• Tate
    1.4k
    It’s not overpopulation. When 7% of the global population are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions— I don’t think “overpopulation” is the problem.Xtrix

    You're right. There's a certain kind of lifestyle that's putting out CO2 way out of proportion to other forms.

    Yet the difference between lifestyles on the earth today comes down to scale for the most part. Americans are adapted to a high emissions lifestyle. For many, it's all they know. They aren't being particularly greedy.

    We aren't being punished for our sins, in other words. There's reason to believe we've been altering the climate for thousands of years. The true cause goes deeper than any particular economic system.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    Except that’s a myth.

    It’s not overpopulation. When 7% of the global population are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions— I don’t think “overpopulation” is the problem.
    Xtrix

    Then wait a bit, and it will become the biggest problem, if population growth continues. It is not only the carbon emissions that the overpopulation causes... arable land use, water use, depleting natural resources.

    That's A. B. is that 100% of the population is responsible for 100% of human-caused carbon emissions.

    Going back to the first point, what you called a myth: Let's imagine that the 7% of people who cause 50 percent of all carbon emission, somehow revert to very small carbon footsteps. The total of carbon emission today would be reduced to 53.5% of yesterday's value. That's great.

    However, please consider, that the global population grew since I followed the statistics first, because they taught this in school to us, from 3.5 to 4 billion 62 years ago to 7 usque 8 billion people today. That means that give it another 60 years, having the population behaving in an exemplary way with regard to carbon emission, you will be in the same position as today.

    I understand that harnessing the energy coming from the sun will reduce the carbon emissions. Fine. But the greenery on Earth uses the same sunlight energy as the man-made contraptions - be the contraptions wind-harnessing turbines, or solar panels - and I am not sure there will be enough sunlight left to feed the population via raising vegetables and livestock, and to create forests. There is only so much to go around. Right now the Earth is losing the battle of reducing carbon emission-based regeneration of greenery. In the future, with double the population in 60 years, I fear that the problem won't be gone.

    Therefore I say, QED, that the biggest problem mankind faces is the trend of humans to propagate their numbers unchecked.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    It is not only the carbon emissions that the overpopulation causes... arable land use, water use, depleting natural resources.god must be atheist

    “Overpopulation” doesn’t cause any of those things.

    Overpopulation is an abstraction. Blaming the worlds problem on this abstraction is a useful ploy to divert from the reality — which is that the behavior of a small percentage of the world population is responsible for most problems.

    B. is that 100% of the population is responsible for 100% of human-caused carbon emissions.god must be atheist

    No. This is completely wrong. A small percentage of the world is responsible for carbon emissions. Mainly the wealthiest and most powerful class of people, and multinational corporations.

    Blaming the hundreds of millions of Africans — or lumping them in with everyone else, as if per capita emission averages don’t matter — is, again, a silly and destructive thing to do. Also happens to be shallow and incorrect.

    Therefore I say, QED, that the biggest problem mankind faces is the trend of humans to propagate their numbers unchecked.god must be atheist

    And therefore I repeat, yet again, that this is complete rubbish.
  • jgill
    2.4k
    which is that the behavior of a small percentage of the world population is responsible for most problems.Xtrix

    I assume you mean by "small percentage of the world population" the highly civilized nations (HCN), to which millions flee, desperate to be admitted, for the promises of a better life. Are you saying the HCNs both create most problems but solve many problems?

    Were it not for the HCNs life would be barbaric with early deaths from disease and injuries. Look at the American Indians.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    I assume you mean by "small percentage of the world population" the highly civilized nations (HCN), to which millions flee, desperate to be admitted, for the promises of a better life.jgill

    Spare me clichés.

    Millions flee to the countries that have systematically destroyed theirs, sure. No one doubts the US and other “highly civilized” countries are wealthy. They should be, having plundered the earth for centuries.

    But no, I don’t just me the OECD countries. I mean exactly what I said: the wealthy and powerful class.

