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Thread: Population control

  1. #1 Population control 
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    It seems that we will not or cannot control our own population despite our much touted 'intelligence'. So whats the prognosis Will Gaia control it for us? How? Pandemic must be a strong contender, or war or starvation ( most likely both).
    Or will we see sense and slowly bring our population under control? The study of population dynamics shows similarities across the plant and animal kingdoms so isn't it a reasonable prediction that our human population will peak and then dip sharply at some point (maybe soon)?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeaunse23 View Post
    It seems that we will not or cannot control our own population despite our much touted 'intelligence'. So whats the prognosis Will Gaia control it for us?
    You gotta show evidence for Gaia, first.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeaunse23 View Post
    The study of population dynamics shows similarities across the plant and animal kingdoms so isn't it a reasonable prediction that our human population will peak and then dip sharply at some point (maybe soon)?
    The human population is predicted to peak at 14 billion and plateau. Eh... I'm not sure I trust that prediction.


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    OK, perhaps 'Gaia' was the wrong choice of word. I was using it as a term to represent the force behind the very real natural population perturbations that we see in predator/prey relationships ( and I include bacteria and viruses as predators in this respect). When any population of a given species booms there are natural control factors such as a parallel boom in predator numbers. We have banished most of our large animal predators to zoos and national parks but micro organisms remain a problem and thus may be the most likely control factor. And who would be the main beneficiary of this population crash? The rest of the natural world I suppose ( Gaia?).
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    Antibiotics, anti-viral and cancer treatments will still limit those effects as medical knowledge and ability progresses.
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  6. #5  
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    We can't?
    - poisons in vaccines
    - chemtrails
    - family 2+1 or propaganda: child is too expensive
    - wars
    - pollution
    - evolution of viruses (medicine can't keep up)
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    Does population grow in all environments across the planet, or is population growth affected by social factors and access to contraception?

    I think the population growth, in most societies that are a bit ahead of the curve where education, women's equality and access to contraception is no longer the issue it once was.

    It would be a good idea to help regions with more archaic/traditional views move forward with the social (education, women's equality, contraception) tools that would facilitate the stabilization of the population. I do not think theres any over population problem by and of itself, but of course the population cant continue to expand indefinitely (at least until we colonize space), there's just no need for DrEvil Malthusian solutions.
    Last edited by icewendigo; May 6th, 2013 at 11:24 AM.
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    Until religions start to change in the ways they address the overpopulation problem I don't see any way that humans can sensibly get the population explosion under control. Many religions only teach to go out and multiply for that will add to their own congregations with more and more people keeping them in better control of society and income generation. Religions want more people to insure they continue to grow and not dwindle and die away. So religions are not going to help out but only add to the problems of overpopulation.
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    The population problem is already being "fixed;" primarily by increased access by women to effective birth control. Population growth rate of most of the advanced nations is already negative or near neutral, the developing nation growth rate has dropped dramatically over the past 3 decades.

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  10. #9  
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    And then there are these knuckleheads:

    18 Kids and Counting: Gil and Kelly Bates Say Their Family Is Praying for More Children

    Despite already having 18 biological kids, one Tennessee couple says they are praying for more children.

    The Bates are evangelical Christians who do not believe in the use of birth control. Kelly, a 44-year-old stay-at-home mom, has been pregnant every year for the past 22 years -- which some might consider to be a medical marvel -- and doesn't shy away from the thought of having more children.

    "Whatever the Lord desires," she said. "We decided, a long time ago, to let the Lord decide how many children we would have."

    "It would be like saying more blessings," said Gil, a 46-year-old tree surgeon.
    And to think there are no direct descendents of Abraham Lincoln today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    Until religions start to change in the ways they address the overpopulation problem I don't see any way that humans can sensibly get the population explosion under control. Many religions only teach to go out and multiply for that will add to their own congregations with more and more people keeping them in better control of society and income generation. Religions want more people to insure they continue to grow and not dwindle and die away. So religions are not going to help out but only add to the problems of overpopulation.
    There are so many different angles to this problem; I want to focus on the educational portion of solving it. We must be educated about our planet and its capabilities of sustaining life. We humans are ignorance of where we are, and what we can and cannot do. The planet will take care of it if we do not. For one thing, we cannot restore life through doctors, when life has rejected its continuum. Poverty among other things must be eradicated to the degree where people do not make babies because they have nothing else to do.
    I am not sure religion is the only answer, but it would help if people would put religion in its right context.
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    I am going to take a position I find uncomfortable, because it sounds elitist and I generally abhor elitism. But, it seems to me the biggest problem with population growth in the world today is not so much the growing absolute number, as that the wrong people are having most of the babies. Children born to poverty, lacking access to education, saddled with so many siblings their parents are stretched very thin keeping them alive much less teaching them how to behave, unfortunately rarely contribute much to society. There are exceptions of course, but we laud people who succeed despite such disadvantages precisely because they are unusual.

