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Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:33 PM

This is why the Earth is screwed. And no, your Tesla and digital thermostat don't help.

In just 48 years, the world population has doubled in size, jumping from four to eight billion. Of course, humans are not equally spread throughout the planet, and countries take all shapes and sizes. The visualizations in this article aim to build context on how the eight billion people are distributed around the world.

China + India + Pakistan = 10x US population.

CO2 footprint, per capita in China/India and Pakistan is growing around 5% per year... reflecting billions of people getting access to modern amenities.

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Reply This is why the Earth is screwed. And no, your Tesla and digital thermostat don't help. (Original post)
WarGamer Sep 28 OP
Calculating Sep 28 #1
WarGamer Sep 28 #3
UTUSN Sep 28 #2
Hortensis Sep 28 #4
WarGamer Sep 28 #6
Hortensis Sep 28 #26
WarGamer Sep 28 #27
Hortensis Sep 28 #30
WarGamer Sep 28 #5
Zeitghost Sep 28 #7
WarGamer Sep 28 #9
meadowlander Sep 28 #12
A HERETIC I AM Sep 28 #23
Liberal In Texas Sep 28 #34
leftstreet Sep 28 #33
Zeitghost Sep 28 #14
meadowlander Sep 28 #8
WarGamer Sep 28 #10
Zeitghost Sep 28 #16
meadowlander Sep 28 #19
Zeitghost Sep 28 #28
meadowlander Sep 28 #32
Zeitghost Sep 29 #35
meadowlander Sep 29 #36
Hermit-The-Prog Sep 28 #21
NickB79 Sep 28 #31
KY_EnviroGuy Sep 28 #11
WarGamer Sep 28 #13
CrispyQ Sep 28 #17
Initech Sep 28 #15
WarGamer Sep 28 #18
ThoughtCriminal Sep 28 #20
Metaphorical Sep 28 #22
muriel_volestrangler Sep 28 #25
WarGamer Sep 28 #29
DFW Sep 28 #24

Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:39 PM

1. It's all good, the coming nuclear war will take care of it

Just joking.... hopefully

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Response to Calculating (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:42 PM

3. My God... 4 BILLION new people in less than a half century

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:41 PM

2. K&R

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:44 PM

4. Sure they do. Leading from far behind, but better than nothing.

You know, it's been 40 years and population has grown, but my urban studies professor once pointed out that the entire population of our nation could be housed close to the ocean on both coasts. It's not the numbers per se -- we can accommodate, but our total net impact. And we can do a whole lot about that.

Just not fast, but we'll have to live with what we do and don't, so best get to it.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:49 PM

6. Hmmmm

Honestly that's like saying if the Titanic sent 10 crew members down to the Boiler Room after hitting the iceberg and those crew members used fine China tea cups to carry 3 oz of seawater up the stairwells and dump overboard and then repeat...

It might have kept the Titanic afloat for a few more hours.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 07:06 PM

26. :) Mistaken premise, surely? The earth isn't sinking to its death.

Again, we will not just live with what's ahead, without what's lost to us effectively forever, but we HAVE to live with it. Those in currently advanced and geographically advantaged nations especially, but large numbers elsewhere as well.

People like us who live in geographically advantaged areas are incredibly blessed, of coures, not at all fair considering that we caused by far most of what's happening, but real. Others in areas become/becoming unsustainable, who contributed relatively little to what's happening, also have to live with what's coming. Many are already living with new desperation and misery they once never expected as they scrabble to somehow keep their children alive. But no quick end or escape for most of them either.

Just the future and what we are able to make of it.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #26)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 07:08 PM

27. yeah... the "haves" will be tremendously advantaged in the future climate situation.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #27)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 07:49 PM

30. Of course, advantaged as we in N. America all are, some will be carried

and dragged along by those who set themselves to doing what has to be done, but that's the way it's always been.

If I were young, I'd want a part in developing better ways that must replace what isn't working. It's already underway. Some aspect of climate resilient community development perhaps.

Assuming modern civilization doesn't fall to the barbarians among us and we don't have to struggle through another dark ages before getting back to where we are. Definitely best to get smart and make avoiding that the first task.

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:46 PM

5. and this

"The power of population is so superior to the power of the Earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race".

- Thomas Malthus, 1779.

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:55 PM

7. Malthus

Failed to predict the incredible effects of technology.

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Response to Zeitghost (Reply #7)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:55 PM

9. He may end up being essentially right?

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:00 PM

12. 40% of the food that is currently produced is wasted.

That doesn't account for the additional percent that could be produced if we threw all our efforts behind maximising production.

So no, the problem isn't a lack of capacity to produce enough to meet human needs. It's a problem of inefficient systems that prioritise other things like maximising profits for rich white people.

