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#4500086 - 12/12/19 05:53 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
I'm just asking if we are over populating this planet while at the same time we are killing it and will there be enough resources to feed everyone.

I'm not trying to start an argument war.


Understood. Well, let's look at it mathematically. The global population is roughly growing by about 100 million per year. At that rate, the entire surface of the planet will be covered by a human body in a few centuries. Before that happens though, I believe humanity will find ways to curtail that population growth either by authoritarian means via the state or by providing some economic incentives. Thanks to industrialized agriculture I don't foresee any mass starvations any time soon but the one big concern which I believe will come much sooner is unemployment. The combination of population growth with declining demand for labor due to automation/technology/robotization will cause some major upheavals.

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#4500090 - 12/12/19 06:12 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: Ajay]  
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Originally Posted by Ajay
All three of my 'kids' (23, 21 and 17) swear they don't want kids of their own. They have been hearing the doom and gloom of over population since they were toddlers and from talks with them about kids and their future, it has definitely influenced their thinking.


Same here, I don't expect to be a Grandad anytime in the foreseeable future; too involved in their burgeoning careers.

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#4500109 - 12/12/19 10:17 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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And one day they will all realize that they actually would have liked to have children, and then it's too late.

#4500110 - 12/12/19 10:34 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
I'm just asking if we are over populating this planet while at the same time we are killing it and will there be enough resources to feed everyone.

It's hard to answer since the future is inherently unknowable. That being said, I remain fundamentally optimistic. The biggest threats are, IMO, first and foremost the decline in biodiversity - an alarming signal that the planetary ecosphere is overtaxed by the combination of a growing human population and less-than-optimal production methods (e.g. importing avocados from Chile or Mexico, Spanish strawberries and tomatos) - followed by political overreactions from the doomsayers (FFF, Exctinction Rebellion, and especially the Marxists who use them as tools) like, "we need to make biofuels mandatory for CO2 neutrality" when this is in direct competition to growing food for the population, resulting in rising food prices that rich people (us) can afford while we're "pricing out" (=starving) the poor in distant countries.

The world population will probably peak at about 10 billion people in about 80 years. This is going to create a considerable load on nature. After that we'll be surprised how quickly the human population will shrink (voluntarily) simply because if you're financially better off, you tend to have fewer children; the most effective contraceptives seem to be TV and the internet, followed by The Pill. Electricity in your home makes for longer evenings with less time for sex. At the same time I think that in the coming 80 years we'll develop a lot of new technologies that will help to reduce the individual person's ecofootprint so that the overall burden on the planetary ecosphere will more or less stay at the current level (which appears unsustainable) - but we only need to hold on for another 100...140 years before the big transition will be over. After that the human world population might shrink to something like 3...5 billion in the long run, at a much reduced toll on nature per person, with a decent chance that nature and wildlife will actually recover from the industrial age.

It's just speculation, of course. But all predictions about the future are speculation. All I'm saying is, any world model that calculates population growth and the use of resources which doesn't take technological progress into consideration - and here you have a very wide spectrum of possible developments - will fail in its predictions in that the predictions are systematically biased towards doom and gloom.

#4500112 - 12/12/19 10:44 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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I'd say the odds of the world population shrinking to several hundred million or less from where we are now--i.e. from 7 billion -> 100 million, are much greater than your scenario Ssnake. The robotic revolution will lead to class disparity unlike anything the world has ever seen, with mass extinction of careers and entire fields of work.

I believe human nature is stilted towards self preservation and greed, not generosity. This is a biological trait, not a learned one. Thus I fear that war is the end result and there we may see a purging of humanity on a horrific scale.

The question is... will we be the ones purging each other, or will we last long enough to see true AI surpass us and then be purged by the AI. Of course, the AI could ignore us entirely, but the prospect of mass job loss is very real and almost no career is safe.

So to answer the OP's question, we don't have to worry about the world sustaining the pending population growth because we're already making strides towards solving the problem ourselves, albeit in a less than ideal way.



In order to right our way we must shift global philosophy away from greed and that means defying our DNA.

Last edited by Mr_Blastman; 12/12/19 10:45 PM.
#4500116 - 12/12/19 11:20 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
I'm just asking if we are over populating this planet while at the same time we are killing it


No. My thoughts on the subject are very similar to Ssnake's. Ingenuity and technology has taken us to the current heights, and I expect that to continue. Or, something(s) [war, disease, etc.] will come along to thin the herds and render the question somewhat moot.

Humanity at any given time typically has some subset of people who correctly perceive problems, and a subset of that group who find / devise solutions. The infrastructure for sharing ideas / information continues to improve, which bodes well for future problem solving... if humanity manages to avoid EMPing itself back to the 18th century, of nuking itself back to an even earlier technology level. Robotics and AI are potentially disruptive to our current economic models, but could also serve to mitigate future problems.

Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy

and will there be enough resources to feed everyone.


Yes. That is not say everyone will actually get enough. Food goes to waste now, and I doubt that will cease completely.

Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy

I'm not trying to start an argument war.


