## overpopulation, serious political and economical problems

 Quote by mheslep Hi John - Note the "Quote" button at the bottom every post. It will save you the trouble of manually cut and pasting as you have done below. No. I meant it in only in response to the suggestion up thread that where ever we see starvation or a fouled environment - that population must be the cause. There are other possibilities. I suggested one, and I think it far more likely based on even casual observation of various societies around the world.
I am not sure that starvation and polluted waters are only explained by a disfunctional government.

those countries where is found most often starvation are often in war. They are farmers and herders. Then, being a farmer and an herder, if the population keeps growing year after year, they need the agriculture lands and the pasture lands to grow apace with the population growth. The problem is that the land to farm and the lands to graze do not grow up. Moreover, sometimes the rain is half the amount expected and most cultures fail and most pastures are to scant to feed the great number of animals. Then, tempers get sour and wars start here and there. Then, this explains the starvation. If you would not the history of US or Europe a little better, you would see that from time to time, people were starving.
you can watch some parts, like
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s#19th_century
or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...s#20th_century
Being so near in time, they are more credible.
John Galaor
 You're right, I will grant that not everyone's concern with overpopulation is not the same. Some will consider the effects on an economy as a primary concern. Some will consider the effects on human health and psychology. So on, so forth. However, economic practices and social issues aside, I will suggest that the number of people on the planet will relate directly with the number of starving people, befouled water sources, and species going extinct. What is the point in going forth and multiplying if for every child birthed hundreds of animals die? I would contend that view myopic: if hundreds of thousands of years of an evolutionary pathway comes to end because a few more people should be born. There is a trade off here and I would say its not in the favor of more people. Further, what if we just go forth and multiply? Do you want to live in a world where you can't see a polar bear, panda, amphibian, turtle, leopard, etc. in a zoo let alone their wild habitat? This is my primary concern. Humanity just cannot coexist. As the only other life forms we know of in this entire universe, it is myopic and anthropocentric to not assign every lowly one of them some worth.

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 Quote by feathermoon You're right, I will grant that not everyone's concern with overpopulation is not the same. Some will consider the effects on an economy as a primary concern. Some will consider the effects on human health and psychology. So on, so forth. However, economic practices and social issues aside, I will suggest that the number of people on the planet will relate directly with the number of starving people, befouled water sources, and species going extinct. What is the point in going forth and multiplying if for every child birthed hundreds of animals die?
In many places that is not what is happening, mainly in the developed world, with societies that protect the rights of women and allow economic growth so that large families are not required for survival. Regarding animal populations, again for the developed world see, e.g. a single carribou herd in Alaska which is nearly half a million animals, and the total population in Alaska is approaching one million animals, a large growth from decades ago.

I'm interrupting, but I had to respond to this!
 Quote by Max Faust The last time I was having this discussion, I suggested (half in jest) that voluntary sterilization should be rewarded, for instance with 10,000 dollars if you're a man and 50,000 if you're a woman. Paid in cash, no questions asked. As you can imagine, this caused a bit of an outrage.
Why is this an outrage? It seems to solve a lot of the problems. The poor are much more likely to take advantage of this, thereby slowing the population increase of the poor (and usually uneducated), while the rich, educated folk tend to have fewer kids anyway. So no more overpopulation, the poor get some income, and everyone wins!

Sadly I'm only half joking, but don't bite my head off! :)

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 Quote by Max Faust The last time I was having this discussion, I suggested (half in jest) that voluntary sterilization should be rewarded, for instance with 10,000 dollars if you're a man and 50,000 if you're a woman. Paid in cash, no questions asked. As you can imagine, this caused a bit of an outrage.
 Quote by dreiter I'm interrupting, but I had to respond to this! Why is this an outrage? It seems to solve a lot of the problems. ...
One obvious objection of payday sterilization is that it could easily lead to abuses, real or imagined, where the rich and powerful finance the sterilization of this or that group that it did not like.
 And how is this different than rich/powerful groups denying or supplying funding to groups they do or don't like? I believe this already happens!

