7 billion people on Earth?


Exponential growth’s potential to rapidly change the numbers of a situation tends to fall out of the thoughts of most people, who don’t see such things occur in daily life.

You should stop and think about this one for a minute:  World population will tip to over 7 billion people soon, maybe in the next week, but most assuredly by next spring.

A very large crowd in a stadium

Seven billion people? Really? Are the concessions adequate? The restrooms?

Joel E. Cohen wrote about the event in Sunday’s New York Times:

ONE week from today, the United Nations estimates, the world’s population will reach seven billion. Because censuses are infrequent and incomplete, no one knows the precise date — the Census Bureau puts it somewhere next March — but there can be no doubt that humanity is approaching a milestone.

The first billion people accumulated over a leisurely interval, from the origins of humans hundreds of thousands of years ago to the early 1800s. Adding the second took another 120 or so years. Then, in the last 50 years, humanity more than doubled, surging from three billion in 1959 to four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987 and six billion in 1998. This rate of population increase has no historical precedent.

Can the earth support seven billion now, and the three billion people who are expected to be added by the end of this century? Are the enormous increases in households, cities, material consumption and waste compatible with dignity, health, environmental quality and freedom from poverty?

(Joel E. Cohen, a mathematical biologist and the head of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University, is the author of “How Many People Can the Earth Support?”)

We’re in for some dramatic shifts in concentrations of people, if not shifts in how we think of the world (thinking is always slower than reality).

While the bulge in younger people, if they are educated, presents a potential “demographic dividend” for countries like Bangladesh and Brazil, the shrinking proportion of working-age people elsewhere may place a strain on governments and lead them to raise retirement ages and to encourage alternative job opportunities for older workers.

Even in the United States, the proportion of the gross domestic product spent on Social Security and Medicare is projected to rise to 14.5 percent in 2050, from 8.4 percent this year.

The Population Reference Bureau said that by 2050, Russia and Japan would be bumped from the 10 most populous countries by Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

I’m not ready, and neither are most other people, I’ll wager.  How about you?

More: 

About these ads

98 Responses to 7 billion people on Earth?

  1. Black Flag® says:

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/seven-billionth-human-marks-demographic-change-expert-180307362.html

    … Earth undergoes a demographic shift toward slower population growth.

    … is slowing, in many places slowing significantly,….

    “We now have 75 countries in the world where the fertility rate is below two,” meaning the average woman is having fewer than two children.

    “Japan is losing more people today than they’re gaining,” Poston said. “South Korea has an alarmingly low fertility rate, 1.1.”

    Not long ago, the opposite was true. In 1970, the average fertility rate worldwide was 4.5, leading to predictions of demographic doom in books like Robert Silverberg’s “The World Inside” and Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb.”

    But a funny thing happened on the way to population Armageddon. Poston says the fastest growth period in the history of the world was in the mid to late 1960s, which prompted dystopic predictions.

    “When Paul Ehrlich wrote that book the world was growing at about 2 percent per year,” Poston said. “Now we’re growing at about half that.”

    Poston says a combination of factors led to what may be the most significant demographic shift ever. In the industrialized West, improved methods of birth control and greater opportunities for women in the workplace and in society meant the end of 5,000 years of women generally being considered society’s baby-makers.

    In China, there has been aggressive enforcement of a ‘one child’ policy, drastically reducing population growth rates, and leading to a surplus of males.

    Worldwide, urbanization has reduced the need for large families beneficial in rural agricultural areas.

    MYSTERIOUS DECLINES

    Reasons for significant growth rate declines in places like Iran, where the rate has fallen from 7.0 in 1974 to 1.9, remain more of a mystery, but Poston says they probably can be traced to cultural changes that can be very difficult to reverse.

    “We have been growing very, very fast in the world and now we’re starting to slow down.”

    Poston says it took until about 1800 for the earth to see its one billionth resident, as high fertility rates were effectively countered by high infant mortality rates, diseases, and nearly continuous warfare that generally cut down men at the height of their most active reproductive years.

    The march of science led to a decrease in infant mortality and deadly diseases, and combined with a continued high fertility rate led to a huge population bloom. The two billionth human was born in 1930, and the six billionth in 1999.

    Moreover, the warfare and constant societal violence that helped keep the population in check has retreated, Harvard University psychologist Steven Pinker says in his recent book “The Better Angels of our Nature.”

    “It is really only in the countries of sub Saharan Africa where fertility is still high…,” Poston said, “but even in several of these countries there have been fertility declines in recent years.”

    So Poston says while it took 12 years to reach Monday’s seven billion mark from six billion, it will take 14 years to reach eight billion — the first time in history a billion milestone has taken longer to reach than the one before — and then 18 years to reach nine billion.

    FOOD KEEPING UP

    Thus far the world has been able to produce enough food to feed its new mouths. The U.N. says world food production per person today is 41 percent higher than in 1961, thanks largely to the “Green Revolution” in farming which brought higher yields not only to Western farmers, but brought traditional subsistence farming in Africa and Asia into the modern age.

    Food production per capita in India today is 37 percent higher than fifty years ago, according to the World Bank.

    Some still fear food shortages and price rises, and problems with supplies of other commodities like oil.

    “(Whether) the rate of farm production slow down or level off is uncertain,” Poston said. “But right now there is no difficulty.”

    And the trends may bring problems of a different sort, he said, predicting the world will begin seeing the impact of declining populations in as little as 40 years.

    “That is going to be the issue in the future,” Poston said. “We are going to have to start thinking for the first time in human history about fewer.”

    That will mean thinking in an entirely new way about everything from resource production to old age pensions, he said

    Like

  2. Alan Scott says:

    Ed Darrell,

    ” How about we let all 7 billion in and we send them to , , , your town ? ”

    ” I don’t think all 7 billion would come. ”

    More than enough would come to totally degrade your life and everyone else’s life in your town .

    ” Our past several economic booms have been fueled chiefly by immigrants. ”

    Now I will demonstrate how your own words can be used against you . Listen and learn .

    What was true in the past does not mean it is true in the present . Our past several economic booms were fueled CHIEFLY by Coal, Natural gas, and oil . You dispute that all you want . But now Coal Natural gas, and oil cannot fuel any more booms because they are evil .

    Logic shows that if fossil fuel can no longer fuel booms because times have changed , then massive, massive, massive immigration can no longer fuel booms because a mature American economy is different than a 19th century American economy .

    Actually fossil fuel ‘can’ fuel future economic booms But only when environmental Anarchists are politically defeated . And you are Anarchists . Environmentalism is an Anarchist tactic, nothing more.

    Like

  3. Jim says:

    Afternoon, Flag…

    I am glad you have read and studied the Bible and other holy books. I have too, and am. Working on a Masters in the subject at present.

    I really do understand why you believe Jesus could not have risen from the dead. Believe me — it IS utterly illogical and physically impossible for a man.

    It is not, for God. Of course, one can quite rationally say there is no God.

    What you cannot rationally say is that the historic Jesus did not claim (repeatedly) to be God and that his hearers understood him to be saying exactly that. It’s a matter of historical record and the 20th century German school from which we “learned” that any of these Biblical passages were redacted by Christians who wanted to establish a new religion has been thoroughly discredited.

    The most up to date line of thought among non-Theists (many of whom are truly wonderful people, so please don’t hear me suggesting I am better than they are) is that the historic Jesus existed, was a good and moral teacher and, somewhere along the line, he “lost it”. Whether he believed his own press or was seduced by the crowd is unknown. But he DID claim to be God in the flesh and DID tell his followers and his enemies that he would rise from the dead. Which made him a good guy turned liar. Or a good guy turned nutcase.

    My belief is that he remained that good, moral teacher and was seduced not a whit…because he was God. Indeed, what sort of human being would — 200 years after the fact — attempt to redact a story and create a “god” who was crucified and taught nothing but peace, love, forgiveness of enemies, and total brotherhood?

    As to the liberal tendency to downplay religion and faith, I think there is some truth to what you say — and I do find myself occasionally in a weird place, believe in all that Jesus said and taught…which I still insist affirms and fulfills the first testament’s teachings about social justice. I’m not exactly alone, of course. There is a religious left, deeply devout and not given to the sort of invective and cruelty we find in the religious right.

    Cheers!

    Jim

    Like

  4. Jim says:

    Flag,

    Your understanding of liberalism — modern or otherwise seems really tainted by both a personal hatred (I could be reading you wrong) and a lack of control of the facts.

    I do applaud you for recognizing the tendency toward feelgoodism (it’s what I call limousine liberalism) intended to make a minimalist gesture toward the poor. That may well be where President Obama is and clearly is where Bill Clinton was.

    But that’s a pretty broad brush with which to paint liberalism. Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown don’t fit the mold. Paul Wellstone and Russ Feingold didn’t. Neither did Barbara Jordan or, for all their flaws, FDR and LBJ. I speak of matters domestic, of course. LBJ was dead wrong on Vietnam and FDR acted like a thug in interning Japanese Americans. Still…America has never known such prosperity and growth because of serious liberals who rejected half-measures.

    Between the late 30’s right up until Ronnie Raygun, we ended a Great Depression, defeated three major military powers, rebuilt much of Europe, all of Japan and portions of China and the Philippines, constructed an interstate highway system that was second to none and the envy of the world, exported far more than we imported, made significant environmental strides, employed most Americans, cured diseases or made significant advances toward cures, did much to desegregate our society and — whether advisable or not — embarked on an ambitious program of space exploration, and fought wars in Korea and SE Asia.

    Some of these things, such as the Vietnam War and the propping up of dictatorships around the world were stupid. I agree. I may not agree that the space race was a waste, but I understand that point of view and respect it. But the larger point is this…

    We did it all, did it well and did it by requiring the people who most prospered BECAUSE OF AMERICA and American workers to give back. In fact, liberal as I am, I am still not sure I would have gone as far in taxing the fabulously rich as did Eisenhower…that dreaded Socialist! But certainly, this crackpot notion that the rich got rich solely because they are such noble, good and hard working people — and because they had absolutely no help whatsoever from government or “the little people” is a concept rooted in pre-Revolution France or pre-1917 Russia.

