I went back there recently and was shocked to find the water looked clear but there were no animals left inside except for a few fish and a crab here and there.
This makes me really sad and pessimistic about the future of the planet and its living conditions for all living beings on it.
My car (sports car, low to the ground) doesn't really get many bugs these days. My pickup, on the other hand, is a hot mess every couple days.
The idea of lamenting climate change by having nostalgia for the days when piling into a car and driving across the countryside would guarantee a handful of smashed insects on the windscreen is funny to me.
I think humans are naturally receptive to nature, but we take nature for granted when it's always there, until one day it isn't.
30 years ago if you went to the coast you would have hundreds of seagulls on every beach. If you go there today you are lucky to see more than 5 in an entire day.
Note that it’s animal populations that are decreasing rapidly, not species.
"Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate ... as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading toward extinction by mid-century".
I'm sure estimates vary widely, but that sounds rapid to me.
The premise is that current wild species are under severe duress due to changing environments, however nature is thriving in the age of extinction.
I don't know if the citations therein are cherry-picked, but oddly enough it seemed like mostly what you might call "public intellectuals" on the "it's not so bad" side and lower-profile ordinary lab/field scientists on the "doom and gloom" side - a bit of a reversal from the usual trope
Should this really console me? If there are only trace amounts of each species left, isn't that practically the same as extinction?
This is not sustainable. We only have one small planet to live on, and we are destroying it. We are overfishing the oceans, cutting down entire forests to make way for pastures, warming up the planet and acidifying the plastic-filled ocean. Even insect populations are plummeting.
The consequences of this will not be felt by your grandchildren. They will be felt by me and you. They are starting to appear already.
What can we do to change this? This cannot be fixed by individual action. Buying an electric car and using recyclable shopping bags is not enough.
I implore you to be politically active, to consider support for candidates that at least acknowledge that there is a problem. Consider a carbon tax. Consider big, international efforts to clean up our oceans. Consider sexual education efforts in developing nations. Consider carbon re-capture efforts. There's a ton of things we can do, but we have to start doing
impact = people * behavior
Behavior can improve by orders of magnitude and even reverse polarity amicably and rapidly, through culture, inspiration, technological potential, historic renaissance - this is the solution to envisage - not come on... you know... people ~reductions.
Since WW2 the developed nations have been systematically throwing away sustainable approaches to literally everything. Where once the shopkeeper measured out your purchase now we get single use coffee pods and single use plastic around 4 slices of meat. Even paper often comes in a plastic pack.
If all humanity were to approach a developed Western lifestyle the planet simply couldn't cope with the current global population. We need an entirely different approach.
This isn't the case across the globe. Japan's recycling and Singapore's trash policies come to mind immediately but there are sure to be better.
Probably the most common though. Will certainly require a shift in culture for most people on this planet.
> Where once the shopkeeper measured out your purchase now we get single use coffee pods and single use plastic around 4 slices of meat.
The EU has recently voted to remove the use of single use plastics. I do wonder what the overall effect will be but I think policy could change this as well as affect behavior around it.
And that's the issue we run into with human behavior. Developed nations have adapted to a convenience mentality, and tend to use more because they consume more. Changing behavior takes more than awareness, it takes some sort of proxy for force or compulsion. With Singapore for example, they have heavy fines for littering and improper trash disposal. They have achieved cleanliness by mandating it upon their citizens.
Western nations aren't always as amenable to that form of governance as it impedes on someone's impression of their own free will to do as they please. In the case of American politics, I bet we will encounter "I don't want to go through the effort to recycle, and nobody can make me." This is why cultural attitudes and shifts take so damn long to change. Getting everybody on board is a hell of a lot harder than saying "This is what we are doing now because it is good for the planet even though it adds a bit more inconvenience to your life." People go apeshit when the government tells them what to do, even if it's something positive. There's just that much resentment to change that people will choose irrational, illogical action over changing behavior even slightly that would benefit them in the long-run. Only when shit hits the fan do people look around and wonder "So what do we do now?". There are things that must be done, even when the desire to do them is not that high. It's like people have a basic understanding that they could be doing something good, but they still don't do it, because they don't have to.
* We set up consumption targets.
* We set up laws that define the following rule:
If consumption targets are exceeded, any non-first child is taxed at $1000/month until the consumption targets are met again.
It makes more sense to tax things that are polluting (eg. plastic packaging).
Sorry, but the idea that everything can be fixed by draconian regulations imposing arbitrary limits is simply evil. And if implemented (China's one child policy comes to mind), produces more unintended than intended effects. The obvious side effect of your ridiculous idea is that only poor people will have more than one child, because you cannot tax what isn't there.
The possible solution might not be the pleasant one.
And that's a lot more passable than killing a bunch of people.
For one, beef's not that much of a problem: https://theconversation.com/yes-eating-meat-affects-the-envi...
But second, all kinds of systems we have have been premised on economic growth year after year. When we hit some harder limits, we'll hit them hard.
So even if FAO got it wrong, I just don't see beef not being a problem.
The "sources" in the link either reference to mistaken FAO stats, or give some numbers out of context and with no argument (e.g. "One kilogram of steak needs up to 25 kilos of grain and 15,000 liters of water" -- ok, but what's that compared to other consumers of such resources? Or "Meat just makes up 18% of our calories humans eat", ok so?)
The argument is that in order to produce 1000 calories worth of meat, more resources (e.g. land, water, greenhouse emissions) are needed than to produce 1000 calories worth of plant-based food.
> "Meat just makes up 18% of our calories humans eat"
Same argument: even though meat makes up only 18% of calories in our diets, it produces 58% of agriculture-produced greenhouse gases and takes up a whopping 83% of currently farmed land, compared to overall agriculture 
Sure, but either quantity might not be the real issue on the grand scheme of things, if it's just eg. 5% of resource use or pollution.
Note that the year of publication is 2010.
Here's a list of problems with 105 sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_meat_p...
At this point, denial is willful ignorance of evidence... falling in the same vein as antivaxxers and climate change denialists.
I'm not sure in what sense you mean this. It sure seems 'inherently bad' in just about every sense you could mean, to me. I think often it doesn't seem 'bad' to humans, mainly because we're humans and animals aren't. As if only human life has any value whatever. The very word meat sounds grotesque to me - imagine if some other species had a nondescript word for human meat.
I mean it in the most fundamental sense: there are sustainable levels of meat consumption that do not negatively impact the diversity and longevity of our biome.
> I think often it doesn't seem 'bad' to humans, mainly because we're humans and animals aren't. As if only human life has any value whatever.
Don't fool yourself mate, we're all just organisms - existing to feed and breed. What's wrong with bears eating fish? What's wrong with men eating fish? Why is commercial chicken "worse" than commercialized corn? What form of value does any life take?
