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Population vs. Limited Resources

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Posts

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    I wasn't proposing a solution at all and I don't know how you read it as such.

    I'm saying that our quality of life is higher in one factor because our pollution problems are tamer than those in China and the Chinese quality of life will never usurp ours even if they reach consumption parity, if there are still grave environmental problems there. American standards of living aren't just about what we consume, but how we are able to consume without noticing the impact of our consumption. No solutions here, just the world as I see it.

    That's a fair point, but I'm personally more worried about our habit of consuming more than a quarter of the world's oil produced. And I suspect that, eventually, we'll start to notice the impacts of our consumption.

    I think we'll notice it more in what is relatively expensive to the past and how our paradigm of high standard of living will shift. Leisure travel will decline if energy prices go way higher. We can fight something seemingly insignificant like that by doing all sorts of political things to prop up tourism etc, or we can work on ways to create more value for the visits we do get so that there isn't a perception of less bang for a more expensive buck.

    I think we'll notice the impact of ourselves more if the rest of the world catches up really quickly and it becomes economically practical to return heavy pollution creating industry back the United States.

    Or we'll ignore it. I remember reading magazine articles from the early 1990s declaring the SUV dead, and the electric car the wave of the future, as the importance of oil as an industrial commodity, and not for private consumption like beef. I suspect people will hold onto that "26% for 4% of the world population" right up to the point of disaster. It's not guaranteed, of course, but I think it's entirely plausible.

    I don't think $140 a barrel was easy to ignore.

    mrt144 on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Klyka wrote: »
    I like watching my niece and nephew. I like hanging out with them and doing stuff with them,it can be very fun and usually is.

    I enjoy these times because I know that at the end of the day they go to THEIR home and I go to MY home.
    It makes me very,very comfortable around children to know that they are not my long term problem.

    That's true, but don't you ever think:

    one day I'll be dead and gone

    if people are the sum of their experience and genetic code then when you have a child it will be partially you in terms of both nature & nurture, he will share your memories in the form of stories you tell him, reading the same books, watching the same movies, living in the same environment.

    It's really the only way you can live on. I realize this is an odd way of looking at it but is it better to live free of obligations or to have perhaps a more difficult and stressful life but know that your child (and his child etc) will go on with your ideas and genetic code in them?

    Am I crazy?

    ....the pursuit of a legacy of immortality, no matter how diluted, is not necessarily crazy. Maybe "a loosing battle", since ultimately, you can only control your actions, and I suppose those immediately around you. You can instill the greatest legacy of the 20th century into your progeny, for them to carry on, but you've lost if they simply elect not to carry on the tradition. Or all die in a car crash.

    I mean, if you're purely thinking of "living on"--I think you'd be better off writing a book or something similar. Your genetic legacy, by design, is going to become incredibly diluted (unless you create an arrangement upon which you're cloned over and over again, which is not presently possible), but that only matters if you consider being one of, say, sixteen or thirty-two or sixty four equally-held genetic legacies to detract from the value.

    Right now, I don't think about having children, simply because I can barely keep my life together on my own. It's probably incredibly selfish, but the only reason I can think of deliberately having children is so that, in return for my investment of labor and money, I can one day reasonably expect my children to take care of me into the twilight of my life--a return on my investment.

    That is pretty selfish, when I think about it. But it comes from a culture where nursing homes are not really an option, and a fear of the future.

    If it makes you feel better, Dman, I believe Plato and Aristotle both agreed with you on the matter of immortality. So maybe those who disagree are crazy.
    mrt144 wrote: »
    I don't think $140 a barrel was easy to ignore.

    I would think so too, but the exact same thing was said about $70 not very long ago.

    Synthesis on
    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.
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I do think that feeling that way is natural.

    I just don't think it's important.

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Dman wrote: »
    Klyka wrote: »
    I like watching my niece and nephew. I like hanging out with them and doing stuff with them,it can be very fun and usually is.

    I enjoy these times because I know that at the end of the day they go to THEIR home and I go to MY home.
    It makes me very,very comfortable around children to know that they are not my long term problem.

    That's true, but don't you ever think:

    one day I'll be dead and gone

    if people are the sum of their experience and genetic code then when you have a child it will be partially you in terms of both nature & nurture, he will share your memories in the form of stories you tell him, reading the same books, watching the same movies, living in the same environment.

    It's really the only way you can live on. I realize this is an odd way of looking at it but is it better to live free of obligations or to have perhaps a more difficult and stressful life but know that your child (and his child etc) will go on with your ideas and genetic code in them?

    Am I crazy?

    ....the pursuit of a legacy of immortality, no matter how diluted, is not necessarily crazy. Maybe "a loosing battle", since ultimately, you can only control your actions, and I suppose those immediately around you. You can instill the greatest legacy of the 20th century into your progeny, for them to carry on, but you've lost if they simply elect not to carry on the tradition. Or all die in a car crash.

