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Getting distracted.
Dingo
#1 Posted : Monday, September 9, 2013 2:39:33 PM(UTC)
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One of the problems with getting overpopulation in focus is a kind of false equality given to every environmental challenge that comes up. For instance overpopulation and fossil fuel overload are essentially fatal long term while something sexier like a Fukushima or Chernobyl nuclear radiation spill, as bad as it is, is primarily a local problem, with low mortality consequences and doesn't seem to have long term environment destroying characteristics, judging from the robust natural comeback in the evacuated area around Chernobyl.

I'm just saying let's get our priorities straight or we will be endlessly distracted by every environmental scare that comes up. And whatever the problem, population is an important driver.

This article by Monbiot on Helen Caldicott, the queen of the nuclear radiation scare, gives us some sense of the problem of obsessive distraction.
http://www.monbiot.com/2...04/04/evidence-meltdown/
Val
#2 Posted : Sunday, September 15, 2013 3:02:14 PM(UTC)
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My old friend, Prof. Al Bartlett died a week ago. I also was taking 3rd year biology/ecology, along with his exponential math class, including his lecture from 1969 "Arithmetic, Population, and Energy". I had occasionally emailed him.
I had done a paper on population curves, where I found a point in time where one child families by limited force, yielding a 1.3 net TFR, would not work after 1998, to prevent a mass die-off from the lower maximum food supply and water supply in the late 2040s. Since then, the crash, in all practicality can not be stopped. Then there are emissions and their effects and rates of increase in global biosphere temperature and GHGs which are roughly 10 times PETM.
Since AETM would include the extinction of more species than the asteroid strike 65 million years ago, this is more important a subject. The reason is because it prevents our extinction relatively soon, if the emissions are cut enough in time. So it is still probably preventable "theoretically". Knowing human psychology more from life than all the classes, people will probably keep going business as usual with both their breeding and emissions, or too little too late.
Still gotta try until for sure it is too late circa 2023. Life will continue to get harder and lets hope we don't become cannibal food! Mass madness could start in the 2030s.
Dingo
#4 Posted : Friday, November 21, 2014 8:04:20 AM(UTC)
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Personally I don't find date certain predictions about when we give up the ghost very convincing. The closest point of broad scientific agreement is that we don't want to get beyond a 2 deg C temp. rise or a 450 ppb level of CO2, at which point civilization as we know it will break down, but somewhat short of extinction. The extinction point doesn't seem to elicit any scientific agreement so I don't go there. After all we may master the ability to live on asteroids and turn oil into food. Who knows what wonders science will come up with.

It is enough for me to know that more people means bad news across the board and a permanent game of musical chairs with the future chairs in diminishing mode. Another analogy is killing the goose that lays the Golden Eggs out of present greed. It can't have a happy outcome but it is hard to detail out the 'when' and 'what' when Homo Sapien Sapien has so many tricks up his sleeve.

Pretty much all the political reactions appear to be too little too late as far as avoiding a civilization crash. We cut back on coal use here and then sell it to China and pat ourselves on the back for being environmentally conscious. It's just fun and games from a planetary perspective. And then we hold out hope that maybe by 2100 the population will have stabilized at 10 billion. Well if we were wise to start with we would never even contemplate reaching that point.
1 user thanked Dingo for this useful post.
zhang on 1/4/2015(UTC)
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