"Fooling myself" meaning not agreeing with your opinions? That's not a nice or useful way to talk to people. "We're all just organisms" - I hear that and I think "ah, next comes the faulty argument that was a premise of".
What's wrong with men eating fish. Ah, good question. I don't think you're really asking it, it's rhetorical. But there's a serious vegan/vegetarian literature (I mean, in ethics, written by philosophers) if you really want to learn about the subject. I don't think me talking about that here will be any use to anyone, human or fish.
Ethics is completely subjective. Slaughter isn't for me, but there are other ethical axioms that lead to rational support of the practice. It is not inherently bad.
You cannot sway people's opinions by starting with complete disregard for their opinions, or without a thorough understanding of your own rationale.
I don't agree at all that Ethics is completely subjective. You say that like it's an uncontroversial fact. Just restating It is not inherently bad doesn't add anything, unless you're trying to say Nothing is inherently bad. Whatever inherently means in that sense. I think your last sentence is saying I have complete disregard for your opinions? I don't think anyone has a 'thorough understanding' of their 'rationale', whatever that means exactly.
I get a very strong passive/aggressive vibe from you, like you have no idea how hostile you sound. I really don't like engaging with it, so I'll stop now. Good luck.
Not only that, but methane emissions from cattle contribute to climate change. About a third of anthropogenic methane emissions in the US are from livestock.
Not saying we need to stop eating beef completely, but if diets shifted away from beef it would have a number of positive environmental impacts.
A brief glance at what most vegetarians and vegans are eating leads me to believe that their diets are probably not that much more environmentally friendly than your average meat eater. The real key is shifting toward inexpensive cheeses, milk, and oils for protein and fats and then consuming a lot more carbohydrates in the form of potatoes and grains.
And, really, the biggest impact environmental impact that most people can effect with their diet is not eating out as much.
I recognize that some vegetables are far more resource intensive than others, which is why I stated 'the average' vegetable. If we wanted to shift diets towards being more environmentally friendly, we'd have to be selective and deliberate about how we do it.
I would argue that shifting diets rather than trying to get everyone to become vegetarians (that don't eat lettuce) is the most sensible path. It would be hard to convince everyone never to eat a steak again, but if you can get people to go from eating 50 lbs of beef a year to 30 or 40 lbs and shifting to chicken and legumes it could make a sizable difference. Would be even better if the developing world went straight to sustainable diets rather than roaring towards beef-heavy diets.
I'm starting to believe that you aren't arguing in good faith, in part because your statements are just thrown out there without any evidence or citation. Sure, a pound of beef or chicken contains more protein or calories than a pound of vegetables. But that's a nonsensical and misleading claim - many more pounds of vegetables went into producing that pound of beef and chicken. Many of those calories, by the way, were exhausted by the metabolic processes of those animals too. A much more efficient utilization of resources would involve just using those vegetable calories directly.
for the car : just stop using a car, that'll be better for the environment.
It also tastes several times greater, and in exchange is several times more expensive.
> Not saying we need to stop eating beef completely, but...
Funny, every time an activist says "we", I understand "everybody else". Pro tip: you do not make friends by telling people how to live their lives.
"[…] the current pastureland grass resource can support only 27% of the current beef supply" 
Rather, they are kept on feed imported most likely from South America, and "Agriculture is the direct driver for worldwide deforestation" .
So how does attempting to minimize deforestation not address the issue?
And just as a note of interest, your first link is quite incorrect. It uses the lowest production pasture figure for its math rather than the average, it does not consider the idea that grass fed beef becoming a major industry might involve people switching to more productive grazing systems which we know produce at least double the calories per acre. It ignores the huge quantity of idle grassland we currently have which could be used for cattle production. And it neglects to factor in the millions of acres of corn and soy fields that would no longer be needed for cattle feed and can be converted to pasture.
...and chicken shit, feathers etc
Exactly, environmental destruction caused by the beef industry, an incredibly inefficient process if you compare the land and water requirements vs other types of protein.
> There is no environmental destruction happening here for beef production.
This is a huge blanket statement to make as well as being factually inaccurate.
I'm always stunned by the idea that somehow raising millions of cattle is destroying the planet, yet the millions of buffalo that roamed the prairie before we arrived were natural and therefor good.
What? There's literally hundreds of scientific articles out there that establish the opposite, e.g. 
Edit: Where do you think the protein in cattle comes from? Isn't it… plants? That the cattle eat? Once eaten, the cattle expend some energy to live and then we kill them for meat.
By not eating animals, you cut out the middleman and waste less energy.
Edit: I can't reply to child anymore, max comment depth reached. Anyway, I think my work here is done :) I am not demanding we stop growing lettuce, I am demanding we stop raising cattle for proteins. We can keep growing lettuce for vitamins / minerals. As for the so-called "absurd fake figure" for protein/meat land utilization, that figure is from 1970's. I'm willing to concede that number may have risen slightly with the use of antibiotics as growth stimulator ;)
P.S.: Legumes are a whole family of plants, divided into 11 major types.
This is a fair point but unfortunately intensive animal agriculture (in feedlots) dominates US and world beef production which requires the growing of corn and other grains to feed entirely or supplement grass-fed beef, introducing further environmental impacts.
Not in Canada or the US. We have vast prairies that used to be inhabited by millions of bison. Now a fraction of it is inhabited by cattle instead.
>water requirements vs other types of protein.
How is temporarily using local water in the US, which is returned to the natural water cycle, causing deforestation in South America or Africa or Asia?
>This is a huge blanket statement to make as well as being factually inaccurate.
Then provide contradictory evidence. I can not exhaustively prove every single ranch in the US isn't clear cutting forests. You only need to provide a single example to disprove me. Please do.
No one single ranch is necessarily causing problems. It's a collective issue. No single person needs to withdraw enough water from the well to run it dry, a town can do it one cup at a time without anyone intending to cause his neighbor to go thirsty.
Compare the US of today with that of 50 - 100 years ago. The tree cover is almost back to pre-contact levels, lakes & rivers are potable, smog doesn't kill 10's of thousands of people per year, et cetera.
IOW, local environmental problems have been solved. And we know how to solve them elsewhere in the world: economic growth. Once people have their basic needs secure, they start caring about this stuff. Internalize the externalities and let the market sort it out.
The challenge is global problems; climate change is a fairly classic tragedy of the commons. The solution here is similar: internalize the externalities and let the market sort it out. A global carbon tax, for example.
We used to be able to do this stuff. We banned CFC's world-wide, for example.
Our track record in culling is much worse. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot only managed to kill about 1% of the population, and the instability they created actually increased birth rates. Mao had an impact with the one child policy, but...
