• Bloginton Blakley
    58


    "Your arguments are nonsense. Human energy comes from consumed agricultural produce"

    Where does the produce come from?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.9k

    The produce is grown. But how does that take us outside the solar budget?
  • Bloginton Blakley
    58


    Are you familiar with the idea of carrying capacity?

    "The carrying capacity of a biological species in an environment is the maximum population size of the species that the environment can sustain indefinitely, given the food, habitat, water, and other necessities available in the environment."

    So, would you agree that the Earth has a different carrying capacity if we adopt a hunter-gatherer lifestyle than an agrarian lifestyle?
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    5.9k

    Your definition of 'carrying capacity' is according to 'species'. Are you saying that the hunter-gather is a different species than the agrian? Otherwise, as the same species the carrying capacity is the same.
  • Bloginton Blakley
    58
    You've already acknowledged that agriculture supports larger populations. Are you changing your mind?

    Hunter-gatherers need much more land to live on than farmers. Different methods produce different population sizes.

    I have no idea why you think a species change is necessary. We aren't dogs, we can chose different lifestyles and those decision have consequences.
  • Bloginton Blakley
    58
    Here's a vid:

    https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-history-of-human-population-growth-and-carrying-capacity.html

    You will note that carrying capacity changes over time as new methods are adopted.
  • unenlightened
    3.8k
    When we rather coolly refer to “real estate” or the “ownership of the means of production” we are actually talking about, at least philosophically, is the loss of unity between subjectivity and objectivity. The common air amid these hills was an aspect of the common land which were systematically stolen by a parcel of Parliamentary rogues. When Wordsworth thought of the common air or the common wind it was in association with this vast loss affecting not only England but the USA whose landmass was surveyed then divided into squares, after precisely targeted settler violence terrorized the indigenous inhabitants, to be sold also in the 1790s.
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/14/the-significance-of-the-common-wind/?fbclid=IwAR034iNIOldp-wE1AnNdKL5tPIm5y5wwXTRgQFHnORDdY-3pJp-7fAoi_ik
  • MrSpock
    9
    Unconditional basic income will cause capitalism to turn in a natural way into communism.
  • Marchesk
    2.8k
    our definition of 'carrying capacity' is according to 'species'. Are you saying that the hunter-gather is a different species than the agrian? Otherwise, as the same species the carrying capacity is the same.Metaphysician Undercover

    Nah, the carrying capacity changes as technology improves to support more of the same species (humans). A hunter-gatherer lifestyle would not support billions of people. We have billions of people now because modern civilization makes it possible. If the lights went out for good, our population would fall back to medieval times. (There's a fictional series of books that explores this.)

    Future progress may further increase the carrying capacity of Earth for humans.
  • boethius
    205
    Nah, the carrying capacity changes as technology improves to support more of the same species (humans). A hunter-gatherer lifestyle would not support billions of people. We have billions of people now because modern civilization makes it possible. If the lights went out for good, our population would fall back to medieval times. (There's a fictional series of books that explores this.)Marchesk

    This is not correct. The fact that technology (which I agree is a big factor) can increase carrying capacity, and technology is largely responsible for going from 1 billion to 7 billion people in a bit over a century, we are currently in ecological overshoot.

    I agree that we could use technology to be within ecological capacity for 7 to 10 billion people, but simply because we have the technology to do so doesn't imply it's actually the case.

    The longer we stay in overshoot, the worse the ecological consequences are and the harder it will be for 7 / 10 billion people to bring things into stability when we decide to make the effort, and at some point it's impossible and a large die-off will result regardless of our knowledge.

    Although science and technology is improving all the time, our ecological problems are getting worse all the time.

    It's simply ridiculous risk-mitigation strategy to assume technological improvements will outpace our problems.

    It's simply bad scientific literacy to place great faith in the science that provides us modern technologies but suddenly have zero faith in the part of our science that demonstrates severe ecosystem risks of our current setup. The choice between our current infrastructure and production cycles and medieval times is of course a false dichotomy: there's all sorts of ways for society to organize with modern scientific knowledge.

