This is what I've been trying to tell everyone.

nelk good points again.

Toro less energy is being used per GDP dollar simply because there are more people and less energy resources per person.

The total amount of energy consumed is at a historical high however.

This just is another example of low resources per capita.

50 years ago a basic desk would be made of solid hardwood. Now it would cost more and it would be made out of laminated paper-thin hardwood veneer glued over top of some poor quality particle board.

This is because more money gets you less hardwood since there are fewer resources per capita.

You can't buy very much atlantic cod for your dollar nowadays either. (compared a couple of decades ago)

These are all consequences of overpopulation and unsustainable goal of economic growth (which equals population * consumption per capita) By the way that's the same formula as environmental degradation.

If you want a small piece of pie with very few ingredients in it, then you might like population growth.

If you want a big piece of pie with biodiverse ingredients, then you may be against population growth.

The economy is bullsh#*! You can only buy what the earth has left to provide.
Johnny Utah
Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

I agree with Eric Pianka, that people and the ecological balance on earth would all be better off with 10% of the present population.

I sometimes think what the Earth would be like if there was no Human life at all. Imagine all the species of animals that have been hunted to almost extinction. The Earth would no doubt be a more beautiful and a dangerous place.
Quote: Originally Posted by nelk

Toro, you said chart is inflation adjusted, can't prove or disprove that.
Assuming it is, than GDP may be obtained for wee bit less energy as we move along in time.
But data can and will not follow a linear relationship but rather asymptotically move close to a minimum level of that BTU/GDP ratio.

While advances can theoretically move this level lower; I would venture to say that it won’t be easy and not significant.

According to the graph, we've been decreasing the amount of energy per unit GDP at a fairly consistent rate over time. At some point, one would think that graph would flatten out. However, there is no evidence of that happening so far.

The issue put forward isn't that the world is not going to need energy. That is not the argument. The argument is that there is a fixed amount of supply, and we are running out. I am saying that the amount of supply is much more elastic and much less static than perceived by some.

Maybe we won't find alternative sources, I don't know. Nobody knows. If not, then we will be poorer and there will be less people on this earth, which is what the author suggests is optimal.

But mankind is remarkably adaptable. It has to be as a species to survive.

Quote: Originally Posted by nelk

But look at the GDP qualitative.
How much BS activity and service products >>>> "services" are included in those figures.

This is a very curious statement.

Not that that has much to do with the discussion. I'm just pointing it out.

Quote: Originally Posted by nelk

The Service sector compared to real tangible goods has steadily increased shifting the ratio.
Of course even "service" requires certain amount energy.
Adjusting will skewer the chart for sure.

Your chart indicators in regards to hard goods production sector has not come down as you may try to tell.
We will still need to bake bread, produce essential items in the affected future, for that the energy required its not being any thing less.
But if we dare to foresee an energy crunch, I can not image that for example call centers, advertising and many other non-productive services much energy resources can be found.

All together not a pretty picture.

Its interesting that you ascribe such activities as "non-productive." Advertising executives tend to be compensated fairly well. Usually, people aren't compensated well if they are unproductive.

You say we need energy to create bread. Yes, we do. However, we need less energy than before.

As for an "energy crunch", well, what's necessarily wrong with that? If you want to find alternative forms of energy, the single best way - better than government research, or diverting the profits of oil companies into research, or giving tax breaks for such research - is for the price of energy to remain high. When it does, alternative forms of energy become more economic, which attracts capital into the industry. The best thing that could happen for those worrying about energy supplies - not to mention environmentalists - would be for energy prices to remain high. Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, etc., should be rooting for $200 oil.

Quote: Originally Posted by nelk

PS I take it your Global signature is to provocate, not to signal agreement!


You would be incorrect if you did.
Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

Toro less energy is being used per GDP dollar simply because there are more people and less energy resources per person.


It doesn't happen "because there are more people". It doesn't happen by magic. It happens by being more productive.

Lets say there is a community of 1000 people who use 1000 trees per month for output. If another 1000 people join the community, you need another 1000 trees to maintain the same output per capita. However, if there is only enough for another 500 trees, then either output per capita must fall or productivity must rise. There is no other option. If output per capita is maintained, then the community must become more productive. You can't just say, "well, there's more people, so per capita usage of the input is lower." That is incorrect because you aren't saying why this is occurring, just that it is occurring.
And then, serendipitously, I ran onto this article.


