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THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Cog » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:06:34

You would more likely see me defending a rich person than stringing one up from a light pole.

But I get your point.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:10:53

vtsnowedin wrote:There is nothing in Capitalist doctrine that says it will be easy or success certain.
Capitalism, when properly regulated by laws impartially enforced,yields better results for the population than any other system or religion.
Cheaters using the power of their positions in government often give it a bad name to the point that critics of Capitalism are in reality railing against the cheaters and not the system itself.


Capitalism requires continuous growth, and given competition and a financial market that dominates it, the opposite of diminishing returns.

Limits to growth doesn't allow either. One of the aspects of limits to growth is peak oil.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:13:00

Ibon wrote:
I agree but you make it sound like cheaters are some bad rich individuals off shoring their money. There is something systemic in the way capitalism has progressed in the past 30-40 years or so which has aggravated this disparity of wealth. I don't know if this can be blamed on "cheaters" or on something systemic that defies regulation. This is complicated.


Capital accumulation coupled with much of "wealth" consisting of numbers in hard drives.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:21:31

Newfie wrote:In reality, we have so many market regulations it's a bit farcical to call this capitalism.

What we is much more CONSUMERISM. The idea that the more your dog eats the better you are. And yes, I consider that the dominant religion of Western Civilization with Wall Street the Mecca.

It's very clear when you hear economist discussing humans as "consumer units" and how we need to increase consumer units and their consumption to force growth.


I think regulations have been steadily working in favor of capitalists from the early 1980s onward. This has led to, among other things, a "shadow" derivatives market that is many times larger than the global economy. This should not surprise anyone as governments rely on financiers for credit.

Consumerism is an expected outcome of such a capitalists realize that the value of that credit is backed only by increasing sales of goods and services (as pointed out in your last paragraph).

Thus, all of these are part of capitalism involving competition and the use of money: increasing credit based on expectations of returns on services, manufacturing, and agriculture; workers imagining the same as they seek middle class conveniences and returns on their own investments; governments and military forces expecting the same as they compete with each other and, like businesses, seek expansion, especially as more young people enter the work force. The religious belief is that given a physical biosphere technofixes and "innovation" will magically solve problems caused by such activity, including peak oil and global warming. Either that or these problems are hoaxes.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:27:47

vtsnowedin wrote:
onlooker wrote:V, your postulating an "ideal" form of Capitalism as expressed by Adam Smith in "Wealth of Nations". In reality, on this planet the way Capitalism has been practiced is quite different. It is rife with corruption, greed and exploitation. The proof as they say is in the pudding. Look at the world the way it developed in the 20th century, manifesting so much inequality and injustice.

OK let's look at it. Life expectancy 1900 (world) 50 years. Today 77 years (World) poorest countries 61. Population 1900 1.5 billion 2000 6.5 billion.
GDP even though a lot of countries tried socialism for most of the century rose from $1526 per capita to $6516 in 2000 (1990 dollars$)
I don't see any big failure there and more importantly I see no alternative plan that might even do half as well.
Working hard at stamping out the graft and corruption while leaving Capitalist systems in place is our best course forward.


Increased population led to an biocapacity of less than two global hectares per person:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_c ... _footprint

That biocapacity will decrease even further as more people are added to the population, and still more given the effects of economic activity, including environmental damage on a significant scale plus global warming.

Meanwhile, the global economy expects ecological footprint to rise per person to ensure continuous growth, which means better profits and returns for capitalists, workers, etc.

Finally, there is the phenomenon of resource decrease, which is expected given the same economic activity. One of the aspects of that resource issue is peak oil.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:36:00

Ibon wrote:
I am somewhat allied to Cog's unusual position. I will earn the ire of many and be accused of being elitist but if I honestly look at the consumption habits of the average uneducated middle class citizen on the planet we would be much better off with greater disparity of wealth, in fact continuing the trend of the disenfranchisement of the middle class as we have witnessed during the past 30 years.

If we had high consumption individuals down to a small percentage of elites and then kept the rest of humanity in serfdom we would alleviate many of the resource constraints along with climate change.

I have to agree with Cog.

The other reason of course is that the vast majority of high consumption middle class citizens are hypocrites when it comes to their willingness to actually sacrifice their high consumption life styles in the name of real conservation.