The number of trees is not the issue. The ecosystem is. Huge plantations of SPF in rows that are all the same age and size does not make a natural ecosystem, and biodiversity is very low.
>lakes & rivers are potable
Public drinking water isn't even potable in many places, nevermind lakes and rivers. This is pure fantasy talk.
>IOW, local environmental problems have been solved
No, they have been relocated overseas so they are out of sight and out of mind.
>The challenge is global problems; climate change is a fairly classic tragedy of the commons.
Yes, I am sure the animals going extinct really just wish we could come together and tax people for breathing. Of course they don't care about their ecosystem being destroyed to grow corn for 5 years before exhausting the land and burning down another 1000 acres of forest for another 5 years of corn.
>Our track record in culling is much worse. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot only managed to kill about 1% of the population
None of them were trying to lower the population. Funny how you want to equate "lowering global population" with "mass murder" even though you clearly are aware that limiting births is the actual strategy, which actually works.
All the hit is coming in developing nations.
The populations Hitler targeted lost about 50%; if he won the war they'd have done much worse.
Pol Pot killed 25% of Cambodians, not 1%.
Stalin also had a greater impact on his targets. When he created the Holodomor in Ukraine, he killed 10 million, which is much more than 1% of that population.
I think, without the right economic incentives, people do not change their behaviours substantially. I think the GP comment is right about political engagement being necessary. However, I don't think electoral politics will cut it since it is so corrupt. The best chance is for mass collective action in the form of worker strikes and other acts of civil disobedience to force the governments of the world to act in our favour, rather than in the favour of the elites.
I've started a meetup group for the purpose of discussing how a grassroots effort could shift some of the resources of the growth-economy to a steady-state economy while the former is still in place, but interest has been miniscule in my midsized college town.
We're not destroying the planet, we're destroying our habitat, and the habitat of those animals unfortunate enough to live at the same time as us. The planet is going to be just fine, it's us who's going to suffer.
I love this quote from George Carlin:
"The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are!
We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas."
The planet is not just a rock in space. It includes the environment and everything that is there. When we destroy that, we are destroying the planet itself.
I think by focusing in on that line you're missing the bigger picture. What I'm trying to say is that we're primarily a threat to ourselves, not to the 'planet'.
I think people would be much more engaged if it weren't "save the planet" but rather "save the human race".
Except... not? Altering, or even completely destroying the biosphere is not nearly the same thing as destroying the planet. Mass extinction events have occurred in the past, in terms of history on a planetary scale the anthropecene's mass extinction is nothing new.
Extinctions happened were natural, nobody could stop it. This time it's because of greed and selfishness. It could have been stopped but not and still going on even though we know it. Don't justify this time with before.
Also we are not debating whether that happened before or not. Some (mostly american from what I've seen) people will take any excuse to justify it.
I include my hair, but if I shave my head I haven't destroyed myself.
What is really going on is that “We’re killing the planet” is a hyperbolic way to express “We are destroying the things I personally value about the planet” or perhaps “We are making the planet unsuitable for ourselves”; trying to defend it as something else is not only usually wrong on its own terms, but missing the point of what people actually mean when they say it.
The planet WILL be fine, the solar system, universe, existence.. Yea, in the big scheme of things it WILL be fine. Conservation is about conservation of the human species, and there is no reason we shouldn't talk about it like that.
Honestly, more right wing / anti-environmentalists would probably respond better if they understood how dire the threat to humanity is.
Add to that the impacts of the technosphere (the artifacts of humanity which would not have existed in our absence) which was reported to be 30 trillion tons in 2016. Our impact to climate. Our impact to geography.
Sure, in all likelihood there will be a big round ball hanging around in our solar system despite humanity’s best efforts. But that seems like a distinction without a difference. To say the argument is disingenuous would be generous.
Clearly we have to address climate change but it’s not a growing population that is unsustainable, if anything the progress over the past 50 years has indicated the exact opposite.
Crossing this with climate change, particularly our love of beef and pork, is not easy to disentangle.
We may also never hit that carrying capacity if something else other than food supply limits our population growth—war, disease, artificial barriers to food (wealth inequality).
He was a very passionate and entertaining public speaker.
Carrying capacity is estimated at 7.7 billion. And I have seen that Hans Roslings predictions have been revised upwards. Doesn't look good either way.
Which progress are you referring to? The original article is claiming that 60% of animals have been wiped out in the last 50 years. Does that not at least call your claim into question?
The problem lies in the doubling of human population in little more than a generation. The problem lies in that we are not being sustainable with this. We are depleting resources whilst polluting and rapidly changing our environment.
For the moment, we only have one small rock in which to live and breathe. If we have to shit where we eat, then let's at least try to shit cleanly.
Does that mean we've fixed the problems? Far from it.
The number of people is only a really small factor in the damage that people do. One jet-setting westerner does many orders of magnitude more damage than the typical subsistence farmer; and the damage done by subsistence farmers varies quite widely. (Some are causing desertification and chopping down trees)
And of course there are some people doing more good than harm, reducing the population reduces those people too.
No matter what the population is, we have a lot of work to do. Greenhouse gases are the most visible problem; there are lots of others.
Other resources are a separate issue, of course.
I agree with the assertion that humanity is more sustainable (all other things being equal) vegan or vegetarian rather than omnivorous, but it's going to far to suggest we could just swap in humans for livestock.
TLDR : 100+ billions is a hard reach today, but 50+ billions might not impossible
There is approximately 63,824,448 km² or liveable land on earth today.
Let's cut that in half to account for farms/land lost due to global warming/industries/etc... We get 31,912,224km² of land usable for habitation.
Let's assume we cover the remaining with a huge city with the density of Hong Kong (6,690 people/km²). This is for the whole city, not the most populated quarters.
We arrive at a population of 213,492,778,560 people, so twice as much as the parent's estimate, with half of the remaining liveable land usable for farms/industries/wildlife parcs/inefficiencies of repartition...
Would that be enough ? According to a Sweden study , we use 1.6 billion hectares (16,000,000 km²) of farmland today, for approximately 7 billions people. It means that for 200 billions, we need 486,857,142 km². That's a huge increase, and currently the Earth can only sustain 44,000,000km² (same source as earlier, FAO), so an order of magnitude lower.
According to a study on the effect of diets on land , switching to a vegetarian/vegan (not much change in the result) diet allows to cut the land use by ~4.
So we're left with 121,714,285 km² of required land : a bit better, but we still fall way short. That's going to be our actual bottleneck.
Let's cut population by 3, and we arrive at ~40,000,000 km² of required land for 66 billions people.
It would be a pretty grim dystopia, that's for sure.