    Like

  5. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    They come to pursue their dreams, and when they do that they get jobs, buy houses, buy cars, buy refrigerators and microwave ovens, engineer good stuff for us to sell, and generally make life better.

    Ronald Reagan was right when he urged the communists to tear down the Berlin Wall. It was a great impediment to both freedom and economic growth. All walls are.

    Twice a day, a stopped clock measures the correct time.

    Here, you and I agree.

    Like

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    I make no apology for fences . How about we let all 7 billion in and we send them to , , , your town ?

    I don’t think all 7 billion would come. But that is the way to assure prosperity. Our past several economic booms have been fueled chiefly by immigrants. They come to pursue their dreams, and when they do that they get jobs, buy houses, buy cars, buy refrigerators and microwave ovens, engineer good stuff for us to sell, and generally make life better.

    Ronald Reagan was right when he urged the communists to tear down the Berlin Wall. It was a great impediment to both freedom and economic growth. All walls are.

    Like

  7. Alan Scott says:

    Scrooge,

    ” “Get the premature death rate down” to prevent overpopulation. And build bigger fences. I gotta admit I didn’t see that coming. It probably will come down to bigger fences though. Because the answer ultimately will be let them die. Good practice though because in the future we will have the same problem only it will be between states.”

    First off, getting the premature death rate down is fighting the war and disease , which are the only population controls in the third World . Once you raise the living standards and stop the dying, human beings like all life, will no longer give birth at such high replacement rates . An older population , with wealth will usually have lower birth rates . I mean we are trying to save mother earth .

    I make no apology for fences . How about we let all 7 billion in and we send them to , , , your town ?

    Like

  8. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    Unlike most “Christians”, I’ve actually read and studied the Testaments (and all of the major religious texts as well), and the understanding of them are my own.

    As a scientist, I apply the Universe …universally.

    There is not one set of Natural Laws for Jesus and another for you.

    This was even understood by Jesus — the Temptations where he refused to test the Laws of the Universe -God- and leap of the cliff. He knew damn well God applies all Universal Law universally, and it applied to him too.

    A pious man and an evil man both fall to their death as assuredly as the other should they leap off the cliff.

    So when someone claims Jesus defied the laws of Nature – well, even Jesus would never make such a claim!

    Like

  9. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    The separation of faith and reality is the reason.

    The modern Liberal (who is directly opposite the historical Liberal) advocates ‘feelly goody’ political policies – but uses violence to enforce them.

    Yet, this same group of people decry ‘feelly goody’ faith as if it was the plague. They can’t stand people who assume a particular lifestyle solely on principle.

    Freedom lovers abhor violence, and cannot assume their “feelly goody” policies are a right, let alone right enough to force on another.

    This same group support the whole expression of faith for whomever wishes it – if it gives such people the “feelly goody” about themselves, why not and what harm?

    Like

  10. Jim says:

    By the by, I find this whole conversation quite surreal. Here I am, a theologically moderate and politically liberal guy debating with an uber-liberal on theology who appears to be uber-conservative or libertarian on politics.

    If politics makes for strange bedfellows, then cyberspace affords even more peculiar (but friendly, of course!) foes!

    Weirded out just a little,

    Jim

    Like

  11. Jim says:

    Hi there, Flag!

    Thanks for a well-articulated, genuine and entirely expected response. As mid-20th century New Testament redactionists go, you acquit yourself quite well. The German theological schools, minus a Barth here or a Moltmann there, had their day. They have been tested and proven wanting.

    The so-called “Jesus Seminar” whose line you appear to be taking has been almost entirely discredited courtesy of post-evangelical, post-postmodern scholars like N.T. Wright, Ben Witherington, Luke Timothy Johnson, Rich Hays, Dale Allison and Gary Willis. (To name a few of many.)

    The liberal 19th and 20th century scholars are almost entirely without merit, beyond a few noble ideas and devotional considerations. Their ideological heirs in The Jesus Seminar, from which your last post originates, are mostly non-scholars…most of them having no scholarly published work or professorial positions beyond a local, secular community college. The few who do have some academic heft are elderly and were schooled in the Bultmannian tradition.

    Again — it is fine to say Jesus of Nazareth was a good guy whose cheese fell off his crack. It’s fine to say he started out a decent man who became deluded by his own word-of-mouth “press” and started a cult based on lies and obfuscations. It is fine to say he was, indeed, true God from true God…begotten and not made…of one being with the Father.

    It is not fine, or intellectually consistent in any way to say he was true example of moral excellence whose bones are rotting somewhere in Palestine. A liar who intentionally deceives a large group of followers at the eventual expense of their lives cannot be any sort of moral leader or example.

    I have enjoyed the exchange though and I hope you’ll check out Wright’s scholarly work. I wish I had time to go through it with you but it’s 900 pages and I have papers due!

    Like

  12. Scrooge says:

    “Get the premature death rate down” to prevent overpopulation. And build bigger fences. I gotta admit I didn’t see that coming. It probably will come down to bigger fences though. Because the answer ultimately will be let them die. Good practice though because in the future we will have the same problem only it will be between states.

    Like

  13. Alan Scott says:

    Ed Darrell,

    I did not believe it to be possible. You said something I do not 110% disagree with . Right now you have rich nations in Europe and N. America that only have growing populations because of immigration from poor nations .

    The only ways you stop that is to stop illegal immigration and spread rampant capitalism to the third world . If you get the premature death rate down in the third world, you will stop the replacement overpopulation .

    Like

  14. eyeonwales says:

    The population numbers are just fine, the problem that we face is human nature. We have the resources to maintain this many, and many more, but the inherent greed which drives so few, means that so many are not capable of accessing the ‘enough’ that we have to go around. Human nature needs to change, otherwise the population issue will take care of itself sooner rather than later.

    Like

  15. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    “What exactly are your solutions to the human population explosion ?”

    No such problem exists, so no “solution” to a non-problem is necessary.

    I don’t have any solutions.

    Which is fortunate that no problem exists in need of one.

    I would observe that when family income rises, family size falls. Increasing education tends to produce smaller families, too.

    I agree – when wealth increases for a group, so do their choices – and they chose different things to invest in other than children.

    Generally, those nations with highest education, higher per capita incomes, and great economic opportunities have no population growth problem.

    There is no population growth problem – period.

    How can we spread those three things?

    By exampling it the best right here – and trading with others elsewhere.

    It is an interesting economic paradox that it makes sense to trade for certain goods and services from others even if they supply an inferior good or service to the one who could do yourself.

    Because you outsource this particular good or service, allows you to concentrate on the production of other goods where you produce even greater value. You take a little “inferior” production from others, but more than make up for it by the concentration of your own -more valued- goods.

    Thus, America should not cry over “losing” jobs offshore – all it means is that the labor and goods produced elsewhere allows better valued goods and labor to be produced here

    They get better and we get better.

    Like

  16. Ed Darrell says:

    I had one of my posts evaporate, so let me try another . What exactly are your solutions to the human population explosion ?

    I don’t have any solutions.

    I would observe that when family income rises, family size falls. Increasing education tends to produce smaller families, too.

    Generally, those nations with highest education, higher per capita incomes, and great economic opportunities have no population growth problem.

    How can we spread those three things?

    Like

  17. Black Flag® says:

    Arg, foiled by a double negative.

    “…it is LIKELY he was not crazy….”

    Like

  18. Black Flag® says:

    Jim

    The evidence is quite compelling, actually.

    The only “evidence” is a series of passages attributing some event the writer of such passage did not witness, based on words of those who are known zealots and prone to pronouncements of impossible things.

    It is precisely equal as taking the word of an insane man claiming he had been kidnapped by Martians, and holding it up to be truth.

    The facts: Jesus isn’t here, walking around in physical form.

    . It is, of course, entirely possible that this Jewish carpenter was a crazy man.

    Not likely.

    History is not kind to crazy men and doesn’t hold maintenance of crazy men unless then kill millions. As Jesus did not kill millions, but history still holds his maintenance and is generally very kind to him, it is unlikely he was not crazy.

    It is most likely some sort of close resemblance to the character in the Testaments did exist.

    His use of the phrase “I AM” is in both the LXX and the MT – and it would sear the ears of any person who heard it.

    I am the son of my father – which is a truth.

    That does not mean I am the only son of my father – I have brothers and sisters too.

    Now, as far as Jesus saying that of himself, it is pretty thin – others say that to him

    Example:

    At the last came two false witnesses,

    61 And said, This fellow said,[of Jesus] I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

    62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?

    63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.

    64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.

    65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

    All through the Testament are other men labeling Jesus, but scant little of Jesus labeling himself of such a claim.

    Further of note, the texts of his testament have been altered, manipulated, destroyed, deleted and edited – we know this – as the Dead Sea scrolls attest.

    Extreme caution must be used in presenting a highly distorted and edited version of writing of a few men never present at the time of Jesus about the man who -even to them- probably existed only as a myth.

    More, we must consider the fact that the most pivotal being in human history has no certain tomb

    .

    Because, at the time of his death, he was a total nobody to anybody.

    History of that time -at best- has distant and barely noticeable writing around him; what little is written is near impossible to match to any “Jesus” – for example, we find no record of such a crucifixion as portrayed in the Testaments in any Roman writings of that time – and the Romans were pretty good at such details.

    That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – Romans killed a lot of people and probably didn’t write down the names of them all – but the point being Jesus was a total nobody in his own era – and history took no note of him until much, much later, when his followers began gaining political power.

    —————
    Do not misunderstand me – faith helps many men through difficult times – indeed, it is argued that without such faith, humanity would be unable to preserve through the necessary difficulties required to survive as a species.

    But this is wholly different from arguing the existence of a myth to be real.

    Santa Claus helps little kids be mindful of others.
    It works.
    Santa Claus does not exist, nor is necessary to exist for this to work on kids.

    Like

  19. Jim says:

    Good evening, Flag! Thanks for your post.
    There are some problems there and I should address them as follows (with your comments hopefully in bold – I am still so inept at using html on Word Press blogs):

    1.Not to step on your faith, however, the evidence of such a circumstance is incredibly thin…actually, completely lacking.

