Re: Ehrlich's predoictions did pan out, but to a far lesser extent +

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Posted by kelphead on July 11, 2001 at 18:55:12:

In Reply to: Ehrlich's predoictions did pan out, but to a far lesser extent + posted by mike on July 10, 2001 at 21:00:20:

malthus (in a nutshell):

"I think I may fairly make two postulata.

First, That food is necessary to the existence of man.

Secondly, That the passion between the sexes is necessary and will
remain nearly in its present state."

"Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of
population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce
subsistence for man.

Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio.
Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight
acquaintance with numbers will shew the immensity of the first power
in comparison of the second.

By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of
man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.

This implies a strong and constantly operating check on population
from the difficulty of subsistence. This difficulty must fall somewhere
and must necessarily be severely felt by a large portion of mankind."

'malthusians' support population control due to the
finite resources of the planet.

**these statements do not take into account
the state of war and disease and how they each
play a vital role in 'controlling' human population,
mainly b/c one can never predict when war/disease will
break out or how severe it will be
(he only made two assumptions, when there should
be more factors to reckon with, and therein lies
the "flaw" in the argument: there's really more to it
than eating and humping).

**one thing that is overlooked, and for understandable
reason, is the agro-technologies (ie, pesticides) that
have been created since the time of malthus and how
they have contributed to the increase in food production.

however, though pesticides (and more recently
bio-engineering of food crops) have contributed
positively by increasing food yield, they have
also contributed negatively to the environment {<---- the original topic of our discussion}
and hence, have contributed to the devastation
of our planet.

**one other thing that is overlooked is the
presence of excess and of non-biodegradable
waste--the amount of resources that
are consumed for their production, and the
permanent waste that is generated by them.

this is my big point: that some people seem to
overlook the obvious--which has nothing to
do w/political persuasion--of using too much
of something to the point that it causes
environmental stress (for example, overfishing)
or of using something that we put into the
ground, or into the water, or into the air
which does not belong there (for example, cfc's)
and yet the birh of babies is somehow the exclusive
blame for all of earth's ills.

i just don't agree w/that belief, no matter how
many times you repeat it or how you package it,
i just don't agree that my abuse and your abuse
of the planet's resources is directly linked
to the birth of babies. is there a density
problem? YES!!!! but density is not the
same as 'overpopulation'. there is lots of
open land around the globe (60% of humans live
in coastal communities). perhaps we need to
figure out a way to inhabit the rest of the
planet in order to reduce density: though
hong kong is extreeeeeeeeeeemely dense,
mainland china actually has a TON of open space
(hmm, i suppose i should know since i hiked some
it last year)--of course, i understand the
politics of this region, but my point is that
china has a lot of open space which is very
habitable and not dense at all--the same is true
for other areas of the planet.

increasingly, methods used by indigenous peoples
are being recognized as less destructive (whether
it be in medicine or in hunting) relative to
industrial methods.

you can't tell me that our detrimental way of
producing paper which releases dioxins into our
environment is to be blamed on the birth of

the ozone layer depletion also cannot be blamed
on the birth of babies.

this discussion began when one person made
a reference to the destruction of our environment
being caused by "senseless babymaking."

my contention is that the destruction of our
environment (air, water, and ground) is not
the sole, nor even the greater cause--i can give
you equal, but not greater.

there may be a lot of shit being excreted from
us humans (and our pets!), but at least shit
is more natural and biodegradable--can't say
that for a lot of other stuff we create, use,
and discard.

as for the waste treatment suggestions made
by the u.n., that was my point: it's services such as this {<------ johnb, clue in now}
that are what 3rd world societies need, not more
non-biodegradable diapers. the shit is not
the problem: it's the treatment of that shit.
we live in a society where we pay taxes
for such services: others don't and they don't
receive what we take for granted as basic community
needs. health service and education are other
such needs that the 3rd world societies desperately
need, and for you to question how responsible
they will be w/all of it, that sure sounds
pretty damn elitist if not bordering on bigotry:
how are you sure that the 1st world societies
have been "responsible" w/all of our amenities?
rhetorical q {<----- take note johnb}: there's
only one answer and that is we haven't been
completely responsible ourselves: hence the mess
that we have gotten ourselves into.

you can't be serious in blaming the birth of
babies abroad to the grade "F" for water quality
that the santa monica bay receives year after year.
or the sewage leaks that laguna beach frequently
experiences. or the major sewage leak that
we had in huntington beach all last summer (2-3
months of leaks).

you can't be blaming the devastating oil barge
leaks that occur seemingly on a daily basis around
the coastal u.s.--and the one off south africa
that threatened the large penguin population there.

ultimately, you have yours, and i have mine.

i've written/said all that needs to be said
and nothing more will make a difference (to
you or me).

it's all out there for anyone to decide for

droughts have come and gone around our globe,
and it had nothing to do w/the birth of babies.

i do appreciate your recommendations; i have
already started to read a book entitled "victorian
era holocausts". haven't gotten very far yet,
but it is a description of how the el nino phenom
that swept through huge swaths of territories
(stretching from north africa all the way to
china) created such mass famine that the world had not
recorded before that time, and how that vulnerability
contributed to the colonialism/imperialism of
europe, of which affected nations are today still
dealing w/the legacy: a combination of mother
nature's cycle and human politics/greed that impoverished

in the meantime, best regards, and happy, safe diving
to you--at least while there is still something to dive.


[[ps. mike, i'm sure you think i'm utterly stupid,
and though we don't see eye to eye on this issue,
for what it's worth, i have to sincerely say that
i really did 'enjoy' this discussion...i thought it was 'fun'.

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