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"The overpopulation doomsayers are at it again. And they're st


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#1 sierraleone

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:41 PM

WaPo: The overpopulation doomsayers are at it again. And they're still wrong.

This is an opinion piece by someone on the left… Previously if I'd I see such a title I'd think a right-wing conservative person had wrote it…. I think she is basically saying Westerners should stop shaming peoples/countries with high birth rates, and the *real* problem is people saying the wrong people are having babies (or too many babies).

While the tackling issues of increasing population and available resources is a complicated, and maybe convoluted (once you add in religion, politics, autonomy, reproductive rights, etc), that doesn't mean we should never discuss or confront these problems because that is too difficult.

The *real* problem? We have a finite planet. At some point there will be (or was…) population overshoot, and humanity will be like Wile E Coyote spinning his feet in mid-air, before he looked down. When that happens it will be disastrous.
Regardless of agricultural or other improvements, on a finite planet, population can't continuously grow. Anything else is magical thinking.



Still, she did make me ponder how best to approach such a thing, internationally. No country wants less people due to demographic/economic/political/military reasons, *especially* vis a vis their near and distant neighbours.

So, despite the fact that I am sure it would never get passed/approved due to religious and other objections, what would be the most equitable and fair way to approach it? I wonder if it could look something like the Paris Accord, which, admittedly has no teeth, but it does show expectations and resolve, and would hopefully create a culture of responsibility around it.


1) Sustainable Population Models: Countries commit to embracing policies that encourage sustainable population model, that maintains diversity.

2) Protect Wild spaces: Countries should endeavour to live within their currently used agricultural acreage, tackle limiting urban sprawl, & enforce sustainable resource extraction (forestry, mining, etc.), especially after their population peaks following the sustainable population model.
(Humans already use 40% of the Earth's land for agriculture. Another third of Earth's land is desert. Leaves 27% to share with non-desert wild plants and animals).

3) International Co-operation/Assistance: Internationally countries should commit to encouraging the conditions that have brought down fertility rates before.
(this would hopefully put resources towards increased women's education, decreased infant and child mortality, accessible contraceptions, etc.)

4) Contraception Accessibility: Modern contraception and safe sex aids are to be available to all, and no citizen will be required to obtain permission.
(We know that 99% of women in the West use contraceptions, and I've read articles about the demand not being met for modern contraception of married non-Western women. Unreliable old school contraception, requires navigating cultural mine-fields while negotiating with their spouse over on-going or periodic abstinence, or withdrawal).

5) Abortion: Nothing in this agreement should be construed to mean or imply that it requires or sanctions either forced abortions or elective abortions.


For #1 I would recommend an unbiased formula as possible to calculate replacement fertility rates for different populations. So that in a country/population where the average woman has 6 kids, and only 2 survive to adulthood, we are not discouraging these populations from buying in by insisting they have 2 kids. Hopefully, if the international community is working on #3, this won't be a problem for long, but at least it acknowledges their demographic and healthcare issues & allows them to maintain their population.


Other concerns/thoughts:

- No illegal kids! - Don't have policies that heavy-handedly discourage parents from registering kids that may deny them access to public services, like school and health care. (China has these, they are called "black children").
- Sex-ratio Disparities - Due to either selective abortion, or even infanticide. Any ways of trying to address this seem rude or unfair to boys. Monetarily encourage parenting girls with free higher education, or tax breaks/benefits?
- Enforcement? - Most people are definitely for #5. How would people feel about near universal enforcement of contraception, says, if something like Vasalgel works as advertised? (As in, long lasting & completely reversible, with little-to-no adverse side effects.)
- Enforcement - Abuse/corruption? - If 2.1 kids is the replacement rate aimed at, how does the 10th couple get permission to have a 3rd kid? Will cuckolding be encouraged to get around forced restrictions? (presumably while the, likely man, one is sleeping with is fertile for his 1st or 2nd kid?). Will there be a black market for sperm, to reverse the contraception, for fertility drugs to cause multiple births? Or bribes for doctors to give fake documents on contraceptive procedures? What is done if an intentional extra kid is born? Will child-abuse be over-used and falsely-used as a tool to take kids away to make them available for adoption? Will sterile and infertile adults be on a priority list for adopting kids?
- Immigration/Emigration - Legal and illegal. How to handle/factor in immigration/emigration policies in and of themselves, and how they affect sustainable population policy and replacement fertility rates.
- War - Should these policies change how the international community responds to a war that does not involve them, directly? Indirectly? Could the motivation/intent behind wars (international or civil) change? Could attacks be initiated specifically because the aggressors hopes that the attacked party will be discouraged from, or not allowed to, recover to their previous numbers? Should war then change the replacement fertility rates?