    I mean, if you're purely thinking of "living on"--I think you'd be better off writing a book or something similar. Your genetic legacy, by design, is going to become incredibly diluted (unless you create an arrangement upon which you're cloned over and over again, which is not presently possible), but that only matters if you consider being one of, say, sixteen or thirty-two or sixty four equally-held genetic legacies to detract from the value.

    Right now, I don't think about having children, simply because I can barely keep my life together on my own. It's probably incredibly selfish, but the only reason I can think of deliberately having children is so that, in return for my investment of labor and money, I can one day reasonably expect my children to take care of me into the twilight of my life--a return on my investment.

    That is pretty selfish, when I think about it. But it comes from a culture where nursing homes are not really an option, and a fear of the future.

    If it makes you feel better, Dman, I believe Plato and Aristotle both agreed with you on the matter of immortality. So maybe those who disagree are crazy.
    mrt144 wrote: »
    I don't think $140 a barrel was easy to ignore.

    I would think so too, but the exact same thing was said about $70 not very long ago.

    There was a measurable impact on vehicle sales when oil was at $140 a barrel.

    mrt144 on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHAZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Aegis wrote: »
    You can modify the planet's carrying capacity through technology, so it's not really a static overwhelming limitation on human progress. This was in fact one of the major oversights of Malthus' theories.

    Sure but how much? Is relying on technology a good idea? Isn't that going to increase energy usage rates overall?


    You know what is a horrible blight on society? Cities. Complete waste of energy. Packing a bunch of people ina small space and ferrying food into them at huge cost.

    I like cities, but they're still terrible.

    Packing a bunch of people into a small space saves on heating and transportation bills and allows for greater specialization given the larger population.

    They're like, the best thing for society.

    The majority of the western societies overconsumption of resources are because of cities. I only have to look outside to see all the shops selling energy wasting crap nobody really needs to find your argument a bit lacking.
    What I'm saying is the benefits are outweighed by having humans wasting resources because of them being close together.

    I'm not saying get rid of cities though. It's far, far too late for that, our population has already gone beyond that point.

    Wow. This is dead wrong.

    Cities are far more efficient, per-capita, than suburbs. Your commute is shorter. Infrastructure like waste disposal and water supply are less spread out, requiring less energy per capita. People utilize shared spaces, like parks and community swimming pools, rather than each individual house being equipped with a pool and a lawn of kentucky bluegrass. Public transit is difficult to implement in the suburbs and virtually impossible to implement in rural areas.

    Cities have political advantages, too. A city ordinance requiring metered water on all private residences goes a lot farther in San Francisco than it does in Mendocino County. And I would argue that the density requires people to look at the effects of their lifestyles first-hand; it's easy to ignore the pollution caused by cars, for instance, when you're the only car sailing along I-80 through Nevada than when you're stuck in traffic in Oakland.

    Suburbs and rural areas have, AFAIK, only two semi-advantages. The first is the food transportation issue you're describing; however that's less of an advantage than you think it is because people in suburbs don't necessarily eat more locally - once you've transported a truckload of fruit 1000 miles, it doesn't matter that much that you're transporting it another 20 to bring it to NYC rather than New Jersey. The second semi-advantage is that cities expand outward, which means that buildings are more likely to be newer in suburbs. This is a advantage only when local laws and market demand promote more green energy-efficient buildings. If the newer developments in the exurbs are detached single family residences 10 times the size of your average city dwelling, then that "advantage" becomes a disadvantage.

    Feral on
    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.
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    Synthesis on
    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.
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    I wouldn't be so sure about that statement given the past 2 years. Vehicle sales are down, more efficient vehicles are being purchased and the amount of road miles driven is less. I'm interested to see what happens long term, although I think the miles traveled will increase to higher highs, one way to reduce the consumption problem is to buy less vehicles. And that's happening. And until credit flows freely and idiotically, they won't perk up.

    Or we can artificially push the price of oil up to the point where people don't travel as much. Look at 1979-1981.
    VehicleSales1.jpg
    MilesRollingJuly09.jpg

    mrt144 on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    I wouldn't be so sure about that statement given the past 2 years. Vehicle sales are down, more efficient vehicles are being purchased and the amount of road miles driven is less. I'm interested to see what happens long term, although I think the miles traveled will increase to higher highs, one way to reduce the consumption problem is to buy less vehicles. And that's happening. And until credit flows freely and idiotically, they won't perk up.
    VehicleSales1.jpg
    MilesRollingJuly09.jpg

    I can't say for the immediate future, but despite the fluctuations, our oil consumption is still rising (and faster than our population is rising, by what I can see). Car sales declining does not mean oil consumption is decreasing, at least according to the US EIA
    liquid_fuel_consumption_sector-large.gif

    Unless fuel from corn turns out to be a magically fix (that it hasn't yet), even with government mandates we're still consuming more fuel. It's a remarkably consistent trend that I don't see politely correcting itself.

    To be fair, I personally consider the current arrangement to be a disaster waiting to happen, so I decline to 23% of total oil production (even if that happened) wouldn't exactly be a solution, so much as a very small step in the right direction. Especially if it is undone the next year.