    Were it not for the HCNs life would be barbaric with early deaths from disease and injuries. Look at the American Indians.jgill

    You’re right— I’m sure they’d thank us, too. Had we not brutally (“barbarically”) wiped out their civilizations. You know, us “highly civilized” types.
  • jgill
    2.4k
    which is that the behavior of a small percentage of the world population is responsible for most problems.Xtrix

    Spare me clichésXtrix

    OK
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    “Overpopulation” doesn’t cause any of those things.Xtrix

    "Those things" are lack of enough arable land, water use, natural resources.

    So... tell me, if overpopulation does not cause the shortages of water, arable land and natural resources that humanity uses... then what causes them. This is important that you state the reason, because I think you are patently wrong on this issue.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    A small percentage of the world is responsible for carbon emissionsXtrix

    you yourself said that 7% of the population is responsible for 50% of carbon emissions. Now you say that the 7% is responsible for 100% of carbon emissions.

    Why do you think anyone should take your statements seriously, when you contradict yourself in the span of a few posts?
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    Overpopulation is an abstraction. Blaming the worlds problem on this abstraction is a useful ploy to divert from the reality — which is that the behavior of a small percentage of the world population is responsible for most problems.Xtrix

    Excuse me? How is overpopulation an abstraction? People are real. Their numbers are real. Their increasing number is a fact. Then you say that it's a... what? An abstraction?

    This is not sound reasoning, in my opinion. Please explain how overpopulation is not a real happening in the real world as we know them.

    You come out with outrageously wrong opinions: facts are abstractions in your view, historical numbers change at your whimsy to support your (false) arguments, and you are caught on contradicting yourself.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    7% of the global population are responsible for 50% of carbon emissionsXtrix

    It’s not overpopulation. When 7% of the global population are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions— I don’t think “overpopulation” is the problem.
    — Xtrix

    You're right. There's a certain kind of lifestyle that's putting out CO2 way out of proportion to other forms.
    Tate

    Tate, please consider this argument which I have already presented, in so many other words, as a response to Xtrix's well-thought out argument.

    If the world's population was 10,000 people in total, then the emission problem would not be there, regardless what currently used lifestyle those 10,000 people pursued.

    If the world's population was double the size of today's population, the emission problem would be present, even if the entire world population used the same, low amount of emission as Xtrix established, which was 50% of today's emission by 93% of the population. (If 7% uses 50%, which Xtrix claims, then by Xtrix's own admission 93 percent of the world's population produces the other 50% of carbon emissions.) So even if in today's world we'd create only 50% of the presently created carbon emission, then in sixty years, assuming the same rate of population growth, we'd be creating the same PROBLEMATIC amount of carbon emissions.

    So while you are right that a certain kind of lifestyle causes the putting out a lot of CO2, even if you eliminated that lifestyle, the problem would still be with us the same way in 60 years.

    This is why I insist that it is the overpopulation that is the root cause of many, many problems and the major cause of problems we face today as a species.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    So... tell me, if overpopulation does not cause the shortages of water, arable land and natural resources that humanity uses... then what causes them.god must be atheist

    Decisions by a handful of people in government and business.

    Now you say that the 7% is responsible for 100% of carbon emissions.god must be atheist

    I didn’t once say that.

    How is overpopulation an abstraction? People are real. Their numbers are real. Their increasing number is a fact.god must be atheist

    Yes. People are real, and their numbers are increasing. The concept of “overpopulation,” however, is a myth and an abstraction. This isn’t hard.

    You come out with outrageously wrong opinions: facts are abstractions in your view, historical numbers change at your whimsy to support your (false) arguments, and you are caught on contradicting yourself.god must be atheist

    Except that none of that is true. The truth is simply that you haven’t read carefully enough and are, as usual, misunderstanding and fabricating.

    Back to the point: overpopulation is a myth and an excuse to divert attention from the real culprit of environmental destruction.

    Since you’re not big on reading articles, I’ll quote the article I mentioned:

    It’s the great taboo, I hear many environmentalists say. Population growth is the driving force behind our wrecking of the planet, but we are afraid to discuss it.

    It sounds like a no-brainer. More people must inevitably be bad for the environment, taking more resources and causing more pollution, driving the planet ever farther beyond its carrying capacity. But hold on. This is a terribly convenient argument — “over-consumers” in rich countries can blame “over-breeders” in distant lands for the state of the planet. But what are the facts?

