View Poll Results: Is it inevitable that millions of people will have to die due to population growth?

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Thread: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

  1. #71
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by McjaqqerSwaqqer View Post
    One of my friends recently got into a heated debate with me as to weather or not millions of people are going to have to die as a result of rapid population growth. His logic was that as resources become depleted, and demand grows, people will be forced to fight over the remaining resources and in the process will have to kill each other. I however disagreed. I stated that I understood the premise behind which this scenario would take place. However I argued the inevitability of this situation ever presenting itself. I stated that through technological and intellectual achievements we will have the potential to maintain a larger more robust population indefinitely. My logic was the following.... Today we live in a world of 7 billion people. 300 years ago we could never have hoped to maintain such a large population effectively. However due to technological and other developments we are able to. Why must this trend which has been going on since the dawn of men stop now?..... My friend went on to argue that the killing of millions of people might not be such a bad thing because it would help others survive more efficiently and allow them to have more resources. HE ARGUED THAT THE DEATH OF MILLIONS WOULD BE BETTER FOR MANKIND. To this I replied, who decides who dies and who doesn't. I also replied saying that he was out of his mind. I just want to receive reassurance that I was not the one with faulty logic because I was in a setting in which 5 people were supporting his thinking and only two other people were supporting mine. (The people who supported the person with this reasoning supported him primarily because they believe he is some freaken diety and because they don't like me)
    In a certain sense people have been dying for decades because populations were growing. This is not to say, that we did not produce enough food to keep them alive and we will, barring any unforeseen occurrence, continue to produce enough to feed all. But we are not organized to allocate the food to prevent starvation. We have become much better in the last years. Though the absolute numbers are still about the same, as far as I know, the number of hungry relative to total population has come down considerably. With countries around the world developing as they have been of late, the problem of starvation should shrink.

  2. #72
    Educator Grendel's Avatar
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    Cockroaches do not have science, engineering and international trade.
    So you think we can stave off a population collapse through science? Science isn't magic, you know. At the end of the day, we still need to draw food from soil, fish from the sea and have grazing land for cattle. We can't just make more of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    And I hate to break the news, but the population is not exploding - it is imploding over half of the world. The stuff you have read must be at least 30 years old.

    Places as different as Russia and Japan are facing veritable population collapse. Fertility over the replacement level is retained only in Africa and parts of Asia, but the writing on the wall is there as well: Iran has 1.67 births per woman, despite religious and cultural pressures.

    I do think and hope that this trend will be reversed at some point in future, but right now we have to worry more about things like not enough young people to support all the pensioner than about too many mouths to feed.
    Okay, so then you do expect a population collapse, and in fact see one happening right now? Then why are you arguing that we can prevent it? What are we doing to prevent it?
    "All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell [the bible] teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society." Rep. Paul Broun (R)

  3. #73
    Educator Grendel's Avatar
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    The stuff you have read must be at least 30 years old.


    Not 30 years old.
    "All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell [the bible] teaches us how to run all our public policy and everything in society." Rep. Paul Broun (R)

  4. #74
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
    Okay, so then you do expect a population collapse, and in fact see one happening right now?
    The collapse is underway in Russia, for example: it had almost 149 million people in 1991, it has 143 million now - despite people living longer (in the last decade) and substantial immigration (from Central Asia primarily). Total fertility rate is about 1.60 (replacement rate being above 2, of course). And that's better than in China, Germany or Japan - and only slightly worse than in Brazil, Iran or Uzbekistan.

    While the countries with low birth rates attractive and open to immigrants - like Canada and much of Europe - will avoid actual "collapse", the demographic situation in places like Ukraine or Iran can get pretty desperate, without young people to support the retired multitudes.