    Synthesis on
    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.
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    I wouldn't be so sure about that statement given the past 2 years. Vehicle sales are down, more efficient vehicles are being purchased and the amount of road miles driven is less. I'm interested to see what happens long term, although I think the miles traveled will increase to higher highs, one way to reduce the consumption problem is to buy less vehicles. And that's happening. And until credit flows freely and idiotically, they won't perk up.
    VehicleSales1.jpg
    MilesRollingJuly09.jpg

    I can't say for the immediate future, but despite the fluctuations, our oil consumption is still rising (and faster than our population is rising, by what I can see). Car sales declining does not mean oil consumption is decreasing, at least according to the US EIA
    liquid_fuel_consumption_sector-large.gif

    Unless fuel from corn turns out to be a magically fix (that it hasn't yet), even with government mandates we're still consuming more fuel. It's a remarkably consistent trend that I don't see politely correcting itself.

    But I'm intrigued with how much it did change when the economic conditions changed the way they did. And car sales declining means less resources being used to build cars that won't be bought. Not related to oil except tangentially there.

    mrt144 on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    I wouldn't be so sure about that statement given the past 2 years. Vehicle sales are down, more efficient vehicles are being purchased and the amount of road miles driven is less. I'm interested to see what happens long term, although I think the miles traveled will increase to higher highs, one way to reduce the consumption problem is to buy less vehicles. And that's happening. And until credit flows freely and idiotically, they won't perk up.
    VehicleSales1.jpg
    MilesRollingJuly09.jpg

    I can't say for the immediate future, but despite the fluctuations, our oil consumption is still rising (and faster than our population is rising, by what I can see). Car sales declining does not mean oil consumption is decreasing, at least according to the US EIA
    liquid_fuel_consumption_sector-large.gif

    Unless fuel from corn turns out to be a magically fix (that it hasn't yet), even with government mandates we're still consuming more fuel. It's a remarkably consistent trend that I don't see politely correcting itself.

    But I'm intrigued with how much it did change when the economic conditions changed the way they did.

    And then how seemingly quickly it corrected itself. The most recent economic grief was not the game-changer some might have expected. Especially when it so rapidly went from $140 back to $70. It's not a great metaphor, but it does feel like a very patient drug dealer realizing that his gamble was paying off, for a time, but decided it wasn't worth the trouble anyway.

    Synthesis on
    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.
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    But consumption hasn't snapped back yet, at least for automotive travel.

    mrt144 on
  • TalleyrandTalleyrand Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    I wouldn't be so sure about that statement given the past 2 years. Vehicle sales are down, more efficient vehicles are being purchased and the amount of road miles driven is less. I'm interested to see what happens long term, although I think the miles traveled will increase to higher highs, one way to reduce the consumption problem is to buy less vehicles. And that's happening. And until credit flows freely and idiotically, they won't perk up.
    VehicleSales1.jpg
    MilesRollingJuly09.jpg

    I can't say for the immediate future, but despite the fluctuations, our oil consumption is still rising (and faster than our population is rising, by what I can see). Car sales declining does not mean oil consumption is decreasing, at least according to the US EIA
    liquid_fuel_consumption_sector-large.gif

    Unless fuel from corn turns out to be a magically fix (that it hasn't yet), even with government mandates we're still consuming more fuel. It's a remarkably consistent trend that I don't see politely correcting itself.

    To be fair, I personally consider the current arrangement to be a disaster waiting to happen, so I decline to 23% of total oil production (even if that happened) wouldn't exactly be a solution, so much as a very small step in the right direction. Especially if it is undone the next year.

    People just drive their old cars which are usually less efficient for longer during recessions. Lowered car sales aren't necessarily a good thing.

    As for technology swooping in and saving the day, most technology requires massive industry to apply it on a large scale. With less resources we will be unable to make a convenient switch to sustainable technology. And if you think reworking our electrical grids to allow them to run a significant portion of our vehicles then you don't understand how behind American infrastructure is. We're basically a plane that's running out of tarmac during liftoff.

    Talleyrand on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Talleyrand wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    As there was for $70. But in either case, it wasn't enough to bring our consumption down to something more in line with, well, our population. Though to be fair, vehicles have gotten more efficient. We've just elected to drive more of them.

    I wouldn't be so sure about that statement given the past 2 years. Vehicle sales are down, more efficient vehicles are being purchased and the amount of road miles driven is less. I'm interested to see what happens long term, although I think the miles traveled will increase to higher highs, one way to reduce the consumption problem is to buy less vehicles. And that's happening. And until credit flows freely and idiotically, they won't perk up.
    VehicleSales1.jpg
    MilesRollingJuly09.jpg

    I can't say for the immediate future, but despite the fluctuations, our oil consumption is still rising (and faster than our population is rising, by what I can see). Car sales declining does not mean oil consumption is decreasing, at least according to the US EIA
    liquid_fuel_consumption_sector-large.gif

    Unless fuel from corn turns out to be a magically fix (that it hasn't yet), even with government mandates we're still consuming more fuel. It's a remarkably consistent trend that I don't see politely correcting itself.