    The evidence is quite compelling, actually. Ultimately, you are absolutely correct in insisting that faith is a key component in the mix – it’s the intangible and immeasurable agent that makes all the difference in the world. But leaving faith aside for the moment (I shall address it in due course), there are still rational reasons for believing in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…both Biblical and extrabiblical.
    First, we have the direct claims of Jesus Himself to deity and his oft-repeated promise to bodily rise after execution and three days entombed. It is, of course, entirely possible that this Jewish carpenter was a crazy man. Or a charlatan and huckster. While it’s not particularly common in history, there is still no shortage of mortals going about claiming to be God enfleshed. Father Divine, Sun Myung Moon, David Koresh and Jim Jones are just a few from the last century. So indeed, “the Nazarene” as you call him, may well have been of that ilk. If I wished to dismiss the possibility of his actual deity out of hand, without a fair hearing, I would certainly not wish to consider that this Hebrew stood before the highest religious leaders of Israel and said not merely, “I am a son of God” but rather, “I tell you the truth: before Abraham was, I AM.” His use of the phrase “I AM” is in both the LXX and the MT – and it would sear the ears of any person who heard it. He was saying that he was present when the universe was put in motion and that he was part of the agency of creation (I prefer evolution, of course) itself! I think I might have crucified him myself had I been a self-respecting Jew or Roman. This is hardly his only claim to deity. One must understand the monotheistic claims of the great faith of Moses to truly appreciate what Jesus said and did in this capacity. He received worship, without correcting those who called him God. (The very first commandment should have precluded this!) He forgave sins, which in Judaism, only God could do. He told his followers that he and YHWH were one in the same. Is it that surprising that one who said such outlandish and scandalous things would also go about predicting his own martyrdom and them promising to rise from the dead? It’s still fine to say he didn’t, of course. But you must also then own the man’s lunacy or hucksterism. No decent human being, let alone a self-proclaimed moral leader and “good example”, would say such a thing. He can be a crackpot. He can be an escaped mental patient. Or he can be who he claimed to be.
    More, we must consider the fact that the most pivotal being in human history has no certain tomb. And those sites that do purport to be the final resting place of Jesus are quite empty. The empty tomb, referenced biblically and extra-biblically – at least insofar as being reported by believers of the era – is a set piece in the argument. Additionally, we have the eyewitness reports of the resurrected Christ. He was seen by groups of people…sometimes large groups. He ate with them, spoke to them, touched them and was worshiped by them. This, too, is reported both biblically and extrabiblically. That Josephus did not believe the truth of the report doesn’t change the fact that the reports were made…and were legion. Just why did hundreds…and then thousands…and quite soon, millions…actually believe Jesus bodily rose from the dead within a few decades of the event itself and in maybe less time than that? At the start, 500 or so are reported to have personally seen the risen Christ. Were they hallucinating? That people claim to have seen the disembodied spirits of their deceased loved ones shortly after death is not disputed and was comparatively common in the Ancient Near East of Jesus’ time. (I do not say they did see these things, mind. Only that people have made such claims.) The problem is, of course, not with the fact that people made such claims. (Some still do, but far fewer than then.) These experiences can be rationally explained as the understandable result of grief, guilt, fear or a particularly disagreeable meal before bed. In hindsight, the “witness” may choose to believe it was real…he may choose to regard it as the mind playing tricks…but never does he base the balance of his mortal life on it. Yet millions did in the years after Jesus of Nazareth left earth. A plurality of them at least ended up in the arena, on a cross or otherwise disposed of. Why, if it was merely a hallucination or wishful thinking, didn’t the “wishers” and “dreamers” accept the syncretism so prevalent in Roman society? One could easily have gotten on in Roman society asserting, as a few pseudo-Christian scholars today do, that Jesus’s ideals and ethics are risen again…so in that sense only, he is risen. Rome would have tolerated that quite admirably. But that’s not what unfolded. As N. T. Wright asserts in his landmark volume, The Resurrection of the Son of God, “Even if several such experiences (hallucinations, dreams, etc.) had occurred, if the tomb was occupied by the dead body, they would have said to themselves – after the experiences had ceased – ‘we have seen exceedingly strange visions, but he is still dead and buried’. Our experiences were, after all, no different from the ones we have heard about in the old stories and poems”. (RSG; Wright, N.T. Fortress Press, 2003, pp. 690, 691) The fact that “visions” and hallucinations were reported for centuries is not at issue. What’s at issue is why, all of a sudden, the human response to such experiences was -en masse — so radically different? There is no evidence whatsoever of a psychological paradigm shift in ANE society in this regard. Just as it is today, so then. Not everyone who heard, believed. (This does not, in my opinion, make them bad people or “less than” in any way. I simply concede and note the reality.) But the appearances in tandem with the empty tomb were sufficient for belief to arise within a small community and spread outward.
    Now enters faith into the discussion. It will be quite possible for creative historians and even theologians to propose new variations on the theme of how the early Christian belief cropped up – without stories of an empty tomb or multiple encounters with the living, risen body of Jesus. Yet before faith and personal experience enter the equation, I still logically and rationally can conclude Jesus rose from the dead on the basis of his own claims and promises (and the resulting liar-lunatic-lord axiom), the empty tomb, the eyewitness accounts and an accurate historical understanding of what “resurrection” meant in the world of Second Temple Judaism. Even so, what I believe in my brain is helpful only so far. There is the issue of the human heart and soul which I quite happily concede is largely unquantifiable by hard or soft sciences. There is the question of what I have experience by believing beyond simple mental ascent. And this is not necessarily hard proof of anything for anyone but me. I know Jesus of Nazareth. I commune with him. I feel and experience his love and am eager to share the same with others, always of course remembering that those who prefer not to hear and those who hear but opt for something else are good people, my friends and not inferior to me in any way. (I say this because the spiritual elitism of many Christians is noxious and is prone to induce a bilious attack.) It has been a transformative experience for me. The crucified Christ has accompanied me through dark valleys, not least being the murder of my dearest friend many years ago…the loss of a brother, the indignity of watching a parent with a first-rate mind become, on a good day, an addled child. The crucified God has shown me the agony of humanity, my own participation in that agony through my formerly racist and selfish way of being in the world. The crucified has shown me his own participation in that agony by way of his suffering and his mercy for all. But it is the risen Jesus who has taken all this, the good and the bad of it, and made it new. He came, he said, to begin to complete the Kingdom his father first established in Eden. I believe it. But this, I cannot prove. I can only live into it and hopefully let it flow out of me. It is supposed to look like peace, justice, mercy and love. That it doesn’t always…or often…is simply the fact of the present. We, his followers, fail often and miserably. His risen-ness is what enables and empowers us to keep trying again, hopefully moving a little closer each time to getting it right. The tortured ramblings of eschatologically challenged minds like Harold Camping and Hal Lindsay aside, they are right about one thing: He is coming back. Not to kill all the gays or slaughter all the Muslims. But to complete and perfect the work he gave us to do after he rose. Anyway – that’s my story and it’s sticking to me. It won’t let go…and I have tried! If you want to know more about it, I strongly recommend N.T. Wright’s book, The Resurrection of the Son of God. It is a hefty work. Wright’s is a first-rate mind. But that’s to be expected when engaging the foremost New Testament scholar in the world, and possibly in history. I can’t praise the book enough for its fair-mindedness, humility and intellectual rigor.
    More later. I can hear my Mrs. saying, “You’re always talking. Give someone else a turn”. Cheers!

    Like

  20. Alan Scott says:

    Ed Darrell,

    I had one of my posts evaporate, so let me try another . What exactly are your solutions to the human population explosion ?

    Like

  21. Black Flag® says:

    Jim

    Sorry, Jesus is risen from the dead. Quite literally.

    Not to step on your faith, however, the evidence of such a circumstance is incredibly thin…actually, completely lacking.

    I rather stick with reality, and avoid requirements of faith.

    Faith requires as its essence a degree of irrational belief and I’m not much into irrational belief.

    I can and do rely on the Old Testament.

    Then you contradict the Nazarene.

    Jesus himself said he came, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.

    He said this – the point being the “law” as practiced was not the “Law” of God.

    He condemned those that practiced the “law” which avoided God’s Law, a Law which he articulates in Math 7:12, the Golden Rule:

    “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    This put to an end the Old Testament in one sentence.

    Where do you get the notion Paul of Tarsus was not Christian?

    The fact he lived 300 years past the death of Jesus, and contradicted the base premise of Jesus teachings.

    He created Jesus as THE son of God, whereas Jesus taught he was A Son of God.

    The difference is key: the former excludes YOU, the latter INCLUDES you.

    He turned a reasonable, but small in numbers, religious belief of peace and goodwill into an irrational, terror and fear based, huge institution bent on domination and subjugation of the masses.

    He was about as anti-Christ as one could imagine.

    T But that has seldom happened in human history. Indeed, when it has happened — and with bloody, tragic results

    The use of violence and evil to correct the harm of violence and evil only results in a victory of violence and evil.

    Like

  22. Jim says:

    Howdy Flag!

    Sorry, Jesus is risen from the dead. Quite literally. That discussion is pretty far afield from our present topic, and you’re free to disagree with the billions who say the creeds either daily or once a week. But we believe he is alive.

    I can and do rely on the Old Testament. Jesus himself said he came, not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. That he did away with certain rules surrounding ritual purity is indisputable. That he supported and perfect laws dealing with social justice is equally evident.

    Where do you get the notion Paul of Tarsus was not Christian? His missive to the Romans was written well after his Damascus Road conversion.

    Of course, even if you wish to selectively reject the witness of most of the Scriptures and only embrace the teachings of Jesus, (an incoherent and intellectually dishonest position, but fine) there is still that pesky little problem of Matthew 25.

