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Seven Billion People

We're slated to hit 7,000,000,000 in 2012.
We hit 6 billion in 1999.
Thirteen years to add a billion.
We hit 1 billion in 1800.
In 1930, 130 years later, we made 2 billion.
(data from the AP)
So between 1930 and 1999 we added 4 billion in 69 years.


Jul. 9th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
There is an incredibly tight connection between fossil fuel availability and food production in the modern world. I am surprised to hear you say this. Transport, planting, harvesting, irrigation, the manufacture and dissemination of fertilizer....oh that's only part of the list of areas in which modern corporate farming is dependent on fossil fuels. Then there is the whole (utterly bogus) federal effort to encourage "biofuels" by subsidizing corn crops and taking food crops right out of the food market. Anyway, you're ultra informed about a lot of what is going on in the world, and I wouldn't be surprised if you might start digging into this topic--it is going to get lots more interesting.

OK, so we agree that the motivating factors in declining birth rates are not necessarily people trying to "do good" but more about scarcity and self preservation.

I'm curious about your final statement. What religious or conservative "bad" things are good in your book, and do they contribute to the eradication of the human race? ...I can't argue against the idea that fewer (or zero) humans would be beneficial to many of the species currently on the planet. We're outcompeting them in a big way....for now.
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
I understand a connection between oil and food. I was actually reading an article on that today, coincidentally, from Naomi Klein. But I don't think a reduction in oil means a reduction in food. If we're capable of changing the way we harness energy, the food issue should be minor.

As I understand it, the corn-based ethanol is not connected to the rise in food prices. At least not directly. But I do agree that it's bogus since it a) doesn't reduce pollution and b) only further stretches the idea that we can maintain an oil-driven lifestyle.

I don't know if I'm "ultra informed about a lot of what is going on in the world" and I don't take compliments well, but thank you.

I may have worded the final part vaguely. I meant to say that conservatives and traditional religious people are opposed to things such as abortion, homosexuality, family planning (to some degree), etc. Whereas I support the reduction of the population and hopefully the end of the human race. I think it may have sounded like I was saying THEY were pushing for the end of the human race, which was not my intent.
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
"I support the reduction of the population and hopefully the end of the human race."

Can you say some more about this? How can you support the end of the human race, being a human?

And as for being informed, you are, more than most people I interact with out here. I think it is a shame that you have to spend so much of your time taking in B movies instead of applying yourself onto more relevant topics. I hope you get something out of the whole movie project.

It is often reported that the diversion of corn to ethanol production has driven up the price of corn, and reduced the availability of it for export. I first heard about it maybe a year ago when there was some reporting about the price of corn tortillas in some village in central Mexico....the increase in price of product and transport is going to cause hunger for lots of people, not because there is not enough food for everybody....but because it just won't get to them. You make more money filling American gas tanks than feeding people who are destitute.

I know I'm a cynic. I read recently that Bertrand Russell said "Scratch a cynic and you'll find a disappointed idealist"....and he had me pegged.

Jul. 13th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Why would being human preclude me from ending the human race? If anything, that's a key reason why I support such a measure. If overpopulation, pollution and over man-made factors are the problem with the planet, it only seems logical that the human population should be reduced. To perpetuate a species that causes harm seems immoral.

I'm sorry you think the b-movies are a distraction. I freely admit that the time I use watching/reviewing them could be spent on other things, but everyone has a hobby. Some people watch baseball, some go golfing, etc. I don't think it's a bad thing to have leisure time. After working and then trying to stay abreast of current events and writing, it's nice to have some sort of mindless escape to keep me sane. And ultimately, my goal is be a scribbler. I've had more success writing horror reviews than writing political or philosophical essays, so I have to follow what is desired, even if it's not the preferable option. (Though, seriously, if I could write reviews full-time, I'd do it in a heartbeat.)

I'm aware of the tortilla prices in Mexico thing. I think I commented on that a while back. Not sure where, though I touch on it here:


So, I agree with you if you're saying the going price makes the corn more difficult to obtain. As you mention, the supply of corn intended for food has NOT decreased, and if anything we're still running a surplus. But this could all have positive side effects, such as Mexico's farmers becoming more locally-focused. And I like to think of ethanol as a fad, since even those who like it can't seem to explain why.