    To be fair, I personally consider the current arrangement to be a disaster waiting to happen, so I decline to 23% of total oil production (even if that happened) wouldn't exactly be a solution, so much as a very small step in the right direction. Especially if it is undone the next year.

    People just drive their old cars which are usually less efficient for longer during recessions. Lowered car sales aren't necessarily a good thing.

    As for technology swooping in and saving the day, most technology requires massive industry to apply it on a large scale. With less resources we will be unable to make a convenient switch to sustainable technology. And if you think reworking our electrical grids to allow them to run a significant portion of our vehicles then you don't understand how behind American infrastructure is. We're basically a plane that's running out of tarmac during liftoff.

    But doesn't new car production consume resources?

    mrt144 on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    There is a limit to which economic growth and so forth runs up against thermodynamics where entropy simply wins. We are nowhere near that point.

    energy.jpg

    moniker on
  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Where would the the environment prefer I live for the rest of my life? China, with close to no doubt. Even with their own environmental disaster, unless I professionally drive SUVs in circles and set them on fire for a living, while eating endangered animals for lunch, my overall impact on the environment, personally, is going to be considerably smaller, especially in the area of consumption and waste generation.

    What is it about America that keeps you from lowering your environmental impact?

    Hexmage-PA on
    Friend Code: 1590-5696-7916
    Friend Safari Type: Rock
  • MorninglordMorninglord Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    You can modify the planet's carrying capacity through technology, so it's not really a static overwhelming limitation on human progress. This was in fact one of the major oversights of Malthus' theories.

    Sure but how much? Is relying on technology a good idea? Isn't that going to increase energy usage rates overall?


    You know what is a horrible blight on society? Cities. Complete waste of energy. Packing a bunch of people ina small space and ferrying food into them at huge cost.

    I like cities, but they're still terrible.

    Packing a bunch of people into a small space saves on heating and transportation bills and allows for greater specialization given the larger population.

    They're like, the best thing for society.

    The majority of the western societies overconsumption of resources are because of cities. I only have to look outside to see all the shops selling energy wasting crap nobody really needs to find your argument a bit lacking.
    What I'm saying is the benefits are outweighed by having humans wasting resources because of them being close together.

    I'm not saying get rid of cities though. It's far, far too late for that, our population has already gone beyond that point.

    Wow. This is dead wrong.

    Cities are far more efficient, per-capita, than suburbs. Your commute is shorter. Infrastructure like waste disposal and water supply are less spread out, requiring less energy per capita. People utilize shared spaces, like parks and community swimming pools, rather than each individual house being equipped with a pool and a lawn of kentucky bluegrass. Public transit is difficult to implement in the suburbs and virtually impossible to implement in rural areas.

    Cities have political advantages, too. A city ordinance requiring metered water on all private residences goes a lot farther in San Francisco than it does in Mendocino County. And I would argue that the density requires people to look at the effects of their lifestyles first-hand; it's easy to ignore the pollution caused by cars, for instance, when you're the only car sailing along I-80 through Nevada than when you're stuck in traffic in Oakland.

    Suburbs and rural areas have, AFAIK, only two semi-advantages. The first is the food transportation issue you're describing; however that's less of an advantage than you think it is because people in suburbs don't necessarily eat more locally - once you've transported a truckload of fruit 1000 miles, it doesn't matter that much that you're transporting it another 20 to bring it to NYC rather than New Jersey. The second semi-advantage is that cities expand outward, which means that buildings are more likely to be newer in suburbs. This is a advantage only when local laws and market demand promote more green energy-efficient buildings. If the newer developments in the exurbs are detached single family residences 10 times the size of your average city dwelling, then that "advantage" becomes a disadvantage.

    You know I'm glad I mentioned my long held silly bias against cities now. I have learnt a lot about the logistics of cities I didn't know. Completely changed my mind after all this. Now I can enjoy cities with less guilt! :D

    Morninglord on
    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
  • SpindizzySpindizzy Registered User
    edited February 2010
    Seems I missed the loving cities bandwagon - probably the only thing I'm qualified to comment on with authority!

    The greenhouse thing - there are specialist glass manufacturers in Germany that produce glass for houses that act like great insulators (an invisible metal layer within the glass etc) and allow heat to be released during hot weather. Though great feats of engineering they are expensive. This is probably due to the scale of the manufacture though.

    Green cities ae a possibility and our technology as always will be providing the solutions. We have the technology but not the economics to produce safe and efficient cars, houses, transport networks and very soon energy, computers and other technology.

    Additionally, food isn't a limiting factor in the slightest. In 2008 Britain threw away £20bn worth of food. This consequently is enough to provide over half the imports needed to support Africa.

    www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/the-16320bn-food-mountain-britons-throw-away-half-of-the-food-produced-each-year-790318.html

    Spindizzy on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA 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

    <3 I will add, for the regional-variation lulz, that around here whining about population is either a way to whine about Them Durn Immigrants (well, the brown ones at least) or a way to avoid talking about how our government has at all levels been chronically underinvesting in infrastructure and land management for something like 40 years at least.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHAZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I meet people who don't particularly like kids and wouldn't want kids anyway who talk about overpopulation and justify their desire not to have kids by saying that there are too many people in the world and it would be socially irresponsible and so forth.

