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overpopulation and sustainability

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  • suzyqsuzyq Raw Newbie

    Oh, thanks pianissima! You reminded me of something else relevant to this discussion. Besides promoting abstinence-only education at home (which is an empirical failure when it comes to preventing unwanted pregnancies or the spread of STIs), our (U.S.) government has been restricting foreign aid that would support fertility control programs abroad (e.g., education, condom distribution). Frustrating.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    SUSYQ - you are so right and it is very frustrating because it causes more of the problem it purports to eliminate. This happened because the US government became entrenched with right-wing christian zealots. Stopping that funding was a desire if not a demand of the so-called Pro Life movement. If you pay attention to their political roots, they are against all birth control and the emancipation of women from traditional females roles. They are very similiar to fundemental muslims in many ways, altbhough I am sure they would object to being defined that way.

    PIANISSIMA - Many contemporary twins may be the result of fertility medications and procedures. When multiple eggs are fertalized/implanted, doctors generally recommend that all but two be eliminated. This way the pregnancy is not complicated by the burden of multiples (3+) births but there is still a chance of a birth if something goes wrong with one of the resulting pregnancies. When parents don’t choose that option, quads, quints, and on up are born.

  • I recently read a book and a phrase in it rings in my brain, “With all our concern about food shortages, there are 40,000 people dying of hunger each day, and at the same time, we are bringing 50,000 new lives into the world each day. What do caring people do with those figures?

    And on top of that problem, the livestock of North America drink 50% of the water that is used in this country as well as requiring 1/3 of the fossil fuels used. Between China, India, North Africa and the US, water is used faster than it can be replenished. With a growing population, and the looming water shortages, not to mention the food shortages due to the production of beef and biofuels, what horrors have we to look forward to. Very scarey!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    i will never have children. and i hope that many people choose to abstain from compounding the problem of overpopulation. i personally think that the human race is absolutely doomed. i believe that humans will act in the most lazy, ignorant, selfish way possible. look at history. i will not contribute to the problem. but i also don’t think that i can do anything to cause a solution. this crisis of killing the earth is absolutely tragic. this crisis is worse than anything i could come up with in my worst nightmares. i simply can’t believe that a race with intellect could doom/destroy the world and every living creature on it within a space of 50 years. soon, nothing will be alive on this earth to contemplate…what have we DONE??

  • CharisCharis Raw Newbie

    I don’t see how there are too many in the planet. Just driving through Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming I was shocked at the bare plains and wilds, that absolutely no one lives in. Besides people are dying every day, and the birth rate is really going down in nearly every country (except for all the Muslims) especially North America. People don’t have big families anymore and more women are having jobs and getting married later in life, which really cuts down childbearing.

    I can’t wait to be a wife and Mommy. I just hate to think of myself without kids in my old age, no children, a lot of friends dead, I know it’s lots and lots of years in the future. I just think it would be so sad not to have my children there to take care of me and to be involved with their lives. Family and relationships are the most important thing in life to me.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Sky Princess – That is simply not true. Just because no humans are living in a place doesn’t mean nothing lives there. Please don’t forget we are not alone on this planet. Take a closer look! There are plants and animals (even of the most microscopic variety) living in all places on this earth.

    Those places that you are say are “bare plains and wild” are for other creatures to live in – they need to have homes too. If humans were everywhere on this planet, it would be so sickening. There would be no where to go to get away from people and be in nature.

    Just because there are no people there does not mean we have a right to take it over. Do we have to ruin every natural place and biome and throw off the ecological balance? Step into nature and realize how alive these “barren” places are.

    If you think there are more people dying than being born, therefore making it even out or better, take a look at this world population clock and you might think differently: http://www.poodwaddle.com/clocks2.htm

    There are a lot more births than deaths.

