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THE Limits to Growth Thread

Discuss research and forecasts regarding hydrocarbon depletion.

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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 09:27:42

This is why I think economic concerns are secondary. It's not that they're inconsequential, but moving to a no-debt economy or some perfected form of communism will not stop people from having kids above replacement, for instance. It won't stop us from destroying the soil with mechanized agriculture, etc...

Yes truly. That is why I am not completely sold on the premise of Dave that debt based economics really was thy pivotal factor that allowed for humans to decimate Earth. Yes I think it has hastened and amplified the voracious nature of humans yet correctly we were already well into this process with the colonization of the Americas and the discovery of Fossil Fuels.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 09:29:42

This is why I think economic concerns are secondary. It's not that they're inconsequential, but moving to a no-debt economy or some perfected form of communism will not stop people from having kids above replacement, for instance. It won't stop us from destroying the soil with mechanized agriculture, etc...

Yes truly. That is why I am not completely sold on the premise of Dave that debt based economics really was thy pivotal factor that allowed for humans to decimate Earth. Yes I think it has hastened and amplified the voracious nature of humans yet correctly we were already well into this process with the colonization of the Americas and the discovery of Fossil Fuels. In fact you can argue what really paved the way for this frenzy of growth was the Agriculture around 10 thousand years ago.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:08:56

davep wrote:
onlooker wrote:I would add that this current type of economic system is inherent in the very nature of capitalism which is a profit-greed derived system. We should have at some point world-wide adopted some sort of socialist-command economy type system whereby production would have been controlled and channeled mostly to the needs of people rather then wants. Alas, greed got the better of us. I would agree that this economic growth model is at the root of our trashing of the planet. I also feel it is getting very late to forestall collapse and in the end money is but paper and resources and the health of Earth or lack of is ultimately the arbiter of satisfying needs and wants not any man-made economic system as we will soon find out.


I would disagree. The current economic system is the brainchild of bankers. They befuddled politicians to get the likes of the Federal Reserve Act passed. Capitalism can survive perfectly well without an economic system that uses banks to create money as debt.

I'm not necessarily a fan of capitalism, but we need to be clear what the root of the need for growth is.


The need for growth outside banking or even profits can be seen through increasing production to meet increasing needs and wants of a growing human population.

Thus, greed in terms of profit-making is not needed to thrash the planet, just a growing population with resource and energy demands that outstrip what the ecosystem allows. Of course, with greed the process is accelerated.

In order to give incentive to workers to extract resources and manufacture goods to ensure increasing production and thus meet increasing demand, credit eventually comes into play. With that comes banks, profits, investments, etc.

The implication is that capitalism may survive without credit and banks, but growth will likely be at best negligible. At some point, someone will come up with the idea of using credit and other means to increase growth, and with that it becomes a matter of time before we see credit, credit seen as wealth, and financial speculation.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:34:07

Very well thought out post Ralfy. That is why the LTG simulations were very helpful in that they took into account various factors and well as their interplay with each other. It certainly can be seen that population dynamics and economic growth dynamics reinforce each other and work in a synergistic manner to create this runaway growth frenzy that we have seen in these modern times.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby davep » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:44:17

I'm not suggesting the current monetary system is the root of all ecological degradation, just that if we don't address it we have no chance of addressing the ecological degradation in isolation.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby GregT » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:55:32

ennui2 wrote:Yeast in the petri dish don't know what money is. They still grow beyond their food supply and die off.



Herein lies the big question. Are we smarter than yeast, or are we not?

Do we keep consuming the energy source that has allowed exponential economic growth, ultimately leading to the complete die off of our species? Or do we stop now, and face the consequences? There is no comfortable outcome. We face a predicament, die off, or extinction.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 10:56:27

davep wrote:I'm not suggesting the current monetary system is the root of all ecological degradation, just that if we don't address it we have no chance of addressing the ecological degradation in isolation.

That is absolutely true we have to have a holistic approach and very soon.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby GregT » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 11:09:13

ennui2 wrote:I don't discount the possibility of an apocalyptic methane-release. But if it seems like the future is already predetermined and there's little leeway for any of us to do much at an individual or collective level now, in the above scenario, there's REALLY no point wringing your hands over it. And so I'm excluding that from the model. Same deal with a WWIII nuclear exchange.


So you're excluding from the 'model' what you don't find comfortable? This is a problem. Growth at any cost, while ignoring the consequences.

Maybe the future IS already predetermined, maybe it is not. We will never have any chance of finding out, if we don't stop the growth that will ultimately end very badly for every single one of us, and all future generations. (If there are any)

We either quit now and face the consequences, or continue down the path that we are on, and face even more dire consequences. We are killing our one and only home, and with every passing year the damage is becoming exponentially worse.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 14:46:09

GregT wrote:
ennui2 wrote:Yeast in the petri dish don't know what money is. They still grow beyond their food supply and die off.



Herein lies the big question. Are we smarter than yeast, or are we not?

Do we keep consuming the energy source that has allowed exponential economic growth, ultimately leading to the complete die off of our species? Or do we stop now, and face the consequences? There is no comfortable outcome. We face a predicament, die off, or extinction.


It would seem the answer is before us, collectively we obey the same rules as yeast.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 14:53:20

onlooker wrote:Yes but with a crucial difference I do not think that the Queen Bee does things that will endanger entire hive and all the bees. Then again I do not know much about Queen Bee. :-D


True. My main point is that we have evolved to require elites. Diamonds latest book does a good job of answering why. So it is no good to blame them unilaterally. What we have not discovered is a way to assure they work in our best interest.

