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The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Discuss research and forecasts regarding hydrocarbon depletion.

The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby scas » Mon 21 Aug 2023, 23:35:55

I hope this is in the right place. If it is not, please let me know and I will move it.

Published on August 8, 2023, Professor William Rees of University of British Columbia writes "The Human Ecology of Overshoot: Why a Major ‘Population Correction’ Is Inevitable". He explains why we face a "population correction" sometime this century, for a variety of reasons, including peak fossil fuels. In my opinion, a sobering and truly enjoyable read.

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... Inevitable.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Aug 2023, 07:39:26

Scas,

This is a perfectly fine place for this post. We already have couple of thoughts on that article elsewhere. If I recall where they are I may move them here.

His work is worth paying attention to.

Edit to add:
The other thread was about a Science Alert article about the report you referenced. It just muddled the very succinct message.


Homo sapiens has evolved to reproduce exponentially, expand geographically, and consume all available resources. For most of humanity’s evolutionary history, such expansionist tendencies have been countered by negative feedback. However, the scientific revolution and the use of fossil fuels reduced many forms of negative feedback, enabling us to realize our full potential for exponential growth. This natural capacity is being reinforced by growth-oriented neoliberal economics—nurture complements nature. Problem: the human enterprise is a ‘dissipative structure’ and sub-system of the ecosphere—it can grow and maintain itself only by consuming and dissipating available energy and resources extracted from its host system, the ecosphere, and discharging waste back into its host. The population increase from one to eight billion, and >100-fold expansion of real GWP in just two centuries on a finite planet, has thus propelled modern techno-industrial society into a state of advanced overshoot. We are consuming and polluting the biophysical basis of our own existence. Climate change is the best-known symptom of overshoot, but mainstream ‘solutions’ will actually accelerate climate disruption and worsen overshoot. Humanity is exhibiting the characteristic dynamics of a one-off population boom–bust cycle. The global economy will inevitably contract and humanity will suffer a major population ‘correction’ in this century.

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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby mousepad » Tue 22 Aug 2023, 07:58:23

Newfie wrote:
humanity will suffer a major population ‘correction’ in this century.


Do you really think this will happen this century? I would believe the correction will be a multi-century event. Long emergency type of thing.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Aug 2023, 12:39:42

In the summary he did not propose a time line. Limits to Growth posits a steep decline starting this century.

Personally it seem very reasonable to start this century, demographs of almost everywhere but Africa are indicating down. I think almost all current population growth is in Africa. China's population is approaching free fall.

How steep it is depends upon the resource issues Reese points put and how badly we miss manage the situation. I have heard him talk more candidly on a small eco/green podcast (a long time ago now) and he did not make explicit projections but was deeply gloomy.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby mousepad » Tue 22 Aug 2023, 12:48:57

Newfie wrote:demographs of almost everywhere but Africa are indicating down.

But that's different. That's voluntarily not due to famine/pestilence etc.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Newfie » Tue 22 Aug 2023, 13:37:15

Mouse,

Good point.

There are apparently various reasons our population can decrease, Reese discusses a significant and obvious cause. There are additional causes and it is damn difficult to tease them apart. I have no doubt Reese is correct but think his factors are already working and/or there are additional factors he does not discuss.

Another cause is the Behavioural Sink effect.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_sink

We should watch China and learn as they are on the bleeding edge. Their population peaked a while ago and is heading down rather rapidly.

Dec 3 (Reuters) - China may be downplaying how fast its population is shrinking, and a recent policy to promote three-child families has poor chances to improve birth rates, a fertility expert told the Reuters Next conference on Friday.

Fuxian Yi, senior scientist in the obstetrics and gynecology department at the University of Wisconsin, said he estimated that China’s 2020 population was 1.28 billion rather than the 1.41 billion census number reported and that fertility rates were lower than reported.


https://www.reuters.com/world/china/res ... 021-12-03/
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby jedrider » Thu 24 Aug 2023, 16:30:51

Anything that creates more housing relative to population is welcome at this point. :-D
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 26 Aug 2023, 13:52:28

Wild populations of some animals grow until they reach and then overshoot the limits of their food supply, and then their population crashes due to lack of food.

Overshoot in human population is likely to end the same way.....with mass famines and a crash in population.

When I look at the news, I pay special attention to news stories about climate change and crop failures.

IMHO, as the number of humans on the planet continues to grow, some agricultural areas will become unsuitable for raising crops due to climate change. The human population will overshoot the carrying capacity of our modern civilization and that will lead to mass famine and human population crashes.

