World Population

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William
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 07:02 am
@validity,
  1. [quote=validity]
  2. Even if the entire human population used 100% renewable energy and an economy that never failed, we would still have to deal with how do we not overpopulate the earth. Do we risk it and leave it up to a social decision or should we start thinking about the most ethcial way to address this now?[/quote]
Validity, that "even if" IMO, cannot be tossed aside in that no such reality has ever existed. All of what we have ever done was based on a failing, limited economy and we don't have a clue of what we will be capable of doing with such freedom. I can only assume so much more than what we are accomplishing now. With an "unfailing" economy we will no longer be restricted in those areas regarding education and incentives necessary to instill the importance of what over population will cause. It could be people are having so many children simply because they have little else in their lives that bring them joy and sense of worth. I know that is a shot in the dark, but it does make sense. Clean up the public domain, stop selling sex and I think we will be able to focus on those priorities we need to be focusing on. Just a thought.

William
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 07:22 am
@validity,
In the developed world I think people need to view children as a luxury, and accept that investing more time and care into fewer children actually does result in happier children and more balanced adults.

Foster parenting still seems to carry some stigma too, it ought to be seen as the very generous and caring move that it is - rather than some slightly suspicious "second best" to reproducing.

The developing world is a different issue, as many people there seem to regard large families as a survival strategy (China an obvious exception).

In both cases the accepted dogma to overcome would be the feeling that one's own offspring are more precious than other people's - a dogma I suspect is simply too entrenched in most people.
 
William
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 08:04 am
@Dave Allen,
Dave Allen wrote:
In the developed world I think people need to view children as a luxury, and accept that investing more time and care into fewer children actually does result in happier children and more balanced adults.

Foster parenting still seems to carry some stigma too, it ought to be seen as the very generous and caring move that it is - rather than some slightly suspicious "second best" to reproducing.

The developing world is a different issue, as many people there seem to regard large families as a survival strategy (China an obvious exception).

In both cases the accepted dogma to overcome would be the feeling that one's own offspring are more precious than other people's - a dogma I suspect is simply too entrenched in most people.


Dave you have just IMO, skimmed the surface of the real problem. I don't think we realize the enormous responsibility involve in bringing a new human into the world. As much as I hate to say it, children are just consequences of a romp in the hay in so many cases. That's the real problem. Instead of striving to understand this responsibility and strengthening it, we are attempting to destroy the traditional family structure and leaning toward colder and less nurturing but unfortunately needed alternatives. We have taken both parents out of the home leaving our young to professional caretakers so the parents can provide the income to make ends meet. With the necessary education I honestly think we can not only strengthen the family, we can also teach what is needed to rear a child. Any couple who does not desire to have a child and is not aware of that responsiblity should not have children. At least until they are truly ready to have them. This is education. An education that has never existed.

If the truth were known and this is totally a perspective of my own, most of the worlds proplems are due to the actions, behaviors and beliefs of those off spring that come from those dysfunctional family environments. IMO.

William
 
Dave Allen
 
Reply Wed 3 Dec, 2008 08:16 am
@validity,
I fully agree with you.
 
Padawan phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 01:07 am
@validity,
For this very reason I made the consious decision years ago that I would never have children. I am often called "selfish" by my procreating friends, I think I'm anything but selfish in this regard. It has cost me more than one long term relationship over the years but i stand by my decision. I don't believe it would be fair to bring a child into the world in the current position we find ouselves in.

Nature already seems to be conspiring to rid itself of the plague of humanity but other species are in the gun as well. Modern farming methods are already causing problems for the male not just of our species but also many others, amphibians mostly. Estrogen mimics are running into our waterways lowering sperm counts and increasing the incidence of hermaphrodites. "The death of the Male" or something similar is a must read for those interested. As someone earlier stated we don't have the capacity to "kill" the Earth, but I believe the Earth has the ability to kill most of us.

As has been said our economic system is a large part of the problem. Capatilism requires constant growth. Two negative quartes of growth is a recession and leads to considerable pain. That's a mere six months of producing less than we produced before. How can we eliminate our considerable waste and reign in our consumption under these circumstances. China and India are marching toward first world status. That means the number of people consuming beyond the planets means is set to triple in the next few decades.

I also refuse to give money to medical research. It seems to me that the goal of modern medicine is to eliminate death, which paradoxically would be suicide for the species. Why do we insist on prolonging the life of fat rich westerners who are the cause of our current problems. I know I sound like a heartless bastard but death and renewal are the most important things in life. As soon as any life is created it's set on a collision course with death, the one certaintity of life. Our obsession with youth and eternal life will lead to our downfall.

