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Population vs. Limited Resources

1235789

Posts

  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    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 I've also mentioned that our electricity grid is already out of date and pushing it's capacity without us linking even a small portion of expensive hybrid cars to it.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.

    Who care if they're expensive to build, since they're so incredibly efficient they still garuntee present day energy prices in a future where we've consumed our fossil fuels. And that's the whole goddamn point. As for waste, we have plenty of places it hold it right now, it doesn't have to be under a damn mountain. That's just a condition set by people who actually expect us to hold on to that waste for hundreds of thousands of years. The very notion is ridiculous when you consider that merely five thousand years ago farming was high tech. We only need to store it for a few hundred years.

    As for dumping waste in space: explain why it's ridiculous. There are many, many ways to get things into orbit cheaply, a space elevator being the one we'll probably build first. So with a $10/kg pricetag for just throwing radioactive waste into jupiter, the sun, or just a random direction, explain to me the problem.
    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.

    Even if we care about CO2 emissions in this scenario, you're incorrect, livestock do not create a "large percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere", you may be thinking of methane but frankly that's just another renewable energy source, not a problem.

    As for soil degradation, steroid use in animals, etc. these are all concerns only if you care that your agriculture is increasingly artificial. Are we talking about the continuing propagation of the human race or of preserving the Earth in some pristine state?

    I feel a lot of you aren't arguing "hey guys I think there's a problem on the horizon", you're arguing "hey guys I think the noble savage is a neat idea, let's return to at least a pastoral ideal".

    Lanlaorn on
  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    I agree. And yeah, that kind of abuse happens much more often in the foster care system.

    TL DR on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    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.

    Who care if they're expensive to build, since they're so incredibly efficient they still garuntee present day energy prices in a future where we've consumed our fossil fuels. And that's the whole goddamn point. As for waste, we have plenty of places it hold it right now, it doesn't have to be under a damn mountain. That's just a condition set by people who actually expect us to hold on to that waste for hundreds of thousands of years. The very notion is ridiculous when you consider that merely five thousand years ago farming was high tech. We only need to store it for a few hundred years.

    As for dumping waste in space: explain why it's ridiculous. There are many, many ways to get things into orbit cheaply, a space elevator being the one we'll probably build first. So with a $10/kg pricetag for just throwing radioactive waste into jupiter, the sun, or just a random direction, explain to me the problem.

    There is quite a bit wrong with this. Not the least of which pretending that nuclear power is more economical than fossil fuel power generation without priced in externalities. Even then, you'd have to get to around ~$50/tonne in order to make it actually cheaper. At the far more likely ~$20-30/tonne it is still slightly more expensive, but that cost is less volatile and so more amenable to investment.

    As for why dumping radioactive waste in space is ridiculous...I'm rather amazed that you're even asking. Kosmos 954, for starters. Breeder and pebble bed reactors do basically solve the waste issue, but you aren't even mentioning that. Which I suppose I shouldn't consider too strange given your utopian view of how to deal with some actual problems that need addressing.
    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.

    Even if we care about CO2 emissions in this scenario, you're incorrect, livestock do not create a "large percentage of the CO2 in the atmosphere", you may be thinking of methane but frankly that's just another renewable energy source, not a problem.

    As for soil degradation, steroid use in animals, etc. these are all concerns only if you care that your agriculture is increasingly artificial. Are we talking about the continuing propagation of the human race or of preserving the Earth in some pristine state?

    I feel a lot of you aren't arguing "hey guys I think there's a problem on the horizon", you're arguing "hey guys I think the noble savage is a neat idea, let's return to at least a pastoral ideal".

    So to you the options are suicidal policies that effectively promise an extinction event due to our own poor stewardship of natural resources, or returning to hunter-gatherer societies? Yeah, ridiculous doesn't even begin to cover this silly goosery.

    moniker on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    The beauty is, anyone who wants to go be a hunter gatherer has the ability to do so now. Why aren't they?

    mrt144 on
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    You will never meet a human being who is more strongly in favor of space exploration and (eventual) extraterrestrial colonization than myself.

    However, there is no known or projected technology that will enable any kind of mass emigration from the Earth in the next hundred years. It is simply not a viable solution. We cannot construct a space elevator on this planet with the available materials, and the other hypothetical high-volume launchers (launch loop, space fountain, etc.) require a huge investment assuming they turn out to be plausible at all.

