7 billion people and you

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  • #51
Evo
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Overcrowding? A tiny fraction of the Earth's surface is populated.
But the places people have to live for work, food, etc... are mostly overcrowded. Sure, you can try living in the Gobi desert.
 
  • #52
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Sometimes it makes me wonder if we should really be doing research on trying to cure things like cancer, slow aging, and solving other diseases. Maybe it is just nature's way of containing population.
 
  • #53
DaveC426913
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But the places people have to live for work, food, etc... are mostly overcrowded. Sure, you can try living in the Gobi desert.
That's the point of dioungal's 'efficient resource utilization' comment:

I don't see how anyone dares to advocate any kind of population limitations without first maximizing the efficiency of resource-utilization
We crowd into cities because it's convenient not because we've run out of room. There is a lot of the world that is way more liveable than the Gobi desert with some care and attention.
 
  • #54
Evo
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That's the point of dioungal's 'efficient resource utilization' comment:



We crowd into cities because it's convenient not because we've run out of room. There is a lot of the world that is way more liveable than the Gobi desert with some care and attention.
But space isn't the problem, it's the ability to financially and economically sustain people. how are people going to get money if they can't find a job? We can't employ the people alre4ady here, how can we keep adding to the list of unemployed?
 
  • #55
wolram
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It's not the US but the third world countries that concern me. I doubt you can put any kind of caps on them.
caps would not work, one needs a stopcock.
 
  • #56
DaveC426913
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caps would not work, one needs a stopcock.
A statement that equally applies to the overpopulation solution too. :biggrin:
 
  • #57
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But the places people have to live for work, food, etc... are mostly overcrowded. Sure, you can try living in the Gobi desert.
There are many more resources on this planet than we know. Don't discount the resourcefulness of man.
 
  • #58
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From a practical standpoint, maximizing efficiency only to worry about limiting population when we're reaching the limit puts billions of people into vary precarious positions. Think of how much nicer our world would be without overcrowding!
That's if you actually believe in the overpopulation myth.

On the other hand, I believe children are a real blessing, and do not like the idea of depriving parents of that blessing. Nevertheless, how much blessing do parents need?
The structure of your question makes it look as if children were a problem.
 
  • #59
Evo
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There are many more resources on this planet than we know. Don't discount the resourcefulness of man.
People are unemployed and it's getting worse, it's not a matter of "resources". It's not a matter of space. OY.
 
  • #60
DoggerDan
Overcrowding? A tiny fraction of the Earth's surface is populated.
True. So what's your opinion on Earth's limit, assuming we stick to land-based farming and stop raping the oceans of fish? Sorry, but as a diver I'm well away of just how far down our fisheries are doing these days.

What I don't know is how our ocean hauls compare to that produced on land. If a minor amount, we could cut back on fish and still survive. If it's huge, then how do you propose to seriously increase land production to cover the difference? One thing we can't do is continue fishing the way we do. We've over-reached the oceans ability to produce for more than a decade, and if we dig too deep, we'll have more than a handful of lean years during which we will have no choice but to allow the oceans to recover.

But the places people have to live for work, food, etc... are mostly overcrowded. Sure, you can try living in the Gobi desert.
Lol, is that the only other option? I don't think so. You do bring up a good point, though, and that's most humans tend to congregate rather than spread out. A lot of that has to do with the fact humans tend to somewhat specialize, which requires trading with others i.e living close by those with whom they trade. For someone who's a jack of all trades, they can live further out. Still, things like medical care require some regular contact.
 
  • #61
DoggerDan
People are unemployed and it's getting worse, it's not a matter of "resources". It's not a matter of space. OY.
So it's a matter of resourcefulness?

From what I've read of Darwin, has this changed all that much in the last several million years? Perhaps we have a tremendously greater degree of cooperation than a collection of chimps.

So, let's make this work for us. Lucy didn't have the Internet.
 
  • #62
Evo
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So it's a matter of resourcefulness?
No, it's the matter of unemployment and all of the trickle down problems that come wih unemployment.
 
