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Thread: Population Growth "Alarmism" as a Deep Political Control Device

  1. #11
    Mark Stapleton Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burnham View Post
    [What if there really is (or through education, the potential exists in the immediate future for there to be) "enough to go around" for everyone? What if?

    I believe that through education the "lack of enough sustainable resources to go around" argument falls on its face.
    Hazy idealism.

    Humans require the resources provided by this planet. Namely food, energy, clean air, clean water etc. Without these things we are fucked.

    How will 'education' replace the things we need to survive?

    Humans are breeding other species into extinction because in our relentess drive to expand we are destroying their habitats. This will cause our eventual demise but we deserve our fate. I don't think humans are a natural product of this environment. I think there has been celestial intervention somewhere along the line. I know it sounds crazy but I can't see how we fit into the picture. We will destroy this planet.

  2. #12

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    I think a clear look at the process will see the education suggested is supported by means of this destructive economy. Everytime you suggest a solution like education a review of the nuts and bolts of the process will show it is supported by turning up the dials on the destructive process by which to make it happen. Take the alternative energy solution for instance. If you look at the process it would require turning up the destructive economy in order to produce the wealth that would allow us to afford the alternative energy solution. Our problem is we are firmly connected to a destructive economy for everything we do. In order to solve the third world paradigm we have to induce the destructive processes that third world paradigm involves. Every move you try to make involves solving the problems of the world's majority of poor by turning up the destruction to solve their situation. China has become a very educated country compared to what it was. However it is much more environmentally destructive than it ever was. The Republicans are here to make sure people never intelligently address that situation.

  3. Default

    Mark and Albert,

    What do you suggest we do to address the "problem" of over population? Shall we simply continue to allow governments the ability to fabricate pseudo-justifications for war? Or perhaps we should just manufacture justification for out right genocide in third world countries and call it that? Or maybe we can force third world inhabitants to undergo an American Sterilization Process (mandatory tube tying for females and mandatory vasectomies for males), whereby each and every one of these third world inhabitants will be prevented from producing off spring until they have repaid the money we have loaned to them plus interest? Or maybe, in a rare display of tokenism, we can sterilize them independent of the repayment of the loans to show our generosity?

    Perhaps, Mark would just prefer to give up? Sounds like it. Perhaps Albert would like to blame the Republicans and then give up.

    Wow.

    The education of which I speak isn't all that difficult to accomplish. I am not suggesting "EDUCATION" as in brick and mortar attendance. I'm talking about sharing SIMPLE INFORMATION--stuff that we have known for a century--with those who need to know about it now. If we don't help them to learn how to make their water potable, how to voluntarily limit the size of their families, how to produce more food for themselves, how to be self sufficient and get off of the "debt wagon" that we very artfully taught them about years ago--if we don't do those things then their problems will be bound to become our problems. In my view, those problems are already our problems. We're just too afraid to do the right thing. We bought into Malthusianism over a century ago, coupled it with Darwinism and now live in fear of extinction.

    Oh, and by the way: HUMANS belong on this planet. It is our home. Let's not be so self important as to believe we can destroy the planet. We cannot. That is delusional and self involved thinking. The planet has survived a lot of things many times more powerful than humans. If we screw up long enough the planet will destroy us, not the other way around.
    GO_SECURE

    monk


    "It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."

    James Hepburn -- Farewell America (1968)

  4. #14
    Mark Stapleton Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burnham View Post
    Oh, and by the way: HUMANS belong on this planet. It is our home. Let's not be so self important as to believe we can destroy the planet. We cannot. That is delusional and self involved thinking. The planet has survived a lot of things many times more powerful than humans. If we screw up long enough the planet will destroy us, not the other way around.
    We are in agreement on this. What I meant was humans will destroy life on this planet. By the time we're finished, the environment on Earth will probably resemble that of Venus.

