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Thread: When Do We Begin Culling the Herd

  1. #1

    Default When Do We Begin Culling the Herd

    In just 200 years Earth went from 1 billion humans to over 7 billion humans. The Earth can only accommodate 10 billion humans max, and that is if we all become vegetarians very soon. Maybe we need climate change to extend our survival on this rock with limited resources. I don't think we have another 200 years before needing to cull the herd.

    Many Will Die

    https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
    .

  2. #2
    Rehash of the Population Bomb which was rehash of other doomsday scenarios. Overpopulation is a localized issue - the earth can easily sustain many more people than we have now.

  3. #3
    There's a huge range of estimates about the true carrying capacity of the Earth, from 500 million to over a trillion, so I dunno how you're throwing around that 10 billion figure with such confidence. Estimating such things requires making a lot of assumptions, including the future direction of technological progress and social change, something we have a pretty bad track record at - witness all those sf stories about humans visiting other stars and exploring space with 1950s gender values and no internet.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    There's a huge range of estimates about the true carrying capacity of the Earth, from 500 million to over a trillion, so I dunno how you're throwing around that 10 billion figure with such confidence.
    I provided a link above,
    "If everyone agreed to become vegetarian, leaving little or nothing for livestock, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land (3.5 billion acres) would support about 10 billion people,"
    But you have a good point about technology changing the inevitable, "SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE".
    .

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    I provided a link above,
    Just one dudes opinion. I'm skeptical the true number is so low. For example, roughly one third of food produced globally is wasted (because capitalism is efficient) so we could squeeze another couple of billion out of what we produce right now without changing a single other thing.

    I guess people would rather just be like "welp, planet's full, better cull the poor" rather than consider not depositing millions of tons food into landfills every year.
    Spent my days watching and waiting, killed my faith participating
    In this crusade still masquerading as the lie that we're creating
    Blinding lights leave me in silence, hopes and dreams taken with violence
    Right and wrong have made alliance, now I will turn in defiance

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Glint View Post
    Just one dudes opinion. I'm skeptical the true number is so low. For example, roughly one third of food produced globally is wasted (because capitalism is efficient) so we could squeeze another couple of billion out of what we produce right now without changing a single other thing.
    Second link I provided shows current population growth to be ~50 million per year. That gives us 40 more years to the calcs above before we run out of enough arable land.
    .

  7. #7
    Being, your own links provide all sorts of caveats, and it's silly to suggest that we should extrapolate based on current numbers.

    Global fertility rate is consistently falling, and I think we can accelerate this progress by improving development in two key regions: South Asia and Africa. Even at current trends most people think we'll reach maximum population somewhere near the end of this century and then start dropping. It's actually pretty concerning long term to demographers unless we can figure out how to have older people work longer or vastly improve the productivity of the people who are working.

    Re: carrying capacity, this is very hard to estimate. We continually find out that things we thought were hard constraints (generally some combination of water, energy, food, or raw materials) end up not being very constraining at all due to innovation. This is really obvious in food, where yields have undergone tremendous advances in the last century, and there's oodles of low-yielding cropland that hasn't had existing technologies applied to it (let alone whatever new technologies are brought to bear). Ditto with energy (especially with the advent of widespread renewables and essentially limitless fission as needed) and water (with tremendous advances in desalination, irrigation, and wastewater treatment).

    I am not someone who believes there is no effective carrying capacity, or that we can innovate ourselves out of any fix without substantial downsides. But by and large I do not think that Malthusian scaremongering is particularly meaningful or accurate.

    The real problem, as always, is going to be making sure that all 9 or 10 billion humans get an appropriate amount of resources to ensure they live reasonably happy and healthy lives.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post

    I am not someone who believes there is no effective carrying capacity, or that we can innovate ourselves out of any fix without substantial downsides. But by and large I do not think that Malthusian scaremongering is particularly meaningful or accurate.
    Do you consider climate change (Thunbergian) scaremongering to be meaningful?
    .