  • #63
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People are unemployed and it's getting worse, it's not a matter of "resources". It's not a matter of space. OY.
But thats clearly a failure of policy more than anything else. Its not like we've run out of productive things for people to do. Much of the world doesn't have infrastructure, and plenty of people COULD be employed building it.

Until we hit a wall on energy production (maybe solar gets good enough, maybe it doesn't), there will always be useful things people COULD be doing, we just need public policy good enough to make sure they have the opportunity to do it.
 
  • #64
Evo
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But thats clearly a failure of policy more than anything else. Its not like we've run out of productive things for people to do. Much of the world doesn't have infrastructure, and plenty of people COULD be employed building it.

Until we hit a wall on energy production (maybe solar gets good enough, maybe it doesn't), there will always be useful things people COULD be doing, we just need public policy good enough to make sure they have the opportunity to do it.
People don't have the skills to change careers. Who's going to pay for their new education and support them and their families until they can get jobs again? Who's going to pay to relocate them and their families? Who's going to pay for these new jobs?

Too many people applying for too few jobs. We have never had anywhere near this many people on this planet, I'm talking billions more than we've ever had on this planet. We're hitting the wall and people are suffering and the effects are rippling around the world in mass displays of discontent.
 
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  • #65
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People don't have the skills to change careers.
Luckily the majority of unemployed people are young college graduates- the malleable putty of the labor market. Also, we have tons of unemployed construction workers in the US, and plenty of infrastructure projects that need doing- why not print some money, and hand it directly to construction workers? In exchange, they can repair our awful roads, reinforce our bridges, fix up our power grid. It would certainly decrease unemployment.

Too many people applying for too few jobs.
The obvious solution is to create more jobs. Remember more people = more people who want stuff = more jobs. Right now, we've had a massive failure of both monetary and fiscal policy so things suck, I agree. But remember, there were less people during the great depression, and things were way worse. This isn't a new problem related to population.

We have never had anywhere near this many people on this planet, I'm talking billions more than we've ever had on this planet.
I agree, but what problems do we have that we haven't had in the past, when we had far fewer people? Yes, people are going hungry, but just as many people were going hungry in the 60s. We have a lot of unemployed people, but a larger percentage of people were unemployed during the great depression.

Remember, when you say "there aren't enough jobs for people" what that really MEANS is that there isn't enough work for all the people. We aren't there yet, there is PLENTY of useful work (both high and low skill). The fact that we have work that needs doing AND unemployed people means that we are doing something wrong (we can argue about what). It doesn't mean we have too many people.

Similarly, the fact that we have food surpluses but starving people means we are doing something wrong, not that we can't feed everyone.

The fundamental constrain we risk bumping up against is energy production/oil. We well might, but we aren't there yet.
 
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  • #66
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Luckily the majority of unemployed people are young college graduates- the malleable putty of the labor market. Also, we have tons of unemployed construction workers in the US, and plenty of infrastructure projects that need doing- why not print some money, and hand it directly to construction workers? In exchange, they can repair our awful roads, reinforce our bridges, fix up our power grid. It would certainly decrease unemployment.
Isn't that what Dubai was doing .. doing all these extravagant projects? They kind of went downhill once markets crashed. And, you cannot print money that easily to fund those projects.
The fundamental constrain we risk bumping up against is energy production/oil. We well might, but we aren't there yet
We might reach there much sooner if we continue to produce mindlessly. While it can might well be argued that currently overpopulation is not a problem but I think you will agree that one point we will run into this problem sooner or later. You cannot just say ok we are now low on energy so it's time to stop population growth .. it just doesn't work. Further, you will run into all kinds of political and economical troubles all over the world. We are well seeing them even right now!
 
  • #67
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Isn't that what Dubai was doing .. doing all these extravagant projects? They kind of went downhill once markets crashed.
I'm also not suggesting extravagant projects- much of Africa, South America and China don't yet have cell coverage. Building towers would clearly be a useful endeavor. Just in the US, we can repair an ailing power grid and awful roads. This isn't lavish, its basic upkeep. There are obviously useful things that aren't being done.

While it can might well be argued that currently overpopulation is not a problem but I think you will agree that one point we will run into this problem sooner or later.
Lets say incremental improvements in solar power make it cheaper than oil or coal in the next decade. When will we hit the overpopulation problem at that point?