    And if we could get that many people into LEO, where would they go from there and how would they get to their destination? The only suitable stellar bodies are Earth's moon and Mars, and large-scale colonization would require many capabilities we do not possess. We (in the US) don't even have a heavy lift vehicle anymore, and our wonderful President just axed development on the one we were working on. Any program of colonization would have to be preceded by a program of exploration, and so far no one seems willing to fund even those.

    CycloneRanger on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    You will never meet a human being who is more strongly in favor of space exploration and (eventual) extraterrestrial colonization than myself.

    However, there is no known or projected technology that will enable any kind of mass emigration from the Earth in the next hundred years. It is simply not a viable solution. We cannot construct a space elevator on this planet with the available materials, and the other hypothetical high-volume launchers (launch loop, space fountain, etc.) require a huge investment assuming they turn out to be plausible at all.

    And if we could get that many people into LEO, where would they go from there and how would they get to their destination? The only suitable stellar bodies are Earth's moon and Mars, and large-scale colonization would require many capabilities we do not possess. We (in the US) don't even have a heavy lift vehicle anymore, and our wonderful President just axed development on the one we were working on. Any program of colonization would have to be preceded by a program of exploration, and so far no one seems willing to fund even those.

    Transcendence is the only option.

    mrt144 on
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    There is quite a bit wrong with this. Not the least of which pretending that nuclear power is more economical than fossil fuel power generation without priced in externalities. Even then, you'd have to get to around ~$50/tonne in order to make it actually cheaper. At the far more likely ~$20-30/tonne it is still slightly more expensive, but that cost is less volatile and so more amenable to investment.

    As for why dumping radioactive waste in space is ridiculous...I'm rather amazed that you're even asking. Kosmos 954, for starters. Breeder and pebble bed reactors do basically solve the waste issue, but you aren't even mentioning that. Which I suppose I shouldn't consider too strange given your utopian view of how to deal with some actual problems that need addressing.

    I don't know what talking points you're quoting your views of nuclear power cost from, but the fact is nuclear power is currently (as in right now) only slightly more expensive than fossil fuels. Projections for future cost increases are all based on depleting the world supply of Uranium, leading to higher prices in mining it. Progress is being made on extracting it from seawater though, I read a nice article about some Japanese researcher a while back in particular, and so this is a non-issue.

    Also newsflash: breeder and pebble bed reactors still produce waste that must be stored. As for Kosmos 954, I bet you're one of those people who are terrified of nuclear waste being transported via truck within a 500 mile radius of where you live huh? Also, did you just ignore the point where we store this for a few centuries until we have cheap surface to orbit capabilities (read: non-rocket).
    You will never meet a human being who is more strongly in favor of space exploration and (eventual) extraterrestrial colonization than myself.

    However, there is no known or projected technology that will enable any kind of mass emigration from the Earth in the next hundred years. It is simply not a viable solution. We cannot construct a space elevator on this planet with the available materials, and the other hypothetical high-volume launchers (launch loop, space fountain, etc.) require a huge investment assuming they turn out to be plausible at all.

    And if we could get that many people into LEO, where would they go from there and how would they get to their destination? The only suitable stellar bodies are Earth's moon and Mars, and large-scale colonization would require many capabilities we do not possess. We (in the US) don't even have a heavy lift vehicle anymore, and our wonderful President just axed development on the one we were working on. Any program of colonization would have to be preceded by a program of exploration, and so far no one seems willing to fund even those.

    No, I sadly agree that the near future prospects are slim =( Silly geese would rather focus on social welfare nonsense than any real progress. It doesn't have to be in the next century though, we've got plenty of time on Earth.

    I'm personally just hoping for a singularity and clincial immortality from transhumanism to spur us into motion.

    Lanlaorn on
  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    3. Water? Seriously? Electricity + Sea Water = Drinking Water and piping water long distances really isn't difficult.

    it is my understanding that potable water is an enormous issue in many, many parts of the world. not only is it costly to provide potable water, but in many areas, it's simply not possible.

    perhaps i am wrong and you can enlighten me on this issue.

    Ketherial on
  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    it is my understanding that potable water is an enormous issue in many, many parts of the world. not only is it costly to provide potable water, but in many areas, it's simply not possible.

    perhaps i am wrong and you can enlighten me on this issue.

    No, you're right that much of the world is very fucked up. In fact, the potable water that they do drink in the US would be considered grey water (waste water from faucets, showers, etc., not from a toilet though, which is black water) and thus only used for watering plants at best.

