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  •  The problem isn't "Detroit." (14+ / 0-)

    It's population growth beyond the carrying capacity of the planet. Too much irresponsible fucking.

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

    by itsjim on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:28:06 PM PDT

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    •  Malthus was right! (20+ / 0-)

      Overpopulation will soon surpass agricultural and oil production, even the supply of water will be fought over!
      But cheer up!  The untold millions starving to death, wars, disease and disasters all over the world will soon limit human population growth!  

      ! The swinistic greed and racial hatred of the American ruling elite is abysmal !

      by joe wobblie on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 01:56:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And... (7+ / 0-)

        Gravedigging will become a growth industry!

        I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

        by itsjim on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:00:20 PM PDT

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      •  He hasn't been right yet (6+ / 0-)

        And it's been a long fricking time since he predicted.

        We may outstrip our ability to innovate our way out of the situation we're in, but it's been long enough to say that Malthus distinctly was wrong.

        We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

        by nightsweat on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:11:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (21+ / 0-)

          How can you say that?

          Without the industrial and green revolutions the collapse would already have happened.

          But we still haven't addressed the underlying issue, far too many people on this planet sucking it dry.

          Politicians aren't worried about it because they're either fundamentalists thinking jesus will be back soon, dominionists who think that we god gave us permission to rape the planet, short-sighters only worrying about the next election, or free-market Randians who think anything that stifles business is evil, no matter the consequences.

          And this ain't just American politicians. It applies globally.

          And now that China and India are aspiring to western levels of affluence it going to happen faster and faster.

          We are screwed.

          "Human beings make life so interesting. Do you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom. " - Death (Terry Pratchett character)

          by Thorby Baslim on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:24:49 PM PDT

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          •  a rare opportunity... (8+ / 0-)

            ..... to figure out what it takes to convince "growthers" that it ain't gonna work out that way.  

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:03:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Malthus was wrong. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens, congenitalefty, Matt Z

            I remember reading that humans, like other mammals, tend to naturally keep their numbers well below their environment's carrying capacities.  (I would have to go back and dig for a citation.)  This is why we are not seeing mass famines in India or China.

            The problem here is decidedly NOT that poor people are screwing too much.  Rather, the problem is that people like US -- Americans and people living American lifestyles -- are hoovering up enormous amounts of resources and throwing them out in the garbage every week.

            •  Malthus was a pessimist (14+ / 0-)

              but his basic principles were sound. He just drastically underestimated human ingenuity and ruthlessness - its ability to come up with new and innovative answers to problems, even though the answers required robbing the future to prop up the present; and its willingness to commit robbery on that scale because it would only matter to "future generations".

              There is no scenario that allows even an East European lifestyle to continue at the current population levels. But we won't take any sane measures to limit, let alone reduce, our population - so Nature will do it for us and we won't like it (if the human species survives to like or dislike anything, that is).

              If it's
              Not your body,
              Then it's
              Not your choice
              And it's
              None of your damn business!

              by TheOtherMaven on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 07:40:57 PM PDT

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              •  He was actually an optimist... (9+ / 0-)

                ...considering that if he had been right, a few hundred million people would have died in the 1800s and that would have been the end of it.

                He didn't foresee fossil fuels and the green revolution, which is going to cause a far more massive collapse than he could ever imagine (perhaps billions dead)!

                It doesn't have to end this way, but of course it will.

                (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
                Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

                by Sparhawk on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:22:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I like this quote: (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Nulwee, Lily O Lady, Sparhawk, Marie
                  No man can say that he has seen the largest ear of wheat, or the largest oak that could ever grow; but he might easily, and with perfect certainty, name a point of magnitude, at which they would not arrive. In all these cases therefore, a careful distinction should be made, between an unlimited progress, and a progress where the limit is merely undefined.
                  I would argue that Malthus wasn't wrong, it's just that the limits so far have been undefined.

                  "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

                  by northsylvania on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 02:24:30 AM PDT

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              •  The important distinction we aren't making (0+ / 0-)

                is the difference between these two problems:

                1)  The Earth has too many people.
                2)  The people on the Earth are consuming too much.

                The problem that Malthus was afraid of was #1.  That's why he focused on the poor and how they were having too much sex, not on the rich and the massive amounts of goods that they were consuming.

