I could have added “destroying rainforests” but TMF only allow 5 options in a poll.You’ll have seen Notehound’s superb post on food shortages. But is it about overall food shortages (food supply divided by total population) or mainly distribution of resources?A few notes of my own1. Life is all about growth, life wants to put resources under the control of its own genes. This is its purpose. Any other purpose, and that life form gets swamped by another. The law of the jungle is engrained or we wouldn’t be here.2. The world’s human population has more than doubled just since I was born. That’s just incredible in such a short timespan for such a mature species.3. When I see a TV program asking me to help a poor mother in Ethiopia and her 6 starving kids ... I do a double take. What?????Or there’s Afghanistan. Kabul’s population increased from 500,000 to 4 million in the past 10 years.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabul#DemographicsMight this have something to do with it?The more than $6 billion a year Afghanistan receives from foreign governments in civilian aid (excluding military spending) represents nearly 40% of gross domestic product.http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/afghanistan/story/...So what happens when we pull out and leave them to it? Having fostered thisPopulation growth rate2.22% (2011 est.)Total fertility rate5.64 children born/woman (2011 est.)Are they going to sell us more poppies for our heroin industries? What else can they do?It looks like we should add to the list “Meddling in stable communities so as to enable them to grow their population to unsustainable levels thereby ensuring widescale distress at some point.”Can we stand by while there is suffering today because we believe assisting will create more suffering in the future? Tough call.I’m glad to see Bill Gates, a major terrorist in this respect by only “helping” people live well (and procreate energetically) has suddenly woken up on the issue.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjINFTa3LMcBut even the tangential discussion on the issue by Gates immediately engenders immense pushback as you can see in the comments. People want freedom to procreate as they wish. And the human urge is to go for it. Was the Catholic church waging a demographic war against everyone else by banning contraception? Is Islam waging a demographic war against the west now? Many are very touchy when the subject is raised, suggesting they are.The interesting (from a philosophical angle) and sad (from a human-race wellbeing angle) is that if life is all about putting one’s genes in control of resources, then those who perform population terrorism ... win. Because once a child is born we ascribe the same right to him/her no matter is he/she is a single child or has 6 siblings. Unless something is done on a planet wide basis to level off the population, then the terrorists win. Even if their actions induce a horrific war for space and resources in which half the world dies ... the instigators’ genes will live on in a higher quantity than the genes of the more socially conscious.And the way we are going now, and have been my lifetime, the population of the fast growing countries will totally swamp the few advanced countries that have levelled their populations.Even sensible people ether don’t get it, or maybe can’t control their primordial instincts ... or maybe think they are above the fray ...http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/shortcuts/2012/nov/27/dia... The wife of the new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has her own pleasingly edgy views on everything from the environment to equality of incomeIn a recent piece on inequality, the mother of four wrote warmly about the Occupy movementThen there is her environmental campaigning ... She writes that she has "seen, firsthand, the devastation that our willful refusal to change our consumerist habits is wreaking on marginal communities".And the lasting legacy to the planet of this eco warrior is ... a carbon footprint doubled for all of eternity (unless she advocates sterilising half her offspring?).We thought nuclear war was the big issue? Seems to have been solved.We thought the distribution of wealth was the issue. Do rich people, movers and shakers who have created wealth, deserve to keep so much of it? Tough call, but this issue doesn’t grow exponentially for ever.The really big issue seems to be that it looks like only a real constraint, one that makes life almost but not quite unlivable, is the future of the human race. And while some intelligent guys and gals here disagree, there are millions out there who don’t care about you or me, and who are busy, consciously or unconsciously, rather like ants or locusts in practice, making sure this miserable future happens.
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