    There is a part of me that wishes we could force people to get licensed and prove their competency to be parents before we allow them to have children. There is another part that views the idea with horror. But is it so much to ask that people bring children into the world for some better reason than as a consequence of staving off boredom with unprotected sex?
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    Poverty among other things must be eradicated to the degree where people do not make babies because they have nothing else to do.
    That's not how it works. If you watch any of Hans Rosling's TED talks you'll see that people all over the world now average little over 2 births per woman. Just slightly over replacement rate. The important thing is in the details. The countries with the highest birth rates are those with the highest rates of violence as well as poverty. When children face serious risks of dying from bombs, bullets or mines, parents have more of them in the first place. Afghanistan and the Congo are outstanding examples of this. Whereas poverty stricken places like Bangladesh have a not quite replacement rate for births, 2.3 per woman.

    The most important thing is education and viable work for girls and women. The main issue here is that this not only reduces number of births, it delays them. If we can get women everywhere to defer birth of their first child until they're 25 or so, not only will you reduce the number of children born, you'll reduce the overlap of generations. There's a huge difference in total population between societies which might have the same number of babies per woman but one has first births at around 20 or less and the other is at 25 or more. Add that up for 3 generations, and grandmothers are at least 10 years older in one country than the other, and four generation families occur far less often - and when they do it's for fewer years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhanegan View Post
    I am going to take a position I find uncomfortable, because it sounds elitist and I generally abhor elitism. But, it seems to me the biggest problem with population growth in the world today is not so much the growing absolute number, as that the wrong people are having most of the babies. Children born to poverty, lacking access to education, saddled with so many siblings their parents are stretched very thin keeping them alive much less teaching them how to behave, unfortunately rarely contribute much to society. There are exceptions of course, but we laud people who succeed despite such disadvantages precisely because they are unusual.There is a part of me that wishes we could force people to get licensed and prove their competency to be parents before we allow them to have children. There is another part that views the idea with horror. But is it so much to ask that people bring children into the world for some better reason than as a consequence of staving off boredom with unprotected sex?
    Unfortunately, I find it immoral (not to mention impractical, imagine the riots and back-alley births) to force people to accept social responsibility when it comes down to preserving the right to do as they will with their bodies. However, I feel that programs like WIC encourage both unplanned pregnancies and planned pregnancies that put a strain on the economy and result in children being raised in unstable household. Personally, I think it's wrong for anyone to reproduce regardless of economic standing when there are so many kids who need to be adopted. But these are economic issues; like someone else said, overpopulation is mostly due to a lack of contraceptives in 3rd world countries---but we should still personally be doing as much as we can. If you think overpopulation is a problem, don't reproduce.
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    like someone else said, overpopulation is mostly due to a lack of contraceptives in 3rd world countries--
    This is just not true.

    Hans Rosling: Religions and babies | Video on TED.com

    It is probably true that the current problem is a consequence of a lack of contraception some decades ago. Especially when you watch the last sequence in the video about how/why population will continue to increase even though the number of children being born is the same as (or less than) now.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smashingdols View Post
    ... I feel that programs like WIC encourage both unplanned pregnancies and planned pregnancies that put a strain on the economy and result in children being raised in unstable household. ... .
    As usual, i come down on the side of everything on this planet evolving to fill ecological niches.

    WIC created an ecological niche into which many flocked and into which many a child was born.
    Blame it on my mom(?), but I would have been too proud to seek to have offspring in that particular niche.
    Those without that pride moved handily into that niche and were having grandchildren by the time i was having my children.
    On a strictly darwinian sense, they were stronger and much more nimble than I, and prospered with many having over 15-20 decendents while I only have 3.
    So, in a strictly darwinian sense. They won.

    so, as/re:
    But, it seems to me the biggest problem with population growth in the world today is not so much the growing absolute number, as that the wrong people are having most of the babies.
    danhanegan, could it be possible that you are wrong?
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  17. #16  
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    Current average global fertility is 2.4. Fifty years ago, it was 5.5.