 Quote by dreiter I'm interrupting, but I had to respond to this! Why is this an outrage? It seems to solve a lot of the problems. The poor are much more likely to take advantage of this, thereby slowing the population increase of the poor (and usually uneducated), while the rich, educated folk tend to have fewer kids anyway. So no more overpopulation, the poor get some income, and everyone wins! Sadly I'm only half joking, but don't bite my head off! :)
It's not going to work. Simple math. The average birth rate in the world is something like 20 per 1000 per year. To achieve population stability, we should shoot for something like 10 per 1000. So, we need to perform enough sterilizations to remove 70,000,000 births per year. Assuming that one female sterilization removes two births, that is 35 million sterilizations, times $50,000, or 1.75 trillion dollars per year. This is a huge amount of money, considering that the total amount of money currently spent on financial aid to developing countries (where the bulk of sterilizations would have to take place) is on the order of$100 billion per year. Even if you cut the sterilization premium by a factor of ten, that's still not feasible.
 I have a few points to bring up. Firstly, the common argument that the earth is crowded, is not true. Cities are crowded, but there are still vast amounts of sparsely populated land. People are clustered together into areas where they can get jobs. The problem has nothing to do with space, it has to do with economics, resources, technology and pollution. The other point is that many of the problems blamed on overpopulation, have other factors such as corruption, oppression, etc. Some cases countries are just too weak in terms of might to contend, and end up being abused by stronger nations. Some nations are trapped in economic situations they can't overcome. If they had smaller populations, it would only make it harder for them to pay their debt. In terms of pollution, there sure are a lot of irresponsible, or even criminal polluters out their dumping toxic waste on massive scales, purely out of greed and convenience. There is a lot that could be done to clean up environment without reducing the population.

 Quote by dreiter I'm interrupting, but I had to respond to this! Why is this an outrage? It seems to solve a lot of the problems. The poor are much more likely to take advantage of this, thereby slowing the population increase of the poor (and usually uneducated), while the rich, educated folk tend to have fewer kids anyway. So no more overpopulation, the poor get some income, and everyone wins! Sadly I'm only half joking, but don't bite my head off! :)
the main trouble with this idea is not the rich countries, but the others. The most dirt poor a nation is the more population growth it has. In the other hand, the traditional idea is to grow, for the nations that grown can traditionally win wars, for they had more young people to sacrifice in them. Then, this explains why conservatives had been in favor of population growth; even traditional churches, etc.

My idea is that we got problems in the rich countries, with the immigrants we had accepted, for they are growing too fast in numbers, creating a series of problems of unemployment in our cities, that often pass as rejection of their culture or racism. In fact, they tend to conserve the customs of their original countries, not only on religion, that is not the main problem, but in attire quite different to western standards. The is viewed by natives con certain fear, and some outright rejection. Then, the proper immigrants and their descendants are cultivating hate for our western morals and customs.
If these problems are not solved, we are going to have a nasty crisis in our cities in twenty years or so. Then if they keep growing so fast, we are goint to have a serious problem, for they would out-bred us.
John Galaor
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 Quote by jreelawg I have a few points to bring up. Firstly, the common argument that the earth is crowded, is not true. Cities are crowded, but there are still vast amounts of sparsely populated land. People are clustered together into areas where they can get jobs. The problem has nothing to do with space, it has to do with economics, resources, technology and pollution. The other point is that many of the problems blamed on overpopulation, have other factors such as corruption, oppression, etc. Some cases countries are just too weak in terms of might to contend, and end up being abused by stronger nations. Some nations are trapped in economic situations they can't overcome. If they had smaller populations, it would only make it harder for them to pay their debt. In terms of pollution, there sure are a lot of irresponsible, or even criminal polluters out their dumping toxic waste on massive scales, purely out of greed and convenience. There is a lot that could be done to clean up environment without reducing the population.
this comment of yours,
"Cities are crowded, but there are still vast amounts of sparsely populated land. People are clustered together into areas where they can get jobs."

The sparsely populated lands are mostly hot deserts, or lands too poor to cultivate, or lands too cold most the year, or too plagued with mosquitos.
This comment on your part made me recall a Jesuit priest (Roman Catholic) on the TV commenting that "the world was not overpopulated". To prove his point he said, "Australia is mostly unpopulated. You can put in Australia the whole population of China and they would not be crowded." I was aghast with this comment. I would like to reply to him, "even in Antarctica this billion people would be a lot more spread out". Or as some jerk once told me, "I do not see any trouble with overpopulation, we still have the moon and the planets to colonize."
Then, the conclusion is simple, we have not problems with overpopulation, we have a lot of deserts and frozen tundra million square miles to send the excess of people. Moreover, as nearly 3/4 of the planet surface is water, we can build floating cities all over the oceans and saving all those people that can not find a room to live in deserts or Antarctica. Almost have the dry lands of the earth are hot or frozen deserts.

