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Nihil's Journal
Nihil's Journal
September 30, 2014

That is a literally incredible statistic ...

> The world populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles
> fell overall by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010

I can't get my mind around the scale of the damage that it represents.

I can relate to all manner of statistics, numbers & events, treat risks in proportion
and understand the nature of the historical record but if any single statement
of a statistic makes me want to go bury my head in the sand it is that one.


September 29, 2014

And the matching one in your response:

> For example, in most of Europe, internal population growth is negative - they are having children
> below the replacement rate. Population in Europe is currently only rising due to immigration.

The immigration that is still causing the population to rise is from countries whose internal population
growth is not negative. That means that despite all of the "education" & "technology" (and hence the
voluntary restraint) of the native population, the number is still increasing and so the impact of that country
is increasing at a far higher rate than the simple number growth (due to the increased impact per capita
of the receiving country compared to the generating country).

The global population is still rising and, because of the increases also rolling into higher technological
countries, the global impact is rising faster than before.

> We are not creatures that mindlessly fuck and spit out offspring that either starve or reproduce.

That is where you are wrong.

At an "individual" level, that comment is correct but at a "creature" level, that is exactly what we are.

At an individual level, our impact on the planet is governed by the way we live our lives, what we consume,
what we waste. We might well choose to not breed at all or to restrict ourselves to replacement level.
We might also choose to live as low impact lifestyle as we can, to minimise our personal footprint.

Just don't forget that along with all of the child-free couples in First World countries, there are also the
quiver-full fanatics, the "only two children from our marriage" folks who then split up & re-marry three, four,
five times and the gross consumers (where gross refers to overall attitude to waste, possessions, disregard
for the environment and selfishness rather than simply the appetite of the morbidly obese).

Taken at the creature level, the net effect is what we have seen for decades: the source countries keep
going through the same "boom & bust" cycles that you so eloquently described as "mindlessly fuck and
spit out offspring". If the offspring arrive in a "boom" phase then they reproduce. If they arrive in a "bust"
phase then they either migrate to an "emptier" place (a sink country) or starve if unable to do so.

That is the basic situation that has existed since humans appeared but the cycle has been distorted
horribly as our ability to do so has increased thanks to the industrial revolution, the agricultural revolution,
the transportation changes, the advances in chemistry, ...

Even the Borlaug revolution didn't change the things that matter - the inner motivation - but it just raised
the stakes: When the "boom" phase is active then the impact is even higher than before and when the "bust"
phase hits, it affects more people at a time.

So, what's the solution? Prevent all immigration from countries that do not have internal negative growth?
I can see that going down well ...

Let people starve rather than shipping out supplies on a regular basis to whichever region is suffering
the "inhumanity" of a famine or drought? Yeah, that sounds so caring & civilised too.

We are between a rock and a hard place here and the pressure of the rock is just getting worse.

September 11, 2014

We affect those things that we can affect.

I totally agree with you about the difference in scale between what we as individuals
can do and the effect of the war machine (and also the pollution from the extraction
of the fossil fuels themselves, never mind just from burning them).

The underlying problem is greed - the desire to get more of "whatever" for oneself .

The war machine is a means to an end: it uses people & things to feed the greed of the
decision makers.

The overpopulation issue is an accelerant: it amplifies the effect of each individual's greed.

The disparity of wealth is a reinforcement, a positive feedback mechanism that ensures
that the plutarchy stays on top and that their decisions are carried out.

The issue driving all of these is greed ... and that isn't going away until the world changes.

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Home country: England
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