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Old 09-14-2019, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,811 posts, read 3,812,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
So they are off by a few years; that does not mean they were wrong. When you consider that we had about one billion people in the whole world in 1800 and we now seven and a half billion; that is a significant increase in a relatively short timeframe. When you look at the charts the population has skyrocketed. Of course there are some signs it is slowing down; but our mindset is "save the world" - feed them all. The more we save and the more we feed; the more that will need saving and feeding. Our solutions can be our next problems.
Sorry, they were wrong, not just off by a few years. Population growth has slowed worldwide since the Erlichs wrote their book.

''After the world population increased more than 400% over the 20th century, population growth has slowed considerably: The fastest world population growth rate was already reached in the late 1960s, and it has been falling since. While the world population increased by 2% annually in the late 60s it has now slowed to an increase of just about 1%."

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/future-population-growth

Quote:
The bacteria also want to survive; all living things do. For the time being; the Earth is our Petri dish. Once we have the first off world (self sustaining) colony that will not be the case. We might be close; but we are not there yet. Our economic system can only function if there is 'more'. Sure our birth rates might drop; but we open the doors to make up for what we perceive as a 'need'. We were never 'trained' to accept what we have and look for no more. That is the same as those bacteria do as they fight for the last drop of agar.
Bacteria don't "want" anything - they reproduce and feed until they run out of nutrients (or poison their environment). An agar plate is a closed environment, with a fixed amount of resources. We grow more food thanks to the magic of photosynthesis. Ever see a terrarium? Unlike the petri dish, it's a closed environment, but there are growing plants in it that suck up the CO2 and produce oxygen. For us, the earth is more like the terrarium than the petri dish.

And it's highly significant that bacteria don't "want" anything -- humans do. We make choices (like whether to mate or live a celibate life, how many children to have, if any), the only choice a bacterium has is whether to exchange genes with another bacterium and divide.

Quote:
....we have also been guilty of dumping anything and everything in our oceans in the past. There are plenty of other worries besides monoculture when talking about modern agriculture. However the increased population still strains everything.
Except as the data source above points out, the rate of population increase worldwide has been going down since the late 1960s.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:10 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,690 posts, read 11,988,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
Except as the data source above points out, the rate of population increase worldwide has been going down since the late 1960s.
Humans have been on Earth about 200,000 years. The last 80 years has shown an explosion in population growth. Even according to your link, all except for the "low variant" still show our population continuing to grow. The "medium variant" still predicts over 11 billion by 2100. The UN's "high variant" predicts our population doubling by 2100. Of course they are all predictions not based on reality (since we cannot see the future). Don't forget that the two most populated countries (China and India) are currently trying to change their fertility rates - China dropped its one child law and India is assessing how to correct so few females. So politics can change and perceived 'needs' change.

As far as us 'thinking' and having choices; that does not guarantee our survival. We are not a 'hive' mind working to ensure our constant, successful, growth. Many of our leaders have built extensive underground fortifications so they could survive the worst that man and nature might throw at us; but they would never share if it came down to that. I just think that we are too divided to think our way out of our problems; but that is my thought on the subject.

If an alien race did show itself on Earth we have no unified view as to how to approach that lifeform. Of course much would depend on how 'it' would present itself.
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Old 09-15-2019, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Greenville, SC
4,811 posts, read 3,812,599 times
Reputation: 8965
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Humans have been on Earth about 200,000 years. The last 80 years has shown an explosion in population growth. Even according to your link, all except for the "low variant" still show our population continuing to grow. The "medium variant" still predicts over 11 billion by 2100. The UN's "high variant" predicts our population doubling by 2100. Of course they are all predictions not based on reality (since we cannot see the future). Don't forget that the two most populated countries (China and India) are currently trying to change their fertility rates - China dropped its one child law and India is assessing how to correct so few females. So politics can change and perceived 'needs' change.
See in particular this section in the report:

https://ourworldindata.org/future-po...ife-expectancy

The author writes:

Quote:
Nevertheless it is interesting to see that over the first decades the UN underestimated the population growth and for the last period they overestimated the world population. ... The UN were too pessimistic in both aspects as Keilman notes: The “projection makers have been too pessimistic about future mortality” and “predicted life expectancy levels that were too low on average – much too low in many cases”.
I stand by my claim that if something takes out the human race it ain't going to be population growth.