    Yet those same people, rather than sink their money into children, use that money instead to travel more or buy a bigger house or a summer home or otherwise consume more.

    The problem with the first world is not that we're having too many babies, it's that we consume and pollute too much per person. So refusing to have babies and instead consuming and polluting more isn't really all that socially conscious, it's just a convenient way to appear socially conscious without actually making any substantive lifestyle changes.

    Feral on
    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.
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA 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.

    Not really - and certainly not for even the majority of people in the western world. Massive efficiency gains are possible by ponying up for better urban systems, for instance. Car-powered low-density neighbourhoods are pretty bad times.

    Although frankly, the upper and upper-middle classes in places like America and the UK really do need to gather some willingness to self-examine. A lifestyle that involves a three-storey mansion, a car for everyone in the house, a TV in every room, etc etc are objectively wasteful and greedy. There's nothing wrong with having nice, quality things in your life, but there's a point beyond which it becomes obscene. And its before you get to My Super Sweet Sixteen D:

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    Klyka wrote: »
    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.

    Probably because it treats children like 40K figurines instead of people and flatly denies the existence of family ties, Edgy Guy. but hey, you're Edgy and that clearly keeps you warm at night.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited February 2010
    Klyka wrote: »
    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"?

    It isn't something based on reason so reasonable arguments aren't going to help you understand it.
    Most people don't use reason and good logic. The world would be a lot less fucked up if they did for a start.

    Yeah but,I mean, even if you are a stupid couple without reason, you WILL understand that if you have more than 2 children,you will be punished.

    And you can't tell me those people are gonna have more than 2 children. MAYBE once they'll go astray and then get kicked down by the punishment and realize "ok, we can just fuck with a condom on or I get a vasectomy or whatever".

    I just don't see ANYONE who is living under that rule going "but I really, really NEED more than 2 children".

    Google 'Quiverfull'.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Mind you more than one is a bit much.
    Until he begs for a brother.

    Yar on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    You can modify the planet's carrying capacity through technology, so it's not really a static overwhelming limitation on human progress. This was in fact one of the major oversights of Malthus' theories.

    Sure but how much? Is relying on technology a good idea? Isn't that going to increase energy usage rates overall?


    You know what is a horrible blight on society? Cities. Complete waste of energy. Packing a bunch of people ina small space and ferrying food into them at huge cost.

    I like cities, but they're still terrible.

    Packing a bunch of people into a small space saves on heating and transportation bills and allows for greater specialization given the larger population.

    They're like, the best thing for society.

    The majority of the western societies overconsumption of resources are because of cities. I only have to look outside to see all the shops selling energy wasting crap nobody really needs to find your argument a bit lacking.
    What I'm saying is the benefits are outweighed by having humans wasting resources because of them being close together.

    I'm not saying get rid of cities though. It's far, far too late for that, our population has already gone beyond that point.

    Wow. This is dead wrong.

    Cities are far more efficient, per-capita, than suburbs. Your commute is shorter. Infrastructure like waste disposal and water supply are less spread out, requiring less energy per capita. People utilize shared spaces, like parks and community swimming pools, rather than each individual house being equipped with a pool and a lawn of kentucky bluegrass. Public transit is difficult to implement in the suburbs and virtually impossible to implement in rural areas.

    Cities have political advantages, too. A city ordinance requiring metered water on all private residences goes a lot farther in San Francisco than it does in Mendocino County. And I would argue that the density requires people to look at the effects of their lifestyles first-hand; it's easy to ignore the pollution caused by cars, for instance, when you're the only car sailing along I-80 through Nevada than when you're stuck in traffic in Oakland.

    Suburbs and rural areas have, AFAIK, only two semi-advantages. The first is the food transportation issue you're describing; however that's less of an advantage than you think it is because people in suburbs don't necessarily eat more locally - once you've transported a truckload of fruit 1000 miles, it doesn't matter that much that you're transporting it another 20 to bring it to NYC rather than New Jersey. The second semi-advantage is that cities expand outward, which means that buildings are more likely to be newer in suburbs. This is a advantage only when local laws and market demand promote more green energy-efficient buildings. If the newer developments in the exurbs are detached single family residences 10 times the size of your average city dwelling, then that "advantage" becomes a disadvantage.

    You know I'm glad I mentioned my long held silly bias against cities now. I have learnt a lot about the logistics of cities I didn't know. Completely changed my mind after all this. Now I can enjoy cities with less guilt! :D

    Something else to consider. Food transport from the country to the city can actually be very efficient if using rail transport. Rail is pretty awesome.

    mrt144 on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    Mind you more than one is a bit much.
    Until he begs for a brother.

    Do you fold as easily when he begs for a radio-controlled car, a Transformer, and a Playstation as well?

    ronya on
  • ArangArang Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Klyka wrote: »
    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 unwanted child for us anyway".