Well, the originator's intent is only part of the conversation. It is a subject ripe for controversy, but it appears folks are keeping it civil, which is appreciated.

#4500120 - 12/12/19 11:57 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: Ssnake]  
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Originally Posted by Ssnake
And one day they will all realize that they actually would have liked to have children, and then it's too late.


Not likely. Approaching the end of that window of opportunity, I'd think one would be long past knowing what they wanted. 17 - 23 year-olds? Maybe not.

IIRC, we were certain of our decision by age 30. Ages 25 - 28 (Atlanta, GA) would have been the opportune time, getting my brother and his wife to babysit as we often did their kid (up until age 5, when we moved to Jacksonville, FL.).

I do know that the pill and Essure work, unless one of us was broken (no reason to think so). But neither is 100%, only age removes that minuscule worry (just keeping a positive middle-age attitude). smile



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#4500124 - 12/13/19 12:26 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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All this reminds me very much of the movie "Idiocracy". The sad thing is that some of it's seemingly ridiculous projections seem to be coming to pass.


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#4500126 - 12/13/19 12:30 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Nature seems to try to limit the population. AIDS had a good shot but medical tech and the speed of response slowed it down more than would have happened a hundred years ago. Epidemic diseases have done more to thin the population than anything short of WWI.


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#4500130 - 12/13/19 12:50 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Automation is good but what will happen to the people who won't have a job because of it.

No job = no money = no food = a lot of hungry and poor people.

Hungry and poor people have a history of revolting.

Soon even Uber and Lyft drivers and truck drivers that we depend on every day to get all our goods will be out of a job.

#4500138 - 12/13/19 02:34 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
Automation is good but what will happen to the people who won't have a job because of it.

No job = no money = no food = a lot of hungry and poor people.

Hungry and poor people have a history of revolting.

Soon even Uber and Lyft drivers and truck drivers that we depend on every day to get all our goods will be out of a job.


They're not the only ones...

Even nurses, doctors and lawyers aren't safe. Computer developers? They should bend over and kiss their asses goodbye. Software engineers? Toast. IT? Gone. Very little is safe. The truck drivers and retail workers will be among the first to feel the pain, but many of the higher cost jobs will be lost afterwards because the bottom line is king.

#4500149 - 12/13/19 03:52 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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WW3 is coming,and it'll be a century long war.

#4500153 - 12/13/19 04:19 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Originally Posted by NoFlyBoy
Automation is good but what will happen to the people who won't have a job because of it.

No job = no money = no food = a lot of hungry and poor people.

Hungry and poor people have a history of revolting.

Soon even Uber and Lyft drivers and truck drivers that we depend on every day to get all our goods will be out of a job.



One possible future I see is that future governments will charge some kind of "robot tax" on businesses that have widespread automation and then that money will be handed out to those individuals who lost their jobs as a sort of universal basic income.


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#4500163 - 12/13/19 07:40 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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A well done thread by all!

PM,
Universal basic income is not the answer. I must be honest and say that if you pay me enough to eat and heat my house, I will stop working and spend even more of my time with modding and gaming. The nature of the human animal is survival first and gratification second. The rest of the world's concerns are a distant third place. My example is motorcycle repair. I had a desire to eat, so I spent 35+ years learning that occupation. It ceased to be fun long ago, but I continue because I like to eat. If you feed me, I would never repair another motorcycle, other then my own.

Also, value (income, wealth, taxation. etc) is not created from thin air. Some knowledge or effort must be expended to create it. Where is the incentive for the effort to learn or do. Would Apple, Facebook, Youtube, etc, have been created if the people responsible did not have a personal motivation?

Sorry, I think I have wandered from the original subject.


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#4500172 - 12/13/19 10:22 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: Zamzow]  
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Originally Posted by Zamzow
WW3 is coming,and it'll be a century long war.



If WWIII really comes it will be over in an hour.


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#4500176 - 12/13/19 10:35 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Just because a job CAN be automated does not guarantee that it will, and generally technologists seem to be too optimistic when it comes to practical applications. That's not to say that it won't happen, but it might happen slow enough that socially compatible mitigation strategies (beyond "learn to code") could work. If robotization is as disruptive as some predict, it's inevitable that there will be countering forces such as robot taxes to finance the unemployment of the unemployables. All our political systems - no matter which country you look at - are stacked against megacorporations. As soon as Facebook is perceived as a threat to political leaders, they start throwing out laws to bring it back under control. Standard Oil was smashed to pieces as was the Bell Corporation, and that didn't happen in Soviet Russia. In fact, megacorporations can usually exist for a longer period only if they are state controlled, in which case they usually are so uncompetitive that eventually they become money sinkholes that even a state is unwilling to keep alive by funelling tax money into them.
From that perspective it appears unlikely the Googlebots will take over all industries and concentrate the power in a single corporation (in fact, Google has yet to prove that they can come up with a single profitable product that is not a search engine).

#4500179 - 12/13/19 11:52 AM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: Brit44 'Aldo']  
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Originally Posted by Brit44 'Aldo'


PM,
Universal basic income is not the answer.