    As to the meaning of justice, I fully and freely concede that we are not — as individuals or a society — to oppress the rich and elevate the poor. This is unscriptural, too. But that has seldom happened in human history. Indeed, when it has happened — and with bloody, tragic results — it has always been a reaction to the ubiquitous human predilection to oppress the poor and aggrandize the rich and powerful. The best way to avoid a repeat of the injustice of post revolution France or Russia is for America to return to the economic justice (and, ironically, prosperity) we knew from the late 1930’s to about 1980, give or take.

    I, for one, have no desire to see the Koch Brothers on the gallows…and I am sure they would most uncomfortable seeking sanctuary in my humble home if the mob came for them. I would grant it, of course. Violence is never excusable, even in the name of justice. But oh my, they would be unhappy here.

    Of course, I am speaking in extremes here. You and I probably won’t live to see it. But the end of any oppressive society is always a pendulum-swing toward oppression in the exact opposite direction.

    I say we avoid it altogether and put far left socialists in power like Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. They were both closer to socialism than the current occupant of the White House, about whom conservatives seem almost apoplectic.

    I wonder why?

    Like

  23. Black Flag® says:

    Hey Jim!
    Hope the sun is shining for you today!

    It’s better to follow Jesus. Ayn Rand is dead.

    Just to let you know, Jesus is dead too.

    It’s not only what I believe I am promoting. It’s what I am promoting.

    Great!

    I like people who are consistent and coherent between their belief and their action.

    Hopefully the belief can be measured by reason – as, obviously, if one is consistent and coherent in applying irrationality, bad things are guaranteed to occur.

    As a nation, not just as individuals, God expected Israel to behave thus…

    So, let’s be clear here, theologically.

    As a Christian, you cannot rely on Old Testament text, like you cannot rely on the Koran or the Talmud.

    The Nazarene discarded the “Old Law” completely and replaced it with his.

    This is the fundamental premise of his testaments.

    So I will ignore such “Old” Testament texts out of your reply here.

    Not to be outdone, St. Paul reminds us…

    Paul is not a Christian, nor a disciple of the Nazarene, so I discard his statements as well for he does not speak for the Nazarene.

    The “ethnos” who are rewarded and commended are those who did justice for the poor, the needy, the prisoner, the hungry.

    Ah… “justice”.

    What is the measure of justice?

    “Getting that which was earned”

    If you do good, you deserve or “earn” good consequences.
    If you do bad, you deserve or “earn” bad consequences.

    So is it just to steal from one man so to give to a man who has not earned it?

    Like

  24. Jim says:

    Hi there, Flag!

    You ask, “What “morality” do you believe you are promoting?”

    Hi there Flag!

    You ask what sort of morality I “believe” I am promoting. Fair question, and thanks!

    It’s not only what I believe I am promoting. It’s what I am promoting. But I am a “look at the text” sort of guy. So to answer your question about what morality I am promoting, here goes…

    As a nation, not just as individuals, God expected Israel to behave thus…

    “If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted towards your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, ‘The seventh year, the year of remission, is near’, and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the LORD against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, ‘Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land.”
    (Deut. 15:7-11 NRSV)

    The wise Solomon prospered greatly, but knew what was of first importance for a government…

    “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
    but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.
    A ruler who oppresses the poor
    is like a driving rain that leaves no crops.
    Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
    but those who heed it resist them.”
    (Prov. 28:2-4 TNIV)

    By justice a king gives stability to the land,
    but one who makes heavy exactions ruins it.
    The righteous know the rights of the poor;
    the wicked have no such understanding.
    If a ruler listens to falsehood,
    all his officials will be wicked.
    The poor and the oppressor have this in common:
    the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
    If a king judges the poor with equity,
    his throne will be established for ever.
    (Prov. 29, NRSV)

    To the government of his day, the Almighty says through Isaiah…

    The LORD rises to argue his case;
    he stands to judge the peoples.
    The LORD enters into judgment
    with the elders and princes of his people:
    It is you who have devoured the vineyard;
    the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
    What do you mean by crushing my people,
    by grinding the face of the poor? says the Lord GOD of hosts.
    (Is. 3:13-15, NRSV)

    “Ah, you who make iniquitous decrees,
    who write oppressive statutes,
    to turn aside the needy from justice
    and to rob the poor of my people of their right,
    that widows may be your spoil,
    and that you may make the orphans your prey!
    What will you do on the day of punishment,
    in the calamity that will come from far away?
    To whom will you flee for help,
    and where will you leave your wealth,
    so as not to crouch among the prisoners
    or fall among the slain?
    For all this, his anger has not turned away;
    his hand is stretched out still.”
    (Is. 10:1-5 NRSV)

    Ezekiel speaks of the reason for the destruction of a society in similar fashion…

    “This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.” (Ez. 16:49 NRSV)

    To the government of his day, Jeremiah thunders…

    “Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your officials, and your people who enter these gates. Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place…

    (he continues a few verses later…)

    “Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages; who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house with large upper rooms’, and who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar, and painting it with vermilion. Are you a king because you compete in cedar? Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy;
    then it was well. Is not this to know me? says the Lord. But your eyes and heart are only on your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.
    (Jeremiah 22, NRSV)

    Amos has much to say to both individuals and societies…

    ‘This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Israel,
    even for four, I will not turn back my wrath.
    They sell the innocent for silver,
    and the needy for a pair of sandals.
    They trample on the heads of the poor
    as on the dust of the ground
    and deny justice to the oppressed.”’
    (Amos 2: 6, 7 TNIV)

    Not to be outdone, St. Paul reminds us…
    Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Rom. 13:5-7 TNIV)
    But ultimately, we have the words of Jesus in Matthew 25…where he judges the nations. The Greek word for nations in the text clearly does not mean “individuals”. Rather, it implies societies and governments. The “ethnos” who are rewarded and commended are those who did justice for the poor, the needy, the prisoner, the hungry. Damnation was promised those societies that ignored the same.
    That’s the sort of morality I am talking about. You will note, I didn’t use any passage of Scripture that involved individual or ecclesial obligation to the poor and oppressed. They are legion. These passages are a few of those that deal with what people groups, societies and governments are responsible for.
    If you want to call it Keynesian, fine. If you want to reject it, fine. This is a free country, thank God. But if you want to call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ or if you simply want to regard yourself as a moral, ethical person…you’ve no other option. Greed is sin.
    It’s better to follow Jesus. Ayn Rand is dead.

    Like

  25. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    Black Flag_ None of the links you have provided are to any dataset,

    Of course they have!

    Use a least a part of that brain of yours to do further research if you do not believe this man.

    That is YOUR job, not mine.

    publication or validated source that can establish where exactly the resources for a planetary population of even 10 billion will come from.

    You are keen to try to predict the future.

    You, back in 1970, could not conceive of the tools and goods you enjoy today.

    Yet, you demand that others must provide some “future” goods for you to be assured that the life you enjoy today – gained by the same meandering process of human ingenuity must now pander to your disbelief that such a thing has provided the goods!!

    You are very strange.

    Like

  26. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    You can tell someone who had never collected garbage nor had to deal with a city sewage treatment plant by their naive faith in humans to emit perfume and manna from their bodies, instead of urine and excrement.

    The fact that we have sanitation remains unmoved by your rhetoric.

    Like

  27. Scrooge says:

    Just for BF I found something that can be sold at the company store. http://www.livescience.com/14669-poop-meat-safety.html this of course before soylent green

    Like

  28. Ed Darrell says:

    Human population isn’t a problem, because human ingenuity is infinite.

    You can tell someone who had never collected garbage nor had to deal with a city sewage treatment plant by their naive faith in humans to emit perfume and manna from their bodies, instead of urine and excrement.

    You’d do well to read the classic history/public health document, Rats, Lice and History by Hans Zinsser.

    Seriously. “Don’t let that tongue wobble around in your head so, kid. Say something useful.”

    Like

  29. Alan Scott says:

    Test Post.

    Like

  30. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag_ None of the links you have provided are to any dataset, publication or validated source that can establish where exactly the resources for a planetary population of even 10 billion will come from.

    Remember, no hand waving arguments allowed. They have to establish that with present diets, resources, land and methods such a food supply is available. And no, simply declaring that everybody will become vegetarians doesn’t work either. It’s never worked before.

    Like

  31. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag_Do you have a way to get seven billion people off the planet Earth and to another suitable and sustainable environment?

    No?

    Then my premise is correct. The Earth is as much an island as Easter Island. I’m sure one of the chieftains on Easter Island argued that they could raid the crops of their neighbors across the island if their own crop failed. Just like your jet planes and cargo ships. It doesn’t increase the total amount of resources.

    The fact that we have seven billion people on the planet today doesn’t mean that the planet can support them next year, in ten years or in a hundred years. We could be a single volcanic eruption away from starving a fat portion of the current global population. It happened in 1816 when the Tambora volcano erupted and it can happen again.

    Like

  32. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    I provide, but with no surprise, you are blind as the facts disturb your little world view of the evils of humanity.

    You are quite anti-human, aren’t you?

    Like

  33. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Does he have an argument based upon data?

    So you dispute there are (or soon) 7 billion people?
    You dispute you live better, longer, and healthier than a world in 1960 of 3 billion?

    So, the question really is:
    Where is your proof that invalidates the reality outside your window
    I guess you can’t open your window and look outside

    Malthus has never been right – but you hold HIS crack pot theory as fact – and argue against human reality that exists right inside your own home.

    Can he manage to understand the idea that the Earth represents an isolated population just as much as Easter Island did; more so in fact.

    Bull crap.

    Easter Islanders were stuck – they did not have jet air planes and cargo ships, nor fields of wheat and corn.

    Nobody needed a tank of air to get off Easter Island but the population still overshot it’s resource base and starved.

    You are talking about a group of people on a small rock in the middle of nowhere as representing the whole earth and the human race.

    You are a madman.

    Like

  34. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag is still hand-waving.

    Does he have an argument based upon data? Can he manage to understand the idea that the Earth represents an isolated population just as much as Easter Island did; more so in fact. Nobody needed a tank of air to get off Easter Island but the population still overshot it’s resource base and starved.

    Stay tuned.

