View Poll Results: Is the world overpopulated

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  • the more the merrier

    20 39.22%
  • overpopulation is a problem but I am against child quotas

    19 37.25%
  • overpopulation is a problem and we need child quotas

    11 21.57%
  • but but but, my kid may be the one to save the world

    1 1.96%
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Thread: is the population bomb real

  1. #61
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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Tremendous pessimism on this thread. We also thought we were going to run out of oil by now and technology and science has helped us find more oil and more effeciently extract it. The cause of starvation is not finite resources but political corruption. The point brought up earlier about the sun being a finite resource probably best describes the point. You have to make a lot of assumptions about the future to claim that we are running out of anything. Need and Necessity are the mother of all inventions. Of course we are not producing a giant excess of food right now. This is not death a nail for the future it is simply a reality of how supply and demand works. Why would we want tons of excess food? What a waste of resources. I think the larger question to be asked is who should be responsible for the population limits envisioned in this thread. On who's authority and which elites will retain the power and force to ensure these dictates are followed? People left free will solve these problems without the need for force. Attempts at centrally planning solutions to population problems are problematic at best and in all likelyhood would be catastrophic. Remove barriers to trade, barriers to work, barriers to create businesses and let people go about the needed work of fulfilling the needs/demands of the world population. The eventual scarcity in resources as postulated if it ever becomes a problem will become apparent in price actions in the market. Today prices go down with increases in efficency and productivity so cleary resource contraints are not the issue.

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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by JWhite View Post
    Tremendous pessimism on this thread. We also thought we were going to run out of oil by now and technology and science has helped us find more oil and more effeciently extract it. The cause of starvation is not finite resources but political corruption. The point brought up earlier about the sun being a finite resource probably best describes the point. You have to make a lot of assumptions about the future to claim that we are running out of anything. Need and Necessity are the mother of all inventions. Of course we are not producing a giant excess of food right now. This is not death a nail for the future it is simply a reality of how supply and demand works. Why would we want tons of excess food? What a waste of resources. I think the larger question to be asked is who should be responsible for the population limits envisioned in this thread. On who's authority and which elites will retain the power and force to ensure these dictates are followed? People left free will solve these problems without the need for force. Attempts at centrally planning solutions to population problems are problematic at best and in all likelyhood would be catastrophic. Remove barriers to trade, barriers to work, barriers to create businesses and let people go about the needed work of fulfilling the needs/demands of the world population. The eventual scarcity in resources as postulated if it ever becomes a problem will become apparent in price actions in the market. Today prices go down with increases in efficency and productivity so cleary resource contraints are not the issue.
    Did you not read post #59 or are you ignoring it?

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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Did you not read post #59 or are you ignoring it?
    I suspect you are trying to make the argument that there are no private solutions to these types of environmental challenges. Elephants and other plants or animals that come into conflict with population growth have generally been accepted as best dealt with by Statists. I am not sure that by articulating a problem, (ie: elephants are being harmed by the expansion of farm land,) that the conclusion can be assumed away. If you want to make a case that the fate of elephants require population control or are somehow an indicator of overpopulation or over farming then I am all ears. My general point is that solutions to these problems exist outside the draconion control of population expansion. I am just not a believer in the assumption that progress is necessarily destructive to nature. There is no doubt that these issues have merit. Some of the best environmental programs are privately funded and privately executed.
    Last edited by JWhite; 02-25-13 at 05:39 PM.

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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by JWhite View Post
    I suspect you are trying to make the argument that there are no private solutions to these types of environmental challenges. Elephants and other plants or animals that come into conflict with population growth have generally been accepted as best dealt with by Statists. I am not sure that by articulating a problem, (ie: elephants are being harmed by the expansion of farm land,) that the conclusion can be assumed away. If you want to make a case that the fate of elephants require population control or are somehow an indicator of overpopulation or over farming then I am all ears. My general point is that solutions to these problems exist outside the draconion control of population expansion. I am just not a believer in the assumption that progress is necessarily destructive to nature. There is no doubt that these issues have merit. Some of the best environmental programs are privately funded and privately executed.
    What I am trying to say is we need to leave room for other species. Man is very intelligent and I think we could probably fill every acre of land on earth with 100 people and still find a way to survive but at what price. Shouldn't we consider other species and their right to exist? Shouldn't we be smarter than a cancer that grows uncontrollably until it finally sickens and kills the host organism?

