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Thread: OK, Why haven't I seen a thread about James Lovelock?

  1. #1 OK, Why haven't I seen a thread about James Lovelock? 
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Is this a taboo thread? Surely, on face value, James Lovelock's concerns about human population levels warrant serious revue? And what about what Schopenheimer( sic ) fore told about sustainability?Will you voluntry give up your seat in the Lifeboat? Perhaps the Axis Leaders in the 2WW were taking care of future problems as seen by them to be the major obstacle to their new world order. How little they cared for other peoples lives. We certainly have a priority problem here. Do we go on breeding and expanding our footprint on this Planet Earth? At our Peril. Now, I like to make a personal observation. This will not be without risk as the Subject I am on about effects every one of us. China, whatever stand you have taken about this Nation saw fit to limit their population growth to one child per family. Not yesterday. Several years ago. We rub our hands together and say, perhaps, and a good thing too. My observation? Bring this problem out into the fresh air. Weneed to be talking and developing stragedy to deal with this. This wringing of hands about failing economies that is currently occuring in Europe, will this be the tipping point, economic disaster? Something will lead us to controlling the population, wether it comes from Nature ie Droughts, floods, volcano activity, EarthQuakes, Pestilence, evolva, or wether we ourselves instigate it ie Wars, regulation, castration or keeping the men in the long hut. I personally believe that our time has run out, act now or start building your defences. westwind.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D.
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    Read, "the limits of Growth".


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Is this to be a 'promoting pessimism' thread?

    With all the usual bulldust?

    Inaccurate predictions of improbable population growth?

    A total denial of human progress and ability to solve problems?

    I am an optimist, and cannot agree with the doom and defeat brigade.
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  5. #4  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Is this a taboo thread? Surely, on face value, James Lovelock's concerns about human population levels warrant serious revue?
    what makes you say it's a taboo subject ? just because no-one thought it worthwhile to start a thread on the topic doesn't mean it's taboo
    have you done a search to make sure there's not an old thread around - mind you, if it's really old, and you want to discuss it, a new thread is probably a better approach
    there are definitely Lovelock threads about, but most of those are to do with his Gaia hypothesis, which you're more than likely find in earth sciences or environmental issues
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  6. #5  
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    China, whatever stand you have taken about this Nation saw fit to limit their population growth to one child per family.
    Now you've done it. One of my hobby horses. China certainly did restrict births. But they did nothing, absolutely nothing, about the cultural preference for 4 generation families. So there's been a constant stream of young people growing up, reaching the legal ages for marriage - and then instantly producing the 4th generation child.

    I've got nothing against great-grandparents. But there's a lot to be said for reducing the number of years of overlap of youngest and oldest generations. My view is that greatgrandmothers should be 75 years old, or older. Which means that every woman in the family line had her first child at around 25 or older.

    There's more, much more, about the right way to do this. But I'll save that for another time.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Very few countries would be able to impose the sort of restrictions that China has. But that's OK because there is a better way: education (particularly of women) and good government. These will help to reduce both population growth and the risks of famine. They will also improve health and wealth.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Average fertility (the number of children per couple) drops with increasing wealth and standard of living. This immediately shows us the best way of keeping the population under control.

    This is all happening anyway, with third world nations growing in standard of living everywhere, except where seriously corrupt people hold power. The number of corrupt leaders is dropping.

    The United Nations has the world's most expert demographers, and they have made the most detailed studies of population growth. They have clear predictions on their web site. United Nations Population Information Network (POPIN)
    These predictions are for global fertility to average 2.0 by 2050. This means, eventually, a declining population, since 2.0 is less than replacement rate (some of those children will die before reaching reproductive age).

    By the year 2100, world population will be in decline, with a peak estimated at between 6 billion and 16 billion, but a 'most probable' number of 10 billion.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Very few countries would be able to impose the sort of restrictions that China has. But that's OK because there is a better way: education (particularly of women) and good government. These will help to reduce both population growth and the risks of famine. They will also improve health and wealth.
    As well as access to free or affordable birth control, ironically something under attack in the US.
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  10. #9  
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    Average fertility (the number of children per couple) drops with increasing wealth and standard of living. This immediately shows us the best way of keeping the population under control.
    Oh dear. You've pressed the other button.

    Why wait? Perhaps a better approach would be to tackle it head on. Teach communities and families, directly and explicitly, that education of girls, later marriage for women and spacing for births in a family will make all of them healthier and wealthier in a few short years.

    Waiting for higher incomes and better economies to 'trickle down' beneficial effects on birth rates and marriage practices has not been a great boon. Directly imposing restrictions on births without addressing the status of women has been a dismal failure in China and India. There are now 10s of millions of men in both those countries who cannot possibly get married - because the sole emphasis on reducing the number of children has resulted in millions of terminations of pregnancies (and not a few infanticides) to eliminate girls and favour boys and mucked up entirely the balance of male/female in each age cohort. And that shortage of eligible women has done nothing to raise the value or status of women.

    Tackle the education and status of women first, and the economic and health benefits are pretty well instantaneous and direct. 'Raising living standards' and hoping for better outcomes for women and children in a few decades is highly variable and unpredictable. And you certainly don't want the kind of cultural malaise that's resulted in countries like Japan where the low birthrate is a consequence of the role and status of women being virtually untouched culturally - and young women simply refusing to marry because they won't accept the attitudes and behaviour of men and in-laws.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    the (Chinese) cultural preference for 4 generation families
    It is normal and acceptable in Chinese culture for young parents to spend their prime years not pushing a stroller, but rather pursuing a demanding career. This is why you often see Chinese babies and toddlers with an older family member. In China, many parents even live in another city where they've found a better job; they visit their children and parents on weekends. Culture, as usual, is driven by economics.

    That behaviour should - theoretically - promote the nifty side effect of selecting for longevity, since children with healthy grandparents enjoy a real advantage.

    The Western solution to childcare employs a combination of wishful thinking (that everyone can afford to take time off work), and public childcare.



    About birth-rate and economics, I'm really happy with your point of view. I've argued here before that women become career housewives (and mothers) when an economy geared to the husband-breadwinner offers them no better option. IMO equal opportunity and equal pay diverts a large portion of women out of the "birth force".

    Note that in the peculiar Chinese economy women aren't financially dependent on men, or even supported by them. They don't marry and bear children to secure their futures. I think the low birthrate owes as much to the economic conditions people make their life choices in, as any law or propaganda. Cuba has no such policy yet its birthrate is exceptional to the region.

    So it's not even raw wealth or standard of living, it's relative earnings of men and women. See North American baby boom for another example.
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