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The taboo subject of.....Population Growth

Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
edited May 2007 in Campaign
Fact: World population currently at ~6.7 billion....conservative estimates (depending on variables) at least 9 billion by 2050
Choose your own prediction:
[url][/url]http://esa.un.org/unpp/[url][/url]

I have looked carefully through the 3 IPCC reports issued this year and can find no mention of population growth, no predictions or future graphical scenarios to illustrate its effect on resource consumption or CO2 emissions
The policy debate seems exclusively focused on technology gain or lifestyle changes....but even<i> considering</i> reducing human numbers is never advanced as any kind of solution to climate change

I am interested in why politicans (including the green ones) and the media would all prefer to brush it under the carpet

Here is a subject guaranteed to induce pessimism in anyone nieve enough to believe global meltdown can be averted[V]

70 million a year and counting...........



Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
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Posts

  • Complete global meltdown (smaller scale meltdowns are inevitable and indeed seem to be happening as I type e.g.the AIDS pandemic) can be averted, it's just going to take a particularly infectious pathogen. Warfare can't create the kind of population reduction we need.

    Edited to add - Politicians of all hues don't like talking about it because there is no easy way out of the issue. It's going to boil down to many hundreds of millions human deaths, not the kind of thing that people like to read about in a Manifesto!
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    The topic is too hot to handle, that's why!

    Indigenous Europeans aren't even replacing themselves - birth-rates are below two in many countries.

    Meanwhile other peoples are breeding rampantly. (There are some projections that suggest Europe will be predominantly Muslim within 100 years because of this.)

    As soon as anyone touches this topic, accusations of racism, religious intolerance and xenophobia fly!
  • UnkrautUnkraut Posts: 1,103
    I think the answer in the West at least is that controlling the size of the population involves the state dictating how many children you have, which is about as totalitarian as you can get. To enforce this, the state would have to have absolute control, which is about as anti-democratic as you can get. This is also a reason for climate change rejection, as climate change is perceived to be a reason for more 'governance', including a world government.
    I haven't had time to look into this in detail, but at present at least in the West, having embraced the culture of death and no children life-style choice, the population is in decline anyway.
    It is a topic worth discussing though. It could at least lead to a voluntary reduction in the size of families if people were persuaded that this is beneficial.
  • spirespire Posts: 4,077
    In Europe 2.1 children per woman is considered to be the population replacement level.

    These are national averages

    Ireland: 1.99
    France: 1.90
    Norway: 1.81
    Sweden 1.75
    UK: 1.74
    Netherlands: 1.73
    Germany: 1.37
    Italy: 1.33
    Spain: 1.32
    Greece: 1.29

    Source: Eurostat - 2004 figures
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    spire's figures suggest strongly to me that the key to population control and stability has to involve a massive program of industrialisation in the so called 'third world' nations, where large families are a necessary part of the survival equation.

    Not popular with greenie environmentalists i know - but that is surely the lesson to learn?

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  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    Two big religions (Roman Catholicism and Islam) need to be leant on heavily to get them to change their wholly man made policy on the issue of contraception. That would be a start.

    Secondly the west needs to make aid grants dependent on recipient governments introducing birth control programmes. No birth control, no aid. When an Aid Minister suggested this some years ago she was howled down, being accused of cultural imperialism or some such similar nonsense.

    Governments need to take on the issue of managing the results of falling birth rates. I read somewhere that if current UK birth rates continue, the population will stabilise at around 30 million eventually. Obviously a smaller population has economic consequences i.e. fewer consumers around to buy goods. The answer of western governments to this is to allow untrammelled immigration, something which native Europeans tend to be unhappy about. This would not be difficult to manage: allow immigrants in for five years at a time and then they have to spend, say, eighteen months out of the country and when they retire they finally have to go home. This would keep everybody happy. The long term aim would, of course, be to stabilise western countries at lower population levels.

