Add another U.S. to the world every 4 years

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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17 May 2018 11:38
 

World population is growing at the rate of 83 million a year.  This is like adding another U.S. to the world every 4 years.

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hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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17 May 2018 13:31
 

Yes and no.  The population growing most rapidly in less developed countries, where the citizens use fewer natural resources per person.  But haven’t I heard that the growth rate is tapering off altogether?  Still over-populated in many areas, but not expanding toward infinity.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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18 May 2018 02:34
 

Technological progress is accelerating whilst birth rates are decelerating. We are nowhere near our limits in terms of resources or space, and we haven’t done more than dipped our toe into the amount of energy we can get from solar and other sources.
Meantime, despite our vastly increased use of electronic devices, energy consumption per capita has been stagnant or even declining due to massively more efficient technologies.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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18 May 2018 06:07
 
Twissel - 18 May 2018 02:34 AM

Technological progress is accelerating whilst birth rates are decelerating. We are nowhere near our limits in terms of resources or space, and we haven’t done more than dipped our toe into the amount of energy we can get from solar and other sources.
Meantime, despite our vastly increased use of electronic devices, energy consumption per capita has been stagnant or even declining due to massively more efficient technologies.

We may have “space” left, but uninhabited spaces are of unequal value.  Some spaces, such as the vast deserts and canyonlands of the southwest US are more difficult to inhabit because water is very limited and supply chains are long.  Other spaces, such as the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, are attractive for living, but also have value as wilderness to preserve native species in the remnants of wild ecosystems.  Undeveloped areas also serve important functions—estuaries, as nurseries for fish populations and buffers against storms; forests as water and carbon storage; etc.

Furthermore, while it is true that technologies enable humans to survive in many environments, we also should put quality of life and sustainability into the discussion.

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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18 May 2018 07:40
 

Solar power makes saltwater desalination economically viable: Australia is doing so successfully with tomato farms. Using this technology, the Middle East can become a powerhouse for food production: Israel is a major food exporter becasue they have learned how to use water efficiently.
And we haven’t even started on hydroponics, mushroom or insect farms on anything but the tiniest scale.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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18 May 2018 07:54
 
Twissel - 18 May 2018 07:40 AM

Solar power makes saltwater desalination economically viable: Australia is doing so successfully with tomato farms. Using this technology, the Middle East can become a powerhouse for food production: Israel is a major food exporter becasue they have learned how to use water efficiently.
And we haven’t even started on hydroponics, mushroom or insect farms on anything but the tiniest scale.

Yes on the Middle Eastern desert countries bordering seas.  No on the interior deserts of the US, Africa, and Australia.  And it’s still 120 degrees outside on the Arabian peninsula.  Air conditioning works, but that is yet another energy cost and limits lifestyle possibilities, especially for the poor.

I’ve said before, but it bears repeating—the highest birthrates are in places of insecurity.  Places plagued by poverty and disease and, especially, war.  Places where birth control is not widely available and women have few choices about how to live their lives.  Given hope, options, and birth control, people choose to have smaller families.  Humans don’t need to inhabit all the marginal and extreme areas of the world.  Why not use technology to improve the lives of people living in current slums and backwaters, rather than imagining more Dubais for those who can afford it?

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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18 May 2018 11:16
 
hannahtoo - 18 May 2018 07:54 AM
Twissel - 18 May 2018 07:40 AM

Solar power makes saltwater desalination economically viable: Australia is doing so successfully with tomato farms. Using this technology, the Middle East can become a powerhouse for food production: Israel is a major food exporter becasue they have learned how to use water efficiently.
And we haven’t even started on hydroponics, mushroom or insect farms on anything but the tiniest scale.

Yes on the Middle Eastern desert countries bordering seas.  No on the interior deserts of the US, Africa, and Australia.  And it’s still 120 degrees outside on the Arabian peninsula.  Air conditioning works, but that is yet another energy cost and limits lifestyle possibilities, especially for the poor.

I’ve said before, but it bears repeating—the highest birthrates are in places of insecurity.  Places plagued by poverty and disease and, especially, war.  Places where birth control is not widely available and women have few choices about how to live their lives.  Given hope, options, and birth control, people choose to have smaller families.  Humans don’t need to inhabit all the marginal and extreme areas of the world.  Why not use technology to improve the lives of people living in current slums and backwaters, rather than imagining more Dubais for those who can afford it?

Africa is expected to have an additional 1.3 billion people by 2050.  That’s when people born this year will be 32 years old. 

How to feed an additional 83 million people every year?  https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27867-cod-make-a-comeback-thanks-to-strict-cuts-in-fishing/

quote:  “No one knows if the cod will reach their historic levels again, as warming oceans are changing the distributions of cod predators and prey, says Bettina Saier of the conservation group WWF in Halifax, Nova Scotia. But if the cod really do come back from the brink, it will prove that when scientists say to cut catches, it might be best to do so for both people and fish.”  (end quote)

Speaking of warmer oceans, I recently saw a PBS program about a New England fisherman, whose livelihood had been ruined by over-fishing in the Grand Banks.  Now he is learning how to farm sea vegetables and was once again out on his boat every day where he loves to be.  Further, this kind of farming requires no fertilizer or harmful pesticides or herbicides.  More, his ‘crop’ also helps removed CO2 from the water. 

A similar story - https://medium.com/thebeammagazine/bren-smith-the-fisherman-shaping-the-future-of-sustainable-ocean-farming-e3217835e274

quote:  “Thimble Islands of Long Island Sound, his 40-acre farm uses the entire water column to grow a variety of species?—?ranging from sugar kelp and oysters to mussels and scallops?—?and has emerged as a national model for hyper-local sustainable food production, ocean restoration, and economic development. Bren started GreenWave to replicate this model throughout the U.S. and globally, both by creating new 3D farms but also by pushing the edge of what’s possible in the sea, such as embedding 3D farms in offshore wind farms. His goal is to train thousands of new ocean farmers, and we asked the ocean innovator how he intends to do so.”  (see article)

 

[ Edited: 18 May 2018 11:27 by unsmoked]