    Like

  35. Black Flag® says:

    http://www.gapminder.org

    Play around here – you just might learn something

    Like

  36. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    You should have a comedy show.

    When presented with logical arguments he resorts to hand waving generalities, sophistry and myth.

    The problem with your logic (well, that has problems too), is that your premise is utterly flawed.

    If you start with an utter ridiculous world view, and apply logic, you end up with a logically consistent utter ridiculous world view!

    Garbage in, Garbage out, no matter how logic you work between beginning and end.

    Like

  37. Pangolin says:

    Threads like this make me wonder why people don’t moderate their boards. Obviously this Black Flag character isn’t remotely sane or subject to logic. When presented with logical arguments he resorts to hand waving generalities, sophistry and myth.

    No numbers, no facts, no data. Spew. (i’m insulting spew here because THAT i can compost)

    Any unmoderated board turns into garbage.

    Demonstrated.

    Like

  38. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    1. Humans cannot live where human wastes proliferate.

    Much to your surprise, no doubt, humans invented sanitation.

    2. Population expands exponentially if food supplies are available to allow such expansion.

    Much to your surprise, no doubt, humans invented food storage.

    3. Population crashes dramatically if exponential population expansion continues unabated by any cause.

    Much to your surprise, no doubt, human population has never done in recorded history – even considering ~1350 plague.

    Like

  39. Ed Darrell says:

    So you, too, believe humans are no different from yeast…..?

    In many ways — in addition to the fact that we share genes.

    1. Humans cannot live where human wastes proliferate. This is exactly the same as yeasts, who produce (as waste) alcohol from the sugars they consume. Ultimately the alcohol kills the yeasts, and fermentation stops.

    Humans forced to live in human wastes also expire.

    2. Population expands exponentially if food supplies are available to allow such expansion.

    3. Population crashes dramatically if exponential population expansion continues unabated by any cause.

    All living things are alike in important ways. With reference to the concept of carrying capacity — which I gather you sill haven’t bothered to read about — almost all living things face the same general problems.

    Like

  40. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    eally, the whole tone of this thread is easily explained if you just realize that Black Flag has confused “human ingenuity” with “human stupidity.” After all, there are an infinite number of wrong answers and a very limited number of correct ones.

    Again, you are wrong.

    There are an infinite number of right answers to every problem, but it only takes one answer out of that infinite to actually resolve it – you don’t need the other billion right answers once the problem no longer exists.

    So, we humans, choose – (Latin root: to cut away) – to choose between all those answers to the one we think will solve it the best.

    Much of that is subjective, and perhaps personal – but that is what humans do we make choices, and we use our intellect to make better choices.

    …unlike yeast.

    Like

  41. Pangolin says:

    Humans solve problems – the system is never closed when human ingenuity is infinite._BF

    Really, the whole tone of this thread is easily explained if you just realize that Black Flag has confused “human ingenuity” with “human stupidity.” After all, there are an infinite number of wrong answers and a very limited number of correct ones.

    By limiting his arguments to hand-waving generalizations Black Flag never has to deal with those nasty Facts that give conservative thinkers such fits. He can throw out all the stupid answers he wants to and never worry about any fact-checking liberals that might call his b.s.

    Like

  42. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    One of the more classic examples of carrying capacity and polluting one’s own species to death. Good catch.

    So you, too, believe humans are no different from yeast…..?

    Yeast do not solve yeast problems. They just do what they do – they have no mind.

    Humans solve human problems. We have a mind and are thoughtful…well, except you two it seems….

    Like

  43. Ed Darrell says:

    For about ten minutes before the alcohol produced by yeast in a wine ferment kills all the yeast. After all they’d been doubling their numbers every few hours for some time now; they had every expectation that they could do this forever. (in yeast lifetimes) Except for that nasty bit about the bottle being sealed.

    One of the more classic examples of carrying capacity and polluting one’s own species to death. Good catch.

    Like

  44. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    The more humans, the more ingenuity, innovation, genius – the better for humans._BF

    Which could be restated as…..

    “The more yeast, the more ingenuity, innovation, genius – the better for yeast.”

    Leave it to you to think humans are nothing more than yeast.

    You totally confirmed your anti-human psychosis.

    Humans solve problems – the system is never closed when human ingenuity is infinite.

    Like

  45. Pangolin says:

    Well, it’s nice to see we’ve turned away from that nasty “evidence” and have once again resorted to hand waving.

    The more humans, the more ingenuity, innovation, genius – the better for humans._BF

    Which could be restated as…..

    “The more yeast, the more ingenuity, innovation, genius – the better for yeast.”

    For about ten minutes before the alcohol produced by yeast in a wine ferment kills all the yeast. After all they’d been doubling their numbers every few hours for some time now; they had every expectation that they could do this forever. (in yeast lifetimes) Except for that nasty bit about the bottle being sealed.

    Sorry BF but as far as humans are concerned the Earth is as much a closed system as yeast and sugar water in a carboy. Resources are limited and physics ALWAYS wins.

    But keep up with the hand waving generalizations; I’m sure they comfort you in the absence of evidence.

    Like

  46. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Can the earth support seven billion now, and the three billion people who are expected to be added by the end of this century? Are the enormous increases in households, cities, material consumption and waste compatible with dignity, health, environmental quality and freedom from poverty?

    Yet, he ignores the fact that mankind is healthier, richer, lives longer than any other time in history – in direct correlation with the size of the human race.

    The more humans, the more ingenuity, innovation, genius – the better for humans.

    Like

  47. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    For example:

    Even in the United States, the proportion of the gross domestic product spent on Social Security and Medicare is projected to rise to 14.5 percent in 2050, from 8.4 percent this year.

    So, what does this have to do with over population and carrying capacity?

    It wouldn’t matter if the US population was 2 billion or 10 million – if a government perversely subsidizes Not Working by taking money from the Working, you will get a lot more of the first group and less and less in the second group.

    This is a fact of human action and economics.

    Like

  48. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    These are not carrying capacity issues? By all means, show us what is causing the starvation other than lack of food at that spot.

    That’s the point – it has nothing to do with “carrying capacity” or “over population”.

    It has to do with a lack of a road and delivery of food.

    It is NOT a “carrying capacity” issue for human population just because Ed’ cupboard is bare.

    Like

  49. Ed Darrell says:

    Your examples are dominated by perversions of government – not of some “carrying capacity”.

    Unlike you, BF, I sometimes make mistakes.

    But I don’t admit to mistakes that are not shown clearly. These are not carrying capacity issues? By all means, show us what is causing the starvation other than lack of food at that spot.

    ::getting popcorn; it won’t be interesting because BF isn’t up to such a challenge — I just like popcorn::

    Like

  50. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    Each due to the human population hitting the carrying capacity.

    Utter nonsense!

    Your examples are dominated by perversions of government – not of some “carrying capacity”.

    Population isn’t a problem, if resources are infinite and distribution is easy.

    Human population isn’t a problem, because human ingenuity is infinite.

    Like

  51. Ed Darrell says:

    Repeatedly, BF said:

    …not due one darn bit to over populations

    Each due to the human population hitting the carrying capacity.

    Population isn’t a problem, if resources are infinite and distribution is easy.

    Carrying capacity is a measure of the limits of resources and resource distribution, not population.

    Population, in excess of carrying capacity, is “over population,” even if it’s only a dozen individuals.

    Like

  52. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,

    October 29, 1929.

    …not caused by over population

    Andrew Mellon.

    …not caused by over population

    Like

  53. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,.

    Famine in North Korea, now.

    …not due one darn bit to over populations

    Famine in Somalia, now.

    …not due one darn bit to over populations

    Sahel food crisis. Now.

    …not due one darn bit to over populations

    Food crisis in Kenya, a “rich” African nation — still.

    …not due one darn bit to over populations

    Malawi, Zambia, Niger. Today.

    …not due one darn bit to over populations

    Ignorance, intentional or not, won’t make it go away, won’t ease the pain and reduce the swelling of those children’s stomachs.

    …not due one darn bit to over populations.

    Lots to do with the machinations of government action, though.

    Like

  54. Black Flag® says:

    The guy who names himself after a commercial poison sold for abuse said

    :

    hahahaha, good one.

    At least I’m not named after a talking horse.

    Which only means that we have no farmer looking out for us to prevent our running smash into the limits of carrying capacity for our area, region, continent or planet.

    What a bizarre belief!!!

    They are looking out for you – the abundance of food -at the lowest cost per calorie in human history sits on your table is your proof!

    I pointed out: “Not only was Malthus right, there have been some stunning demonstrations of just how dire population crashes can be. The Kaibab Plateau Disaster of 1941, for one.”

    …which has nothing to do with over population.

    Oh, I forgot, I’m talking to a guy who has a hard time with spitting in the ocean as it may raise sea levels….

    I don’t think that’s accurate. Show us your figures — worldwide, the population of mule deer was dramatically reduced in 1942 from 1941. It took many years to recover.

    I bloody do not care about mule deer – they are NOT a measure of how human beings act or the ingenuity of humans whatsoever.

    As I pointed out, you confuse “mule deer” with “human beings”, which is why you get your answers wrong.

    Like

  55. Ed Darrell says:

    Famine in North Korea, now.

    Famine in Somalia, now.

    Sahel food crisis. Now.

    Food crisis in Kenya, a “rich” African nation — still.

    Malawi, Zambia, Niger. Today.

    Ignorance, intentional or not, won’t make it go away, won’t ease the pain and reduce the swelling of those children’s stomachs.

    Like

  56. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    What “morality” do you believe you are promoting?
    One of organized theft under the guise of “law”?

    Or is your politics as perverse as your understanding of economics?

    Like

  57. Ed Darrell says:

    The guy who names himself after a commercial poison sold for abuse said:

    We are not cows.

    Which only means that we have no farmer looking out for us to prevent our running smash into the limits of carrying capacity for our area, region, continent or planet.

    I pointed out: “Not only was Malthus right, there have been some stunning demonstrations of just how dire population crashes can be. The Kaibab Plateau Disaster of 1941, for one.”

    BF said:

    We are not cows.