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

    What when X percentage of people decide not to have children, or to only have one child, sending the population on the course to more or less inevitable extinction? Do you force dissenters to have children? Do you figure out how to keep population constant by measuring out extra babies to other, willing people? How do you allot the extra babies? Randomly? Who wants it most? Pay for them?

    So much wrong with this idea.

    Arang on
    thenews.jpg
  • YarYar Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    Mind you more than one is a bit much.
    Until he begs for a brother.

    Do you fold as easily when he begs for a radio-controlled car, a Transformer, and a Playstation as well?
    Nor did I decide to have the first one as I would decide to buy a new TV or Xbox game.

    Yar on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Yar wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    Mind you more than one is a bit much.
    Until he begs for a brother.

    Do you fold as easily when he begs for a radio-controlled car, a Transformer, and a Playstation as well?
    Nor did I decide to have the first one as I would decide to buy a new TV or Xbox game.

    Your kid isn't high resolution?

    moniker on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHAZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Reproductive rights are an area where I'd prefer the law not tread if at all possible. I think that for the state to start telling people whether to have kids and how many and under what circumstances requires an extremely compelling state interest, which has not been demonstrated in this case and IMO cannot be demonstrated as there is already a negative correlation between per-capita ecological footprint and birth rates.

    Feral on
    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.
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Yar wrote: »
    Mind you more than one is a bit much.
    Until he begs for a brother.

    Do you fold as easily when he begs for a radio-controlled car, a Transformer, and a Playstation as well?

    "My toddler is a tyrant. First he demanded that Shake on It, then a bottle of Crystal, and now he's got me and the wife trying for a little brother. I can't bear to tell him he's adopted cause we're infertile."

    mrt144 on
  • ronyaronya Arrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    Reproductive rights are an area where I'd prefer the law not tread if at all possible. I think that for the state to start telling people whether to have kids and how many and under what circumstances requires an extremely compelling state interest, which has not been demonstrated in this case and IMO cannot be demonstrated as there is already a negative correlation between per-capita ecological footprint and birth rates.

    It'll almost certainly not be "you can't have this many kids"; rather it'll be a reduction in existing subsidies favoring more children. Or an increase in subsidies if so desired (to combat an aging population imbalance, for instance).

    The state already treads all over this area - via, say, the tax structure, or subsidies on child spending like elementary education - so asking for the law not to tread here is not really possible.

    ronya on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHAZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    ronya wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Reproductive rights are an area where I'd prefer the law not tread if at all possible. I think that for the state to start telling people whether to have kids and how many and under what circumstances requires an extremely compelling state interest, which has not been demonstrated in this case and IMO cannot be demonstrated as there is already a negative correlation between per-capita ecological footprint and birth rates.

    It'll almost certainly not be "you can't have this many kids"; rather it'll be a reduction in existing subsidies favoring more children. Or an increase in subsidies if so desired (to combat an aging population imbalance, for instance).

    The state already treads all over this area - via, say, the tax structure, or subsidies on child spending like elementary education - so asking for the law not to tread here is not really possible.

    Please to be showing where there are subsidies favoring more children.

    Feral on
    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.
  • DarkCrawlerDarkCrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Fuck it, let people have as many children as they want. Let's work on energy, housing and transportation inventions, in addition to immigration reform rather then whining about overpopulation. Because let's face it, even if there was a law that probhits you from having children, rich people are not going to care about it because they have money, and then it just turns into another way to fuck over the poor.

    DarkCrawler on
  • TalleyrandTalleyrand Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    moniker wrote: »
    There is a limit to which economic growth and so forth runs up against thermodynamics where entropy simply wins. We are nowhere near that point.

    energy.jpg

    I don't get that graph. What exactly is an intensity index?

    I can't wait for construction for the highspeed rails to get underway. The day I can just jump on a train from Austin to Dallas and be there in half the time it takes to drive I will be a happy person.

    Talleyrand on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Talleyrand wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    There is a limit to which economic growth and so forth runs up against thermodynamics where entropy simply wins. We are nowhere near that point.

    energy.jpg

    I don't get that graph. What exactly is an intensity index?
    Wikipedia wrote:
    Energy Intensity is a measure of the energy efficiency of a nation's economy. It is calculated as units of energy per unit of GDP.

    * High energy intensities indicate a high price or cost of converting energy into GDP.
    * Low energy intensity indicates a lower price or cost of converting energy into GDP.

    Many factors influence an economy's overall energy intensity. It may reflect requirements for general standards of living and weather conditions in an economy.

    We are getting more and more energy efficient as our GDP continues to rise, and this is without any sort of policy or economic constraints actually promoting energy efficiency. I think we can all agree that quality of living has improved dramatically over the last half century. It has done so while becoming ever more sustainable in comparison to a simple straight baseline standard.

