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Old April 21st, 2017, 09:39 AM   #21
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Life always finds a way.
Rather than life, perhaps we should use the term existence.

We need changes soon or quality of life will suffer.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 10:32 AM   #22
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That's a wishlist, not a guide to how to achieve those wishes.
Nope, you didn't read it.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 10:34 AM   #23
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Nope, you didn't read it.
Congratulations, you win.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 10:10 PM   #24
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I'm not sure what we should do, but it's pretty simple what we will do.

We'll continue savaging the Earth. We'll deplete aquifers. We'll go to war over resources. Formerly habitable places will become uninhabitable. We'll suffer terrible losses as pathogens win the antibiotic war.

Because of these facts, the population may not peak at 11 billion.
I haven't looked at the numbers in a few years; but the last time I looked at estimates trying to determine what a PERMANENTLY sustainable human population of Earth would be, the numbers are much lower than what we already have today. Most estimates were in the 100 to 200 million range...the highest estimate I recall was from the renowned biologist and evolutionary theorist - E.O. Wilson - of about 2 billion. So, how do we draw down the present 7.5 billion quick enough to prevent mass dieoff?

Even if 2 billion works, that still means the human population of this planet is already in a state of dangerous overshoot of available resources, and drawing down those resources, like available water supplies and topsoil to dangerously low levels. And the more renewable resources are depleted, so the sustainable population also drops lower!

Besides trying to figure out how large the food supply will be, another big,unknown question is how much of the natural biosphere of this planet can we co-op and subvert towards our own purposes vs how much do we need to leave in place to maintain the natural planetary cycles...like the carbon cycle, nitrogen/phosphorus cycle etc.? Back around 2000, a UN FAO report estimated that about 35% of the Earth's ice-free land surface was being used for some form of agriculture. And in all of the land surface taken up by our cities, roads and other infrastructure, and it's understandable how a big part of the reason for growing mass extinction of other animals is because they're being crowded out and have less and less space on the planet. How much of the planet has to be left in its natural state to ensure the function of the biosphere continues and keeps us alive also? Somebody should have already been working on this question?

And finally, there's the question of non-renewable resources. There's a finite supply of metals and minerals in the earth, that are essential to produce all the trappings of what we call civilization. Recycling and reuse programs can recover a portion of the mined minerals..but not all of them! A 2 billion estimate for a permanent population either doesn't deal with resource depletion or assumes that we can sustain high food production even after we go back to a world without machines, industry and electronics.

Last edited by right to left; April 21st, 2017 at 10:12 PM.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 10:20 PM   #25
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FIMA camps.
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 09:55 PM   #26
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FIMA camps.
What's a FIMA camp?
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Old April 22nd, 2017, 10:24 PM   #27
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What's a FIMA camp?
It's a conspiracy theory that the government has built giant encampments to house unwanted/needed citizens by the millions to jail or kill them off.
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Old April 23rd, 2017, 05:30 AM   #28
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A guy at coffee the other day stated that WHO had announced that the earth can only sustain about 4 billion people. When challenged he couldn't produce a source of this, and I couldn't get one from Mr. Google. But I did do some digging.

The first of many complications is what is one using as a definition of an adequate lifestyle. Assuming everyone wants meat three times a day or assuming that everyone would be happy with lentils and salad give very different results.

How many electronic toys are needed? It's amazing how many of the articles quoted Ghandi: "man's need is greatly exceeded by man's greed" or very similar.

There are lots of papers on this subject that have been published and the conclusions vary from half a billion to close to 100 billion, a terrible spread. But there were two meta analyses, essentially a weighted averaging of the existing articles on this subject (with apologies to the researchers in the field, it is far more complex than a simple average).

One came up with an answer of 6 billion, the other with 7.7 billion.

Currently the population is about 7 billion and is expected to peak at 11 billion in 2050. So, what do we do?
The earth or the species determine that. More likely the species, from what i've learned. The earth would simply lose the resources to sustain the species, and then recover after mass extinction. Or the species has built in mechanisms, in which the DNA would sense to much of the species, and produce the necessary biological diseases or infectious agents that kill off enough of the species, until the remaining numbers develop the immune system to survive exposure. Modern day medicine, has probably built an unnatural firewall that has interfered with that process.
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Old April 23rd, 2017, 10:35 AM   #29
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It's a conspiracy theory that the government has built giant encampments to house unwanted/needed citizens by the millions to jail or kill them off.
You must mean FEMA camps.
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Old April 23rd, 2017, 10:52 AM   #30
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The earth or the species determine that. More likely the species, from what i've learned. The earth would simply lose the resources to sustain the species, and then recover after mass extinction. Or the species has built in mechanisms, in which the DNA would sense to much of the species, and produce the necessary biological diseases or infectious agents that kill off enough of the species, until the remaining numbers develop the immune system to survive exposure. Modern day medicine, has probably built an unnatural firewall that has interfered with that process.
The first scientists who started to sound alarms about population and related environmental stresses were biologists who study species extinction specifically and noticed how when certain animals increase to levels that are too high to maintain sustainably (whether because of isolated environments with few or no predators, or human eradication of predator species) the subject species will surpass permanent carrying capacity while there is abundant food available. But, when the population inevitably crashes, the local biosphere has to recover and slowly rebuild potential carrying capacity back up to where it was before it became unbalanced.

And that's the dilemma for all the researchers trying to determine what the human population for Earth should be: we don't even know what the potential carrying capacity of humans is, because of so many variable factors including:
1. we've already drawn down or lowered what should be the sustainable capacity for us.
2. it depends greatly on how we choose to live..especially how much renewable and non-renewable resources we are consuming! Because of this, the individual ecological "footprints" of western, prolific materialists and energy-wasters is much, much greater than the footprint of the typical goat-herder trying to eek out a living in West Africa.
3. and speaking of non-renewables...we know water shortages and topsoil erosion are already problems and will soon make it completely impossible to increase global food supplies, but less consideration is given to the fact that NNR's (oil, mined phosphates, pesticides) are finite supplies! Phosphates themselves...essential for fertilizer production, will be completely tapped out some time in the coming decades. So, even prior to having all of the groundwater dry up and topsoil in the world's major agricultural zones (including the USA), it will be impossible to make the constant supply of artificial fertilizers that make it possible to barely feed 7.5 billion people today!
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