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Old 02-26-2009, 05:18 PM   #1
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Default Dot Earth One Planet, Nine Billion People

Dot Earth
One Planet, Nine Billion People

On the Origin (and Fate) of Species
By Andrew C. Revkin

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/on-the-origin-and-fate-of-species/?ref=science

Good article.
This speaks volume.
Quote:
In considering the overall challenge of conserving biological diversity on a crowding planet, he concluded, at the very least humans should “at least stop doing the really dumb things.”

If not, could it be that the entire human species would end up getting one of those annual Darwin Awards?

Do we need a new ethics to conserve biology on a crowding planet? How can scientists better explain what’s at stake?
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:03 AM   #2
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That nine billion should be cut by a third. Population control needs to be addressed.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TheLorax View Post
That nine billion should be cut by a third. Population control needs to be addressed.
A one-third reduction would be a good start, but let's be careful here - this is a touchy subject, and easily could drift OT.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:08 AM   #4
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Population control is easy in the first world, studies show more education = less kids. As far as the poorest nations, it's a sad thing. As they get better water, more crops, etc, the population further swells and there becomes an even greater need for resources, leaving even more people famished and with untreated diseases. This is what normally happens when you try to apply only technology to fix a social problem.

I'm not suggesting we stop trying to help improve peoples' lives in any part of the world, I am merely suggesting that giving them more food/medicine/etc is one part of the equation. The other part has to be to reduce the growth of the population given that there are already insufficient resources to meet demands. I think it's better for 1 million people to have a high standard of living than to have 6 million starving people with a life expectancy of 45 years. On the other hand, I think what the Chinese government has done is very, very wrong. While there is a need to address population control, there is also a need to do so ethically.
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:31 AM   #5
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Well said!
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Old 02-27-2009, 03:02 PM   #6
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We do need to worry about reducing our population. We're going to exceed the carrying capacity of the planet if we don't do something very soon. I too, think it's better for 1 million people to have a high standard of living than to have 6 million starving people with a life expectancy of 45 years.
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:35 PM   #7
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"One Planet, Nine Billion People" says it all folks. Our resources are not unlimited although there are those who would tell us otherwise. This shouldn't be a touchy subject. If it is that's a shame.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:33 AM   #8
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I absolutely agree we need to reduce the population. 30 yrs ago, when the world population was more like 4 billion, I was a member of an activist group called ZPG - zero population growth. Some how in the development of political correctness, population control got to be associated with racist genocide, us white people trying to stop people of color (in the US and around the world) from having babies. So the group just died and nothing was heard about population control again until recently. So we have to be careful. US Americans consume something like 20 X what people do in under-developed countries. If we are talking about reducing population, we need to reduce 20 Americans for every one anywhere else! (And clearly the equation has to be balanced between population control and consumption control. And we have to help developing nations find a different path, not follow our mistakes. Eg is countries that are skipping the whole wiring up phase and going straight to wireless.) As noted the main and best tool for controlling population growth is education of women, giving women options, increasing the standard of living AND making birth control easily available. I initially thought the Chinese experiment was a great idea. However imposing it on a sexist society has turned out to be a disaster... Since everyone wanted a boy, they had a lot of female infanticide. Now they have a generation coming of age where the population is hugely skewed to boys, and very spoiled ones at that. Since they could only have one, they spoiled the one rotten, and now there's this generation of little princes coming of age. Not a good thing for society! Talk about unintended consequences....
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:43 AM   #9
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I remember when Zero Population Growth was actually an ethic that some women practiced and getting an education was at least important for girls as for boys. Then an educated woman was an awkward thing - no jobs unless you are taking one away from a man. In fact to have a job at all, you were likely the only female employee other than receptionists and secretaries.

Today, the ethic seems to have turned completely backward: Do you have any children? Im asked. When I say, No, .... oh I am so sorry. Then I say: I didn't want any and I didn't get any. It was my choice. What a WEIRD idea.

To limit population growth we have to learn to value the living population over the "unborn" population. And that means that women need work and jobs and things to do that are not focused on population increase.

And yes. We need to limit the consumers - US, not the 3d world and not the American Indians. They are not driving SUVs.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #10
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Next time somebody asks you if you have any why don't you ask them what they taste like just for snickers and giggles.
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