Now, I know this has probably zilch chance of ever happening, apparently population overshoot is more humane ;) and there are too many prolystizing(sp?) religions, tribalism, desire to oppress and control people (whether women specifically, or keeping people poor numerous and desperate in general). But I still enjoyed the exercise :)

Edited by sierraleone, 18 July 2017 - 03:33 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#2 gsmonks

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:13 AM

This is a matter, if you do some research, that goes back many decades. How many decades? It was one of the main reasons Europe was leaking population to N. America and Africa for the past four centuries alone. People at the time were keenly aware of the problems associated with overpopulation.

I've posted this video before, but the chilling information contained within spells it out in the starkest possible terms. Unspoken is the fact that Humanity will not address or come to terms with these issues, of which overpopulation is but one:


Edited by gsmonks, 18 July 2017 - 07:14 AM.

Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#3 sierraleone

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:10 AM

It must be my browser, but I could only see your imbedded video on my phone.
Here is the youtube video link if anyone else has the same issue. I saw it a number of years ago.

It is pretty simple though, it says that any growth is not sustainable, at some point something is going to interfere with said growth. Whether it is growth in population, resources use/extraction, costs (& profits).

It also has a simple math trick/short-cut for figuring out approximately how long until a figure doubles with consistent growth. Take the number 69.3 70  & divide it by % growth per time unit. Most will use a year time unit, but it can be any length of time.

It has been said that 1% per year economic growth is a poor showing, it has been said the historic rate of 3% is good, and China and India have been growing fast, at about 7% IIRC.

70 / 1 = 70 time units to double (years in our example. And 140 years to quadruple).
70 / 3 = 23.3 years to double (46.6 years to quadruple).
70 / 7 = 10 years to double (20 years to quadruple).

Even if you could keep population the same and use capitalism and consumerism to somehow grow the economy separately, you are still going to run into issues with overconsumption, because those products are derived from Earth resources.

So, our whole economic model of consistent growth is magical thinking.

As I said before, we already use 40% of the earth's surface for agriculture. We double our population, and even before we try to edge into the 33% of land that is desert, we will have left no room (i.e. let die off and go critically endangered if not extinct) for a great deal of the vertebrate animal species, probably including the fish species we consume.

Right now the population increase is about 1.1% per year, so that is a ~64 year doubling time (so year 2081).
Demographers are estimating we won't *double* our population by the end of this century, because the expect decreased birth rates. Mid-estimates put world human population at about 10 billion at the end of this century. That is a 33% increase over what we have now (7.5 billion), so still very problematic.

If at some point we don't, as a planet, decrease our birth rates ourselves then nature will help us and increase premature death rates.

Edited by sierraleone, 19 July 2017 - 06:19 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#4 gsmonks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:40 PM

At some point the Human brain becomes irrelevant, and the primate/rat brain ancestors start to kick in. Phenomena such as war fever/hysteria, mob mentality, driven by primitive emotion that won't respond to reason, and many other primitive factors that underlie the human psyche . . . when the pressure arrives, the emotions succumb.

People who despair, see no future, don't care, eventually go all Helter Skelter when something, usually unpredictable and unforeseen, and almost always in defiance of Logic, will trigger people to burn, loot, rape, murder, and go an a rampage. The degree to which such civil unrest can be sustained is directly in proportion to the populations underlying rage, despair, sense of outrage, sense of hopelessness at the social condition.

There is a perverse desire in people to overlook the perverse in Human nature. People like to make war, to kill, to rape, to torture, to maim, and to create mayhem. People love war movies, slasher movies, horror movies, movies about serial killers, movies about zombies and dystopia and chaos, because the desire to do such things is built into all of us. If unchecked, soldiers naturally rape and pillage and plunder and murder civilians. These are not anomalies. They're part of the Human condition.

The denial in us towards such things is worth of study because we've collectively institutionalised a fake hatred and a mentality of denial of such things. In legal terms it all comes back to the realisation that law is the criminalisation of Human behaviour.

It also comes down to the point that Law stops working, and Law stops being a bulwark against social chaos when it stops being a Human value. It stops being a value when it utterly fails of serving its purpose. The degree to which it fails of its purpose shows up as outrage and violence in affect areas of society.  Black Lives Matter is such a manifestation.

The pencil pushers don't like the fact that negative growth is desirable, but there it is.