The Next Green Revolution

How technology is leading environmentalism out of the anti-business, anti-consumer wilderness.

By Alex Nikolai Steffen

For decades, environmentalists have warned of a coming climate crisis. Their alarms went unheeded, and last year we reaped an early harvest: a singularly ferocious hurricane season, record snowfall in New England, the worst-ever wildfires in Alaska, arctic glaciers at their lowest ebb in millennia, catastrophic drought in Brazil, devastating floods in India - portents of global warming's destructive potential.

Green-minded activists failed to move the broader public not because they were wrong about the problems, but because the solutions they offered were unappealing to most people. They called for tightening belts and curbing appetites, turning down the thermostat and living lower on the food chain. They rejected technology, business, and prosperity in favor of returning to a simpler way of life. No wonder the movement got so little traction. Asking people in the world's wealthiest, most advanced societies to turn their backs on the very forces that drove such abundance is naive at best.

With climate change hard upon us, a new green movement is taking shape, one that embraces environmentalism's concerns but rejects its worn-out answers. Technology can be a font of endlessly creative solutions. Business can be a vehicle for change. Prosperity can help us build the kind of world we want. Scientific exploration, innovative design, and cultural evolution are the most powerful tools we have. Entrepreneurial zeal and market forces, guided by sustainable policies, can propel the world into a bright green future.

Americans trash the planet not because we're evil, but because the industrial systems we've devised leave no other choice. Our ranch houses and high-rises, factories and farms, freeways and power plants were conceived before we had a clue how the planet works. They're primitive inventions designed by people who didn't fully grasp the consequences of their actions.

Consider the unmitigated ecological disaster that is the automobile. Every time you turn on the ignition, you're enmeshed in a system whose known outcomes include a polluted atmosphere, oil-slicked seas, and desert wars. As comprehension of the stakes has grown, though, a market has emerged for a more sensible alternative. Today you can drive a Toyota Prius that burns far less gasoline than a conventional car. Tomorrow we might see vehicles that consume no fossil fuels and emit no greenhouse gases. Combine cars like that with smarter urban growth and we're well on our way to sustainable transportation.

You don't change the world by hiding in the woods, wearing a hair shirt, or buying indulgences in the form of save the earth bumper stickers. You do it by articulating a vision for the future and pursuing it with all the ingenuity humanity can muster. Indeed, being green at the start of the 21st century requires a wholehearted commitment to upgrading civilization. Four key principles can guide the way:

Renewable energy is plentiful energy. Burning fossil fuels is a filthy habit, and the supply won't last forever. Fortunately, a growing number of renewable alternatives promise clean, inexhaustible power: wind turbines, solar arrays, wave-power flotillas, small hydroelectric generators, geothermal systems, even bioengineered algae that turn waste into hydrogen. The challenge is to scale up these technologies to deliver power in industrial quantities - exactly the kind of challenge brilliant businesspeople love.

Efficiency creates value. The number one US industrial product is waste. Waste is worse than stupid; it's costly, which is why we're seeing businesspeople in every sector getting a jump on the competition by consuming less water, power, and materials. What's true for industry is true at home, too: Think well-insulated houses full of natural light, cars that sip instead of guzzle, appliances that pay for themselves in energy savings.

Cities beat suburbs. Manhattanites use less energy than most people in North America. Sprawl eats land and snarls traffic. Building homes close together is a more efficient use of space and infrastructure. It also encourages walking, promotes public transit, and fosters community.

Quality is wealth. More is not better. Better is better. You don't need a bigger house; you need a different floor plan. You don't need more stuff; you need stuff you'll actually use. Ecofriendly designs and nontoxic materials already exist, and there's plenty of room for innovation. You may pay more for things like long-lasting, energy-efficient LED lightbulbs, but they'll save real money over the long term.

Redesigning civilization along these lines would bring a quality of life few of us can imagine. That's because a fully functioning ecology is tantamount to tangible wealth. Clean air and water, a diversity of animal and plant species, soil and mineral resources, and predictable weather are annuities that will pay dividends for as long as the human race survives - and may even extend our stay on Earth.