The trend is clear whether it be education, healthcare, income, disposable income. We are heading exactly where we need to go in reference to keeping our global population one day within carrying capacity. The increasing disparity of wealth is one of the biggest mitigating forces in helping us achieve this.


The catch is that the global economy is capitalist and involves competition, which means it is not exactly based on "serfdom." Rather, both the rich and "high consumption middle class citizens" require increasing sales of goods and services in ever-expanding consumer markets to ensure better profits and returns on investments, and that means a growing global middle class:

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470

Thus, what you are imagining is not capitalism but feudalism. The latter was usurped by capitalism as "nobility" backed by private armies to control peasants was replaced by burghers backed by the State and workers that vote for officials.

Finally, feudalism will return given limits to growth, but in a way that most don't expect.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:39:35

Hawkcreek wrote:Thank you, but everybody already knows that fiat money is unlimited (until the inevitable reset happens). I believe we were discussing the amount of that dispersed to the 99% vs the 1%.
The percentages are becoming more biased towards the 1% every year.


The irony is that this actually works against the 1 pct because the value of their virtual wealth is maintained only by increasing sales of goods and services to the 99 pct. That means more of the 99 pct have to enter the middle class each time. But that requires countering limits to growth, which is highly unlikely.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:43:19

Newfie wrote:Eventually there will be a reset and the fiat currency bubble will burst.

I think the correct reading of the WEF caution about wealth disparity is that it is not sustainable and eventually the pitchforks will come out.

I think I one analysis that the greed of those at the top will will ultimately fuel their demise. Not unlike the French Revolution. And that is what the WEF sees also. Except the WEF wants to keep the ballon inflated while Ibon (and I) would like to see it burst.

Cog, I suspect your position is one of extreme short sightedness. But it may work for you in your lifetime.


Likely the balloon will burst given financial crashes coupled with the effects of limits to growth (which includes peak oil), environmental damage, and global warming. The latter problems will make financial crises look like child's play.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 09 Mar 2017, 20:43:29

ralfy wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:There is nothing in Capitalist doctrine that says it will be easy or success certain.
Capitalism, when properly regulated by laws impartially enforced,yields better results for the population than any other system or religion.
Cheaters using the power of their positions in government often give it a bad name to the point that critics of Capitalism are in reality railing against the cheaters and not the system itself.


Capitalism requires continuous growth, and given competition and a financial market that dominates it, the opposite of diminishing returns.

Limits to growth doesn't allow either. One of the aspects of limits to growth is peak oil.

Ralfi:
Could you wait a few hours or maybe even a day or two between post directed at me so I could answer them one at a time. I go off on a beer run and do a few chores around the doom-stead and share supper with her Highness and come back to a conversation that has left me behind.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 08:50:36

Nice series of reflections Ralphy.

Let's get to the nitty gritty.

What are your short term predictions, if any?

What precautions are you taking to survive?
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Squilliam » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 14:19:24

ralfy wrote:


The irony is that this actually works against the 1 pct because the value of their virtual wealth is maintained only by increasing sales of goods and services to the 99 pct. That means more of the 99 pct have to enter the middle class each time. But that requires countering limits to growth, which is highly unlikely.[/quote]

Well not entirely anyway. People buy $200 sunglasses; they purchase $150 T-shirts; $1000 hand bags and they drive in $150,000 cars, but in reality the energy cost of these things is either the same or not much more than the equivalent mass produced items. It's kind of a strange game whereby opportunity to advance is often limited by not wearing the right clothing or driving the right car. So to get in the door for many high end jobs you need to show you can afford the high end bling to prove you have the status. I recently read an article whereby some guy rented a high end watch for $150 a month, and he got bumped to first class and treated nicely by the passengers there because they judged that he was genuinely wealthy because one of the clues they use is a nice watch to distinguish the poseurs from the real deal.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby dohboi » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 17:48:13

"The increasing disparity of wealth is one of the biggest mitigating forces in helping us achieve this"

I am trying to figure out how Newf came to this conclusion, and I have to assume that N is assuming that small numbers of very wealthy folks can't possibly consume more than large numbers of moderately wealthy folks.