Most of nature would be erased, there would be a lot of natural catastrophes, and clearly the Earth would be way less welcoming than it is now.
But 66 billions people on Earth, given 'sufficient' technological (and most notably political) advancements is not completely out of whack, especially if we manage to produce clean energy (or at least clean on Earth) and to radically improve our crops (with genetic engineering, hydroponic culture, exploitation of oceans maybe ?)
Bottom line : this is napkin calculation, a lot of factors have been left out (water to give a main one)
 : https://www.quora.com/If-every-person-on-earth-was-to-be-giv... (I know, Quora is not the most reputable source, but it seems decently sourced)
 : http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/newsroom/docs/en-so...
 : https://www.elementascience.org/articles/10.12952/journal.el...
Archologies - Isaac Arther (28:43)
Interesting, I've never heard about this before! But isn't it basically just the question of private vs public transport (cars vs underground), but in vertical dimension?
In fact, there's a growing trend of combining fish farming with hydroponic vegetable farming; circulating water between the plants and fish tanks, monitoring nutrient and bacteria levels, can allow for a non-vegetarian diet.
Granted, they're not going to be the tastiest fish- think tilapia, not salmon. There's a CSA farm doing exactly that in a relatively densely populated suburb not too far from me.
With all of that said, I'm sure that for people who do enjoy seafood, it'd be quite tasty. The business near me was put together with eco-conscious people in mind, so the care they put into farming- nutrients, food for the fish, etc. I'm sure the difference between their fish and wild fish is a good deal smaller than stereotypical farm-vs-wild-caught salmon or what have you.
"World’s richest 10% produce half of carbon emissions while poorest 3.5 billion account for just a tenth"
I agree, 1+1=2 will forever remain in the realm of science fiction. But what would humanity be without its hopes and dreams?
Right here and right now, we're still largely relying on fossil fuels and machinery up to several decades old in order to produce food and considering it seems to be hard to even get up to modern standards, hoping for future tech to save the day seems far fetched.
I don't think we can do that (although it is arguable that any drastic measures taken now doesn't have to be permanent, and that things can change again once we do have all that new fancy tech)
Also, the problem is still here even if we maintain current population levels. It's here even if we do nothing, and in reality, we have 2/3 of the world desperately trying to grow their quality of life, which involves growing their energy use.
It is not all that impressive to note that more consumers than producers creates a scarcity problem. That’s the entire driver behind Malthusian fear-mongering. But over and over and over those that stoke the fears of overpopulation (and it’s been going on for thousands of years) are especially terrible at estimating the capacity for supply. As you call it, “last-minute technological breakthroughs”, dismissing centuries of human progress as some sort of accidental stroke of luck.
You say we “do nothing” but every something I see proposed has to, by necessity, damage the quality of life of lots of people. The majority of people. If we are honest with ourselves, that’s effectively what is being proposed when we pontificate over how the wizards of smart will dole out resources according to their flawed definition of sustainability.
That will, inevitably, result in war.
The fact is, if you want to improve the state of humanity on the Earth, your only effective means of doing so is technology.
The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...
Well, technically that's not wrong. Bigger population = more deaths.
This I agree with to some extent. We need the tech to save us, but I'm not convinced that we can get to that tech in time, without reducing our quality of life now, or having it reduced by the climate degradation in the next decades.
> As you call it, “last-minute technological breakthroughs”, dismissing centuries of human progress as some sort of accidental stroke of luck.
I'm trying not to, but looking back, how many more tricks like Haber–Bosch process can we find? We've always somehow risen to the challenge, but then again, almost all fields of science and technology were severely underexplored back then. We've fixed that now, we know the general landscape in which we're moving. I fully expect we can pull some more rabbits out of a hat, but will we be able to do that in time?
And the flip side of this is that we need those new miracle technologies to continue growing. Which means we need to actually fund and encourage them, and that seems to become a problem lately. Insert anything from "best minds of our generation wasted on getting people clicking on ads" to Bret Victor's musings on cleantech funding.
 - http://worrydream.com/ClimateChange/#funding
Technology can not magic you up some more land. The earth is finite. When people say "technology will save us" they actually mean one of two things. Either "I don't want to think about this so star trek will come true!" or "we can develop the technology to completely eliminate all non-human life on earth and live in pods being fed an industrial slurry that has the highest % return of solar energy to chemical energy so stop worrying!". Both are dumb. Our standard of living is already going down. It does not make sense to choose to have more people living worse lives rather than fewer people living better lives. There is no benefit to increasing our population.
It has to be wrong in perpetuity, because even if it is correct just once, it results in a wasted/depleted planet.
And honestly, considering how much non-renewable resources we are using and the rate of warming, worrying about the population bomb is sort of like trying to get enough cardio exercise while you have acute appendicitis.
Yeah this gets thrown around a lot, but people clearly misunderstand what it actually means. It just means that there is _some_ amount of people we can't feed, but it says _nothing_ about what the amount is. It can be 10 billion, it can be 10^27. You just "proved" nothing of substance.
> And we are currently consuming an _unsustainable_ and growing rate of resources.
I am serious, it does not matter how many times people say this, it still is not obvious truth.
> And we are currently consuming an unsustainable and growing rate of resources.
And when you finally claim something that would be easy (I guess, you seem confident in it) to back up by links, you don't do that.
This reads like unfounded hysteria.
I think you are suggesting that earth can carry many more people than 10B. I’d like to understand how you think that is possible.
Furthermore, even at the current population size human activity is causing potentially irreversible climate change. The scientific consensus is that even a small increase of 1.5C will have severe consequences on the planet. Limiting the increase to 1.5 C will require significant action by all of us. Addding many more people makes this much harder.
I hope the links can help convince you that we are facing a serious crisis that is causally related to the size of the human population.
> I think you are suggesting that earth can carry many more people than 10B. I’d like to understand how you think that is possible.
Because I have not seen anyone argue for the limits in convincing ways, it's all FUD from my PoV.
Intuitively - energy is not (very big) problem, we can make dense nuclear sources, solar & offshore wind is viable in many places, and gas peaker plants / limited enetgy storage should cover the rest.
Hydroponics and similar advanced agricultural methods are showing nice gains in effectivity of produce per sq km, at the cost of (IIRC) energy (see above). EVs are finally starting to be viable. Etc. Etc.
And that's before we get to really long-term solutions like colonizing space.
Where are the real limits?
> Furthermore, even at the current population size human activity is causing potentially irreversible climate change ...
Yeah, we are making a lot of externalities. This is not impossible to solve, see above.
Extrapolating from our past failures is extremely shortsighted and has been proven wrong numerous times, see e.g. WW3 and end-of-humanity scare in 50's/60's. We can learn from our mistakes, and we seem to actually do that a lot! Spreading hysteria is not helping I think.
