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Population vs. Limited Resources

TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
edited February 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
Historically, human societies have viewed reproduction as both a duty and a right. Page one of the Bible has God saying "Be fruitful and multiply", and Supreme Court cases regarding contraception have ruled that the state should not be party to a decision so "fundamental" as whether to have children. However, as we progress towards a more industrialized, crowded world where another child represents more another mouth to feed than an additional source of labor, we must change the way we view procreation.

Some problems with overpopulation include shortage of food and other resources, expansion of human settlement into pristine natural environments, ground-water depletion, and the cultural shifts associated with some countries' attempts to curb population growth. For example, female children are considered undesirable in China, which has policies in place to encourage one child per family.

In a speech about advancing our scientific abilities to fight aging, Aubrey de Grey argues that in the future we will have to choose between either a high death rate or a low birth rate to ensure the quality of life and survival of the human species. (Ted.com) Is it better to have more, shorter lives, or should we encourage people to reproduce much less in response to our increased longevity? What would a comprehensive government policy to manage overpopulation look like?

Additionally, what steps can humanity take to lessen the burden of so many people on the world's ecosystems? Americans consume enough resources that if all the world's people followed suit, we would need 4 times more space and resources.

TL DR on
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Posts

  • TalleyrandTalleyrand Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    This is going to be really simplified because I don't have the time but,

    Underpopulation is detrimental to building working infrastructure, especially in hostile environments.

    Case in point, Africa.

    EDIT:

    Also, Aubrey De Grey is a crazy person.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Crimson KingCrimson King we need no grave to bury honesty there's not a grain of it the face to sweeten of the whole dungy earthRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm fairly sure China no longer has that one child policy.

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  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Places where overpopulation is really a concern:
    - South Asia

    Places where overpopulation is just a way to attack the poor for costing the rich folk so much darn money in social support:
    - The rest of the world

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Places where overpopulation is really a concern:
    - South Asia

    Places where overpopulation is just a way to attack the poor for costing the rich folk so much darn money in social support:
    - The rest of the world

    One 'solution' to overpopulation is to simply allow some people to go without the resources they need for meaningful existence so that others can live better. This of course seems undesirable, but I'd argue that it is exactly the point (or at least a primary consequence) of capitalism and US immigration policy. The standard of living is lower elsewhere, so we better keep people out so that (middle- and upper-class) Americans can continue to enjoy themselves.

    eokNV.jpg
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm fairly sure China no longer has that one child policy.

    You mean this?
    Wiki wrote:
    As the one-child policy begins to near its next generation, one adult child is left with having to provide support for his or her two parents and four grandparents. This leaves the older generation with more of a dependency on retirement funds or charity in order to have support. If personal savings, pensions, or state welfare should fail, then the most senior citizens would be left entirely dependent upon their very small family or neighbors for support. If a child cannot care for their parents and grandparents, or if that child cannot survive, the oldest generation could find itself destitute. To combat this problem, some provinces allow families where each parent was an "only child" to have two children. In 2007 all provinces but Henan adopted this new policy.[49]

    That's a pretty specific addendum to an otherwise still enforced policy.

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  • Crimson KingCrimson King we need no grave to bury honesty there's not a grain of it the face to sweeten of the whole dungy earthRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'm fairly sure China no longer has that one child policy.

    You mean this?
    Wiki wrote:
    As the one-child policy begins to near its next generation, one adult child is left with having to provide support for his or her two parents and four grandparents. This leaves the older generation with more of a dependency on retirement funds or charity in order to have support. If personal savings, pensions, or state welfare should fail, then the most senior citizens would be left entirely dependent upon their very small family or neighbors for support. If a child cannot care for their parents and grandparents, or if that child cannot survive, the oldest generation could find itself destitute. To combat this problem, some provinces allow families where each parent was an "only child" to have two children. In 2007 all provinces but Henan adopted this new policy.[49]

    That's a pretty specific addendum to an otherwise still enforced policy.

    Hmm. I'm wrong, then.
    Wiki wrote:
    approximately 35.9% of China's population is currently subject to the one-child restriction.

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  • HiroconHirocon Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    This sequence of youtube videos is relevant:

    EDIT: I removed the link because I can't figure out how to disable video embedding. F-QA2rkpBSY

    It's very long and very dry, and it includes a lot of boring high-school level math, but it has some good points. One of the most important messages is this: zero percent population growth will happen, whether we want it or not. It will happen either by birth rates decreasing, death rates increasing, or both, until the two are equal.

