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Climate Change And The Global Population  
User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1419 posts, RR: 5
Posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1641 times:

A few things to say from the outset:
1) I am no expert on climate change- what I am about to post is mostly just a product of my mind wandering, what I have picked up from various media outlets and my own elementary research on the topic.
2) This post is not about man-made vs. natural climate change as there are plenty of them on a.net already.
3) This post assumes that humans play some role in climate change- I am not saying they do, or that they are primarily responsible, but rather this assumption is made just for the sake of the topic of the thread.

With all that said...

Climate change or Global warming, in my mind, can be understood as an issue of consumption- everytime humans consume something there is an environmental cost to it. When we burn gas, emissions are released; when we buy a product from the store, there has been a certain environmental cost in making, packaging and transporting that product. If we assume this to be the case, then I am curious: is there any public policy measure- extreme or otherwise- that can be taken to curb or limit climate change, or does the rate of global population growth and the consumption that comes with it outpace any measures we could take or implement to limit climate change?

I hope this makes sense, if it doesn't, just let me know. And please, keep it constructive  Smile

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1638 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Thread starter):
is there any public policy measure- extreme or otherwise- that can be taken to curb or limit climate change,

A worldwide change to a carbon neutral energy policy is your answer plain and simple.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1634 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Thread starter):
is there any public policy measure- extreme or otherwise- that can be taken to curb or limit climate change

Yes, you can take out excess population out back and shoot them. Or promote abortion. Or you can simply state that we all shall go back to the 1700's, when our impact to the environment was not as significant. Start by eliminating airplanes are forcing people to only do long distance travel via sailboats.

How's that?

 sarcastic 


User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1419 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1629 times:



Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 2):
How's that?

It is

Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Thread starter):
extreme

as well as completely unrealistic and foolish.


User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1419 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1627 times:



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 1):
A worldwide change to a carbon neutral energy policy is your answer plain and simple.

The key being worldwide I suppose.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1617 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 3):
as well as completely unrealistic and foolish.

We had a thread not too long ago about the woman who sterilized herself so as to remove any further carbon footprint that she may cause by having children. While what I wrote is extreme and foolish, it IS based on prior experience. We may not ever reach the stages I proposed, but then again there have been plenty of foolish and extreme situations that thru time became fully acceptable.


User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1603 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 4):
The key being worldwide I suppose

Yes I agree, and instead of a "big bang" we'll start from those that have the means and the technology.


User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1602 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 4):
The key being worldwide I suppose

Yes I agree, and instead of a "big bang" we'll start from those that have the means and the technology.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1598 times:

Keeping population growth under control has always been one of the keys to sustain people's survival. Whether it's an ancient tribe getting too numerous for the isolated fertile valley they're living in, or China and India starving themselves for resources in competition with the rest of the world, the principle is always the same.

One view is that overpopulation is often the result of lacking social systems in the hope that the kids will somehow take care of their parents; With proper social systems in place and contraception available, a very large number of offspring is neither desirable nor necessary, so the growth rate can decline again.

By nature, species are usually designed to over-reproduce in compensation for starved, mauled or murdered individuals. In a relatively saturated and safe environment more children will make it to adulthood, so a lower number of births suffice already.

Clean water, air and soil are resources just like oil, copper, rice or wheat; Overpopulated and under-supplied societies are always at a disadvantage; And that is true globally, regionally, nationally or even locally.

China has had already had a rather draconian "one child" policy (which has recently been softened to some extent) to get a grip on population growth; Whether by implicit or explicit incentive or by restriction, the current world population needs to be reduced to a long-term sustainable level. At the current rate of growth, it will be extremely difficult to avoid mass starvation or increasing conflicts for all kinds of resources, clean air and climate-neutral emissions among them.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1592 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
At the current rate of growth, it will be extremely difficult to avoid mass starvation or increasing conflicts for all kinds of resources

Read up about it before making such statements. There are several countries (Japan, Russia) that will see/are seeing severe problems from lack of future population potential. Europe's and the US population growth rate is BELOW the stable (not growing) level of 2.1%. And China will see HUGE problems when their young men find out that there are not even close to enough women for the future growth potential.

There are some countries that have too much growth, but there are also many that suffer from the opposite situation.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1588 times:



Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 9):
Read up about it before making such statements. There are several countries (Japan, Russia) that will see/are seeing severe problems from lack of future population potential. Europe's and the US population growth rate is BELOW the stable (not growing) level of 2.1%. And China will see HUGE problems when their young men find out that there are not even close to enough women for the future growth potential.

The world in total is already overpopulated, and even though a few(!) regions have been able to sustain this population density thus far, a total reduction is simply a necessity.

Your "shrinking problem" makes assumptions of unlimited resources globally, with the relatively small problems caused by shrinking populations blown out of proportion at the same time.