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Response to meadowlander (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:28 PM

23. Yup.

I've said this before on DU, and I did the math to prove it (though I don't have the exact figures at hand) that the entire 8 billion population of the planet could comfortably fit inside the land area of Texas and Oklahoma, and every single man, Woman and Child would have something on the order of 1500 square feet of living space, leaving the entirety of the rest of the planet to grow food and have as nature preserves.

What this shows is that overcrowding isn't the main issue, it is, as you aptly point out, inefficient and wasteful distribution of resources.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 09:26 PM

34. "Stand on Zanzibar"

A novel by John Brunner.

The primary engine of the novel's story is overpopulation and its projected consequences.[2] The title refers to an early twentieth-century claim that the world's population could fit onto the Isle of Wight—which has an area of 381 square kilometres (147 sq mi)—if they were all standing upright. Brunner remarked that the growing world population now required a larger island; the 3.5 billion people living in 1968 could stand together on the Isle of Man [area 572 square kilometres (221 sq mi)], while the 7 billion people who he projected would be alive in 2010 would need to stand on Zanzibar [area 1,554 square kilometres (600 sq mi)].[4] Throughout the book, the image of the entire human race standing shoulder-to-shoulder on a small island is a metaphor for a crowded world. -Wikipedia



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Response to meadowlander (Reply #12)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 09:23 PM

33. +1

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Response to WarGamer (Reply #9)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:06 PM

14. Maybe

Or maybe not.

But anyone who thinks we are at the end of technological innovation when it comes solving the problems of an ever increasing population is being shortsighted.

People have been predicting the end of mankind for as long as we have a recorded history. So far they have all been wrong.

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:55 PM

8. Overpopulation is the tinder. Capitalism is the match.

If we had a rational global economic and political system we would be able to feed, clothe and house 8 billion people without triggering catastrophic climate change.

The problem is overpopulation plus:
1. a mindset of unlimited capacity of the economy to grow to accommodate human wants rather than human needs
2. irrational division of political power into nation states only looking after their own interests instead of cooperating
3. legacy inequalities from colonialism and racism
4. religion encouraging people to breed like bunnies to increase their power base and don't mind the unlimited consumption because God will sort out the consequences

This isn't a problem caused by too many Chinese and Indian people wanting what Westerners have.

It's a problem caused by Western capitalist and theocratic ideologies spreading around the globe. And the solution is to challenge that ideology and those assumptions, to work together, and to do our individual part to decrease our emissions. If those 8 billion people didn't buy shit they didn't need and went out of their way to make low emissions choices for the things they do need we'd be looking at a very different future scenario.

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Response to meadowlander (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:58 PM

10. actually it IS 3 billion people in China, India, Pakistan and Africa

Who want to flip a light switch for the first time, to replace their oxen with a tractor and eat a more diverse diet.

That's not blaming anyone... that's reality.

As 3rd world nations bring their standard of living up to Western standards, CO2 emissions skyrocket.

And re: Capitalism... sure. But it's mostly human nature to live better.

An example: American have a CO2 footprint of 16 tons per year per capita. Chinese are at 8 tons a year. Problem is... Chinese rates are increasing at 5% annually... far faster than Western rates.

Bottom line... it's too late.

Preparation. Not mitigation.

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Response to meadowlander (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:14 PM

16. The alternative

Is extreme authoritarianism at the barrel of a gun in order to force people to live on nothing but what they absolutely need (or did you think people would accept a subsistence lifestyle with a simple please?)

Your choices are an ever expanding economy fueled by technological innovation or a reduction in population and quality of life (which is a nice way of saying death and suffering).

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Response to Zeitghost (Reply #16)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:21 PM

19. There are biophysical limits that the economy exists within.

An "ever expanding economy" is a fairy tale and continuing to believe in it is what is going to lead to death and suffering. In fact, it already is.

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Response to meadowlander (Reply #19)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 07:13 PM

28. So your answer

Is a forced reduction in quality of life and depopulation (death and suffering). Which will not happen voluntarily, so you will need to enforce it through the threat or use of violence.

Sorry, but I'll go with technological innovation being able to keep up with human growth. It's not perfect, it could defiantly use some improvements, but it's worked thus far and we have plenty of room for more improvement.

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Response to Zeitghost (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 09:17 PM

32. No, my answer is to educate people to act ethically and make it easy for them to do so.

If you had said in the 1980s that we would be seeing the level of voluntary uptake of electric vehicles, vegetarianism, eating locally sourced ethically grown food, reduction of plastic waste, recycling, home solar panels, etc. you would have been laughed at.

Most people when they know better do better as long as there are systems in place that support positive action and make it easy, affordable, and feasible to do. And most people are capable of understanding that we only have one planet and burning it down isn't a great idea.

You're the only one positing that people can't change without the threat of violence.