    The rest of the world will eventually follow suit if contraception becomes widely available.
  • UnkrautUnkraut Posts: 1,103
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ankev1</i>

    Two big religions (Roman Catholicism and Islam) need to be leant on heavily to get them to change their wholly man made policy on the issue of contraception. That would be a start.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
    That'll never work. "If you can't convert 'em, breed 'em"!
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    ankev'. For one currently engaged in his MA? you are spending far too much time coming here. It would be easier to tolerate if you had anything more sensible than birth control to offer to the world population control debate. ;-)

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  • ankev1ankev1 Posts: 3,686
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    ankev'. For one currently engaged in his MA? you are spending far too much time coming here. It would be easier to tolerate if you had anything more sensible than birth control to offer to the world population control debate. ;-)

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    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I may have lost the plot but it seems to me that there is an undeniable link between the availability of birth control methods and population size. In addition a world population much smaller than at present would seem to be a worthy thing to aspire to.

    BTW it's only a part time MA, i.e. I have to knock the essays out in the evenings.
  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    It's not easy to feel confident about the future of the world when looking at the sheer numbers or considering that a great many of that number come from poor educational backgrounds and areas of high religious bigotry, frequently both as one feeds on the other. The world will go through a period of the enlightenment in reverse.

    I'm not sure it's anything to do with population control. The west has dismal fertility rates for the same reason the 3rd world has high rates. Economics. I was struck actually at Christmas when we have a bit of a get together. At 35 out of 8 people I went to school with no children at all - only 1 from a slightly older friend. The truth of the matter basically everything I grew up with will be more or less totally gone in 2 generations. What will take it's place?

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    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.
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    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    It seems self evident that the areas of major <b>over</b> population concern are those of the under developed 'third world' where economic choices about social behaviour (including family size) are severely limited.

    Those of us who got lucky enough to be born in the wealthy west, or who have been able to uproot and seek better lives in the wealthy west are not really the problem. Expanding the economies in the third world significantly would likely result (eventually)in the types of population figures that spire helpfully provided above.

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  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    I don't rule out Catholacism changing in the future as this will only acknowledges the reality for many of it's followers. It also has a somewhat strange history of "official" changes to their belief system. Did you know for example that the idea of "immaculate conception" only became official belief in the 1860s? Presumably coming to that conclusion also undoes the principle of papal infallability as clearly previous popes were wrong on this...

    One of the central beliefs of Islam on the other hand is that global peace will only be achieved when we're all muslim - so I wouldn't hold your breath for change on that one.

    <hr noshade size="1">
    Elephants - where were they when we were fighting the nazis? Eh? Eh?
    <hr noshade size="1">
    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • Joe SaccoJoe Sacco Posts: 4,907
    Easy, we need to do a gene based test and only allow a certain type to breed. Then we end up with a better world.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Wasn't that one tried elsewhere with spectacularly dismal results Joe?

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  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    I think that was rather his point redcogs.


    <hr noshade size="1">
    Elephants - where were they when we were fighting the nazis? Eh? Eh?
    <hr noshade size="1">
    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    i do state the obvious..

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  • Joe SaccoJoe Sacco Posts: 4,907
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Wasn't that one tried elsewhere with spectacularly dismal results Joe?

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    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    It wasn't serious.

    Although on second thoughts, just because it has failed before...
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    ankev'. For one currently engaged in his MA? you are spending far too much time coming here. It would be easier to tolerate if you had anything more sensible than birth control to offer to the world population control debate. ;-)

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    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    The left have traditionally had other methods at their disposal. How many did Stalin bump off?
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Sorry Patrick, i can't take the idea of Uncle Joe being 'left' seriously. my reading of early 20th C Russian history strongly suggests that he was the 'counter revolution', and murder was his stock in trade, particularly of the original bolsheviks..

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  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    ...Expanding the economies in the third world significantly would likely result (eventually)in the types of population figures that spire helpfully provided above.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">The problem with this approach, of course, being that the whole world will be rendered uninhabitable by it, for our species and plenty of others anyway.