    Historically, birth rates have fallen as countries become more prosperous (source) and my hope for the future is that populations will stable out because of falling birth rates, not rising death rates. However, even if birth rates do fall, I worry that the world population is already too large to be sustainable, in light of peak oil. Also, I worry that our economic and financial systems are too dependent on exponential growth to function effectively in a world with a non-growing population.

  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Fearing that we're going to run out of water or we're going to overpopulate past the point of no return before the governments see the problem is alarmist and un-needed.

    Really, things will be fine, if things start being less fine then more people will notice. If things risk getting critical then the government will most likely step in.

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  • MatrijsMatrijs Registered User
    edited February 2010
    This really isn't a long term problem. It's actually a short term problem. Developed nations have much, much lower birthrates than developing nations, to the point where population growth in a number of first world nations is only occurring as a result of immigration.

    The real problem is getting over the development hump - once the third world is developed, the birth rate will slow and might even drop below the replacement rate.

  • FirstComradeStalinFirstComradeStalin Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Peak oil isn't really a problem -- there's enough to get us through until the switch to electricity in cars and more efficient methods of producing said electricity (nuclear primarily, solar, wind, etc). Most proper estimates give us 50 or 60 years, maybe 80 or 90 at reasonable prices if we get good methods of extracting oil from shale.

    Picture1-4.png
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    My major beef with overpopulation is slightly complex in that it's targeted at our economic "axioms". Most people seem to think it's impossible to have a functioning economy that doesn't depend on constant growth of population.
    I've never really seen any good argument as to why this has to be so that doesn't amount to "we haven't thought of another option so....".

    Time to start thinking maybe? That's how you come up with new stuff. You put effort into creating it.

    If you could fix this economic shortsightedness you'd path the way for a lot of reform on population. As it is a capitalist government will institute birth control around about the same time as it rolls out the hammer and sickle flags.

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  • NuckerNucker Registered User
    edited February 2010
    This may not necessarily be on track with the op's question of overpopulation relating to the physical and environmental, but it's something I've wondered about:

    Does overpopulation have any impact on broader goals for humanity such as the solution of poverty or leaving Earth? Or is the impact of overpopulation significant enough compared to something like political and economic agendas? Obviously the subjects are in some ways related, but to what degree?

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    Fearing that we're going to run out of water or we're going to overpopulate past the point of no return before the governments see the problem is alarmist and un-needed.

    Really, things will be fine, if things start being less fine then more people will notice. If things risk getting critical then the government will most likely step in.

    "Less fine" for who? There are people without adequate nutrition right now. There are people in this country without access to health care.

    I say that rationing resources is ethically permissible, but not in the way we currently do so (capitalism).

    eokNV.jpg
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    My major beef with overpopulation is slightly complex in that it's targeted at our economic "axioms". Most people seem to think it's impossible to have a functioning economy that doesn't depend on constant growth of population.
    I've never really seen any good argument as to why this has to be so that doesn't amount to "we haven't thought of another option so....".

    Time to start thinking maybe? That's how you come up with new stuff. You put effort into creating it.

    If you could fix this economic shortsightedness you'd path the way for a lot of reform on population. As it is a capitalist government will institute birth control around about the same time as it rolls out the hammer and sickle flags.

    Economics tries to make positive statements. Politics takes the positive statements of economics for the purpose of backing normative statements.

    "We need more people because more people means more demand and more production to fulfill demand which is good for the working man" That's saying it is desirable to have higher demand in and of itself, and that's what you hear politicians saying, or popular economist pundits, not your academic economist.

  • PantsBPantsB Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aubrey de Grey is about 200 years late.
    Spoiler:
    The argument rested on unfounded assumptions then and it does now too. It just that then, there was an excuse because not only had it not been proven wrong yet but there weren't real long term alternatives to eating the poor.

    11793-1.png
    Spoiler:
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mrt144 wrote: »
    My major beef with overpopulation is slightly complex in that it's targeted at our economic "axioms". Most people seem to think it's impossible to have a functioning economy that doesn't depend on constant growth of population.
    I've never really seen any good argument as to why this has to be so that doesn't amount to "we haven't thought of another option so....".

    Time to start thinking maybe? That's how you come up with new stuff. You put effort into creating it.

    If you could fix this economic shortsightedness you'd path the way for a lot of reform on population. As it is a capitalist government will institute birth control around about the same time as it rolls out the hammer and sickle flags.