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Response to meadowlander (Reply #32)

Thu Sep 29, 2022, 12:02 AM

35. People will not voluntarily

reduce their lifestyle in any significant way.

EVs, buying organic and recycling don't impact your life in a negative way and if anything, might enhance it. Shrinking the economy which is where this thread of posts proposition, does.

People will not choose to live worse lives with fewer things without strict, oppressive government regulation and strict oppressive government regulation inherently requires the use and threat of violence (see prohibition and the war on drugs).

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Response to Zeitghost (Reply #35)

Thu Sep 29, 2022, 01:13 AM

36. Tens of millions of people are already doing this but I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

Minimalism, Marie Kondo-ing, tiny homes, childless by choice, Meatless Mondays, buy nothing challenges, Victory gardening, buying secondhand and repairing what you have instead of replacing it, multi-generational living, fixing pets and only adopting instead of buying them, plant-based meat substitutes, toy and tool libraries, living in townhouses in walkable communities instead of detached suburban houses, digital rather than physical ownership of media have all been massive trends among people under 30.

EVs are less versatile than combustion engines, organic food costs more and recycling is a pain in the backside so yes, they do impact peoples' lives in a negative way. When I was growing up in the 80s everyone ate strawberries all December without a moment's thought. Does it diminish my life to only eat strawberries in June now? Yes, it does a little.

And yet more and more people are choosing to do these things because they are the right thing to do. And a billion billion tiny actions and sacrifices from all of us are what we need to save the planet not one sweeping edict.

You don't have to stick a gun to someone's head to get them to give a shit about the planet. Most people already do. And good governance and cultural shifts can move mountains.

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Response to Zeitghost (Reply #16)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:26 PM

21. You may be confusing capitalism with democracy.

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Response to meadowlander (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 09:09 PM

31. Infinite growth on a planet of finite resources

What could possibly go wrong?

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 05:59 PM

11. But, but we all got shiny new toys to brag about and....

China will make most of it........

Wall Street fans the flames and wins no matter the outcome, then retires to a clean, secluded community.

No doubt in my mind that the job of earth's last remaining human on his/hers last day of life will be to ring the closing bell for Wall Street.

Thanks for the excellent graphic, WarGamer.

KY

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:00 PM

13. there will be no clean secluded communities left...

SAD.

RIP human society.

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Response to KY_EnviroGuy (Reply #11)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:14 PM

17. OMG, the closing bell statement made me LOL. -nt

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:12 PM

15. This is literally the justification that Samuel L. Jackson's character used in Kingsman.



Also George Carlin's bit "The Planet Is Fine":

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Response to Initech (Reply #15)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:19 PM

18. lol at Carlin... I'd almost forgotten how funny he was.

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:25 PM

20. Overpopulation does not excuse our excess

The United States has 4.4% of the world population, but is responsible for 14% of CO2 emissions.

If we use overpopulation as an excuse to continue this behavior, we are dooming our future generations with consequences that will justifiably earn their scorn.

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:27 PM

22. Yes, but put this in perspective

First, the average Indian or Pakistani has about 1/3 the carbon footprint of the average American, and they are far more actively calling for climate change justice than either the US or China.

Second, on most continents, the population is approaching a plateau, or in some places is actively receding. South Korea, for instance, has a relative family size of -1.5 (family size of 0.6 children per family - the replacement rate of 2.1 children per family). These numbers change VERY slowly, FWIW, but if the same trends continue, we will see 7 billion people on the planet as the population drops within the next 100 years, and quite possibly will see it drop to 3 billion people on the planet by 2200.

Even the places where population is increasing dramatically (mostly in Africa, South America and the Middle East) are facing significant constraints (second derivative pressures) that suggest that things will not be quite as bad as predicted. Climate change is also likely to significantly alter the population balance in these areas.

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Response to Metaphorical (Reply #22)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:53 PM

25. The average Indian or Pakistani individual has about 1/10th the footprint of an American

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita

India: 1.9
Pakistan: 1.0
USA: 16.1

(weighted by population, the India/Pakistan average would be about 1.7)

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #25)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 07:18 PM

29. What's worrying is the rate of increase...

China is at 8 tons per capita today and it's increasing 5% a year...

Western nations have pretty much flat numbers.

With 4x the population, China is at 2x our CO2 emissions.

I wasn't able to find rate of increase numbers for India and Pakistan.

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Response to WarGamer (Original post)

Wed Sep 28, 2022, 06:36 PM

24. I think in the end it will come down to one issue

Clean, potable water.

Those who have access to it—lots of it—will survive. Those who do not will either perish, or else fight to the death over access to it.

You want to meet someone who is REALLY “pro-life?” That’s the person dedicating their life to building and improving de-salinization installations. Now, THAT is my definition of “pro-life,” not some deranged Sadist who wants to send raped pre-pubescent girls or their gynecologists to prison.

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