Quote:
As far as us 'thinking' and having choices; that does not guarantee our survival. We are not a 'hive' mind working to ensure our constant, successful, growth. Many of our leaders have built extensive underground fortifications so they could survive the worst that man and nature might throw at us; but they would never share if it came down to that. I just think that we are too divided to think our way out of our problems; but that is my thought on the subject.
The point I was making has nothing to do with the wisdom of leaders, it has to do with the effect of psychological choices on decisions people make with regard to reproduction. The worldwide population growth rate isn't changing because of policies imposed by world leaders - but as I've pointed out people make different choices when their economic situations change. And the fact is: 58% fewer people than are living in extreme poverty today than 30 years ago (see the following article). That is the likely cause of population growth slowing.

https://www.politifact.com/global-ne...half-30-years/
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,690 posts, read 11,988,402 times
Reputation: 11048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasily View Post
See in particular this section in the report:

https://ourworldindata.org/future-po...ife-expectancy

The author writes:

I stand by my claim that if something takes out the human race it ain't going to be population growth.

The point I was making has nothing to do with the wisdom of leaders, it has to do with the effect of psychological choices on decisions people make with regard to reproduction. The worldwide population growth rate isn't changing because of policies imposed by world leaders - but as I've pointed out people make different choices when their economic situations change. And the fact is: 58% fewer people than are living in extreme poverty today than 30 years ago (see the following article). That is the likely cause of population growth slowing.

https://www.politifact.com/global-ne...half-30-years/
All of your graphs and projections are based on a 70 year period or less. Humans have been here for 200,000 years. Your looking at only .00035% of our existence. And that very small period of our existence accounted for a massive increase in population.

Right now words and deeds look like they could lead to a war with Iran. It is hard to say how that will play out. But, worse case scenario, it could lead us into WWIII. Of course that could substantially reduce our world population. At the same time it could lead to centuries of radiation contaminated soil that would no longer be available for agriculture.

I have never claimed that our population explosion will wipe us all out. It is just a contributing factor that directly affects our quality of life and political decisions. People want what they don't have; like the oil in the Middle East. The more people want something, the more it is worth and the more dangerous the situation becomes. That would also apply to an alien race that sought a special mineral that only existed on our planet.

You started off this side track with your "http://mason.gmu.edu/~rhanson/greatfilter.html". We really don't know what is up there until we get up there. Until we get probes in all the moons of Jupiter and Saturn we will not even be able to say if there is life in our Solar System. personally I think, providing that we never engage in WWIII, that there is a very good chance that humans will be replaced by AI: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...ld-we-be-of-ai. The Saudi oil fields are burning right now because of done attacks. Our militaries love the idea of unmanned robots; whether they are on the ground, in the water or over our heads. Of course we want them smarter that our opposition's and capable of defending themselves. All of this could lead us to where we really do not want to go.
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Old Yesterday, 02:00 PM
 
Location: NYC
13,361 posts, read 9,055,579 times
Reputation: 14752
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
Humans have been on Earth about 200,000 years. The last 80 years has shown an explosion in population growth. Even according to your link, all except for the "low variant" still show our population continuing to grow. The "medium variant" still predicts over 11 billion by 2100. The UN's "high variant" predicts our population doubling by 2100. Of course they are all predictions not based on reality (since we cannot see the future). Don't forget that the two most populated countries (China and India) are currently trying to change their fertility rates - China dropped its one child law and India is assessing how to correct so few females. So politics can change and perceived 'needs' change.

As far as us 'thinking' and having choices; that does not guarantee our survival. We are not a 'hive' mind working to ensure our constant, successful, growth. Many of our leaders have built extensive underground fortifications so they could survive the worst that man and nature might throw at us; but they would never share if it came down to that. I just think that we are too divided to think our way out of our problems; but that is my thought on the subject.

If an alien race did show itself on Earth we have no unified view as to how to approach that lifeform. Of course much would depend on how 'it' would present itself.
We are one great flood or natural disaster away from being wiped clean like the great flood documented in many religious texts.

Places like Atlantis existed and vanished due to natural disasters. Many other civilizations in the ancient world have been recently found buried and now been revealed through satellite imagery.