    Economics tries to make positive statements. Politics takes the positive statements of economics for the purpose of backing normative statements.

    "We need more people because more people means more demand and more production to fulfill demand which is good for the working man" That's saying it is desirable to have higher demand in and of itself, and that's what you hear politicians saying, or popular economist pundits, not your academic economist.

    So what would an academic economist say? I'm actually quite bad at economics because, well, it's math. I get the theory but the whole practical application is all you know @_@

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  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    In all my travels around the United States, I have one thing to say.

    There is a LOT of empty land throughout the nation that has yet to be put to use for agriculture or housing. We don't even have to worry about building upward quite yet when there's room to expand out.

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  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    Fearing that we're going to run out of water or we're going to overpopulate past the point of no return before the governments see the problem is alarmist and un-needed.

    Really, things will be fine, if things start being less fine then more people will notice. If things risk getting critical then the government will most likely step in.

    "Less fine" for who? There are people without adequate nutrition right now. There are people in this country without access to health care.

    I say that rationing resources is ethically permissible, but not in the way we currently do so (capitalism).

    Less fine for whoever you're fearing the supposive overpopulation issue is going to affect?

    Horseshoe wrote:
    I've got good news and bad news about 6th level, That Guy. The good news is that Forbiddance spell allows you to prevent enemies different alignment from entering a consecrated area, which is actually useful! The bad news is that the only other new sixth level spell makes lunch for everybody. Guess which one the party is going to expect you to cast.
  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mrt144 wrote: »
    My major beef with overpopulation is slightly complex in that it's targeted at our economic "axioms". Most people seem to think it's impossible to have a functioning economy that doesn't depend on constant growth of population.
    I've never really seen any good argument as to why this has to be so that doesn't amount to "we haven't thought of another option so....".

    Time to start thinking maybe? That's how you come up with new stuff. You put effort into creating it.

    If you could fix this economic shortsightedness you'd path the way for a lot of reform on population. As it is a capitalist government will institute birth control around about the same time as it rolls out the hammer and sickle flags.

    Economics tries to make positive statements. Politics takes the positive statements of economics for the purpose of backing normative statements.

    "We need more people because more people means more demand and more production to fulfill demand which is good for the working man" That's saying it is desirable to have higher demand in and of itself, and that's what you hear politicians saying, or popular economist pundits, not your academic economist.

    So what would an academic economist say? I'm actually quite bad at economics because, well, it's math. I get the theory but the whole practical application is all you know @_@

    The academic wouldn't say anything about it being good or bad, merely increased demand could result in increased production of supply. No comment on whether this is good or bad or an eventuality.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    I think it becomes a question of how far we go to ensure that the injustice is upheld.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    Assuming you mean 6 billion people, it'd probably irreversibly drain the planet of pretty much every important resource, including water and air, in a few months, if that long.

    The US currently includes...what? Four to five percent of the world population? And even within that, a portion of the population lives in poverty, and accordingly, has a much more limited consumption compared to their affluent neighbors. But even then the country's footprint on resource consumption, not just limited to oil, and waste output is pretty goddamn astronomical.

    America isn't alone, of course, but we're certainly doing more than our part.

    Orca wrote: »
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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    I don't like framing the problem as overpopulation. Overpopulation is not the problem. Overconsumption is the problem.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    As has been said, lower birth rates is the norm for 1st world western countries and I can easily see a future where the world population is stable or even declining due to low birth rates.

    I think the first real test will be when we are hit by both rising sea levels and peak oil at the same time in about 50-100 years.

    I think nations will try to make berms around their coastal cities and when storms flood them out we will have hurricane Katrina type disasters happening all over the world every year. First world countries will be fine but poor countries will suffer massively.

    I don't see immigration laws changing too much because while it's noble to take in 5k refugees no first world country rushes to take in 5 million refugees, and that is what we will be facing.

    I don't think it will make much of a dent in world population though, a few hundred thousand here or there dying is really negligible in terms of global population and we are pretty good at flying in food and clean water to keep people alive.

  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    I don't like framing the problem as overpopulation. Overpopulation is not the problem. Overconsumption is the problem.

    Good point. OP title changed to reflect this.

    eokNV.jpg
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    I don't like framing the problem as overpopulation. Overpopulation is not the problem. Overconsumption is the problem.

    While it's true that we could curb out consumption dramatically and still be happy as soon as you frame it as overcomsumption your pretty much advocating we lower our standard of living.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    I don't like framing the problem as overpopulation. Overpopulation is not the problem. Overconsumption is the problem.

