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Old 11-06-2011, 12:30   #16
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

Maybe one day there will be a marine engine that also processes the plastic into fuel,then just head to your nearest garbage patch to fill up.
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Old 11-06-2011, 13:22   #17
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

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The solution is not one to which most humans will subscribe, but it centers on the fact that there are too many of us, and even if everyone on the planet was a religious greenie who composted and didn't litter and ate nothing but plankton cakes...we still would have too much "byproducts" entering the oceans and our manufactured crap would still fail to degrade without killing sea life.

This was known when I was a kid:



Next month, I turn 50. The population of the world has gone from 3.8 to around 7 billion in the last 40 years. All of them, without exception, need food and water, every day. If we don't restrain ourselves, one way or another, we will be restrained, as the point of view that see us as separate or "above" our environment somehow is a dangerous delusion.

I would prefer, personally, that when the human cull is imposed, that we don't wipe out several other species in the process, guilty only of being made of protein.

AMEN TO THAT!

I have seen such a decline in the ocean and land environment over the 40+ years I have been an adventurer/cruiser, that it breaks my heart. I do all the "green" things that I can, in hopes that a few folks "on the fence" about it, might also jump on the band wagon, but in the end... It is largely symbolic. It is not enough.

We have at LEAST twice to three times the number of people on the planet than can be sustained. All attempts to allow us to "keep on over populating", like factory ships and factory farming, MORE fertilizer, MORE run off, MORE wiping out of fish species, MORE water consumption, lowering water table, LESS jungles to replenish the air, etc. just reduce the quality of life across the board. Recent wars over oil, are only the precursor to ongoing wars over fresh water & land to live on.

We are inherently VERY high impact animals. The Earth has been very resilient, and capable of coping, UNTIL there became so many of us. NO amount of "producing more" will solve the obvious problem.

What ever happened to the "0 population growth" movement from the 70s? I did my part by not procreating, and @ 57, don't plan to now.

If worldwide, people were at least "encouraged" to have ONE child only, or ADOPT, it would get things under control, hopefully in time.

I don't hear a peep from the leaders of ANY country about this issue, (except China). It is like it is just TOO taboo!

I think that birth control pills and/or condoms, should be available to every person on the planet, for free, and the notion of a childless or one child family, should be put forth as the most moral NEW "family values".

Our very survival as a species depends on it!!!

M.
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Old 11-06-2011, 17:20   #18
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

We aren't all rich. Some of us just decline to buy cars and luxury goods and the endless "services" like cable TV and expensive cell phone plans.

The secret to living a cruiser's life on a middle-class income is to decline to purchase the customary accoutrements of Western civilization. I would say that if you live a boat-like existence on land (with of course the "luxury" of flush toilets and a much larger supply of pressurized hot water and AC lighting), you can save or rather not spend a fair whack of money.

Cruising for us will actually be less expensive in the long term than living in a large Western city, even with the prospect of engine rebuilds and new suits of sails every few years.

So while it can be a "rich man's hobby", everything is relative. By declining to own a car I can in fact afford, I save, or rather fail to spend, about double the cost of keeping and insuring two boats annually.
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Old 11-06-2011, 17:35   #19
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

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We are inherently VERY high impact animals. The Earth has been very resilient, and capable of coping, UNTIL there became so many of us. NO amount of "producing more" will solve the obvious problem.
Without much in the way of guilt, I ate some steak this evening cut from a sirloin roast, a fairly rare treat for us. We also had potatoes from Prince Edward Island, green beans from Mexico, with ginger and garlic from China and a nice, reasonably priced Cote du Rhone from France.

I think you can see where I'm going with this. I don't quite understand how I can eat apples from Chile in January in Toronto for 89 cents a pound without taking into account the cost of the ship, the trucks and the forklifts, all burning some kind of fossil fuel, that brought it to us.

Ironically, we might be WORSE in terms of "eat locally" (a tough gig in Canada where fresh produce is June-October almost exclusively) when we become liveaboards, as our "stores" will be dictated by price and availablity, and not really "point of origin". We will buy a lot of tinned and dry goods, and will do the old "cheese in a cubical mason jar filled with olive oil" thing, but really, we will be opportunistic food purchasers, as unless you want to live on fish (increasingly difficult) and bags of rice you purchase in countries that create bags of rice, it's tough to cruise "locally".

As for "high impact", it's instructive to consider that the "average human" of perhaps 150 pounds, is the largest non-domesticated animal in most of the countries of the world. Even as proto-humans of slighter build, we were exactly small, and now each of us, in terms of biomass, is a fairly hulking, metabolically expensive beast to feed.

And we are still keen on making more beasts.

One of the less discussed reasons my family are wanting to cruise now and not in our retirement years (hah!) is that we honestly expect a fairly rapid decline in the standard of living (another euphemism) of many of the countries along the typical tropical circumnavigators' path. We sincerely believe that it may not be possible to cruise in the future with the freedom and (relative) security possible today. We also wonder if various reefs and atolls will be tenable as places to visit given climate change. Still, we lumbering, pricy beasts wish to sail. Darwin would be proud.
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Old 11-06-2011, 17:53   #20
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
AMEN TO THAT!

