Spiny Norman wrote:
Or maybe you are a fool who can't see the underlying principle. Which is that resources aren't endless. No, Malthus' 200 year old theory and predictions aren't valid anymore and some never were.
Oh, fertility is declining, is it? Great, we'll never need to worry again about millions of people in want of food, water, and all the luxuries that we take for granted and won't give up.
Unless fertility is declining but population is still increasing? Maybe you should take that statistics course: http://xkcd.com/552/
That's a cute little chart, too bad it ignores the downward trends I have previously cited. Basically every population fearmongering projection freezes the fertility rate where it is, ignoring that it hasn't been frozen, well, ever, and that the trend is down, not up.* It is completely disingenuous and unscientific to assume that a rate is going to stay the same forever. (Since you like xkcd for illustrations, try this one on for size: http://xkcd.com/605/
) I wouldn't be giving lectures on statistics if you can't understand that while population must necessarily increase where fertility is above replacement level, if the fertility keeps decreasing that eventually stops. Until there is a decade where fertility increases instead of decreases there is no justification for fear of a population catastrophe.
As it is current privations are mostly logistical and political, not because there simply isn't enough. If there weren't so many corrupt warlords in the 3rd world embezzling, diverting, or otherwise undermining both foreign aid and local development, most if not all privations would evaporate. They are indicative of failed social constructs, not true resource shortfalls.
*(I cannot debunk the methods of the specific image directly because the image's own producer lists the sources for that graphic as "unknown"
. Not exactly open and authoritative.)
Vroomfundel wrote:Oh, so you suggest we impose our unnatural western processes of food production and get rid of free range farming with millenia of tradition - that's what westerners always do, consider their ways the only proper ones and try to shove it down the world's throats!
Just kidding, of course, I wish I had a penny every time I hear an environmentalist with questionable knowledge of world economics say this.
Just like those "unnatural" vaccines and hygiene education? Let's stop that unnatural pasteurization too. Yes, let's keep all inefficient and even harmful anachronisms no matter how many people it kills so that we can feel all nostalgic about our bucolic fantasies. Curse all that evil modernity increasing lifespans and decreasing infant mortality!