    While it's true that we could curb out consumption dramatically and still be happy as soon as you frame it as overcomsumption your pretty much advocating we lower our standard of living.

    Banning iPads is a good start.

  • MelksterMelkster Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    Assuming you mean 6 billion people, it'd probably irreversibly drain the planet of pretty much every important resource, including water and air, in a few months, if that long.

    The US currently includes...what? Four to five percent of the world population? And even within that, a portion of the population lives in poverty, and accordingly, has a much more limited consumption compared to their affluent neighbors. But even then the country's footprint on resource consumption, not just limited to oil, and waste output is pretty goddamn astronomical.

    America isn't alone, of course, but we're certainly doing more than our part.

    Yeah.

    I don't think what we have is wrong. But... it is wrong that the vast majority of the world can't possibly come close to having what I have without destroying the planet, at least right now.

    Oh, and sorry about the mistake there, I did indeed mean a simple 6 billion people, not 6 billion billion.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    PantsB wrote: »
    Aubrey de Grey is about 200 years late.
    Spoiler:
    The argument rested on unfounded assumptions then and it does now too. It just that then, there was an excuse because not only had it not been proven wrong yet but there weren't real long term alternatives to eating the poor.

    Malthus' observations were pretty much accurate for all of human history up until about his time, when economies started taking off.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mrt144 wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    My major beef with overpopulation is slightly complex in that it's targeted at our economic "axioms". Most people seem to think it's impossible to have a functioning economy that doesn't depend on constant growth of population.
    I've never really seen any good argument as to why this has to be so that doesn't amount to "we haven't thought of another option so....".

    Time to start thinking maybe? That's how you come up with new stuff. You put effort into creating it.

    If you could fix this economic shortsightedness you'd path the way for a lot of reform on population. As it is a capitalist government will institute birth control around about the same time as it rolls out the hammer and sickle flags.

    Economics tries to make positive statements. Politics takes the positive statements of economics for the purpose of backing normative statements.

    "We need more people because more people means more demand and more production to fulfill demand which is good for the working man" That's saying it is desirable to have higher demand in and of itself, and that's what you hear politicians saying, or popular economist pundits, not your academic economist.

    So what would an academic economist say? I'm actually quite bad at economics because, well, it's math. I get the theory but the whole practical application is all you know @_@

    The academic wouldn't say anything about it being good or bad, merely increased demand could result in increased production of supply. No comment on whether this is good or bad or an eventuality.

    Yes, but surely there are ways an economy can function without this increased demand requirement. What about an economy that doesn't grow but merely stays stable? Isn't there theoretical economics like there is weird fantasy realms of math that do all this cool shit (that I don't understand unless it's explained to me very very slowly) and sometimes someone comes out of there with a cool idea?

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  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Usually when people talk about this stuff and ask me about my opinion I make up something on the fly because I don't really think about/care about this enough to have an "all the time" opinion.

    Right now I came up with something I liked:

    Every family is allowed to have two children, no more.
    One of your children dies? You have another one right there. Want to make another one? Sure, you got a spot open now.

    If a family decides to have another child above the 2 they already have the child gets taken away and given to a foster family that either can't have kids themselves or is comfortable with taking a child as their own which is not their direct offspring. This child would also be included in the 2 children rule so it would take a spot.
    The parents who broke the rule will also receive some kind of fine/punishment. Something that can really hit home that "yep,you just fucked up".

    The children being taken away should keep people who actually want a child from breaking the rule and the fine/punishment should keep people who are seriously fucking retarded from just fucking like rabbits and then going "haha the government cleans up the unanted child for us anyway".


    I love how this idea probably pisses off 90% of all people.

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  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    the thing about procreation is that most of it is instinctual. It has to be. We are smart enough to dumb ourselves out of existence if it werent for the fact that children flicks a very ancient switch deep in our brains.

    So it is impossible to come up with a regulation for this kind of thing that wont be unpopular. Trying to make such a regulation popular is a fools game. So it wont happen until it has to, and most people are not going to get to have a say if it wants to be successful. Because most people can't see beyond next week.

    I know it has to happen and such laws still make me feel uncomfortable in a very deep way I can't really define, I just learn to ignore it.

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  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    the thing about procreation is that most of it is instinctual. It has to be. We are smart enough to dumb ourselves out of existence if it werent for the fact that children flicks a very ancient switch deep in our brains.