    Also, not to sound negative, but why do you think that having children gurantees you someone to “take care” of you in old age? Families are a weird thing – they break up and it doesn’t always turn out the way you dream. My parents really don’t want to have much to do with me and mostly because I didn’t live my life the way they would have lived it if they were me – my mom is mad that I don’t want to have any children. Sometimes I think she had kids because she wanted them to turn out a certain way and is mad because it didn’t happen “her” way. I wouldn’t rely on thinking that the future will give you the “perfect” family life – I hope you get what you want but life doesn’t always turn out that way.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    My personal solution is for humanity to abandon civilization and go back to living with/in nature. I think a big reason that this can work is that as soon as we abandon a building nature begins to recycle it. I’ve went into foreclosed homes that had only been vacant a short time and found plants growing out of the carpeting. We all know how quickly not mowing our lawn will turn it into a wild field and how a wild vine can cover a building in less than a summer.

    Not only will veggie diets free up crops to feed the starving, but they also will free up land for all creatures to live. Abandoning large format farming and allowing our food to grow wild again will also have a quick effect on the various climates we have created in civilization.

    We all need to remember what our land is being used for, livestock grazing and coffee plantations are two of the leaders in rainforest destruction. These type things can easily be eliminated after which our earth home will recycle the land and put it back to good use.

    We also need to remember that a lot of the problems are caused by very recent developments in the lifespan of our earth. Chemicals are mostly less than 100 years old, plastic is very new, even paper trash has only been around for a dozen generations.

    OK, so I have now admitted that I am crazy! I am anti civilization! I am very willing to give up my laptop, air travel, TV, vehicles, etc. I can’t personally can’t think of anything in civilization I am not willing (in some cases eager) to give up.

    Of course I also believe that one day we won’t have a choice. We all are very educated and also we all know that very few of modern civilizations practices are sustainable. The thing is that we use words like unsustainable without thinking of what that really means. Unsustainable mean that the clock is ticking and soon these things must change.

    There is a thread going on GI2MR about tap water and how contaminated it is. This is water that we have cleaned and prepared for human use and it is still unbelievably filthy. Many of our rivers are even worse.

    We are bombarded by ads urging us to recycle our trash, use low flow toilets and energy saving light bulbs. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this crap will not work, it’s not near enough to reverse the juggernaut pace that we are destroying the earth.

    For every bag of trash that I handle as an individual there are 70 bags created by industry to get those products into my hands. That’s right the problem is “Big Corps” not my fellow citizens who don’t recycle.

    You may think that I am crazy and that society will never choose to go back to nature. I don’t think society will make this choice now. I do believe in the “tipping point” phenomenon however. I believe that one day, maybe in our lifetimes, maybe not. This will happen ‘Naturally’, we won’t be able to continue.

    I don’t see our future as Mad Max or The Terminator has predicted though. I believe as I have said here that nature will take over soon and put things right and we will quickly be back to an earth covered in vegetation. Then we will really be green.

    George Carlin likes to poke fun at the phrase “Save The Earth”. He makes the point that it is our species that is in trouble, not the earth. He says “The earth is fine, but we’re fucked. The earth will be a bald spinning rock long after we are gone.” We need to save ourselves!!!

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    chris- i agree wholeheartedly with what you say. i’m willing and able to give up all civilized things, and hope to soon be off the grid. but will others follow suite? i very much hope that you are right, and that there will be a tipping point when humans will have no choice but to return to nature. i keep wondering – at that point, will it be too late? i keep wishing that the industrial era never happened. or that humans took 500 years to discover the findings of the past 100 years. then folks would have time to reflect on the impact of their actions, rather than things spiraling out of control. will folks change? i don’t think it will happen until it’s too late, but who knows.

