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The population bomb

Posted by yurble 
The population bomb
March 25, 2018
There was an article on the 50th anniversary of a book predicting the collapse of civilization due to high population and high consumption by the rich. For those people who claim we couldn't have known, we could and did. The original event was predicted for the '70s but improvements in agriculture postponed the impact of the issue he identified.

According to the author, optimum population is less than 2 billion people, and the increasing toxification of the environment means that the earth will be able to support fewer and fewer people.

Quote
Paul Ehrlich
It is a near certainty in the next few decades, and the risk is increasing continually as long as perpetual growth of the human enterprise remains the goal of economic and political systems. As I’ve said many times, ‘perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell’.

(So why, I have to wonder, did he and his wife (also his co-author) have a child?)
Re: The population bomb
March 25, 2018
I heard that until about a 100 years ago there simply were not enough humans to damage the planet no matter what they did. The population was under a billion.

Not only does a huge population destroy the planet and use up resources, it makes it harder for anyone to find jobs. When I drive into the city (Tucson, I live in a suburb) I see more homeless people and cars that look crappy to the point of being unsafe than ever before.

Yet people still think it's a great idea to have babies.thinks someone else is crazy
Re: The population bomb
March 25, 2018
Quote
yurble
There was an article on the 50th anniversary of a book predicting the collapse of civilization due to high population and high consumption by the rich. For those people who claim we couldn't have known, we could and did. The original event was predicted for the '70s but improvements in agriculture postponed the impact of the issue he identified.



Those agricultural "improvements" were made possible mainly by advances in petrochemical fertilizers. In the long-term a future with more expensive petrochemicals, degrading topsoil, droughts, and aquifers that are drying up will lead to food that is significantly more expensive, and widespread famines in the third world.

In the short-term, these agricultural "improvements" have led to widespread diabetes and obesity in my corner of the globe.
Re: The population bomb
March 25, 2018
Quote
yurble

(So why, I have to wonder, did he and his wife (also his co-author) have a child?)

For the usual breeder shithole reasons.

+++++++++++++

Passive Aggressive
Master Of Anti-brat
Excuses!
Re: The population bomb
March 25, 2018
Quote
StudioFiftyFour
Those agricultural "improvements" were made possible mainly by advances in petrochemical fertilizers. In the long-term a future with more expensive petrochemicals, degrading topsoil, droughts, and aquifers that are drying up will lead to food that is significantly more expensive, and widespread famines in the third world.

In the short-term, these agricultural "improvements" have led to widespread diabetes and obesity in my corner of the globe.

Yup. Which is why the number of people the planet can really support is diminishing.
Re: The population bomb
March 25, 2018
Quote
craftyzits
Quote
yurble

(So why, I have to wonder, did he and his wife (also his co-author) have a child?)

For the usual breeder shithole reasons.

They're probably part of the one to replace smug club pat themselves on the back and brag about it, so two people can have two kids to replace themselves and avoid the dreaded social reproach or being referred to as "breeders" or contributing to overpopulation.

This funny math fails to take into account that by the time the original two people die at 85 (because these people are vegucated and can afford healthcare, etc.) they'll likely have two kids, four grand kids and eight great grand kids all littering the planet. That is assuming their entire family is all smug with their batty replacement ideas. Sixteen people (at minimum) are their true replacement rate!
Re: The population bomb
March 25, 2018
Quote
freya
Quote
craftyzits
Quote
yurble

(So why, I have to wonder, did he and his wife (also his co-author) have a child?)

For the usual breeder shithole reasons.

They're probably part of the one to replace smug club pat themselves on the back and brag about it, so two people can have two kids to replace themselves and avoid the dreaded social reproach or being referred to as "breeders" or contributing to overpopulation.

This funny math fails to take into account that by the time the original two people die at 85 (because these people are vegucated and can afford healthcare, etc.) they'll likely have two kids, four grand kids and eight great grand kids all littering the planet. That is assuming their entire family is all smug with their batty replacement ideas. Sixteen people (at minimum) are their true replacement rate!

Every time any person that I know starts showing me photos of their extended family, I feel depressed about how two living people turned into 15 - 30 people in their lifetime.
When you consider typical North American consumption and pollution, it makes me want to weep.
Re: The population bomb
March 26, 2018
It does make me sad, thinking about how many problems overpopulation causes. What really kills me is that, at least in first world countries, something as stupid as a social construct {parenting is TMIJITW and other bingos} causes REAL tangible damage, like fracking {more people means greater demand for power, even through nefarious means}, species extinction, and air pollution. Why can’t most people conceive of something else to make their lives fulfilled rather than just having kids? Especially since most people, though they wouldn’t admit it, hate raising kids. Or, frick, if having a family is the only thing you aspire to, why not adopt?!

Lock him up or put him down.
Stolen from Shiny.
Re: The population bomb
March 26, 2018
Today, a place that is considered 3rd world, was not always a 3rd world. If we go back as little as 2000 years, life on continents may not have differed as much as it does now. What has changed? I think population density had something to do with it.
Re: The population bomb
March 26, 2018
Quote
Techie
Today, a place that is considered 3rd world, was not always a 3rd world. If we go back as little as 2000 years, life on continents may not have differed as much as it does now. What has changed? I think population density had something to do with it.