  5. #15
    Mark Stapleton Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burnham View Post
    The education of which I speak isn't all that difficult to accomplish. I am not suggesting "EDUCATION" as in brick and mortar attendance. I'm talking about sharing SIMPLE INFORMATION--stuff that we have known for a century--with those who need to know about it now. If we don't help them to learn how to make their water potable, how to voluntarily limit the size of their families, how to produce more food for themselves, how to be self sufficient and get off of the "debt wagon" that we very artfully taught them about years ago--if we don't do those things then their problems will be bound to become our problems. In my view, those problems are already our problems. We're just too afraid to do the right thing. We bought into Malthusianism over a century ago, coupled it with Darwinism and now live in fear of extinction.
    All very idealistic. And patronising to boot.

    For a start, you seem to think only the third world countries are travelling on the 'debt wagon'. America's private debt level currently sits at about 53 trillion dollars--dwarfing even America's massive public debt. First world countries are every bit addicted to debt as third world countries. You make the same mistake neoclassical economists make by only considering public debt and ignoring private debt.

    Why would third world countries comply with pompous lecturing from first world counties who already consume far more than their fair share of the world's resources? And why should they? Sounds like a solution dreamed up by a right wing think tank.

  6. #16
    Mark Stapleton Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Burnham View Post
    Mark and Albert,

    What do you suggest we do to address the "problem" of over population? Shall we simply continue to allow governments the ability to fabricate pseudo-justifications for war? Or perhaps we should just manufacture justification for out right genocide in third world countries and call it that? Or maybe we can force third world inhabitants to undergo an American Sterilization Process (mandatory tube tying for females and mandatory vasectomies for males), whereby each and every one of these third world inhabitants will be prevented from producing off spring until they have repaid the money we have loaned to them plus interest? Or maybe, in a rare display of tokenism, we can sterilize them independent of the repayment of the loans to show our generosity?

    Perhaps, Mark would just prefer to give up? Sounds like it.
    Imo, the only way the overpopulation problem can be satifactorily addressed would be by evenly redistributing the planet's wealth. Only then could measures preventing overpopulation be accepted or enforced globally.

    Do you think that's going to happen? That's why I describe your post as hazy idealism.

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    Call it idealism if you like, Mark. Feel free to exaggerate my position making it easier to defeat. But, I'm still wondering at the fact that this Malthusianistic Paradigm has been so deeply ingrained as to make it literally A FACT of life that most are unwilling to even question its validity.

    If Malthus was right (which is the position you seem to have accepted) then one ends up in the world as we now know; a world of power mongers and peasants; a world in which GLOBAL solutions are suggested by many who believe that the problems are insurmountable; a world constantly engaged in several wars; a world full of conflict.

    However, if Malthus was wrong (which is the position I accept) then one can envision possibilities beyond those to which we would otherwise be bound and by which we would be limited. Perhaps the overly simplistic solutions I offered as examples fail to solve the problem, but that's not the point. The point is that we are limited by the paradigms within which and from which we operate. Paradigms need to be questioned and rejected when appropriate.

    So, I ask again, "Even if Malthus was right in 1798 about the world as it then existed, what if he is wrong about the world as it exists now in 2011?" After all, a whole lot has drastically changed regarding population control and food production. It is literally a different world--1798. So, I don't think my original idea is so far off the mark. And if we allow ourselves to begin by simply imagining a non-Malthusian solution may exist, we then at least have a chance to find alternative solutions that are realistic. However, if we remain married to a paradigm that is inadequate to the evidence, then we imprison our souls and shackle our minds.
    GO_SECURE

    monk


    "It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."

    James Hepburn -- Farewell America (1968)

  8. Default

    This article seems to fit the discussion here.

    Published on Sunday, July 3, 2011 by The Seattle Times

    Seven Billion Souls and Counting: the Perils of an Overpopulated Planet

    The dangers are many — from food shortages to climate change and fears of resulting social tensions and economic crises.

    by Neal Peirce


    WASHINGTON — The population of Planet Earth is now projected to pass the 7 billion mark this October — up from just 2.5 billion in 1950. One study shows that if today's explosive birthrates in developing nations continue, the African continent alone, by the end of this century, could have 15 billion people — more than twice the population of the world today.

    This won't happen. As populations age and urbanize, today's fertility rates — in many poor nations an average of five, even six children for every woman — are bound to recede.