This seems to be a very US specific outlook on things that most western countries have long since figured out. Extreme poverty, lack of health care, lack of social safety nets - all self-inflicted in the US. Take for example the recent closings of hospitals in rural areas of red states that have refused Medicaid expansion due to extreme political polarization . It doesn't have to be that way, especially in a country as wealthy as the US.
I wouldn't call WW3 a fix (short term anyway).
Even a small nuclear exchange would have devastating ecological consequences 
 "Radioactive fallout from these weapons’ debris clouds would reach the stratosphere, where it would travel worldwide, potentially contaminating crops and livestock as well as causing radiation sickness and cancer directly. Later, this fallout would cause genetic mutations in plants, animals and human beings, as it has in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear accident."
Also, if we're talking about a world after the exchange of thousands of ICBM's I'm not sure how much relative impact the melting down of the world's nuclear power plants would have.
The problem has been considered before, though probably as a general safety issue rather than trying not to further irradiate a barren world.
Nah, I doubt it. War is bad for business, and the global economy needs peace in order to extract maximum profit. Best to keep those wars to little backwater countries so we can keep spending trillions on mega-high-tech weapons without really disrupting the flow of money to bigcorp.
I don't really think it's helpful to talk about "the" problem, there's a big mess of coupled systems and most "moves" available to us have unpleasant side effects or unknown side effects on global or long-term time scales. we have a limited time and resource window where moves are still available.
I think what we're seeing with government's moving more right wing is the first step of this. These people are already operating on this assumption and plan on being the ones doing the telling.
And your comment is not only extremely insightful, it is exactly right - the current global political climate is a populist reaction by people tiring of being told by elites what they should and should not have and what they should and should not believe.
All of the fixes being proposed are, if we are honest, some form of rationing or another. That will necessarily reduce the quality of life of a large group of people, and they won't accept that no matter how strongly bureaucrats insist they should.
So such insistence will need to be backed by force, because it will be resisted by force.
I'm not sure this is true. It used to be socially acceptable to smoke in offices and inside, but attitudes changed. Now fewer and fewer people smoke tobacco in the UK at least. Even drinking is seen as uncool, with around 20% of 18-24 year olds saying they don't drink at all IIRC. I think a similar change in attitude could occur so people make ecologically-minded decisions.
A few ideas I've heard that I agree with are also:
* The Earth and ecosystem should have legal rights and be legally represented & defended in courts to oppose industries like e.g. fracking/mining/deforestation, etc., not as an after thought, but in terms that the Earth is its own legal entity and therefore ultimately owns itself and major industry would require approval from a group of trustees acting on behalf of the Earth.
* Companies should be legally responsible for putting the environment before shareholder profits (i.e. not be run for the benefit of shareholder, but for the benefit of the environment)
* Governments should pay people to keep trees on their land - not just landowners, but people who would fell the land. Maybe this would be some combination based on land ownership/licencing rights (e.g. tenancy) and universal basic income. This would probably need to be an international effort because e.g. we all benefit from the South American rainforests, not just people who live in close proximity to them.
It won't be simple to decide how to implement the above ideas, but we need to value the environment far more instead of just unsustainably stripping resources so a few people can make a fast buck. The idea that just because you own some land (or it's the commons) that you can do whatever you want with it needs to end. But whatever we decide, it is clear we need widespread, dramatic, global changes in our behaviour now.
At the time I'm reading this comment, the parent is not downvoted. The guidelines ask you not to obsess about downvoting in comments, because it's boring/repetitive, and often turns about to be moot, when the comment ends up being voted back into the black, which is often the case.
It has all been said before.
None of this is going to be easy when we have our governments frittering away money on the arms trade. It is violence and the threat of violence that enforces the current economic order. Therefore it is the trade in arms that needs to be addressed if there is going to be progress in other areas. The arms trade isn't just bullets, the business is also about 'cyber warfare' which means planting the post-truth news stories in the media that enforces the status quo for the arms trade.
People laughed at Martin Luther King for wanting to combine the rights he wanted for all people at home with the anti-Vietnam War, pro-peace ideas. They thought he would set back both causes and confuse people. History was not kind to those critics, we only know of Martin Luther King, the others were just shills anyway.
It may seem a bit of a stretch of the imagination to think that the acidification of the oceans or the fact that there are less than 7000 cheetahs left is going to be solved with things like nuclear disarmament and global treaties to abolish the arms trade. There will be those that think these issues shouldn't be confused and that things will not get better for the likes of the cheetah if focus is shifted over to the steps needed for a more peaceful planet. But why not give peace a chance? Every one of those billions of single use bullets could have been made into a reusable and recyclable rechargeable battery and you could have an extremely large wind farm instead of the F35 programme. We could go fully carbon neutral in a generation to make this planet a beautiful garden for all. But, for this to happen the arms trade has to be made extinct first.
History has shown us that threats of mass strikes by coalitions of large industrial unions have the power to force the hand of the elites. This is what people who really care about these issues should be working towards. I think tech workers in particular have a lot of power, if only they would engage in collective action.
I would say that spiritual mumbo jumbo ain't going to cut it, a business case needs to be made that green energy is going to offer better profit and more security than more nukes.
What's really worrying is that the 5.5 billion people in underdeveloped countries want the high living standards of 1.5 billion people in the developed countries. This will put incredible strain on the environment and resources.
Technological advancements will help but technology can only do so much. We already see this with china. They are developing and getting richer and they want to drive cars, have AC/refigerators/computers, eat more meat, etc like americans or europeans. And who can blame them. Why shouldn't they have the same living standards? Soon, ASEAN, india, africa, etc will want the high living standards as well.
Can 7 billion people ( soon to be 9 billion ) live like americans or europeans? Also, as the chinese, indians, africans, etc get higher living standards, wouldn't we want even higher living standards? Will we reach any resource limits?
We need to end the use of coal and natural gas, thereby eliminating mountain top removal mining and fracking both of which destroy their surrounding environment and dump massive amounts of waste into the water supply harming the species that live there. Initiate a gradual tax on petroleum based cars and then use that tax to fund the adoption of electric ones. Provide tax incentives for switching to electric vehicles.
Add a gradual tax to beef and pork while slowly using that to subsidize organic farming startups. Widespread pesticide use in farming is decimating the insect population. Government subsidized closed system farm startups would help as they limit waste and encourage the reuse of water and soil.
Attempting to limit population via government mandate at this stage can only lead to a dystopian bitter society and IMO is not the route to go as it attempts to override natures prime directive driving discord and civil unrest unless we are willing to also accept enforcement along the lines of the Chinese model; which personally I am not.
Dumping chemical waste into streams and rivers should be politically removed as an option.
