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Old 22-09-2015, 23:56   #16
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
There's another point here that most people have never heard of.

Our concept of normal fish stocks was developed decades ago, when whale populations of all species were at extinction levels. It is certain that fish stocks were much lower prior to the 18th century when humans began to take whales in large numbers.

They've now rebounded. Whales are now the number one competitor with humans for fish, and the populations of most whale species are very near sustainable limits. Furthermore, baleen whales are the number one competitors against fish for planktonic life, reducing fish stocks at the bottom of the food chain as well as the top.

Like humans and basically every other species, whales will increase their population until food stocks no longer support growth.

With two top-predators (whales and humans) pressuring fish populations, dramatic declines are inevitable, and, unfortunately for us, take limits imposed on people won't result in more fish, it will result in more whales.
Whales aren't eating tuna and swordfish, or sharks, or cod. Granted they are eating baitfish (sardines, anchovies, etc.) and pelagic crustaceans that feed on plankton. I don't think whales are a threat to plankton. I haven't seen anything that would suggest whales are anything more than 10% of their original populations. (I hope I am wrong.) Is that "sustainable?" When you say fish, it is probably helpful to distinguish which ones we're talking about. I would like to see the scientific study that shows fish populations, of all types, were naturally much lower before whaling began. The dramatic declines are not from humans selectively taking more fish. They are from humans unselectively taking massive quantities of sea life and at the same time destroying or polluting crucial habitat that all fish and sea life need to reproduce. It sounds like you are saying the fish in the sea will either go to us or the whales, so we might as well be the ones to take them. I think this is a misunderstanding of how the ecosystem works and vastly overstates the consumption by whales.
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Old 23-09-2015, 03:02   #17
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
There are no politically correct solutions to problems of overpopulation.
There is one fairly effective, multipronged P/C approach: education of women, giving women autonomy over there reproductive abilities (not to mention rights), and a fair distribution of wealth.

Might be a little hard to implement, given the current status of political will, religious involvement, market based corprocracy, apathy and human nature, but there are some smart people working on it...

The question seems to be not 'how will population and exploitation of resources be addressed?' (because they will be, one way or the other), but
'how ugly (or not) will the solutions be?'

For an example of the larger problem, human nature, take a look at the some of the responses in the 'Mosquito free anchorage/island' thread, after it turned to mosquito control. Individuals' comfort trumps (no pun intended) hard data and facts every time (unless they happily happen to coincide).
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Old 23-09-2015, 03:16   #18
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Whales aren't eating tuna and swordfish, or sharks, or cod. Granted they are eating baitfish (sardines, anchovies, etc.) and pelagic crustaceans that feed on plankton. I don't think whales are a threat to plankton. I haven't seen anything that would suggest whales are anything more than 10% of their original populations. (I hope I am wrong.) Is that "sustainable?" When you say fish, it is probably helpful to distinguish which ones we're talking about. I would like to see the scientific study that shows fish populations, of all types, were naturally much lower before whaling began. The dramatic declines are not from humans selectively taking more fish. They are from humans unselectively taking massive quantities of sea life and at the same time destroying or polluting crucial habitat that all fish and sea life need to reproduce. It sounds like you are saying the fish in the sea will either go to us or the whales, so we might as well be the ones to take them. I think this is a misunderstanding of how the ecosystem works and vastly overstates the consumption by whales.
a very good response to a very ill informed post
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Old 23-09-2015, 03:31   #19
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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There are no politically correct solutions to problems of overpopulation.
I don't think that's quite the right response. Though it sounded like it was.

I think it's more accurate to say, 'there's no politically favourable solution to problems of overpopulation'.

But in addition, from someone who has dabbled in anthropology and missiology as part of past degree studies, I disagree that the problem with the state of the oceans fish stocks (or other environment problems) are to do with population, but rather with exploitation and greed largely from the west.

Someone referred to all the fish the Chinese must eat as being part of the problem, and again, that's part of the problem in that people make assumptions based on quite wild out there amateurish conclusions that have either no, or limited basis in fact. Such an example is the absolutely far out there suggestion that whales are eating all the fish and there's now too many whales. Omg! Seriously!