  9. #9
    I don't think that Greta Thunberg adds much to the science, no (I frankly think in terms of advocacy she's largely preaching to the choir and mostly impresses old policymakers and media folks, not persuadable normal people). I think that climate change is a major challenge we face, and it's going to cause a lot of substantial changes in the way we live our lives (and result in many deaths that would otherwise not have occurred). While the shift to a decarbonized economy is slower than we would like (and the resultant effects are going to be substantial), I do not think it is an existential threat.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  10. #10
    Don't forget how many people she keeps employed in places like Huffington Post. What will they write about if not her "clapping back" against some right-winger?
    Hope is the denial of reality

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    The real problem, as always, is going to be making sure that all 9 or 10 billion humans get an appropriate amount of resources to ensure they live reasonably happy and healthy lives.
    If we can't do that now, what makes you think we can do it when the population grows exponentially?

    I think the real problem is that humans are really good at manipulating "hope", but we suck at factual risk-based analyses. Cognitive Dissonance seems to be a global phenomenon these days. It's not an effective coping mechanism for individuals, but it's even worse when entire nations have that mentality, and use it to make political decisions.


  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    If we can't do that now, what makes you think we can do it when the population grows exponentially?
    I explicitly said that this was going to be a problem. What makes you believe I think we can do it well? I just think that it's not an issue of the carrying capacity of the planet, but the same distribution issues we have today.

    Also, global population hasn't been in exponential growth for quite a while. Curves now are semi-linear, and will probably fit a logistic model soon (they already do in many developed countries).
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  13. #13
    wiggin, I'm admitting that my generation hasn't done a very good job at risk analysis, while suggesting that your generation hasn't done much better, either. The relationship between Cognitive Dissonance and *propaganda* is what's so insidious, and frustrating.

    I'm amazed by what millennials think will protect human health and/or save the planet by corporate decisions (avocado toast from Dunkin' Donuts, recycling/composting coffee cups from Starbucks, Google using solar panels at their HQ), etc.

    Just trying to be honest by calling out all the hypocricy and flaws in the Tech Era, when it was promised to be so damn democratic and fair.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Flixy's Avatar
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    Wtf are you even talking about.
    Keep on keepin' the beat alive!

  15. #15
    Culling the herd. And Herd mentality.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    In just 200 years Earth went from 1 billion humans to over 7 billion humans. The Earth can only accommodate 10 billion humans max, and that is if we all become vegetarians very soon. Maybe we need climate change to extend our survival on this rock with limited resources. I don't think we have another 200 years before needing to cull the herd.

    Many Will Die

    https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/
    Greetings and salutations, potentiate of the destruction of almost all humanity.

    Before asking how many, who, where, what, when, first one must ask, which psychopath or sociopath has the skill set and the war machine to pull it off; most recent guy in not quite living history is that Hitler guy, is there a new and improved one waiting in the wings, ready to swoop down on this Earth and bestow carnage beyond imagination, comprehension and salvation? A real person, not a fictional one.

    Say there is. Say it will achieve the goal of, "saving the future of human civilization", what ever that actually is. The world does not need saving, it will continue on, regardless of human civilization or not.

    Pick a number or a percentage of this so called eight billion too many. What is it, 50%, 90%, 99%, 99.99%; to be culled that is? Say everyone agrees to a number, how long will that debate take, fifty years, a thousand, ten thousand? (Evidence the debate about climate change itself, COP26 is this year, basically even having decided things, they still have done pretty much nothing worth writing home about yet, climate change itself was brought up as a point of concern back in the 1800s)

    How do you decide who stays who goes? By age, race, gender, wealth, status, stupidity/intellect, religion, health, which metrics shall be used and why.

    Say everyone came to agreement, on some axis of criteria, how long will it take to come to that agreement, refer to above. (How do you deal with cheaters who will cheat, because who thinks it will be them when it is them that will be picked for the greater good, if the number is 90%+ you can bet that whole 90+ thought they were going to be in the 9.99 etc. because everyone is a special exception, somehow, like anti vaxxers somehow they all know best, even better than the best do)

    Say, all three hurdles were crossed, it would be the largest cult event in human history, if that psychopath in part one is not needed to drive a war machine to achieve the goal and all selected "voluntarily" committed mass suicide, because for a brief moment the world was in unity, something world war one and two could not do, something every pandemic and famine or mega scale natural disaster in the world could not do, something every religion and every government has failed to do...

    The real question at the end of all that, is what, if the sacrifice made, changed nothing in the long run, a meteor comes along, the kind that allegedly wiped dinos out, then what. With only ten million or hundred million (if you were serious about returning the Earth to a near pristine state, eventually) with so few, there is no chance they'll have the ability to do something about it, especially not if you insist on going full Amish or neolithic tribal, you know, to return the Earth as it was before humanity screwed it up, irrevocably.