John Galaor
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 We can even improve the trick of building floating cities all over the oceans. We can dwarf people with drugs to make them weight an average of 15 or 18 pounds. It would be easier to feed them and to give them drinking water. Houses to live would be a lot much smaller, and it would be easier to treat the excreta and all that. This way we can have not trillions people living, but quadrillions of people. Gawd would be very happy with the result of his famous advice, "grow and multiplied and conquer the whole earth". John Galaor .

 Quote by John Galaor this comment of yours, "Cities are crowded, but there are still vast amounts of sparsely populated land. People are clustered together into areas where they can get jobs." The sparsely populated lands are mostly hot deserts, or lands too poor to cultivate, or lands too cold most the year, or too plagued with mosquitos. This comment on your part made me recall a Jesuit priest (Roman Catholic) on the TV commenting that "the world was not overpopulated". To prove his point he said, "Australia is mostly unpopulated. You can put in Australia the whole population of China and they would not be crowded." I was aghast with this comment. I would like to reply to him, "even in Antarctica this billion people would be a lot more spread out". Or as some jerk once told me, "I do not see any trouble with overpopulation, we still have the moon and the planets to colonize." Then, the conclusion is simple, we have not problems with overpopulation, we have a lot of deserts and frozen tundra million square miles to send the excess of people. Moreover, as nearly 3/4 of the planet surface is water, we can build floating cities all over the oceans and saving all those people that can not find a room to live in deserts or Antarctica. Almost have the dry lands of the earth are hot or frozen deserts.
What is a reasonable population density for a modern city, the density where everyone has their private space, and room to walk around, and a nearby park, and all the waste can be processed and recycled in a sustainable way?

Manhattan has the population density of 27,000 per sq.km. And, contrary to public opinion, it's not all skyscrapers. Most skyscrapers are office buildings, people north of the 40th street tend to live in houses 10 stories tall at most. So we can exceed that. Several cities in India already do (though not in a healthy, sustainable way). Let's be conservative and shoot for 20,000 per sq.km.

7 billion divided by 20,000, that's 350,000 sq.km. of urban jungle. Approximately 0.25% of the total dry land on Earth, slightly smaller than Germany.

Now I want you to imagine a megacity the size of Germany, surrounded by 99.75% of the land surface in its pristine form. Dense forests where you could walk for two months without seeing the light of day. Bears and wolves. So many whales in the oceans that they represent a navigation hazard. Minimally invasive excursions from the megacity to all corners of the planet (feel free to hike & bike around, but no shooting of wild animals except for self defense).

You'd probably object that 7 billion people will need a lot of food, minerals and electricity. I'll get to that next.
 Let's cover food now. With modern agricultural technologies, most grains can exceed 5 million calories per acre per year, potatoes can exceed 10, some fruit can go higher than that. We want to feed 7 billion people, 2000 calories per day or 730,000 calories per year. So we should be able to do that comfortably with one billion acres or 4,000,000 sq.km. of cropland. This is a bit more than what we spent on housing, but it's still less than 2% of total dry land, and we can share that land with native animals, to a degree. But wait, you're not a vegetarian? Not a problem. We can get you some fish. Would be comfortable with 50 kg of fish per year? That's more than every developed nation in the world except Japan consumes. To do that, we'd need to convert about 2 million sq.km. of ocean surface (0.5% of total area) into fish farms, assuming that there's no commercial fishing and all farms are as primitive as possible, with no supplemental feeding. The use of intensive fish farming technologies could reduce that requirement further. Next, electricity. The United States consume 1,500 watt per person. Multiply by two to be safe. Divide by the average output of a solar panel in a desert part of the United States. I get 120 sq.m. of solar panels per capita, or 840,000 sq.km. of solar panels: one tenth of the Sahara. Sorry, I still don't see the overpopulation problem.