Maybe we could consider reversable sterilisation for everyone. This would rid us of unwanted, unplanned pregnancy but still allow those who want children to have the procedure reversed, when they are ready and able. Might also lead to an improvement in parenting as only those who really wanted a child would have one.
 
William
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 07:22 am
@Padawan phil,
Padawan wrote:
For this very reason I made the consious decision years ago that I would never have children. I am often called "selfish" by my procreating friends, I think I'm anything but selfish in this regard. It has cost me more than one long term relationship over the years but i stand by my decision. I don't believe it would be fair to bring a child into the world in the current position we find ouselves in.

Nature already seems to be conspiring to rid itself of the plague of humanity but other species are in the gun as well. Modern farming methods are already causing problems for the male not just of our species but also many others, amphibians mostly. Estrogen mimics are running into our waterways lowering sperm counts and increasing the incidence of hermaphrodites. "The death of the Male" or something similar is a must read for those interested. As someone earlier stated we don't have the capacity to "kill" the Earth, but I believe the Earth has the ability to kill most of us.

As has been said our economic system is a large part of the problem. Capatilism requires constant growth. Two negative quartes of growth is a recession and leads to considerable pain. That's a mere six months of producing less than we produced before. How can we eliminate our considerable waste and reign in our consumption under these circumstances. China and India are marching toward first world status. That means the number of people consuming beyond the planets means is set to triple in the next few decades.

I also refuse to give money to medical research. It seems to me that the goal of modern medicine is to eliminate death, which paradoxically would be suicide for the species. Why do we insist on prolonging the life of fat rich westerners who are the cause of our current problems. I know I sound like a heartless bastard but death and renewal are the most important things in life. As soon as any life is created it's set on a collision course with death, the one certaintity of life. Our obsession with youth and eternal life will lead to our downfall.

Maybe we could consider reversable sterilisation for everyone. This would rid us of unwanted, unplanned pregnancy but still allow those who want children to have the procedure reversed, when they are ready and able. Might also lead to an improvement in parenting as only those who really wanted a child would have one.


Good post. As to estrogen mimics, could your post some links, credible links in your opinion concerning this.

Thanks,
William
 
averroes
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 11:20 am
@validity,
Unfortunately, There's no way to turn back from where we've gone. we've created all of these medicines so that if we deny them, the rich fat men in suits and ties will throw a legality fit, while, due to millions of near-sighted individuals, stopping medical research will be impossible due to private funding, the public's opinion of "heartlessness" and the huge amount of revenue that comes with these medications. However, In the economic state that we are currently in and the tipping balance of global powers, a real, full fledged war seems to be eminent. It's a sad reality that war is the simplest and most immediate response to this population crisis. If only nuclear weapons could disappear...
 
Padawan phil
 
Reply Fri 12 Dec, 2008 03:19 pm
@validity,
Sorry William, couldn't find any reference to the book I read. It was a few years back I could have the title wrong. Found these, hope they're useful. There was also some more scientific journal type pieces but I find them difficult to read. If you'd like me to post them just ask and ye shall recieve.

http://http://www.worldandi.com/public/2001/October/ee.html
CiteULike: An updated review of environmental estrogen and androgen mimics and antagonists.
http://http://www.setacjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1897%2F1551-5028(2003)022%3C0855%3AREOEAA%3E2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1

It's not just pesticides that seem to cause problems for the male, but also leaching of chemicals from plastics and a host of other sources. There is apparently still scientific debate about this, as there was for decades over the effects of smoking, and is still over global warming. The burden of proof is very high when corporate profits are at risk.

An ex girlfriend of mine was completing her doctoral thesis on the effects of estrogen mimics, so much of the little I know on this subject was gleaned through conversation rather than study.

I certainly agree that there's no turning back averroes. We've made our bed. If war doesn't get our numbers under control, I believe the environment will. A rise of a couple of degrees in global temperatures would have a devastating effect on world agriculture. Six billion people and growing requires a lot of food on the table every day.

We are currently experiencing our worst drought on record down here in Melbourne. Water storages are dwindling, the great Murray-Darling river system has been reduced to a trickle in places. We've just had our coldest winter for a decade and yet the temp was still above average. But before November 2007 our government stood shoulder to shoulder with Dubya, spoiling any attempt at a global emissions treaty. Profits are more important than people.
 
incubusman8
 
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 08:22 pm
@validity,
Thankyou capitalism. We are now a victim to our own success.
 
MuseEvolution
 
Reply Thu 15 Jan, 2009 10:42 am
@validity,
When I was younger overpopulation was my personal soapbox. I would bore my friends repeatedly with my rants pertaining to it.