    Any argument about overpopulation/overconsumption has to be based on the fact that these terrible places actually develop and consume as much as Americans. If they're starving, dying from easily treatable disease and lack water then it's really not a problem within the scope of this thread.

    What I'm saying is, those people don't lack water because it's hard to get. They have other, very serious problems in their country.

    Lanlaorn on
  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    i see what you are saying now.

    i guess i just consider something that is "costly" equivalent to something that is "hard to get." as such, potable water qualifies as a resource that is "hard to get."

    Ketherial on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    There is quite a bit wrong with this. Not the least of which pretending that nuclear power is more economical than fossil fuel power generation without priced in externalities. Even then, you'd have to get to around ~$50/tonne in order to make it actually cheaper. At the far more likely ~$20-30/tonne it is still slightly more expensive, but that cost is less volatile and so more amenable to investment.

    As for why dumping radioactive waste in space is ridiculous...I'm rather amazed that you're even asking. Kosmos 954, for starters. Breeder and pebble bed reactors do basically solve the waste issue, but you aren't even mentioning that. Which I suppose I shouldn't consider too strange given your utopian view of how to deal with some actual problems that need addressing.

    I don't know what talking points you're quoting your views of nuclear power cost from, but the fact is nuclear power is currently (as in right now) only slightly more expensive than fossil fuels. Projections for future cost increases are all based on depleting the world supply of Uranium, leading to higher prices in mining it. Progress is being made on extracting it from seawater though, I read a nice article about some Japanese researcher a while back in particular, and so this is a non-issue.

    They aren't talking points, they're reality. But thanks for just dismissing them as such. Oh, and guess what? Something being more expensive means that it is less economical! You literally just agreed with what I said while pretending to hold it in contempt.
    Also newsflash: breeder and pebble bed reactors still produce waste that must be stored. As for Kosmos 954, I bet you're one of those people who are terrified of nuclear waste being transported via truck within a 500 mile radius of where you live huh? Also, did you just ignore the point where we store this for a few centuries until we have cheap surface to orbit capabilities (read: non-rocket).

    Yes, but the halflife on that waste is numbered in centuries (2, roughly) and we have managed to store far less important things for far longer periods of time without any problem whatever. The issue is when you have to ensure the safe containment of something for millenia as we that would require quite a few unprecedented issues. Breeder reactors solve that waste problem, full stop.

    And no, nuclear waste exists and is transported well within a 500m radius from my house and I don't give two shits. In fact I had applied for a job where I would be less than 500' from it, but things didn't pan out. I'm rather in favour of expanded civilian nuclear capacity. I just also like to live in this world where problem need to actually be addressed rather than ignored or waived away by some utopian scheme.

    What about the waste? Oh we'll just blast it into space. That's stupid. Did I say blast? I meant use this perfectly safe method of entering low earth orbit that is only in the theoretical stages of development and might take a few centuries to work the kinks out. Brilliant!
    No, I sadly agree that the near future prospects are slim =( Silly geese would rather focus on social welfare nonsense than any real progress. It doesn't have to be in the next century though, we've got plenty of time on Earth.

    I'm personally just hoping for a singularity and clincial immortality from transhumanism to spur us into motion.

    ...oh. You're one of those silly geese. Well that explains it then.

    moniker on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    it is my understanding that potable water is an enormous issue in many, many parts of the world. not only is it costly to provide potable water, but in many areas, it's simply not possible.

    perhaps i am wrong and you can enlighten me on this issue.

    No, you're right that much of the world is very fucked up. In fact, the potable water that they do drink in the US would be considered grey water (waste water from faucets, showers, etc., not from a toilet though, which is black water) and thus only used for watering plants at best.

    Any argument about overpopulation/overconsumption has to be based on the fact that these terrible places actually develop and consume as much as Americans. If they're starving, dying from easily treatable disease and lack water then it's really not a problem within the scope of this thread.

    What I'm saying is, those people don't lack water because it's hard to get. They have other, very serious problems in their country.

    Grey water should be required for any and all outdoor uses in the States.

    mrt144 on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Ketherial wrote: »
    i see what you are saying now.

    i guess i just consider something that is "costly" equivalent to something that is "hard to get." as such, potable water qualifies as a resource that is "hard to get."

