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Re: Why VHEMT? RE: Human Overpopulation: Still an Issue of Concern?

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  • Alan Thomas
    Places where it is reversing are a very small fraction of the world s population. Meanwhile, the percentage of the world s population that suffers from hunger
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 7, 2013
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      Places where it is reversing are a very small fraction of the world's population.  Meanwhile, the percentage of the world's population that suffers from hunger is declining significantly:



      On Sat, Sep 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM, <rudrakrsh@...> wrote:
       

      This whole idea that population growth or birthrates are going to start declining in a few decades appears to be nothing more than magical thinking. No one has ever given me any reason why they should just suddenly start declining, except for some magical god called "tech". "As societies and economies advance, tech will catch up and people will have access to birth control and be able to plan the size of their families." Education for women also reduces birth rates. I don't see that happening too much more, and is even reversing in some places like where the Taliban are taking control of the government,


      Moreover, how will those societies or economies advance if they share their wealth by producing 4 times as many people over the next couple of decades?


      It seems to go with the notion held among some that "population is already declining", and pointing to low birth rates in industrialized countries, and extrapolating that to the world... even if untrue.


      Beth



      --- In Why_VHEMT@yahoogroups.com, <why_vhemt@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      Human Overpopulation: Still an Issue of Concern?
      by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss
      September 3, 2013

      http://www.emagazine.com/earth-talk/human-overpopulation-still-an-issue-of-concern/

      Dear EarthTalk:

      Is it true that human overpopulation isn't such a big issue any more as numbers are expected to start declining in a few decades?
      – Melinda Mason, Boone, IA

      Ever since Thomas Malthus published "An Essay on the Principle of Population" in 1798, positing incorrectly that humans' proclivity for procreation would exhaust the global food supply within a matter of decades, population growth has been a hot button issue among those contemplating humankind's future. Indeed our very success going forth and multiplying, paired with our ability to extend our life expectancy, has meant that we are perpetually pushing the limits of the resource base that supports us. When Malthus was worrying about the planet's "carrying capacity," there were only about a billion of us on the planet. Today our population tops seven billion. While better health care and medicine along with advances in food production and access to freshwater and sanitation have allowed us to feed ourselves and stave off many health ills, some so-called Neo-Malthusians believe we may still be heading for some kind of population crash, perhaps triggered or exacerbated by environmental factors related to climate change. But others are less concerned given projections that world population will likely start to decline once the world's less developed nations urbanize and start lowering their birth rates, as has already happened in Europe, the U.S., Australia and parts of Asia. For example, Europe's "fertility rate" between 2005 and 2010 was just 1.53 live births per woman (the standard replacement rate to maintain a stable population is 2.1). Without immigration, Europe's population would already be shrinking. Of course, the immigration that continues to fuel population numbers in developed countries is coming from somewhere. Indeed, population numbers are still growing in many of the world's developing countries, including the world's most populous nation, China, and its close rival, India. Also fertility rates in Africa continue to be among the highest in the world, as many countries there are growing fast, too. Poverty and health problems due to poor sanitation, lack of access to food and water, the low social status of women and other ills continue to cripple these regions. Overpopulation could plague us indefinitely if fertility rates don't drop in these areas, especially as they ramp up their Western-style development. Globally, the United Nations estimates that the number of humans populating the planet in 2100 will range from as few as 6.2 billion—almost a billion less than today—to as many as 15.8 billion on the high end. Meanwhile, other researchers confirm the likelihood of world population levels flattening out and starting to decline by 2100 according to the lower UN estimate. To wit, the Austria-based International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) recently unveiled research showing that if the world stabilizes at a fertility rate comparable to that of many European nations today (roughly 1.5), the global human population will be only half of what it is today by the year 2200, and only one-seventh by 2300. It is difficult to say which way the global population pendulum will swing in centuries to come, given ever-changing cultural, economic and political attitudes and the development demographics they affect. As such the jury is still out as to whether human overpopulation will become a footnote in history or the dominant ill that stands in the way of all other efforts to achieve sustainability and a kinder, gentler world.

      = = = =

      CONTACTS:

      Thomas Malthus,w
      ww.esp.org/books/malthus/population/malthus.pdf

      United Nations
      www.un.org/esa/population/ý

      IIASA
      http://webarchive.iiasa.ac.at/Admin/PUB/Documents/IR-08-022.pdf.