It may seem impossibly far away, but on days when the smog blows off, you can already see it: a society built on radically green design, sustainable energy, and closed-loop cities; a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, nontoxic, recyclable technology. That's a future we can live with. (external - login to view)
And this


Today's proven reserves total 1.3 trillion barrels, but the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the world's remaining conventional resources at 2.6 trillion barrels. Canadian tar sands boost the estimate to 2.8 trillion barrels.

Keeping the global economy chugging—including the Chinas and Indias—requires about 85 million barrels a day. At current rates of use, 2.8 trillion barrels should last 90 years. Most likely, oil use will continue to rise, but conventional resources and tar sands should still be sufficient for 60 to 70 years. Other unconventional oil resources, such as shale oil, will greatly extend the time horizon at which we run out of oil. (external - login to view)
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

I think not:

I'll show you what you're in denial about.

Answer this question:

Does the earth have infinite resources?


If you answer "Yes" then you are in denial.

Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

You seem to be answering "Yes" since you've said technology may solve the problem of an ever increasing number of humans chasing an ever decreasing amount of resources.

Ultimately people like Toro and I_think_not probably don't know the names of different birds and fish let alone trees and plants.

Their ignorance of the earth's crisis which was brought on by human growth is a testament to their lack of appreciation of nature.

I know all about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees, that doesn't mean I should run around my neighborhood with a sign on my chest predicting the end of the world like you do.

I have faith in humanity, we will find our way.
I think not:

You sound like a religious person.

Are you religious? What is your "faith"?

Toro, the higher the GDP, the more the enivornmental degradation.

If each GDP dollar is equated to less resources, it's probably another example of how money has no inherent value.

Money is only good for what the earth still has the capacity to provide.
Quote: Originally Posted by [i

quinton[/i]]I think not:

You sound like a religious person.

Are you religious? What is your "faith"?

Can you say baseless?

I don't think there is any substance to these comments in the least; re-read the post by I think not, and I think that you would discover that he had referenced a faith in humanity — you know, an expression to indicate that he trusts that humans will, through circumstances, thought, discussion and, perhaps, evolutio, adapt to the situation of the day. I didn't see anything relating to religion here whatsoever.

Quote: Originally Posted by [i

quinton[/i]]Toro, the higher the GDP, the more the enivornmental degradation.

Under current circumstances, perhaps.

Quote: Originally Posted by [i

quinton[/i]]If each GDP dollar is equated to less resources, it's probably another example of how money has no inherent value.

Money is only good for what the earth still has the capacity to provide.

Yes, that's true; however, under the current way that the economies of nations are run, money is the inherent value — that is how things are driven, at the moment, and I see no end to this trend in the very near future. It would be nice if we could move on to a system where required resources are divided according to need, but I will digress, before I am accused of communism, or some such nonsense accusation.
I think it's a valid question because I've noticed religious people often show no responsibility towards enivornmental sustainability.

Their idea is that it is impossible to ruin nature and that God/Allah/etc will fix it.
I think not
Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

I think it's a valid question because I've noticed religious people often show no responsibility towards enivornmental sustainability.

Their idea is that it is impossible to ruin nature and that God/Allah/etc will fix it.

I think you are going off the wall entirely with your comments, like FiveParadox mentioned, I have faith in humanity, in that we will eventually find our way and coexist with our planet without raping it to death.

Humans are responsible for so much misery but we are capable of great things, these great things are yet to come, we have only begun to scratch the surface of techonology and human development.
Blind faith is for imbeciles.

What examples of human history show saving intact ecosystems before they are destroyed?

Designating parks does not count since they are only protected until resources run out outside of parks.

Furthermore visitors can fish in them and new trails and roads are often built.

Also some parks like Ontario's Algonquin Park allow clearcut logging in places deemed too remote for the average canoer to find.

I don't think questioning what your religion is was off topic at all considering you say you have faith in humanity.

Faith without reason is dangerous.

Anything you do that you cannot justify through reason is dangerous.

I have talked to many Christians who show little respect for the environment, much like yourself, which is why I wondered if you were one of them.

I personally think religious institutions are evil. They are a divisive force that encourages conformity and like the Harper and Bush governments aim to discourage people from doing their own thinking.
Mankind seems to be able to create.....

