True, but I think we can change. We have the capacity to rise above our animal instinct to overproduce. At least I hope so. Otherwise we're headed for extinction PDQ.
Bearing in mind the statistics, will human civilisation last another 1,000 years ? Perhaps natural factors including famine, disease, warfare and poverty will correct the human population level and slow reproduction but it seems already to late.
Of course we are headed for extinction. All species always have been. As a sensationalist statement/scare tactic, it just muddies the waters of those trying to actually use science and policy to affect societal change. Usually it is the uneducated ravening lunatic proponents of conservation that hurt the efforts/image of conservationists, not the direct action of their opponents.
Think about it. Sensationalism never helps real science. If you have the real data on your side, stick to that, and not black and white statements. In this case, the data is on your side. Don't throw that away. Learn the data, and how to present it. Reality, well argued and supported in an urbane manner is FAR scarier than sensationalist statements.
I don't believe we are headed for a total planetary burn-off here. Life (and species less capable of adapting) have survived worse. It will just suck seriously.
Breeding beyond capacity and not even knowing/caring the capacity limits is stupid, but so are humans.
We are no different than a virus.
As an old person who has seen this happening and been dismayed -
I can only present to you the same conundrum that was presented to me:
If there are too many people on this planet - which ones are the too many? And how would YOU reduce the population.
Sorry, to a large degree, Malthusianism has been discredited.
Stating the truth (we are expanding to the limit of immediately available resources, and depleting past sustainability) does not correlate to having a solution that can be made a mandate.
There is only one option for reducing the population. Reverse population growth (Birth rate). Idiots see "Reduce population" and assume that means "kill people off". It will happen, one way or another. Most likely, there will be a crash, and the very old and very young will suffer. It would have been far better if folks were intelligent, far-sighted, and earnest. They could say "Oh, it makes great sense for each woman to only have one child, since our progenitors bred beyond sense as well as consumed beyond sense. That is what we shall do!" -Yeah, right. It would be nice. It only took us 70 years to go from 2 billion to 7 billion. Why could we not be back to 5 billion (and dropping ever faster) by the end of the century, and down to 2 billion in 2150? Using available known resources, we might not even have to turn old people out in the snow. (Yes, I am not young myself).
The population of Africa has increased by more than 55% since 1990. Many countries (well not that many) such as Russia actually have negative population growth, so it is not unfeasible.
Malthusianism as such is not based on what we would call "relevant algorithm", but only due to the capacity of the food system in the SHORT TERM, and only due to the availability of fossil fuels for feedstocks/nitrogen/fuel etc... The other limits that Malthus did NOT know about seem to play more to the basic agreement that there is indeed a limit. Crop yields go up, but will reverse when fuel gets scarce. Available arable land, water, and sustainability will eventually limit or even offset what seems like an ever expanding breadbasket...one that even now does not cover us.
Just like a Ponzi scheme, you need population growth to support the ideology of retirement, pension, and all that end of life stuff outside of a family group. The math just doesn't work when you have fewer people in the successive generations. Quoting "Malthusianism has been largely discredited" does not discredit statistics just because it seems that way in our current privileged resource spending spree. Thirty percent world pop growth in the last 20 years...get it? I really don't believe anyone thinks that is sustainable for another hundred years.
All this because of 2 reasons:
1. Monotheists don't want people jerking off.
2. Sex is the only entertainment poor folks can afford.
Anyone here ever watch the movie "Idiocracy"?
Idiocracy, yes! Great comedy. It captured much, but posited a benevolent computer system taking care of the population. They couldn't repair a roof but managed to keep a sophisticated computer system going. Yeah, right. *pfft* Starbucks, LOL a hand job with every coffee, that would work.
The laws inherent in ecology will eventually “solve” our population problem. The law in question is when a population, of any animal or plant exceeds the carrying capacity of their environment then the species will experience a massive die off. As intelligent and inventive critters our technology can extend that capacity – oft times dramatically. Sadly, our tech can only save us for a while and there is tragic evidence that we have stretched the carrying capacity as far as our technology can compensate.
If the people of the first world economies have a sudden surge of self sacrifice so that others can survive we might buy more time – not a likely scenario. I believe that before the turn of the century natural laws will “solve” the population problem with brutal efficiency.
Agree completely. The only purpose in even discussing this at our level of influence (or anyone's?) is to...well just understand the situation for our own edification. Same thing for death or the discontinuation of your favorite NPR program.