I have seen such a decline in the ocean and land environment over the 40+ years I have been an adventurer/cruiser, that it breaks my heart. I do all the "green" things that I can, in hopes that a few folks "on the fence" about it, might also jump on the band wagon, but in the end... It is largely symbolic. It is not enough.

We have at LEAST twice to three times the number of people on the planet than can be sustained. All attempts to allow us to "keep on over populating", like factory ships and factory farming, MORE fertilizer, MORE run off, MORE wiping out of fish species, MORE water consumption, lowering water table, LESS jungles to replenish the air, etc. just reduce the quality of life across the board. Recent wars over oil, are only the precursor to ongoing wars over fresh water & land to live on.

We are inherently VERY high impact animals. The Earth has been very resilient, and capable of coping, UNTIL there became so many of us. NO amount of "producing more" will solve the obvious problem.

What ever happened to the "0 population growth" movement from the 70s? I did my part by not procreating, and @ 57, don't plan to now.

If worldwide, people were at least "encouraged" to have ONE child only, or ADOPT, it would get things under control, hopefully in time.

I don't hear a peep from the leaders of ANY country about this issue, (except China). It is like it is just TOO taboo!

I think that birth control pills and/or condoms, should be available to every person on the planet, for free, and the notion of a childless or one child family, should be put forth as the most moral NEW "family values".

Our very survival as a species depends on it!!!

M.
Well put Mark and I agree with everything. I think the population issue isn't discussed because there is really no solution. The rate may slow down but we are beyond the sustainable level already. We have or are reaching "peak" levels in so many resources its now a matter of when and how things come to a halt. We can't grow our way out of the problem in a world of dwindling resources. The best I'm hoping for is a soft landing for the next generation.

As someone recent said ... the Earth will survive and recover given enough time but Man may not. Maybe we can evolve into something better.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:54   #21
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

Well, there is in fact a solution...several, actually, of varying levels of severity, what we laughingly call humanity, and of acceptability.

I do not like the odds, however, of the softest options being adopted, such as draconian "one-child policies" such as China's, which have only slowed, not rolled back, populations. Other options include sterilizations...not while the History Channel's still showing WWII documentaries will that one fly...

Fiction gives us a few plausible outcomes:



..but I suspect Nature herself will just work with the wonderful raw materials of agribusiness and overcrowding to breed a series of superbugs to thin our herd. The trouble is, of course, that this world is built for seven billion, and halving that number would cause a lot of nuke plants to be understaffed, a lot of military hardware to be left unattended, and a lot of dead border guards.

History has written this script before, too. My move? Heave to in a steel sailboat!
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Old 13-06-2011, 08:58   #22
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

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Just in the supermarket and saw the brand of tuna in cans: "Chicken of the Sea". Its NOT chicken. Chickens are farmed and little environmental damage is done.
Not true. Chicken and hog farms in Maryland and Virginia in the US are a significant contributor water quality issues in Chesapeake Bay.
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Old 13-06-2011, 09:12   #23
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Re: RTW Sailor bemoans state of oceans

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Next month, I turn 50. The population of the world has gone from 3.8 to around 7 billion in the last 40 years. All of them, without exception, need food and water, every day. If we don't restrain ourselves, one way or another, we will be restrained, as the point of view that see us as separate or "above" our environment somehow is a dangerous delusion.

I would prefer, personally, that when the human cull is imposed, that we don't wipe out several other species in the process, guilty only of being made of protein.
Happy Birthday in advance

Im a firm believer in natures law and 99% of all species that ever lived have already died. Humans will go the same way but prematurely, not because of evolution.
Its true that in my life the worlds population has doubled and even at the current level, its unsustainable. So, if you do some Fibonacci type number crunching, its only a short time, if not already, before we are past point of no return.

Birth control and population control are the only way yet we do all we can to cut deaths whether it be from car crashes, disease or other things.

Today, the UK gov have pledged over 800 million for third world vaccinations, to bypass the laws of natural selection, thus increasing the population.

Call me a Nazi but those with sense know the point im making.
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Old 13-06-2011, 10:15   #24
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

I have stated before that seatbelt, crash helmet and airbag devices and laws only allow those persons, whom we as a species will regret to remain dogpaddling in the gene pool, to drive faster. Protecting idiots is a race to the bottom.

I can easily foresee a "science-fiction scenario" where a rich industrialist makes use of the bioscientific tools already in existence to create a vicious superbug that takes out a significant portion of the world's population.

I can easily foresee it because it was written by Frank Herbert 30 years ago.

The White Plague - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

albeit it with a somewhat different motivation and methodology.
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Old 13-06-2011, 10:45   #25
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

I don't know if population control is the answer. Not all humans generate more waste than they can process. Most of our problems are a result of our lifestyles. Take a family group living in the ozarks for example. (grow or hunt own food, little petroleum usage, reusable packaging, mason jars, compost waste, etc...). There is a lot of room for humans that is not being used.