If all of this took place only in the US it would have a massive affect as we are essentially tied with China as the worlds largest polluters. Our scientific advances in attaining the green economy would trickle down into the developing nations, especially if we stopped exporting coal.
Get people out of poverty. Educate people.
But what if some never do, for whatever reason?
Even if 99% of humans climb out of poverty and stop overpopulating, there must be a few on the end of the bell curve who never will, and that group will multiply exponentially until it eventually dominates the global population.
It doesn't matter why. Could be religion, or culture, or genes. But someone is on the end of that fertility curve. It only takes one man breeder and one woman breeder and they will, in a world of non-breeders, soon dominate the world population because of the explosive power of exponential math. So what then?
(As an example, Amish in America double their population every 20 years or so. We can calculate that they'll number >250 million within maybe 150 years.)
This is a longstanding concern going back to at least the 70s . The argument is essentially twofold:
1. Population growth will continue at or near present rates indefinitely; and
2. We will exceed population N where N is the number of people the planet can support.
For (1) the rate of growth has slowed and is projected to continue slowing over the next century  such that many of these estimates have been way off.
For (2), we have a pretty narrow-minded view of how many people this planet can actually support but with sufficient automation hydroponic yield depending on crop can be 10x+ per unit of land area (eg ). Automation here is important for both constructing greenhouses and maintaining the crop. This could well increase food capacity to 50-100B people depending on diet, possibly much higher.
What's more of a factor are resources and in particular energy costs. Commercial fusion power with deuterium would solve a whole bunch of problems at once (eg if the cost is below hydrocarbon based fuels then you can extract CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into fuel, which also largely solves your greenhouse gas problem too). If we ever figure out commercial fusion based on normal hydrogen well that's basically unlimited energy.
Fusion isn't a requirement though. Solar gets ever cheaper. At some point it will become economic to put solar collectors in orbit and I've seen estimates for the yield of this to be about 7x the energy production of the same panel on the ground since there's essentially no night and there's definitely no weather.
Don't get me wrong: people are screwing up the planet and a lot of the larger animals seem doomed but that's more an issue of human vanity (eg wanting rhino horns, ivory, fish bladders and the like) rather than being driven by any actual need.
Deforestation is an issue but more-so in the developing world and more of an issue for ecosystems rather than, say, the atmosphere (IIRC ~80% of the CO2 is produced by the oceans). Overfishing too is a problem but mainly for us because at some point there just won't be any fish to eat.
People like to make alarmist predictions. In some cases I'm sure they truly believe them. This to me is largely a folly of youth as experience teaches you the poor track record of such prognostications. In other cases I suspect people are trying to prompt action from the complacent. The problem with this is that alarmist rhetoric about the environment tends to turn a lot of people off. And a history of bad predictions doesn't help your cause (whatever that cause is).
People do and will continue to make short-term decisions based largely on self-interest. That's just human nature. In a lot of cases its based on need rather than want. It's hard to tell a poor family in a developing country not to chop down the forest when the alternative is not heating their homes (with the wood) and/or not feeding their families (with the farmland created) In others, it's not.
But the notion that this planet can only support 5, 7 or 10 or 15B people is patently false.
Would it? You're still using "fossil fuel" which means that you're heating up the planet... The only sustainable solution is solar, either on Earth, or in space in front of Earth (so that you're not introducing extra energy to Earth).
It is also a strawman. People don't say that, they say that the world can only support X many people with our current lifestyle. I do not want to make my life, and the life of every other person on the planet worse, simply to increase the population of humans. We are not endangered. We have more than enough humans. There is no need to breed even more replacements, we're covered. Why cause every single person on the planet to have a worse life simply to pack more people onto this rock?
I agree that "the planet can't support X" is code for "I don't want to change my lifestyle" or, by extension, "I want my children to have the same lifestyle".
Lots of animals return to the point where they were born to breed. Some cross vast distances. The human version of this is a mix of normalcy and nostalgia.
By normalcy I mean however the world was when we were in our formative years we view as "normal". I really wonder what life was like 500 or 1000 years ago when politics may well have changed but largely there were few if any substantial everyday technological and societal differences from one generation to the next.
The problem with this is that ew can easily start seeing everything through this lens such that things that diverge from our view of normal are (more likely) "bad" and those that don't are (more likely) "good". This I feel is a big part of conservativism/traditionalism.
The nostalgia is obvious. The time when we were young is often romanticized, even fetishized.
So as to maintaining lifestyle, let me put it this way: assume you're fo middle or upper class in the US. Could everyone in the world live as you do now? No. So by some measures we're already living beyond our (collective) means. And as hard as you may have worked, as smart as you are the biggest difference between you and a resident of some far less well off country is just plain old dumb luck that you were (probably?) born "here" (wherever here is).
Granted some people from more disadvantaged backgrounds do better their lot in life but the odds are stacked against them in a way that just isn't true for someone born in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Western Europe and a handful of other places.
Fun fact: the population density of Tennessee is 160/mi2. The land area of the US is 3.8m mi2. If you populated the entire US at the same density as TN you'd fit 6 billion people there.
Would you consider TN overly dense?
You may not have ever been there but it doesn't matter. No one is piled on top of each other (like, say, Hong Kong at ~7000/mi2). People live on large lots in big houses and there's still wilderness.
We only live on a tiny fraction of available land. The vast majority of it is farmland but if farmland can produce 10 times as much per unit area then we need an awful lot less of it to support a much bigger population.
Unfortunately preserving one's way of life is so often just code for NIMBYism, excluding certain groups (eg segregation in the US) and maintaining the status quo just because you were lucky enough to be born in the right place.
I mean, I look around and so many people who voted for certain people to get rid of certain programs are the one's who would actually benefit from those programs. It boggles the mind.
The people voting against their own self-interest clearly disagree, there must be some overriding element of their ideology that is more important.
Hans Rosling had some interesting findings on population growth:
Maybe population theorists are wrong and you are right it's more like 5, or whatever your number is.
It's just hard to know, since Malthusianism has such a terrible track record, adamantly predicting apocalypse for two hundred years. They continue to make failing predictions:
There are real challenges to confront about the environment, but I do worry about maintaining credibility while endorsing some of the more tenuous extrapolations.
But why build such a world? Why is 100 billion people packed in tenements, living off hydroponic slop better than 2 billion experiencing nature, breathing free and having the option of traditional or modern lifestyles?
I'd rather live now than during the black death, or in ancient times when 90% of humanity had to devote their entire lives to food production. In contrast, 90% of the phds who have ever lived are alive right now. We have freed people to do great things.
