?

Log in

No account? Create an account

[icon] Global warming and population control - Patti
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (pattib.org).

Security:
Subject:Global warming and population control
Time:09:01 am
So I've been wondering about something lately.

It seems pretty reasonable to me that one of the things contributing to global warming (should you believe that it's real... I'm not interested in debating that, Russ) is overpopulation. And yet I've never heard a single mention of this in relation to climate change.

What would happen to the climate if one person in ten just disappeared from the planet right now? There would be 10% fewer cars, 10% fewer factories, less clearing of rain forests for meager farmland, 10% fewer power plants, 10% fewer cows farting, and all sorts of other needs would be reduced.

I'll grant you that this is an incredibly oversimplified line of reasoning, but it's a very serious question. Doesn't it make sense to think about population control as part of a climate change strategy?
comments: Leave a comment Previous Entry Share Next Entry


wild_irises
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, of course it does. Given per capita energy consumption, the population control should start in the U.S. (which does, in fact, have pretty good population control anyway) and continue to China (ditto). After that, India would be the big issue.
(Reply) (Thread)


hlmt
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 04:27 pm (UTC)
Of course it does. Europeans on average have been doing this for a while now as a matter of choice; but if you tried to legislate it (like in China)... whoo baby! Eugenics, Christian right, Libertarians... there are a number of reasons why this would be a Ba dIdea (tm Stephenson).

Educated people who aren't constrained by religious mandates are usually the ones having only one child, or none... let's see how that goes. =/
(Reply) (Thread)

(Deleted comment)

luckylefty
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-26 05:13 pm (UTC)
Do you really believe that ancient rome was such a meritocracy that those with superior genes would, regardless of their education and birth status, become patricians, while those with inferior genes would become slaves? Do you believe that the "barbarians" (that is, members of ethnic groups other than the Romans) are genetically inferior? The Roman patricians believed this, just as whites in the US believed blacks to be genetically inferior; it gave them a rationalization for slavery. But I'm amazed that anyone believes this today.

The "barbarians" and slaves were not in any genetic way inferior, and the patricians were not in any genetic way the best and the brightest.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Deleted comment)

luckylefty
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-28 12:27 pm (UTC)
So do you believe that ethnic Germans today (more closely related to the "barbarians") are genetically inferior to ethnic Italians?

Using the same reasoning, white Europeans enslaved black Africans. Do you believe that this proves without question that blacks are genetically inferior to whites?

Do you believe that you personally are genetically superior to all those in the world less rich and powerful than you, and genetically inferior to all those who are richer and more powerful?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

(Deleted comment)

jellymillion
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 04:30 pm (UTC)
Yikes!

[FX: sound of me juggling a hot potato]

If we removed the most carbon-spewing 10% then I bet things would be just peachy, climate-wise.

'course, that's you and me, with the rest of the USA and Western Europe.

I don't think the effect would be that great if applied globally. Not in time to make a difference anyway - the worst carbon-emitters (you guys) are fairly stable, population-wise, and your continent is scarcely overpopulated anyway, especially not if you factor in the chilly parts of Canada.

But this is OTTOMH, so I could be way off the mark.
(Reply) (Thread)


prock
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 04:46 pm (UTC)
Sort of, overpopulation was a big issue in the late 80s and early 90s. Since then the birth rate of developed nations has fallen below replacement rates, in no small part thanks to people like you. So while there is an issue with more people consuming a marginal amount of more energy, the demographic group which hog the energy have more or less stabilized.
(Reply) (Thread)


crayonbeam
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 05:11 pm (UTC)
Given the birthrate in the US vs other countries, and given our footprint in general vs other countries and given the distaste and difficulty associated with population control, I think other measures will be far easier to implement.
(Reply) (Thread)


whipartist
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 05:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, absolutely.

It just surprises me a little that nobody has ever mentioned it at all in the context of climate change.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


sassyparilla
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 07:24 pm (UTC)
actually, I have seen this idea mentioned before...

"Global Swarming: Is it time for Americans to start cutting our baby emissions?" by David Engber.

http://www.slate.com/id/2173458/
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)


violet_tigress1
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 05:35 pm (UTC)
I think people don't mention it, because it leads to thoughts of things like Eugenics.
(Reply) (Thread)


bldrnrpdx
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-24 11:43 pm (UTC)
If one person in ten disappeared from the planet right now, their cars would be available to the other 90%. Who would then have a first, second or third car available to drive. There would be just as many cows, only hamburgers might be a little cheaper. There would probably be just as many factories and power plants, because the remaining 90% of the population hasn't changed their habits any, and why should they? They didn't disappear themselves just so everyone else could have their Stuff.
(Reply) (Thread)


schmengie
Link:(Link)
Time:2007-10-25 12:00 am (UTC)
Isnt this sort of a classic natural selection issue? If the earth warms then a certain percentage of the population will perish naturally. From heat, floods, etc etc. I would think the ones who survive will have greater tolerance to the heat or learn to migrate to the poles, higher altitudes and away from the coasts. If the population is a cause, then when we start to die off the earth should start re-leveling and the process starts all over again.

(Reply) (Thread)

[icon] Global warming and population control - Patti
View:Recent Entries.
View:Archive.
View:Friends.
View:Profile.
View:Website (pattib.org).