That said, the one-child families in China experiment was a failure. And Japanese authorities are wetting their pants that the modern Japanese woman doesn't want marriage or children. Projected into the future, and you have disaster in the form of too few workers to support the coming population of retirees.

What's chilling is the incontrovertible fact that there is no way to make the numbers work for us, using the present social model.

What's worthy of study is using examples to be found in, say, Native North Americans, whose model did work, very well, for tens of thousands of years. My personal view is that salvation for Humanity will be found in the remaining Native populations that were/are able to exist at 0% growth.
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#5 sierraleone

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 08:30 PM

View Postgsmonks, on 19 July 2017 - 07:40 PM, said:

People love war movies, slasher movies, horror movies, movies about serial killers, movies about zombies and dystopia and chaos, because the desire to do such things is built into all of us. If unchecked, soldiers naturally rape and pillage and plunder and murder civilians. These are not anomalies. They're part of the Human condition.

Not this person ;) Because I like the sci-fi/fantasy genre, and there is *a lot* of overlap with the action genre, some of the movies I watch do have some of the things you list, but I often get bored watching those scenes. I remember a quote somewhere that I liked regarding how I feel about many action scenes: "the anticipation is boring me". Though I have no qualms about admitting that that taste for such things is on a spectrum, and is part of all humans' behaviour, and I am on the spectrum and not outside of it.

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The denial in us towards such things is worth of study because we've collectively institutionalised a fake hatred and a mentality of denial of such things. In legal terms it all comes back to the realisation that law is the criminalisation of Human behaviour.

Well of course. Anything any human does is human behaviour. It would be no need for rules about harmful behaviour if no human had been known to do such behaviour.

Quote

The pencil pushers don't like the fact that negative growth is desirable, but there it is.

It's not, but it is required to avert disaster. And disaster is pretty much synonymous with undesirable for most people, especially when it is a zero-sum game. So, we have to figure out what is more undesirable, regulated negative growth human directed and implemented to ensure quality of life for all people, or nature-drive negative growth where nature unleashes the four horsemen on all of us.

Personally, if I were to implement the above policies I put in my first post, I wouldn't do it at replacement rate, but 95% of replacement birth rate. That would mean most Westerners would be limited to 2 kids (not 2.1 which would have given a 3rd kid per 10th couple), and an underdeveloped nation with a replacement birth rate of 6 would be limited to 5.7 (3/10 couples get 5 kids, & 7/10 couples get 6 kids). Underdeveloped countries' population would still not go down right away, because of how young their demographics generally are, that are either in, or have not yet reached, their reproductive ages. Then revaluate in a century (though replacement birth rate would be much more frequently reviewed than that). Thats some 4-5 generations, so I assume the population would be around 80-85% of what it was when it started, maybe a little worse (i.e. higher) depending on when populations peaked.

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That said, the one-child families in China experiment was a failure. And Japanese authorities are wetting their pants that the modern Japanese woman doesn't want marriage or children. Projected into the future, and you have disaster in the form of too few workers to support the coming population of retirees.

Failure from an economic perspective? Or from an ecological or health perspective? How much smoggier would their cities be if they hadn't implemented that policy? Wild lands converted to farm land?

Quote

What's chilling is the incontrovertible fact that there is no way to make the numbers work for us, using the present social model.

Social model…. economic model… including capitalism and consumerism… I am sure conservatives will blame feminism too ;) But, yes, our current model fragments families, and often requires putting our elderly in homes instead of being taken care of by their families. Children are shuffled off to institutions as well, though the one they spend the most time in is supposed to give them an education.

In hunter gatherer while people might be skilled more in one area or another, there were few specialists (maybe healers, social/political/religious leaders). Even in most agricultural societies in history more than 90% of people generally lived outside of cities. Most people worked in the home/on their plot of land. Then we started incentivising more men into specialities that took them out of the home, and put more burden on women to maintain care of the home and family. Women eventually followed men, for a variety of reasons.

Quote

What's worthy of study is using examples to be found in, say, Native North Americans, whose model did work, very well, for tens of thousands of years. My personal view is that salvation for Humanity will be found in the remaining Native populations that were/are able to exist at 0% growth.

Funny how they are one of the most growing populations in Canada at the moment (I believe the U.S. too).

They did have societies they had to abandon or largely depopulate due to lack of resources, I believe there was one in the U.S. SW? The ancient Pueblos with the cliff houses? That wasn't the only American Indian/First Nation civilization to experience a collapse. They appear to have been experiencing environmental changes causing collapse. Though i think they were the exception, not the rule.