    That is why the elephant is not elephant, the room nor the elephant in it, is not only not white, black or any other colour, the elephant is on acid however.

    In any event, the talk about carbon neutral by 20xx which ever nation picks a different number, is missing the point, the entire world needs to be carbon negative, yesterday, what is coming if the updated models are not too off the charts, is basically a sledgehammer to the eggshell, the whole positive feed back loops going into overdrive and all the under reporting in previous years/decades will be made clear, it may well be, too late, to even save thirty percent of the Earth and that thirty percent might not be good/high quality areas, it is not just humanity that would need to fit into that 30% habitable zone but everything else too, or what is left of everything else, such large scale disruption of food chains means the odds are great that the only kinds of things still with us in eighty years will be.

    Rats, roaches, parasites and algal blooms, everything else will be pretty much gone, dying or ate. Mad Max is probably closer to the mark than some cyber punk dystopian future where we can just engineer our way out of this mess, assuming all eight billion want to be right, the right to be alive, which they will.

    So to answer your question more simply, no action is needed, the death toll will be 100% and it will be everyone's fault. You may now rest easy, your work is done.

  17. #17
    I don't know who you are, None--but you remind me of Nessus. And her brash way of wielding words that can make everyone feel exposed, confused, subjugated, liberated.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    I don't know who you are, None--but you remind me of Nessus. And her brash way of wielding words that can make everyone feel exposed, confused, subjugated, liberated.
    Or is it CitizenCain? I wonder if he ever got naturalized?
    .

  19. #19
    I think we - in the sense of human civilization as it is today - are completely fucked. If not by something prior, then by a mix of climate change and population growth for sure. And I think most of us here will live long enough to see it get pretty bad.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by wiggin View Post
    The real problem, as always, is going to be making sure that all 9 or 10 billion humans get an appropriate amount of resources to ensure they live reasonably happy and healthy lives.
    No worries there, mate. Humanity has always done a bang-up job providing for the powerless poor. I'm sure when things get truly tight around the world, we'll all step up yet again to house the homeless, feed the hungry, medicate the diseased, shoe the shoeless and so on.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Being View Post
    In just 200 years Earth went from 1 billion humans to over 7 billion humans. The Earth can only accommodate 10 billion humans max, and that is if we all become vegetarians very soon. Maybe we need climate change to extend our survival on this rock with limited resources. I don't think we have another 200 years before needing to cull the herd.

    Many Will Die

    https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

    I propose we begin culling sometime after you volunteer to be the first one killed pour encourager les autres.
    Last night as I lay in bed, looking up at the stars, I thought, “Where the hell is my ceiling?"

  22. #22
    I only volunteer for food banks. Contact me when Soylent Green becomes the way of disposing of the unwanted.
    .

  23. #23
    I am neither Nessus or Citizen Kane, I identified myself a long time ago in that introductions thread if it is still around. I am someone who should be forgotten like all the rest.

    Have a great day. (Yeah I remembered my password finally, then again, I visit once every year or two. I have nothing really to contribute.)

  24. #24
    User name checks out.
    Hope is the denial of reality

  25. #25
    Inductis Ira. Vaguely recall from AtariCC.
    "When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first." - Werner Heisenberg (maybe)

  26. #26
    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...mits-to-growth

    Anyone remember the original paper? Apparently we're right on track... ah, well. I should be able to make to 2040 to see what's what, I think.

    Also, there won't be any human culling, unless you count war and/or famine. Or a more deadly pandemic. The odd thing about right now is how little of these there have been, at least since the last world war. Maybe these times are just a brief reprieve and things will go back to a more normal, more natural way in a few decades.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  27. #27
    Well, the Chinese are supposedly building new missile silos, though to me it appears more like they are terraforming the desert. Either way, they are preparing for something big.

    Missile Silos or Pumping Stations?
    .

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by EyeKhan View Post
    https://www.theguardian.com/environm...mits-to-growth

    Anyone remember the original paper? Apparently we're right on track... ah, well. I should be able to make to 2040 to see what's what, I think.