While I still recognize it as a problem, I have also come to a similar conclusion as some who mentioned this at the beginning of the thread: the majority of our problems seem to stem more from a messy uneven distribution of people, than the actual number of us. Also handy to this opinion is the fact that I don't live in a large city, and I attribute a fair amount of insanity to those who would willing choose to do so.

I have always maintained that humanity must approach the problem of overpopulation in the most humane way possible. Unfortunately, the only method I've ever been able to come up with that fulfils this notion is for people to simply choose not to breed; an unpopular choice, obviously.

Outside of a worldview and recognition of the problem however, citizens of America at least really have little reason to stop breeding. Society encourages it, as the churches want larger congregations (and offerings), the military wants more soldiers, the government wants more taxpayers, and the commercial complex wants more consumers. Our society goes so far as to grant monies to people who have little to no money simply to bear more children. Sure, it's rationalized as providing a possible better future for the child, but ultimately there are few restrictions on what that money gets spent on.

So many people grow up in America thinking that "getting married and having kids" is simply What You Do (tm). It's expected, and those who don't breed are viewed in a suspicious light. Padawan mentioned that he is viewed by breeding friends of his as being selfish, when in fact, it is not uncommon for (especially women, but certainly men as well) to desire a large and loving family because they don't feel they're loved without children and usually also have a warped sense that their offspring can be forced to love them. I generally consider breeders as much more selfish than those who choose not to have children (unfairly, because of the warped examples).

I believe that, before any useful and measurable decrease in population will ever take place in America, an extreme change of view and action pertaining to many different aspects of childbearing would need to take place. Social support for and of childbearing would need to be eliminated. Childbearing as a goal in life would need to be disregarded entirely. Education about the bindbending expense and effort childbearing and raising requires would need to take place at a level equal to subjects we consider essential, like reading and basic math. Ultimately, I think even the "sanctity of life" would need to be diminished in order to turn around humanity's obsession with excessive breeding. Religious suggestion of a divine decree to "go forth and prosper" (with an implied meaning of reproduction) would need to be eliminated. Institutions such as Mother's Day and Fathers Day would need to either be met with equal attention by something like Non-Breeder's Day or be eliminated. Celebration of being a single child could also help in this respect.

Like Padawan, I have decided never to have children. Thankfully, I've found someone to share my life with who has made the same decision, though one or two past relationships have ended because of my decision in this regard.

If we were willing to compromise our humanity to address overpopulation, I belive one of the best ways would be randomized (lottery) sterilization. Although it could begin simply by offering free and safe sterilization to those who want it. I'd be up for that. Forced sterilization following a parent's first child's birth would probably be fairly successful.

We certainly could try more social reforms like China's birthing policy, but I don't think it would ever fly in a society like America. I think many deaths would result in the wake of such things... which, of course, would further the aim of reducing the number of people on the planet, but in a way unintended.

Ignoring medical advances does cause a fairly serious problem. Much like the addage, "That which is learned cannot be unlearned," I believe it would be nearly impossible for society to stop utilizing the medicines and procedures we currently have available to us. I can admit I personally would not be able to do this, even keeping overpopulation in mind. However, I do believe society should embrace assisted suicide and abortion.

War, of course is something of a resolution, though it also comes with a sense of the people that the casualties must be replaced.

Should we depopulate though? Do we need to? I believe we should, in the interests of doing as little damage to the earth's resources as possible. I don't necessarily believe that we need to, as I, like many here, believe that when humanity grows enough it will inevitably be diminished by plague, war, or some other force. But I also believe that the majority of the survivors would simply see this as a situation in which they're practically duty bound to breed like mad to replace those who have died - so the problem wouldn't be entirely solved.

And ultimately, aside from volunteer abstension from breeding, I doubt many societies would accept any of the other possible methods of intentional depopulation.

(I apologize with any inconsistencies in my train of thought in this matter. I have several related opinions, and to date, have not codified them into a paper of any sort... something I aught to do eventually)
 
averroes
 
Reply Sun 18 Jan, 2009 09:53 am
@validity,
Randomized sterilization has myriad problems. I am not against contraceptives, but when we neuter ourselves like dogs so that we can have all of the sex we want without consequence I lose that support. If you don't want kids, take the neccesary precautions and responsibilities or don't have sex at all. Same with abortion. Ultimately, the wallets of Americans will overcome their hormones of we place a tax after a certain amount of children in a family are born.
On the topic of forced lottery style sterilization, that would cause an outrage from many, mostly people of religion. Can a government deal with the bodies of subjects as playthings, morphed to whatever is useful. I believe that I can speak for the majority of the world's population when I say that I would never allow myself to have my humanity and liberties as a person stripped away from me.
 
 

 
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