    That's because it is. The lack of access to potable water as well as increased desertification due to reduced annual rainfall and shifting climactic norms are the ultimate cause for a number of wars and genocides going on right now. Darfur is ultimately an issue of access to continually depleting arable lands. That is only going to get worse if we don't start to take the issue seriously. Which, given that there are still rather populous parts of this country without bloody meters (or who only just installed them a year or two ago) doesn't seem bode well for considerate long term planning.

    moniker on
  • KetherialKetherial Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    that has always been my understanding as well.

    so when i saw lanlaorn dismissing the issue with one sentence, i felt that either a) i simply had no grasp of the issue at all, or b) we were talking past each other.

    i think it turned out to be b).

    Ketherial on
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Synthesis,

    The people of china who live similarly to US middle class consume and pollute just as much as the US.

    China might look better per capital but that's only because they have a ton of people living below what is considered the poverty line in the US.

    You insist on viewing things per capita, but I'd be just as keen to argue we measure per square mile.

    one way canada looks like one of the worlds worst consumers and polluters, the other way and we are saints.

    If only there were some way we could cover 90% of the entire world in glaciers and permafrost, and move 99% of the population to a 150 mile strip just over the US border.

    Jealous Deva on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Synthesis,

    The people of china who live similarly to US middle class consume and pollute just as much as the US.

    China might look better per capital but that's only because they have a ton of people living below what is considered the poverty line in the US.

    You insist on viewing things per capita, but I'd be just as keen to argue we measure per square mile.

    one way canada looks like one of the worlds worst consumers and polluters, the other way and we are saints.

    If only there were some way we could cover 90% of the entire world in glaciers and permafrost, and move 99% of the population to a 150 mile strip just over the US border.

    You'd be amazed what problems can be solved if you consider generally negative things, like disproportionate consumption of oil, to be positives.

    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.
  • Modern ManModern Man 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.
    Wealthier people tend not to have that many kids. If we're worrying about overpopulation, the developed world isn't really an issue- The US is one of the few countries in the developed world that has replacement-level fertility. Japan's on track to lost 2/3rds of its population by the end of this century.

    Frankly, underpopulation is going to be more of a problem in developed countries this century. The modern welfare state is based on the premise that for every non-working person you have multiple people working to pay for their retirement and such. That is becoming less and less the case. Human societies have never really had a situation where there are large numbers or older, retired people sitting around expecting their benefits to arrive in the mail every month.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Dman wrote: »
    Synthesis,

    The people of china who live similarly to US middle class consume and pollute just as much as the US.

    China might look better per capital but that's only because they have a ton of people living below what is considered the poverty line in the US.

    You insist on viewing things per capita, but I'd be just as keen to argue we measure per square mile.

    one way canada looks like one of the worlds worst consumers and polluters, the other way and we are saints.

    If only there were some way we could cover 90% of the entire world in glaciers and permafrost, and move 99% of the population to a 150 mile strip just over the US border.

    You'd be amazed what problems can be solved if you consider generally negative things, like disproportionate consumption of oil, to be positives. Or flat out ignore them.

    canada isn't 90% covered by permafrost, that's hogwash and we export twice as much oil as we import. If every country had as low a population density, as much richness of raw resources and negative population growth we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Like I said, if you view everything through a per capita lens and insist resources should be allocated per person and the problem is limited and unfair allocation of resources and not overpopulation then sure, were terrible.

    Dman on
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    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.
    Wealthier people tend not to have that many kids. If we're worrying about overpopulation, the developed world isn't really an issue- The US is one of the few countries in the developed world that has replacement-level fertility. Japan's on track to lost 2/3rds of its population by the end of this century.

    Frankly, underpopulation is going to be more of a problem in developed countries this century. The modern welfare state is based on the premise that for every non-working person you have multiple people working to pay for their retirement and such. That is becoming less and less the case. Human societies have never really had a situation where there are large numbers or older, retired people sitting around expecting their benefits to arrive in the mail every month.

    I think we're below the replacement rate if you exclude immigration, actually. Which is probably going to be how a lot of these issues get 'solved' in the short-medium term. Up the immigration rate.

    moniker on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Modern Man wrote: »
    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.
    Wealthier people tend not to have that many kids. If we're worrying about overpopulation, the developed world isn't really an issue- The US is one of the few countries in the developed world that has replacement-level fertility. Japan's on track to lost 2/3rds of its population by the end of this century.

    Frankly, underpopulation is going to be more of a problem in developed countries this century. The modern welfare state is based on the premise that for every non-working person you have multiple people working to pay for their retirement and such. That is becoming less and less the case. Human societies have never really had a situation where there are large numbers or older, retired people sitting around expecting their benefits to arrive in the mail every month.