I don't think that is true. But it is indeed hard for us mere mortals to imagine just how much the truly wealthy do manage to consume...fleets of personal jets, some just to shuttle their pets around. Multiple mega-mansions, each with multiple helipads...the absurdity of consumption on this level is indeed hard to wrap one's mind around.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 20:18:41

Squilliam wrote:
Well not entirely anyway. People buy $200 sunglasses; they purchase $150 T-shirts; $1000 hand bags and they drive in $150,000 cars, but in reality the energy cost of these things is either the same or not much more than the equivalent mass produced items. It's kind of a strange game whereby opportunity to advance is often limited by not wearing the right clothing or driving the right car. So to get in the door for many high end jobs you need to show you can afford the high end bling to prove you have the status. I recently read an article whereby some guy rented a high end watch for $150 a month, and he got bumped to first class and treated nicely by the passengers there because they judged that he was genuinely wealthy because one of the clues they use is a nice watch to distinguish the poseurs from the real deal.


But only a minority of people worldwide can do that. Meanwhile, businesses that sell these overpriced goods have to continue expanding production for various reasons, including increasing costs, competition, opportunities to make even more profits by expanding markets, and more.

The irony is that part of those increasing costs include higher wages, which employees need to pay for the same "bling" that they sell. To justify the higher wages, employees have to sell more "bling," and at some point that will mean convincing more people to buy more "bling":

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-22956470

The amount of total energy and material resources needed to ensure that will involve at least one additional earth.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 12 Mar 2017, 20:26:24

Newfie wrote:Nice series of reflections Ralphy.

Let's get to the nitty gritty.

What are your short term predictions, if any?

What precautions are you taking to survive?


I'm considering the points raised by LtG:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... g-collapse

with the best-case scenario being what happened from 2006 to the present growing worse each time. A worst-case scenario is more difficult to predict because it may involve on or more "black swans". In any case, both may be due to the effects of complexity:

http://fleeingvesuvius.org/2011/10/08/o ... d-economy/

Finally, for precautions I follow advice given by Orlov and others, i.e., focus on skills and resources needed given shortages in medicine, electricity, fuel, etc.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby onlooker » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 13:17:20

An illustration of the hard limits some areas are buckling under and are destined to collapse under
http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/522304/icode/
Water scarcity needs “urgent and massive response” in North Africa and Near East
“For a moment they saw the nations of the dead, and, before they joined them, scraps of the untainted sky." -- E.M. Forster
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 14:57:56

Doh,
That was Ibon you quoted, not me.

Squallim,
Re: $2,000 sunglasses etc. I can't recall the title but I read a book on just this phenomenon. It explained it quite nicely in therms of Conspicious Consumption and derived its biological evolutionary basis.

In short, the cock peacock grows huge showy tail feathers to demonstrate that he is in good health and is a fine mate. That the tail feathers are contuerproductive to the birds health and longevity, because huge amounts of cq,priest are used in the process, is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't care if you live long, just that you reproduce.

The author extrapolate this behaviour to all sorts of silly human activities such as your $2,000 sunglasses. Sure it's a waste of money, that the point. Wearing showy expensive clothing and driving expensive cars signals you are part of the elite. It doesn't matter that's it's all mortgaged to the hilt, the show, the acceptance into the elite circle, is the pay off.

The author extends this to people doing stupid things, like take cocaine or drink excessively. The message is "I'm such a bad ass that I can afford to display weaknesses, because I am so damn powerful."

His explanation took 350 pages, so was much better.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 16:13:47

Doh,

These discussions are tough without more precise definitions of wealth, etc.

Here is my oft stated analysis.

1. If we were to share wealth (traditional sense) then we would all be about as rich as Guatemalans.
2. We would still need at least one more half world.
3. If all those who became richer because of this redistribution of wealth were to spend their new found dough, which they would, consumption would skyrocket.
4. Those folks living in temperate climates would be disadvantaged because they need to buy heat. Arid - water.
5. Anything remotely approaching a humanistic vision of a sustainable Earth requires a balance between Population, Consumption, and Resources (which are shrinking.)
6. The question is how do we make the transition.
7. Like it or not Cog provides what is probably the most honest and truthful voice among us. It is brutal but clear. It resides deep within us all.
My race, not yours
My tribe, not yours
My family, not yours
Me, not you

I see no other path given humans are the animals humans are.

As Cog says, it will all sort itself out, just be patient.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Squilliam » Tue 14 Mar 2017, 20:48:44

Newfie wrote:
Squillium,
Re: $2,000 sunglasses etc. I can't recall the title but I read a book on just this phenomenon. It explained it quite nicely in therms of Conspicious Consumption and derived its biological evolutionary basis.