In fact Germany and Japan can relatively easily adjust to a slightly shrinking population (even assumed that that current trend would actually continue in the long run); The overpopulation and resource starvation in Africa and Asia are an entirely different and much more serious matter. And given that both regions strive for higher standards of living, resource starvation and competition would severely increase on that path - unless something is done against the overpopulation in the first place.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1582 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
with the relatively small problems caused by shrinking populations blown out of proportion at the same time.

So, what happens when the goverment financial promises made to the retiree population cannot be met by those working to put money into the system?

What happens when welfare states don't have enough workers to provide the resources for those who don't/can't?

What happens when the needs of an aging population cannot be met because of a lack of workers?

And why do you think many developed countries are basically unwilling to curb immigration?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1580 times:



Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 11):
So, what happens when the goverment financial promises made to the retiree population cannot be met by those working to put money into the system?

It is already perfectly clear that lengthening healthy lifespans mean that we will have to work longer as well. There simply is no other way. The retirement age is already being increased around here.

Since we're further increasing productivity, we don't need as many people for the same economic output anyway - and dividing the profit by fewer heads certainly is a benefit, not a problem.

Ever-escalating overpopulation as a kind of social pyramid scheme is clearly not a desirable - or even viable - alternative.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1565 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 12):
Ever-escalating overpopulation as a kind of social pyramid scheme is clearly not a desirable - or even viable - alternative.

But the adjustments that many governments WILL have to do will be a hard transition to make. And again, for most countries the discussion is not about increasing population, but that their replacement level is not even there. That's when you get a Japan situation, where their population has already started declining.

Longer lifespans are hiding this stagnant population growth as well. And again, to just replace the current population requires a growth of 2.1%. Many developed countries do not reach this high.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1556 times:



Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 13):
But the adjustments that many governments WILL have to do will be a hard transition to make.

We've been in hard transitions for several decades now. We're beginning to get good at this.  cool 

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 13):
And again, for most countries the discussion is not about increasing population, but that their replacement level is not even there. That's when you get a Japan situation, where their population has already started declining.

Same here. See my points above.

Population growth is not necessarily a positive feature in countries which are already very densely populated.

I personally expect the german birth rate to grow again during the coming decades, but even if it doesn't, it's no catastrophy at all.

We just need to abandon conventional thinking, but since it doesn't really work anyway, that's not a loss either.


User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 1510 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 10):
The world in total is already overpopulated, and even though a few(!) regions have been able to sustain this population density thus far, a total reduction is simply a necessity.

Pardon me, but would that "total reduction" involve a type of "endlösung" or what?


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1506 times:



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 15):
Pardon me, but would that "total reduction" involve a type of "endlösung" or what?

Stabilization of the economical and social situation and easy access to contraception should be sufficient.

What we have now in many underdeveloped and overpopulated countries basically amounts to continuous mass murder. Adding intentional mass murder to that would not just be morally wrong but also completely pointless and not a solution for anything.


User currently offlineSKYSERVICE_330 From Canada, joined Sep 2000, 1419 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1502 times:

Thanks all for your responses so far. When I posted this thread I just assumed the population was an ever increasing constant thus demographic policy wasn't in my mind. In terms of public policy I was thinking from more of an environmental perspective. Nonetheless, the demographic side is really interesting.

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1495 times:



Quoting SKYSERVICE_330 (Reply 17):
When I posted this thread I just assumed the population was an ever increasing constant thus demographic policy wasn't in my mind. In terms of public policy I was thinking from more of an environmental perspective. Nonetheless, the demographic side is really interesting.

Increasing population density does indeed increase the impact on the environment, so your concern is very much valid.

In the industrialized countries we're in the process of learning to reduce that impact per person as well, but the more persons, the heavier the impact nevertheless.


User currently offlineAverageUser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1482 times:



Quoting Klaus (Reply 16):
Stabilization of the economical and social situation and easy access to contraception should be sufficient.

So you're in effect saying that better living conditions would bring about a reduction in the birth rate. But if we want an actual reduction in the population itself, a single-child policy would have to be implemented and enforced by the respective governments I feel.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1479 times:



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 19):
So you're in effect saying that better living conditions would bring about a reduction in the birth rate.

Under the right conditions, yes. Justified trust in a general pension system and readily available contraceptives can do more against population growth than draconian measures imposed by force.

Quoting AverageUser (Reply 19):
But if we want an actual reduction in the population itself, a single-child policy would have to be implemented and enforced by the respective governments I feel.

Even China is abandoning the enforcement of that policy. I don't think that force can work very well there, even if it was morally justified.


User currently offlineMaidensGator From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 945 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1462 times:



Quoting AverageUser (Reply 1):
A worldwide change to a carbon neutral energy policy is your answer plain and simple.

so everyone in the world should go on the web and buy carbon credits... then the problem will be solved...

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 9):
the US population growth rate is BELOW the stable (not growing) level of 2.1%.

US population is growing, but through immigration, not natural replacement...



The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
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