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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby AgentR11 » Sun 27 Aug 2023, 12:14:54

How much is just a movement of suitable cropland zone from one place to another, say from the midwest to southern Canada; or further north within Russia? If new zones open as old zones close, it could be a long time for overshoot to take a bite out of the population, but of course, that also means that bite will be all the more devastating....
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Peak_Yeast » Sun 27 Aug 2023, 17:05:41

I find it wildly optimistic to think that descent will be evenly and smooth or even slow. I think that if technology has shown us anything it is that it is an efficient creator of Seneca Cliffs. Look how fast they can cut down a 1000 sq.miles of forest or how fast the wildlife in Russia dwindled during a tiny beep of collapse of the USSR.

Look at how areas of the ocean is just vacuumed of every single living thing. Look at the collapse of Cod at Cape Cod. The crabs in Canada. The disappearance of other animals. The moment plentiful of fossil fuels are not available production or extraction of impacted resource is going to literally zero since there are no high grade deposits left nor can it be done with human labor.

Once a hard enough bump is on the road we know the leadership will jump to extreme violence - since this is a tried and proven way for a 1000 years. Even in the best of times its impossible to keep the psychos pacified with endless riches.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 27 Aug 2023, 19:00:15

PeakYeast,

I agree, a bumpy ride indeed. And very hard to predict any of the details. But the long term trend seems to be towards a smaller population.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby theluckycountry » Wed 30 Aug 2023, 00:33:29

Peak_Yeast wrote:I find it wildly optimistic to think that descent will be evenly and smooth or even slow.


You have read the deagel forcast?
https://nobulart.com/deagel-2025-forecast-resurrected/

Deagel.com’s [infamous] 2025 forecast was removed from their website sometime in 2020. The content is reproduced here for reference and educational purposes.


A very interesting read, I didn't know what to make of it myself. Some things are so extreme you just blank them off and go make yourself a coffee but I re-read it from time to time in light of the virus, in light of Europe starving for gas now.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 30 Aug 2023, 10:14:32

I can’t find much of anything about Deagel. Their web site does not contain an “about” section or explanation of their data or sources, at least that I have found.

They rate Russias “power” whatever that means at 1,000 and the USA at 893, which seems patently absurd, unless they are just counting claimed nuclear war heads. But ai see no explanation if what their numbers mean.

I have no before seen any news source so opaque.

If you can find more on this Deagel I would he interested.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sun 12 Nov 2023, 09:00:08

Newfie wrote:I have no before seen any news source so opaque.

If you can find more on this Deagel I would he interested.


sorry for the long delay, unlike most forums this one does not notify me when a post is quoted. The analysis from Deagel was on their website for some time and then it was pulled but many saved the pages and analysis out and it's been covered by many alternate news outlets since. Google it for podcasts etc, here is a link to the basic data. https://nobulart.com/deagel-2025-forecast/

Deagle 2025 Forecast

“The Deagel corporation is a minor branch of US military intelligence, one of the many secretive organizations which collects data for high-level decision-making purposes and prepares confidential briefing documents for agencies like the National Security Agency, the United Nations, and the World Bank. It is known, for example, to have contributed to a Stratfor report on North Korea. With this kind of pedigree, Deagel should be seen as a legitimate player in the intelligence community and not merely a disinformation asset.

If so, then it must be assumed that its population predictions for 2025, as well as its industrial output predictions on a nation-by-nation basis, are based on strategic assumptions which are shared and well understood by other players in the intelligence community.” I think that the Deagel 2025 Forecast figures are based on an assumption, or perhaps knowledge, that there is a storm coming – the confluence of genocide, manufactured chaos, and anticipated earth changes.

Deagel.com’s [infamous] 2025 forecast was removed from their website sometime in 2020. The content is reproduced here for reference and educational purposes...
https://nobulart.com/deagel-2025-forecast/
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby jato0072 » Sun 12 Nov 2023, 16:24:50

An interesting read, especially the narrative; "Deagel’s accompanying context statement on the original data"

Deagel wrote:The collapse of the Western financial system will wipe out the standard of living of its population while ending ponzi schemes such as the stock exchange and the pension funds. The population will be hit so badly by a full array of bubbles and ponzi schemes that the migration engine will start to work in reverse accelerating itself due to ripple effects thus leading to the demise of the States. This unseen situation for the States will develop itself in a cascade pattern with unprecedented and devastating effects for the economy. Jobs offshoring will surely end with many American Corporations relocating overseas thus becoming foreign Corporations!!!! We see a significant part of the American population migrating to Latin America and Asia while migration to Europe – suffering a similar illness – won’t be relevant. Nevertheless the death toll will be horrible.


