Alex Delarge wrote:I guess my argument would be what right does anybody have to decide anything? Not just who breeds and who doesn't. You cannot have someone else deciding how much you eat for the very same reasons.
Here is your problem. Finite space. Our current system is freedom and let people do what they want. Ok, let's dial up the speed and see what happens over time...As long as conditions are good, people thrive, when conditions are bad, people die. Given finite space and resources, only so many people can be currently living without hitting some barrier, no matter how large and no matter how far away that barrier is. Any needed increase of food production, after effective use of current resources will hurt the environment and make life here worse off over time. Once we approach population max all the things we destroyed for food production can NEVER come back. NEVER.
So it becomes an inevitable conclusion and a simple question. Which is worse, population control forced upon by society, or population control forced upon you by the environment? One is living people suffering and dying and the other is telling people you cannot have more than two children. That seems like a simple choice to me.
Now once we start having more deaths than births, due to some random event, you can adjust the birth rate, but in all honesty, I can see no other way, the things you mention are only band-aids on a more serious problem.
I don't think we can really get into the real solutions on a message board. We can despair, which is what these arguments sound like, or we can actually find solutions, which are out there, being employed (just not on the scale they need to be), mostly for lack of political power.
My opinion is, political population control is not the way. If Ted Turner thinks it's the answer, he should move to China.
Global warming is more about excess and poor choices than it is about too many people. He ignores the fact that the biggest contributors aren't the overpopulated poor construct he creates but people like him who drive and fly everywhere and probably haven't had a bike commute since he had a newspaper route as a kid and who eat at buffets where food is thrown to the dumpster.
How much water does it take to raise a cow? Think of the water it drinks, the water it takes to grow the crops that could be food crops, and the water used on some factory farms to clean up after them. Think of all that manure being leaked out of lagoons into local water supplies. Think of all those methane emissions contributing to global warming (they're greenhouse gases, too). Think how that manure COULD be used to create energy and a compostable material.
Food shortages? Stop making ethanol from corn. It's already a horrible feedstock, not to mention horrible inefficient and resource-intensive to produce. Think how much oil goes into the fertilizer (and watch how fertilizer prices are increasing alongside food prices because of it). China's actually banned domestic production of biofuels from food crops. With 1.4 billion people, that was probably a wise idea for the country.
Ted Turner needs to go to school, study economics, political science, anthropology, energy and agriculture and then get back to us when he realizes that there are a lot of economists out there with a lot of great answers who aren't being listened to because it's not politically feasible for any American administration wanting to keep their party in power to piss off agribusiness - the Bush Administration was supported by a LOT of people in agricultural areas. That's a huge voting base, and one that the Democrats are trying to capture (but will fail because they think of farmers as laborers and not as businesses, as farmers think of themselves).
Or he just needs to start reading CNN (d'oh!) and the BBC to get an outline of what's going on, then come off his ivory tower where he can't notice the good things going on that are, little by little, fixing the mess humanity is in.
He needs hope.