    The world’s population quadrupled to six billion people during the 20th century. It is still rising and may reach 9 billion by 2050. Yet for at least the past century, rising per-capita incomes have outstripped the rising head count several times over. And while incomes don’t translate precisely into increased resource use and pollution, the correlation is distressingly strong.

    Moreover, most of the extra consumption has been in rich countries that have long since given up adding substantial numbers to their population.

    By almost any measure, a small proportion of the world’s people take the majority of the world’s resources and produce the majority of its pollution.

    Like with other subjects you don’t understand, a little research goes a long way.

    Stop trying to figure things out from your armchair — you’re not good at it. Do some READING.
  • Bret Bernhoft
    115
    But it's not due to the lack of their own inner awareness. It is due to their abhorrence over the apparent pretension associated to things that people say who talk about "Inner awareness".god must be atheist

    It seems we disagree here. I put credence in the notion that some folks don't value inner-sight; or don't value training their latent inwards-looking understanding. It's a conclusion that I've come to over the years of looking for a community that exudes an inner sense of awareness and competence, while being able to find only a few such groups.

    But, I could be wrong! How I plead to be so.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    Yes. People are real, and their numbers are increasing. The concept of “overpopulation,” however, is a myth and an abstraction. This isn’t hard.Xtrix

    No, it is not hard. Inasmuch as an idiotic opinion, as wrong as it can be, is not hard to understand, either.

    A myth and an abstraction are a fantasm and a thing not pertaining to the real world, respectively;
    Decisions by a handful of people in government and business.Xtrix

    whereas people, their numbers, and their numbers increasing are real things, not fantasms, and they pertain to the real world. To understand that you call overpopulation a myth and an abstraction, is easy, as it is also easy to see how you err in your judgment.

    You blame the shortage of water, arable land and natural resources on the decisions by a few people in government and business. Yes, they make the decisions, but they make the decisions as the extended power of the people. If the people really did not like those decisions, then they would vote a government that reversed those decisions. But the people did not vote their representatives out because of these decisions. So stop saying that the cause of the world's problems are resting on the decisions of a few people. That is a short-sighted, biassed opinion by you, as I see it.

    I didn’t once say that.Xtrix

    Yes, you did. Not by verbatim quote, but by implication, when you said:

    "A small percentage of the world is responsible for carbon emissions."

    I appreciate that you did not mean to say this, but then don't blame me for your inaccuracy of composition.

    It is one thing to read more, it's another thing to read and write with care. You win on the first account (you read more) I win on the second account.

    I appreciate that you read more than I do. While that is most likely true, that is not an acceptable argument.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    Yes, they make the decisions, but they make the decisions as the extended power of the people.god must be atheist

    No they don’t. Governments are bought by corporations, and corporations are not governed by “the people” — they’re undemocratic.

    If the people really did not like those decisions, then they would vote a government that reversed those decisions.god must be atheist

    Please do some reading. This is embarrassingly naive.

    So stop saying that the cause of the world's problems are resting on the decisions of a few people.god must be atheist

    I will not stop saying it, because unlike most of what you’ve written, it has the merit of being true.

    Your knowing nothing about corporate power and influence isn’t grounds for abandoning a well-documented analysis— sorry.

    Yes, you did.god must be atheist

    No, I didn’t.

    Now you say that the 7% is responsible for 100% of carbon emissions.god must be atheist

    What I said was:

    "A small percentage of the world is responsible for carbon emissions."god must be atheist

    Which is true. See above about government and business.

