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Extinction.

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vrdiver
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Re: Extinction.

#340958

Postby vrdiver » September 17th, 2020, 2:34 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:
vrdiver wrote:Consumption in the developed world is, in my view, the key driver of this whole issue (if we ignore the real key - too many people, and rising).


Fair enough, but can you list for me the things you are prepared to do without? Car, heating, university education, good doctors, clean water and soap? I'm sure you have some targets?

Well, I'm a vegetarian, so reducing meat production is an easy one! I'll accept that not everyone will feel the same way...

You mention cars; if self-driving becomes reality, then we could, with appropriate incentives, move to a transport model that needed far fewer cars to do the same job. Heating is mostly wasted energy, but zero carbon buildings, including residential, are already feasible. Universities have refused to reimburse students, stating that on-line delivery is just fine. That suggests to me that a pre-recorded lecture library would vastly diminish the need for the hordes of teaching staff who add little to research and less to quality education. Good doctors are currently hit-and-miss within the NHS (that's more a criticism of the NHS than the doctors) but a bit more education and preventive action (e.g. persuading people not to become obese) might reduce the burden of work or the required quantity of medical resource.

I could go on. We (the developed world) haven't woken up to the need to up our game in the resource-consumption efficiency race, because, so far, there's been plenty to go around (for us) and the people who didn't have any were a long way away and couldn't get here, even if they knew where "here" was and what we had. That's changed now. There's not enough to go around, and the people who don't have any know what we've got and where we live...

Like any status quo, the incumbents are comfortable and don't wish to change things. Well, that's not going to get us out of this mess. Either we change, using our wealth to do so, or something is going to have to give. My personal bet is that increasing global warming will make currently habitable land uninhabitable, which will lead to mass population movements and violence as the haves attempt to protect themselves and their assets from the have-nots.

So, my targets? Joined up developed world government thinking (well, that went out the window with Brexit and Trump respectively) that drives policy to achieve the above, and more. As a tax payer I will be worse off, but paying tax is a nice problem to have...

Mike4
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Re: Extinction.

#340966

Postby Mike4 » September 17th, 2020, 3:01 pm

vrdiver wrote:
Gersemi wrote:David Attenborough has talked about the problems of population growth in the past - a quick google brings up this link https://populationmatters.org/news/2018 ... population . I think the reluctance to talk about is because most of the population growth is in less developed countries whereas the majority of the consumption in the more developed ones.

But that makes it even worse. All these "new", or at least "longer living" humans are going to want to improve their standard of living. (We see it now with the economic migrant influx into Europe). Either they are condemned to poverty, for them and their children, or consumption will massively increase. I think we already see both happening, with a growing middle class in countries like China, and with desperate poverty in areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

It is a problem; the developed world has no moral high ground from which to lecture the developing world, with any such message being treated as an attempt to keep all the good stuff for itself, but in the meantime the problem gets worse.

How much worse, before the wheels come off, is up for discussion, but the wheels are going to come off if we don't do something...

VRD


Looking on the bright side, areas with high population growth tend to turn into areas with low population growth once they become wealthy and middle class, as it is wealthy middle class populations that tend to limit their own fertility. Or so I've heard it suggested.

So bring it on, turn all the world's population into middle class consumers and the elephant in the room will die naturally.

simoan
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Re: Extinction.

#340987

Postby simoan » September 17th, 2020, 4:03 pm

redsturgeon wrote:We reach herd immunity at about 10 billion and after that we decline.

John

According to the late Hans Rosling global population should top out at 11 billion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FACK2knC08E

It's also covered in his excellent book "Factfulness" written in 2016/17. One of his great concerns for the future was a global pandemic, and here we are. Worth a read if you haven't already.

All the best, Si

gryffron
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Re: Extinction.

#341005

Postby gryffron » September 17th, 2020, 5:10 pm

AlumniLawn wrote:I am not sure that this is true. In his excellent book "More From Less", Andrew McAfee details the decreasing amount of natural resources used in creating an increasing GDP, he (mainly) uses USA data as is is the largest and most reliable information available. For example, despite GDP increasing significantly between 2011 and today, steel usage has declined by 15%, aluminium by 32% and copper by 40%; ...

Don't they just import the finished goods from China?

