Friday, October 30, 2009

Population is SO over

To those who believe we can magically feed any number of people, I'll just say

"Hope clouds observation."

The fact that must be faced squarely is that the indigenous populations of the advanced nations are not growing much if at all, while those in the third world are exploding, along with many first generation immigrant populations in America and Europe.

If you look at a chart of population growth over the last few centuries, you'll see that the human population remained stable for centuries, then exploded after around 1900, with the advent of modern medicine; but in the advanced world the advance of women's rights and effective contraception kept the lid on population explosion. Not so in the countries where women have few if no rights--especially those dominated by religions that make women second-class citezens or simply chattel.

Environmentalists considered overpopulation to be a key issue until the 1970s, when they joined with religious conservatives in opposing any limits to population. That's when most environmentalists became enemies of the environment, and of our planet's future, and of future generations, sacrificing them to short-sighted sentimentality.

How these people think the human population can keep expanding infinitely is beyond me. It just shows how little science education the average liberal arts college graduate gets.


Anonymous said...

How timely, I just saw an article about a mayor in NZ that had the same idea I posted on your blog a few days ago.,23599,26280864-2,00.html

Problem is, every time anybody mentions over population people associate it with eugenics. There simply isn't the will to even discuss solutions to this problem. It is nice you are bringing it up though.

Ehkzu said...

"associate" is the key word here. Most people--even those with college degrees--rarely if ever actually think analytically, just as most computers are rarely used for actual computation--mostly they just move data around.

Associative thinking is pattern matching. Thus, "overpopulation concerns ~eugenics therefore wrong"

This is especially true whenever strong negative emotions are involved--fear, guilt, anger.

Those who prey on society have exploited liberal guilt and conservative paranoia up the wazoo.

Anonymous said...

It's only Eugenics when the talk is of negative approaches instead of positive approaches.



We cannot undo what has been done. On Africa: no good Eugenicist thinks we can go faster than AIDS. It's almost comical to imagine... faster killing than AIDS. Unless we can get a new scapegoat like H1N1...

Really what do you propose?

Ehkzu said...

The positive solutions presuppose vastly more time than the Earth has got.

What would work is what China did with its one child law, strongly (if somewhat unevenly) enforced.

And all the advanced nations cutting off all aid to third world countries that don't take that step, along with free abortion and sterilization, as a prerequisite.

None of that's going to happen.

Here's what will happen: the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Most third world countries today have many, more people than they can feed sustainably. In trying to feed themselves these people are destroying their countries' ability to feed people (and supply them with water). At the end of this they'll be even less able to supply the fundamental needs of their populations than they are now.

I say none of this with pleasure. In our collective desperation we're exterminating more species of plants and animals than at any time in the last 65 million years.
The near future will see large tracts of desert that once were fertile land, and in many areas those who are left will be leading horrible existences in failed states, mainly ruled by soulless criminals.

It will be Hieronymous Bosch's scariest paintings some to life.

And I doubt anyone can stop what's coming, because all our instincts, carefully honed over the 80,000 years we lived on this planet as nomadic hunters and gatherers, all those instincts lead us to exactly the opposite direction of where the solutions lie.

Yet we persist in "going with our gut." In acting on our most humane impulses, even though those impulses are creating a hell on Earth. We just don't know any better, and we see unable to learn enough from our experiences to overcome those instincts.

The Titanic drove on for quite a while before it sank, because it wasn't torpedoed--it got sliced open by an iceberg. So even though it was mortally wounded, and many of those on board doomed, there was a space of time on board when things seemed almost normal.

That's what it's like now, as we destroy the ocean floors, the water tables, the fertility of the soil, the species diversity of so many ecologies, all the while using our technology to destroy the ocean floors more and more efficiently, along with the rest.

The Earth's people--most of them--are living on borrowed time.

And Nature never forgives debts.