Wednesday, February 15, 2006

How Many?

It is very clear that "only mad men and Economists" believe that it is possible to have infinite growth on a finite base. If you believe that the size of the human population in the world has reached a level that is already of concern what would be the specific policies that you would be willing to follow in order to resolve the issue?

23 comments:

ghassan said...

I have just finished reading a lovely article written in 1968 by someone called G. Hardin in which he proposes a rather severe solution to the population issue. The state must pass a law and enforce it srtictly. Each female would be entitled to give only one birth during herlifetime. Whenevr that restriction is violated a vasectomy is performed on the father. That will stop them won't it.

ghassan said...

A Kantian deontologist who teaches st Pace University, Robert Chapman, has published some interesting views on this subject. I highly recommend reading his "No Room at the Inn".

Haddy said...

I feel that it is a moral obligation to sacrifice any of the shiny things in life in order to help the greater cause. Human beings are considered to be the most civilized of animals, yet we wrecklessly destroy the planet. We are the true savages, and we need to break out of our destructive nature and finally reach our minds potential.

Haddy said...

A possible solution for when the Archaic Revival does come, and lets hope its soon, is proposed by the ontologist (among many other 'ists' he has to his name) Terence McKenna, check this out...http://deoxy.org/t_ppp.htm.
I strongly agree, and am not embarassed let alone afraid to voice that. Not everything you see and hear on TV is real...

Haddy said...

Haha sorry for the barrage of comments...but if people looked at life from a larger scale, they would see how things are, with the two eyes we have, we will never be able to see, we need to open up that third one....

Anonymous said...

I have an honest question, and perhaps someone here has an answer. How does the growing AIDS epidemic fit in? Are people going to start dying at a more rapid rate than are being born? Forgive me my ignorance, but I am curious how it all fits in.

karam said...

Yosef,
I am not in a position to comment on McKenna since I have never read him. Thank you for the deoxy URL. I will visit it soon.

karam said...

Anon 1:00pm,
I would rather not have you post under anonymous. This blog is not advertised and so the 11 of us are the only users(i think).
I have not had a chance to research your question but I am not aware of any country where the death rate from AIDS has reached the level whereby it is the reason for a contraction in the human population. I do not believe that this will be the case globally. Remember that the world is currently adding around 75-77 million people every year.
I am not dismissing the very legitimate issue that you raise but I do not think that the world can even forsee the posiibility of 75 million annual deaths from AIDS.

Frank Marchese said...

Considering we have a very large percentage of bible thumping conservatives in the mid west working for the "good" of all by condemning and demonizing the rights of all women who choose to look towards abortion and other means of contraceptives, I think we should work on them first and see if we can change their radical religious view points before taking on the world (And to think we call Muslims Fanatics). Also it is hard to tell a family in a third world nation to stop having children when the children they are having are going to be the workers of their new farm. I believe the solution lies within the change of religion, government, and educational practices. More education leads to jobs, a healthy government leads to a better life, and a new flexible religion to hold it all together.

marie said...

The issue of population is an extrememly touchy subject. I understand that something needs to be done but I don't think enforcing a law where woman can have only one child with help the problem. A law of that nature would only penalize people in the 3rd world who have an economic need for children. The problem of consumption is worse than population. One American probably consumes more than several families in the third world. To resolve the issue, I believe that there needs to be restrictions on consumption, not on the amount of children woman can bear.

Frank Marchese said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Frank Marchese said...

Not to sound like a broken record but rights must be restricted to begin the process of fixing the problems which we have caused by over population. To bring up our point on third world nations, a good way of smoothing out the rough areas within developing nations would be to form a global community were every individual is a citizen of the world. Once this happens it is imperitive for us to stop reproducing as soon as possible but doubtfully it will probably only happen when we hit a ceiling and come crashing down. Until then stock up on guns and canned food :)

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bakakarasu said...

Regarding the population demographic regional vs global scenario:

http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WPP2004/2004Highlights_finalrevised.pdf

See esp. p. 3 and 4 regarding age distribution and effect on population increase,
fig. 4 page 22 showing projected trends toward roughly the same global birth rate in all countries, and
p.32 showing effect of aids on population growth (not much).

I think these data are as good as such things get, though I am quite skeptical of projections out to 2050 that don't mention either carrying capacity or oil.

We’ve already exceeded global carrying capacity. We are now in “overshoot”. (Visualize a car sailing smoothly, but quite temporarily, through the air after having been driven off of a cliff.)

Global population is nearing 7 billion. Different theorists using different methods seem to end up agreeing that global carrying capacity is probably about 2 billion. (This assumes some level of social justice and a moderate, low by US standards, standard of living. More is possible if you accept a cattle car / Matrix-esque "life".)

In any case, we will get to that much-lower-than-7-billion number the hard way (wars, famine, disease, and their accompanying losses of environmental quality, freedom, and social justice) OR the less hard way (immediately and drastically reducing our population voluntarily). Yes, all of us, yes, everywhere. There is no scenario anywhere in which population growth is a "good thing" long term.

Yes a drop in population would cause problems, but none of those problems are as big as the problems, suffering, and environmental collapse that is certain to occur if we don’t.

I disagree with any argument that there is some “right to reproduce”. If there is any "right to reproduce" it's in the concept that one has the freedom to nurture a child or children and form some sort of family. Biological reproduction is not necessary to do that and there are many in need of this sort of nurturing.

This is a global issue with local and nation-state consequences. For example, immigration is a consequence of overpopulation, not a cause of it. Likewise, global climate change is not impressed by national boundaries.

No technological / "alternative energy" options have the capacity or can be ramped up fast enough to avoid major global calamity. That isn't to say we shouldn't do them. Aggressively shifting to alternative energy is necessary, just not sufficient.

For more comprehensive analysis of all this I suggest

Bandura etc.
http://growthmadness.org/2008/02/18/impeding-ecological-sustainability-through-selective-moral-disengagement/

Albert Bartlett on the exponential function as it relates to population and oil:
http://c-realm.blogspot.com/2008/12/kmo-interview-with-albert-bartlett.html

Approaching the Limits www.paulchefurka.ca

Bruce Sundquist on environmental impact of overpopulation http://home.alltel.net/bsundquist1/

The Oil Drum Peak Oil Overview - June 2007 (www.theoildrum.com/node/2693)

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