and water too expensive, a lot of cattle was killed, thus reducing "demand".

(*) The genetic potential of standard crops has been maxed out but perhaps GMO can increase the yield of wheat.
(**) The desire to share and like videos of falling cats uses about half of this.

theanimal
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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by theanimal »

To round things out..

This study goes into peak water. http://www.pacinst.org/wp-content/uploa ... _pnas3.pdf

It appears that we have already hit the peak in the US sometime in the late 1970s.
Data on total water use is sparse. Few countries or regions collect such data because of the physical or political difficulties of accurately measuring water withdrawals from countless diverse sources to meet agricultural, industrial, commercial, and domestic needs. As a result, identifying peak water limits will be difficult. Nevertheless, there is some strong evidence that the United States may have already passed the point of peak water, including peak renewable, nonrenewable, and ecological water. Fig. 9 shows US gross domestic product (in 2005 dollars) plotted with total water withdrawals in the United States, for all purposes, from 1900 to 2005, based on data from state and federal wateragencies, compiled largely by the US Geological Survey’s water use assessments (31). These two curves grew exponentially, in lockstep, through the first three-quarters of the 20th century. After the late 1970s, however, the two curves split apart, and total water withdrawals in the United States are now below their maximum level. Per-capita water withdrawals have fallen even more, as population has also continued to grow. Some of the reasons for this dramatic change include improving efficiency of water use, changes in the structure of the US economy, the implementation of the Clean Water Act, which led to reductions in industrial water use and discharges, and physical, economic, and environmental constraints on access to new supplies. Some of the reasons for this change are explored in more detail elsewhere (32). But the graph suggests that the United States may well be past the point of peak water
Image

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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by theanimal »

Overpopulation and Over Consumption in pictures
http://www.theguardian.com/global-devel ... n-pictures

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Re: Global Population Issues

Post by jacob »

Depressing ... reminded me of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM1-DQ2Wo_w ... but of course it's more complicated than that. Problem being that humans are different in kind, not just in degree. We're the apex predator but have so far modeled our expansion on an engineering model (see agriculture) instead of an ecological one. Our only natural enemy are epidemics and/or running out of resources. Holding such a position requires extreme measures of systems-theoretic maturity.

It's obvious from our individual behaviors that we [humans] totally lack that.

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