    Not only was Malthus right, there have been some stunning demonstrations of just how dire population crashes can be. The Kaibab Plateau Disaster of 1941, for one.

    Yet, the global population in 1942 was larger than in 1941 – go figure!

    I don’t think that’s accurate. Show us your figures — worldwide, the population of mule deer was dramatically reduced in 1942 from 1941. It took many years to recover.

    Do you have any population experts anywhere who argue that carrying capacity is not a limit to growth? I’d like to see their research. BF, are you giving just BS, or is there anyone who supports your rant, who knows more than you do?

    Yet, the global population in 1942 was larger than in 1941 – go figure!

    Like

  58. Jim says:

    Ohhhhhh! My apologies, Flag. My mistake.

    You ignored it. I didn’t understand. Looks like I am the one with egg on my face. Very obtuse tonight! So sorry.

    I can see why you ignored it. Moral accountability can be awfully uncomfortable in a me-first world.

    Cheers!

    Like

  59. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    I didn’t miss your point – I ignored it.

    But it appears you can’t understand that.

    Like

  60. Jim says:

    Sorry, Flag. You did miss my point. Either that, or you’re even dumber than Ed and Pangolin are making you look.

    I’m claiming the first option. I like to believe the best.

    Cheers!

    Like

  61. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,
    A famine in China has absolutely nothing to do with “over” population as you lamely try to infer.

    Like

  62. Black Flag® says:

    During the Railway boom, a bean-pusher sounded an alarm.

    The rate that the railway ties needed replacing, considering the growing size of the railways system, that all the trees in North America would be cut down with a few years.

    The alarm raced across the country – the end of the national expansion, the end of the railways – the end of progress.

    Yet, which must seem bizarre to Ed and Pang, there are millions of trees in North America today. They were not cut down for railway ties.

    …because the same year this post-Malthusian alarm was sounded, creosote was discovered, which extended the life of a railway tie from a couple of years to 20 years or more.

    Over and over and over again, human problems are solved by human solutions and progress expands and continues.

    Ed and Pang cannot know what ‘discovery’ or ‘invention’ will solve some unstated human problem – therefore, they scream “We are Doomed!!”

    But there they sit, warm and cozy in their homes, pounding on a computer their drivel, completely obvious to how that all came about.

    Like

  63. Black Flag® says:

    Jim,

    No I didn’t miss your point at all – I utterly ignored your purposeless rant about some bizarre concept you hold of economics and politics.

    Like

  64. Black Flag® says:

    Ed

    Standard deviations don’t work? We cannot predict, with any accuracy, how much a person needs to eat to stay alive? You get crazier and crazier, BF.

    What is your crackpot reason you think that -somehow- can be interpreted to your ability to know future human ingenuity or -in your case- your inferred claim that it is lacking!?

    That same calculation is what made Malthus utterly wrong – your simpleton linear extrapolations ignore the fundamental component the human ability to solve problems

    populations as a group are as predictable as rocks, in many things.

    No they are not! The best that can be said is in the most general of terms – such as “People prefer pleasure to pain”

    All living things must consume something to live and reproduce. If there is an abundance of food and a lack of predation, populations will rise exponentially. If there is no check on population rise, because food supplies rise linearally, there will come a time when population increase dramatically outstrips food supply, and there will be a crash. Malthus was right.

    No, he was and always will be WRONG

    We are NOT cows or lemmings.

    We are HUMAN BEINGS.

    A cow cannot solve its problem of a lack of food supply by getting a truck and driving it to Florida to pick up some oranges.

    Humans do such things.

    This is the vital point that your Malthusian crackpottery ignores. Human ingenuity solves human problems

    Like

  65. Jim says:

    I think he missed the point of my post entirely. But it seems Flag is missing quite a bit. And, whenever you are backed into a corner and unable to reason or persuade your way out, cry, “Strawman!”.

    Lovely…

    Like

  66. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    Black Flag claims that the fact that micro-populations overwhelm the ability of their resource base has no reflection on the macro-population.

    Pang, human population has grown unabated for over 500 years, and there is no reason -at all- to concern one’s self about it.

    A famine “here” does not make “over population” a fact, let alone a problem.

    He claims the fact that Earth has a limited resource base of land, arable land and fresh water has no bearing on global human population levels.

    Nope – it has never been a problem – because human ingenuity solves such problems, and there is absolutely NO reason to believe that suddenly human ingenuity is decreasing!! Indeed, the speed of our capability is increasing geometrically.

    Even a globe with a population of humans in the billions.

    He ignores the fact that the per-capita resource base is falling rapidly.

    Bullcrap.

    This is the same horse-butt stuff Ehrlich made up – and utterly proven wrong about it.

    We haven’t even discussed the fact that the resource base access is horribly skewed towards the wealthy.

    Duh!

    You allocate resources one of two ways:
    -by price- called economics
    -by the gun- called politics.

    There is no third way.

    By the market place or by a machine gun- which one works best for you?

    Like

  67. Pangolin says:

    Black Flag claims that the fact that micro-populations overwhelm the ability of their resource base has no reflection on the macro-population.

    He claims the fact that Earth has a limited resource base of land, arable land and fresh water has no bearing on global human population levels. Even a globe with a population of humans in the billions.

    He ignores the fact that the per-capita resource base is falling rapidly. We haven’t even discussed the fact that the resource base access is horribly skewed towards the wealthy.

    This is an argument with a madman. The inherent problem with open internet communications that I am seeing everywhere. Without unique identifiers there is no way to weed out those that simply do not respond to rational argument.

    Like

  68. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    The problem with conservative “scienze” (sp deliberate) is that they pretend that you can just pick and choose what data you look at as long as they fit your predetermined conclusion.

    Coming from a guy who is still confused to what science “is” and the Scientific Method!

    When population pressure pushes towns and cities further and further up the slopes of a volcano it isn’t, according to conservatives, a Malthusian correction when said volcano blows and buries 100k people under 40 ft of mud and ash. That was something, anything, but Malthus being right.

    Of course Malthus is NOT right!

    To claim that “over population” makes the volcano disaster possible is BIZARRE.

    People have ALWAYS lived around volcanoes – for the soil is fertile.

    It only counts if the population of the entire globe drops. (because population crashes of isolated peoples prove Malthus right)

    Correct – that is what counts for “global” human population – because, well the word “global” means sorta that..!

    Malthus has NEVER been right.

    He did not attribute localized disasters to be caused by over population and neither did Erhlich!

    Of course, even if the global population DID drop by 5% or 10% in a year its still wouldn’t count as a proof to them because it’s a matter of tribal faith and identity that scientists, especially ‘liberal’ scientists, are always wrong.

    Your confused mind regarding science makes no sense.

    Just like with anthropogenic climate change it doesn’t matter if we run the experiment

    Pray tell!
    What experiment??

    and collect the data. They will feel free to reject the results anyway.

    The results do not confirm your hypothesis!.

    That’s the point, Pang!!!

    The data has falsified your hypothesis!

    Like

  69. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    According to Black Flag……

    There is no limit to the surface area of the earth

    Ridiculous straw man!

    No limit to the land area of the earth

    Ridiculous straw man!

    No limit to arable land

    Ridiculous straw man!

    No limit to fresh water supplies

    Ridiculous straw man!

    No genetic limits such as monoculture crops being vulnerable to evolution in bacteria, virus, fungi and insect strains.

    Probably not – there are millions of different life forms on Earth – there is no argument that makes this number static or fixed.

    No energy limits to providing fuel for agriculture or nitrate fertilizers

    Gawd, man!
    The entire Universe is almost all energy! You are bizarre believing there are “limits” to it!!

    No mineral limits such as sources of concentrated phosphate and magnesium

    Ridiculous straw man!

    There are NO limits within the human experience on any of these things!

    The great wager of Ehrlich – that he lost – was based on this – and yet! his crackpottery still sways you!

    No energy limits such as the limited ability for chloroplasts in cells to convert energy into sunlight

    Ridiculous straw man!

    There is no “limited” ability in plant growth! You missing something???

    No energy limits to sunlight (doesn’t infinite growth imply infinite energy?)

    Ridiculous!

    The sun has been around for BILLIONS of years and will be around for BILLIONS of years more!

    To feel threatened by its “exhaustion” is RIDICULOUS!

    No thermal !limits: above or below a very narrow temperature band plants do not produce chemical energy from sunlight.

    Ridiculous!

    The Earth has been around, supporting life, for millions of years – but you feel threatened!!!

    Growth can just go on forever because “humans solve problems.”

    Absolutely!

    Uh, huh; go tell that to the big pointy heads on Easter Island. Go whisper it to the fig-encrusted temples of Angkor Wat. Go tell it to the jungle mounded Mayan temples of the Yucatan.

    Ridiculous straw man!

    Civilizations come and go, yet there is more of us “humans” then ever before

    Humans DON’T solve every problem in time.

    We don’t have to – there is lots of time.

    Like

  70. Black Flag® says:

    Scrooge

    “We act till proven wrong”. I think a better analogy is you act till you go over a cliff.

    Humanity is not blind nor stupid, just some people.

    And then leave it for others to fix

    Oh dear -problems!!

    That is the Universal condition – every solution creates a new problem – much less “worse” than the former – which other humans solve – which creates another problem – which other humans solve…. the essence of progress

    You enjoy it, but you are blind to it.

    Overpopulation is caused by “illegal immigration” now that fruit is hanging so low it seems to have been ignored

    Why is immigration illegal?

    It is prudent to move from where you find little opportunity to where there is plenty!

    Like

  71. Pangolin says:

    The problem with conservative “scienze” (sp deliberate) is that they pretend that you can just pick and choose what data you look at as long as they fit your predetermined conclusion.

    When population pressure pushes towns and cities further and further up the slopes of a volcano it isn’t, according to conservatives, a Malthusian correction when said volcano blows and buries 100k people under 40 ft of mud and ash. That was something, anything, but Malthus being right.

    It only counts if the population of the entire globe drops. (because population crashes of isolated peoples prove Malthus right)

    Of course, even if the global population DID drop by 5% or 10% in a year its still wouldn’t count as a proof to them because it’s a matter of tribal faith and identity that scientists, especially ‘liberal’ scientists, are always wrong.