Sorry but I think my post was misconstrued. Personally I'm against any concept of a "universal basic income" and I agree fully with all the points you made. However, it's my belief that if things get bad enough with very high unemployment rates that most or at least many countries will attempt to implement UBI as a means to preventing major social unrest.

Last edited by PanzerMeyer; 12/13/19 11:53 AM.

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#4500341 - 12/14/19 06:28 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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Posted by NoFlyBoy, bottom of first page (I screwed up and replied to the post ot the bottom of the first page without seeing page 2):
Quote
I'm just asking if we are over populating this planet while at the same time we are killing it and will there be enough resources to feed everyone.

I'm not trying to start an argument war.


I agree; it would seem the discussion has been pretty civil so far. I wish I had time to read it in totality. Good thoughts on all sides of it. We need these sorts of exchanges where people can examine the thoughts of others and really weigh their merits instead of the flame wars so common in much of public discussion.

For my 2 cents worth:

1. There is no question that we live on the surface of a sphere. This is by definition a finite resource. For 3 of the world's major religions, the Book Of Genesis gives man stewardship over creation and it's resources. I see this as a responsibility, not wanton privilege. I wish many gov't. leaders would see their positions the same way.

2. In direct reply to NoFlyBoy, that possibility is real. The question is why? I have come to the conclusion that we don't have economic and resource problems that are even a fraction of our moral problems. You may be surprised to know that, assuming 4 people per family as an average, the entire world's population could be given a decent-sized lot and a house and the total area would not cover all of Texas and Oklahoma. That quick calculation doesn't account for roads and infrastructure needed to support said monstrous housing plan, nor rivers and other areas where building would be impossible, but it puts the actual size of the population in a little more perspective. It's a big world out there.

3. But it's a badly corrupted world. Aid pours out of the US and other developed nations. Sometimes misguided, it actually undermines locals trying to get paid for producing goods that well meaning charities are providing for free. Give a man a fish or teach the man to fish? Other times corruption and civil unrest destroys or steals the aid meant for the poor to enrich thieves and corrupt gov't officials. James Madison (I believe) once said that our US Constitution was fit only for a "religious and self-governing people." Is that not true, really of almost any gov't? We see in the US the legalization of all sorts of vice because that's what the people want and gov't, hungry for power and cash, sees the vice as a revenue stream. Make up any "fair" set of rules, and you'll find people trying to find a way to game those rules and get a leg up on everyone else. And gov'ts around the world are notoriously corrupt.

4. I see in the politics surrounding the global climate change issue, a plan by some parties to eviscerate the developed nations while allowing emissions from developing nations to go unchecked. Smarter heads may prevail, but they seem to see the issue as both a chance to gain control of a lot of wealth, as well as viewing the whole resource thing as a "zero-sum" game. Capitalism* generates wealth and innovation and thus my view is that we bring developing nations up, not pull ourselves down. Many of the power generation proposals (that is my industry) simply aren't feasible. But here the moral problems of humanity are in sharp focus: we could generate much more power, and end up with radioactive by-products with a much lower half-life (as low as 500 years) if we could go through the full fuel cycle. But we don't trust each other enough to allow production of plutonium. The thorium cycle similarly produces very low half-life waste and yet only China is working on it, to my knowledge.

*I note though, that capitalism without compassion is as carnivorous as any other system; but at it's basis is the fairest system, I think.

Well, again, keep it civil. My intention is to contribute as well, not inflame tempers.

Last edited by HumanDrone; 12/14/19 06:32 PM. Reason: Oh hang it all. I replied to the last post on the first page again...

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#4500357 - 12/14/19 09:35 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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I watched a documentary about the oceans recently.

In it they say we are going to run out of seafood soon.

Too many countries that don't regulate their seafood industry and allow anyone with a boat to throw down a net and bring up everything the net catches while it's scraping the ocean floor.

Everything in the net that's not part of the seafood that can be sold for consumption will be thrown back and most of the time by the time it's thrown back, it's all already dead.

For example if that fishing boat is part of the industry that makes money from catching shrimp, it will keep the shrimp that's caught in the net and everything else is thrown back: crabs, starfish, shellfish like clams and oysters and mussels, other type of fish of all size shape and color, even sea turtles.

The documentary also say that's why in recent years we started eating fish that at one time we wouldn't even look at once like Tilapia and Carp.

#4500360 - 12/14/19 10:09 PM Re: Are we having too many children? [Re: NoFlyBoy]  
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I've always had a problem with doomsayers (especially when doomsaying brings in the grant money and/or political power), but in this case there is a problem with the way they are fishing, so what is the answer? Better regulation? How do you regulate a boat at sea, how do not catch certain things in a net and only catch what you want? Do you put an officer on every boat? Here again may be a moral problem - people don't care. There may be ways to do better, but who cares? Cheap quick and dirty does the trick. And again, you said countries that don't regulate, and I typically associate that with less developed countries that couldn't enforce the regulations anyway. To be honest, though I shouldn't say too much here, it's not an area I'm very familiar with.

You know at one time shrimp and lobster were considered garbage fish and were fed to slaves and such?


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