 Quote by hamster143 What is a reasonable population density for a modern city, the density where everyone has their private space, and room to walk around, and a nearby park, and all the waste can be processed and recycled in a sustainable way? Manhattan has the population density of 27,000 per sq.km. And, contrary to public opinion, it's not all skyscrapers. Most skyscrapers are office buildings, people north of the 40th street tend to live in houses 10 stories tall at most. So we can exceed that. Several cities in India already do (though not in a healthy, sustainable way). Let's be conservative and shoot for 20,000 per sq.km. 7 billion divided by 20,000, that's 350,000 sq.km. of urban jungle. Approximately 0.25% of the total dry land on Earth, slightly smaller than Germany. Now I want you to imagine a megacity the size of Germany, surrounded by 99.75% of the land surface in its pristine form. Dense forests where you could walk for two months without seeing the light of day. Bears and wolves. So many whales in the oceans that they represent a navigation hazard. Minimally invasive excursions from the megacity to all corners of the planet (feel free to hike & bike around, but no shooting of wild animals except for self defense). Show me the overpopulation, please. You'd probably object that 7 billion people will need a lot of food, minerals and electricity. I'll get to that next.
There is not any problem with population density in cities, provided we have enough energy to solve the problems involved.
Then problem is not the present problem, it is the future problem of overpopulation and the fact that people do not want to speak of it.

I imagine that feeding all the present people is a question, not of political will, but of having enough energy to run the machines to cultivate, harvest, store, and process and transport that food to the consumers. Then, as not all the nations have enough wealth to buy the machinery and the fuels necessary, this would result of the tragedy for those poor countries in a not distant future. Then, most western people do not feel to be obliged to feed those few billions of poors in the world. That is why I think this is a dramatic prospect. Are we obliged to feed two or three billion hungry people in the near future?

Then, to start with, I do not see the problem as a problem of having enough room. But we can ask ourselves... what is the purpose of a constant growth of the planet population? Is it, as my catholic priests were saying when I was child, that God was happy hearing all those millions of human voices singing his praises? It seems preposterous to think a god need to hear us praising him for being such a good god.

Then it is not a problem of density per se. It is a problem that it looks absurd that we cannot face this issue of overpopulation because it is a taboo.

But even, a modest growth like the average in this planet during the last 200 years, that is simple 0.9% a year. It can look as nothing.
The population of the world has multiplied in the last 2010 years by 30
this number is found dividing 7billion by 230 millions (the population of the planet in year 1 of cE.)

But if we take a calculator and do the numbers, In the last 2010 years,
1.009^2010=66 millions.

There is a great difference between 30 and 66 millions.
If this figure is multiplied by 230 millions that were living in year 1
it agave us, 230 millions by 66 millions is more than 15,000 trillion people.
for the firm lands of the planet are like simply 1.5(10^14) sq meters. That is...
15,000 trillions people is written as 1.5 (10^16)
Then dividing 1.5 (10^16) people by 1.5(10^14) sq meters
gives us 100 persons per sq. meter, or 100 million people per sq Km, or
39 million people per sq. mile.
1 sq mile is like 2.56 sq Km. [(1.6^2)=2.56]

Then, the trouble is that people, even educated people, look as if they do not understand elemental maths.

Then, when we try to imagine that natural sources of energy, like sunlight, or wind, could save our asses, in place of the exhaustion of fossil fuels...
We are not aware that to build all these infrastructures also consumes a lot of energy. Mostly coal and oil.

We are not willing to change our ways of consumption, to let out our love affair with cars.
We, the rich people, are wasting our precious resources, and the poor countries are breeding so fast, like they would never have any trouble to feed themselves.
Taken as a collective, human beings are not rational.

And take note that I did not mentioned the troubles of a warming climate, or the extinction of most animal species of the planet or the extinctions of fishes.
So, it is not a problem of putting people crowded in a huge city in the desert. It is not a problem of space. It is a logistic problem. It is a problem of energy. How to feed and give drinking water to so many, how to treat the refuse of excreta and others, like dead bodies, etc. How to irrigate more and more fields carrying water from thousands of miles to the desert lands, and so on.