    Throw cap and trade into the mix or similar and eventually people will have what is considered middle class lifestyle today while using as much power as an incandescent lightbulb. Well, not really, but at a considerably, if non-hyperbolic, lower amount.

    moniker on
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Reproductive rights are an area where I'd prefer the law not tread if at all possible. I think that for the state to start telling people whether to have kids and how many and under what circumstances requires an extremely compelling state interest, which has not been demonstrated in this case and IMO cannot be demonstrated as there is already a negative correlation between per-capita ecological footprint and birth rates.

    It'll almost certainly not be "you can't have this many kids"; rather it'll be a reduction in existing subsidies favoring more children. Or an increase in subsidies if so desired (to combat an aging population imbalance, for instance).

    The state already treads all over this area - via, say, the tax structure, or subsidies on child spending like elementary education - so asking for the law not to tread here is not really possible.

    Please to be showing where there are subsidies favoring more children.

    There's always the Child Tax Credit. We typically expect tax deductions for things crucial to our living, such as work expenses, and pay tax on the money we use for things like luxuries and such. Revoking the Child Tax Credit might be helpful in encouraging a perception shift towards children being a luxury and not a duty/right as is currently the case. Of course, I'd want to see those funds re-directed to a progressive purpose since the poor would be more harmed by revoking this credit.

    TL DR on
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Why have we so far ignored the fact that we're not actually limited to only exploiting the Earth's resources?

    One poster, on like page 2 or 3, has mentioned that overpopulation would likely just push us to space, and everyone else has ignored what is the obvious answer.

    In the first place, we can push the Earth's capacity much, much farther than is commonly believed in this thread. Frankly many of your posts read like 1950's SciFi that predicted a massive overpopulation crisis by the year 2000. And not by just assuming technological progress either, with present day existing technology. The rest of the world can have an American lifestyle complete with electronic gadgetry, Big Macs and a non-tenement to live in.

    1. Energy? Nuclear Fission. Uranium is actually one of the most commons elements in the Earth, people who claim the supply will only last ~80 years completely ignore harvesting Uranium from seawater, there is literally enough to last us until the Earth is destroyed by the Sun expanding in 5 billion years (assuming current rates of plate tectonic activity, using modern breeder reactors and energy usage, dock a few orders of magnitude to assume crazy huge populations if you like, it really doesn't matter)

    2. Food? We're barely trying to grow food right now, I still have trouble believing that we actually pay farmers subsidies to not grow food in the US so that what, food prices stay high so a farming family can make a living? What a complete waste of money, we should be trying to make it as close to free as possible. We're barely scratching the surface in what could be grown on existing farmland, nevermind expanding into animal habitats or vertical (urban) farming. Some people would need to stop eating their ridiculously inefficient organic and free range products though.

    3. Water? Seriously? Electricity + Sea Water = Drinking Water and piping water long distances really isn't difficult.

    4. Waste? Recyling. Especially industrial waste since it actually turns out to be quite profitable. Hazardous chemicals or radioactive waste? Store them temporarily, launch 'em into the sun later (more on this in a bit).

    5. Space? In no danger whatsoever of running out, and even if we did there's alwaying growing upward. But this leads us to:

    That other space. There are so many resources in our solar system just waiting to be exploited, and with a space elevator you'd get costs of under $10/kg to put things into orbit. Beyond the obvious candidates for terraforming such as Mars or Europa, Ganymede or even our own Moon would also be fine with a bit more effort. Floating platforms in Saturn's atmosphere would have Earth gravity and be great for Helium 3 extraction in case we actually do figure out nuclear fusion.

    Then there are actual space stations, take an asteroid, the metal inside can make many stations, the empty rock itself becomes a habitat when you're done. There are so many choices for space station designs, my favorite is an O'Neill Cylinder:
    Spacecolony3edit.jpeg

    Let's not get started on assuming any eventual FTL travel.

    Basically it comes down to this: With current global resources we can pursue unchecked growth for centuries if not millenia. I think it's a safe assumption that at some point in that time people stop fucking laughing and actually build a few space elevators. Then we expand into the solar system and have access to so many resources it boggles the mind.

    Some of you just suffer from a severe lack of imagination, the real question about population is what happens when people stop dying from natural causes? Especially given a level of scientific expertise capable of keeping a body in such good repair so as to have eternal youth, not just eternal life. Now that would be explosive population

    Lanlaorn on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHAZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    There's always the Child Tax Credit. We typically expect tax deductions for things crucial to our living, such as work expenses, and pay tax on the money we use for things like luxuries and such. Revoking the Child Tax Credit might be helpful in encouraging a perception shift towards children being a luxury and not a duty/right as is currently the case. Of course, I'd want to see those funds re-directed to a progressive purpose since the poor would be more harmed by revoking this credit.

    Sure, and you get more on food stamps if you have more kids, too.

    Those tax breaks and subsidies do not come close to defraying the true cost of having kids, and I'd like people who cry about these things to show me somebody, somewhere who had an extra kid to get more free moneys (or tax breaks) from the government.

    Feral on
    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.
  • TalleyrandTalleyrand Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    Why have we so far ignored the fact that we're not actually limited to only exploiting the Earth's resources?