    If this misconstrues your position, please elaborate on it.
  • ralfy
    42
    On a global scale, it should reach a peak given limits to growth coupled with ecological devastation.
  • ssu
    1.5k
    The longer we stay in overshoot, the worse the ecological consequences are and the harder it will be for 7 / 10 billion people to bring things into stability when we decide to make the effort, and at some point it's impossible and a large die-off will result regardless of our knowledge.boethius
    We won't stay long in the overshoot in my view.

    One has to understand that there will be a peak of human population, and then it will decrease. This happens because of the rise of prosperity. Young people alive can quite well see "Peak Population" and then deal with the problems resulting from declining global population. Yet even that might not be so devastating: just look at how bad things are in Japan now.

    jpn_pop_decline1.png?w=2000&h=
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    We won't stay long in the overshoot in my view.ssu

    Yeah, pretty much. It's common knowledge in the field of economics that as technology progresses and human welfare increases, there tends to be a decrease in population growth, not an increase, paradoxically, with the newfound surplus.

    But, we should keep in mind the ratio of 3'rd world countries to 1'st world ones. So, there's going to be still considerable growth in demographics due to this gap, and resulting trickle-down effect, that seems to only occur between nations and not within them.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    With regard to some 100 amazing innovations in 2018 alone, see: https://www.popsci.com/best-of-whats-new-2018.Hanover
    I was going to point out that, if we have to go to a list in some obscure corner of the internet to find out about these inventions that have purportedly changed our lives so much for the better, then they haven't.

    But @Baden's response based on actually following the link was much better.
  • Hanover
    4.8k
    I was going to point out that, if we have to go to a list in some obscure corner of the internet to find out about these inventions that have purportedly changed our lives so much for the better, then they haven't.andrewk

    And I'll point out that if it took you 3 months to respond to my post, it took tremendous thought to defeat it.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    No, it was about a minute. The thread was resurrected by Mr Spock.
  • thedeadidea
    98
    I think capitalism will come undone because of 2 reasons
    a) the efficiency increase.... Having machines and tech doing everything they want them to do now will just eviscerate the middle class.
    b) The Debtor state/Business welfare.

    If it was just b) there would be the possibility of a global financial reset and mass debt forgiveness and moving on. If it was just a) we could have more debt to ramp up educational opportunities and create a temporary cashflow to a new economy adaption. You could literally run up the trillions we had now in small boons to everyone to give them a solid bottom and a little (probably not alot) of money so they could continue to buy/sell pay debts etc.

    But because it is both where you are looking to destroy many channels of distribution of a dollar whilst simultaneously being unable to forgive debt you are fucked. However capitalism is a system which is meant to have rises and falls by now it is an intentional and observable process. Having an economic collapse is good for the investor, it is economic opportunities. You put 1000 dollars into starbucks in 2012 you give or take double your money today.... But you put it in just after 2008 your money goes closer to 10 times in value....

    This is Capitalism.
  • boethius
    205
    We won't stay long in the overshoot in my view.

    One has to understand that there will be a peak of human population, and then it will decrease. This happens because of the rise of prosperity. Young people alive can quite well see "Peak Population" and then deal with the problems resulting from declining global population.
    ssu

    Though I agree we won't stay in overshoot for very long, by definition overshoot comes to an end, the danger is ecosystems collapsing.

    Population peak is a help to arrive at sustainability, but is far from sufficient.

    There are plenty of UN and other academic papers and reports on our unsustainable use of resources.

    If we take no preventative measures, overshoot would resolve in one of three scenarios.