I can't speak for a society with 100 billion. I know that its inventiveness would be so far beyond our comprehension that such a society might not lack any particular experience. As long as we're talking about science fiction level hypotheticals of population, maybe it would build a Dyson sphere, maybe they would master human photosynthesis, who knows.
For example, life in the early 1300s in Europe was awful. Life in the middle 1400s was much better. Reason: The Black Death killed a huge number of people, opening up quality land for people to live a bit more easily.
You don't want to live during the black death, you want to live after the black death. Because the black death can only happen above a certain population density.
Micro-example: Pitcairn island. A handful of men and women shipwrecked there in the 1700s. Life was good - go where you want, lots of space, pick wild fruit as desired. Then they multiplied. Soon the population is 10x as much, and they hit the carrying capacity of the island. Now you MUST use every awful marginal source of food.
The simple reason is: People exploit the best resources first. The first person in an ecosystem lives in the best spot, eating the best food from the easiest tree, pulling fish casually out of packed rivers. Paradise. Increase the population, and now most people MUST live on marginal land, eating marginal food sources, scraping every bit of sustenance out of the environment. QoL falls until it is just barely above what's necessary not to die - and then you're at carrying capacity and the population stabilizes because it can't grow because people die as fast as they multiply. This is how human life worked for almost all of history; it's how animal life works too.
It explains why QoL was the same in 1800 for most people as in 2000BC, despite great increases in technology. The technology increased QoL, but that gets consumes in one generation as the population increases to hit the subsistence limit again. So you get more people, but not better life.
I think we just have a different take on the underlying facts.
> QoL was the same in 1800 for most people as in 2000BC
An interesting claim. Googling the history of meaningful corollaries to QoL raised some concerns for me though.
Infant mortality was over 40% in 1800.
The average work week in the Us was over 70 hours.
The deaths from flu and tuberculosis have been massively reduced, those diseases are still awful, but their impact is unrecognizable.
They are still really deadly diseases for vulnerable populations, but I can't even imagine what it was like when they ravaged populations.
You reduce child mortality (and improve other measures) by freeing up minds from menial labor through economies of scale. Those free minds invent processes that ease human endeavors and lower humanity's impact on the environment in drastic ways.
These aren't small gains. The history of artificial light is an example, showing improvements in efficiency in magnitudes of tens of thousands.
For example, those free minds discover things like kerosene, which nearly resolves humanity's obsessive quest to murder every whale for oil.
We still have a lot of work to do to protect whales, but there's a reason Moby Dick resonated when it was written, everyone knew about the significance of that then major industry.
I'm not a transhumanist, but I am awestruck by the pace of human progress. Solar adoption looks glacial while we're waiting for price parity, but is there any doubt it will displace fossils over the next few decades?
Human inventiveness seems the best way to lower impacts while also obtaining other human goals. For all that I want the highest MIPS per gram ratio in the solar system as possible.
Is this a joke? Do you really think people in poor(!) nations don't know how children are made? They do. They want 10+ children, because that's their retirement fund.
If you want to make a difference, educate women about everything but sexuality. That drops the fertility rate to below replacement and raises the generation time from 20 years to 35.
said the elder people.
said the younger people..."
Wars of course will happen. People fight wars. Modern wars don't have body counts like they used to. A war between the USA and Russia or the USA and China would -- unless nukes come out in force -- be largely fought by machines with body counts far lower than WWI and WWII. (USxChina would be a full-on cyberpunk mech battle.) Wars also tend to be followed by periods of expansion, so don't pin your "hope" on war to reduce human population or environmental effects in the long term.
I've simply come to terms with the fact that we have entered the Anthropocene. The holocene geological epoch has ended.
If you want to slap a date on the anthropocene, I'd go with July 16th, 1945, the date of the Trinity atomic test. That was the point at which the evolutionary ratchet clicked and regression to a pre-industrial state became game-theoretically impossible. Subsequent atomic testing also furnishes a nice neat line in geological strata that will be clearly visible to any geologists of the far distant future.
We are in the early anthropocene, which seems characterized by increased CO2 and methane concentrations, increased temperatures, and plummeting biodiversity. The latter is a common characteristic of geological boundary events. The fact that this one was caused by the emergence of large scale industrialized intelligence instead of a meteorite or volcanism doesn't much matter. When the environment drastically changes a lot of species die off.
What happens next is debatable. It's likely that intelligence will soon figure out massively scalable renewable energy (it's close) and/or fusion. That combined with depletion of fossil fuels will mean CO2 emissions will probably fall off a cliff by mid-century. The big CO2 pump is probably a H-A (Holocene-Anthropocene) boundary event like the line of radioisotopes from early atomic testing. CO2 has a long half-life in the atmosphere but we don't know what biology is going to do as the planet warms and all that CO2 is hanging around. There could be a huge burst in photosynthesis. The Cretaceous period, the last epoch with similarly high CO2 concentrations, also had about 150% today's oxygen concentration in the atmosphere. Maybe that will happen by a few hundred years from now. I'm thinking the Anthropocene is going to look a bit like the Cretaceous.
The loss of biodiversity here on Earth is depressing, but on the positive side it's likely that the Anthropocene will see the spread of organic life from Earth to its Moon, Mars, and possibly other locations in the solar system. It may also see the birth of self-replicating machine intelligences, an entirely new offshoot of life adapted for large-scale growth beyond the planet's biosphere. A moderate number of humans and associated symbiotic plants and animals might colonize other worlds, but I'd predict that post-biological life will make the big leap from atmosphere to space (analogous to the leap from the oceans to land). Us with our clunky space suits are like lungfish.
I think there are three schools of thought around this:
* Environmental conservatives who think change in ecosystem, populations... is bad.
* Environmental objectivists who acknowledge that change is constant, species are still participating in evolution and that there is no such thing as "good" or "bad" as far as nature is concerned.
* Normal people who haven't satisfied all levels of Maslow's hierarchy and are thus focused on living their lives with little to no thought to the environment.
We hear a lot from that first group. I'd put your comment in the second and it's quite refreshing. I suspect the third group fits more with the second than the first when pushed.
Don't get me wrong... I think it would be a very good thing if we could stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere so much. I'm less concerned with the Earth than I am with presently-living and soon-to-be-living human beings. As George Carlin said: "Stop talking about saving the Earth! The Earth will be fine! We're fXXked!"
The reason I've "stopped worrying and learned to love the Anthropocene" is that I see dramatic short term cuts to CO2 emissions as a political impossibility. The best strategy is probably to plan for CO2-driven climate change as a certainty, but also to explore potential geo-engineering approaches. It's possible that we could at least blunt the impact by pulling some CO2 from the air using phytoplankton, desert irrigation, etc. I like the ocean phytoplankton ideas because this would pull CO2 out of the ocean and ocean acidification is potentially worse than climate change.