      Augie
      Live Simply So That
      Others May Simply Live
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yoga-With-Nancy/
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SignSoFla/
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SoFlaVegans/
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SoFlaSchools/


    • ES
      This whole idea that population growth or birthrates are going to start declining in a few decades appears to be nothing more than magical thinking. No one
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 9, 2013
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        "This whole idea that population growth or birthrates are going to start declining in a few decades appears to be nothing more than magical thinking. No one has ever given me any reason why they should just suddenly start declining, except for some magical god called "tech"." (beth)

        The decline in birthrates is real. The Canadian Province of Quebec went from the highest birthrates to the lowest.

        From the 1930's to the 1960's Quebec's Provincial government was a nationalistic (as in the nation of Francophone Quebecois - not the nation of Canada) supported by and supporting the Roman Catholic Church. Both preached fertility and and traditional roles for women. The Provincial Government sent monthly children's allowance checks for all kids. A typical Quebecois family had 10 children, families of upwards of 20 kids was fairly common. When Quebec was taken over by the British in 1763, they pretty much left it up to the French colonists of Quebec to manage their own affairs with little British interference or common law, Quebec's internal affairs were managed by their elites, who were educated through the RC church, who looked after all local education including University. So the RC church views on birth control, and the primary role of women to have lots of little RC babies prevailed.

        A secular revolution occurred in the 1960's. Quebecers turned away from the church and the traditional elites who had governed them for 200 years. Women started using birth control to have the numbers of babies they wanted as opposed to the babies they were supposed to have as dictated by the church and government. Canadian governments no longer subsidized children through a family allowance program.

        Women in the countries that have accepted modern views on the equality of women are encouraged to have careers as opposed to low level jobs, and many have chosen to do so. To have a career means making a choice between having children and pursuing advancement, no matter what every one would like to believe, or believes a thing should be, this is a real choice, and every woman who chooses a career makes that choice. A compromise is to have career first and take time off, or vice versa, either way, it means potentially fewer children than if the woman is expected to stay home full time.

        Rural societies traditionally have many children. Children can be put to work at a very early age. Putting children to work on farms that are not mechanized is an excellent source of cheap labour, more children contribute to greater wealth. Children can also contribute to family wealth in the early stages of industrialization, until child labour laws are enacted, or as in some of today's cases, their employers are shamed into firing the kids and hiring adults.

        For highly developed urban societies, the opposite is true. Children may not become employable and productive until they are 30 years old. They have to be supported by their parents at great cost. Parents are expected to contribute to their children's specialized education and training, from which the parents will receive little or no payback. Having more children will limit the children's individual potential if the parents have limited resources for educating their kids.

        So what does this mean for the future? Some people believe that Western style highly developed post industrial society is fundamentally decadent, and that it will implode, resulting in the Barbarians taking over, turning the clock back to a more primitive economy. If this happens, population rates will certainly increase, and pretty soon collapse as Malthus' prophecies finally become true.

        Current trends, however, suggest that the opposite will occur. China and India, the two most populous countries in the world are rapidly moving from rural economies to early industrialization to the later stages of a service dominated post industrial economy.

        In China for certain, and to a lesser extent in India, women have, or are successfully seeking equal rights and the right to have a career should they want one. Given that, even if only some women choose a career, there will be a reduction in birthrates. Add in the expense of having children in a modern society as opposed to having children to create wealth in older societies, there will be a further reduction of birthrates.

        If you are still with me, think about the effects of a government program that pays or issues money to a parent or parents on a per kid basis, and what the consequences of that might be? You probably don't have to look very far for a real example to study.
      • beth_h8
        Oh, I can think of PLENTY of examples of people being paid to have children that has the obvious consequence of them having more and more children. That is
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 14, 2013
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           Oh, I can think of PLENTY of examples of people being paid to have children that has the obvious consequence of them having more and more children. That is even true in the US where "welfare" has ceased to exist in its classic form. There are still ways to get paid for more and more and more children.


          Canada, Japan, and Western Europe have very much lowered their fertility rate. So has the US, in most of its regions and ethnic groups, although it is the only western democracy with a birthrate above "replacement" levels. Replacement is in quotes, because I've written on ad nauseum about why having 2.1 children increases population, rather than just maintains it.


          Still, although birth rates are declining in some countries - in some cases well below 2.1 children - and in mostly the wealthier countries, the total human population is still growing at an alarming rate. It takes about 11 or 12 years to add a billion people, and as population increases, the time for adding another billion will decrease for the simple reason that there are more people who can potentially become parents.


          I fail to see the magic which will cause people to just stop having children in about 2050 or so.