    But the speed of the decline depends significantly on whether women have access to family planning and contraception services. Plus legalized abortion. Unwanted pregnancies and abortions are actually declining in countries that have made abortion legal, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Yet it notes that 70,000 women around the world die each year from illegal, often seriously botched abortions.

    A closely related issue: food for our expanding billions of people. Popular "Malthusian" concerns — how many people the globe can sustain — were put to rest by the fabled Green Revolution that flowered from the 1960s onward, bringing dramatic gains in new corn, wheat and rice varieties, huge new irrigation systems, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use.

    But more crop gains — especially gains to match the world's population growth — may be seriously limited. "The great agricultural system that feeds the human race is in trouble," Justin Gillis reports in a New York Times roundup of global food issues. A special point of concern: Demand for production of four crucial staples — wheat, rice, corn and soybeans — has begun to outstrip production. Some grains more than doubled in cost in 2007 and again in the most recent price spikes.

    Why is this occurring? Check your newspaper — recent weather disasters, from fires in Arizona, heat-scorched harvest loss in Russia, deep drought in Australia to record-setting floods in Pakistan and right now in North America. Plus melting glaciers and rising tornado, typhoon and hurricane threats. Add to that fresh indication that the rising carbon-dioxide levels of a warming climate will not, as many scientists had projected, necessarily act as a plant fertilizer and help raise yields.

    But the world's population plays a major role too. In 1960, the Population Press reports, there were 1.2 acres of good cropland for each person in the world. Today that figure has shrunk to half an acre per person — in China a quarter acre, a decline compounded by soil degradation.

    Nothing in human or natural life is infinite: One day world population must and will stop expanding. Yet there's remarkably little U.S. or global discussion of the perils in today's rising world population — to food, to climate, and in fomenting social tensions and economic crises.

    The Copenhagen summit, for example, produced no mention of population issues. British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough suggests there's a "bizarre taboo" around population, as if it's "not PC, possibly even racist to mention it."
    And in U.S. politics, the debate (and apparent new Republican orthodoxy) focuses on "right to life" anti-abortion politics as if population issues were virtually nonexistent. The House of Representatives in February actually voted to reinstate the so-called "gag rule" — denying foreign organizations receiving U.S. family-planning assistance the right to use their own non-U.S. funds to advocate for, or provide information and referrals for, legal abortions.

    First imposed by President Reagan in 1984, the gag rule was rescinded by President Clinton, reinstated by President George W. Bush in 2001, then lifted by President Obama when he took office. When it's in effect, vast numbers of women worldwide are denied community-based reproductive-health counseling, resulting in dangerous abortions by untrained providers.

    On top of that, there's now strong Republican pressure to cut deeply into the core federal budget allocations for international family planning and reproductive health — at $615 million a year, a tiny fraction of what we spend for our foreign wars.

    The United States has its population challenges at home — building the infrastructure, from schools to roads to food supply — for a predicted 100 million more people by 2040. Preparing for an expanded nation, including a proposed national infrastructure bank, needs to be accelerated — right now.

    Locally, there are sparks of good news — inventive new ways to build metropolitan economies, reduce regional carbon emissions, cope with schooling and social issues — topics I often cover in this column.

    But there's an alarming possibility: that our best community efforts may be stopgaps, even canceled out, until national policy turns from denial to engagement on the pressing global issues of global population, food and climate change — the very basics of life on Earth.

    © 2011 Neal Peirce

    A closely related issue: food for our expanding billions of people. Popular "Malthusian" concerns — how many people the globe can sustain — were put to rest by the fabled Green Revolution that flowered from the 1960s onward, bringing dramatic gains in new corn, wheat and rice varieties, huge new irrigation systems, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use.
    This is an interesting and confusing paragraph.The author seems to think we have pretty much put the Malthusian paradigm to rest.And,why the heck he conflates the green revolution of the sixties,with pesticides, non-organic fertilizers,and God forbid,Monsantos engineered seeds,is rather mind boggling.