While I look on the history of predictions, saying "before the end of the century" might not be a safe place to bet today's lunch money, it does indeed seem that 80 years is a reasonable time frame to see some sort of ecological correction, despite our ability to cheat the dice. Predicting technology is not a good business to be in, but on issues related to math and thermodynamics, it seems likely that technology will not provide protection against mass misery, just against complete devastation of society.
The situation has pretty well added up to a "done deal" or humans would not be thinking about considering to talk about discussing weather the problem is real or not. :)
The only purpose in even discussing this at our level of influence (or anyone's?) is to...well just understand the situation for our own edification.
Our discussions might have a nonzero effect. The main problem to change isn't technology, or even corporate structure, it's psychology. People can't face the greatest challenge to humanity, in part, because they can't even imagine how it might be solved. We might be able to imagine the transition, how to cope. If together we can articulate a range of solution scenarios, some might become options eventually taken seriously. Remember that our discussion and image tags yield results in Google searches. Someday, people will desperately scour for constructive solutions.
Think of our conversation as part of global communication effort, groping for a way out, fragmented now but coming together into a rigorous debate in the future. We are outliers, early thinkers, so what we say could be taken up and have influence over time.
There's a vestigial group Think in the Future Tense, where we could brainstorm and toss around ideas on the entire range of issues, not just overpopulation. I'm a member, join us.
BTW, I've been posting for a while here using the tag "Climate Destabilization". A Google search just now turned up two of my discussions on the first page, and an image search yielded 11 images from discussions here, one LOLcat I'd made with that tag, and one LOLcat Steph used here in a discussion, on the first image page. Of course there are lots more images on the first page than links on that first page. Images lead viewers to your discussions, so it's always helpful to add an image.
This not only gives you a greater voice, it can bring people to look at Atheist Nexus.
Trust me, I have a far wider range of knowledge of the planetary sciences than I need to for making basic conclusions. I have probably known more than you know now for 30 years. I really don't need more discussion (at this point) to coalesce my thoughts. I merely need to continue taking, sharing and gathering observations to provide arguments against previous conclusions. The paradigm hasn't shifted much in those 30 years.
Here is the issue: If you have an educational message you wish to share, avoid anything but hard data. I can find well intended overstatements, understatements, mistakes, misquotes, errors and mass oversimplifications in most of the materials I find quoted here. That is a problem. When you make a long speech, you make gaffs that folks can use to "support" contrary opinions. When you make sensationalist statements, or even emotive concise summaries, you invite idiots to participate and present their "feelings" on an equally low level.
I observe there are 36 AN/SM-3 missiles approaching our position from every 10 degree gradient vector surrounding us. Our radar indicates they will close our position in 98 seconds. Reports from my sources (see footnote#3 certified encrypted transmission from the USS Al Gore and plain language transmission from the JDF ship Guygin) concur with our data +/- 3%. It is my impression that due to the lack of motion of our ship, the visual data showing our throttle is in the Flank Speed position, and the heavy black smoke coming from the exhaust that we are not able to maneuver in any way to avoid a bad outcome. Therefore, I tentatively present to you the statement: "We are totally screwed".
Separate your feelings from the data, however intense the feelings are, if you wish to make hard facts speak for you.
Using the great gift of knowledge presented in the Awesome Documentary "Idiocracy", you may also use a much more effective approach for gaining support from a certain segment of the population:
Don't tell them that electrolytes are bad for the plants! Tell them that you can TALK to plants, and they are telling you that they want WATER! If they question you at all say "What?! Can't you hear them too? What are you? Dumb or something???"
This has the unfortunate side effect of getting you ostracized by the...oh...three percent of the population that can actually conceptualize a portion of the big picture. Use a pseudonym when you give your "No Brawndo" speeches.
The statement that I do not understand the extent of the problem is patently wrong. I would present that the opposite may very well be true. I am one of the folks that helped design and deploy ARGOS elements that bring you the data you get digested data from. I am also a very outside guy, and I see and feel the pulse of these changes directly. I would like to assure you that these things affect me heavily on a very personal level. I am sure you feel very strongly about this stuff, but really, how much time do you spend out in the weather? How much time do you spend far out on the ocean, out in the middle of the everglades, or watching the changes on your local rivers and estuaries from your rowboat year after year?
Yeah, I feel entitled to the title "Aware".