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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Overpopulation Myths
    #4175655 - 05/14/05 07:35 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I am sick and tired of hearing people use the overpopulation myth in arguments. The arguments presented in the recent abortion thread led me to create this thread. Overpopulation is a myth. It is not happening.

Even in sheer numbers, though, there is growing evidence that the world's population is heading toward stability.

* The growth rate of the world's population appears to have peaked around 1970, when the annual rate of growth was 2.09 percent.

* By 1980, annual population growth was down to 1.73 percent, and by 1990 to 1.7 percent.

* By 1995, the annual increase had slowed even more to 1.5 percent.

What is sometimes meant by overpopulation is overcrowding, or too great a population density. However, population density varies widely. Much of the world's land surface is empty, and many countries with dense populations have a higher standard of living than less crowded countries.

* In 1992, the population of Hong Kong City was approximately 247,501 per square mile, while in New York City it was 11,480 per square mile, and in Houston 7,512.

* If the entire population of the world were put into the land area of Texas, each person would have an area equal to the floor space of a typical U.S. home and the population density of Texas would be about the same as Paris, France.

* In 1988, China had a population of 409 people per square mile and gross domestic product per capita of $320, while Hong Kong, with a population density more than 450 times greater, had a per capita GDP of $8,260.

One reason people are crowded together in cities is because it makes possible many more exchanges and greater specialization of labor, thus increasing living standards.


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: spud]
    #4175727 - 05/14/05 08:07 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I recently read an article that claimed if China and India upped their energy use to our standards here in Europe and America, the global oil production per day simply wouldn't cut it. How's that for an overpopulation 'myth'?

I'll dig around and see what I can find to provide linkage.


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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Invisiblespud
I'm so fly.

Registered: 10/07/02
Posts: 44,410
Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: Alan Stone]
    #4175740 - 05/14/05 08:12 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

It is not a question of the human population outstripping resources, since food production continues to exceed population growth and non-renewable resources become more plentiful each year as new sources are found.

However, the overpopulation myth refers to the increase in population which, is not happening. There may be a decrease in resources, but there is definitely not an increase in population.


Edited by spud (05/14/05 08:28 PM)


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OfflineAlan Stone
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: spud]
    #4175774 - 05/14/05 08:25 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Oh, I thought overpopulation in terms of what the planet can support. You're right in that case.

We might even be underpopulated soon (at least here in Europe), as the birth numbers aren't enough to keep the population steady. Lots of people needing their pensions paid and few people working for the taxes to support them.


--------------------
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle


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OfflineMixomatosis
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: spud]
    #4176476 - 05/15/05 12:08 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

So what about how a few years ago the population was 5.5 billion and now it's somewhere over 6.. doesn't that mean that the population of humans on the planet is increasing? I mean, when a number goes up doesn't that mean that whatever the number quantifies is "increasing"?


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Offlinefreddurgan
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: Mixomatosis]
    #4176803 - 05/15/05 02:21 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Yeah seriously. The earth isn't getting any bigger :wink:

I don't see how the population could slow down with all the advanced in medical science. Only makes sense for it to go up.

But since when did sense have anything to do with anything :smile:


--------------------
Ishmael
http://www.ishmael.org

Ron Paul 2008!
http://www.ronpaul2008.com/


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InvisibleSilversoul
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: freddurgan]
    #4176811 - 05/15/05 02:24 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

freddurgan said:
Yeah seriously. The earth isn't getting any bigger :wink:

I don't see how the population could slow down with all the advanced in medical science. Only makes sense for it to go up.

But since when did sense have anything to do with anything :smile:



It certainly doesn't have to do with that post you just made.  Medicine cannot increase population growth indefinitely.  It levels off at a certain point.


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OfflineDavid_Scape
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: freddurgan]
    #4176847 - 05/15/05 02:38 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Spud, overpopulation is'nt a problem of space. Never was. I doubt anybody is literally worrying about how their children (or childrens children) are going to be able to stretch, or walk, or move around.

But hey, maybe some people are worrying about that. In which case, your frustration is justified.


--------------------
focusing
Flow
The Enneagram


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OfflineBleaK
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: David_Scape]
    #4176942 - 05/15/05 03:05 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

David_Scape said:
Spud, overpopulation is'nt a problem of space. Never was. I doubt anybody is literally worrying about how their children (or childrens children) are going to be able to stretch, or walk, or  move around.

But hey, maybe some people are worrying about that. In which case, your frustration is justified.




:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:


--------------------
"You cannot trust in law, unless you can trust in people. If you can trust in people, you don't need law." -J. Mumma


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Offlineshanti
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: BleaK]
    #4177137 - 05/15/05 04:42 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

perhaps it is not over population that is causing some of the most distructive disasters that we're going through. what is it then?