Mike4 wrote:Looking on the bright side, areas with high population growth tend to turn into areas with low population growth once they become wealthy and middle class, as it is wealthy middle class populations that tend to limit their own fertility. Or so I've heard it suggested.

Sadly, much of Africa, even (especially?) the resource rich parts, has so far resisted all attempts to spread middle class affluence. :(

Gryff

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Extinction.

#341008

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 17th, 2020, 5:19 pm

Mike4 wrote:Looking on the bright side, areas with high population growth tend to turn into areas with low population growth once they become wealthy and middle class, as it is wealthy middle class populations that tend to limit their own fertility. Or so I've heard it suggested.

So bring it on, turn all the world's population into middle class consumers and the elephant in the room will die naturally.


When Europe was growing population out of control, excess population was exported. Recommended reading: Vilhelm Moberg's tales of peasants escaping a Malthusian[1] squeeze.

On top of that, imports from the rest of the world helped support excess population. Food, minerals, and in our own times manufactured goods. And post-1945, petrochemical-intensive farming got us through what should have been peak population if we were to adjust to sustainable living.

Now Africa's population is out of control, they're trying to come to Europe, but we're already full despite a few countries welcoming a token million. For every one who reaches the pick-up points in the mediterranean, how many perished or were captured and enslaved en route?

As for getting rich, Asia is the continent to look at today. China has limited its population growth; India hasn't. Consequently India is where there are still vast numbers in real poverty.

[1] A man who accurately *observed* what he wrote about, but is widely misunderstood.

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Extinction.

#341012

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 17th, 2020, 5:29 pm

gryffron wrote:
AlumniLawn wrote:I am not sure that this is true. In his excellent book "More From Less", Andrew McAfee details the decreasing amount of natural resources used in creating an increasing GDP, he (mainly) uses USA data as is is the largest and most reliable information available. For example, despite GDP increasing significantly between 2011 and today, steel usage has declined by 15%, aluminium by 32% and copper by 40%; ...

Don't they just import the finished goods from China?


Since 2011 is an interesting timescale for that: the big rise of Chinese manufacturing pre-dated that. I wonder how much of the change was down to the rise of plastics and other modern high-tech materials?

Food - and unsustainable intensive production thereof - remains an elephant in that room. Along with dangerous nonsense, like the idea that all land could produce as much as East Anglia if only farmers would switch from inefficient animal grazing to great fields of wheat.

Nimrod103
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Re: Extinction.

#341043

Postby Nimrod103 » September 17th, 2020, 6:33 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
gryffron wrote:
AlumniLawn wrote:I am not sure that this is true. In his excellent book "More From Less", Andrew McAfee details the decreasing amount of natural resources used in creating an increasing GDP, he (mainly) uses USA data as is is the largest and most reliable information available. For example, despite GDP increasing significantly between 2011 and today, steel usage has declined by 15%, aluminium by 32% and copper by 40%; ...

Don't they just import the finished goods from China?


Since 2011 is an interesting timescale for that: the big rise of Chinese manufacturing pre-dated that. I wonder how much of the change was down to the rise of plastics and other modern high-tech materials?

Food - and unsustainable intensive production thereof - remains an elephant in that room. Along with dangerous nonsense, like the idea that all land could produce as much as East Anglia if only farmers would switch from inefficient animal grazing to great fields of wheat.


Yes, the value of agricultural land is an issue I feel vegetarians/vegans do not appreciate. Most UK land can only grow grass. It is too cold, wet and or infertile to grow anything else. It still seems that the most effecient way to convert grass into human food is via a cow, sheep or pig.

AleisterCrowley
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Re: Extinction.

#341054

Postby AleisterCrowley » September 17th, 2020, 7:16 pm

How much will sea levels need to rise before East Anglia is under water (again) ?!
It got pretty wet in 1953

UncleEbenezer
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Re: Extinction.

#341055

Postby UncleEbenezer » September 17th, 2020, 7:20 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:Yes, the value of agricultural land is an issue I feel vegetarians/vegans do not appreciate.


No need for the gratuitous dig at those of us who don't eat meat. It's just an elephant in a Panglossian room.

nimnarb
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Re: Extinction.