Never heard the cynic quote applied to Bert. Would be interesting to see a source.
Jul. 14th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC)
Well if you're getting your yayas out watching B movies, don't let me stop you. I couldn't do it, but obviously we are not the same! The fact that your reviews of these movies get you more kudos than your political thinking is a sign of the times and the culture, but not of the lasting value of the work.

As for being human precluding one from wishing the eradication of your own species, clearly it does not. I do have a sense that for most people part of morality is based on a certain attachment to one's species, of wishing it well. A reduction in population would help assure a good life for those who survive. It's just that I personally don't want to be doing the reducing, and I don't really want bloodshed on my conscience because I pay taxes to a violently aggressive government, either.

I pulled the quote from a magazine, but I'm not even sure that Russel was the author that the mag said. Hazy recollection at this point....
Jul. 15th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC)
I would never reduce the population through bloodshed or a limit on freedoms. That's not morally right, even if it is morally right in a grand sense. But I don't think one would need to.

I don't know that any work has "value", be it movie reviews or political commentary. That's a really tough thing to be sure about. Values seem so subjective.

I don't think attachment to one's species is any more moral than attachment to one's race or gender, but I'm not a believer in speciesism like Peter Singer, so I'm not going to go down that route.
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC)
This is a new word for my list of isms!! And I am one. That's great. Thanks.

I think that some writing can have great value, when it changes the course of history. Writing can live longer than people or computers. Writing can educate. It is a great service to the future, to write something that matters.

Of course, this view is also linked to my illogical alliegance to my future homosapien kin. =-]
Jul. 17th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
Not familiar with speciesism? It is an interesting theory, but I don't know how much stock I put in it. Singer's books are pretty good, although I am by no means an animal rights advocate.

Writing changing history is an odd thing. I was just reading (yet again) a book on Derrida, and how we have a Western "canon" of great books. But what makes Dickens better than Stephen King? Or Toni Morrison? I like the classics, but it's hard to defend them. My political writing isn't going to influence anyone in any substantial way. However, my philosophical writing might and my horror review writing might. But regardless, that should be no criterion for writing.

I'll assume the phrase about your "illogical alliegance to my future homosapien kin" is sarcasm. I don't think it's illogical, I just don't agree with the foundations.
Jul. 17th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: speciesist
Well after reviewing the wikidefinition of speciesism I find that I do not agree with them either. And I'm not sure that you know the foundations of my allegiance to my species to disagree with it. What do you think the foundation is?

There is no should.
Jul. 19th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
Re: speciesist
I don't know what the foundation is, and it's not really relevant -- since I assume your logic isn't faulty, your base must be different from other people's.

You continue to say there is no should but yet continue to endorse a set of values.
Re: speciesist - liveonearth - Jul. 20th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - gavin6942 - Jul. 20th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - liveonearth - Jul. 20th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 14th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
not Bertrand Russell
It was George Carlin (how on earth did I swap those two?).
"Scratch any cynic, and you'll find a disappointed idealist."
Jul. 15th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Re: not Bertrand Russell
It's not Carlin, either... he was quoting someone else at the time.
Jul. 15th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Re: not Bertrand Russell
Any notion who it might have been?
Jul. 15th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
Re: not Bertrand Russell
Sadly, no. But he called it "an old adage", and I've seen it reproduced elsewhere... so I have to suspect he wasn't the first.
Jul. 15th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
Re: not Bertrand Russell
The way I figure it, if you believe and propagate an "old adage", it becomes yours. You can find a biblical parallel for much of the wisdom that is passed down by sayings in our culture, but that doesn't mean that anyone who discovers that wisdom got it from the bible....or that the writers of the bible were the first to discover the wisdom that they wrote.....wisdom gets rediscovered many times, and explained in many ways.....just as musical themes tend to repeat....
Re: not Bertrand Russell - gavin6942 - Jul. 17th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - liveonearth - Jul. 17th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - gavin6942 - Jul. 17th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand



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