    Just like with anthropogenic climate change it doesn’t matter if we run the experiment and collect the data. They will feel free to reject the results anyway.

    Like

  72. Scrooge says:

    “We act till proven wrong”. I think a better analogy is you act till you go over a cliff. And then leave it for others to fix. Overpopulation is caused by “illegal immigration” now that fruit is hanging so low it seems to have been ignored.

    Like

  73. Pangolin says:

    According to Black Flag……

    There is no limit to the surface area of the earth
    No limit to the land area of the earth
    No limit to arable land
    No limit to fresh water supplies
    No genetic limits such as monoculture crops being vulnerable to evolution in bacteria, virus, fungi and insect strains.
    No energy limits to providing fuel for agriculture or nitrate fertilizers
    No mineral limits such as sources of concentrated phosphate and magnesium
    No energy limits such as the limited ability for chloroplasts in cells to convert energy into sunlight
    No energy limits to sunlight (doesn’t infinite growth imply infinite energy?)
    No thermal limits: above or below a very narrow temperature band plants do not produce chemical energy from sunlight.

    Growth can just go on forever because “humans solve problems.” Uh, huh; go tell that to the big pointy heads on Easter Island. Go whisper it to the fig-encrusted temples of Angkor Wat. Go tell it to the jungle mounded Mayan temples of the Yucatan.

    Humans DON’T solve every problem in time.

    Like

  74. Black Flag® says:

    James,

    The same irrational garbage keeps on getting spouted and it never wins, Black?

    Oh you mean like supply side economics, trickle down and cutting taxes to the rich benefits everyone else?

    There is no “supply” side economics – there is just “economics”.

    Cutting taxes ALWAYS improves economic outcomes – instead of taking from the productive to give to the unproductive – an act of ECONOMIC DESTRUCTION – you maintain the wealth in the hands who created it.

    You might want to turn on your brain long enough, you witless dolt, to ask yourself this question: What if I’m wrong?

    Ah, the old fallacy of the precautionary non-action!

    No, we act until proven wrong – that is called “progress”

    Your method means you freeze to death in winter, if you just sit there afraid to cut down a tree for firewood.

    Like

  75. Black Flag® says:

    Jim

    we can probably solve the overpopulation problem.

    Actually, unless it is global nuclear annihilation, probably not.

    During 1940-1945, arguably the worst war in human history, the human population grew.

    1930, 2 billion
    1940 2.3 billion
    1950 2.5 billion

    Since at least the 1600, the human population has gotten larger, never smaller.

    Like

  76. Black Flag® says:

    Scrooge

    And if food, drought, and famine aren’t enough. http://www.livescience.com/16713-7-billion-people-world-poop-problem.html

    Hilarious!

    But we don’t have any problems with 6,999,999,999 people!

    You are a funny guy!

    Like

  77. Black Flag® says:

    Ed,
    You are one crazy coot!

    Black Flag once again demonstrates complete disregard for all science, history, and research:

    Gee, Ed – the population gets larger, healthier, richer and longer living … which to you, a human-hater, is a bad thing.

    It’s a key principle of wildlife management, called “carrying capacity.”

    Clue to Ed;

    We are not cows.

    Not only was Malthus right, there have been some stunning demonstrations of just how dire population crashes can be. The Kaibab Plateau Disaster of 1941, for one.

    Yet, the global population in 1942 was larger than in 1941 – go figure!

    Like

  78. Jim says:

    ::: munching popcorn :::

    This is fun.

    It occurs to me, if we simply embrace the me-first and endless wars of choice ethics of most conservatives…we can probably solve the overpopulation problem.

    Flag, Alan, Rush…you guys just might be onto something here. You might want someone less competent as commander in chief, however. The current guy’s not my idea of great, but he’s getting things done pretty effectively when compared with The Decider.

    So that’s it, then. A vote for Rick Perry is a vote against overpopulation!

    Who knew?

    Like

  79. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    Sorry Black Flag but we don’t get another agricultural miracle that puts millions more acres under irrigation in the period from 2000-2050.

    Of course we do!

    It happens everyday, but you are completely unaware!

    Every year, less land is used to supply more food – and that is a fact, whether or not facts penetrate your skull.

    That simply isn’t going to happen.

    Why not? It’s been happening for centuries.

    Converting rangeland to irrigated wheat is only a conversion you get to do once.

    No, you can reuse the land over and over again. It’s not going anywhere.

    Converting tropical forest to cropland is a conversion you get to do once.Converting traditionally farmed land to petrochemical dependent monocultures is a conversion you only get to do once. Eventually you run out of land.

    Nonsense!

    You are a single dimensional thinker.

    Actually, we’re going to loose much of the currently irrigated land because the water sources they were using was deep fossil aquifers that have recharge rates in the tens of thousands of years. We’re losing agricultural land not gaining it. We’re losing ground on global grain reserves not gaining.

    Where is the water going? You do know that it does not leave the planet, right?
    You believe that conditions that prevailed yesterday will continue tomorrow despite evidence to the contrary.

    Hilarious!
    What evidence to the contrary??!?!?!?
    ..or have you failed to notice the human population is getting larger!!

    …which means your doomsday scenarios do not occur, have not occurred and regardless of your mindless proclamations, will not occur!

    I stand on centuries of evidence – you do not even have a crumb!

    Like

  80. Black Flag® says:

    Pang

    What kind of myopic existence do you live in where there is “no catastrophe” involving humans living on the edge of environmental capacity.

    Bangladesh and Burma are two recent examples where untold thousands have died in recent cyclones because the marginal land they live(d) on flooded.

    Nonsense!

    That is NOT a problem with “over population” nor with anything of the sort.

    People tend to live near shorelines everywhere on EarthBy 2010, 80 per cent of people will live within 60 miles of the coast.

    So it to claim that such disasters are because of “over population” is ridiculous. Such disaster would occur regardless of population size because that is where most people live …NEAR WATER.

    There is famine, again, in East Africa.

    Again, has absolutely NOTHING to do with “over population”, but a failure of infrastructure to ship food – most of it caused by government!

    If Texas and Oklahoma had to rely on their own crop production the populations there would have starved.

    Nonsense!

    It is because it is cheaper to grow food elsewhere and ship it to Texas, and Texas has more economical things to do with their land then to plant food

    The planet is a sphere. Humans live on a distinct minority portion of it’s surface area. The rest of it is pretty much inhospitable due to temperature extremes, lack of rainfall or the fact that it’s salt water or ice.

    So what? Humans still live in the Arctic and in the Sahara!

    Sure we could grow more food. But population growth will overwhelm THAT food supply also.

    Utter nonsense!
    Such claims of the Malthusians have never come to pass – because you fail to understand human ingenuity.

    Math always wins.

    Nonsense!
    Math is not a game!

    Apply an equation where such equation is nonsense, math will give you a perfectly nonsensical answer!

    As long as the long term average of the human population trends to growth there will be an overshoot and die-off.

    Nonsense~!

    This has been the claim of the anti-human crowd for 2,000 years – yet! – it never happens.

    But these Malthusians are most certainly faithful to their fantasy!

    Like

  81. Alan Scott says:

    I blame all of the world’s over population on illegal immigration into the US and Europe. I can logically prove it . In both Europe and the US population would have leveled off or dropped without illegal immigration . This is a common situation in rich areas .

    The illegal immigration comes from poor areas with high birth rates and high death rates . The poor areas have a limited carrying capacity. Population in those areas levels off when the excess cannot move to better areas .

    Since Progressive-Liberals are for illegal immigration, they are responsible for the Global degradation the expanding human population is causing .

    Like

  82. The same irrational garbage keeps on getting spouted and it never wins, Black?

    Oh you mean like supply side economics, trickle down and cutting taxes to the rich benefits everyone else?

    You might want to turn on your brain long enough, you witless dolt, to ask yourself this question: What if I’m wrong?

    Like

  83. Ed Darrell says:

    There are none so ill-informed as those who assume they know what they’re talking about when they lack most basic clues, who stick their fingers in their ears to prevent any information from entering aurally, who shut their eyes to prevent their seeing anything, and who shout out of turn so no one else can hear, either.

    <blockquote…because no matter how much you chop them, people cannot be modeled mathematically.

    Standard deviations don’t work? We cannot predict, with any accuracy, how much a person needs to eat to stay alive? You get crazier and crazier, BF.

    You can predict what a rock will do – because it has no “self-will” to do anything else.

    Consistency of behavior lends to predictability, yes — populations as a group are as predictable as rocks, in many things. All living things must consume something to live and reproduce. If there is an abundance of food and a lack of predation, populations will rise exponentially. If there is no check on population rise, because food supplies rise linearally, there will come a time when population increase dramatically outstrips food supply, and there will be a crash. Malthus was right.

    But you cannot predict what people will do by using some “formula” on them.

    Many formulas, devised with careful observation over many years, or centuries, can be very, very accurate, especially for groups.

    Humans are ingenious in solving problems – Gawd, man look around you at humanity’s success in doing just that – and TOTALLY CONFOUNDING all your Malthusian nonsense.

    Norman Borlaug happened once. But he didn’t save the Irish in 1841. Malthus is right, and even Borlaug knew it. That’s why Borlaug labored so long, so intently.

    Remember “Limits To Growth”,written 1972?

    Very well, but you obviously didn’t read it, or didn’t read it closely enough.

    Among other things, projections in that book were all prefaced with “If present trends continue.”

    If you keep acting as dumb as a stump, you’ll appear to be a fool, if present trends continue. Will you learn? I can’t predict that.

    It used the same, ugly, grossly simplistic linear models to claim the world was on the verge of collapse.

    It did not claim the world was on the verge of collapse. It used quite complex programs that had intricate feedbacks — no linear predictions — to look at resource use.

    It accurately predicted what would happen, had the then-current trends continued. It predated the Green Revolution, and it assumed that we would not be able to work so hard in the U.S. to get clean air and clean water. The book’s work came before the Clean Air Act and its amendments of the early 1970s, before the Clean Water Act, before Norman Borlaug.

