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Thread: Damned if you do, damned if we don't?

  1. #1 Damned if you do, damned if we don't? 
    Forum Ph.D. stander-j's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about what we put into the atmosphere/do the planet and all that sort of jargon lately. I find myself coming to the conclusion that we're screwed either way?

    To neglect going through the effort of quotes, I am just going to paraphrase from more or less what could be found in several Climate Change/Anti-Pollution documentaries. Could we agree that several have said that due to our consumption of oil the human population has and continues to increase at a ridiculous rate? Actually I can quote an essay:

    (In context not specifically to our oil consumption, but our consumption of natural resources, and the Earth's 'carrying capacity')

    The numbers continue to increase logarithmically — so that there will be 8 billion by 2020.
    There is presumably an upper limit to the carrying capacity of humans on earth — of the numbers that agriculture can support — and that number is usually estimated at between 13-15 billion, though some people think the ultimate numbers might be much higher.

    (Eldredge, Niles. The Sixth Extinction)

    Okay, so bearing in mind that quote - and all the documentaries that pose our rabid population expansions, and our raping of Earth, most seem to purpose that we simply just stop. But, my question become this: Is that really Feasible? Oil produces far more energy than green routes. If we are simply to stop use of Oil consuming machinery and products - are we not affecting our yields of crops? Wouldn't we slowly just be killing off the people that already alive? There is a reason behind our over-production, its not just because we can right? That stuff gets used so we can survive. So if thats the case, it doesn't really matter if now or later: The way its being made out to be seems like regardless a lot of people are going to be dying. And that thereby makes me ask: Then why us? Why not leave it for the next generation?

    Anyone have thoughts on this?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    On oil, we have no choice. It will start running out soon. Scientific American suggests peak oil will hit in 2014. Finding alternatives is essential.

    On population, it is not worth losing sleep over. The highly skilled demographers working for the United Nations have determined that the average number of children born per couple is dropping steadily, and the total population of the world will stabilise at about 9 billion by 2040. There is no reason humanity cannot support 9 billion is reasonable comfort.

    There are numerous energy technologies that can take over, given time. Research is underway to develop these. All that is needed is the political will to implement them.


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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    There are numerous energy technologies that can take over, given time. Research is underway to develop these. All that is needed is the political will to implement them.
    Political will to implement alternative technologies and unicorns are two of my favorite fantasies.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1109095322.htm
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    There is no reason humanity cannot support 9 billion is reasonable comfort.

    There are numerous energy technologies that can take over, given time. Research is underway to develop these. All that is needed is the political will to implement them.
    You are an optimist. So far though we haven't figured out how to sustain more than a couple of billion in "reasonable comfort," and we aren't doing that in a sustainable fashion.

    I agree though, more political will would go a long ways towards moving us in the right direction.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
    “The Holy Land is everywhere” Black Elk
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  6. #5  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Yes, I am an optimist. However, my optimism is rooted in recent history. Humanity has slowly improved its lot. This is clearly shown in average lifespan, which has increased most dramatically.

    The only thing we need to improve still further is ingenuity and the will to implement it. Ingenuity is what we have in spades. The will is more problematic. Politicians seem to demonstrate more stupidity than intelligent will. But we can hope.
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