    We are currently at a warm peak, interglacial, of a long ice age climate regime where there is permanent ice at the poles. Our warming of the climate, so far, is pretty bad, disrupting forests and killing corals, as well as causing economic harms such crop losses, more powerful storms, more floods, more droughts and coastal erosion. However, these things, today (and as they get a lot worse tomorrow), are a small nuisance compared to pushing the earths climate system into a "hot box" regime, that last existed hundreds of millions of years ago. When icesheets and permafrost start to collapse, the process feeds itself by warm water drilling through the ice and making it softer, carbon beneath being released as well as libido change making it warmer. It just so happens that when earth's orbit and spin are just so to start such a process of collapsing ice sheets, every 40 000 to 100 000 years, during our cold-box regime, though a very rapid, the process runs out of steam and ice sheets remain on Greenland and Antarctica as well as the cap in the north pole; processes that remove greenhouse gases in combination to moving to cooler (for the Northern hemisphere) part of the orbit cycle, leads to rebuilding the Northern continental ice sheets. We simply don't know exactly what it would take to fully complete the cycle of de-icing the world, nor exactly what the implications would be, but what is agreed by the experts is that the risk is very real and the consequences are catastrophic on a global and permanent scale (a large part of the earth maybe uninhabitable, essentially all rain forests would likely desertify, and the ocean ecosystem may collapse completely). What we know from studying past climate and computer models is that the earth system is very sensitive to greenhouse gases and libido changes (fairly subtle differences in orbit translate to a difference between kilometer thick ice all over Canada, Europe and Russia, and a big forest with people living and growing food there).

    The other problem, that is made worse by climate change and would result from a switch to a hot-box regime, but we are also causing outright even without climate change is web-of-life collapse. We know from previous mass-extinctions that the web-of-life can only take so much disruption before the system simply collapses and a majority of life forms cannot survive or adapt. Again, we do not know what the line in the sand is for the major world ecosystems, but we know it is there. A good analogy is someone who is overworked and super stressed and is a hazard to themselves and others; we can see there's a danger, but it's impossible to predict "the day" where the person falls asleep at the wheel, or develops a fatal disease, or just snaps; people can be tough and resilient, but there is always a breaking point; when ecologists talk of "stresses" for an ecosystem, they are meaning to imply that enough stresses and the system can no longer cope.

    Lastly, even without global and severe ecosystem collapse of the above types, we may encounter cascading failure of our global industrial system. Though depleting any given resource can be solved, it is not a magical process but takes capital and organization; depleting too many resources in combination to supply line disruptions due to conflict and disasters of various kinds, more or less analogous to how ecosystems can break and collapse, could lead to a economic collapse spiral that cannot be recoverable. The world's transport and energy infrastructure is a complex interdependent web and the world only has so much food in store. The intuition that our systems are fairly fragile is, in my view, why post-apocalyptic movies and television is so compelling; the break down of society is easy a very believable process. At the moment, famines are a regional thing, and diversity of location as well as food stores is a strong buffer against global famine; but resistance to a threat is not quite the same as being totally immune. Although I would doubt very much a global famine has no engineering solution, the problem is a feedback loop between disruption to our infrastructure and political disruptions (preventing the infrastructure problems being solved) that spins into chaos. As the US military has recently concluded in a study, a permanent collapse of the US electric grid would result in some 90% of American dying within a year or so; what exact steps would lead to such a scenario are difficult to predict, but it should not be discounted as a potential failure mode (even absent large scale climate shift or ecosystem collapse).

    People in denial about these issues, which I expect a good part of this forum would be not to mention the general population, like to say "they don't believe these things are likely" or then "well we'll solve these problems with technology, I believe in science"; however, the question is not whether these risks are more than 50% probable, the question is how high a probability is morally tolerable. When scientists say we are conducting an uncontrolled experiment at a global scale, they mean that the inherent risks of doing so are morally intolerable from the outright, regardless of whatever equivocations one may like to throw on how high the risks are.
  • ssu
    1.5k

    Then again, never has any mass extinction event before happened with such an adaptable and dominant species around. If (and when) some species has by it's own actions inadvertently dug it's own hole for it's own extinction, no species has ever had such awareness of it's own actions than the species you boethius belong to. And I think you aren't alone with your thinking.

    People in denial about these issues, which I expect a good part of this forum would beboethius
    Hmm. Saying that others are in denial means that you are saying that they are wrong. If I argue that the end the World isn't close at hand, am I in denial? If I argue that the obvious actual problems do pose a serious threat, but not an existential one, am I in denial?