....what he sees as irreplaceable. In times of disease or earthly chaos, mankind has risen above that which has been destroyed or has destroyed, and found other sources by which to exist.

Perhaps we are now at a point in our evolution where we recognize the essence of use, waste and reinvention of new. We now have historical reference to planet abuse and we are turning towards the next step to avoid extinction.

I wonder what mankind will think up next.
Wednesday's Child, I wish you were right about mankind turning towards the next step to avoid extinctions and more planet abuse.

I have not seen enough evidence that this is where the public's priorities are.

Wouldn't you agree that nothing really good can happen until the majority of the public is focussed on positive reform?

Right now we seem to have a long way to go.

Just saying the population growth is unsustainable seems to drive up controversy.

Saying that the world is overpopulated really drives up controversy because it implies that there are unwanted people.

Saying that immigration should be stopped drives up controversy because we're all immigrants and it seems hypocritical. Even the native people were immigrants to Canada before it was called Canada.

We need to get past these premature reactions that have been hard-wired into our brains by pop-culture media.

We must ask ourselves:

When will have human growth gone too far?
How much of the sun's energy should be reserved for other life on earth besides humans?
Are more species extinctions in the name of economic growth acceptable?

I am not saying you are wrong - although I believe you have wandered from the concept of where we have come from - successful invention, growth, mind expansion, invention, creation, love and caring and hate and killing ....mankind has evolved in ways we cannot conceive.

The planet earth has also continued on its change as we are arrogant to think we are the only creatures to roam the only planet in a solar system of which there may be billions.

I think we are neophytes in the stages of evolution we have yet to attain and I caution you Quinton in spending too much time in your negativity and anxiety concerning the state of what we have here and now.

You write: Blind faith is for imbeciles. Perhaps - but would you not prefer to go through your existence here on earth in positive thought rather than seeing the "end times" so close at hand.

If you love and admire earth - why not spend your days (even if limited as you write), in pleasure rather than fear.

As for your issue of population growth, that is but one of many concerns and do your part if you wish - if that is your choice. Do not reduce other's choices in condemnation however because their choices are equally as sacrosanct.

You are not wrong - others are not wrong. Accept and enjoy what is now.
I think not

You're dangerously presumptuous in your thinking. Making assumptions about me in regards to the environment and religious affiliation shows your lack of clarity on the issue. You only believe what you want to believe.
Wednesday's Child, a good note for me to leave on.

I've handled more than my share of rebuttals.

Yes I plan on enjoying what's left of the earth.

I am making a major move this spring to help make that a reality.

This is my last post here on this thread.

I stand behind everything I have said.

I thank those that have given these ideas careful consideration as well as those who have already arrived at conclusions like Eric Pianka and I have, and who have supported these ideas in this thread.

We have postulated a theory that still stands and has yet to be proven wrong. Overpopulation is our biggest problem.

Likewise the goal of economic growth which relies on population growth and consumption growth is also our biggest problem.

Likewise the public not centering their thoughts on doing something to prevent the insidious species extinctions and impoverishment of the planet resulting from continued human growth is our biggest problem.

Anyhow I won't stick around to argue back and forth with people like Toro and I_think_not ad nauseam.

I feel I have made a huge contribution to society by spreading this word already. It is up to you all to educate your family and friends in hopes that a critical mass for positive change can be reached.

This is my last post.

I am sorry to see your last post - I was hoping you could come to a detente if not some kind of solutions with Toro and ITN and some of the other people here who have intellect and knowledge - while diverse from yours but certainly worthwhile in consideration.

I am pleased I brought some relief to you - it is not the usual case for me as I am primarily in deep hot water for my opinions.

Don't know what your plans for your life are but if you ever get into California - try to spend some time at Big Sur and Esalen - they have the ability to cleanse the mind and allow new thoughts and possibilities to flourish. I know it doesn't have the impact some of the great moutain retreats have in some foreign lands, or the contemplative necessaries to some. But in its simplicity lodged within the country of business and wealth making, its song can be heard.

Negativity will weigh your journey down unnecessarily if you are to bathe in life's gifts here on earth.

Live in your present.
the caracal kid

"The Next Green Revolution "

good article.

that article sums up pretty well what humanity has to do to.