    Which is why we need to get immigrants moving to those places. Oh but the racism and xenophobia you encounter.

    mrt144 on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    mrt144 wrote: »
    Modern Man wrote: »
    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.
    Wealthier people tend not to have that many kids. If we're worrying about overpopulation, the developed world isn't really an issue- The US is one of the few countries in the developed world that has replacement-level fertility. Japan's on track to lost 2/3rds of its population by the end of this century.

    Frankly, underpopulation is going to be more of a problem in developed countries this century. The modern welfare state is based on the premise that for every non-working person you have multiple people working to pay for their retirement and such. That is becoming less and less the case. Human societies have never really had a situation where there are large numbers or older, retired people sitting around expecting their benefits to arrive in the mail every month.

    Which is why we need to get immigrants moving to those places. Oh but the racism and xenophobia you encounter.
    Adding immigrants is really only a temporary solution to a systemic problem. Programs like social security worked fine back then there were 16 people paying in for each person drawing benefits. Now it's something like 4-1. We can't go back to the old ratio without massively increasing our population (which just pushes the problem down the road until the immigrants themselves get older).

    We don't really have a model for dealing with these types of demographics in a society.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    They aren't talking points, they're reality. But thanks for just dismissing them as such. Oh, and guess what? Something being more expensive means that it is less economical! You literally just agreed with what I said while pretending to hold it in contempt.

    Look, I know you're not too silly goosey (?) to understand my point. I say nuclear fission can meet our energy needs at prices similar to those we're paying right now, thus sustaining our current consumption in the wake of oil. You say, no, it's too expensive. I say, actually it's about the same price, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. You reply with that nonsense?

    At what point is my point that you replied to:
    Who care if they're expensive to build, since they're so incredibly efficient they still garuntee present day energy prices in a future where we've consumed our fossil fuels

    That you said there's "quite a bit wrong with", proven false? The high cost in building a nuclear power plant is offset by the low cost in fuel due to it's high efficiency resulting in nearly the same $/kilowatt-hour as whatever you prefer to burn. Thus ensuring our current standard of living into the future...
    What about the waste? Oh we'll just blast it into space. That's stupid. Did I say blast? I meant use this perfectly safe method of entering low earth orbit that is only in the theoretical stages of development and might take a few centuries to work the kinks out. Brilliant!

    It's not my fault if you don't read the thread, you were the first one to mention "blasting", my position from the start had been "we store it for a few centuries then dump it cheaply from that point on".

    And frankly it's just realistic, technology will continue to advance at a faster and faster pace. The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing. So hopefully we can get your kind to just shut up already.
    That's because it is. The lack of access to potable water as well as increased desertification due to reduced annual rainfall and shifting climactic norms are the ultimate cause for a number of wars and genocides going on right now. Darfur is ultimately an issue of access to continually depleting arable lands. That is only going to get worse if we don't start to take the issue seriously. Which, given that there are still rather populous parts of this country without bloody meters (or who only just installed them a year or two ago) doesn't seem bode well for considerate long term planning.

    You have the cause and effect backwards here. Aqueducts and irrigation could be used to bring water to those in need. They're not because the tribes in Darfur would rather kill each other over the land. So it's not really "they don't have water and thus kill each other" it's "they're killing each other and thus, don't have water".

    Imagine if this exact same problem where happening in any western country, say France. Drought in the north? Oh no problem let's build infrastructure to correct this. In an impoverished, backwards country? Tribes from the north just move to the central farmland and everyone starts slaughtering each other.

    It's not the availability of the water that's the problem, it's the poverty and lack of education in these countries.

    Lanlaorn on
  • Modern ManModern Man Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    It's not the availability of the water that's the problem, it's the poverty and lack of education in these countries.
    Well, that and screwed up cultures and fucked up, corrupt governments.

    There's also a pretty strong correlation and/or causation between poor, backwards, benighted parts of the world and high population growth rates.

    It's kind of funny that the developed countries that could best deal with growing populations are the ones with low, and sometimes negative, growth rates.

    Modern Man on
    Aetian Jupiter - 41 Gunslinger - The Old Republic
    Rigorous Scholarship

  • LanlaornLanlaorn Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Well, that and screwed up cultures and fucked up, corrupt governments.