    Also, there won't be any human culling, unless you count war and/or famine. Or a more deadly pandemic. The odd thing about right now is how little of these there have been, at least since the last world war. Maybe these times are just a brief reprieve and things will go back to a more normal, more natural way in a few decades.
    The Limits to Growth (LTG) is a 1972 report.

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

    People that published the book/report?

    http://www.adr-intl.com/potomac/p.htm

    Original report was hosted here for a time.

    https://www.clubofrome.org/?p=326

    But its been removed/refiled.

    Could try contacting the Potomac people directly or ask at your library/educational university access thing if you have it, it probably exists somewhere. Though it sounds like its been updated over the years anyway.

    Good luck, artist formerly known as Chalobi?

    https://youtu.be/1hsDn2kNriI

    Do not agree with the war comment, the US alone is involved in four forever global-ish concurrent wars for the last twenty years, 6 if you want to count stuff like Israel and North Korea. The US has shifted as has most of NATO to sanction based war-fare, or economic isolation and more recently the US got its dream approved, we now live in an era of "cyber-warfare". Maybe hacking has not resulted in the deaths of thousands or millions of people, it is just matter of time till it does, with our forever idiotic push to technolgicalify everything that does not need to be. Pretty sure Biden threatened "real" war if the hacky/cracky/whacky/jacky does not stop...

    https://www.reuters.com/world/biden-...ar-2021-07-27/

    As to famines and natural disasters, everyone has been ignoring places like Africa for last 25 years, horn of Africa is pretty nasty right now, Somalia is worse than ever, Sudan split in two and something else Rwanda and that other one, lots of horrible things going on in Africa, to a degree some parts of South America once the war on drugs became a normal daily fact of life, which ever that bunch of South East Asian countries, Myanmar? Laos? I forget which has consistently bad problems.

    On top of stuff that is always simmering with tension like Indo-China or Indo-Pakistan, or what ever the problems in Sri Lanka and Philippines are. Ignoring the China stuff because that is right now got plenty of light on it, but it certainly isn't "happy shiny people laughing" out there. The whole ME is one gigantic abscesses at this point, pax America really turned out so well, as did all the non sense about spreading democracy etc.

    /shrug

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by None View Post
    The Limits to Growth (LTG) is a 1972 report.

    <snip>

    /shrug
    About war - I read an article/ listened to an interview a while back that discussed the stats of the average human's odds of dying/ getting injured/ being made a refugee by war and/or by general human-on-human violence in the decades following ww2 vs. basically all of recorded human history prior. The conclusion was the last 70 years or so have been remarkable in the reduction of said violence more or less around the world - regardless of count of wars and conflicts in this period.

    As for famine - I recently read 1493 which looked at the Colombian Exchange and its cascade of effects into modern times -- one being modern agriculture, with industrial use of fertilizer and pesticide, that more or less eventually wiped out non-intentional famine around the world. Prior to this, a good harvest was apparently very much a crap shoot from year to year, region to region.

    The sense I got from that read is modern agriculture is more fragile than most people understand, and running the climate through a blender is going to introduce any number of risks -- and this at the same time hungry humanity is reaching ever greater numbers, despite modernity's tendency to reduce population growth. Generally speaking, in nature a booming population eventually crashes. You might think humanity is exceptional with modern agriculture --we've so far been able to produce more food to feed the boom, but there is a limit somewhere, and we are creating more and more variables and risks that could so easily result in a sudden ugly limit. It isn't unreasonable to think its only a matter of time when population outstrips food supply.

    And if/when millions and billions suddenly (relatively speaking) find themselves without enough to eat, violence will increase. Governments will destabilize. Demagogues and despots will seize their moment. Wars the establishment would never risk will be risked. The "system" will stumble. Population will drop.
    The Rules
    Copper- behave toward others to elicit treatment you would like (the manipulative rule)
    Gold- treat others how you would like them to treat you (the self regard rule)
    Platinum - treat others the way they would like to be treated (the PC rule)

  30. #30
    Why I Don’t Stay Awake at Night Worrying About Population Growth

    Some readers were quick to point out that an increasing population is a big part of what is causing emissions to rise in the first place, but this is not how I see it. The main imperative right now is to find alternatives to oil, gas, and coal to fuel our energy needs
    We need to rethink how to untether consumption from growth, happiness, and satisfaction.
    10 percent of the world's population is responsible for about 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
    .

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