    The United Nations predicts it will be 2.0 by 2050 (well below replacement rate). By the year 2100, it is probable that world population will be in decline. After all, it already is in decline in most first world nations. By 2100, it will peak at somewhere between 6 billion and 16 billion, with a "most probable" level of something close to 12 billion, according to the UN.

    It is not really accurate to talk of a 'population explosion' any more. Even talking of over population as a problem is debatable.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The most important thing is education and viable work for girls and women.
    In North America at least, social engineering after WW2 legislated women out of the workplace and incentives were given to promote nuclear families with stay-at-home moms. The birthrate exploded.
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    Where have they tried bribing poor families to have themselves and their children cut? Seems to me that we need to move from 7B to 1B quickly. This seems to me the best (if quite expensive) way. Expressed in terms of the average week's pay . . . how many weeks pay are usually needed to bribe a family of 3? These bribes will be a great stimulus to the economy as well.
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  20. #19  
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    Where have they tried bribing poor families to have themselves and their children cut?
    Why bribe them? When people have decent sexual health services you can give all the options. And that includes long-term contraception, like IUDs or the 5 year hormone implants similar provisions for women, as well as the permanent surgical procedures available for both men and women. When these services are available, people use them to reduce the number of children they have.

    Bangladesh for example now has much the same number of births per woman - around 2, which is equal to or less than replacement rate - as many other countries. Go to 8:20 on this video to see Bangladesh (low income) compared to Qatar (high income), they've achieved the same reduction in number of births per woman in the same time frame despite their glaring economic and other differences. Hans Rosling: Religions and babies | Video on TED.com
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    I am always amazed at how right T.R. Malthus was and how much influence he had. The Malthusians and later the Neo-Malthusians have been very effective in getting their policies in place while avoiding the politically inefficient policies of simply starving the less fortunate classes to death.
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    Most of the people NOT using contraception's are the poor because they are PAID to have children by many governments while middle class people must only rely on their incomes. This is a unjust system. IMO To pay those not willing to use contraception's by taxpayers is not a very smart idea.
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    There is an article in the Wall Street Journal that argues a declining birth rate might not be a good thing and that measures should be taken to raise birth rates.
    America's Baby Bust - WSJ.com

    If you look at the Wikipedia article on the Demographic-economic paradox you notice (or should notice) that even though they mention Malthus in explaining about population growth they totally disregard considering his influence of government and religious policy.
    Demographic-economic paradox - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sometimes you will see China regarded as an outlier because they brought the one child policy in by law, but China is not really an outlier. Mao Tse Tung was heavily influenced by Malthus and because he had the power of dictatorship he was able to implement Malthus' suggestions directly.
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    If birth rates are declining then why is the worlds population increasing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    If birth rates are declining then why is the worlds population increasing?
    Because world wide they have not dropped below the replacement rate. If each woman is having 5 daughters and they are all surviving and breeding in turn the population will increase. If she is having 3 daughters and they are all surviving and breeding in turn the population is still increasing even though the birth rate has dropped.

    Notice I did not count the number of male children but since males don't bear children they are not really part of the birthrate calculation though they are part of the population growth numbers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    If birth rates are declining then why is the worlds population increasing?
    Hans Rosling explains this very nicely (*) in the video above.

    (*) Of course.
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    My personal view is that we can drop the population increase rate tremendously in one big hit in a single generation if we changed the average age of women at first birth upwards by 5 years, or even 10 years in many places. That adds anything from 15 to 30 years to the age of every potential great grandmother - in other words, many grandparents won't live long enough to become great grandparents at all depending on their expected lifespan.

    The big advantage of that change for individual women is that it only works where women are properly educated and appropriately employed before marriage, or without getting married at all. The world would be a much better place if there were more aunties and cousins unencumbered with children of their own to help out with raising, or at least contributing to the education of, children of their siblings or extended family. The other great advantage of delaying first births is that you automatically decrease the average number of children women have - and more of them might decide to have none at all.

    Reducing the number of generations alive in many families and also reducing the number of years of overlap of the oldest and youngest generations in as many families as possible is a great way to reduce total population - without necessarily changing the number of children born per woman very much at all.
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    Malthus got it wrong.

    The problem is that unrestricted Malthusian growth is mindless. Humans are not mindless, and we can think our way into sensible action. The population explosion is over. Fertility is now down to under 2.5, and the only reason the population is still growing is that life spans are still increasing, meaning that the death rate is dropping faster than the birth rate. This is a very good thing. Human life is too precious to give up prematurely.