    Still, at least all of us humans will be <i>equally</i> fuc<font color="red"></font id="red">ked at last [:)]

    Anybody here read Gore Vidal's "Kalki"?
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    It seems to me the only rational way foward is for the west to export some of its over-affluence in to the 'third world' not 4x4's or plasma TV's, but basic health/sanitation/education standards and a reasonable prospects which does not involve slavery to the globalisers...ours goes down theirs goes up...nice in theory but somehow I don't see it happening too quickly
    The politicains and the greens have eagerly latched on to the idea of individual ecological footprints...a briton has 10 times the footprint of an indian therefore 1.1 billion is actually 100,000 etc they have choosen to interperate this as meaning numbers no longer matter...as long as the teeming millions are thin rather than fat[V]
    The problem is the areas of highest growth, sub-saharan africa the middle east and asia are also some of the most unstable and religious.....
    It seems to me the idea that it is elitist, illiberal or opressive to urge good family planning in the poorest countries seems ignorant and inhumane about womens rights and exploitation...the combination of birth control <i>and</i> redistributed wealth could divert the predictable right/left accusations of authoritarianism/permissiveness..racist.. fascist.. neo-malthusian

    BTW how can groups like FOE and CPRE campaign to protect green belt and completly ignore Britians expanding population...and not recognise the crucial importance of numbers on housing offices shops schools and leisure facilities?



    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    OK Nick, a reasonable criticism of a standard 'left' approach to this issue, but what is your answer?

    i confess i havn't read Vidal's work.

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  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Sorry Patrick, i can't take the idea of Uncle Joe being 'left' seriously. my reading of early 20th C Russian history strongly suggests that he was the 'counter revolution', and murder was his stock in trade, particularly of the original bolsheviks..

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    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I'm quite willing to accept that Stalin was a murderer first and foremost.
  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    An important point Gary. It's impossible for us in the UK the preach on this topic when we have a government whose central policy is expanding the economy by immigration and population increase. This is no different whatsoever to a 3rd world farmer hoping for 4 sons to help work his land and maybe sell a little surplus.

    The way forward for the UK would be for us to increase productivity by investment in technology like Germany and Scandanavia but somewhere along the way NuLabour decided this was too difficult and took the cheap and easy option instead. Given the compentence of the government and its ministers this is probably correct - anyone see Ruth Kelly the other day, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

    You are also spot-on with your 3rd world solution. Ask any agency you like, they'll tell you the same thing whether it's population, health or whatever the best way to improve the situation anywhere in the world is always the same; EDUCATE WOMEN. The issue with this of course is that many men for religious, cultural or let's face it the reluctance to challenge their own ignorance aren't very keen on this.

    <hr noshade size="1">
    Elephants - where were they when we were fighting the nazis? Eh? Eh?
    <hr noshade size="1">
    "Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
    Jean Monnet, founding father of the EU.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    OK Nick, a reasonable criticism of a standard 'left' approach to this issue, but what is your answer?<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Well, I don't suppose you'll think <i>this</i> reasonable...

    Surely the only morally tenable position is that, without damaging the planet, we should reduce the numbers of censored sapiens* to the extent that our addiction to an extractive, technology-dependent lifestyle can no longer be inflicted upon it.

    What we need is a sexually transmitted virus that renders anybody who gets it infertile. That should do the trick in a few generations.

    Any bioweapons experts here?


    *<font size="1">censored fuc<font color="red"></font id="red">kwit, more like</font id="size1">
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Y'cant beat a decently levelheaded approach to these matters.

    So its a cull then.

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  • zimzum42zimzum42 Posts: 8,294
    Start a war with China, that'll probably help, and since Coggers will fight for them, more chances for us to kill him.

    tip: you'll find him in Hampstead village, drinking Pimms



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  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by redcogs</i>

    Y'cant beat a decently levelheaded approach to these matters.

    So its a cull then.<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">You think it's levelheaded to reduce our only planet (and that of lots of other creatures) to a wasteland?

    What else are you going to do with all those people? Colonise space?

    Anyway, I haven't suggested a <i>cull</i>. I've proposed a way of preventing breeding. Imposed without repression, and equally on everybody regardless of where they live.

    I can't think of a fairer way of solving the problem of humans wrecking the planet. Can you?

    <font size="1">So you voted, and now you've got a government. I just hope YOU like it.</font id="size1">
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Now the rednecks paint me into a Maoist. For the record, China needs a social revolution to get rid of the Maoist elite and install a workers government.

    Come to think of it, we could do with something similar here.

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  • No ta... I don't want a workers' government any more than I want a bosses' one.

    Of course, my proposal solves this problem too [:)]

    <font size="1">So you voted, and now you've got a government. I just hope YOU like it.</font id="size1">
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