Further, you will run into all kinds of political and economical troubles all over the world. We are well seeing them even right now!
I'd argue that political and economic turmoil are happening because political and economic policies are failing.

What are we fundamentally running out of?
1. food- no, we can feed the whole world pretty easily right now.
2. space- drive across the midwest of the US. Plenty of livable land is sitting empty. The US has nowhere near the population density of (say) Japan.
3. work?- I can name dozens of useful projects people could be doing and aren't. We have 'developing' countries that have clear infrastructure decifits relative to 'industrialized' countries. Even some industrialized countries have let their infrastructure decay unacceptably (the US).
4. Energy- you can MAYBE make the argument here, but there is still plenty of coal, etc. Wind, solar,etc are more expensive, but we certainly aren't using them to their potential.
5. Water- I've seen this one come up, admittedly, I don't know much about it. Maybe we are hitting a water shortage? Someone with more knowledge can maybe discuss this.

Now, admittedly we aren't perfectly distributing what we have, so some people are going hungry, and some people can't find work to do. This is tragic, but its not overpopulation, its poorly managed assets and bad public policy.
 
  • #68
DoggerDan
No, it's the matter of unemployment and all of the trickle down problems that come wih unemployment.
Whenever I've been unemployed, Evo, there were no trickle-down anything. They only thing that put food on my table was my resourcefulness.

It worked, so why are you saying that's not the answer?
 
  • #69
epenguin
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7 billion! That is too much, I don't want to think about that today, I'll think about that tomorrow. Even if it will be 7.07 billion or something tomorrow or soon.

Today I'll think about - actually it is quite some time I have thought this - if you believe in reincarnation it explains the rapid extinction of species. Though the increase in human population explains the extinction of species and biodiversity in other ways.
 
  • #70
DaveC426913
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Whenever I've been unemployed, Evo, there were no trickle-down anything. They only thing that put food on my table was my resourcefulness.

It worked, so why are you saying that's not the answer?
Evo was not saying money trickles down, she was saying problems trickle down. It's a negative not a boon.

Example: too many people become unemployed and other people (like local stores ans services that depend on them) can't support themselves. The job loss and business loss snowballs.
 
  • #71
Evo
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Whenever I've been unemployed, Evo, there were no trickle-down anything. They only thing that put food on my table was my resourcefulness.

It worked, so why are you saying that's not the answer?
For society as a whole, no it's not.

This is an old report and the figures are irrelevant, the only portion I am referring to is this.

II. The Costs of Unemployment

We know that high unemployment is not a good thing, but you may not be aware of all of the reasons. Unemployment clearly has costs for the person who is jobless, but the true costs extend beyond the individual or the family affected.

Unemployment costs the economy as a whole. If we are experiencing unemployment, then we are not using all of our labor resources. This means we are at a point INSIDE the production possibilities curve. This lost output is gone forever. The relationship between unemployment and production is known as Okun's Law: An increase of unemployment by 1 percentage point will cause real GDP to decrease by 2 percentage points.

Unemployment has a domino effect as well: As people lose their jobs, they cut back on spending, which causes other workers to lose their jobs. Unemployed people will likely postpone the purchase of a new car, and not go out to eat. This may cause auto workers and waiters to lose their jobs as well.

Unemployment increases government expenditures on unemployment benefits, food stamps, etc., while decreasing income tax revenue, potentially creating a budget deficit.

Probably the most serious and most difficult to quantify are the personal costs. Higher unemployment is associated with increasing rates of suicide, domestic violence, drug abuse, and health problems.
http://www.oswego.edu/~edunne/200ch6.html [Broken]
 
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  • #72
DaveC426913
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Higher unemployment is associated with increasing rates of suicide...
See now, there's a silver lining. Unemployment in small part aids to mitigate the overpopulation problem. :biggrin:

What? What??
 
  • #73
Evo
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See now, there's a silver lining. Unemployment in small part aids to mitigate the overpopulation problem. :biggrin:

What? What??
You Pollyanna, you. :biggrin:
 
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