          It seems to be a case of racism where those educated, who live in wealthier nations with declining birth rates - partly because a significant number women are getting their education and careers before they have children (or don't have them at all) are frightened that they are going to decline in number, and there won't be people to take care of them in their old age. These same people also don't want immigration or to face the horror that it could be a brown immigrant who cares for them in the nursing home. That's true whether they have children or not, because very very few people take care of aging parents or grandparents. The fear of little brown people as immigrants is just flat-out racism.


          Beth



          --- In Why_VHEMT@yahoogroups.com, <why_vhemt@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          "This whole idea that population growth or birthrates are going to start declining in a few decades appears to be nothing more than magical thinking. No one has ever given me any reason why they should just suddenly start declining, except for some magical god called "tech"." (beth)

          The decline in birthrates is real. The Canadian Province of Quebec went from the highest birthrates to the lowest.

          From the 1930's to the 1960's Quebec's Provincial government was a nationalistic (as in the nation of Francophone Quebecois - not the nation of Canada) supported by and supporting the Roman Catholic Church. Both preached fertility and and traditional roles for women. The Provincial Government sent monthly children's allowance checks for all kids. A typical Quebecois family had 10 children, families of upwards of 20 kids was fairly common. When Quebec was taken over by the British in 1763, they pretty much left it up to the French colonists of Quebec to manage their own affairs with little British interference or common law, Quebec's internal affairs were managed by their elites, who were educated through the RC church, who looked after all local education including University. So the RC church views on birth control, and the primary role of women to have lots of little RC babies prevailed.

          A secular revolution occurred in the 1960's. Quebecers turned away from the church and the traditional elites who had governed them for 200 years. Women started using birth control to have the numbers of babies they wanted as opposed to the babies they were supposed to have as dictated by the church and government. Canadian governments no longer subsidized children through a family allowance program.

          Women in the countries that have accepted modern views on the equality of women are encouraged to have careers as opposed to low level jobs, and many have chosen to do so. To have a career means making a choice between having children and pursuing advancement, no matter what every one would like to believe, or believes a thing should be, this is a real choice, and every woman who chooses a career makes that choice. A compromise is to have career first and take time off, or vice versa, either way, it means potentially fewer children than if the woman is expected to stay home full time.

          Rural societies traditionally have many children. Children can be put to work at a very early age. Putting children to work on farms that are not mechanized is an excellent source of cheap labour, more children contribute to greater wealth. Children can also contribute to family wealth in the early stages of industrialization, until child labour laws are enacted, or as in some of today's cases, their employers are shamed into firing the kids and hiring adults.

          For highly developed urban societies, the opposite is true. Children may not become employable and productive until they are 30 years old. They have to be supported by their parents at great cost. Parents are expected to contribute to their children's specialized education and training, from which the parents will receive little or no payback. Having more children will limit the children's individual potential if the parents have limited resources for educating their kids.

          So what does this mean for the future? Some people believe that Western style highly developed post industrial society is fundamentally decadent, and that it will implode, resulting in the Barbarians taking over, turning the clock back to a more primitive economy. If this happens, population rates will certainly increase, and pretty soon collapse as Malthus' prophecies finally become true.

          Current trends, however, suggest that the opposite will occur. China and India, the two most populous countries in the world are rapidly moving from rural economies to early industrialization to the later stages of a service dominated post industrial economy.

          In China for certain, and to a lesser extent in India, women have, or are successfully seeking equal rights and the right to have a career should they want one. Given that, even if only some women choose a career, there will be a reduction in birthrates. Add in the expense of having children in a modern society as opposed to having children to create wealth in older societies, there will be a further reduction of birthrates.

          If you are still with me, think about the effects of a government program that pays or issues money to a parent or parents on a per kid basis, and what the consequences of that might be? You probably don't have to look very far for a real example to study.
        • ES
          beth ...because a significant number women are getting their education and careers before they have children (or don t have them at all) are frightened that
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 15, 2013
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            beth
            "...because a significant number women are getting their education and careers before they have children (or don't have them at all) are frightened that they are going to decline in number, and there won't be people to take care of them in their old age. These same people also don't want immigration or to face the horror that it could be a brown immigrant who cares for them in the nursing home. That's true whether they have children or not, because very very few people take care of aging parents or grandparents. The fear of little brown people as immigrants is just flat-out racism."

            Maybe you should visit some nursing homes and tell me what you see. I see a lot of little brown immigrants looking after the old folks. Little brown immigrants who's jobs depend on keeping the old folks alive, whereas their slacker kids can't wait for the old folks to move on to their final reward, so they can redistribute the assets.

            Who would you prefer to have looking after you when can't look after yourself anymore :-)

            As far as racism goes, when little brown people are serving the needs of large white people, destiny has been fulfilled and the world is working as it should.
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