I do understand the one-child policy because there are too many people in China, especially in cities. The population should be under control. (However, as far as I know, one-child policy never really works in the very poor area. It's common to have 3+ children there.)
In recent decades, China becomes much richer and people have better education. Many families (in cities) get used to having only one child and don't want to have the second child because the cost of raising a child becomes very high. Two-child policy should come earlier.
The scary part was learning later on that the policy pushed many Chinese families to discard their female offspring since boys could earn better.
Technology (like GMOs) can help you make incrementally more efficient use of those resources, but not as fast as unbounded exponential population growth.
At some point, the average standard of living has to come crashing down. The biologically necessary quantity of food and water is not available for everyone. Even with unlimited labor to supply factories, there are no more raw materials to make gadgets and medicine out of.
A country in that situation has basically one reasonable course of action: kill the neighbors and take their resources.
China is arguably being a good world citizen by trying not to put itself in that position.
You may find this statist interference with a natural process distasteful, but consider the alternative: only the fittest get to survive.
I think you mean under the Kaiser, not the Third Reich.
Hitler was made Chancellor on January 30th, 1933.
Fritz Haber died on January 29, 1934 in Switzerland.
Carl Bosch was not Jewish.
Here is a quick intro to Fritz Haber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdEE5uvFhOM
That said, past experience has demonstrated the Human population can easily grow at 5% per year. At that rate it's doubling every 15 years. Trying to double the universes food supply every 15 years is just not possible indefinitely.
PS: 2^n is crazy. It takes less time than you might think before the mass of humanity is growing faster than a sphere expanding at the speed of light could support.
We've got a lot of efficiency left in terms of agriculture as well, so there isn't much reason to think reaching the carrying capacity of the planet is a particularly pressing issue. The amount of food that we already grow that we don't eat roughly 1/3 already, and the vast majority of land doesn't contribute to agriculture.
The counter argument goes something like this. Let's double every 1,000 years for the next 1,000,000 years that sounds easy.
Let's see that's only 7billion * 2^1,000 or err ~7 * 10 ^ 310 people. Hmm, there are only ~10^83 atoms in the observable universe. I guess they must be really tiny people.
So, yea it's not a problem in right now and probably not for a long time yet. But, as soon as you start doubling something has to give.
The worst is when population goes past carrying capacity and then crashes. That's when you get mass die-offs.
Population can settle down at carrying capacity simply through reduced birth rates matching up with death rates. That's the situation we see in much of the western world, with better availability of birth control etc.
With humanity, "carrying capacity" is unlikely to be food-limited.
The top of the curve removes that as we can't pay for the inefficiency's of livestock or the extra daily calories to be overweight and feed 50+ billion people.
Human population is expected to level off at 10-13 billion based on factors relating to social organization, not the 50+ billion that could theoretically be fed.
We could have 10 billion people on this planet and we'd be fine, so long as we were resource-efficient.
only someone who's never been to china would ask about the 'standard' for determining overpopulation. it's abundantly clear as soon as you step off the airplane and take a look around. it's just too damn crowded.
what is the standard for determining that water is wet?
Its not current population so much as the growth rate. China is 2/11 of the World. That's between 1/5 and 1/6, so small changes they make have dramatic effects decades down the road. Our current population is almost certainly not sustainable doing things the way we are now, but we are changing that. Population growth is only sustainable with dramatic changes in the way we live, yet we are adding people by the billion.
Sort of. You'll still bump up against physical system constraints, at least until we're swimming in an excess of renewable, clean energy.
It would take many Earth's worth of resources to have the quality of life American's have. Clean energy goes a long way to solving that, but again, physical systems have limitations.
The thing is that in developed countries this kind of laws are not necessary because people just don't have children because they are too expensive.
The issue isn't whether that's true. The issue is who gets to decide what the right number is and what we all do about it. To most of us, the moral hazards (and realities!) of coercive birth control are severe.
Not only more humane, but more fair. Why should the people who provide the least resources to their children be the ones to create the most human progeny?
And again, who decides which is more humane? If you and your cohort wants to stop reproducing as a good example, nobody is stopping you.
Your elected government? Isn't that what you elected it for? Or just hold a referendum or something.
The "who decides" question is a problem here. It doesn't matter who, it only matters that the decision has to be made and then carried out. The coordination has to arise or be enforced, but happen the coordination must. What you're implying by asking this question has many names. In politics, it's "total anarchy". In biology, it's "cancer". In infrastructure projects, it's called NIMBYsm. Imagine trying to run a large company with the rule "we're all equal, who gets to decide?" - how long would it survive?