    Oh absolutely, but I'm in the "education solves all problems" camp for this sort of thing. Need to get them at a young age and tell them that tribalism is completely retarded, killing is wrong and then hope they better their community and government from within.

    Our willingness to learn and ability to self criticize is what has allowed the West to rise above this stone age bullshit IMO.

    Lanlaorn on
  • TalleyrandTalleyrand Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    They aren't talking points, they're reality. But thanks for just dismissing them as such. Oh, and guess what? Something being more expensive means that it is less economical! You literally just agreed with what I said while pretending to hold it in contempt.

    Look, I know you're not too silly goosey (?) to understand my point. I say nuclear fission can meet our energy needs at prices similar to those we're paying right now, thus sustaining our current consumption in the wake of oil. You say, no, it's too expensive. I say, actually it's about the same price, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. You reply with that nonsense?

    At what point is my point that you replied to:
    Who care if they're expensive to build, since they're so incredibly efficient they still garuntee present day energy prices in a future where we've consumed our fossil fuels

    That you said there's "quite a bit wrong with", proven false? The high cost in building a nuclear power plant is offset by the low cost in fuel due to it's high efficiency resulting in nearly the same $/kilowatt-hour as whatever you prefer to burn. Thus ensuring our current standard of living into the future...

    There is a limited supply of uranium in the world, you know? Moniker's already mentioned breeder reactors which sound like a good idea but are just as expensive and have to cooled by sodium. If you don't see the problem with using a chemical that tends to burn super-hot when contacting water to cool nuclear fuel then I don't know what to tell you. Thorium reactors are probably a good stepping stone at this point since they're safe so the public shouldn't be so scared of them, they're smaller so they won't be as intimidating, they're cheaper, and we have plenty of thorium lying around. The biggest thing standing in our way is outdated infrastructure and while Obama is planning on building more nuclear plants, making it so those plants can not only provide electricity to our homes and businesses but power for transportation as well is something I honestly don't believe we're capable of.
    Lanlaon wrote:
    What about the waste? Oh we'll just blast it into space. That's stupid. Did I say blast? I meant use this perfectly safe method of entering low earth orbit that is only in the theoretical stages of development and might take a few centuries to work the kinks out. Brilliant!

    It's not my fault if you don't read the thread, you were the first one to mention "blasting", my position from the start had been "we store it for a few centuries then dump it cheaply from that point on".

    And frankly it's just realistic, technology will continue to advance at a faster and faster pace. The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing. So hopefully we can get your kind to just shut up already.

    The Space Elevator sounds cool and all but science fiction fantasy isn't a solution for the problems we'll be facing this decade. Finding somewhere to put nuclear and industrial waste until we can find a magical solution to our problems is the exact kind of thinking that got us into this mess.
    Lanlaon wrote:
    That's because it is. The lack of access to potable water as well as increased desertification due to reduced annual rainfall and shifting climactic norms are the ultimate cause for a number of wars and genocides going on right now. Darfur is ultimately an issue of access to continually depleting arable lands. That is only going to get worse if we don't start to take the issue seriously. Which, given that there are still rather populous parts of this country without bloody meters (or who only just installed them a year or two ago) doesn't seem bode well for considerate long term planning.

    You have the cause and effect backwards here. Aqueducts and irrigation could be used to bring water to those in need. They're not because the tribes in Darfur would rather kill each other over the land. So it's not really "they don't have water and thus kill each other" it's "they're killing each other and thus, don't have water".

    Imagine if this exact same problem where happening in any western country, say France. Drought in the north? Oh no problem let's build infrastructure to correct this. In an impoverished, backwards country? Tribes from the north just move to the central farmland and everyone starts slaughtering each other.

    It's not the availability of the water that's the problem, it's the poverty and lack of education in these countries.

    Actually this problem is happening in the U.S. right now. So far most of the solutions appear to be, "We'll just keep moving water from other areas into the desert and tell people the problem is a lack of rainfall and not a combination of water-intensive farming and a lack of water-conservation practices in the middle of the desert." It's more short-term solutions for a long-term problem.

    I haven't even mentioned the Noble Savage ideal so I don't know where you're getting that. The truth is I don't know what the solution is. It'd be nice if we could lower our consumption before it becomes unavoidable but I don't have that much faith in people and we've already demonstrated our lack of planning ahead for the last couple centuries. Not only have we not done anything about global warming yet but it's becoming the trend in the U.S. to try to discredit it. Why should I think we're going to do any better at much more complicated and less recognized issues?