                The real problem that we have to deal with is #2.  It's not biologically possible for people to multiply far beyond their environment's ability to feed them.  But it is possible for people to come up with ways to vacuum up enormous amounts of energy and non-renewable resources because they must have flatscreen TVs with OnDemand movie selections and microwaveable pork-and-bokchoy dumplings, which come in disposable packaging.

                Our consumption is what we must put constraints on, not our numbers.

              •  The important distinction we aren't making (0+ / 0-)

                is between these two different problems:

                1) There are too many people on the Earth.
                2) The people on the Earth are consuming too much.

                The problem that Malthus was worried about was #1.  That's why he harped so much on the poor and how they were having too much sex, but did not mention the rich and all the goods that they consumed.

                Malthus' fears never came true, because people cannot multiply far beyond their environment's ability to feed them.

                The real problem we have to deal with is #2.  People in the first world suck up too many resources -- not because they reproduce too much, but because they must have flatscreen TVs with 24-hour OnDemand movie selections and microwaveale pork and bockchoy dumplings in disposable packaging.  The problem is us, not some Indian peasansts living on rice.

            •  The reason we are not seeing famines in India or (9+ / 0-)

              China is that petroleum and natural gas have temporarily allowed the mass production of food through artificial fertilizers and irrigation on a scale not previously achievable.

              That will not continue.

              There are many examples from history which show Malthus was correct.  The first coming to mind are the former Mayan civilizations, but there are many others.  Easter Island ring a bell?

              There are far too many people for the globe to sustain without burning ancient sunlight --- petroleum and natural gas --- which will be running out soon and then what?  

              Malthus will be shown to be correct: the earth cannot sustain an infinite number of people.  The earth will soon limit the overgrowth in horrible ways.

              What a Police State Looks Like: "On one side: soft human flesh, unprotected human skulls, cardboard signs, slogans they chant, armed with belief in 1st Amendment rights. On the other: helmets, body armor, guns, batons, chemical weapons." -- JanetRhodes

              by YucatanMan on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 10:17:32 PM PDT

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              •  I'm too old to expect to see 2050 when (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Marie

                the population is projected to reach 9 billion, but I am very curious as to the outcome.

                Would one of our young whippersnappers (who will then be old, like me) please whisper the result on the wind?

                Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                by Just Bob on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 04:18:52 AM PDT

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          •  So esclusive of the things that happened (0+ / 0-)

            Something else might have happened?

            We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

            by nightsweat on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 06:34:45 AM PDT

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        •  I'll nominate you for a Nobel Prize if you can... (11+ / 0-)

          .... demonstrate how to sustain indefinite growth of population and consumption on a finite planet.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:58:03 PM PDT

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          •  Jesus will beam up a good portion of em... (10+ / 0-)

            So that solves the problem.  I understand that's going to happen any day now.

            /snark

            I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

            by detroitmechworks on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:01:30 PM PDT

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            •  OTOH go read the comment by Barath... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ivote2004, northsylvania, Matt Z

              .... where he quotes Jimmy Carter's energy speech.

              Carter is a lifelong Evangelical Christian.  That's what Christian activism used to sound like (and Martin Luther King, and and and...), before the obnoxious theocrats captured the field for themselves.  

              The left would do well to reach out to religious progressives, as the natural alliance for progressive values more than overcomes the differences between theists, nontheists and agnostics.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 09:56:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Indefinite - no (0+ / 0-)

            Greatly extended - yes.  

            You reduce the per person impact by switching technologies to increase efficiency, by recycling waste so you're losing the minimum amount of non-renewables and by exploiting the external inputs into the system like using solar energy.

            If you were coming onto this planet de novo with sufficient technology, you'd have no problem figuring out how to settle 15 billion people in a sustainable way.  You'd use more of the land, farm more of the ocean instead of harvesting wild resources indiscriminantly, and live in denser ecologically sustainable cities.

            Can you do it the way we're doing things now? No.  But we're better now than we used to be.  Thing of the levels of pollution back per person in the cities just 50 years ago.

            We get what we want - or what we fail to refuse. - Muhammad Yunus

            by nightsweat on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 06:42:10 AM PDT

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    •  Well... "irresponsible?" (9+ / 0-)

      "Responsibility" implies a degree of control and agency that women in many overpopulated parts of the world don't always enjoy. While that is changing, there are many places that continue to struggle for lack of access to proper education on family planning, and lack of access to modern health services.