Like it or not, Earth will have to have a "top management" layer. Run it top-down, run it co-op style, whatever - but after some size, you can no longer ignore the looming coordination problems and their deadly consequences.
Yes, as with everything, there are failure modes. Coercive abortion and gender selection happen mostly because of misalignment between "one child rule" and the economics, so the people selfishly prefer to spawn an offspring that will give better economic payoff. But incentive structures we can manage. We could manage it better if we stopped just asking "who gets to decide?" and instead picked someone to decide.
Also, the only problem with "coercive abortion" is the "coercive" part; if you believe that abortion is ok, then gender selection via abortion is also ok. If you don't believe gender selection via abortion is ok, then you also must disagree with general abortion as a practice.
Also2, we have a "who gets to decide?" problem when it comes to inconvenience ourselves and spawn less children, but we do not have that problem when it comes to decide who to bomb the living shit out of, killing their children, along with parents, grandparents, livestock and future. Strange, isn't it?
Not at all. The entire point of this line of discussion centers around limiting an implied personal right to reproduce for the good of society. A one-child policy might serve society's needs as a whole. A one-child policy that allows prospective parents to, say, flood the world with a supermajority of male children does not serve society's needs.
I think that gender selection via abortion is ok in the general sense, absent perverse incentives that cause society-crippling gender imbalances, but if those incentives exist and are abused, I can certainly understand a desire to make that illegal, while still allowing (and supporting) gender-blind abortion.
Even this thread is hopeful to me, a decade ago there wouldn't have been near as much disagreement about whether you have the right to burden society without limit.
>And again, who decides which is more humane? If you and your cohort wants to stop reproducing as a good example, nobody is stopping you.
This argument is such a canard. If someone is blaring loud music throughout a neighborhood, the solution is to force them to stop, not to tell everyone else who finds it annoying to just be quiet.
EDIT: I can't reply to the below comment, except to question whether it is equating fines for extra children with being a murderous dictator. That is quite a hyperbolic comparison. The road to hell is already being paved by those who advocate a cancer-like approach to human population growth.
or in other words: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I implied the justification of "its for the good of society" in removing/restricting human rights (reproduction) and mutilating woman (forced abortions), is no different to the justification historical dictators used when they did the exact same things ... like for example the terrible things a totalitarian dictator did to Jews and homosexuals in your country during the 40s. In fact this same philosophy would have been used to ban your grandparents, and mine, from breeding had they been successful.
Adopting a policy of "anything goes because it is for my perceived good of society", without regard for society's wishes, allows for any manner of evils to be 'legally' imposed on that society by the ruling classes.
PS. To address the point you made: the US does in fact ban the export of arithmetics (cryptography, software) to a number of countries ruled by dictators (not that I think this is a good policy or that it has the intended effect).
> I implied the justification of "its for the good of society" in removing/restricting human rights (reproduction) and mutilating woman (forced abortions), is no different to the justification historical dictators used when they did the exact same things ... like for example the terrible things a totalitarian dictator did to Jews and homosexuals in your country during the 40s
That's my point - the philosophy may or may not be sound, but the fact that evil dictatorships used such philosophy doesn't matter. It doesn't reflect on its soundness.
There are reasons that humans shouldn't generally be allowed to go for "ends justify the means" though. Like you correctly observe, historically it ended up with people abusing the power to promote one group over another. But the philosophy is not in itself repulsive.
Earth doesn't have too many people. The people inhabiting it are just, currently, quite wasteful with resources.
What's the goal here? We could have many more people each living in misery, crowding, and poverty. Or we could have fewer people with each one being rich and free and having access to parks and open space to breathe and relax.
More people isn't somehow good in itself. Children are great but one or two is enough.
A false dichotomy. The latter experience can be given to the former's population.
More people isn't somehow "good", but it's not bad.
How? Keep in mind only a small fraction of the world's population is even capable of being a tourist. Imagine how that changes when everyone is well-off enough to travel at will. Imagine your favorite beach, favorite museum, or your favorite national park and multiply the number of visitors by 10, 20, 40, etc. Waiting-lists for years to visit the Louvre. Prices so high that only the 1% of the 1% can afford to visit Maui.
Maybe you are assuming that VR will solve these issues? Perhaps a Matrix-like future awaits us.
Our wellbeing probably does rely on technology like VR and automation, but with so many mentally ill, I would say our current situation is already unacceptable (and has been for thousands of years). Adding billions more to the equation isn't going to help.