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View Diary: Gaddafi; A Western Made Monster Running Amok (7 comments)

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  •  I wouldn't entirely agree (0+ / 0-)

    here. Overpopulation is a strange thing, and not quite as clear-cut a concept as people would like to believe.

    Take birth rates. Demographic studies show that development, and not necessarily to First World status, produces a demographic shift due to changing social mores: In a preindustrial society, birth and death rates are high (the nasty, brutish and short part). With development, death rates drop and birth rates remain the same, leading to a population boom.

    So far, so Malthusian. The catch is that social mores change: In an industrialised society, you don't need 5 children to work on the farm and support you in your old age. It's better to have one child and give him a decent start in life. So birth rates drop to and below reproduction level.

    This is not simply a theoretical dream, but an empirically validated concept. Japan's birth rate is terrible. China's birth rate, thanks to the one-child policy. Even India's birth rates are dropping, consistent with theory and practice. The only places with a terrible population boom are the really poor countries, economic basket cases (think Sub-Saharan Africa). That's why the UN feels confident that global population will peak around 9.3 billion.

    As for resources, yes, they're limited, but the question is how limited with regard to different technologies we can use. After all, there are different modes of transport, different ways of generating energy, and so on. The question is which combinations can provide a decent standard of living for a world of 9.3 billion.

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Fri Feb 25, 2011 at 03:09:05 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Population Peak? (0+ / 0-)

      Based on current trends, catastrophic conditions could develop long before a peak of 9.3 billion is reached. A flood of cheap money triggering rising commodity prices will only intensify geopolitical pressures.

      With a sudden jump in oil cost, western economies already faltering will feel the pinch, reduce foreign aid, close borders, hold on to domestically produced products and take protectionist positions.

      Wait, there's more

      Here in the states as well as other industrial nations, there is a problem with not just the quantity of populations, but the quality of said populations.

      Even shrinking birth rates can't compensate or tolerate hoards of people who can't be affordably and adequately educated, housed, clothed and employed. An excess of too many consuming and too few producing will set the stage for the predictable problems ahead.

      I think we're a lot closer to a population tipping point than we realize. The food fights and water rights issues have already started.

      The population problem is as much about quantity as it is about quality. This brings us right back to the value of the individual again.

      I realize this is an unpopular concept, but one must consider if a person is worth the cost of his/her existence. If a global effort is undertaken to address this problem now, we won't have to consider what's next.

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