Fish sticks 'no where' are deminishing to feed the worlds populations, or to feed the hungry and all that rubbish. Fish stocks deminish because greedy corporations want to make more money for very few people. Unfortunately the poor get dragged into this circle exploiting stocks to meet the demand of these greedy corporations and to compete to survive against them.
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Old 23-09-2015, 03:50   #20
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
There are no politically correct solutions to problems of overpopulation.
Too true Ann, but I always felt Jonathan Swift was on the right track in his 'Modest Proposal'

Seems it was not to everyone's taste.

http://m.sparknotes.com/lit/modestproposal/summary.html
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Old 23-09-2015, 03:57   #21
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Too true Ann, but I always felt Jonathan Swift was on the right track in his 'Modest Proposal'

Seems it was not to everyone's taste.

http://m.sparknotes.com/lit/modestproposal/summary.html
OK, I now understand what Ann meant. That's really not very politically 'correct' a solution is it.
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Old 23-09-2015, 04:32   #22
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Re: Something for us all to think about

Most people have no direct knowledge of conditions in 99.9% of the world. They rely on data published by various sources, the vast majority of which have some financial or political incentive to skew the story. They don't always get it wrong but there are enough examples where they do to make it difficult to know which set of "facts" is correct. For example, the reality in India is not what has been suggested in this thread. But how can we know unless we have been there? If we can't even get our facts straight how can we ever agree on root causes and solutions?

The truth is the world is a complex system far beyond human kind's ability to reason. Thus it is folly to think that people can regulate the planet. It does a far better job on its own than any self appointed group will ever be able to do. And the law of unintended consequences says that sweeping attempts to regulate human behavior will almost certainly make any given problem worse not better.

Every generation for thousands of years has fretted that the future will be "worse" than the recent past. And every generation has been wrong in that assessment.
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Old 23-09-2015, 05:05   #23
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Re: Something for us all to think about

When countries prosper economically the people produce less babies.

It's happened in the west, will happen elsewhere as well. It's human nature.

Indeed, the declining birthrate in the west is only a problem for a limited period (albeit in generations!) because of an imbalance of workers to support the oldies.....once peak oldies has passed (lol) will find that western countries can get along very nicely with a lot less people in them (do we really need in a society half the population giving haircuts to others in exchange for fast food?!)


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Old 23-09-2015, 05:12   #24
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Most people have no direct knowledge of conditions in 99.9% of the world. They rely on data published by various sources, the vast majority of which have some financial or political incentive to skew the story. They don't always get it wrong but there are enough examples where they do to make it difficult to know which set of "facts" is correct. For example, the reality in India is not what has been suggested in this thread. But how can we know unless we have been there? If we can't even get our facts straight how can we ever agree on root causes and solutions?

The truth is the world is a complex system far beyond human kind's ability to reason. Thus it is folly to think that people can regulate the planet. It does a far better job on its own than any self appointed group will ever be able to do. And the law of unintended consequences says that sweeping attempts to regulate human behavior will almost certainly make any given problem worse not better.

Every generation for thousands of years has fretted that the future will be "worse" than the recent past. And every generation has been wrong in that assessment.
other than your comment that 'most people' have no direct knowledge of the rest of the world (which is pretty obvious when you think of it), the rest of your post I find little if anything that I can agree with. It's all doom and gloom mumbo jumbo.

And since when have past generations EVER thought that future world will be 'worse' than the recent past?

Are we living on the same planet?
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Old 23-09-2015, 05:21   #25
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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Yes, population growth is a huge problem. But it is at best only 1/2 the problem.
I think the main problem is not "over population" or "over consumption".

The main problem is pessimism.

There is actually no "over population" problem. There is also no "over consumption" problem. Don't forget that this 12% that is responsible for 60% of all consumption is also responsible of 60% of all production...

What the world really has is challenges. How to reduce even further the net inputs the economy needs for example. How to deal with negative externalities.
These are technical challenges, but there are also legal challenges. The main reason the oceans are getting depleted is that nobody really owns them. Its a classic "tragedy of the commons".
But just as we stopped hunting for a living in Europe when the game in the forests got depleted we will also stop fishing, and just farm fish in stead. This comes with its own sets of issues, but we can tackle these as well.