    If you’re really hung up on whether it counts for ALL emissions..,then no, of course not. Exhaling creates CO2, if we want to be childish and count that. But I’m not interested in childish discussions.
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    Addendum to these addenda :mask:

    Okay. Fact-check ...
    When 7% of the global population are responsible for 50% of carbon emissions— I don’t think “overpopulation” is the problem.Xtrix
    Overpopulation is one of the main drivers of anthropogenic climate change. Consider:

    (carbon dioxide emissions by country, as shares of 30 gigatonne per annum, 2019)

    https://climatetrade.com/which-countries-are-the-worlds-biggest-carbon-polluters/

    (populations by country, 2019)

    https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_POPSOC_569_0001--the-population-of-the-world-2019.htm

    As of 2019, the top ten carbon emitting countries (gigatonnes):

    1. China 1.4b people (10gt)
    2. United States .339b people (5.4gt)
    3. India 1.4b people (2.7gt)

    4. Russia .144b people (1.6gt)
    5. Japan .127 b people (1.2gt)
    6. Germany, .084b people (.76gt)
    7. Iran .083b people (.72gt)
    8. South Korea .051b people (.66gt)
    9. Saudi Arabia .034b people (.62gt)
    10. Indonesia .269b people (.62gt)

    3.92b people out of 7.7b people or c51% of the world population (2019) emitted 24.3 gigatonnes out of c30 gigatonnes (annual) or c81% of global carbon dioxide emissions (2019).

    41% of the world pop. (China, US & India) accounted for 60% of global carbon dioxide emissions (2019).
  • Tate
    1.4k
    If the world's population was 10,000 people in total, then the emission problem would not be there, regardless what currently used lifestyle those 10,000 people pursued.god must be atheist

    Population definitely amplifies the problem.


    This is why I insist that it is the overpopulation that is the root cause of many, many problems and the major cause of problems we face today as a species.god must be atheist

    Ok, but so what? How does that impact the way we address the issue?
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    Ok, but so what? How does that impact the way we address the issue?Tate

    That is the million dollar question.

    Well, there are two ways that we can address that issue:
    1. Declare that Xtrix was wrong in his or her assessment in this debate.
    2. Reduce population size.
    2.1. Population size can't be reduced without drastic measures.
    2.2. Drastic measures are opposed by democratic, humanitarian societies.

    Woody Allen gave a speech to graduating Harvard students some time ago. He said, roughly, not verbatim:

    "Humanity faces a choice between self-annihilation and utter misery. I hope we have the wisdom to choose the right one."

    In other words: the question "How does that impact the way we address the issue?" is unanswerable without having something to give:
    - our good, humanitarian feelings,
    - the utter comfort of our lives, or
    - accepting complete or near-complete self-annihilation as a species.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    :cheer: :100: :fire: :up: :clap: :ok:
  • Tate
    1.4k
    2.1. Population size can't be reduced without drastic measures.
    2.2. Drastic measures are opposed by democratic, humanitarian societies.
    god must be atheist

    A lot of countries have close to zero population growth. It turns out that when women have the option to get educated and have careers, the growth rate plummets.

    Plus I think climate change will put a dent in the human population.

    All is not lost.
  • god must be atheist
    4.7k
    I think you're right. Also, some countries (very few, maybe just one) has zero or negative growth rate, due to economic reasons. Hungary. There is a trickle lost to emigration, but it's almost negligible, because the only place to go is the West, and they don't allow Hungarians in as readily as during the political divide.

    Hungary has negative growth rate because it takes the salaries or incomes of two adults to sustain three souls.

    In some other countries this is also true, but the other countries have high growth rates. (Egypt, Zimbabwe, etc.) They create more humans not because they can afford them, but because society's expectations, and of individual's, of what constitutes "afford" or "sustain" a human, are set much lower than in Hungary.

    Much growth is attributable to religious indoctrination and expectations-- like Christian countries used to be, now the Muslim world is propagandizing, very successfully, the idea that a man is only a man if he has more children than his neighbour. Or some other spiritual incentive, I don't know the Koran.
  • Tate
    1.4k
    Much growth is attributable to religious indoctrination and expectations-- like Christian countries used to be, now the Muslim world is propagandizing, very successfully, the idea that a man is only a man if he has more children than his neighbour. Or some other spiritual incentive, I don't know the Koran.god must be atheist

    Losing ground in terms of population is stressful. A labor shortage appears. The labor that does exist can make bigger demands.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    41% of the world pop. (China, US & India) accounted for 60% of global carbon dioxide emissions (2019).180 Proof

    Yep.