More people demands greater efficiencies just to prevent an increased impact on the planet. We need to see changes in western society that make people see the benefits of changing their behaviours, through things such as improved city design. Sprawl is the enemy of livability. People need to see the impact their behaviors have, and be given better choices that they will see as beneficial to themselves. We can't force people to walk, but we can design our cities such that walking is naturally the better choice, for example (and much progress has been made in understanding these design choices, it is just the inertia has not shifted away from the suburban sprawl yet).

We have a very long way to go.
Demolition first then reconstruction.
I think not

Anyhow I won't stick around to argue back and forth with people like Toro and I_think_not ad nauseam.

"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true." - James Branch Cabell
Mother Nature certainly helps in population decrease....just think of the annual flooding in Bangladesh....or regular earthquakes...or widespread disease.
The more populated the world becomes and the smaller the global village becomes,the more likely it is that diseases will be spread far more easily. Those of us in North America don't have the necessary natural immunity to ,say,African diseases(and vice versa).
I'm not sure there's anything much we can do about it....except talk,offer postulations and be grateful for our North American citizenship.Countries like China and India are on the road to having all the material goods of North fact,most countries want better economies and more wealth.
These things come at the expense of the earth we inhabit....through wasting resources,creating severe pollution and adding to world populations.
Good thoughts on population Anna

Medical science has contributed by its very own "good for mankind" to the population increase in our world.

We have improved the statistics of birth survival, pre/post natal care and maternal health.

We have also improved the standard of life for many which has contributed to longevity of people who live thirty or more years than they once did.

We have not kept up with that benefit in terms of accommodating the increase in numbers of humans, but rather have forgotten the basic ways of life opting for specialized life, learning only what is necessary for our own existence. With our increased knowledge we may have lost some original and individual skills.

I sincerely hope we don't have to adopt the Chinese methods of birth selection and numerical restriction.

Could it be Mother Nature knows best? In all her fury, she puts us in her place - nasty reminders of how little we do know. Certainly brings us back to survival mode.

Rather than bow down to her method of "wiping people off the planet" as the acceptable method of population control, I would rather think the human creature can come up with ways of having a long lived and healthy population by finding ways to reuse and reinvent and treat our home with more respect, in spite of Nature's tantrums.

We may have become too lazy in our quest for comfort and have sidestepped our responsibilities.
Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

nelk good points again.
The economy is bullsh#*! You can only buy what the earth has left to provide.

The economy is the study to allocate limited resources to unlimited wants (needs).

It's not true that we will consume what is left and die once everything is consumed.

If you watch dicovery chennel "how it's made" you will see that to grow mushroom it take couple of days. to grow flowers in Canada greenhouses are used. to have eggs incubators make more chicken and those chicken provide more eggs. these are just exapmles.

so, economists provide models for governemt and governement encourages firms to produce what is necessary for consumption.
like now, because of high price of oil, and even the evidence that resources of oil is limited, government encourages all the car making firms to produce at least one model of hybrid cars.
Quote: Originally Posted by quinton

I think it's a valid question because I've noticed religious people often show no responsibility towards enivornmental sustainability.

Their idea is that it is impossible to ruin nature and that God/Allah/etc will fix it.

no, they know that "God/Allah/etc" will punish them.
dekhqonbacha , we (mankind) are past the point of sane return.

All those glorious measures of these experts will be too little too late.

If they would be "experts" had been "experts", change would have been implemented and accepted long time ago, as an ongoing feature and part of accepted life style.
There have been callers in the desert all along ; from rachel carson to david suzuki and before.
They were just treated as odd, perhaps entertaining, but certainly not taken serious enough.

If you ever had a chance to experience natural life, let say in a healthy rural acreage environment or similar, you can only feel
pitty for those creatures in high density cities .

But that is the playing field of "experts";
go eat their food, breeze their air, drink that chlorinated fluoridiced and other chemical brew called town water.
And then the traffic!

Ask, how long can this be sustained;
just because the oilprice goes up (and that is certain>> I predict the $1oo mark within less of a year) that does not mean, that your income level will too. Not for the broad populace.
Image the situation in those big cities with brown outs, supply shortages of all kinds;
yeah not even power to type away on the computer.

And for those who know my christian side; its all coming to pass like clockwork .
And the biggest irony is, we are doing to our selves.
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