An economic collapse would trigger many deaths, but it appears the $USD is nowhere near being replaced as reserve currency, not without a hot world war. Post fossil fuel decline (net energy) and a few decades may do the trick, but not this decade.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sun 12 Nov 2023, 19:36:25

Yes, well the Deagel forecast is for these events to occur by 2025, so we don't have long to wait to see the outcome of it. As for the $US reserve currency, the article made no mention of it, and there is no reason It can't still be used in the impoverished Western nations, in much the same way as the British pound sterling was used by it's colonial subjects for a period after it's fall from grace.
The United Kingdom's pound sterling was the primary reserve currency of much of the world in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. That status ended when the UK almost bankrupted itself fighting World War I and World War II and its place was taken by the United States dollar.


The forecast shows a clear divide though between the US and it's satellites, and what has emerged as the BRICS nations. Now that's interesting given the events of the last two years isn't it. The resource rich BRICS nations are poised to switch to their own reserve, not based on Oil or Chinese Renminbi or Rubles, but on the Gold all of them have been stockpiling for decades now. Even Singapore has amassed a fortune in Gold, and as history shows, when a reserve currency collapses the nations always go back to Gold. The $US only achieved reserve status in the first place because it was backed by Gold, but that became a problem in 1970 when the French demands for settlement in said Gold forced the US to default and abandon Gold backing. It was too late to escape the system by then as the Dollar was entrenched, and every nation had no choice but to go along for the ride.

It's quite clear the BRICS have a plan to instigate this same Gold system between themselves. They are just waiting for the right moment. With Gold there is no need for trust between nations. The trust is in the Gold itself. All these dots have been clearly laid out but the average person has ignored them. Why have these BRICS countries been stockpiling gold whereas the West has been selling it? There seemed no reason 15 years ago but It's logical now once you connect the dots.

All the Western nations are so bankrupt that the term lacks meaning. To reconcile their books would require a wipe-out of much of their SS systems as well as the majority of the stock market and housing market values. People can't imagine this because they have grown up in these bubbles but the fact remains that by all historical measures these valuations are insane. The USSR system was very similar in respect to pension and housing obligations and the restructuring was long and painful. The West has to go through a similar rational awakening, and looking at the current effects of the higher interest rates in the 'West' it's certainly on the horizon.

I'm sure if you had gone to an average citizen of Russia before the collapse and told them what was coming they would have laughed in your face, such is the power of shared delusions.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby jato0072 » Sun 12 Nov 2023, 23:10:32

As for the $US reserve currency, the article made no mention of it


All the Western nations are so bankrupt that the term lacks meaning.


I was focusing on the USA. Deagel called for both a huge drop in GDP and population. As long as the USA / USD$ has world reserve currency status, it can print dollars for goods and services. The only limitation is the the inflation tax which is both internal to the USA and also exported globally to whatever entity is holding $USD.

For now, the $USD is the cleanest shirt in the dirty laundry bin. Uncle Sugar can't go bankrupt as long as billions of people are accepting their freshly printed / digitally conjured $USD.

I'm sure if you had gone to an average citizen of Russia before the collapse and told them what was coming they would have laughed in your face, such is the power of shared delusions.


True. Except the USSR Soviet Ruble did not have world reserve currency status.

If the USA continues to weaken it might trigger a hot war and a Thucydides Trap type event. In which case the militaries will decide the winner of the new global power. Or we could avoid a major war and all of the major powers decline into regional powers (no global hegemon).

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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby mousepad » Mon 13 Nov 2023, 10:27:39

theluckycountry wrote:Yes, well the Deagel forecast is for these events to occur by 2025, so we don't have long to wait to see the outcome of it.


Don't hold your breath.
25 will be almost like 24 which will be almost like 23 which was almost like 22 etc etc..
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby jedrider » Mon 13 Nov 2023, 16:00:13

mousepad wrote:
theluckycountry wrote:Yes, well the Deagel forecast is for these events to occur by 2025, so we don't have long to wait to see the outcome of it.


Don't hold your breath.
25 will be almost like 24 which will be almost like 23 which was almost like 22 etc etc..


First they came for your Olive oil, then they'll come for your Wine and then, well, there will still be whiskey for a long while, hopefully. The American Indians lost their Buffalo herds, so food deprivation has happened before.
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Re: The Human Ecology of Overshoot

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 13 Nov 2023, 18:51:57

I looked into that Deavel Forecast a while back.

I could not find any reason to give it any creditability. And it quite old so we should be seeing some signs it's projections coming true.

There is an abundance of stuff to worry about in this world, Deagle ain't one of them.
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