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/03-1
    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    Buckminster Fuller

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Millea View Post
    A closely related issue: food for our expanding billions of people. Popular "Malthusian" concerns — how many people the globe can sustain — were put to rest by the fabled Green Revolution that flowered from the 1960s onward, bringing dramatic gains in new corn, wheat and rice varieties, huge new irrigation systems, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use.
    This is an interesting and confusing paragraph.The author seems to think we have pretty much put the Malthusian paradigm to rest.And,why the heck he conflates the green revolution of the sixties,with pesticides, non-organic fertilizers,and God forbid,Monsantos engineered seeds,is rather mind boggling.
    Keith - agreed. Indeed, the entire article is a mess, with initiatives and concepts only half understood and often misinterpreted.

    The position of America's Republican party is particularly badly represented.

    Whilst the Republicans have pandered to their anti-abortion Christian base over international funding of abortion, the right has frequently facilitated extreme and dangerous population control methods, such as experimental chemical sterilization agents. Field use in the developing world of such dangerous techniques has often been achieved using right-wing foundations as cut-outs.

    Indeed, it's highly likely that the Bush family - like many affluent WASP families - is essentially eugenicist in outlook.

    I'm not sure what is more pathetic: the view that "Aryan DNA" is inherently superior or the view that "WASP DNA" is the path to global prosperity and enlightenment.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Klimkowski View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Millea View Post
    A closely related issue: food for our expanding billions of people. Popular "Malthusian" concerns — how many people the globe can sustain — were put to rest by the fabled Green Revolution that flowered from the 1960s onward, bringing dramatic gains in new corn, wheat and rice varieties, huge new irrigation systems, synthetic fertilizers and pesticide use.
    This is an interesting and confusing paragraph.The author seems to think we have pretty much put the Malthusian paradigm to rest.And,why the heck he conflates the green revolution of the sixties,with pesticides, non-organic fertilizers,and God forbid,Monsantos engineered seeds,is rather mind boggling.
    Keith - agreed. Indeed, the entire article is a mess, with initiatives and concepts only half understood and often misinterpreted.

    The position of America's Republican party is particularly badly represented.

    Whilst the Republicans have pandered to their anti-abortion Christian base over international funding of abortion, the right has frequently facilitated extreme and dangerous population control methods, such as experimental chemical sterilization agents. Field use in the developing world of such dangerous techniques has often been achieved using right-wing foundations as cut-outs.

    Indeed, it's highly likely that the Bush family - like many affluent WASP families - is essentially eugenicist in outlook.

    I'm not sure what is more pathetic: the view that "Aryan DNA" is inherently superior or the view that "WASP DNA" is the path to global prosperity and enlightenment.
    I agree. The article is very ambiguous over-all and the conclusion reached is not only poorly reasoned, but obscurely defined.

    I appreciate the significance of your comments, Jan.

    It's interesting to note that the vast majority of species inhabiting this planet (of which we are aware) refrain from killing their own kind. When an animal kills prey, for instance, others of the same species do not come and engage the "owner of the meal" in mortal combat over it. They may have a conflict, even a fight, but never to the death. As an example, many butt their heads together until one calls it a day and moves on. We see similar behavior from male animals competing for females in the wild. Many literally back up and slam their heads together until one says, "Take her..I have a headache now anyway..." and that's the end of it. But not humans. We will kill each other as though that meal that our fellow human being has earned the right to consume is the LAST opportunity to eat! We will kill for it.

    Perhaps animals realize that there really is enough to go around. The lion knows that there is another wildebeest (or other source of protein) nearby--so he does not need to fight to the death with his own species. Has anyone ever known a person who found a single roach in a closet and, upon killing it, exclaimed: "I'm just so glad that was the only one"? Roaches do not come singularly...nor do sources of food. Not in 2011.

    If the resources needed by humans are truly being tapped beyond sustainability, then perhaps it is just time for us to go extinct. That's the way it is for other species, why not us, too? The idea that we can somehow manage and preserve a Malthusian "unsustainable environment" by killing each other is simply absurd, in my view.

    But, what if there are other choices? What if...?
    Last edited by Greg Burnham; 07-04-2011 at 08:27 PM.
    GO_SECURE

    monk


    "It is difficult to abolish prejudice in those bereft of ideas. The more hatred is superficial, the more it runs deep."

    James Hepburn -- Farewell America (1968)

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