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Is overpopulation cause for concern?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by LucyDuke, Feb 12, 2009.

?

So what's up?

  1. There's no such thing as "too many people". We gotta make more babies.

    7.6%
  2. There is such a thing as "too many people", but we won't reach that number because it's so high.

    4.2%
  3. There is such a thing as "too many people", but we won't reach it because of technology.

    7.6%
  4. It's a concern, but it's far off and not really worth worrying about yet.

    6.3%
  5. We should start thinking about the problem, but there's no need to panic.

    17.4%
  6. We need to start now with methods like birth control and sustainable development.

    43.8%
  7. We need to start now with methods like forcibly sterilizing andor killing people.

    2.1%
  8. There's only enough room for me. I'm going to be killing the rest of you now, if you don't mind.

    6.3%
  9. Let me explain why none of your poll options are good enough for me.

    4.9%
  1. PiMan

    PiMan Emperor

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    The "modest" it is referring to, is to match the lifestyle of the average European but with 40% the greenhouse emissions. It would involve significant changes in lifestyle, but more importantly a change in resources used for power generation. No more brown coal plants, no more black coal plants, not even any gas plants. Also, no more cotton or rice growing, and no more aluminium processing plants (recycled should be OK).
    Southern Australia already has water problems and water restrictions. The average dam storage levels for Melbourne dams is 25.7%, and they don't look like they're improving much any time soon.
     
  2. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    No rice? :cringe: why not? Rice is yummy for the tummy... :cry:
     
  3. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Why do you want me to take part in your "what caused the fall of Rome" debate with Narz and others? :confused: I have no stong opinion about the subject so I tend to go with what the historians and archeologists say.

    Leave me out of it :)
     
  4. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Why are people so obsessed with greenhouse emissions, that is beyond me. Human contribution to the global warming is not our biggest problem.

    I am more concerned about the high amounts of water we "consume" (I read somewhere that you need about 1000 liters of water to produce a T-shirt in China and import it to Europe; if it's true then we live in an insane world), the amount of metals we extract but fail to recycle, the amount of non-biodegradable materials we produce and then throw off, the chemicals we pour into the environment etc. etc. etc.

    Simply put, I don't believe we can do anything serious about the global warming and being focused solely on carbon emissions is counter-productive. We need to build an economy based not just on production -> consumption -> waste sequence, but also on recycling. High energy efficiency and water efficiency and material efficiency is the key to sustainability, IMHO.

    Don't forget about the salinization of fresh water sources in Australia, it's even more dangerous.
     
  5. RulerOfDaPeople

    RulerOfDaPeople Emperor

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    Quick final thought about overpopulation before I go to bed. "To the moon Alice!" :p
     
  6. PiMan

    PiMan Emperor

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    I like rice too, but I would rather it were imported from somewhere that actually has the rainfall to grow it.

    I was merely referring to what the link was talking about. The link used the Optimum Population Trust as a source, I was just stating what they define different sustainable population levels as.

    And a complete solution to greenhouse gases production would probably solve many problems involved in water wastage and would solve most of the problems of resource wastage.

    Salination is an issue for some parts of Australia, but not so much for Victoria, where I am. Victoria just has a general water shortage.
     
  7. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Which is why I don't like OPT that much, they got too carried away by the greenhouse emissions hype.

    What's a complete solution? Anyway, I mostly agree - high carbon efficiency also means higher energy efficiency, these issues go hand in hand. I just don't think that we should be focused exclusively on the problems related to CO2 emissions and climate change. We have more acute problems which need attention. Global warming is a situation we probably can't change, so it's pointless to spend all our energy on fighting it.

    And it's going to be even worse, if the population continues to grow and the amounts of available fresh water decreases.
     
  8. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    It's probably a problem for Victoria more than most actually. Just not Melbourne, or the South Coast. But the Murray and all is facing huge saline problems.
     
  9. Danielos

    Danielos Emperor

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    Well, if you have any interest in biology, the overpopulation issue is really at the heart of the conservation biology problem. There is just really no room for any large animals left with billions of people on the planet expected to live, feed and procreate.
     
  10. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    My wife bought me a pretty good book on this topic: it's called Cradle to Cradle, and its thesis is that we should design our products such that our waste stream is actually input for some other production stream (either biological or economic). It was really quite good. I recommend it. I think it's applicable to both environmentalists and engineers.

    The authors have a TEDtalk, but I got the book before I saw the talk.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/william_mcdonough_on_cradle_to_cradle_design.html
     
  11. PiMan

    PiMan Emperor

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    I admit I'm not very well read up on the situation with the Murray-Darling system. I know that flows have significantly reduced from historical levels due to over-irrigation and low rainfalls. I was not aware of a specific salinity problem.
     
  12. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I gather that with drastically reduced water levels has come drastically increased salt levels, and that this isn't good for irrigation, compounding problems experienced by farmers. But I'm no expert, so meh.

    And soil degradation has led to more plants like saltbush, increasing the salinity of areas in the MIA and Murray-Darling area. I think.
     
  13. ZB2

    ZB2 New wave Ideology

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    Just what are you pointed out here, that I'm right about the many nations without food? As your diagram points to the 21 nations in Africa in food crisises.

    I disagree that greenhouse emmissions are not concerning. We're all in agreement that massive population is an incredibly bad idea unless controlled, but you're neglecting that the more people there are, the more they use. I.e. electrical appliances in homes, the amount of products they buy and consume, the lavish goods they feed their materialism on. All these have to be produced, and supply usually goes along with demand, meaning the manufacturing of items creates even more emissions. And remember, the thicker the atmosphre gets with the emissions, the hotter the equitorial regions get, and their lifestyle and ability to grow grops vanishes.

    I pessimistically see it as a race between unstustainable population and unsustainable climate.
     
  14. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    With all the grain being imported to some countries, why do they even bother exporting anything? :confused:
     
  15. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    It's profitable... don't question capitalism it is ALWAYS more efficient then anything ;)
     
  16. ZB2

    ZB2 New wave Ideology

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    Becuase one nation may grow but rice, and another but grain. It's a simple resource exchange all Civ players should be aware of ;)
     
  17. Narz

    Narz keeping it real

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    wow, this threads getting lots of action, I'll be back later to give it the attention it deserves.
     
  18. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Ah, bro, you quoted stuff that had to do with it, so I assumed you had an issue. If not, no worries. :)
     
  19. Kerozine

    Kerozine Deity

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    The point is that there is PLENTY of food available to sustain a higher world population at current food production levels, if you consider the volumes being set aside for import-export alone. Should it come to the point that we might have to convert ALL available arable land to producing basic food sources, the only sacrifices to be made are luxuries such as meat, coffee, sugar, etc.

    Those finding themselves in life & death situations due to lack of food number just little over a 100 million, and in most cases the causes were artificially induced. :rolleyes:



    Spoiler :
    INTRODUCTION

    Tens of millions of people across more than half the states in sub-Saharan Africa need urgent food aid, but the causes are often complex and varied. Food crises were once primarily triggered by natural disasters like droughts.

    But according to research by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, man-made causes are increasingly to blame. These include conflict and poor governance, as well as HIV/Aids.

    Rural poverty, international trade barriers, overpopulation, deforestation, poor use of land and environmental problems can also be factors.

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/africa/05/crisis_map/html/1.stm
     
  20. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

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    Wait a second... since when are diseases manmade :crazyeye:
     

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