    Globally, most projections of current trends predict a peak around 2050 - and steep decline afterwards. Keep in mind that the date is pushed hard into future not by any changes in birth dynamics but by the expected sharp increases in life expectancy in Africa and other regions where now people die like flies from treatable diseases and from violence. How steep it will be and for how long it will continue - we can only guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post
    Then why are you arguing that we can prevent it? What are we doing to prevent it?
    Who said anything about "prevention"? All attempts to directly regulate size of population by government measures had fell so far between laughable and tragic.

    (Uzbekistan, Iran, Belarus and Co. can prevent it to a great extent but removing the suffocating statist regimes and making themselves good places to live in. Japan and South Korea can solve the problem by opening immigration gates wide. The second half of the century may well feature fierce international competition for people willing to move around, the Golden Age for Immigrants)

    I do expect the trend to reverse itself at some point in future, however. Basically, the human race just has entered the era when you don't HAVE to have many children - because most of those you have survive, and because children do not work anymore to supply much of the family's income. Africa is about to enter. This is not how it was for all of our evolutionary history as a species.

    The biological imperative to have many kids is still hard wired - it was simply overwhelmed by the economic and social pressures of this very abrupt transition. Charles Darwin had ten children; my German great-grandmother had 14 (and adopted two more); compare with present-day Englishmen and Germans. When the situation stabilizes and the newly worry-free (in comparative terms) and long-living human beings will adapt to their unprecedented prosperous condition, the large families will reappear. A hundred, three hundred years from now - drawing actual timelines would be silly, but I simply don't believe that the central instinct of life can be erased by a few decades of social confusion in a transition period.

  5. #75
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grendel View Post


    Not 30 years old.
    In other words, since there's no weighting of probabilities for their "highs" and "lows", a graphic representation of "the UN has absolutely no clue", in 5 colors.

  6. #76
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Grimm View Post
    The scarcity mindset you're displaying is the hallmark of the left. I don't know what you're a member of but I know that's what the entire left wing ideology is built upon.

    Wealth is not a zero sum game. The pie grows and shrinks depending on how many people are available to work.

    BTW I'm thinking money and I'm thinking resources, and both are very real. The more people there are, the more we can develop our planet's natural resources. The more people you have to work the farm, the more food we can grow. The more people we have to work in oil and gas, the more we can develop that resource.

    Resources are very plentiful. It's just a matter of having the skilled labor to develop those resources.
    As long as the environment is considered an externality when it comes to input costs, our economic way of life will indeed always be a zero sum game.

    Can you explain exactly how people can develop the planet's natural resources, in terms of adding to them? AFAIK we can't make something from nothing.

  7. #77
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    Yeah, so could a very large meteorite. The point? And of course the developed international trade and cooperation create a 'safety net'. That's part of being "developed" in general. Absolutely not true. The density and diversity of the forests of Maine, New Hampshire and much of Massachusetts is on par with those of any old growth. Yes, of course - with disease and crop failure increasingly failing to cause either financial collapse or political instability. There were no revolutions or regime changes in 1816 in Europe, because even back then the developed infrastructures and trade had soften the blow of the Year without Summer enough to stabilize the situation. What sheer nonsense. There were some food riots, and prices went up. There was an epidemic of typhus in Ireland that killed a lot of people about the same time, and malnutrition caused by the food shortages certainly contributed to the death toll, but the early 19th century Ireland hardly boasted "good infrastructure and government". When Krakatoa erupted just 70 years later, climate changes were not as great, but severe enough. Crops failed in many places. But it barely registered as a blow to developed societies. And that's what we should worry about - not about running of out air, sunshine, or human ingenuity. And yet here we are: more numerous, healthier and better fed than ever. Not wishful thinking - just calm observation. Beats disasterbation any time.
    Where to start- well you claim to be 'calm' about this but a meteorite?
    No sir, I disagree that international trade will save us from a population die-off. Even now many Americans are saying to hell with the rest of the world and international aid/trade. We are trillions in debt and other nations have toppled due to huge debt.

