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Population IS a Problem


And it warrants greater attention, not less. This roundtable discussion with the staff of World Population Balance answers the question, “Is there a problem with population?” An attempt to answer the question with a “not really” was recently published in a commentary at Population: What’s the Problem?, written by Chris Smaje, made some points that World Population Balance staff-members believe should not stand unchallenged.

In this staff roundtable edition of the podcast, Execut

116 Comments on "Population IS a Problem"

  1. Antius on Thu, 18th Apr 2019 12:35 pm 

    “Begin of an era of new white colonialism… in deep space.”

    I agree that this needs to happen; if it doesn’t human options will be severely constrained over the next century by a shortage of physical resources. But realistically, ‘space colonialism’ (i.e. human colonisation) in the 21st century is likely to focus on Earth orbit and the moon. These are the only locations that are really accessible on a large scale at a price that any nation (or group of nations) can realistically afford. You will notice that all of the potential ‘space powers’ (Russia, China, India, and recently US) are focusing on the moon as the target of their activities. The reason is that it represents a huge store of physical resources, only 3 days away with conventional rockets. By contrast, it would take 5 months to get to Mars – it is 1000 times more distant. Elon Musk’s ambitious proposals for sending human beings to Mars and founding a permanent colony are unlikely to be affordable when the full costs are considered.

    Any concept for large scale space development must also be capable of yielding sufficient financial returns to justify the hundreds of billions of dollars that it will cost to set up. If it doesn’t, then it won’t get beyond concept stage. That means using space resources to build things that can be sold to people on Earth. Space tourism is one possibility; a bigger possibility is producing large solar power satellites that gather solar power in space (which is available constantly, with a solar flux of 1300W per square metre) and transmit it down to receiver stations on Earth using microwaves. We could power the entire Earth like that, given that solar power in high Earth orbit does not suffer from intermittency to the extent that Earth based solar power does. We would need to establish industries in space capable of mining the required materials from the moon and using those materials to build orbiting solar power stations.

    Few people know enough about the practicalities of space flight to be able to discuss it intelligently. Their understanding of the possibilities and problems with attempting to colonise space tend to be shaped by science fiction, which gives them an entirely unrealistic impression about what is achievable in the real world.

  2. JuanP sock on Thu, 18th Apr 2019 1:45 pm 

    JuanP posted this

    Truth Buster on Thu, 18th Apr 2019 12:01 pm

  3. makati1 on Fri, 19th Apr 2019 2:23 am 

    “If I was to tell you there was a society in which longevity, real incomes, savings — not to mention, happiness, meaning, trust, and democracy itself — were all shrinking at record pace, what would you say? I’d say it was collapsing — whether or not its people knew it, or wanted to know it. Yesterday, that society was the Soviet Union. Today, it’s America. …

    The first is what I’ll call forced apathy. You can’t exactly spend much time changing the system when you’re stuck on the breadline — hence, Soviet collapse was a self-perpetuating force. But you can’t spend much time changing the system when you’re working 80 hours a week…for declining income, either. 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck — translation: nobody much has the time or energy to change much of anything: they’re too busy just struggling desperately to make ends meet. Hence, nothing much changes….

    Friends across the world often ask me: “why don’t Americans do more to fix their crumbling society?” They’re aghast, astonished. I tell them the reality of American life: Americans would, if they could, but they can’t, mostly. Apathy is forced on them by a predatory kind of capitalism that forces them to live something like poor people in a rich country. Breadlines — insulin lines — what’s the difference, really? …

    Too much real thought to post here, but well worth reading. But most Americans don’t want to know.

    “America imagines that its love of selfishness, profit, advantage, power, pleasure makes it the polar opposite of the Soviet Union, but nothing could be less true. The Soviet pursuit of revolutionary selflessness produced a certain kind of omnipresent brutality, folly, and mean spiritedness, and the American pursuit of revolutionary selfishness and greed has produced much the same thing. That is because in both cases what is left behind is gentleness, goodness, decency, truth, beauty, respect, history.”