    Would it be fair to say that you are in denial of how adaptable and innovative the human race is? I wouldn't say that as I find you reasoning totally logical, yet to speak of people being in denial has that judging twist to it.
  • boethius
    205
    Then again, never has any mass extinction event before happened with such an adaptable and dominant species around. If (and when) some species has by it's own actions inadvertently dug it's own hole for it's own extinction, no species has ever had such awareness of it's own actions than the species you boethius belong to. And I think you aren't alone with your thinking.ssu

    Sure, there are many new elements to the current situation that have no precedence. However, unless our novel abilities reduce risks to essentially zero, we are still left with the question of how much global risk is acceptable. Are you arguing our adaptability makes us immune to catastrophe?

    Hmm. Saying that others are in denial means that you are saying that they are wrong.ssu

    Yes denial is a combination of both being wrong and having the information and faculty easily available to arrive at the right answer. Of course, people in denial will believe they are right or then then issue is trivial.

    If I argue that the end the World isn't close at hand, am I in denial?ssu

    Please re-read my comment.

    I emphasize quite clearly that these problems are complex, we cannot know when breaking points are: maybe they are far off. We do not know.

    The issue is how much risk is tolerable. 50 percent? 10 percent? 1 percent? 0.1 percent?

    So no, it is not denial to argue the end of the world is not close at hand, in the sense of a guarantee. I also would argue the end is not guaranteed.

    If I argue that the obvious actual problems do pose a serious threat, but not an existential one, am I in denial?ssu

    Yes, I would say this is denial.

    The logical structure of the serious global problems that we are discussing, imply an increase in existential risk the greater the "serious risk".

    The more global systemic problems, the more our social and ecological systems are stressed, and the greater the existential risk.

    Though this issues isn't too relevant to me personally -- as I believe we should feel responsible for avoiding a large majority of human caused extinctions of other species -- even if you are only concerned about humanities survival full stop, the issues I brought up in my previous post do have a real chance of leading to extinction.

    For instance, climate change could cause a global famine could trigger a nuclear war, which in turn causes a nuclear winter, which could destroy most photosynthesis and so oxygen levels would then plummet; it's not a foregone conclusion survival long term is easy in post-apocalyptic oxygen-low atmosphere: bunkers and submarines and the like would certainly have technology to make enough oxygen in the short term, but in the long term it maybe impossible to maintain bubble-ecosystems and related technologies.

    Of course there's a chance a global famine won't happen, and even if it does a nuclear war doesn't result etc. The issue is what probability is morally acceptable with respect to various chain of events leading to extinction.

    The more we disrupt the climate, the more biodiversity we destroy, the more plastic and other waste we dump in the environment, and the more resources we consume frivolously, my contention here is the more stress we place on ecological and social systems, and the more stress these systems experience the greater the likelihood of reaching breaking points.

    The research is readily available on the state of natural systems. Even a cursory examination of the research is more than enough to establish the global risks we face are non-trivial. The question is what level of global risks (to nature, to civilization, to the human survival as such) are morally justifiable?

    Just last week the UN has released an assessment of biodiversity where they conclude over a million (additional) species are at risk of extinction if we continue business as usual (they of course have factored in projected population declines in reaching this conclusion). It's simply not clear what the affects will be on earth systems of losing one million species. From a risk-management perspective, it's far better to not run the experiment to find out.
  • Wallows
    8.7k
    What Marx got wrong, was his slant of microeconomic thought in regards to productivity and capitalism. It's rather a daunting task to try and address economic dynamics for any nation that exists in the sphere of competing interests and even cold or active wars. Or to put this another way, as long as there are nations that can be exploited, then capitalism will flourish, and be the predominant economic system to utilize for the benefit of the few and not many.


    So, given that the world is still full of 3'rd world nations, capitalism will continue to be the economic system of choice for the ultra-rich. If we do get to a point where there's some semblance of equilibrium around the world in terms of development, then maybe there will be some consensus to transition or shift towards another economic system. How far away are we from that prospectus is a current issue of debate within the realm of Marxist scholars.
123Next
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.