Humans have also evolved a lot, humans today were the only species that survived since the last great ice age 30-40k years ago. The other human species such as the Neanderthals and Denisovans never made it. We have interbred with them but they completely died off while us the Homo Sapiens lived on and flourished since then.
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Old Yesterday, 04:21 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,942 posts, read 1,138,783 times
Reputation: 6448
[quote=Vasily;56175788



A bigger threat to our civilization in my opinion is the tendency of large-scale agriculture to reduce the genetic variability in crops (monoculture) - making the world's agricultural systems more prone to disaster in the face of crop diseases and pests. The result can be disasters like the Irish potato famine (and the disease that's wiping out the monocultured Cavendish banana):
[/quote]


Excellent post.. But even your one concern isn't really as bad as you think. Staple crops (such as corn or wheat or soy) are still quite gentically diverse. They're hybrids for a few specific genes concerned with maturation rate, drought or disease resistance, etc, but the main metabolic pathways have plenty of diversity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
When you look at the charts the population has skyrocketed. Of course there are some signs it is slowing down; but our mindset is "save the world" - feed them all. The more we save and the more we feed; the more that will need saving and feeding.
.
Relax. Not a problem. Familiarize yourself with "the logistic equation" & "the N-K Population Model." Populations growth generally follows a sigmoid curve-- logarithmic--slow at first, then suddenly shooting up (here's where Malthus & you thought we're headed), but then it hits "the inflection point" and it slows down until it reaches a steady state (where birth rate equals death rate.)..


..That level is determined by the carrying capacity of the environment-- the point where there is maximum competition for the available resources that maintain the population. As long as the resources don't run out, the population will remain unchanged.


For humans, those factors are-- air & land --we'll never run out-- the atm is 5 miles thick and we occupy only the bottom 5 ft. Space-- all 7 billion of us could tread water at the same time in Lake Superior.


--food: we currently make enough for 10 billion and waste 40% of it. Some pretty simple, low tech improvements could bring the yield up another 25%, and universal use of the hi tech stuff could allow us to feed 20 billion or more....The Ehrlichs published their famously wrong book in '69 and in '70 Borlaug ushered in the Green Revolution....I'm not saying tech improvements will always come to the rescue, but we have away to go before we need to worry.


--water--70% of world is water; It's fresh water that's the problem, but reverse osmotic desalinization is working well in Israel and will spread soon.


--JOBS!-- for humans who do not rely on claw & fang for ability to feed ourselves, this is the 800 lb gorilla lurking behind the sofa....I don't have an easy answer for this one. That's why I'm striving for self-sufficiency on my homestead in the boonies.


PS/ re: space exploration. The fools among us are striving for exploring Mars, etc. They're stuck in the Columbus-discovers-the-New-World and the Manifest-Destiny-of-Westward-Expansion paradigm...It won't work when one trip to Mars will cost $100 Billion and half the world needs a new pair of shoes.
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Old Today, 03:50 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,690 posts, read 11,988,402 times
Reputation: 11048
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Relax. Not a problem. Familiarize yourself with "the logistic equation" & "the N-K Population Model." Populations growth generally follows a sigmoid curve-- logarithmic--slow at first, then suddenly shooting up (here's where Malthus & you thought we're headed), but then it hits "the inflection point" and it slows down until it reaches a steady state (where birth rate equals death rate.)..
Right now the Middle East is a powder keg waiting for the right spark and that spark could have already been struck. There are too many enemies and too many puppeteers. Plus we still have the Argentina problems. Anything can happen and it is a good chance that it will not be good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
PS/ re: space exploration. The fools among us are striving for exploring Mars, etc. They're stuck in the Columbus-discovers-the-New-World and the Manifest-Destiny-of-Westward-Expansion paradigm...It won't work when one trip to Mars will cost $100 Billion and half the world needs a new pair of shoes.
The 'original' always has the highest cost. With additional trips the cost would come down. I don't know if Mars should be our first destiny; our moon would suffice to teach us how to survive in an alien, hostile, environment and it would be considerably cheaper. Plus there is the mining for H3 potentials that might someday pay for the exploration.

Someday we will have to take that first step. It is a competitive world and nobody wants to be left behind. There will be technological and military advantages. I just don't think it would pay to ignore what others might accomplish.
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