The world's oceans are overfished and the coral reefs are dying
Humanity is rapidly changing the earth's atmosphere and thus its climate. Civil conflict often emerges in societies where rapid population growth combines with environmental scarcity to undermine governments. Worsening water scarcity stems in large part from increases in human demand. Water tables are dropping world wide.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: spud]
    #4177273 - 05/15/05 07:29 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Our population must increase as I see it. We just need way better spaceships than we have got.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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Offlinefresh313
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4177274 - 05/15/05 07:34 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

war is the answer


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OfflineRetired
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: shanti]
    #4177346 - 05/15/05 09:08 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

I would say shanti is right. Over population is what the earth we live on can support not if the numbers are leveling out as spud said.

and some people realize the over population such as china which has a good system for controlling it. I go to a simi-shitty school, most of the people there are old or silly. Anyway you would not believe how many of them are abusing the welfare system by stocking up on children. I know that's an entirely different topic but it relates.


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InvisibleHuehuecoyotl
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: fresh313]
    #4177403 - 05/15/05 10:14 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

It does stimulate the economy. The bigger the war the better in both respects.


--------------------
"A warrior is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. Once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions." ― Carlos Castaneda


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InvisibleRavus
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: spud]
    #4177439 - 05/15/05 10:31 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

It's not a question of overpopulation in terms of space, it's a question of whether the people that are here are doing massive amounts of harm to the planet. I believe they are, and as the population increases, chances are the harm done to the planet will also increase.

With that in mind, that's a question of damage to our environment and not a question of space, which would be a common fallacy, there seems three ways to deal with it:
1) Become more economic and do less harm to the earth
2) Kill ourselves off or be killed off, either by continuing at our current pace or by other means
3) Colonize other planets

The last seems doubtful, simply because natural selection evolved our lives here specifically for this planet, and we'd have to find something quite similar, if we even could travel to another planet before option 2 comes into play. Option 1 has been spoken of and discarded and time and time again, so I believe this mass extinction going on will hopefully end with our deaths.


Quote:

A productive, but taxed, Earth

A UN-sponsored study finds that humans' growing demands have damaged the planet at unprecedented levels.

By Mark Clayton

Friday, 05/13/05

Cod depletion and dust clouds seem like pretty different problems. But they each play a role in the overall environmental degradation of the planet - a condition that a new global study says has escalated so quickly over the past 50 years that it outpaces anything experienced by ecosystems in human history.

Demands for water, food, fuel, timber, and fiber - all part of global economic expansion - have driven the change. The result: a big increase in short-term human benefits, less hunger, and more wealth. But this progress has been counterbalanced by a massive loss of diversity of life on Earth.

That's the state of the world, according to the first Millennium Ecosystem Assessment produced by some 1,300 scientists from 95 countries charged with painting a global eco-portrait. The United Nations-sponsored study was funded by the World Bank and several private foundations.

"We've had many reports on environmental degradation, but for the first time we're now able to draw connections between ecosystem services and human well-being," says Cristian Samper, director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington and a chief architect of the study.

Northern Africa's drying Sahel region and Newfoundland's emptier coastal waters, he says, are just two examples in an overall conclusion that 60 percent of the world's ecosystems are being degraded or used unsustainably. Ecosystems being drained or degraded largely in the pursuit of human well being include:

? Land: More of it has been converted to crop land since 1945 than in the 18th and 19th centuries combined. Cultivated land now covers one-quarter of Earth's land surface.

? Coral reefs: About 20 percent of the world's coral reefs were lost and another 20 percent degraded in the past few decades.

? Rivers and lakes: Despite the fact that the amount of fresh water stored behind dams has quadrupled since 1960, its use for agriculture and other needs has exceeded long-term supplies by 5 to 25 percent.

? Coastal areas: Farmers' increased use of nitrogen fertilizers since 1985 has polluted waterways and coastal ecosystems. About 35 percent of mangrove swamps needed for water filtration in coastal areas have been bulldozed.

? Oceans: Many areas have been overfished, reducing stocks by 90 to 99 percent of preindustrial fishing levels.

"We always have this sense that if we just let up on overfishing for awhile the fish will bounce back," says Tundi Agardy, executive director of Sound Seas, a coastal-planning policy group, who was lead author on the coastal chapter of the millennium assessment. "But what we found is that, many times, the recovery of overexploited species is made impossible by all sorts of things like pollution, habitat loss, and climate change."

The loss of coral, for instance, is often attributed to degraded coastal waters that were harmed over time. Mangrove swamps that filter pollutants were bulldozed for apartment buildings. Combine that with large human populations living seaside and increased agricultural runoff flowing into the oceans. Now add overharvesting of fish that eat algae. Suddenly, you've got algae blooms that overwhelm coral reefs, Dr. Agardy says.