John Galaor
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John Galaor
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 Quote by hamster143 Let's cover food now. With modern agricultural technologies, most grains can exceed 5 million calories per acre per year, potatoes can exceed 10, some fruit can go higher than that. We want to feed 7 billion people, 2000 calories per day or 730,000 calories per year. So we should be able to do that comfortably with one billion acres or 4,000,000 sq.km. of cropland. This is a bit more than what we spent on housing, but it's still less than 2% of total dry land, and we can share that land with native animals, to a degree. But wait, you're not a vegetarian? Not a problem. We can get you some fish. Would be comfortable with 50 kg of fish per year? That's more than every developed nation in the world except Japan consumes. To do that, we'd need to convert about 2 million sq.km. of ocean surface (0.5% of total area) into fish farms, assuming that there's no commercial fishing and all farms are as primitive as possible, with no supplemental feeding. The use of intensive fish farming technologies could reduce that requirement further. Next, electricity. The United States consume 1,500 watt per person. Multiply by two to be safe. Divide by the average output of a solar panel in a desert part of the United States. I get 120 sq.m. of solar panels per capita, or 840,000 sq.km. of solar panels: one tenth of the Sahara. Sorry, I still don't see the overpopulation problem.
the problem of overpopulation is not a problem just now. It is a problem for the future.
You are considering the productivity of the best places of the planet to grow food. But this places are in short supply. There are some places in this planet that can feed a lot of people. The problem is the cost in energy. The most far away are the consumers the most energy is required to serve them. So, this gave us a problem.
Nobody is thinking that a place like Hong Kong or Singapore will have problems to buy food in the future. At present they are good exporting good to the rest of the planet.
But you can have a look a these present rates of growth in the planet. Look in this link,
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/pe...on-growth-rate

Look at this, for those who do not want to click on the link
# 1 * Maldives: 5.566%* 2008
# 2 * United Arab Emirates: 3.833%* 2008*
# 3 * Liberia: 3.661%* 2008*
# 4 * Uganda: 3.603%* 2008*
# 5 * Kuwait: 3.591%* 2008*
# 6 * Mayotte: 3.465%* 2008*
# 7 * Yemen: 3.46%* 2008
# 8 * Burundi: 3.443%* 2008
# 9 * Gaza Strip: 3.422%* 2008
# 10 * Congo, Democratic Republic of the: 3.236%* 2008*
# 11 * Ethiopia: 3.212%* 2008*
# 12 * Oman: 3.19%* 2008*
# 13 * Macau: 3.148%* 2008*
# 14 * São Tomé and Príncipe: 3.116%* 2008*
# 15 * Burkina Faso: 3.109%* 2008*
# 16 * Benin: 3.01%* 2008*
# 17 * Madagascar: 3.005%* 2008*
# 18 * Niger: 2.878%* 2008*
# 19 * Western Sahara: 2.868%* 2008*
# 20 * Mauritania: 2.852%* 2008*
# 21 * Somalia: 2.824%* 2008*
# 22 * Comoros: 2.803%* 2008*
# 23 * Rwanda: 2.779%* 2008*
# 24 * Kenya: 2.758%* 2008*
# 25 * Equatorial Guinea: 2.732%* 2008*
# 26 * Mali: 2.725%* 2008*
# 27 * Gambia, The: 2.724%* 2008*
# 28 * Togo: 2.717%* 2008*
# 29 * Congo, Republic of the: 2.696%* 2008*
# 30 * Turks and Caicos Islands: 2.644%* 2008*
# 31 * Eritrea: 2.631%* 2008*
# 32 * Afghanistan: 2.626%* 2008*
# 33 * Senegal: 2.58%* 2008*
# 34 * Iraq: 2.562%* 2008*
# 35 * Haiti: 2.493%* 2008*

Yours
John Galaor
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 Quote by John Galaor this comment of yours, "Cities are crowded, but there are still vast amounts of sparsely populated land. People are clustered together into areas where they can get jobs." The sparsely populated lands are mostly hot deserts, or lands too poor to cultivate, or lands too cold most the year, or too plagued with mosquitos. This comment on your part made me recall a Jesuit priest (Roman Catholic) on the TV commenting that "the world was not overpopulated". To prove his point he said, "Australia is mostly unpopulated. You can put in Australia the whole population of China and they would not be crowded." I was aghast with this comment. I would like to reply to him, "even in Antarctica this billion people would be a lot more spread out". Or as some jerk once told me, "I do not see any trouble with overpopulation, we still have the moon and the planets to colonize." Then, the conclusion is simple, we have not problems with overpopulation, we have a lot of deserts and frozen tundra million square miles to send the excess of people. Moreover, as nearly 3/4 of the planet surface is water, we can build floating cities all over the oceans and saving all those people that can not find a room to live in deserts or Antarctica. Almost have the dry lands of the earth are hot or frozen deserts. John Galaor .
Sorry, but your way wrong, you live in a bubble. And I didn't say overpopulation wasn't a problem, only that space isn't even close to being an issue at all.