      Now, there is irresponsibility in the decision of American clerics, politicians, and assorted wingnuts to call for a rolling back of women's reproductive freedoms. But even here, it's difficult to accuse families themselves of being "irresponsible" when access to the full range of women's health services is becoming increasingly difficult, due to budget cuts and regressive, anti-woman legislation.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:49:19 PM PDT

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    •  "reckless reproduction." (6+ / 0-)

      Goes along with "conspicuous consumption" as the top two causes of overshoot & collapse.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 02:56:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  like when your parents fucked and produced you? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      old possum, Cofcos, Nulwee, Matt Z

      who exactly are the 'irresponsible fuckers'?  

      i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

      by Anton Bursch on Thu Apr 05, 2012 at 03:08:44 PM PDT

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      •  Yes. Exactly like that. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FutureNow, Marie

        My parents are devout Catholics who produced six children. While I love all of my siblings, that sort of exponential reproductive model can not be sustained. I am number 4 of six. Had my parents been aware of the population crisis back in the late 50s, and had they not been indoctrinated with a bunch of silly church dogma, I would not be here to torment you.

        But those facts do not diminish my argument that every single crisis of resource has overpopulation as its root cause. (I can produce an Ishikawa diagram if you like.) Anyone who has ever taken a 100 level environmental science class understands the fundamental concept of carrying capacity. There are simply more people consuming resources than the planet can sustain. Since the resources are finite, the dependent variable in the equation is population. You can choose to cloud this up with a lot of Maslowian self-actualized concepts, but as a species, we are way further down the hierarchy than you or I may be as individuals.

        I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

        by itsjim on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 05:27:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  not sure that's entirely it. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, old possum, congenitalefty, Nulwee, Matt Z

      it's more this:

      A billion cars on the world's roads
      ...China (has) the world's second largest car population, with 78 million vehicles. But the United States still constitutes by far the largest vehicle population in the world, with 239.8 million cars, the Ward's study reported.
      it's not the cars themselves, but i think that's about right: most of the resources are being used by 1/7 of the world's HUMAN population (7 billion and counting). that doesn't count the needs of animals and plants et al...

      it's the top of the food chain that's the problem... not the rest (so much anyway).

      •  Manufacturing cars consume a huge (7+ / 0-)

        amount of natural resources.  So, even if built in the same numbers today and parked forever, that hurt the planet.  But that's not what's done with them.  Once built, someone will be filling them with fuel and driving them around.  So, yes, cars are a problem.  

        As long as the population of "the rest" continues to increase, they are part of the problem.  And they, rightly, do aspire to move up the food chain.  

        •  yup, cars are a problem. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie

          my point is beyond the cars, but total use of resources, including cars shown in the number of cars.

          it is in the numbers: how many people does it take to bring us to the tipping point? not all 7 billion. it only takes hundreds of millions to misuse, abuse, and pollute this globe.

          as for more consumers, i'd say that at the rate the 1% is gobbling up everything not nailed down, that it simply isn't possible to create consumers for these big ticket items beyond the Chinese owning 2 or 3 cars per family.

          they'll create consumers with just enough to buy the plastic junk in the dollar stores. just as bad as cars.

        •  Actually, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Marie

          The auto manufacturing process utilizes a tremendous amount of recycled material, particularly steel and precious metals such as platinum, which is used in catalytic converters.

          I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

          by itsjim on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 08:37:16 AM PDT

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    •  We First Worlders like to think that. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, joanil, Cobbler, congenitalefty, Matt Z

      When in reality, the people who are reproducing beyond replacement level are also the people using a tiny percentage of the resources that a British or European person does, and an even tinier fraction of what an American does.

      So, sure, blame it all on people who don't have electricity or access to birth control.  But it's us who's doing it.

      (And I say this as a non-reproducing American.)

    •  Itsjim, I am a fierce proponent of zero (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joe wobblie, itsjim

      population. Unfortunately, this site is full of neoliberals like thereisnospoon who are flat wrong on population.

      The earth can support maybe 2 billion people. So guessed at least one scientist in the last decade. (His video's in my diary that I think is entitled "Population Growth Ensuring a World of Solitude.")

      Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

      by Nulwee on Fri Apr 06, 2012 at 03:26:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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