Contrast that with the bulk of humanity, (and increasingly in "developing" countries), living in city, throw away packaging, consume only a small parcentage of prepaired food, packaging may even exceed cost of manufacture of item purchased, concentrated waste stream unable to be processed by nature, cost of reproduction isolated from ability to reproduce, etc...).

Add to that waste caused by regulations, I don't know about comercial fishing, but for recreational fishing in the US, I have to kill 10 fish, (that I would be perfectly fine with tossing in the cooler and eating, and going home), to get just 1 "legal" fish I can go back to the dock with, without losing my boat.

Comercial fishing has many of the same regulations, the fish has to be a certain size range, and a certain subspecies, a certain time of year, and caught in a specific place. The act of catching to the point of measurement has already irrepairably harmed the fish, but the law only cares about what goes to market. So the agencies responsible for protecting this resource are directly responsible for destroying it.

I don't see a good end, but millions of people that would otherwise be able to live long healthy lives from the bycatch, or on cropland destroyed by wars, or unsustainable farming practices, will someday starve when these resources are depleted.
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Old 13-06-2011, 11:02   #26
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

Once countries fully industralise (and move to city based economies) there populations cease to grow, if not decline.

Obviously that brings it's own challenges - but nothing unsurmountable.
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Old 13-06-2011, 11:17   #27
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

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I don't see a good end, but millions of people that would otherwise be able to live long healthy lives from the bycatch, or on cropland destroyed by wars, or unsustainable farming practices, will someday starve when these resources are depleted.
True, but each one of those millions of people eating "sustainably" would still produce waste, would still require water, shelter, heat and electricity (one of the biggest issues is deforestation and erosion for cookfires, after all), and so while I think we could all live lighter on the land, and certainly less stupidly, at some point the raw numbers of humans become too much.

I believe we are past that point...well past it, actually, and can see hints of the future in places like Yemen:

The war behind the war in Yemen - The Globe and Mail

"Yemen has one of the highest birth rates in the world, and remains one of the poorest countries in the Arab world. In 1953, it had a population of 4.3 million people. Today, that number is more than 24 million, with half under the age of 15. Demographers suggest Yemenís population will reach 60 million within the next 40 years. (wow, it's just like Arizona!)

Yemen has no major industries. Itís largely agricultural, with some pastoralism in the eastern desert. Three-quarters of its national revenue comes from oil exports. Yet, experts predict these will be exhausted by 2017, leaving the government nearly broke and unable to invest in rural development."



Wars to come won't be about oil or religion. They'll be about slaking thirst.
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Old 13-06-2011, 11:29   #28
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

It took over a million years for humans to reach our first billion, which happened in 1805-1810. I was born 130 years later, in 1940, when the population of the world had already reached 2.24 billion. In my lifetime it has tripled, and is growing rapidly. Trash heaps are nothing new. Archeologists learn what we know of past cultures by examining the trash heaps. Some archeologists refer to the species as 'the trash making species', because it is true. The difference today is in plastics and other packaging systems. Today, every time someone in government or elsewhere tries to take steps to alleviate some of the problems, thousands of people who don't like it scream loudly. [Read the posts on this website.] The screamers usually see the measures as ways of reducing their excess money. We all know that internal combustion engines pollute, but almost everyone on this website uses one [or more - I include my S10 pickup in the list]. We have passed the point of no return. We who love the sea and have spent our lives on or beside it know these things. It is our place to encourage ANY measure to reduce pollution or population growth. ANY. It is our place to demonstrate that reducing our footprint is not painful, and can, in fact, be liberating. It is our place to educate those around us. It is SO easy to be a barracks bitcher and do nothing but play at words. But a person should be judged on what we DO, not what we say. Let's just get busy [er].
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Old 13-06-2011, 12:06   #29
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

Is the root of the problem that we are just too horny as a species?
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Old 13-06-2011, 12:07   #30
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Re: RTW Sailor Bemoans State of Oceans

The world overpopulation fear was in the 1970's between the fear of world nuclear war and the Oil crisis where we were going to run out of fuel and have to drive a sulky sulkily, and that was before the hole in the Ozone, and then an ice age, closely there followed by Global Warming. I always wondered why the Ice Age suddenly became the opposite? Those scientists were on the drugs that were going to destroy mankind.

Anyway, since the last 10 times we were going to all die I have noticed we haven't actually died at all. And we still drive. Cows farting Methane didn't blow the world up, nor satellites (with GPS in them) fall down.

So in the ups and downs of this world - none of which have happened - I am pretty happy with being alive.


Mind you the western world will have a cash crisis soon, and all of a sudden we will be living exactly as we are.


Mark
PS If we reduce world population is it better to kill off Asians first? Or do we have to be politically correct and do one white one, one black one in order?
Maybe I should die first because I consume more than the people in 3rd world countires I visit. But then my money goes to employing more of those people... so maybe we should kill all employed people?
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