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As Global Consumption Skyrockets, 'Full Footprint' Felt by Millions


#1


#3

Anyone who believes our lifestyles can continue indefinitely is a fool. Life in our grand children's future isn't going to be pleasant. Oil and the countless technologies that are derived from it has caused our human population to explode. We are not a very intelligent species.


#4

number two, or maybe even 1b, is the grotesque/obscene over-consumption of "our" world. this is a long-standing ploy by the capitalists and has sapped our will.


#5

This article shows why it gets scary from here on in. There is no escaping what lies ahead. The only question is whether we make our best effort to create a decent world or we let the disintegration of potential continue unchecked as it creates misery? Do we clear cut or make sustainable harvest the rule? Sustainable harvest has the potential to continue indefinitely or do we do things like overfish until the fish stocks collapse and recovery is no longer possible (a decrease of potential - a lost potential)

Suddenly we notice... that there are too many of us to keep working against each other but to survive we must begin to work together.

Will we?


#6

To even have a prayer of keeping temps under 140 degrees F in the shade (60 degrees Celsius, which has already been reported in both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia according to BBC a few years ago) we have got to go to a Global One Child policy like China resorted to and outlaw the private automobile.

You want a ride? You must share. Otherwise, walk to the train track.

We are in the throws of the Sixth Great Extinction event on Earth according to biologists who chronicle the hundreds of species disappearing each year.


#8

My gut feeling is Nero fiddles while Rome burns.


#9

More like a Greek Lyre and Nero recited poetry (his own 'natcherly) and the truth may be (we aren't sure) that he wasn't responsible but figured that he would be blamed so he blamed the christians and used the opportunity to build some extravagant something or other on the land which had been burned out.

Rome was rather unique in having megalomaniac mass murderers who liked to build things like aqueducts and coliseums and stuff.


#10

So, when are we going to demand that ALL nuclear power plants be shut down....because, once everything begins to go to pot, it will be too late to start, since it takes 30 -40 years to do so....


#11

My gut feeling is the White Rabbit is running around saying "It's late! It's late!" but we don't listen. When finally we do decide to listen by then he will be saying >>> "It's too late! It's too late!"


#12

I wish we would. But first I wish we would remove all nuclear weapons from the world. Nuclear weapons are satanic. Weapons of genocide.

Bernie is the only one decent enough to call for the end of our nuclear weapon arsenal.


#13

Go to the library and read about demographic transition. When a society industrializes and women are emancipated, the population growth rate decreases. Japan and Russia have negative growth rates and the US is close to zero population growth.

However, industrialization is not possible without burning fossil fuels. So, we have a Catch 22. The only way to solve our population problem is to industrialize 3rd-world countries (they have very high growth rates). But industrialization increases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and this causes the earth to warm.


#14

The richest 7% of humans emit half of human greenhouse gases and cause similar proportions of most other ecological problems. The poorest 6 billion people cause a little over 20% of the GHGs. The developed countries are at replacement rate, essentially not growing at all through birth. The only groups growing significantly are those who have virtually no effect on climate and only a minority effect on other ecological problems. The richest people cause war, resource depletion, deforestation and desertification, overfishing, dead zones, most pollution, ocean acidification, political and economic oppression and bubbles, and pretty much every other problem we have.


#15

Those of you who are predicting doom need to remember that the Rev. Malthus also predicted the end of civilization in the 18th century. Malthus said that population growth is exponential and food production increases linearly. So, we will outstrip our ability to feed ourselves.

Since this did not happen, Malthus was wrong. The reason he was wrong is that demographic transition occurred in countries that underwent industrialization and emancipated women. The industrialized west and Japan and now China experienced decreased growth rates (Japan and Russia actually have negative growth rates).

Malthus also did not foresee improved agricultural techniques (the ability of farmers to produce food has maredly increased since Malthus was alive).


#16

No Roman Emperor can compare with Hitler and Stalin when it comes to megalomania and mass murder.

I like the theory that the fire was started by Christian zealots who thought Nero was the anti-Christ (see the Book of Revelation) and wanted to bring about the Second Coming of Christ by burning down Rome (the Babylon of that time).


#17

Industrialized nations produce carbon dioxide because industrialization is only possible if you burn fossil fuels as a source of energy. Industrialization (and emancipation of women) bring about demographic transition, that is why the industrialized west has low population growth rates (Japan and Russia have negative growth rates).

So, to solve the population problem, we will have to transfer wealth to 3rd-world countries so that they can industrialize and this wil bring about demographic transition. But (and this is a very big but), the only way 3rd-world countries can industrialize is if they burn fossil fuels as a source of energy.


#18

I thought renewable energy has a role in future societies. Why is this not an option in your thinking? Especially if the wealthier countries were to, gasp! subsidize the development needed for such. HK students have built lightweight solar panels that can be installed like blinds on windows. Seems like there ought to be some consideration given to alternative kinds of energy-generating possibilities and not simply assert an unsupported claim that fossil fuels are necessary.


#19

The reality is that it is the technological systems of industrialized civilization that are irreversibly using up the limited natural material resources, producing the irrevocable waste material and devastating the environment. In the main, people only make decisions about using what nature and these systems provide. There is an irrevocable commitment of resources to operate and maintain this infrastructure although decisions could possibly be made to reduce this commitment gradually. The demise of this infrastructure this century is certain due to the declining availability of natural resources, particularly oil A die off of the population for a variety or reasons is also certain..


#20

I would add a slight modification to these comments.

The number one problem in the living world today is global warming. It is an existential problem.

Up until the 1990's (or 80's or 70's when Paul Ehrlich published his book), human population growth was the most serious world problem. It's been relegated to #2. Also, over-industrialization of the world to solve the ever present population growth problem is not the answer to the existential global warming problem, as goofer has already pointed out.

As an afterthought, I'll add that none of these problems can even be addresses until the supreme problems of raptor capitalism in particular and capitalism in general are addressed.


#21

Your initial argument conflates correlaton with causation. It is just as easy to argue that it is education (about birth control etc.) that causes that reduction in birth rates.
And who says industrialisation requires fossil fuels other than you?


#22

Indeed. The old population canard (which is an issue nonetheless) is the hiding place for all who want to justify their material comforts.