Anyway. There will soon be 9 billion people on this planet. And most of these people will lead quite prosperous and comfortable lives. That's quite an achievement. We have gone from a world where poverty, misery and disease where the norm to one where they have become the exception. And that in a few generations. Remarkable.
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Old 23-09-2015, 05:24   #26
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Re: Something for us all to think about

This is why the fish stocks are depleting.

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Old 23-09-2015, 06:45   #27
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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I think the main problem is not "over population" or "over consumption".

The main problem is pessimism.

There is actually no "over population" problem. There is also no "over consumption" problem. Don't forget that this 12% that is responsible for 60% of all consumption is also responsible of 60% of all production...

What the world really has is challenges. How to reduce even further the net inputs the economy needs for example. How to deal with negative externalities.
These are technical challenges, but there are also legal challenges. The main reason the oceans are getting depleted is that nobody really owns them. Its a classic "tragedy of the commons".
But just as we stopped hunting for a living in Europe when the game in the forests got depleted we will also stop fishing, and just farm fish in stead. This comes with its own sets of issues, but we can tackle these as well.

Anyway. There will soon be 9 billion people on this planet. And most of these people will lead quite prosperous and comfortable lives. That's quite an achievement. We have gone from a world where poverty, misery and disease where the norm to one where they have become the exception. And that in a few generations. Remarkable.
Unless you live on an infinite planet, overpopulation and, by association, over consumption, should always be considered as a potential eventuality and possible problem.

The vast majority of scientists and political, economic and cultural analysts appear to think that, currently, on this planet, there is a problem with both.

Looking at it from a biological standpoint, in which the multiple roles of an individual species are impossible to quantify and/or qualify with respect to other species, this cartoon is pretty scary:




As is this one, especially if you extrapolate the human population curve out to the present.




You can read the whole article here: Megafauna biomass tradeoff as a driver of Quaternary and future extinctions

Seems a bit disingenuous to me to assume that 'science' is going to solve a problem that it (plus greed) got us into in the first place...

Of course, if you were just being figuratively warm and fuzzy in your definition and intention of 'pessimism' as a kind of scapegoat for misplaced concern or apathy, my apologies.
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Old 23-09-2015, 06:52   #28
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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And since when have past generations EVER thought that future world will be 'worse' than the recent past?

Are we living on the same planet?
A politician that says "even if you don't vote for me the future will be better" probably won't get many votes. A group that needs donations won't get them if their message is "even if you don't give us your money life will will get better anyway". Thus we are bombarded with doom and gloom messages to generate support for one cause or another.

Perhaps because of the negative messages I think a lot of people (most?) tend to believe life was better in the "old days" and the future will be even worse than the present. But it almost always turns out the other way around. Exceptions being world war, famine or epidemics such as black plague. So we should not embrace the doom and gloom and just make good decisions that improve our standard of living. That's a pretty good way to reduce our negative impact on the planet.
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:14   #29
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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A politician that says "even if you don't vote for me the future will be better" probably won't get many votes. A group that needs donations won't get them if their message is "even if you don't give us your money life will will get better anyway". Thus we are bombarded with doom and gloom messages to generate support for one cause or another.

Perhaps because of the negative messages I think a lot of people (most?) tend to believe life was better in the "old days" and the future will be even worse than the present. But it almost always turns out the other way around. Exceptions being world war, famine or epidemics such as black plague. So we should not embrace the doom and gloom and just make good decisions that improve our standard of living. That's a pretty good way to reduce our negative impact on the planet.
Ok, this one made more sense
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Old 23-09-2015, 07:58   #30
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Re: Something for us all to think about

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At least one premise of the article is demonstrably wrong. Hydrocarbon fuel is not dwindling. In fact, the known reserves of oil and gas have increased substantially in the last 2 decades. There is enough known recoverable fuel to easily handle the world's energy needs for at least a couple centuries and probably longer than that.

And it makes me crazy to hear the term fossil fuel. Who thinks that the methane gas now known to exist on Pluto is a byproduct of dinosaurs?
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