    This drop in birth rate is happening at exactly the time when Malthus would predict it to be increasing. That is, during a time of relative food abundance, and with the populations healthier than historically. Yet the reality is the opposite of what Malthus predicts.
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    At Stanford some time back they estimated that the long term carrying capacity of the earth is only one to two billion people.
    I suggest that, with the rapid warming going on, we need to bring pop down more quickly. Rich countries paying poor families to have themselves and their children "cut" would seem to be a fair and effective way to go.
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    At Stanford some time back they estimated that the long term carrying capacity of the earth is only one to two billion people.
    Sounds like BS to me.

    If colonies on Mars can be designed, and function with recycling of resources, the Earth can carry much more people than it does today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Mitchener View Post
    At Stanford some time back they estimated that the long term carrying capacity of the earth is only one to two billion people.
    I suggest that, with the rapid warming going on, we need to bring pop down more quickly. Rich countries paying poor families to have themselves and their children "cut" would seem to be a fair and effective way to go.
    Carrying capacity studies often worst case and look at sustainable population....actual population can surge much higher if they are consuming unsustainably--the developed nations are consuming at an unsustainable rates. Can you link the study...or at least the abstract?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Malthus got it wrong.

    The problem is that unrestricted Malthusian growth is mindless. Humans are not mindless, and we can think our way into sensible action. The population explosion is over. Fertility is now down to under 2.5, and the only reason the population is still growing is that life spans are still increasing, meaning that the death rate is dropping faster than the birth rate. This is a very good thing. Human life is too precious to give up prematurely.

    This drop in birth rate is happening at exactly the time when Malthus would predict it to be increasing. That is, during a time of relative food abundance, and with the populations healthier than historically. Yet the reality is the opposite of what Malthus predicts.
    Actually Malthus got it right. What you hear called Malthusian collapse or the Malthusian trap was nothing new or remarkable. Even the ancient greeks were aware of those problems.
    What makes Malthus special is he was the first one to suggest that populations can be controlled.
    The only thing that changed between Malthus and the First Demographic Transition was the awareness of the suggestions Malthus made.

    If you look at the numbers for the current recession birth rates actually did drop when people suddenly realized they were less rich.
    When more money was made available to the general population during the Great Society years of President Lyndon Johnson birth rates rose. They rose again during President Kennedy's Frontiers program. They were reduced when governments decided to back population control measures over growth favouring policies again.
    You see the same pattern in other countries too.

    If you look at the comment made by Adelady about using education, employment for women, postponed marriage and birth control to reduce the birth rates those are all government sponsored neo-Malthusian programs aimed at population control.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 24th, 2014 at 02:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Mitchener View Post
    I suggest that, with the rapid warming going on, we need to bring pop down more quickly. Rich countries paying poor families to have themselves and their children "cut" would seem to be a fair and effective way to go.
    As pointed out, there are far more effective (and less politically/morally problematic) methods.
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    Actually dan, population growth drops when people become more rich. Poverty drives procreation. Currently the wealthiest nations have the lowest population growth. Like Malthus, you got it exactly 180 degrees wrong.

    Joseph

    The Earth's carrying capacity is way more than 2 billion. Way, way more. The problem with organisations like Stanford is that, when they do those studies, they assume old fashioned methods, and do not take into account future innovation.

    For example, assuming no consumption of animal protein, you can feed the average adult human using hydroponics covering 100 square metres. If you covered the entire USA with hydroponics, this would feed 20 billion people. (I am not suggesting we do that. Just pointing out how easy it is to grow food.) Today, there is a massive leap above even that, using vertical farms and artificial lights. Such a farm has been built in Singapore using LED lighting.

    There is enough potential energy in future nuclear reactors, of designs such as the travelling wave reactor, capable of providing humanity with 10 times its current energy needs, and for thousands of years. Not to mention all the other energy sources, including the likelihood of nuclear fusion some time.

    I do not know what the carrying capacity of Earth will be when these new technologies come on stream. But it will be many times the currently predicted maximum population size of about 10 billion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    For example, assuming no consumption of animal protein, you can feed the average adult human using hydroponics covering 100 square metres.
    Which in and of itself utterly ridiculous assumption to make. A more valid assumption is looking at the rate of protein use in the developed world, and the developing world rushing headlong towards those same rates. The end result is either average protein consumption decreases dramatically, massive unrest between haves and have nots, or we innovate our way out of this. It also probably means pushing just about all other life out of the way, something which seems unavoidable at this point.
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    @ skeptic
    Give me the theorist you are quoting, and check your definition of poverty and wealth.
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    Dan

    A good theorist to consult is Dr. Peter Diamandis, who wrote a book called "Abundance". The book is definitely worth a read, and the author is definitely expert. Dr. Diamadis is the brains behind the X-Prize, and also behind Singularity University. I have his book on my kindle.

    There is no firm definition of poverty and wealth, since the goal posts keep moving. Poverty once meant starving. Today, in the west, it means obesity.

    However, less poor nations have lower population growth. I suggest you view the TED talks and look for the lecture by Dr. Hans Rosling. His expertise will straighten you out. Alternately, look at the United Nations web site related to population information. www.un.org/popin
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    At Stanford some time back they estimated that the long term carrying capacity of the earth is only one to two billion people.
    I suggest that, with the rapid warming going on, we need to bring pop down more quickly. Rich countries paying poor families to have themselves and their children "cut" would seem to be a fair and effective way to go.
    I think if you were seriously concerned about resource depletion leading to reduction in the carrying capacity of the planet, you'd go in precisely the opposite direction.

    If you really wanted to reduce overuse, abuse and other depletion of resources and creation of wastes, the people who shouldn't be reproducing, or even adopting children from poor areas, the poor citizens of poor countries are the wrong targets. If a poor woman in the slums of Kolkata has a couple of extra kids, her whole family will use less resources in their lifetimes than one single child of a wealthy OECD country family will use/ overuse/ squander in a decade, or maybe even one year.

    If you want to maintain or retain planetary resources that would otherwise be depleted, the people who shouldn't be having children are all of us in the rich countries. A Hans Rosling that deals explicitly with resource needs and allocations is this one. one Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine | Video on TED.com
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    It seems to me that the rich Westerners are the ones using up all of the planet's resources. The third-world people living in poverty aren't really making much on an impact with all their poverty and stuff. There's not really much of an obesity problem in Ethiopia, for example.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    It seems to me that the rich Westerners are the ones using up all of the planet's resources. The third-world people living in poverty aren't really making much on an impact with all their poverty and stuff. There's not really much of an obesity problem in Ethiopia, for example.
    And there are other options. Japan and Denmark are very wealthy well developed nations, in many ways ahead of the US, while consuming a fraction of the resources of other developed nations.
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    Western nations may be using more resources, but they are also the ones with shrinking populations.
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    Western nations may be using more resources, but they are also the ones with shrinking populations.
    All countries' population growth is shrinking except in the most violent places.

    It may surprise some people (if not you) that the best predictor of a high population growth rate is a high mortality rate.

    Until our resource use - and particularly our energy consumption - is anywhere within cooee of a poor household in a poor country then we have nothing to brag about. Nothing.

    I only had two children, I had them when I was well over 30, they are now childless and over 30 themselves. I've had solar hot water from the earliest it was commercially available but not now, I now have solar panels on my own roof which provide most of our power most of the time. We have often grown parts of our own food supply and we've usually done our own pickles and preserves and made our own bread. Some people would see us as frugal - we are frugal compared to friends with swimming pools and outdoor kitchens and one-in-every-room giant flat screens combined with whole house air conditioning.

    In fact we've lived, partly, what our architect called the "rich peasant" lifestyle. If all Australians lived as we did and now do, the Oz per capita resource use would be considerably reduced. But we'd still be unable to justify, on an allocation of resources basis, having only one child, or even any children at all compared to the poor families of the world.
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    Adelady

    Having children is not something you justify on the basis of resource use. I have no kids myself, but I have a sister who had 5 children. Because all 5 have turned out to be great people, who are very intelligent and are making an enormous contribution to our society, I say she did the right thing in having 5.

    Australians can up their game, but not by using more contraceptives. They could start by replacing those horrible coal burning power stations, with nice modern nuclear ones.

    Nor do I believe that humans have to live in such a way as to destroy the environment. We are slowly learning better ways. In Victorian times, the London smogs were so bad that people died of respiratory disease, and the river Thames was so polluted, it was biologically close to sterile. Today the air is clear (relatively), and the river has salmon swimming in it.

    The worst nations today are those that are half way towards first world status, like China. They will improve over time.

    Humanity is a child of planet Earth. We evolved here, and we have a place here. We do not need to apologise because there are growth pangs as we learnto live with the world.
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    They could start by replacing those horrible coal burning power stations, with nice modern nuclear ones.
    Maybe in some places. Here in South Australia we've eliminated the afternoon peak usage by having solar panels on about a quarter of our roofs - SA's minimum draw on the interstate grid transfer system is now at 2.30 in the afternoon rather than 4.30 am like it used to be. And we get 25% of our power from wind - at the moment. There's a couple of new windfarms being built so I presume we'll soon be at more than that.

    (Though once we're into the third year of a drought things will change. Using our brand new desalination plant for lots and lots and lots of water, rather than just topping up, will drag a lot of power out of the system.)
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Dan

    A good theorist to consult is Dr. Peter Diamandis, who wrote a book called "Abundance". The book is definitely worth a read, and the author is definitely expert. Dr. Diamadis is the brains behind the X-Prize, and also behind Singularity University. I have his book on my kindle.

    There is no firm definition of poverty and wealth, since the goal posts keep moving. Poverty once meant starving. Today, in the west, it means obesity.

    However, less poor nations have lower population growth. I suggest you view the TED talks and look for the lecture by Dr. Hans Rosling. His expertise will straighten you out. Alternately, look at the United Nations web site related to population information. www.un.org/popin
    Really?
    You think wealth drives the birthrate down but you don't have a working definition for wealth?
    That should make you want to stop and think for a moment.

    Neither Dr. Peter Diamandis or Dr. Han Rosling are actually economists.
    Diamandis has a doctorate in medicine, a bachelors in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, and a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics.
    Rosling is also a medical doctor with a PhD for his studies on a certain type of disease outbreak in Africa.
    The fact that they are not trained in economics or demographics should also be giving you reason to stop and take a real good think about what they are saying.

    If you go back to the 80s you will find some economists who do represent your ideas. The most important was Julian Simon. My personal opinion of him is he was a "free trade libertarian" crank, but you might find his ifinite abundance optimism appealing.
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    Rosling is also a medical doctor with a PhD for his studies on a certain type of disease outbreak in Africa.
    The fact that they are not trained in economics or demographics should also be giving you reason to stop and take a real good think about what they are saying
    .

    I think that's a bit misleading. You wouldn't describe James Hansen as not qualified to comment on earth's climate because his first 10 years in academia he was working in astrophysics, focusing on Venus in particular, rather than earth and/or climate.

    According to this report, it was Rosling's 2 years in Mozambique that began his interest in the statistics and economics of public health.

    Straight out of medical school, Rosling spent two years in Mozambique as one of only two qualified doctors in a hospital that served an area of 300,000 people. His experiences here pushed him towards statistics in an effort to quantify the gulf in living standards but it wasn’t until he joined the Karolinska Institute that he realised the gaping holes in people’s knowledge of the world – and resolved to fill them.
    Hans Rosling: the man who makes statistics sing - Telegraph

    As for wealth being a necessary or essential precursor to lowering birthrates, that's been debunked for years. Partly by the work of Rosling and his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute.

    In modern-day Bangladesh, for example, the average number of children per woman has fallen from seven to just over two since 1972. But given a four-answer multiple choice question, only 12 per cent of people in this country answered correctly. The results for a similar question about the global literacy rate (which, in reality, stands at about 80 per cent) was answered correctly by only 8 per cent of respondents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    As for wealth being a necessary or essential precursor to lowering birthrates, that's been debunked for years. Partly by the work of Rosling and his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute.
    Your repetition of this point, while valuable, will mislead some casual readers into thinking that wealth does not lead to lower birth-rates. I trust you are not saying this. Thus there are multiple routes towards reducing birth-rates. Increased wealth, across the population, is one of these ways.
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    Increased wealth, across the population, is one of these ways.
    I see your point.

    But the idea that poor countries need to get to lower birthrates following exactly the same roadmap as the advanced industrial economies did is extremely widespread. It's also perniciously wrong. There's no need to do it that way.

    The biggest problem with it is that it's a counsel of despair. So you finish up with lots of people wringing their hands thinking, erroneously, that countries like Bangladesh or Mexico have a terribly high birthrate when it's much the same as the rest of us. And then, because of that misunderstanding, being willing to advance offensive ideas like bribery for sterilisation, more or less as punitive measures.

    People can get wealth(ier) from reducing high birthrates much faster and more reliably through properly focused public health measures than the other way around.
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I think that's a bit misleading. You wouldn't describe James Hansen as not qualified to comment on earth's climate because his first 10 years in academia he was working in astrophysics, focusing on Venus in particular, rather than earth and/or climate.
    As for wealth being a necessary or essential precursor to lowering birthrates, that's been debunked for years. Partly by the work of Rosling and his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute.

    In modern-day Bangladesh, for example, the average number of children per woman has fallen from seven to just over two since 1972. But given a four-answer multiple choice question, only 12 per cent of people in this country answered correctly. The results for a similar question about the global literacy rate (which, in reality, stands at about 80 per cent) was answered correctly by only 8 per cent of respondents.
    Actually, if Dr Hansen's claim were overly alarmist or overly complacent and contradicted the mainstream concensus in the field, I probably would question his credentials. (the climate change deniers almost certainly have done so)
    More importantly though, I would question his methodology and want to know how he arrived at his conclusions.
    (I don't know much about him or his claims at this point, the only thing I heard about him was a story that NASA administrators are bit upset at him for commenting that climate change seemed real.)

    The claims that wealth is not necessary for countries to enter a demographic transition was obvious long before Rosling.
    After all, France was a lot poorer than England was and had none of the supposed reasons for entering a demographic transition which England did, yet France entered the first demographic transition before England did.

    There is one thing you might notice if you look over the numbers and charts for which countries have lowered birthrates and those who don't. Most of the low birthrate countries have strong stable governments that can implement birthcontrol initiatives like the ones you advocate. The high birthrate countries generally have weak governments that are hard pressed just to stay in power or quite corrupt and have almost no ability to put any policies or initiatives in place at all.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 25th, 2014 at 02:44 PM.
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  50. #49  
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    I said that wealthier nations had a lower birth rate, and that is completely true. You do not need a non debatable definition for wealth since it is a relative measure, not an absolute. So a person who earns $100,000 per year is wealthier than someone who earns $ 10,000 per year. On that basis, it is clear cut that Singapore is wealthier than Indonesia.

    However, that is a simplification, as Adelady would be quick to point out. There are a number of other measures, besides wealth that influence lower population growth. For example : womens rights and womens education is important. Overall, more advanced nations, and especially those that are also wealthier, have lower population growth or even population shrinkage.

    On Diamadis.
    He does not claim to be an expert on population. I cited him as a source for resource availability. As an engineer, he is vitally concerned with this, and has made a detailed study. His book shows the likely developments that are coming in technology, and the impact on human welfare. I suggest, Dan, that you read it.
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  51. #50  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I said that wealthier nations had a lower birth rate, and that is completely true. You do not need a non debatable definition for wealth since it is a relative measure, not an absolute. So a person who earns $100,000 per year is wealthier than someone who earns $ 10,000 per year. On that basis, it is clear cut that Singapore is wealthier than Indonesia.

    However, that is a simplification, as Adelady would be quick to point out. There are a number of other measures, besides wealth that influence lower population growth. For example : womens rights and womens education is important. Overall, more advanced nations, and especially those that are also wealthier, have lower population growth or even population shrinkage.

    On Diamadis.
    He does not claim to be an expert on population. I cited him as a source for resource availability. As an engineer, he is vitally concerned with this, and has made a detailed study. His book shows the likely developments that are coming in technology, and the impact on human welfare. I suggest, Dan, that you read it.
    The relative wealth does not seem to matter very much either, as Adelady pointed out with her comment about Bangladesh (post #45).
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  52. #51  
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    Dan

    One exception to the rule does not obviate it. Also, please note that Bangla Desh is rapidly modernising and its GDP to rising at a healthy rate. More importantly is its progress in education.
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    I would suggest the evidence shows that restricting population growth leads to increasing wealth instead of the other way around.

    and like I mentioned before, using education, inducting women into the work force, and promoting birth control are all Malthusian measures aimed at allowing a country to accumulate capital instead of devoting all their resources to feeding their population.
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  54. #53  
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    Dan

    Feeding the population has become easier as population rose. Famine deaths were high in the 1960's, a lot less in the 1970's and have dropped much further since. Feeding people is better today than ever. As I told you before, Malthus was wrong.
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    Yes, the worldwide starvation rate has dropped by 17% since 1990.
    Mostly because of the reduction in birthrates since then as a result of Malthusian policies.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 25th, 2014 at 08:30 PM.
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    Dan

    The drop in birth rate has nothing to do with Malthus. It has a lot to do with contraception.
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  57. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Dan

    The drop in birth rate has nothing to do with Malthus. It has a lot to do with contraception.
    Birthrates started to drop long before the pill was invented.
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    The pill was invented around 1951, and was introduced wholesale to the public in 1960. The USA began its big drop in fertility in 1961. Other nations were a bit later, but that is explainable due to degree to which the pill was accepted in those places.

    There was an earlier drop in fertility that came with the Great Depression, but it did not last long. By 1960, fertility in the USA was back up to 3.5. The drop that followed the introduction of the pill has lasted through to today.
    Last edited by skeptic; February 25th, 2014 at 09:15 PM.
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    You are forgetting the first demographic transition.

    I am willing to make this easy for you.
    Just show me one direct causal link between changing wealth and changing birth rates. Just one valid direct causal link, that is it all it would take.
    One direct clearly demonstrable causal link that was not a result of a Malthusian population control effort.
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 26th, 2014 at 03:59 AM.
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  60. #59  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Malthus got it wrong.

    The problem is that unrestricted Malthusian growth is mindless. Humans are not mindless, and we can think our way into sensible action. The population explosion is over. Fertility is now down to under 2.5, and the only reason the population is still growing is that life spans are still increasing, meaning that the death rate is dropping faster than the birth rate. This is a very good thing. Human life is too precious to give up prematurely.

    This drop in birth rate is happening at exactly the time when Malthus would predict it to be increasing. That is, during a time of relative food abundance, and with the populations healthier than historically. Yet the reality is the opposite of what Malthus predicts.
    Either that, or people listened to him and prevented it by deliberate effort. That's the great thing about warnings. Sometimes people listen.


    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    At Stanford some time back they estimated that the long term carrying capacity of the earth is only one to two billion people.
    Sounds like BS to me.

    If colonies on Mars can be designed, and function with recycling of resources, the Earth can carry much more people than it does today.
    There is no solid evidence yet that it can, in fact, be done. Just a lot of speculation. I'd wait until someone actually tries it before citing it as evidence that large populations can live on Earth.


    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    At Stanford some time back they estimated that the long term carrying capacity of the earth is only one to two billion people.
    I suggest that, with the rapid warming going on, we need to bring pop down more quickly. Rich countries paying poor families to have themselves and their children "cut" would seem to be a fair and effective way to go.
    I think if you were seriously concerned about resource depletion leading to reduction in the carrying capacity of the planet, you'd go in precisely the opposite direction.

    If you really wanted to reduce overuse, abuse and other depletion of resources and creation of wastes, the people who shouldn't be reproducing, or even adopting children from poor areas, the poor citizens of poor countries are the wrong targets. If a poor woman in the slums of Kolkata has a couple of extra kids, her whole family will use less resources in their lifetimes than one single child of a wealthy OECD country family will use/ overuse/ squander in a decade, or maybe even one year.

    If you want to maintain or retain planetary resources that would otherwise be depleted, the people who shouldn't be having children are all of us in the rich countries. A Hans Rosling that deals explicitly with resource needs and allocations is this one. one Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine | Video on TED.com

    But you're leaving out the other side of the coin. Almost all the educated people live in the rich countries. That means the people who design and implement advanced farming techniques, resource re-acquisition, and mass distribution to prevent food from being lost to spoilage.

    If the third world were better at educating their children, you'd probably be right. But as things stand, if all the population growth happened there, then in a short time there'd be too few people who actually knew how to implement modern farming methods, modern medicine, or well.... modern anything. Then where would the 7 billion people be at?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Mitchener View Post
    I suggest that, with the rapid warming going on, we need to bring pop down more quickly. Rich countries paying poor families to have themselves and their children "cut" would seem to be a fair and effective way to go.
    As pointed out, there are far more effective (and less politically/morally problematic) methods.
    I think a solid solution would be to go ahead and give welfare to single mothers, but require them as a condition of receiving it, to subject themselves to a 5 year sterilization after the child is born before they can conceive again. Maybe longer.
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  61. #60  
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    Its to late to save this planet. Humans are a plague, they will consume every thing in there path. We know we will be our own down fall, but are to week to stop it
    GREED GREED GREED. BYE BYE EARTH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
    Its to late to save this planet. Humans are a plague, they will consume every thing in there path. We know we will be our own down fall, but are to week to stop it
    GREED GREED GREED. BYE BYE EARTH
    If you want to play in the hard science parts of the forum, than plan to add a lot more substance....not blind rants. It won't be put up with here.
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