Population

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Re: Population

Postby dai bread » Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:05 pm

Prosperity has proved itself a very good contraceptive throughout the "Western" world. The U.S. and Irish birth rates may be higher than others, but they're not all that high. The Irish birth rate owes much to the Catholic Church, and the U.S. one to immigrants. Here in N.Z. the people with the highest birth rate are immigrants from mainland China having second & third children. Not their 4th or 5th, you notice. Even our Pacific Island brethren aren't as fertile here as they are back home, and the Maori birth rate is only slightly above the Caucasian one.

Removing "Western" tariffs on 3rd world agriculture would help enormously. Much more notable people than me have been saying that for some time, but nothing is done because of agricultural lobbies. European "farmers" with a handful of cows & a couple of sheep have more influence than they should because city dwellers have a curiously romantic vision of that lifestyle.
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Re: Population

Postby Haggis@wk » Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:14 pm

dai bread wrote: The U.S. and Irish birth rates may be higher than others, but they're not all that high. The Irish birth rate owes much to the Catholic Church, and the U.S. one to immigrants.


Not entirely, you would think that Catholic bastions like Spain and Italy would also have high birth rates but they don't while Ireland does. I attribute those differences more to the greater levels of Socialism in Spain and Italy and to an Irish attitude that welcomes Capitalism than I do to religious training.

The U.S. birthrate, without the immigrants is 2.1, just slightly above the sustainable rate, a rate that Shos thinks is a "population explosion." IMHO I do think that the U.S. will probably have a Hispanic president before it gets a black one.

But your comments are on point and highlight - depending on who you are - the unwillingness or inability of the Western Countries to help the less fortunate countries. But, here again, the amount of foreign aid spent on that elusive goal since 1950 has been tremendous with little to show for it except for a few countries, mainly among the English speaking former British Colonies.

With no incentive to clean up the corruption in the poorest countries I can't see that anything we can do will ever help. I'm putting my faith into the Internet. Just as the proliferation of fax machines in the 80s and 90s contributed significantly - if rarely acknowledged – to the downfall of Communism in eastern Europe I think the proliferation of computers and access to the internet will have the same impact on global poverty.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Population

Postby shostakovich » Sun Aug 03, 2008 2:58 pm

You have some intriguing ideas. How did fax machines play a significant part in bringing down comminism? As for the internet helping to win the war on poverty, I'm all for it. Our PCs are weapons of mass instruction, but most of the poor likely do not have access to them. Some inducement with food supplies contingent on birth control would improve the situation within half a century. I can explain how that would work. Can you explain how the internet would do the trick?
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Re: Population

Postby jamiebk » Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:18 pm

shostakovich wrote:You have some intriguing ideas. How did fax machines play a significant part in bringing down comminism? As for the internet helping to win the war on poverty, I'm all for it. Our PCs are weapons of mass instruction, but most of the poor likely do not have access to them. Some inducement with food supplies contingent on birth control would improve the situation within half a century. I can explain how that would work. Can you explain how the internet would do the trick?
Shos


It's easy to block the internet too...as the Chinese have proven. (PS...welcom back form me too. Sounds like your photo logging efforts were successful)
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Re: Population

Postby dai bread » Sun Aug 03, 2008 6:14 pm

You're right about Aid, Haggis. If the same effort had been put into tariff reduction, poor countries would be a lot better off.

It's been fashionable to rail against the British Empire and to see it as a means of exploiting less technologically-advanced people, but for all its sins it left competent rulers in quite a number of places, particularly India and S.E. Asia, with the notable exception of Myanmar, and spread English around the world. It gave America a firm foundation to build on via Hollywood and the Internet.

Apparently Chinese attempts to block internet access aren't as successful as they would like. What one technocrat can do, another can undo. Or, if you like an older simile, there's more than one way to skin a cat. They'll give up eventually. They've already had to relax their restrictions for the benefit of foreign journalists covering the Olympic Games.
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Re: Population

Postby OperaTenor » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:30 pm

shostakovich wrote:Hypothetical silliness justifies doing nothing about a real problem.


I may frame this statement.
"To help mend the world is true religion."
- William Penn

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Re: Population

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:24 am

shostakovich wrote:
BigJon@Work wrote:Prosperity brings population control. Nothing else has worked so far.


Interesting if true, but the prosperous will always be a minority, so it will never be a global check on growth.
Shos

I"m not talking about relative prosperity, but measureable wealth. Once a community achieves a certain level of material wealth, the population growth rate tumbles to sustaining levels, lower in some cases.
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Re: Population

Postby Shapley » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:00 am

The point of my statement about relocating the population was to show how little area 'all those people' actually occupy. The vast majority of people live in crowded cities, which is a positive from an environmental point of view, as distribution of resources is simpler in cities, using less energy per capita than distribution to scattered people. Sparce settlement is preferred for subsistance living, as the environement is able to sustain small populations with no redistribution necessary.

One third of all the world's population is concentrated in India and China. Of these, the majority are concentrated in metropolitan areas.