    So it is impossible to come up with a regulation for this kind of thing that wont be unpopular. Trying to make such a regulation popular is a fools game. So it wont happen until it has to, and most people are not going to get to have a say if it wants to be successful. Because most people can't see beyond next week.

    Not necessarily. Just target a hated minority.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    the thing about procreation is that most of it is instinctual. It has to be. We are smart enough to dumb ourselves out of existence if it werent for the fact that children flicks a very ancient switch deep in our brains.

    So it is impossible to come up with a regulation for this kind of thing that wont be unpopular. Trying to make such a regulation popular is a fools game. So it wont happen until it has to, and most people are not going to get to have a say if it wants to be successful. Because most people can't see beyond next week.

    Not necessarily. Just target a hated minority.

    You've completely lost me. Please explain how targetting a hated minority will result in the person doing the hating support not being allowed to have a child of their own.

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  • AsleepAsleep Registered User
    edited February 2010
    I think that consumption isn't only a problem. Dwindling resources cause us to invent workarounds, and a strained planet may finally push us farther into space.

    This 'consumption' you speak of contains the incentives for progress.

  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I do not understand why people have a desire to procreate.

    You can fuck without procreating. So, fucking is still on the table.

    if you want something little that loves you buy a cat or something.

  • KlykaKlyka DO you have any SPARE BATTERIES?Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    But people care about sex more than they care about children.

    And regulations still allow you to have both sex AND children.

    I mean,seriously,do you need more than 2 children? Are you seriously telling me there is going to be some terrible fucking hole in your heart because " I NEED 4 CHILDREN GOD DAMMIT 2 IS NOT ENOUGH"?

    SC2 EU ID Klyka.110
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  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Klyka wrote: »
    I love how this idea probably pisses off 90% of all people.


    Mayhaps because it is a terrible idea.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Melkster wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Melkster wrote: »
    Wait, aren't we already overpopulated?

    What would happen if 6,000,000,000 billion people suddenly started driving cars and using resources at the same level as Americans?

    It seems pretty obvious to me that the planet can't support every person in the world having real access to the same standard of living as the United States. If we're cool with that injustice, then there's no such thing as overpopulation right now. But if we're not, overpopulation is a huge problem.

    Assuming you mean 6 billion people, it'd probably irreversibly drain the planet of pretty much every important resource, including water and air, in a few months, if that long.

    The US currently includes...what? Four to five percent of the world population? And even within that, a portion of the population lives in poverty, and accordingly, has a much more limited consumption compared to their affluent neighbors. But even then the country's footprint on resource consumption, not just limited to oil, and waste output is pretty goddamn astronomical.

    America isn't alone, of course, but we're certainly doing more than our part.

    Yeah.

    I don't think what we have is wrong. But... it is wrong that the vast majority of the world can't possibly come close to having what I have without destroying the planet, at least right now.

    Oh, and sorry about the mistake there, I did indeed mean a simple 6 billion people, not 6 billion billion.

    The most comfortable, materialistically, I've ever been is living in the United States. And to be perfectly honest, I think it is, to an extent, wrong. Morally wrong, practically wrong. I own a small sedan, I can eat meat every day of the week if I choose to (and not just chicken either). I have two televisions and two computers (a desktop and a laptop).

    When I lived with my extended family after my demobilization, I realized juts how wasteful my life was. Granted, they had DSL and cable television and all those other things, but I live with just one roommate. Replicating my life would be disastrous, and it's not really fair that I have it. And the worst part is, my life is pretty austere in some regards--my car is relatively fuel efficient (27 to 33 MPG, for a cheaply-made Kia automobile), I don't eat that much food, I use a ridiculously low-footprint motor scooter (80 MPG on average) in the place of an automobile about 80% of the time, even in the winter. I don't have a lawn, and thus, don't engage in lawn care. I rely on an urban sewage system. I eat primarily frozen food that lasts long periods.

    I've got it good--and thus, quite bad for the world--but I seem to pale in comparison to my neighbors with their big, black SUVs, which they use on a semi-daily basis. One thing I could do more often is recycle, if the town as a whole wasn't so goddamn opposed to it.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • _J__J_ Festive Pedant Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Klyka wrote: »
    But people care about sex more than they care about children.

    And regulations still allow you to have both sex AND children.

    I mean,seriously,do you need more than 2 children? Are you seriously telling me there is going to be some terrible fucking hole in your heart because " I NEED 4 CHILDREN GOD DAMMIT 2 IS NOT ENOUGH"?

    Pushed far enough for a rational justification for procreation one finds that there is none.

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