  • This post jumped off the page at me, i,d just logged in for the first time and there it was, i couldnt believe my eyes, this subject had been haunting me for days since viewing a youtube video on Energy Population and mathmatics by a uni prof in Colorado teaching a class of students how to answer this question for themselves using mathmatics. Having read your posts, which were on the whole delightfull, i have to say they were mainly based on emotions, not facts.He said Global Oil is running out much quicker than the public realise, all known reserves and anticipated new finds will be gone in the next 14yrs if our current rate of use continues to increase by 5percent per year. Even if Oil deposits twice as large as those we have enjoyed over the past 130yrs were discovered tomorrow, he said they would be gone in under 30yrs if the annual rate of use continues to increase by 5percent, likewise Americas coal reserves would be spent in just 59days. The good maths prof tied the global population expansion of 30,000,000 extra persons per year to feed, with oil shortages, and predicted starvation and sickness, like Aids and malaria, would be left to thin out third world populations. Do you think this is happening?

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    When I say “tipping point”, I really would consider this to be the “too late” point we are mentioning here. I am talking about the day that we wake up to things like a worldwide clean water shortage. I don’t mean not being able to wash cars or water lawns. I mean the day that safe food can no longer be grown with our irrigated water supply. This is what I meant when I said “This will happen

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    I am so willing to give up a lot of the conveniences of civilization in order to have a family, and yes, chriscarlton is right. I just listened to part of a youtube segment by Juliano talking about how we buy stuff, and the things we buy are poisonous and destroy the environment, and how hundreds or thousands of years ago, everything was free and we all had what we needed. Also, what is the point of life? To save the planet? For whom, if we have no children?

  • CharisCharis Raw Newbie

    Queenfluff~ (love your name by the way) One thing I think is cool is that animals and people can live in the same place. More and more people are living out in “the wild”, I realize of course, that these barren places aren’t totally without life, there are lots of lovely animals. I live out in the “wild”, you might say, and there’s deer grazing on our land, even coming near the house, the birds love our ponds and trees, we have owls and doves nesting here, butterflies come to our gardens…animals and humans can be close, they don’t have to be miles apart.

    Like you, I agree that many areas of this earth are overpopulated, but there are lots of places that aren’t. I know that the birth rate in Asia had decresed so much (down to 1.5 children per couple…I feel sorry for the .5 child, don’t you? lol) that the government is actually paying people to have more children.

    I realize many people aren’t as blessed in families as I am. God has been really good to us and we’re very tight knit bunch. My family is my best friends.My Grandparents live with us and we take care of them. My parents hope that when they’re too old to care for themselves we will help them out. And of course, we will. They spent all their lives looking after us and loving us, it would be nothing short of an honour to look after them. To me, God and family are the most important things in my life. Relationships are all that matter. I realized some people have a lot of breakups and have sadder lives, but I’ve never experienced that and hope that by God’s grace I never will. I know I can’t preprogram my future kids, but if I train them early with God’s help, they can grow up to be thoughtful, loving, kind people who love family. And if I ever do get married, I realized married life is not perfect.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    have any of you ever seen “mind walk” or read anything by frijof capra. his philosophy, which sort of touches upon chris calton’s “recycling isn’t doing much” idea, is that for there to be change you can’t just change one thing. you have to change the whole paradigm that created it. he calls it “the turning point.”

    badnews—it’s my understanding that sustainable means you are using something at the same (or lesser) rate that it is being regenerated. is that the wrong word?

    sky princess—that is fabulous. i too am blessed with a tight family. but again, i think the problem is that our idea of family and community has narrowed to such a point that we feel we need to propagate more than necessary to make up for it. our ancient ancestors lived in tribes and were taken care of from cradle to grave, unconditionally, by every tribe member. their population #s remained more or less constant.

    anyway… it’s a pleasure to read this…

  • hi Pianissima, you are correct, its not sustainable to use as much oil in 10 or 14yrs as in the whole of previous years. The doubling effect has taken place:-1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc, the rate of global oil consumption has doubled ever 10yrs or so. We have reached the point were we have used half the known oil reserves, in the next 10 or 14yrs we will use up the other half The rest of the world is trying to catch us up, i doubt we can do anything about it. I hope this helps. cherio for now.

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