 Quote by jreelawg Sorry, but your way wrong, you live in a bubble. And I didn't say overpopulation wasn't a problem, only that space isn't even close to being an issue at all.
sorry, man. I agree, space is not a problem. Several orders of magnitude before room to live would be a problem, we will have to meet with the problem of energy. To cultivate food intensively and to transport to all consumers around the world would be a huge challenge in the near future.

Did you see the arguments of Jared Diamond in his book "Collapse"? I share his idea.
The leaders of society are very conservative and their way is not planning ahead, for several decades or so. Then, the economy of societies is so delicate, that and sudden change would produce a shock and great turmoils. People in general hate the idea of consuming less energy than last year. To consume more is all right, but not to consume less.

Then, the society that was living in Greenlandin in the 14 Century, by example, were consuming energy, "firewood" beyond the sustainable means of the land. They totally deforested the land in some decades. Trees grow very slow in those latitudes. You cannot not even see any tree or bush in Iceland nowadays. Then, Greenland was covered of trees in its southern part until the arrival of the colonists. .
For unknown reasons this people were not eating fish, or seals, like the Inuits, but only some meat from hunting caribou, and the products of some dwarf cows.
To feed those cows was a terrible nightmare, for the season for growing grass was too short. Then the cows had to graze and a part of the land would be used to harvets hay for the winter.
Sometimes, the start of good weather was much in delay and they had to feed the cows with seaweed. They had to force their cows to eat seaweed pushing it in their mouths by hand, for the cows did not like the taste of seaweeds.

Many cows died of starvation. Then, the firewood needed was not only for cooking, but to boil water to wash the vessels to produce the cheese. Then, they were getting very short of iron and had to produce charcoal to made new iron out of peat mud, that is a poor mineral. Then metallurgy, was also a greedy consumer of firewood to make charcoal. We need five pound of firewood to get a pound of charcoal.
In the end they all died all of starvation in the 15 century, for the weather was foul and the ships from Norway were not arriving any more. They were too poor and the risk to sail so far north were much greater with the sea full of icebergs in the summer.

The case of Ester Island is also well known. There had been a number of videos talking about this. The case is that to carry this huge statutes from the volcano to the sides of the shore, they needed a lot of wood. They were cutting all the trees with the purpose of making rails to push the moais to their place in the shore. They were not only cutting the trees to make rails, but also other class of trees, to take their bark and make ropes for pulling on the gigantic moais over the rails, and to tie the rails with sleepers, to maintain the rails in place.

Other classic collapse could be the Maya civilization.

It is not that the leaders would not see the troubles ahead. But to acknowledge these troubles meant to accept they were wrong. Some people would had probably foreseen the problems ahead.
Well, leaders are stubborn enough to remain in power till the collapse arrives. It in the character of the leaders not to give up. To give up means to loose their power. Then, unless the rest of the dominant class would topple he main leader down, he would persevere till the dooms-day.

Then, when leaders are united, they stay in command till it is too late to solve the problems of a society.
This what will happen to us with the exhaustion of fossil fuels.

The reason in part is fear of people itself. When they would start to push the consumption of energy down, people would rebel or make a revolution. They could not believe in the bad news until is too late.

Then, all this wonderful technological civilization we are presently enjoying would tumble down like a house of cards.

Nobody can believe such a aghast prediction. It is the course of Casandra.
Educated people is very happy speculating about going to Mars or to asteroids to mine minerals, or about how to travel through the nearest stars of our Galaxy.
How can be someone be as stupid as being preaching we have such a nonsense problem as an overpopulation ahead? How can we believe that in a few decades we would have a problem with exhausting oil? We have not finished paying for our SUV 4 wheeler yet!

John Galaor
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 Tags evo, overpopulation