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a simple cure for our planets problems





fastwizzard
hi all, just a general observation/discussion.
There is lots of concern about pollution and resource depletion or scarcity. We have lots of posts about global warming which seems to be pollution linked. we have billions of people worldwide starving and we are now having worldwide problems with maintaining our water supplies.
Well, as i see it, there are a couple of linked common factors that are both changeable with enough willpower on the part of governments. These 2 factors are people and economic models.
Our economic models are driven by growth. No growth and we have economic meltdown. This means ever increasing consuming of products which take more and more resources. It also means more and more people.
So we need to go to a steady state type of economy, and a stable, or even reduced world population.

what are your thoughts?
Bikerman
Err...yes....and....

This is hardly a novel analysis. The key is HOW.
World population will, if left to itself, probably stabilise around 2060-2080 at 9-10 billion. One model has it soaring beyond, whilst the other 2 main models have it dropping back.


Steady (zero growth) economic management is a policy of many ecological parties - including the Greens I think.
Capitalism depends on growth, so the west would need a revolution in order to implement such a policy. Also, why should the underdeveloped world have to stop - is that fair? Or are you suggesting that the west should stop and let india/africa etc catch up? How would that work?
ocalhoun
Agreed that an overpopulation of humans is the main cause of all our environmental problems, but what makes you think economic growth causes population growth?

Why then are some of the wealthier countries less populated, while some poor countries have huge populations?
coolclay
It's not just a stable human population that needs to occur. Like the OP stated the world's entire economic structure is at fault. When you live in a closed cycle (ie. Earth) with finite resources finite everything, you can not survive with a economy driven by growth it makes no sense at all. Eventually our society will crash and burn unless something else drastic occurs before that time. The only reason we've made it this far is because we have been able to control and change our environment. We are only setting ourselves up for epic disaster, starvation, and pain. And unfortunately as much as I attempt to teach our younger generation how to change our world, I am not very optimistic that things will change before it's too late.
HalfBloodPrince
Doesn't a steady-state economy lead to communism? Please, do that after 2080 when I'm either dead or too old to care Rolling Eyes However, more diseases like swine flu may curb the population significantly. Also, most estimates of the damage WWIII will cause range between ~2-3 billion people dead, with some radical estimates going into the ~4-5 billion range.

If you look at the patterns, it's actually the poorer/est countries with the highest population growth rates. There really isn't a feasible way to slow down growth right now. The only way to cut it down is through mass murder...and if you want to look much further into the future, perhaps we'll ship off a significant percentage into space.
ocalhoun
HalfBloodPrince wrote:
The only way to cut it down is through mass murder...and if you want to look much further into the future, perhaps we'll ship off a significant percentage into space.


<.<
Mass sterilization would be far more humane, if you just have a little patience.
Spatulax9
I agree that its not just about population but resource depletion. If one person in a wealthy country consumes the resources of 100 in another country then it doesn't matter so much that wealthy nations have slower population growth.

What I always worry about is they way people save. My concern is that the stock market would become a zero sum game. Today we make most of our retirement money by buying and holding diversified stocks. If the economy stops growing, then for one company to grow another has to shrink. That would mean you could only make money in the stock market if you really knew what was going on. On the plus side, your savings would not lose value to inflation.

Basically, in this scenario, when your parents get old they don't retire they move in with you. Smile

Something to think about.
dan751
Take perhaps a look at how much food gets wasted in Canada and United States alone.. I used to work at KFC and observed the managers throwing out 200 pieces of chicken from one night alone.
I believe that if the world's countries worked together they could possibly end poverty.

Green House Emissions galore.. Did you know motor car companies have already developed a purely hydrogen based car? Instead of Petroleum for fuel, why don't they move to water powered cars? I think that would help on a global scale.

HalfBloodPrince wrote:
There really isn't a feasible way to slow down [population] growth right now.

If I'm not mistaken, China has a law that limits 1 newborn per household. So, as to help keep their population issues under control.

I don't know how to solve the worlds problems, these are just some of my opinions. "Everyone does better when every one does better" Wink
Ankhanu
dan751 wrote:
Did you know motor car companies have already developed a purely hydrogen based car? Instead of Petroleum for fuel, why don't they move to water powered cars? I think that would help on a global scale.

Hydrogen is a pretty nice clean fuel source... except for the fact that it's more expensive to produce (energy input) than it provides (energy output). So the question is, how can we efficiently produce hydrogen? (let's ignore the safety concerns with using such a reactive fuel)
dan751
Ankhanu wrote:
Hydrogen is a pretty nice clean fuel source... except for the fact that it's more expensive to produce (energy input) than it provides (energy output). So the question is, how can we efficiently produce hydrogen?

Ankhanu wrote:
(let's ignore the safety concerns with using such a reactive fuel)
LOL. Cool

Hydrogen bomb? I do suppose that there could be some safety concerns could arise with such element. There was during the early development of diesel and petroleum fuels. I would figure it's a matter of containing the explosions perhaps.
Ankhanu
dan751 wrote:
Hydrogen bomb? I do suppose that there could be some safety concerns could arise with such element.

Nah, no worries of that... but, recall Hindenburg. Hydrogen is extremely reactive with many, many compounds, and enough of them are highly exothermic.

dan751 wrote:
There was during the early development of diesel and petroleum fuels. I would figure it's a matter of containing the explosions perhaps.


Petroleum has nothing on hydrogen for reactivity, it's quite safe in comparison, in many ways. Add in the fact that it emits primarily UV rather than visible light when it's burning and you've got added danger.
All this said, I have read about the stability of modern fuel cells. The dangers are reduced, but certainly not eliminated.
dan751
@ Ankhanu:
I see you've done your homework. I was simply expressing opinions. Perhaps to start a new thread for a more targeted debate as this seems to be getting off topic?
Bikerman
There does tend to be paranoia about petrol. In liquid form it is not particularly dangerous. I remember chucking a cigarette end (I would say fag-butt were this England, but it takes too long to resolve the potential misunderstandings) unthinkingly in the garage and watching with fascinated horror as it somersaulted towards an engine drip tray full (about one inch deep, 2ft long and 2ft wide) of petrol. The cig went out when it hit, of course (my garage had no heating and it was chilly - petrol has to have a minimum flashpoint of 22C in England by law - and I think most petrol is higher than the minimum figure, so the chances of a bang were none and the chances of it 'lighting' were probably around slim to none (where slim has saddled his horse and left town).
As a vapour...well then it gets much more energetic....
gphoenix
mate thats what we have been trying to do for almost 20 years and even the copenhagen summit was a failure..
gverutes
yea, reducing world population has been around since Malthus and probably even earlier...
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