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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    What I am trying to say is we need to leave room for other species. Man is very intelligent and I think we could probably fill every acre of land on earth with 100 people and still find a way to survive but at what price. Shouldn't we consider other species and their right to exist? Shouldn't we be smarter than a cancer that grows uncontrollably until it finally sickens and kills the host organism?
    Sustainability is hugely important to our long term health. All the evidence I have seen from Air pollution to endangered species suggests that as we progress economically and become more efficient with resources all of these concerns are being dealt with. Air quality has been on the rise for decades as vehicle admissions have fallen dramatically. Population growth does not add pollution, land use, or resource depletion on a 1 for 1 basis. Our ticket to sustainability is not limiting population growth but promoting economic growth. I think your concerns are valid but have yet to see a plan or philosophy that is more practical then free market growth and an educated population that can make informed decisions. The poorest pockets of the world don't need more oppression or population control, they need more freedom so they can grow into more advanced civilizations.

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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Ehrlich was wrong is practically every prediction he made in The Population Bomb. I find it hard to believe that he's given any credence now. His track record is terrible.

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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by sawyerloggingon View Post
    Do you ever factor in anything besides humanity? You talk about 3rd world countries expanding agriculture but ignore the consequences of this on other species.

    Human Elephant Conflict










    "Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is dramatically on the rise and has become one of the major issues in the fight to save Asia's endangered elephants. In fact in most countries across the Asian elephant's range, it has replaced poaching as the major human cause of elephant mortality.

    The rise in HEC has been the result of the relentless increase of the human population in Asia and the resulting loss and fragmentation of elephant habitat. Under pressure from higher population densities and lack of fodder, elephant populations are increasingly turning to crop raiding for sustenance.

    Wild elephants can destroy a farmer's livelihood and a year of hard work in just a few short hours. These farmers are normally poor smallholders and the damage caused by elephants can be financially ruinous for them and their families. The fight to protect their fields can lead to the mobilisation of entire communities, particularly when harvest time approaches. Many techniques are used; lighting fires, banging drums and making noise, setting off firearms and fire crackers, digging trenches, putting up electric fences. Unfortunately often these methods are to no avail - hungry elephants are difficult to frighten off and they become acclimatised to the techniques.

    Human Elephant Conflict
    There are plenty of places to farm that won't spark an Elephant-Human war.
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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    I think we have the land and ability but I believe when the costs of producing food begin to outweigh the profit we'll see shortages.
    Necessity is the mother of invention.

    I saw a documentary showing just a fraction of the food it takes to feed the US and it was mind boggling. It was literally enough to cover a small desert on a daily basis. It made me think we're also going to start seeing stories about some pretty gross things being done to cut costs. Worse than bacteria tainted food, pink slime or drugged up horse meat.
    Yeah, we're pretty wasteful. Bit of a sore spot.
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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by marduc View Post


    The assumption we have to make is that advances in agriculture keep pace with the demand for food, this is not a given, and IF it does not then we could be in for a forced adjustment at some point in the future when we hit carrying capacity.
    According to a 2009 report published by the FAO, about 400 million hectares of African savannah are quite suitable for farming--but only 10 percent of that land is currently cultivated. We have the resources now, but we're just not using it. Claiming that overpopulation is threatening the world is distracting from the serious issues. African countries don't need family planning programs, we need farmers.
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    Re: is the population bomb real

    Quote Originally Posted by Jredbaron96 View Post
    According to a 2009 report published by the FAO, about 400 million hectares of African savannah are quite suitable for farming--but only 10 percent of that land is currently cultivated. We have the resources now, but we're just not using it. Claiming that overpopulation is threatening the world is distracting from the serious issues. African countries don't need family planning programs, we need farmers.
    I think you're underestimating the global human dependence on fossil fuels whose EROEI will invariably dwindle over time. Seven billion or more people cannot simply make the regressive transition to agrarianism without a painful global adjustment to it (one that I think would result in half of them or more perishing).

    Quote Originally Posted by JWhite View Post
    Our ticket to sustainability is not limiting population growth but promoting economic growth.
    ‘Economic growth is not intrinsically good or bad. It is good to the extent that it promotes the fulfillment of basic needs and/or increases quality of life, and bad to the extent that it undermines them immediately, or in the long term; for example, through adverse environmental effects.’
    An interesting old thread I mined for this thread:

    http://www.debatepolitics.com/enviro...vironment.html

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