In short, the cock peacock grows huge showy tail feathers to demonstrate that he is in good health and is a fine mate. That the tail feathers are contuerproductive to the birds health and longevity, because huge amounts of cq,priest are used in the process, is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't care if you live long, just that you reproduce.

The author extrapolate this behaviour to all sorts of silly human activities such as your $2,000 sunglasses. Sure it's a waste of money, that the point. Wearing showy expensive clothing and driving expensive cars signals you are part of the elite. It doesn't matter that's it's all mortgaged to the hilt, the show, the acceptance into the elite circle, is the pay off.

The author extends this to people doing stupid things, like take cocaine or drink excessively. The message is "I'm such a bad ass that I can afford to display weaknesses, because I am so damn powerful."

His explanation took 350 pages, so was much better.


Yeah it's pretty ridiculous if you cast a rational eye upon behaviour like that. Power is a drug in itself, and in many ways is probably the most dangerous drug on the planet because of the way it affects behaviour. I wonder sometimes if the real fear of an AI is really about a fear that it will expose the irrational basis of our own behaviour. Considering books like Thinking Fast and Slow for instance we really are led astray too often by our emotions, intuition and baser instincts. It seems like civilisation itself is one big cocaine and alcohol infused party and we're blowing what is in effect a bounty of resources through our noses. To live in such a wasteful way and not really consider why is a tragedy in itself. It makes me think that technocrats such as Hubbert had the right idea with respect to how to structure civilization. We starve in abundance in many ways. We let the minority essentially bend the will of the majority to their unproductive (for civilization) ends. It seems crazy when on average we have the energy equivalent of 20 slaves that we work so hard and struggle so often for such little gain in order to in essence fuel the wasteful lives of a few.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby ralfy » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 01:12:02

Newfie wrote:Doh,
That was Ibon you quoted, not me.

Squallim,
Re: $2,000 sunglasses etc. I can't recall the title but I read a book on just this phenomenon. It explained it quite nicely in therms of Conspicious Consumption and derived its biological evolutionary basis.

In short, the cock peacock grows huge showy tail feathers to demonstrate that he is in good health and is a fine mate. That the tail feathers are contuerproductive to the birds health and longevity, because huge amounts of cq,priest are used in the process, is irrelevant. Evolution doesn't care if you live long, just that you reproduce.

The author extrapolate this behaviour to all sorts of silly human activities such as your $2,000 sunglasses. Sure it's a waste of money, that the point. Wearing showy expensive clothing and driving expensive cars signals you are part of the elite. It doesn't matter that's it's all mortgaged to the hilt, the show, the acceptance into the elite circle, is the pay off.

The author extends this to people doing stupid things, like take cocaine or drink excessively. The message is "I'm such a bad ass that I can afford to display weaknesses, because I am so damn powerful."

His explanation took 350 pages, so was much better.


I'm not sure if animals deliberately grow particular types of feathers, etc. From what I remember, these take place through natural selection. That is, certain traits show up in offspring due to mutation, and if the traits give the animal some advantages given a particular environment, then they will allow it to thrive or survive, thus allowing the possibility for some traits to be passed on to offspring. Finally, changes in the environment may make certain traits irrelevant or even disadvantageous.

In any event, the reference to Veblen is notable.
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Re: THE Global Population Thread Pt.2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 15 Mar 2017, 09:24:25

Ralph,
No peacocks don't grow tail feathers on purpose, it's all natural selection, through the mating process. You have to live to mate, but just long enough to mate. And the male, generally, picks who she mates with. So males want to be attractive.

It's all about sex, or , more precisely how we assure our genes are passed along to the next generation.

Squallim,
That's what you are reflecting upon. The things we do make no sense from a ration perspective. But they usually make a lot of sense if I you look at it just from the perspective of how to pass along your genes.

We are base animals and our base drives, mostly the desire to reproduce, drive us in ways we are not even aware of. That is very powerful.

It's a lousy strategy for long term survival, but has worked for many millions of years.

There is a great little book, very entertaining but filled with great observations and poignant truths. I like it because it is not pretentious, gets right to the point.
Mother Earth is Trying To Kill You. I highly recommend it.
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