We think of cities as dirty, smelly places that are environmentally unfriendly because of the concentration of people, and the concentration of waste they produce. However, it makes environmental sense to concentrate the people not involved in agriculture and agricultural distrubtion into population centers. By doing so, resourse distribution is economized, and waste can be handled by concentrated facilities. The volume served by these facilities makes it economical to operate them.

Fortunately, it also makes economic sense to concentrate the population, since the cost of services and distribution can be divided amongst a larger population base, and it allows a more convenient labour pool available to industry.

Besides agriculture, it is sometimes necessary to locate industries outside of the city, for safety reasons and for convenient access to the resources they employ.

My primary argument, however, is that this ol' Earth is nowhere near capacity as of yet. I proposed a while back that we could, instead of building individual multi-storied buildings within the cities we erect, build multi-storied cities. This would make economic and environmental sense, and the technology exists to do so.

Much of the waste we generate is only wasted because it is cheaper to replace than reprocess and re-use. As the population increases and consumption with it, those economics will change, and the availability of cheap, easily extracted resources will dimish, creating a market for reprocessing and re-use of waste resources. It is already happening in some industries (it has been so with steel for over a century, but steel is more easily recycled than other products).

A growing population presents us with new challenges. To some, challenges equate to 'problems', to others, those same challenges equate to 'opportunities'. I suppose it depends on how you look at the glass. For me, the glass is half-full.....

V/R
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Re: Population

Postby BigJon@Work » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:04 am

Shapley wrote: Much of the waste we generate is only wasted because it is cheaper to replace than reprocess and re-use. As the population increases and consumption with it, those economics will change, and the availability of cheap, easily extracted resources will dimish, creating a market for reprocessing and re-use of waste resources. It is already happening in some industries (it has been so with steel for over a century, but steel is more easily recycled than other products).

I view every landfill as a temporary repository of human resources and energy. When the economics make sense, we will start mining the landfills.
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Re: Population

Postby jamiebk » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:20 am

BigJon@Work wrote:
Shapley wrote: Much of the waste we generate is only wasted because it is cheaper to replace than reprocess and re-use. As the population increases and consumption with it, those economics will change, and the availability of cheap, easily extracted resources will dimish, creating a market for reprocessing and re-use of waste resources. It is already happening in some industries (it has been so with steel for over a century, but steel is more easily recycled than other products).

I view every landfill as a temporary repository of human resources and energy. When the economics make sense, we will start mining the landfills.


Maybe we'll finally find Jimmy Hoffa in the process! :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: Population

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:32 am

jamiebk wrote:Maybe we'll finally find Jimmy Hoffa in the process! :rofl: :rofl:

Naaah. I'm pretty sure he's under some 50-yard line, somewhere.
>^..^<
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Re: Population

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 04, 2008 9:37 am

shostakovich wrote:You have some intriguing ideas. How did fax machines play a significant part in bringing down comminism? As for the internet helping to win the war on poverty, I'm all for it. Our PCs are weapons of mass instruction, but most of the poor likely do not have access to them. Some inducement with food supplies contingent on birth control would improve the situation within half a century. I can explain how that would work. Can you explain how the internet would do the trick?
Shos


The broadest access to Information pushed to the lowest rung of society is the greatest threat to totalitarianism.

Do you know how to tell if a form of government is inherently evil? When it spends money preventing its citizens from getting information.

The greatest threat to Communism and every other kind of Totalitarianism was…the truth.

The proliferation of inexpensive fax machines in the 80s and 90s put truth in the hands of the people. Hook it to your phone and send reams of information regarding conditions in your country to people all over the world. Ultimately, a citizen of Bulgaria or Georgia got copies of what their leaders were saying to the rest of the world but not at home.

Information has always been the most potent weapon if available to lots of people and the inexpensive faxes started that.

Why do you think that cell phones were banned in Iraq and other dictatorships in the Middle East and still are in other countries?

Now the advent of cheap internet access information is starting to get out of and into countries with less than sterling forms of government. Internet cafes are all over Africa and other third world countries. I travelled internationally a lot before and after 9/11 and I saw them in the strangest places.


NYT

Among the many steps under consideration are allowing American news organizations to open bureaus in Cuba, funneling money and fax machines to Cuban human rights activists, and arranging exchanges of American and Cuban clerics, students, academics and artists.

"Eastern European officials told us that these tools made a real difference in bringing down Communism," said a senior policy maker.


You mentioned food aid, were you aware that many countries in Africa refuse free food aid from the U.S. because they are afraid of angering the European Union over genetically modified products? Do you think that those same governments tell their citizens that they are going hungry so their leaders can receive financial incentives from the EU? I doubt it. What would be the reaction if they did know?

Dai Bread has posted much more elegantly than I regarding the agricultural mafias that exist in Europe and, alas, the U.S. Maybe he can elaborate more.
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Re: Population

Postby piqaboo » Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:57 pm

China’s “one child” policy has already led to a desperate lack of women since families want that “one child” to be male. I think that China’s already lying about fertility rates and within the next 10 years or so we will see where that shortsighted policy will lead them.

