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View Full Version : Too Many of Whom? rejecting the population explosion



sufi
12-01-2010, 12:13 AM
great pamphleteering, all properly referenced up,
precisely debunking the neo-malthusians which i heartily approve of
(up til perhaps when in starts going a bit swppy towards the end :))

http://dustormagic.net/NOII/TooManyOfWhomJan10.html


Being “too many” is a hard, indeed a terrifying, charge for a lone human being to face. It can be applied to anyone. And it will be, increasingly, in all manner of insidious, destructive and even deadly ways, if the current trend to target “sheer human numbers” invades the political mainstream and we have a return to full-blown population politics: an old, prurient politics driven by an itch to control not just the movement of (certain kinds of) people, but also their sex-lives, and their very existence.

slim jenkins
13-01-2010, 07:24 AM
Stupid people shouldn't breed?
More culling.

Mr. Tea
25-01-2010, 06:25 PM
The New Economic Forum says that at a global economic growth rate of 3%, carbon intensity would have to fall by 95% by 2050 from 2002 to keep mean temperature rises at no more than 2 degrees C. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8478770.stm)

Clearly not gonna happen.

Absolute population figures are a huge factor in this whole question of trying balance economic growth against 'sustainability', whatever you consider to be 'sustainable'.

nomadthethird
25-01-2010, 09:51 PM
The New Economic Forum says that at a global economic growth rate of 3%, carbon intensity would have to fall by 95% by 2050 from 2002 to keep mean temperature rises at no more than 2 degrees C. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8478770.stm)

Clearly not gonna happen.

Absolute population figures are a huge factor in this whole question of trying balance economic growth against 'sustainability', whatever you consider to be 'sustainable'.

Anybody who can't acknowledge that humanity's (and, let's face it, most eukaryotic lifeforms') days are numbered has their head so far up their ass it's probably not even worth discussing with them, really.

A period of unprecedented monospeciation has preceeded every other mass extinction-- and the upcoming one has been no exception. It's the price the earth pays for life evolving on an uphill slope toward more complexity.

I guess if you care about this sort of thing, you can take comfort in the fact that the basic building blocks of multi-cellular life will remain on Earth in (probably extremophilic) bacteria. So if the universe doesn't die a heat death first, it's likely that in tens of billions of years, a bunch of new ecosystems will form and new creatures will repopulate and start the whole process over again.

Mr. Tea
26-01-2010, 12:51 PM
I dunno, there's obviously Big Trouble in store for us in the not-too-distant but I think forecasting actual extinction is going a bit far. That would take an event that wiped *everyone* out in one go, and if we ignore stuff we have no control over (asteroid impact, nearby gamma-ray burst), that basically leaves global nuclear war - and even with Iran/Pakistan/N. Korea in the club, I can't see that happening any time soon. The climate change angle would lead to life becoming progressively more difficult with resources becoming more and more scarce, but I think after a point this would bring about negative feedback as you'd have large-scale depopulation and a concomitant destruction of our industrial capabilities and a decrease in intensive farming. Hell, if enough people died we might even see some reforestation.

PeteUM
26-01-2010, 03:04 PM
Well that's cheering in a sense. On the heads up asses question I heard Radio 4's take on this story yesterday and it seemed to be unwittingly attempting to reinforce the notion that we are essentially too stupid to live.

nomadthethird
26-01-2010, 08:12 PM
I dunno, there's obviously Big Trouble in store for us in the not-too-distant but I think forecasting actual extinction is going a bit far. That would take an event that wiped *everyone* out in one go, and if we ignore stuff we have no control over (asteroid impact, nearby gamma-ray burst), that basically leaves global nuclear war - and even with Iran/Pakistan/N. Korea in the club, I can't see that happening any time soon. The climate change angle would lead to life becoming progressively more difficult with resources becoming more and more scarce, but I think after a point this would bring about negative feedback as you'd have large-scale depopulation and a concomitant destruction of our industrial capabilities and a decrease in intensive farming. Hell, if enough people died we might even see some reforestation.

I don't think it's going to be catastrophe as such killing everyone, it's just going to be atmospheric conditions eventually becoming counterconducive to all but the simplest forms of life.

Maybe some really deep sea creatures will survive if there are waters that stay cool enough, but they've been there forever anyway...maybe some heterotrophs low on the food chain...

Even if everything but bacteria die, eukaryotes would probably evolve again in some form like 50 billion years after the atmosphere cools down. But then the sun's going to burn out anyway eventually, and the universe will keep expanding until particles are so far away they can't even generate heat or energy for things like evolution and shit. It's all just a matter of time, any way you look at it.

swears
26-01-2010, 09:24 PM
Doesn't matter... none of it's real anyway (http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html).

nomadthethird
26-01-2010, 10:46 PM
Doesn't matter... none of it's real anyway (http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html).


substrate-independence. The idea is that mental states can supervene on any of a broad class of physical substrates. Provided a system implements the right sort of computational structures and processes, it can be associated with conscious experiences. It is nor an essential property of consciousness that it is implemented on carbon-based biological neural networks inside a cranium: silicon-based processors inside a computer could in principle do the trick as well.

Computers are going to look awesome covered in moss and algae and whichever oxides ...

The Matrix can fucking quote me on that.