  4. makati1 on Fri, 19th Apr 2019 2:25 am 

    BTW: Keep in mind that the article talks about the USSR, NOT the Russia of today.

    So different except in stupid Amerikan minds.

  5. DerHundistLos on Fri, 19th Apr 2019 8:49 am 

    We must ensure US public lands stay public, or risk ‘demolition of society’:

    A lawyer and longtime energy lobbyist, Trump’s new interior secretary, David Bernhardt, has one goal in mind: handing as much land as possible to corporations.

    “Bernhardt made plenty of other corporate interests happy too, finishing up the work he began as a lobbyist for industrial farmers to weaken Endangered Species Act protections.”

    “To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment,” he wrote, “would result in the demolition of society.”

  6. Duncan Idaho on Fri, 19th Apr 2019 9:05 am 

    “Perhaps the most important reality about oil scarcity is that geology doesn’t care about opinions, particularly the opinions of people who will all probably die in the same year.

    It’s not about money. It’s about death.”

  7. Dredd on Sat, 20th Apr 2019 8:07 am 

    No doubt population is in the list of major problems for current civilization.

    The population of the ocean is growing too (“March 2019 the 3rd hottest March ever recorded”).

    Which means the oceans are going to absorb about 93% of that increase (The World According To Measurements – 23).

  8. makati1 on Sat, 20th Apr 2019 5:49 pm 

    “How to Turn America into a Shit-hole Country in 4 Easy Steps”

    1. Tax the citizens’ wealth away (or just steal it outright) [ONGOING!]
    2. Destroy the Rule of Law. [IN THE US, LAWS ARE ONLY FOR THE LOWER 99%]
    3. Divide the Rich and Poor. [DONE!]
    4. Make it Impossible to Make Money Without Government Approval. [DONE!]

    “In a free country, the government doesn’t get to put itself in between you and other consenting adults just trying to transact. Which brings up an interesting point with illegal immigrants who often work below minimum wage, under the table, doing jobs which Americans don’t want. The government helps keep black markets alive and viable with all it’s regulations, laws, and restrictions. And thriving black markets, where people can’t simply do business in the open, is a hallmark of shithole countries.”

    SLIP SLIDIN’ into a Bangladesh type country faster every day! GO TRUMP!

  9. Gaia on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 9:22 am 

    Instead of charity (which is a scam), we need long-term solutions (teach low-income people how to shop when on a tight budget, grow their own food etc.). Fast food places should be closed down worldwide and factory farming should be outlawed worldwide. In big cities, old buildings should be deconstructed rather than demolished and wastewater should be recycled and purified.

  10. Gaia on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 9:24 am 

    We need more green spaces (such as community gardens to grow food and herbs for medicine), more forests. Instead of convention Western burials, we should use traditional earth burials.

  11. JuanP sock on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 10:17 am 

    juanP posted this

    Gaia on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 9:22 am

    Gaia on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 9:24 am

  12. Gaia on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 10:53 am 

    America is in need of a new government (one that is neither left nor right). That means, no neocons, no foreign agents, no money-hungry war profiteers.

  13. JuanP sock on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 12:05 pm 

    JuanP posted this

    Gaia on Sun, 21st Apr 2019 10:53 am

  14. Cloggie on Mon, 22nd Apr 2019 4:42 am 

    Largest wind farm of Africa, operational in Kenia, 310 MW

  15. Gaia on Mon, 22nd Apr 2019 12:40 pm 

    We have enough food to feed the planet. The problem is that it goes to waste.

  16. Gaia on Wed, 24th Apr 2019 1:17 pm 

    How to create a better world:
    1.Tear down border walls and fences.
    2.Create a classless and stateless society.
    3.Ban conscription and make military service voluntary.
    4.Eliminate both poverty and wealth.
    5. Create a transcontinental superhighway/railway.
    6. Form a supranational currency based on gold and silver.
    7. Build arcologies (high-density populated residential, commercial and ecological fused habitats).

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