China had begun relaxing that policy when I went there on vacation nearly 10 years ago. My guide told me that if both members of the marriage were from single child homes, and I think she said had achieved a certain degree of education (not clear on that - we were in the midst of something else while having this conversation), they could apply for and be reasonably sure of getting permission to have a second child. However, since my other guide had only one child, not sure she was telling true.

Since the massive loss of children in the recent earthquake, they are again rethinking the 1-child rule.

Re pop growth - this board seems to be firmly PPG, despite my letting down the side. ;)
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Re: Population

Postby Haggis@wk » Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:16 pm

piqaboo wrote: Re pop growth - this board seems to be firmly PPG, despite my letting down the side. ;)


Inquiring minds want to know when we can expect those other 1.1 children??? :rofl:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Population

Postby dai bread » Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:40 pm

"Dai Bread has posted much more elegantly than I regarding the agricultural mafias that exist in Europe and, alas, the U.S. Maybe he can elaborate more."

Not off-hand, unfortunately. The influence of these people crops up sporadically, and is dealt with at the time as best we can. I read the articles and move on, but here is a bit of history.

When Britain first proposed joining the EU, back when it was the EEC, we sent Govt. Minister after Minister, and diplomats as well, to Brussels, Paris, London, and Bonn (this was well before the collapse of the Wall) pleading for continued access to (mainly) the British market, where 90% of our exports went. Eventually, after several years, we got a small quota for Europe, and arrangements were made regarding Britain, which was faced with replacing a substantial quantity of cheap food at fairly short notice. (You don't hurry agriculture).

General de Gaulle did us a big favour by continually rejecting Britain's application. He gave us time to look around, so our Govt. officials, and others from sectional interests, were busy developing new markets while all this was going on. This was the start of our relationship with Asia, in particular at the time, Japan. Despite the misgivings of WW2 soldiers, Japan was the only realistically viable market we could work on. The US was protectionist even then, and I don't think anyone seriously considered enlarging that market. We still don't, though people keep plugging away at it.

The EU is still against us. They accept us reluctantly, because since we're not actually enemies we have to be treated reasonably, but occasionally snide comments are made. For instance, someone wrote an article saying that our cattle had less room per animal than European ones, and were therefore badly treated. You drive past a NZ farm and you really have to wonder at the isolationism that produced that article, particularly when you think of European wintering barns.

On another occasion, Fonterra, our big dairy company, got accused of subverting some regulation because they used milk from another country (I forget which one) and this should have been counted as NZ milk and Fonterra's imports reduced accordingly. That required Govt. intervention to sort out.

A German homestay girl of 16 years age told us that it was most upsetting that racehorses which aren't winners were turned into pet food. They probably are, but she knew this before she arrived here, so I wonder what Germans are told about us. Whatever it is, it doesn't stop them coming as visitors, and sometimes as immigrants. They get upset about about deerhunting too, though they seem happy to buy farmed venison.

Next time some agricultural mafioso stands up on his (or her) hind legs, I'll post a reference.
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Re: Population

Postby Shapley » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:43 pm

dai bread wrote: A German homestay girl of 16 years age told us that it was most upsetting that racehorses which aren't winners were turned into pet food. They probably are, but she knew this before she arrived here, so I wonder what Germans are told about us.


In France, they're turned into people food. Apparently, that is more humane.

In America, they're turned into baseballs, and glue. Apparently, we're barbarians, also....
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Re: Population

Postby Serenity[bot] » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:13 pm

America should trade glue for food.
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Re: Population

Postby shostakovich » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:33 am

Haggis, the internet can bring truth (or propaganda) to the world. No question. It will not fell dictatorships unless the UN gets its act together as well as the countries they represent. I'm not holding my breath. It will be cold comfort for people to know why they are being slaughtered (mainly Africa for generations). And, speaking of truth, it would be refreshing if we could believe everything our own government gives us. However, we know better, thanks in large part to the internet.
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Re: Population

Postby Shapley » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:31 am

shostakovich wrote:Haggis, the internet can bring truth (or propaganda) to the world. No question. It will not fell dictatorships unless the UN gets its act together as well as the countries they represent.


I don't think the U.N. has any interest in toppling dictatorships. Many of the member nations are dictatorships. They do seem to have an interest in toppling Israel, but that is a different issue. If anything, I think they are more interested in toppling democracies.

I think we need to abandon the U.N. and start a League of Democracies.

V/R
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Re: Population

Postby jamiebk » Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:02 am

Shapley wrote:
shostakovich wrote:Haggis, the internet can bring truth (or propaganda) to the world. No question. It will not fell dictatorships unless the UN gets its act together as well as the countries they represent.


I don't think the U.N. has any interest in toppling dictatorships. Many of the member nations are dictatorships. They do seem to have an interest in toppling Israel, but that is a different issue. If anything, I think they are more interested in toppling democracies.

I think we need to abandon the U.N. and start a League of Democracies.

V/R
Shapley


Time to bring out the real power of the world and call together the League of Exceptional Gentlemen :lol:
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