#341058

Postby nimnarb » September 17th, 2020, 7:25 pm

Did I say Richard when I meant David. Duh!! :roll: Just add me already to the list of impending extinction..dementia here we come. Regardless, thought it would lead to some thought provoking discussion.

Stonge
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Re: Extinction.

#341059

Postby Stonge » September 17th, 2020, 7:28 pm

The only real danger is total nuclear war.

Everything else is twaddle spouted by those who are paid by the word to spout nonsense from ignorance.

There is really nothing to worry about.

gryffron
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Re: Extinction.

#341061

Postby gryffron » September 17th, 2020, 7:30 pm

AleisterCrowley wrote:How much will sea levels need to rise before East Anglia is under water (again) ?!

There was a map recently in my local paper showing how much of Lincolnshire could be underwater due to global warming. Amazingly, it was exactly the same bits of Lincolnshire that were already underwater until they were drained in the 18th century. Who'd have thought?

A large part of present day Netherlands, right now today, is WAY below the level that Lincolnshire and Norfolk would be if ALL the polar ice melts. So this at least is one issue that is entirely manageable. IF those in charge get it right of course.

Gryff

Nimrod103
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Re: Extinction.

#341072

Postby Nimrod103 » September 17th, 2020, 8:15 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:Yes, the value of agricultural land is an issue I feel vegetarians/vegans do not appreciate.


No need for the gratuitous dig at those of us who don't eat meat. It's just an elephant in a Panglossian room.


I have a vegan and a vegetarian as close relatives. It worries me that they both feel their eating habits will save the planet, yet their diets are very rich in exotic fruits, nuts and vegetables which have horrendous levels of air miles. These things cannot be grown in the UK, certainly not year round.

I was brought up on a diet of meat and two veg, usually potatoes, carrots, turnip and cabbage, all of which can be grown on our own fields, throughout the year. For fruit, apples, blackberries and raspberries in season. Not blueberries air flown from Peru.

Which of those two lifestyles is more planet friendly?

Mike4
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Re: Extinction.

#341075

Postby Mike4 » September 17th, 2020, 8:31 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:Most UK land can only grow grass. It is too cold, wet and or infertile to grow anything else.


That sounds like one of those made up facts to me, that gains traction because it seems just about plausible.

About 40 years ago had a customer who owned a huge field of grass. Perhaps 50 acres at a wild guess. I asked her why she didn't put it to use and grow a crop on it. She bristled and said grass seed was her crop. And hay IIRC.

nimnarb
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Re: Extinction.

#341076

Postby nimnarb » September 17th, 2020, 8:32 pm

I live on one of these rat-runs, and indeed my quality of life has improved. However, I used to frequently use said rat-run, yet now my journey during rush hour takes half and hour longer. Is there an overall benefit?[/quote][/quote][/quote]

Interesting. But did you answer your own question? Your quality of life has improved? What is more important to you? The extra distance of travel or quality of life and this I suppose was the whole point of the Documentary. The extra "distance" we all will go to for our future and the future of our heirs or is rampant greed and destruction part and parcel of life, as in, is there an overall benefit or does the majority just not care?

Unrelated to some posts I have seen here perhaps and I'm not sure what we can do near term about the following but having spent a large part of my earlier and later life traveling around the Caribbean and living in coastal Florida I have witnessed what is happening at such a fast speed from serious sand erosion to actually experiencing two direct Cat 3/4 hurricane hits, unbelievable amount of flooding and damage. Most in the UK might not be following this but we have already had I believe 21 named storms, a near record this year with the season not officially ending until Nov 30th and they are lining up off the African coast. The terrible fires in Australia earlier this year and the recent shocking destruction of lives and land in California, we are warming up far too fast. Two years ago I met up again with a fishing buddy of mine in Anguilla. 35 plus years ago I first met Danny on the Island and every morning at at around 5.30 am after proving I could hack it, he allowed me to come on his hand built wooden boat with two others and for 2-3 exhausting hours(to earn my keep in what they call Anguillan spiny lobster) learnt to read the seas, throw nets in a certain way, dive for lobster, conch and anything else that moved.(Have some stories to tell, perhaps for another day)