    Your pulling the 'density and diversity' stuff out of your 4th POC. The scrub reclamation of New England is NOTHING like the old growth forests that built a huge merchant fleet. ( I do note you walked away from New Mexico and the Rockies now extinct forests)

    There was a regime change in France due to famine- or do you not know where "let them eat cake" comes from? You are being very selective about history, a MASSIVE European war had been fought for decades, the people were just not up for more killing in 1816, like they were at the Start of the French Revolution.

    Now I see Wiki was your source, Ireland was a part of the disease wave, across Europe an estimated 200,000 additional deaths besides the Irish. What you attempt to do in your dodging is not acknowledge factors can add up, be it a volcano during a little ice age- or massive debt halting additional credit. many civilizations died off through the ages because of a combination of events, not just one hit.

    Our agriculture hangs on a rather razor's edge. We need massive inputs to be able to produce enough food for a highly urbanized society. These highly urban areas are creating their own superbugs that for now are controllable, but if we have a year or two of very poor crop production, either by drought, lack of credit to buy inputs or even a halt of available 'resources' due to political strife our balancing act can tumble.

    Right now millions of Americans want to end the social safety net you claim is a primary reason we won't have a massive die-off. Many want market controls to be lifted on commodities. The Year without a Summer had prices for basic food stuffs rise 13X the original price. Imagine a year like that again, after massive droughts, then floods from a series of hurricanes that wiped out a great deal of the Gulf Coast refinery cap we find the nation unable to borrow the money to repair the infrastructure we have let go for decades, have a political stand-off between the 'we can't raise taxes' and the 'we MUST' causes the international community to balk at lending us the billions it would take to feed, rebuild and re-establish our national well being.

    I am not a fear monger, rather I have seen Empires collapse because they all thought it couldn't happen to them.

  8. #78
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    We are trillions in debt and other nations have toppled due to huge debt..
    Yes, and this is a real problem (as I said). Relevance to the topic?

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    The scrub reclamation of New England is NOTHING like the old growth forests that built a huge merchant fleet. .
    You know that because the early settlers made an exhaustive catalog of species and counted and measured all trees, before commencing the deforestation?

    It's not "scrub reclamation" - you have thriving woodland ecosystems all over New England. There are few 300-year-old trees, obviously. Because it hasn't been 300 years yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    There was a regime change in France due to famine- or do you not know where "let them eat cake" comes from? .
    So...how is it supposed to go? Mt.Tambora goes kaboom, climate oscillates, crops fail, the wave of misery travels back in time, and causes the French Revolution? That's a truly novel theory. You should publish.

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Now I see Wiki was your source .
    Actually, that's what I remembered from writing a college paper on Rickettsia, ages ago. But what if it were Wikipedia? Is Wikipedia some kind of an international conspiracy of population growth optimists?

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    Our agriculture hangs on a rather razor's edge. .
    It sure does. Overproduction and excessive diversity can kill us any moment now.

    Quote Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
    I have seen Empires collapse because they all thought it couldn't happen to them.
    I have seen that too, and rejoiced tremendously. And the collapse of the USSR most demonstrably had nothing to do with running out of natural resources or with population pressures. Russia is still immensely rich in resources - and thinly populated. (The same is obviously true for the disintegration of the colonial empires in the 1950-1960s).

    I am not saying there's nothing to fear in the world. There's plenty to fear. But overpopulation is a red herring.

  9. #79
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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrylek View Post
    In other words, since there's no weighting of probabilities for their "highs" and "lows", a graphic representation of "the UN has absolutely no clue", in 5 colors.
    Look at current. The population explosion has not halted, but likely will in the next couple of generations.

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    Re: Is it inevitable that due to rapid population growth millions of people will die?

    The question isn't how many people can the planet support, it is how bad of a quality of life do we want to accept?

    There is a limit to how many people the world can handle, especially if quality of life matters. (apparently it doesn't to many people) If we don't use contraceptives for population control we will probably resort to the traditional method-widespread war. Nature (diseases, storms etc) and our environmental damage may also help balance things out. If we are lucky we can find another planet to infect before its too late.

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