    You don’t have a good grasp of what you’re talking about, BF. Not to mention that no one has argued here anything at all about Malthus. You’re assuming arguments that have not been made.

    Remember these moronic quotes?
    “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    Which scenario was that? You failed to mention that there were several different scenarios presented — or you failed to understand what was going on. If you take all the scenarios, they contradict each other. They were based on different assumptions, which you appear to have missed completely.

    You don’t even tell us from what you’re quoting. Do you know?

    As to famines, how can you have forgotten the Sahel famine, the famines in Somalia, the famines in West Africa, the famines in Korea, and Pakistan? You think famines don’t occur? What planet are you on?

    Consider history, and the real facts. In China alone:

    Chinese scholars had kept count of 1,828 instances of famine since 108 B.C. to 1911 in one province or another — an average of close to one famine per year.[73] From 1333 to 1337 a terrible famine killed 6 million Chinese. The four famines of 1810, 1811, 1846, and 1849 are said to have killed no fewer than 45 million people.[74] The period from 1850 to 1873 saw, as a result of the Taiping Rebellion, drought, and famine, the population of China drop by over 60 million people.[75]

    You pretend those didn’t happen, BF? You do the Marquis de Sade and Vlad the Impaler proud.

    The rest of us are shocked by famine, and hope to prevent more.

    “Four billion people—including 65 million Americans—would perish from famine in the 1980s.”

    That was scenario two, as I recall — can you tell us what the assumptions were? How did those assumptions differ from other scenarios? Can you detail for us why the dire predictions did not come to pass, or came to pass only in limited areas?

    “In ten years [i.e., 1980] all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”

    Pretty accurate, no?

    YET! The same irrational garbage gets repeated over again every decade or so, or when some “magical” population figure hits some irrational psychological relevance like an even number of zeros…because, heck, last year or so there was 6,897,301,034 people and no catastrophe – but god help mankind when we hit 7,000,000,001!

    Yeah, there were those who said the Johnstown Dam would never break, those who argued the Titanic was unsinkable, and those who said the Maginot Line was impregnable. And now you join them.

    No matter how bizarre the claims, no matter how wrong they are, no matter they have NEVER been right….

    …people like you buy into their garbage.

    What garbage is it you claim anyone has bought into here? You disputed the claim that world population is pushing 7 billion (I guess — there are no other claims in the article). Then you went off on a completely unwarranted, unfounded and erroneous rant about Thomas Malthus.

    Who is putting out garbage here? I think no one is buying your garbage.

    Like

  84. Scrooge says:

    And if food, drought, and famine aren’t enough. http://www.livescience.com/16713-7-billion-people-world-poop-problem.html

    Like

  85. Ed Darrell says:

    Black Flag once again demonstrates complete disregard for all science, history, and research:

    Nope, he [Malthus] was totally wrong on his basic premise – which is why his predictions never came about, nor Ehrlich’s predictions, nor Plato’s nor Confucius before him….

    It’s a key principle of wildlife management, called “carrying capacity.” Not only was Malthus right, there have been some stunning demonstrations of just how dire population crashes can be. The Kaibab Plateau Disaster of 1941, for one.

    One could look it up, if one were interested in getting facts straight.

    Like

  86. Pangolin says:

    Sorry Black Flag but we don’t get another agricultural miracle that puts millions more acres under irrigation in the period from 2000-2050. That simply isn’t going to happen. Converting rangeland to irrigated wheat is only a conversion you get to do once. Converting tropical forest to cropland is a conversion you get to do once. Converting traditionally farmed land to petrochemical dependent monocultures is a conversion you only get to do once. Eventually you run out of land.

    Actually, we’re going to loose much of the currently irrigated land because the water sources they were using was deep fossil aquifers that have recharge rates in the tens of thousands of years. We’re losing agricultural land not gaining it. We’re losing ground on global grain reserves not gaining.

    Of course, this whole conversation is pointless because cornucopians, like Climate Change deniers, can’t accept reality. You believe that conditions that prevailed yesterday will continue tomorrow despite evidence to the contrary.

    Like

  87. Pangolin says:

    What kind of myopic existence do you live in where there is “no catastrophe” involving humans living on the edge of environmental capacity.

    Bangladesh and Burma are two recent examples where untold thousands have died in recent cyclones because the marginal land they live(d) on flooded. There is famine, again, in East Africa. If Texas and Oklahoma had to rely on their own crop production the populations there would have starved. Bankok is flooding meaning some vast acreage of cropland isn’t growing anything. Likewise the Mekong delta. The majority of ocean fish species that humans use for food are in major decline and some are endangered. Food riots are becoming more and more common.

    The planet is a sphere. Humans live on a distinct minority portion of it’s surface area. The rest of it is pretty much inhospitable due to temperature extremes, lack of rainfall or the fact that it’s salt water or ice.

    Sure we could grow more food. But population growth will overwhelm THAT food supply also. Math always wins. As long as the long term average of the human population trends to growth there will be an overshoot and die-off.

    Like

  88. Black Flag® says:

    http://people.oregonstate.edu/~muirp/agtrends.htm

    From 1950 to 2000 – the extent of the graph – the amount of agri-land has been essentially static, yet, confounding your theory, the human population has continued to grow.

    In about the same period of time, the yields from the land has gone up 2,500%

    By 2004, the amount of land to grow food decreased from the amount of land used in 1984 – that is, allowed to go fallow.

    Like

  89. Black Flag® says:

    Pang,

    Malthus was always right on his basic premise

    Nope, he was totally wrong on his basic premise – which is why his predictions never came about, nor Ehrlich’s predictions, nor Plato’s nor Confucius before him….

    because no matter how you chop it up the math simply doesn’t go away.

    …because no matter how much you chop them, people cannot be modeled mathematically.

    You can predict what a rock will do – because it has no “self-will” to do anything else.

    But you cannot predict what people will do by using some “formula” on them.

    Humans are ingenious in solving problems – Gawd, man look around you at humanity’s success in doing just that – and TOTALLY CONFOUNDING all your Malthusian nonsense.

    Remember “Limits To Growth”,written 1972?

    It used the same, ugly, grossly simplistic linear models to claim the world was on the verge of collapse.

    Remember these moronic quotes?
    “The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”

    “Four billion people—including 65 million Americans—would perish from famine in the 1980s.”

    “In ten years [i.e., 1980] all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”

    YET! The same irrational garbage gets repeated over again every decade or so, or when some “magical” population figure hits some irrational psychological relevance like an even number of zeros…because, heck, last year or so there was 6,897,301,034 people and no catastrophe – but god help mankind when we hit 7,000,000,001!

    No matter how bizarre the claims, no matter how wrong they are, no matter they have NEVER been right….

    …people like you buy into their garbage.

    Like

  90. Pangolin says:

    http://one-simple-idea.com/Environment1.htm

    In 1959, there were 12.16 acres per person, world-wide (i.e. 36.48 billion acres / 3 billion people).
    In 2006, there were 5.46 acres per person, world-wide (i.e. 36.48 billion acres / 6.68 billion people).
    By 2039, there may be only 2.81 acres per person, world-wide (i.e. 36.48 billion acres / 13 billion people).

    The U.S. has 3.794 million square miles, of which 3.54 million square miles is land area (for a fast growing U.S. population of 300 million people as of the end of year 2006).
    That is only 8.09 acres per person in the U.S.
    However, only about a quarter of that is arable land.
    That means there are only about 2.02 acres per person of arable land in the U.S.

    However, consider that there is only 12 million square miles (7.68 billion acres) of arable land on the planet.
    And, ignore for a moment that arable land is being lost at a rate of 38,610 square miles per year.
    That is, lets assume no arable land is being lost for the next 33 years. Then . . .

    In 2006, there was 1.15 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e. 7.68 billion acres / 6.68 billion people).
    By 2039, there may be only 0.59 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e. 7.68 billion acres / 13 billion people).

    However, arable land is being lost at the alarming rate of over 38,610 square miles (24.7 million acres) per year.
    Therefore, by 2039, there may be only 0.53 acres of arable land per person, world-wide (i.e. 6.865 billion acres / 13 billion people).
    At the current rate of loss of 38,610 square miles per year of arable land, and even if the population didn’t grow any larger, ALL arable land could be lost in only 310 years (12 million square miles / 38,610 square miles per year)!

    Malthus was always right on his basic premise because no matter how you chop it up the math simply doesn’t go away. Doubling crop yields per acre and tripling the population doesn’t get you very far. You will run out of acres or the limits of the physics of a plant’s ability to capture energy at some point.

    Like

  91. Ed Darrell says:

    Black Flag calls our current planetary population figure “more Malthusian bullcrap.”

    By which we can determine:

    A. BF didn’t bother to read the piece, because
    B. There’s no value judgment case in any quoted material.
    C. BF is bad at math; he’s the only one of 7 billion people to dispute the total.
    D. BF probably has not read Malthus, either.

    Like

  92. Scrooge says:

    Population is an interesting topic to talk about but I’m afraid that’s all that can be done. Like any species humans will multiply as long as mother nature allows it to. Humans cannot kill its host but the host can kill humans. We are lucky to live in the U.S. Because of the food supply. Of course there are ways to fix the problem. But I don’t think the world will settle for a logans run scenario.

    Like

  93. mark says:

    Fortunately for them, one of our remarkable presidential candidates has declared he has plan that will create “billions and billions” of jobs.

    Like

  94. Black Flag® says:

    More Malthusian bullcrap.

    You live richer, healthier and longer than a man did when there was only a billion people – and you don’t even understand why.

    Humans solve problems.

    Every solution to a problem creates a new problem. This is a law of the Universe.

    Human solutions to current problems creates a new problem that is easier to solve then the former – this is called “progress”.

    More people, more problem solvers.

    You get richer.

    Like

  95. [...] Borrowed with express permission from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. [...]

    Like

  96. [...] Borrowed with express permission from Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub. . [...]

    Like

Play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,337 other followers

%d bloggers like this: