Earth population 'exceeds limits'

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by RHP, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Current world population - 6.8bn
    Net growth per day - 218,030
    Forecast made for 2040 - 9bn
    Source: US Census Bureau

    There are already too many people living on Planet Earth, according to one of most influential science advisors in the US government.

    Nina Fedoroff told the BBC One Planet programme that humans had exceeded the Earth's "limits of sustainability".

    Dr Fedoroff has been the science and technology advisor to the US secretary of state since 2007, initially working with Condoleezza Rice.

    Under the new Obama administration, she now advises Hillary Clinton.

    "We need to continue to decrease the growth rate of the global population; the planet can't support many more people," Dr Fedoroff said, stressing the need for humans to become much better at managing "wild lands", and in particular water supplies.

    Pressed on whether she thought the world population was simply too high, Dr Fedoroff replied: "There are probably already too many people on the planet."

    GM Foods 'needed'

    A National Medal of Science laureate (America's highest science award), the professor of molecular biology believes part of that better land management must include the use of genetically modified foods.

    "We have six-and-a-half-billion people on the planet, going rapidly towards seven.

    "We're going to need a lot of inventiveness about how we use water and grow crops," she told the BBC.

    THE MOST POPULOUS NATIONS
    China - 1.33bn
    India - 1.16bn
    USA - 306m
    Indonesia - 230m
    Brazil - 191m

    "We accept exactly the same technology (as GM food) in medicine, and yet in producing food we want to go back to the 19th Century."

    Dr Fedoroff, who wrote a book about GM Foods in 2004, believes critics of genetically modified maize, corn and rice are living in bygone times.

    "We wouldn't think of going to our doctor and saying 'Treat me the way doctors treated people in the 19th Century', and yet that's what we're demanding in food production."

    In a wide ranging interview, Dr Fedoroff was asked if the US accepted its responsibility to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be driving human-induced climate change. "Yes, and going forward, we just have to be more realistic about our contribution and decrease it - and I think you'll see that happening."

    And asked if America would sign up to legally binding targets on carbon emissions - something the world's biggest economy has been reluctant to do in the past - the professor was equally clear. "I think we'll have to do that eventually - and the sooner the better."

    The full interview with Dr Nina Federoff can be heard on this week's edition of the new One Planet programme on the BBC World Service

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7974995.stm
    ++

    I think in our hearts we know this to be true, but what is the solution, how can we slow third world population growth? (Dont just say war...)
     
  2. kroberts
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    kroberts Senior Member

    Have you seen the movie, "Idiocracy"?

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/

    Statistically speaking, as soon as any population, especially its women, are educated about reproduction and reproductive health, they stop explosive growth. That's not the same as stopping growth, just rampant uncontrolled growth.

    I have never seen a statistic supporting population reduction through use of firearms or war. It just doesn't happen. Any animal, humans included, when they see their population being thinned they get an urge to reproduce. I have never heard of a war that ended because they ran out of participants. Even in the case of an ethnic cleansing, the general population does not drop that much.
     
  3. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Hi Ken, well I´m going off topic already.........

    "The war of the 'Triple Alliance' Brazilian, Argentine and Uruguay against Paraguay 1864-1870.

    The outcome was the utter defeat of Paraguay. After the Triple Alliance defeated Paraguay in conventional warfare, the conflict turned into a drawn-out guerrilla-style resistance that would devastate the Paraguayan population, both military and civilian. The guerilla war lasted until López was killed on March 1, 1870. One estimate places total Paraguayan losses — through both war and disease — as high as 1.2 million people, or 90% of its pre-war population.A different estimate places Paraguayan deaths at approximately 300,000 people out of its 500,000 to 525,000 prewar inhabitants.

    It took decades for Paraguay to recover from the chaos and demographic imbalance in which it had been placed."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Triple_Alliance

    After the war, men were ordered procreate with as many women as possible to repopulate and basically women had to go out of their way to find a man. A terrible war, but with certain compensation for those who survived.
     
  4. kroberts
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    kroberts Senior Member

    RHP,

    I stand corrected. I didn't mean to take it off topic. In most cases of a war, the statistics are essentially reversed from that one -- 10% die, not 10% live. In that type of case, war does not much more than cause people to make more people even faster.

    Actually, the Idiocracy reference is extremely on topic to this discussion. If you have not yet seen it, then rent it and watch it no matter how painful it might be for you. It's not my type of humor, and the statement made by the movie is beyond alarming. It is a supposedly humorous look at population control efforts and their likely results.

    So were my comments about educating women and optionally their men about reproductive health is also on topic. In many cases where there was documentation of before and after such campaigns have been run, that was sometimes the only thing that needed to be done -- not that that is ALL that was done in the studies. I know some of those education campaigns also distributed birth control and similar things, and AFAIK most of them offered the education as part of a broader education campaign covering many topics.

    If you apply the knowledge learned by biologists to humanity, you will realize that any population will grow until it collides with its environmental limits. At that point, starvation or disease will cull the population down to reasonable limits. We are doing exactly that. Our petri dish is of finite size, and most of the world seems to have little interest in slowing down our growth.
     
  5. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Ken, I will have to find that film and report back.

    Going off topic here is the norm, most threads barely pass the opening comment without complete reversal into a unconnected theme so take my comment with a pinch of salt.

    Some issues are for sure: FORCING population control doesnt work and is probably a factor in anticipated social unrest. Cultural differences such as the need to have children in India is likewise very difficult to counter, as you say its an educational rationale that will one day create the success.

    One way of looking at this is, is the trade off between population growth for food against improved education and job creation through development in say Africa, China or South America - and the resultant increase in resources and foodstuffs consumption due increased expectations and purchasing power which would only lead to further global strife.

    Which is better, an over populated but poor world starving to death or an educated middle class over populated world starving and depleting the world´s other resources?
     
  6. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    A beaut topic, and one of several that give reason to pause and think

    Overpopulation - here
    Peak Oil and associated factors - a finite resource is not infinite
    Potable Water - a looming shortage also not infinate
    Agricultural ground and farming to feed the billions
    Greed in humanity - a deadly disease.

    So - it begs the question - what are you doing about it - what plans have you implemented? This is roughly my program....

    http://boboramdesign.wordpress.com/39-c/ is the designer and they are light, robust and simple to build... ATL composites cut them ready to stick into long sections then build see The Scrumble Project in the links at the bottom right of Bob Orams pages, and show the entire process for their 44-C build.... The kit for mine (start on 22 April) is around Au$54K plus delivery either the 39 or 44 will allow 4 kits to be carried in a 40ft container, I think.... Mine should weigh in less than 4862kg ready to cruise....

    At this point in time I am looking at Torqeedo electric "outboards" of about 10hp equivalent thrust weighing some 18?kg (from memory but not sure) and a couple of small diesel gensets of about 5000w & 48V dc nominal output each to charge the batteries and run the engines for extended periods as well as house services... PV cells will also be utilised so the quiet of a romantic location will not be disrupted... (about 10 giving 2000W topping capacity max)... The diesels will also run on coconut oil... Simple hanked on hitch-hiker rig, with a pair of flat cut battened genoas - and forward cockpit... Batteries are yet to be considered and a few other items....

    Basically, I am happy with broad reach/down-wind sailing or 6 knot motoring and a very "Keep It Simple Stupid" live-aboard boat... A link for the web-log site of the build will be set up soon....

    on gensets, see if you can find something powered by a small 0.719 litre (43.88 cu. in) 3 cylinder Kubota and put a 48v regulated v-belt drive alternator on it to charge your batteries The one I am looking at delivers @3000 rpm–kw 12.4 (16.8hp) - @2800 rpm–kw 9.6 (13.0hp) - @2600 rpm–kw 8.9 (12.2hp) and with base and alternator, marinised weighs about 98 kgs (216lbs) - I reckon output should be up to 7kw at 2600rpm continuous and expect to run at less than 2000rpm...

    Although committed to physical gold at the present (mainly as a hedge against turmoil and uncertainty), I would rather invest in something I can participate in, - - like 100hectare (about 250 acres) coconut plantation with angora goats as lawnmowers and providing a processing facility for locals to also make virgin/cold-pressed coconut oil instead of copra (which is exported to Europe to be made into coconut oil - so best to value add locally and use the by-products to feed poultry, pigs and other livestock).... The goats also provide a source of meat, that is not as huge and difficult to distribute as is cattle, where power and refrigeration are NOT the norm... Goats browse and are useful as weed controllers, more-so than cattle and sheep which are "picky eaters", and the fleece is an additional income stream harvested twice a year... This part I would like to do in an under-developed tropical region... and change it as little as possible except to facilitate local services for local people sustainably...
     
  7. RHP
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    RHP Senior Member

    Mas, by the time your boat takes to the water you'll need to help the population problem by taking 58 people on board!

    We can be efficient, further develop GM foodstuffs but water as you say is a limited resource plus all natural fuels. Bio-fuel is of course a joke and will be dropped the moment a sane president enters the White House. Cue Obama-bay.

    Productive land is a limited resource and could eventually lead to war. South America will remain unaffected but eastern Russia and Kazakstan will become future stress points.

    Your 100ha is a nice idea but its productivity will not contribute sufficiently to meet future needs and you will be bought out. Your marginal land will become valuable as technology improves according to Adam Smith.

    But that aside how can we reduce the global population?
     
  8. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    I am not looking to solve the global problem, just do my little bit, to work with local neighbours (those I can walk to,) to visit and work with when there is a need in the community.... I want to be sufficiently small and isolated to be not worthy of "bureaucratisation" by acquisition, ... and production is just enough to be self-sustaining for a village of about 50 families...

    I am weary of GM fiddling as the incentive is, so Monsanto can sell more herbicide to kill "weed crops" - and what when the GM crop becomes an undesirable weed in a different crop - "roundup" - Monsanto's Glyphosate... will not kill it????