    Important to remember that the issue isn’t individual consumption, however. It’s true that rich individuals consume more than poor ones. Taylor Swift flies her private jet around a lot, etc.

    If we compare her to Darren Woods— she’s probably produced more CO2, in terms of individual consumption. That alone should tell you the true story of what’s going on, and why talk about individual “carbon footprint” is mostly the creation of the fossil fuel industry itself.

    The issue is power. Power of a handful of people in government and business. They make decisions of production that we all live with. That’s true for China, India, and the US.

    The issue is not increasing human populations. Maybe that’ll be a problem one day. It’s not a problem today.
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    Important to remember that the issue isn’t individual consumption, however.Xtrix
    The problem identified is net overconsumption of and/or by national populations as shares of the global population. Why even mention "individual consumption"?
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    The solution to technological problems, these being the royal pain in our arses, it looks like, is more technology; these in turn will have their own problems for which the solution is, again, more technology; so on and so forth until Judgment Day which, of course, will be caused by technology. We're progressing, most assuredly, from being just fucked to being royally fucked! :snicker: We're in for a treat!
  • I like sushi
    3.9k
    I honestly do not think any of the three issues in the OP is the biggest problem humanity currently faces.

    The issue is one of communication. Better communication is necessary. The responsibility for this starts with each individual striving to listen with honesty and speak with honesty. It is a brave thing to do and a hard thing to do but it can at least be something we can all direct ourselves towards more and more through time and instil in our species as a cultural virtue.

    I think there is a real danger of voices being silenced and speech being policed to the point where we are going to have a terribly hard time turning the tide back on itself.

    Ironically I think the answers lie in unravelling precisely how and why we communicate in the first place. This will be a major area of work for cognitive neuroscientists and philosophers alike. In political realms we appear to be living in the ‘death of nation’ stage of human civilisation. It is just a question of whether we create something ‘new’ or simply revert to some convoluted semi-religious paradigm that does a reasonable job of mimicking patriotism.

    I have heard it said that ‘Art’ is a good predictor of how human culture will develop … given the state of the world of Art appears to have been more or less geared towards corrupting Art into some nonsense that is merely the whim of an individual’s insanity (so-called ‘contemporary art’). We can possibly expect the philosophical, or rather pseudo-philosophical, to start begin to take centre stage in human culture.

    Note: I am not convinced that ‘Art’ does a good job of predicting the course of human culture just having a bit of fun there ;)
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    The problem identified is net overconsumption of and/or by national populations as shares of the global population. Why even mention "individual consumption"?180 Proof

    Populations consist of individuals. So even per capita statistics are misleading. General national statistics or global statistics are even more misleading.

    Citing the US, China, and India is fine — they are indeed the largest emitters. But that’s not saying much — and if used to justify the position that overpopulation is a driving issue, especially so.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    The issue is one of communication. Better communication is necessary. The responsibility for this starts with each individual striving to listen with honesty and speak with honesty.I like sushi

    It may very well be why we’re in the mess we’re in. Perhaps greed as well. I tried listing some concrete problems without focusing on causes, I guess. But if I included those, communication would certainly factor in.
  • Yohan
    671
    When in history has not a minority
  • 180 Proof
    9.8k
    41% of the world pop. (China, US & India) accounted for 60% of global carbon dioxide emissions (2019).180 Proof
    :mask:
    Citing the US, China, and India is fine — they are indeed the largest emitters. But that’s not saying much —Xtrix
    Well, it's saying at least as much as "7% of the world's population is responsibble for 50% of the emissions", as you've claimed, is factually incorrect by a significant margin. :eyes:
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    is factually incorrect by a significant margin.180 Proof

    It isn’t. I quoted a snippet from the article, and I guess I can’t fault anyone for not reading it and taking my statement as a stand-alone— but the figure was from 2009, and is much more precise than simply looking at national emissions.

    Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environment Institute, calculates that the world’s richest half-billion people — that’s about 7 percent of the global population — are responsible for 50 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile the poorest 50 percent are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions.

    I think this is likely any underestimate, but that’s another story.
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