Anyway, over the years we became buddies and when I returned for a vacation I always went with him. 10 years ago, he told me how bad his catch was becoming on a daily basis, also getting on now in years and having lost his help he retired from what used to be quite a lucrative few hours work supplying all the local restaurants with fresh fish and lobster directly from the boats, as the owners of these restaurants used to wait at around 9 am for him to arrive. I remember when the seas were so calm, the sand shelving so easy to walk on and also even taking boats right up to the beach and only raising the motor slightly. Now there is an incline of at least 20 degrees. I have old pictures and some video of my dives and what I saw. Now nothing, virtually nothing to see. But the whole point of my babbling on here is that Donny about 10 years ago was asked to cut up his dwindling fish supply to certain restaurants and found plastic in such huge amounts that it dawned on him what was really going on and had been for years. They now call it microplastic and estimate that by 2050 there will be more microplastic in the sea than fish :evil: An even possible greater threat not discussed in general(causes mass cancellations for beach tourist areas, so they keep quite) and least understood is "Red Tide". For those that don't know, look it up, as very destructive in Florida and Brazil.

ReformedCharacter
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Re: Extinction.

#341083

Postby ReformedCharacter » September 17th, 2020, 8:52 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:
Food - and unsustainable intensive production thereof - remains an elephant in that room. Along with dangerous nonsense, like the idea that all land could produce as much as East Anglia if only farmers would switch from inefficient animal grazing to great fields of wheat.

That's true. I do believe though that the world is capable of producing enough for everyone to eat a healthy diet and for that food to be produced in a sustainable manner. If that was achieved it would take away one of the causes - perhaps the main cause - of population growth. The food industry, by and large, produces what people want to buy or that they can persuade people to buy. I don't think people want to buy food that is more sustainably produced because you can't mass produce vast amounts of meat sustainably, amongst many other unsustainable food production methods reliant on intensive systems as they are currently practised.

RC

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Re: Extinction.

#341087

Postby DrFfybes » September 17th, 2020, 9:24 pm

Nimrod103 wrote:Fair enough, but can you list for me the things you are prepared to do without? Car, heating, university education, good doctors, clean water and soap? I'm sure you have some targets?


We onlly need to do without one thing.

Children.

There are 3 times as many people on the planet as when I was born, and that is not sustainable. Stop breeding, stop the problem. Not a new idea, been around nearly 30 years
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary ... n_Movement

Either that or some new virus emerges that....

Paul

Nimrod103
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Re: Extinction.

#341089

Postby Nimrod103 » September 17th, 2020, 9:30 pm

Mike4 wrote:
Nimrod103 wrote:Most UK land can only grow grass. It is too cold, wet and or infertile to grow anything else.


That sounds like one of those made up facts to me, that gains traction because it seems just about plausible.

About 40 years ago had a customer who owned a huge field of grass. Perhaps 50 acres at a wild guess. I asked her why she didn't put it to use and grow a crop on it. She bristled and said grass seed was her crop. And hay IIRC.


Google says 36% of UK agricultural land is arable, i.e. croppable. That is 25% of the whole land area. The remaining agricultural land is grassland, rough grazing, or woodland. I assume farmers grow what gives them the most profit, and I think arable is quite profitable. Compare the big wheat barons of East Anglia, with the family run crofts of the Western Isles or dairy farms in SW England. I've been watching the documentary series 'This Farming Life' on BBC (on iPlayer). I could not imagine growing lettuces, beans or apples in some of the places featured in that programme, with 28" of rain during the Summer (https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... -scotland/).

GoSeigen
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Re: Extinction.

#341090

Postby GoSeigen » September 17th, 2020, 9:31 pm

gryffron wrote:Sadly, much of Africa, even (especially?) the resource rich parts, has so far resisted all attempts to spread middle class affluence. :(

Gryff


Absolute twaddle, Africa's middle class has trebled in the past 30 years, it has the fastest growing middle class of any continent, which comprises almost a third of its population.

GS

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Re: Extinction.

#341115

Postby Wuffle » September 18th, 2020, 7:06 am

A child and their potential children and so on and all of their potential for consumption is the significant intellectual leap.
I do not have any children and consider myself to be in the clear on this one.
Life is a massive anti climax for the most part and the big parental lie about how 'amazing' it all is once they are through the one way door just looks laughable from the outside.

W.


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