    One poster, on like page 2 or 3, has mentioned that overpopulation would likely just push us to space, and everyone else has ignored what is the obvious answer.

    In the first place, we can push the Earth's capacity much, much farther than is commonly believed in this thread. Frankly many of your posts read like 1950's SciFi that predicted a massive overpopulation crisis by the year 2000. And not by just assuming technological progress either, with present day existing technology. The rest of the world can have an American lifestyle complete with electronic gadgetry, Big Macs and a non-tenement to live in.

    1. Energy? Nuclear Fission. Uranium is actually one of the most commons elements in the Earth, people who claim the supply will only last ~80 years completely ignore harvesting Uranium from seawater, there is literally enough to last us until the Earth is destroyed by the Sun expanding in 5 billion years (assuming current rates of plate tectonic activity, using modern breeder reactors and energy usage, dock a few orders of magnitude to assume crazy huge populations if you like, it really doesn't matter)

    2. Food? We're barely trying to grow food right now, I still have trouble believing that we actually pay farmers subsidies to not grow food in the US so that what, food prices stay high so a farming family can make a living? What a complete waste of money, we should be trying to make it as close to free as possible. We're barely scratching the surface in what could be grown on existing farmland, nevermind expanding into animal habitats or vertical (urban) farming. Some people would need to stop eating their ridiculously inefficient organic and free range products though.

    3. Water? Seriously? Electricity + Sea Water = Drinking Water and piping water long distances really isn't difficult.

    4. Waste? Recyling. Especially industrial waste since it actually turns out to be quite profitable. Hazardous chemicals or radioactive waste? Store them temporarily, launch 'em into the sun later (more on this in a bit).

    5. Space? In no danger whatsoever of running out, and even if we did there's alwaying growing upward. But this leads us to:

    That other space. There are so many resources in our solar system just waiting to be exploited, and with a space elevator you'd get costs of under $10/kg to put things into orbit. Beyond the obvious candidates for terraforming such as Mars or Europa, Ganymede or even our own Moon would also be fine with a bit more effort. Floating platforms in Saturn's atmosphere would have Earth gravity and be great for Helium 3 extraction in case we actually do figure out nuclear fusion.

    Then there are actual space stations, take an asteroid, the metal inside can make many stations, the empty rock itself becomes a habitat when you're done. There are so many choices for space station designs, my favorite is an O'Neill Cylinder:
    Spacecolony3edit.jpeg

    Let's not get started on assuming any eventual FTL travel.

    Basically it comes down to this: With current global resources we can pursue unchecked growth for centuries if not millenia. I think it's a safe assumption that at some point in that time people stop fucking laughing and actually build a few space elevators. Then we expand into the solar system and have access to so many resources it boggles the mind.

    Some of you just suffer from a severe lack of imagination, the real question about population is what happens when people stop dying from natural causes? Especially given a level of scientific expertise capable of keeping a body in such good repair so as to have eternal youth, not just eternal life. Now that would be explosive population

    I think you need to ground yourself a bit.

    First off nuclear reactors are always going to be hugely expensive to build and we still haven't ironed out all the kinks with breeder reactors and we already have nearly enough nuclear waste to fill Yucca Mountain. Saying we can just shoot it into space is a ridiculous argument. I've also mentioned that our electricity grid is already out of date and pushing it's capacity without us linking even a small portion of expensive hybrid cars to it. We also have no idea how far off fusion reactors are.

    As for food our current way of farming has extreme environmental effects that will eventually catch up to us. Livestock is already creating a large percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere and our topsoil is continually turning into useless gravel without the help of more chemicals. It's also creating more health problems as we vaccine animals more and force them to live in more crowded spaces.

    I'll get to the rest later since class started 2 minutes ago.

    Talleyrand on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Reproductive rights are an area where I'd prefer the law not tread if at all possible. I think that for the state to start telling people whether to have kids and how many and under what circumstances requires an extremely compelling state interest, which has not been demonstrated in this case and IMO cannot be demonstrated as there is already a negative correlation between per-capita ecological footprint and birth rates.

    It'll almost certainly not be "you can't have this many kids"; rather it'll be a reduction in existing subsidies favoring more children. Or an increase in subsidies if so desired (to combat an aging population imbalance, for instance).

    The state already treads all over this area - via, say, the tax structure, or subsidies on child spending like elementary education - so asking for the law not to tread here is not really possible.

    Please to be showing where there are subsidies favoring more children.

    There's always the Child Tax Credit. We typically expect tax deductions for things crucial to our living, such as work expenses, and pay tax on the money we use for things like luxuries and such. Revoking the Child Tax Credit might be helpful in encouraging a perception shift towards children being a luxury and not a duty/right as is currently the case. Of course, I'd want to see those funds re-directed to a progressive purpose since the poor would be more harmed by revoking this credit.

    It's double backflip reverse logic for Republicans; Having a child shouldn't be an undue burden but goddamn those people who want to get abortions so they don't have to have to take a handout and get a break.

    mrt144 on
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