    Talleyrand on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Dman wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote: »
    Dman wrote: »
    Synthesis,

    The people of china who live similarly to US middle class consume and pollute just as much as the US.

    China might look better per capital but that's only because they have a ton of people living below what is considered the poverty line in the US.

    You insist on viewing things per capita, but I'd be just as keen to argue we measure per square mile.

    one way canada looks like one of the worlds worst consumers and polluters, the other way and we are saints.

    If only there were some way we could cover 90% of the entire world in glaciers and permafrost, and move 99% of the population to a 150 mile strip just over the US border.

    You'd be amazed what problems can be solved if you consider generally negative things, like disproportionate consumption of oil, to be positives. Or flat out ignore them.

    canada isn't 90% covered by permafrost, that's hogwash and we export twice as much oil as we import. If every country had as low a population density, as much richness of raw resources and negative population growth we wouldn't be having this discussion.

    Like I said, if you view everything through a per capita lens and insist resources should be allocated per person and the problem is limited and unfair allocation of resources and not overpopulation then sure, were terrible.



    Yeah, I'm sorry, that was an exaggeration.

    In fact, 90% of Canada is glacier, permafrost, fresh water bodies, swamps, and virtually uninhabitable boreal forest.

    Face it. There's one habitable strip around from Toronto extending to Newfoundland. There's another from Winnipeg up to around Edmonton and Calgary, and there is a little patch of nice area around Vancouver.

    The reason Canada has a low population density isn't because of some inherant conservational quality present in the Canadian populace, it's because the majority of Canada is really fucking cold. The reason most of the resources are undisturbed isn't because of a Canadian frugality, but because they are in out of the way locations that are expensive to work in and difficult to get to.

    Jealous Deva on
  • Edith UpwardsEdith Upwards Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Are all of the people in the world completely retarded?

    Do you honestly think that we couldn't make every city in the world completely self-sufficient in under three months if we made an actual effort toward doing so?

    We could feed every person in the world three meals a day if we wanted to. We are on the cusp of fusion power. We have jetpacks for god's sake! We can deliver a message to the other side of the globe in under a minute.

    Is anyone else angry that we have an entire world filled with wonders and are doing absolutely nothing with it?

    Edith Upwards on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Erich Zahn wrote: »
    Are all of the people in the world completely retarded?

    Do you honestly think that we couldn't make every city in the world completely self-sufficient in under three months if we made an actual effort toward doing so?

    We could feed every person in the world three meals a day if we wanted to. We are on the cusp of fusion power. We have jetpacks for god's sake! We can deliver a message to the other side of the globe in under a minute.

    Is anyone else angry that we have an entire world filled with wonders and are doing absolutely nothing with it?

    GTFO. This isn't Mario World.

    mrt144 on
  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Erich Zahn wrote: »
    Do you honestly think that we couldn't make every city in the world completely self-sufficient in under three months if we made an actual effort toward doing so?
    I can guarantee you that no human endeavor could make this sentence true. Maybe aliens.
    We could feed every person in the world three meals a day if we wanted to. We are on the cusp of fusion power. We have jetpacks for god's sake! We can deliver a message to the other side of the globe in under a minute.
    We could feed every person. Whether that is a reasonable thing to do is something else. Simply put, some people are in places they should never be. We are not on the cusp, unless you mean cusp as meaning "maybe sometime in the next 30-100 years". What do jetpacks ha...

    Is this a goddamned poe?

    Elitistb on
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  • AtomikaAtomika Boobs McGee Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Is this a goddamned poe?

    I think it's just a deluded hippie. Too maudlin for a Poe.

    Atomika on
  • nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I'd be willing to believe that an autocrat at the head of a one-world government with uncompromising support from the governed could implement a "three-month plan." However, barring the second coming of Jesus Christ (and even He would probably be too controversial to pull it off) I don't foresee any ruler enjoying such support.

    nescientist on
    Carl Sagan wrote:
    The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars.
  • Edith UpwardsEdith Upwards Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Two words:Z-Machine Also, stop being a bitch and talking semantics.
    Feeding everyone is a bad idea. I can't name a single acceptable reason as to why and am not-so secretly terrified of the prospect that my lifestyle would be impossible if the third world were more enlightened.

    Edith Upwards on
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Elitistb wrote: »
    We could feed every person. Whether that is a reasonable thing to do is something else. Simply put, some people are in places they should never be.