But yes, I recently read a book called Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places that gave me much more depth of understanding and knowledge of First Nation's cultures and spirituality, along with a deeper well of respect for it.

Edited by sierraleone, 19 July 2017 - 08:53 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#6 gsmonks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:29 PM

At the top of the list, where selling such things is concerned, is politics. I see no role for politics in the future, if we are to survive as a species.

Everything we're discussing here is a horror story as far as politicians are concerned. The ideas are non-political. The solutions are non-political. The mechanisms involved are non-political. There's nothing in there anywhere for a politician to hawk, sell, or manipulate populations with.

Saying that there isn't the political will to solve these problems is missing the point. Modern politics is primarily about giving head to the Middle Class, mainly in the form of the Budget. The Middle Class and politics are indivisible. They're parasitic organisms that feed off each other, like a prostitute and a john. All parties and forms of government service the interests of and represent the Middle Class. Negative population growth, dismantling Consumerism, getting rid of modern agricultural practices, you can't sell any of those things to the Middle Class, which is also the primary Consumer Class.

0% growth, it should be pointed out, is actually negative growth, due to attrition from everything from car accidents and plane crashes to drug overdose deaths and cancer mortality rates.

What we need, for the foreseeable future, is negative population growth, to do everything from freeing up land to destroying the real-estate market (which is a social pestilence that produces nothing) to completely transforming agricultural practices, which are wholly destructive and unsustainable.

It must also be remembered who exactly it is that wants population growth, and here I refer you to a comment made by a former Vancouver City Counsel member who said of the West End (once a beautiful residential area), "We must increase the population density in order to service the industrial base." The result was the turning of the West End into a high-rise wasteland full of drug-addicts and pushers, absentee landlords, corrupt slumlords who are in cahoots with City Counsel, and a former big neighbourhood into a rancid population of strangers and struggling wage-slaves. So who benefited? Corrupt big-business interests, of course. And these types are at odds with fixing the problem, and will spend bazillions on advertising to corrupt the mind of the public.
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#7 gsmonks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 09:37 PM

RE: the failure of the one-child experiment of the Chinese:

http://news.national...olicy-mei-fong/

Keep in mind that rather than fix the problem of overpopulation, they only made the problem worse by creating other awful problems. But as the math video pointed out, one of the awful solutions from column B is still looming in China's future.
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#8 gsmonks

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:19 PM

Here is one movement whose aim is to solve the problem posed by Humanity:

https://en.wikipedia...nction_Movement
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#9 gsmonks

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:29 AM

I keep forgetting to mention other things that are running out. Phosphate rock (known to us in Saskatchewan as potash) is key to world agriculture, and it will be gone in an estimated 30 years:

http://oilprice.com/...al-Warming.html

The world will run out of helium in around 30 years:

http://www.independe...um-2059357.html

Why is helium important?

http://education.jla...tal/ele002.html

Sardine populations are crashing due to global warming.

Only 2.5% of the world's water is of the fresh variety. The crash of reserves is excruciating and ongoing, but over time will become desperate.

Rare Earth Elements, which are used mainly in electronics. These aren't even on the public's radar:

http://www.rareearth...are-Rare-Earths

Last, and most depressing, is the incontrovertible fact that the oceans are dying:

http://www.cnbc.com/...on.html?slide=2

http://www.theinerti...-the-year-2048/
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#10 gsmonks

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 04:58 AM

There are things that can, but aren't, being done.

The most obvious is to turn back the clock 150 year, to when we weren't using automobiles and electricity. But it's not that simple. All the horses and oxen used to pull farm machinery, wagons, street cars, cabs, and other machines and vehicles, no longer exist. It would take years to replenish enough animals to make this a possibility.

At the top of the list of changes would be the death of the modern city in favour of a self-sustaining model that grows its own food, purifies its own water, filters its own sewage, and recycles . . . well . . . everything, not to put too fine a point on it. In other words, the city model would inevitably be forced to merge with the rural.

Second on the list: occupations that produce nothing will have to be eliminated. No more stock brokers, traders in currencies, no more scams such as Derivatives, no more dealing in anything that doesn't have direct value. And no more rich people living off the fake money generated by interest. All those rich welfare bums will have to suck it up and go to work.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Capitalism is a pyramid scheme run by the 1%.

#11 sierraleone

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:28 PM

Earth Overshoot Day (or, alternatively, Ecological Debt Day) was August 2nd this year.

http://www.abc.net.a...the-red/8770040

Edited by sierraleone, 03 August 2017 - 08:28 PM.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


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