Well, I'd also be inclined to attribute a lot of the disparity it to imperialism. Having your country's wealth exported by force tends to make a country poorer.

But of course population growth does help keep a country poor. That is why I am so impressed with the work of Mechai Viravaidya.
Re: The population bomb
March 26, 2018
Quote
Techie
Today, a place that is considered 3rd world, was not always a 3rd world. If we go back as little as 2000 years, life on continents may not have differed as much as it does now. What has changed? I think population density had something to do with it.


-Agricultural techniques
-Weather conditions
-Ability to trade with other nations
-Population IQ bell curve
-Development of fossil fuel energy resources and subsequent uses for this energy input (Everything from the locomotive to the silicon chip)


That's why we are where we are now, in a nutshell. Population density was a factor in riding the economic waves of the 20th century, but it will not be advantageous in the 21st century.
Re: The population bomb
March 26, 2018
Quote
yurble
According to the author, optimum population is less than 2 billion people, and the increasing toxification of the environment means that the earth will be able to support fewer and fewer people.

Quote
Paul Ehrlich
It is a near certainty in the next few decades, and the risk is increasing continually as long as perpetual growth of the human enterprise remains the goal of economic and political systems. As I’ve said many times, ‘perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell’.

(So why, I have to wonder, did he and his wife (also his co-author) have a child?)

Not only did the Ehrlichs discredit their thesis by having a child, but many of their (Paul's in particular) comments criticized other countries with population pressures in ways that distinctly came across as racist. Here's Ehrlich's comment from The Population Bomb:

"I have understood the population explosion intellectually for a long time. I came to understand it emotionally one stinking hot night in Delhi a couple of years ago ... The (taxi) seats were hopping with fleas ... As we crawled through the city, we entered a crowded slum area ... The streets seemed alive with people. People eating, people washing, people sleeping. People visiting, arguing, and screaming. People thrusting their hands through the taxi window, begging. People defecating and urinating. People clinging to buses. People herding animals. People, people, people, people. As we moved slowly through the mob, hand horn squawking, the dust, noise, heat, and cooking fires gave the scene a hellish aspect. Would we ever get to our hotel?"

P. J. O'Rourke later responded in his book All the Trouble in the World:
Fremont, California, had about the same population density as did Delhi;
Ehrlich didn't seem to be so worried about "people, people, people, people" when playing golf with lots of other whites on a busy course in that part of California;
then O'Rourke acidly noted, "Fretting about overpopulation is a perfectly guilt-free—indeed, sanctimonious—way for ‘progressives’ to be racists.’’

Ehrlich denied any racism, but after this appeared, he began to make more comments about the much greater amount of resources children use in the West compared with those in poorer countries...
Re: The population bomb
April 02, 2018
Quote
kman

Not only did the Ehrlichs discredit their thesis by having a child, but many of their (Paul's in particular) comments criticized other countries with population pressures in ways that distinctly came across as racist. Here's Ehrlich's comment from The Population Bomb:

"I have understood the population explosion intellectually for a long time. I came to understand it emotionally one stinking hot night in Delhi a couple of years ago ... The (taxi) seats were hopping with fleas ... As we crawled through the city, we entered a crowded slum area ... The streets seemed alive with people. People eating, people washing, people sleeping. People visiting, arguing, and screaming. People thrusting their hands through the taxi window, begging. People defecating and urinating. People clinging to buses. People herding animals. People, people, people, people. As we moved slowly through the mob, hand horn squawking, the dust, noise, heat, and cooking fires gave the scene a hellish aspect. Would we ever get to our hotel?"

P. J. O'Rourke later responded in his book All the Trouble in the World:
Fremont, California, had about the same population density as did Delhi;
Ehrlich didn't seem to be so worried about "people, people, people, people" when playing golf with lots of other whites on a busy course in that part of California;
then O'Rourke acidly noted, "Fretting about overpopulation is a perfectly guilt-free—indeed, sanctimonious—way for ‘progressives’ to be racists.’’

Ehrlich denied any racism, but after this appeared, he began to make more comments about the much greater amount of resources children use in the West compared with those in poorer countries...



Ehrlich didn't discredit his thesis by having a child. Hypocritical behavior doesn't alter rational conclusions based on available data. For example, a doctor may smoke cigarettes and still warn you about the dangers of cigarette smoking. His behavior (smoking) does not mitigate the dangers of smoking, nor does it nullify those dangers. His warning is still accurate. Ehrlich's warnings on overpopulation were accurate--even if they came 50+ years too early.

I also take exception to the "racism" label which is these days thrown around so frequently, it's losing much of it's meaning. Pointing out that some Third World areas are absolutely miserable doesn't make one a racist, regardless of parental status. In fact it is a good warning for the rest of us, allowing us to see what runaway population does.

But in the end there won't be any draconian population limits or controls set by any governments. In the long-term, environmental degradation, agricultural output declines, diseases, and violent conflicts will all have their own say when it comes to thinning the population. And to the disappointment of those across the ideological spectrum, there won't be a political "solution" to any of this. The ugly process of attrition will happen at the regional, national, and global levels.
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