    Your last question will probably be conflict - and I pray that the weaponry is conventional explosives (not nuclear or chemical) but it could be diseases like "bird flu" - in which case remote islands are more attractive...

    I agree, that planting crops for fuel is stupid, but to find broader uses for an existing crop that can be used locally and obviate the need to import finite resources, has merit....

    For example Australia and NZ should be heavily into hot-rock technology in geothermal electricity generation and building distribution networks. - - Suburbia has a potential to grow vegetables and other small crops hydroponically (even on roof-tops) and harvest significantly more rain water for domestic potable needs, homes could invest in "distributed electrical generation" using PV arrays on roof areas, and save on electrical bills.... There is no reason to prevent that a nuclear family living on a largish (1000m2 ) block becoming totally self sustaining and trade surpluses for other good and still have surpluses. (no need to drive to work, do a bit in the garden, do a bit on the net, be creative, entertain and so on)

    To conclude this post - a link to some worthwhile insights from another John Browne - John served as a principal advisor to Mrs. Thatcher's government on issues related to the Soviet Union, and was the first to convince Thatcher of the growing stature of then Agriculture Minister Mikhail Gorbachev. As a partial result of Brown's advocacy, Thatcher famously pronounced that Gorbachev was a man the West "could do business with." A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Britain's version of West Point and retired British army major, John served as a pilot, parachutist, and communications specialist in the elite Grenadiers of the Royal Guard. - http://financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/schiff/2009/0401.html is on the G20 meetings in London...
     
  9. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    I have been reading and re-reading the comment I gave link to and I feel the short sharp pain of the Euro block plan, is preferable to the USA/British initial position, and other reading elsewhere, lead me to feel that is the best and probably only road to recovery... It MUST be accompanied by legislation to guide and control future markets in a manner that will see global opportunities that are fair and encourage human development as opposed to extreme profit for the "insiders" in the manner of the past....
     
  10. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    There are not too many people, there are too many dumb people.
     
  11. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    About 6Bn - leaving about 0.8Bn as sensible, literate, wise and appropriately applying their knowledge? - - - None are in positions of influence...
     
  12. mydauphin
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    mydauphin Senior Member

    Also the dumb people have a higher fertility rate, so just like weeds if not killed, they will kill the good by overwhelming it.
     
  13. Luckless
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    Luckless Senior Member

    Wish I could find the study again, that listed how the world could very comfortably feed, clothe, and house some 20+ billion people. All of this from around the late 1970s before all this Genetically Modified Foodstuffs. The only new technologies they were calling for were methods of developing and growing surface, or minimal subsurface 'crops' in the open Ocean.


    I personally have nothing against the use of Genetically Modifying crops or livestock. Seeing as we've been doing it for a few thousand years. What I don't agree with is the "Playing God", "We know what the hell we're doing even if most of the technology we're using was invented in our own lifetimes" mindset of too many so called scientists. They're rushing things way too fast, and deploying crops in completely uncontrolled manners for testing.


    Countries really need to get their acts together, do full proper surveys of their undeveloped, or under developed lands, and stake out anything that can be a good place to grow crops. Anyone trying to use the land for anything else needs a kick in the shins. Far too many subdivisions are going up over prime farm land, and far too many people are building structures in ways that simply shouldn't be allowed in areas. (Like idiots that happily build houses inside of a 10 year flood plain, or worse the complete ****** that build a house on a yearly flood plain! People who build a beach front house in a hurricane zone, and expect it to look and function like one would out side of the zone.)


    My personal views is that as many people as possible should be encouraged to build in the 'hobbit' style, built into hill sides for the most part to take advantage of natural insulation to reduce Air Conditioning costs. (I wonder what happened to make people think of AC as only being cold,... Heating is AC too!)
     
  14. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    What I don't agree is the way Monsanto and Co are allowed to protect their work. After all they are only "playing remix", taking apart of genetical material here and there. Nothing new, just a remix..
     

  15. masalai
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    masalai masalai

    Luckless, most of the "available agricultural land" was identified and mapped in the years before satellite mapping technology, by on the ground surveying and occasional bits of B&W aerial photography - even in such undeveloped regions as PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu - as a cartographer and farmer I have seen the maps and reports for those regions and most of Australia... Lack of reliable water is the key issue stalling an ability to grow more...

    Hydroponic farming is now - particularly in small-crop vegetables & fruits - ask any cannabis grower... Much of Australian quality tomato, lettuce and some other crops are grown hydroponically on tressels/systems about 2.5 to 3 ft above ground for ease of harvest and husbandry...

    On GM - we do not know if there are long term adverse effects to animals or humans when consumed directly, or, fed to livestock first and then eat the meat - does the genetically modified part detach - to attach somewhere undesirable in an unexpected manner? - - Monsanto are modifying some crops to be tolerant of "roundup" so that their herbicide will kill weeds but not their GM crop - would that gene-splice give greater sensitivity to certain chemicals that humans or others may be exposed to and suffer as a consequence of sensitivity due to their manipulation?
     
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