Someone above said the best government is a benevolent dictatorship. How do you assure he stays benevolent?

Somehow I'm reminded of the old movie. The Man Who Would be King.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 14:59:51

I guess it is the old adage, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" Perhaps the best way of trying at least to insure that these elites work for the benefit of all is to not give them too much power or too long a stay in power. Their role reminiscent of the elders in American Indian tribes would be to council and advice, they would be respected for their acumen as well as their integrity. If they began to display a lack of either quality they would summarily be replaced.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby davep » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 16:24:52

Newfie wrote:
GregT wrote:
ennui2 wrote:Yeast in the petri dish don't know what money is. They still grow beyond their food supply and die off.



Herein lies the big question. Are we smarter than yeast, or are we not?

Do we keep consuming the energy source that has allowed exponential economic growth, ultimately leading to the complete die off of our species? Or do we stop now, and face the consequences? There is no comfortable outcome. We face a predicament, die off, or extinction.


It would seem the answer is before us, collectively we obey the same rules as yeast.


Hence the need for grassroots action.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 16:35:45

You know how modern humans often put their old folks in homes. We do not venerate the old which is the flip side of consuming our grandchildren's resources.

We are not only split off from natural ecosystems in the artificial environments we live in. We are equally split off from the continuity of family and thus we feel no sense of obligation to our grand children.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby davep » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 16:51:56

Ibon wrote:You know how modern humans often put their old folks in homes. We do not venerate the old which is the flip side of consuming our grandchildren's resources.

We are not only split off from natural ecosystems in the artificial environments we live in. We are equally split off from the continuity of family and thus we feel no sense of obligation to our grand children.


That depends on the culture. My wife is Italian, and they have a great tradition of looking after the older generations in multi-generational homes.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 16:53:53

Ibon wrote:You know how modern humans often put their old folks in homes. We do not venerate the old which is the flip side of consuming our grandchildren's resources.

We are not only split off from natural ecosystems in the artificial environments we live in. We are equally split off from the continuity of family and thus we feel no sense of obligation to our grand children.


Exactly, through the vast stretch of Human History family lived as a unit in the home. The elders as a general rule lived with their eldest daughter, her husband and children. If the Grandchildren reached marrying age the eldest grand-daughter and her husband also lived in the home continuing the continuity. If you had all sons the duty would fall on the eldest son to support his parents in their dotage and possibly his wife's parents as well. To be old and childless was a terrifying prospect, your children were your retirement plan. If that meant you had to adopt an orphan then you did it happily.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby GregT » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 17:30:47

davep wrote:Hence the need for grassroots action.


The wife and myself have decided to take action. We have both ended our careers early, we have bought an acreage, and we have plans in effect to reduce our carbon footprint considerably. "Be the change that you wish to see in world", has more or less become our goal in life now. There have been many of our friends, coworkers, family members, and acquaintances that have expressed interest in what we are doing, but overall, people think that we're absolutely crazy. Even my father can't figure out why we would want to return to, in his words, 'the hunter/gatherer lifestyle'.

I would like to believe that 'grassroots action' will make the difference needed, but for every person leaving the cities for simpler lives, tens of thousands more are doing the exact opposite. Most people do not understand what is at stake here, and many of those that actually do, are in a complete state of denial.

I would really like to believe that people in general will wake up before it's too late, but I'm not going to hold my breath. We either collapse our economies on purpose, or wait for the inevitable, and let them collapse on their own. Either way, we are in for a whole world full of hurt.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 17:47:05

Agree Greg, I think anybody who has a semblance of intelligence and who investigates these issues of LTG and is honest with themselves will come to your same conclusion. It is the reality staring into the eyes of all humans except many do not wish to see and prefer to live in ignorance. I put as my moniker that None are as blind as those who do not wish to see. It certainly is not an easy pill to swallow far from it. Yet I respect those who have come to this conclusion because it is about being brutally honest. Perhaps if humanity as a whole had been more like this we would have turned this boat around. Sorry for emotional outpouring. But in this case I think it is warranted.
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 18:33:33

Far from the sole reason, but among reasons for us to move onto a boat is the reduced footprint.

Yet, our house will remain, it will be occupied, it will consume oil for heat. So what have we gained beyond personal satisfaction?
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby careinke » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 19:28:41

Newfie wrote:Far from the sole reason, but among reasons for us to move onto a boat is the reduced footprint.

Yet, our house will remain, it will be occupied, it will consume oil for heat. So what have we gained beyond personal satisfaction?


Flexibility?
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Re: THE Limits to Growth Thread

Unread postby careinke » Sun 07 Jun 2015, 19:44:23

GregT wrote:
davep wrote:Hence the need for grassroots action.


The wife and myself have decided to take action. We have both ended our careers early, we have bought an acreage, and we have plans in effect to reduce our carbon footprint considerably. "Be the change that you wish to see in world", has more or less become our goal in life now. There have been many of our friends, coworkers, family members, and acquaintances that have expressed interest in what we are doing, but overall, people think that we're absolutely crazy. Even my father can't figure out why we would want to return to, in his words, 'the hunter/gatherer lifestyle'.


Welcome aboard.

Why stop at reduce? Keep going until you become carbon negative. Work towards regeneration, go beyond sustainability. Permaculture Design (which you can learn), will help make it easier to reach your goals by cooperating with nature rather than going to war with her.

As you progress all those people who think you are crazy, will taste your strawberries, eat your eggs, and be amazed at the difference in quality. Then you can say, "I can help you grow your own." Next thing you know, they have progressed beyond you, and become your mentor. Rinse and repeat....

This is grass roots nonviolent insurrection. "Plus you get strawberries."
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