    I don't think the problem is that people are living in the wrong places; there's nothing inherent to the flora, fauna, and weather of, say, the Koreas which causes 35% of North Koreans to be undernourished as opposed to less than 2.5% of South Koreans.

    Facts of human social organization ensure that. And it is true that were facts of human social organization different, then there would be no perpetual hunger in the world. The only substantive debate is over how to react to that truth.

    MrMister on
  • AtomikaAtomika Boobs McGee Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Facts of human social organization ensure that. And it is true that were facts of human social organization different, then there would be no perpetual hunger in the world. The only substantive debate is over how to react to that truth.

    Though I would like to believe that no one actually thinks unending streams of aid without trying to establish infrastructure and education to be a good idea.

    It's the developing world, not a nursing home.

    Atomika on
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Though I would like to believe that no one actually thinks unending streams of aid without trying to establish infrastructure and education to be a good idea.

    It's the developing world, not a nursing home.

    Of course, which is why reputable aid organizations pursue sustainable strategies.

    But, as I said, these are considerations about how best to respond to the injustices created by human social organization. It would be silly to claim that these inequalities in distribution are actually a product of something else, i.e., that it would be impossible to eliminate them by changing modes of social organization.

    MrMister on
  • AtomikaAtomika Boobs McGee Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    But, as I said, these are considerations about how best to respond to the injustices created by human social organization. It would be silly to claim that these inequalities in distribution are actually a product of something else, i.e., that it would be impossible to eliminate them by changing modes of social organization.

    I think a lot of that is true, but I also think that there are areas that just shouldn't be inhabited. In your allusion to North Korea, of course that is an issue of human social model. Poverty in Saharan Africa is not.


    Without massive external investments in infrastructure (and honestly, governance), Diamond's stated factors of geography are just as influential now to those areas as they were thousands of years ago. Places that can't sustain food supplies on their own are doomed to failure without substantial external influence.

    Atomika on
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    Without massive external investments in infrastructure (and honestly, governance), Diamond's stated factors of geography are just as influential now to those areas as they were thousands of years ago. Places that can't sustain food supplies on their own are doomed to failure without substantial external influence.

    Well, yes, but notice that plenty of places which can't sustain significant food production are unproblematically and profitably occupied--rich countries (and localities) can be net food importers. This, again, is just a fact of human social organization. The difference between Saharan Africa and Nevada is that our mode of social organization promotes the labor necessary to bring food and water to Nevada, but not to Saharan Africa.

    Human social organization is, of course, a very vague term. But nonetheless, the point is that human factors, broadly construed, control our own constant poverty and hunger.

    MrMister on
  • AtomikaAtomika Boobs McGee Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Human social organization is, of course, a very vague term. But nonetheless, the point is that human factors, broadly construed, control our own constant poverty and hunger.

    In a very macro definition, yes. But if the only reasonable way to bring sustainability to Saharan (or whomever) nations is to have them merge or confederate themselves with stable bordering nations, you might be holding your breath for a while.

    Mostly because I'm not sure there are any stable bordering nations, or still would be if allied with their poorer neighbors.

    Atomika on
  • MrMisterMrMister A pup must first get in the water to be successful as a seal!Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    I don't think that it's trivial to end poverty or hunger, and that's not what I'm saying. If you believe some people, it may even take a class revolution, and that's certainly not a trivial endeavor. So, identifying poverty and hunger with aspects of human social organization does not imply that either is easy to eliminate--in fact, it may make them more intractable than if they were the result of some environmental factor that we could defeat with scientific and engineering acumen.

    Nonetheless, I do think that one of the principle obstacles to ending poverty and hunger is inertia and apathy on the part of people who at best can't be assed to care and think it isn't their problem, and at worst actively support institutional oppression through hawkish realpolitik foreign policy.

    MrMister on
  • AtomikaAtomika Boobs McGee Registered User regular
    edited February 2010
    MrMister wrote: »
    Nonetheless, I do think that one of the principle obstacles to ending poverty and hunger is inertia and apathy on the part of people who at best can't be assed to care and think it isn't their problem, and at worst actively support institutional oppression through hawkish realpolitik foreign policy.

    While I agree with this, I wouldn't say it's a "principle" obstacle.

    The actual machinations propagating a situation of significant human need come well before tertiary blame is to be assigned.

    People are hideously impoverished in commodity-rich nations, as well. But often purposefully so, thanks to corrupt and inhumane governments.

    Atomika on
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