It's not known what changes have kept the cod from rebounding. Some say a change in ocean salinity. Others, including former fishermen, have blamed seals for eating them. Harp seal pups were butchered on the ice this spring for their pelts, but also in the expectation that a smaller seal population would help the cod recover.

But in years past, the cod recovered even with seal predators present, Agardy says. "It's pretty clear that cod have been fished down to a point where it will be hard for them to ever recover," she adds.

Yet changes in fishing policy and enforcement of those changes may help oceans recover, she says, adding that the question now is whether the political will exists to create change.

A key element of the UN report was to bring together economists and biologists to examine the impact of ecosystem changes on human well-being. In accounting terms, the report says, the loss of an ecosystem can be equated to loss of a capital asset.

For instance, exploitation of nature has benefited the economies of nations like Ecuador, Kazakhstan, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Venezuela. But those nations actually experienced a "loss in net savings" when depletion of natural resources (energy and forests) and damage from carbon emissions were factored in, the report found.

A key finding was that abrupt, unexpected changes in ecosystems are increasingly likely. Changes are usually gradual in ecosystems, yet once a threshold is crossed, stark and rapid changes are possible.

Susan Minnemeyer spotted one of those changes a few years ago while peering for the first time at sharp satellite photos of Cameroon's dense tropical rain forest. As global information systems manager for Global Forest Watch project at the World Resources Institute in Washington, she noticed tiny lines in the forest, a spider's web criss-crossing the jungle - thousands of miles of illegal logging roads.

Losing valuable forest to illegal logging is bad enough, she notes, but another critical hidden cost has emerged: loss of wildlife.

Superficially, the Cameroon forest looks intact even after such logging because the forests aren't clear-cut; just the valuable trees are taken. But the illegal roads have opened up paths for hunters.

The growth of the bushmeat trade is rapidly depopulating the forests of all large mammals, Ms. Minnemeyer says. Her finding was just one of many examples of accelerating species loss cited in the study.

"It can look intact from the sky," Ms. Minnemeyer says. "But this is an empty forest - it's actually devoid of wildlife. We think we can change this, and we're working with the government to do that."



http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0331/p11s02-sten.html

Overpopulation is without a doubt not a myth in terms of the harm it does to the earth.


--------------------
So long as you are praised think only that you are not yet on your own path but on that of another.


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OfflineRetired
Registered: 03/01/05
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: Ravus]
    #4177449 - 05/15/05 10:34 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Ravus hit it right on the head


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InvisibleDoctorJ
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 Arcade Champion: Frogger

Registered: 06/30/03
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: Huehuecoyotl]
    #4177454 - 05/15/05 10:35 AM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Huehuecoyotl said:
Our population must increase as I see it. We just need way better spaceships than we have got.




:thumbup:

spaceploitation: its whats for dinner

too bad everyone would rather eat dirt.  fools.  Enjoy your dirt while it lasts you fucking morons.


--------------------
peace, pot, and microdot!


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OfflineBoneMan
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: spud]
    #4177901 - 05/15/05 01:03 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

spud said:
* The growth rate of the world's population appears to have peaked around 1970, when the annual rate of growth was 2.09 percent.

* By 1980, annual population growth was down to 1.73 percent, and by 1990 to 1.7 percent.

* By 1995, the annual increase had slowed even more to 1.5 percent.




thats the growth rate you're talking about. when the growth rate slows, the population is still rising, only by less. just because the growth rate has been slowing down doesnt mean its going to stop completely.

and yes its true that a lot of the space on earth is unused..
but there are millions of other species here that manage to live in some sort of balance with eachother, humans have no right to take all the space on earth as our own, effectively destroying whatever was living there first.


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OfflineDoom
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: BoneMan]
    #4177919 - 05/15/05 01:06 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

humans have no right

bah. we have every *right* seriously, where do you come up with these kind of ideas? rights? its a jungle, the strong kill and eat the weak, that is the nature of nature.


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Invisibleniteowl
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Re: Overpopulation Myths [Re: shanti]
    #4177996 - 05/15/05 01:23 PM (12 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

shanti said:
perhaps it is not over population that is causing some of the most distructive disasters that we're going through. what is it then?

The world's oceans are overfished and the coral reefs are dying
Humanity is rapidly changing the earth's atmosphere and thus its climate.




I think the biggest problem w/our planet isn't the number of people on it but how we have abused the resources that are here.

Most of the environmental issues can be traced back to the burning of fossil fuels.


I believe our planet has the ability to support many more humans, as long as we can live in harmony with Mother Earth.


--------------------
Live for the moment you are in now
Don't be bogged down by your past
Don't be afraid of what lies in your future


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