Developed nations actually have cut CO2 emissions a bit on a per-capita and per-dollar-GDP basis (e.g. USA carbon emissions peaked around 2000 I think), but the problem is that there are billions of people in the world climbing out of poverty and CO2-emitting power sources are still by far the cheapest and easiest energy sources to deploy. This is doubly true for developing nations that don't have the expertise to do nuclear or large scale renewable energy. "Burn crap, boil water, make wheel spin" is pretty simple, old, commodity tech.
The problem is both social and game-theoretic. Game-theoretically global CO2 emission cuts would require an all-cooperate scenario that seems unlikely given the massive economic benefit of defecting. The social problem comes when rich developed nations try to finger-wag at developing nations for emitting more CO2. The response is along the lines of "screw you, we're poor, fXXk off." It comes off sounding hypocritical and elitist because it sort of is... we got where we are by burning a lot of fossil fuel, so who are we to tell Asians or Africans they can't do the same thing? The recent election in Brazil was in part a rejection of environmental restrictions in favor of populist growth policies.
Now toss in the fact that the world is presently going through its globalization trough of disillusionment. Nationalism is rising everywhere. This makes all-cooperate game theoretic scenarios even more hopeless.
The only -- and I mean the only -- hope is that we will develop a very low or zero carbon energy source that is cheaper than coal and gas on a levelized 24-hour basis and that can be deployed just about as easily. I think we'll probably get there eventually, but I doubt Mr. Fusion will arrive in time to keep CO2 under 600-800ppm at a minimum. I wouldn't be surprised at all if it hits 1000ppm.
Africa today is where China was in the 90s... brace yourself for another billion people industrializing and modernizing. Better start researching geo-engineering and preparing to move Miami. I do like to look at the plus side too though. I'm looking forward to more African cultural exports.
But you are a racist .
I wonder how common it is to do these brief checks through the comments of users that seems just a bit off. Too often there's a pattern.
You said (verbatim) : "Holding black people to the same standard as white people when they are genetically incapable of meeting that standard seems like a much bigger problem"
True, you did not define "standard". Then you attack people when they infer you're talking about ethics, or crime rate, or whatever other interpretation. Sure, but you were definitely not talking about the ability to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. If you do not want your writings to be open to interpretation, then be specific.
> When someone states the objective fact that black people have lower IQs than whites or Asians, that is not racism.
No, but saying that this is because of their genetic is. Because you have no reasoning backing that other than "they're black, so there could not be any other reason explaining the lower IQ". Same thing for crime rate. Crime rate is a fact, not racist in itself. But facts do not make discussions. No one brings a fact just to leave it there. You bring it to back up an opinion. And this opinion can definitely be racist.
That is something you conspicuously failed to do dozens of times on this page. The other person is always missing the point, didn't read what you said, falling victim to one myth or another, disingenuous, irrelevant, fixating, making absolutely no sense, slipping in thing at the end after the red herrings, seem eager to put words in your mouth ...
It makes for super-tiresome reading. This is not a productive method of communication. (That was you complaining about the other guy yet again.)
Please consider that you are just one person among many on here, and that you may seem as ignorant, misguided, irrational, unfair, impossible-to-argue-with, prejudiced to them as they apparently seem to you. And please be more considerate in future. Be civil. Don't be snarky.
> Black crime rate being high explains black arrest rate being high.
Where is the causality here? Sure, there is a correlation and sure, it may be seen as a reasonable argument, but like your point before about CO2 not being a problem, you completely overlook that there could be many causes for the same event.
How is your fact about crime rates invalidating the position "there is racism amongst police forces"? The effect of the higher crime rates _and_ racism are not mutually exclusive.
But you choose to rather adopt a point of view where every situation can apparently be 100% explained by a single cause. And that cause is that black people are not "up the standard" -- whatever standard you are talking about.
Yup, that's racism.
> It is very concerning to me that I am now a thought criminal and therefore anything I say is incorrect.
And rightly so after that comment.
CO2 is a problem.
This year's Nobel prize in economics was awarded to Bill Nordhaus  for figuring out the economic impact of carbon based emissions. He, along with many climate scientists and economists, think that this is the most market-aligned way to reduce the impact of climate change.
Not the problem the article is talking about.
No it isn't. That is based on a single observation, increasing standards of living in the 20th century in western nations. Living standards in western nations were increasing before that and birth rates were not declining. Living standards stopped increasing decades ago, and birth rates have not gone back up. So the evidence that this is even true in western nations is quite poor, but there is no evidence at all that it holds true in other cultures.
>We can't just exploit the world and then blame those who live in systems that offer no alternative.
It isn't about blame, it is about solving the problem. You can not give 5 billion Africans a western standard of living, that is not a physical possibility. So we need to prevent the 5 billion Africans from happening while there's still only 1 billion Africans. We're not trying to prevent 5 billion Europeans from happening because the European population is falling, not rising.
In fact, where is it not true?
No it isn't.
>In fact, where is it not true?
Everywhere? Nothing in your link contradicts what I said already. You can only make the correlation if you cherry pick start and end dates, and cherry pick western nations or nations that had coincidental birth rate declines like China. If the correlation is real and not spurious, then why doesn't it hold now? Why didn't it hold before the 1930s? Why has it never existed in Africa?
The inverse relationship is obvious in South Korea:
Before the 1930s, every country was "developing" my modern definitions. (US real GDP/capita was ~$9k in 1929 just before the recession). Also, other factors are necessary for this to happen (e.g. women empowerment)
CO2 is absolutely a problem, and promoting birth control does not get you called a nazi klansmen.
What are you going on about?
- CO2, as a greenhouse gas, increase the Earth surface temperature
- This temperature increase causes droughts/floods/other extreme meteorological events
- Lands that used to be arable aren't anymore, because of these events.
- People need to feed themselves, so they need new lands.
- They burn forests, wipe out ecosystems, and kill millions of animals in the process.
You'll have a hard time in this world if you believe that every problem has a single source...
Proximate vs. root cause nitpickery isn't a solution either.
It's entirely possible to get carbon output down to sustainable levels without genocide. You're simply wrong here.
USA population of 350m can cut down usage. It is at least possible without mass death. When there are 7 billion+ Africans at the end of this century, it'll be rather a much more brutal challenge.
To put that in perspective, the current billion Europeans and north americans is worth about 15-20 billion africans in terms of energy consumption.
That's why the UN has increased it's estimate for peak African population 5 years in a row.
The same could happen to humanity, if AI and general purpose robots become viably robust.
At the moment I see no other option to restore wildlife on this planet.
Fishing and deforestation are another story.
If only people knew how to cook and flavor foods, then people wouldnt be reliant on beef to make their foods tasty.