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A-L-E-X
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

09 Dec 2018 03:06

Stellarator wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I wonder what would be the main cause of a lower fertility?

Nothing biological - sexual education is usually deemed the primary cause of a lower worldwide birthrate. The practice of safe-sex and a general awareness of gender rights and sex facts lowers conception resulting in birth, as we can see in the population schemata for European and N. American countries.

More sanitation means less infant mortality, so mothers and fathers don't practice the medieval but sadly necessary method of having many, many children so that they can compensate for predicted child-deaths due to unsafe and unclean living conditions.  As more people grow to an old age, and less people are born to statistically replace them, and so the population levels out and plateaus. We hope that this happens at a 12 billion mark.  

The countries that have a very high birth rate are those we consider 'third world', including many African and Asian/middle-east countries. Many are making a transition to placing more value on educating their people on these matters, so there is hope. As Watsisname said, overpopulation is a self-managing statistical system that has its scare-value largely mitigated to the seventies and eighties. :)

haha I thought by lower fertility they meant lower sperm counts and perhaps some sort of hormonal imbalance.
Yes it's the developing world which still needs to make the transition.  I saw Yemen was on the list of countries with a huge birth rate, but sadly they need it, because Saudi Arabia is committing atrocities to their children over there, bombing schools and hospitals......
 
Mr. Abner
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

09 Dec 2018 16:51

We'll still be eating cheeseburgers. It's just that they'll be made of crickets, grasshoppers, and maggots.

"Soylent Green! It's made of.... insects!" :p
 
A-L-E-X
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

09 Dec 2018 19:01

I knew I remembered this study from somewhere, now I finally found it- they're not talking about having no children at all, but the environmental benefit of just one less child per family.  An official at our own NOAA made this point also, just last year.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/arti ... the-planet

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... CMP=twt_gu

https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/ ... -2017.html

So when a new study came out today suggesting that having fewer kids is the most effective way to reduce our carbon emissions—sparking media headlines like "Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children" in The Guardian—I had to stop what I was doing and read it. It notes that a US family choosing to have one fewer child would be responsible for the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teens who "adopt comprehensive recycling" for the rest of their lives.

With the global population projected to reach 11.2 billion by the year 2100, up from 7.6 billion today, there are urgent questions about how we'll feed, clothe, house, and provide medical care for so many people in the face of climate change and its accompanying threats, including sea level rise, ocean acidification, and desertification.

And, while the new paper doesn't go so far, I've heard it suggested before that having kids is environmentally unconscionable—that parents are selfish to bring more people onto an already overcrowded planet, to gobble up more of our resources. This study predictably re-ignited a long-simmering debate.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/arti ... healthcare

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ ... etwitterus

the paper

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... 326/aa7541

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/ ... the-planet

another study

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/prog ... nStudy.pdf

Stefanie Weiss, a writer in her mid-40s based in New York City, also decided to be child-free out of concern for the environment."Years ago, there was a study I learned about," Weiss told Broadly, referencing a 2008 study from a pair of researchers at Oregon State University. "There's this number, 9,441. That's the amount of additional metric tons of carbon you add to the atmosphere for every child you have. You can never take it back. That stopped me in my tracks."

There's this number, 9,441. That's the amount of additional metric tons of carbon you add to the atmosphere for every child you have.

That same study put those 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide into perspective: If a typical American decided to recycle newspapers, magazines, glass, plastic, aluminum, and steel cans over the course of her entire life, she would save the environment from just 17 metric tons of carbon emissions.

https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 69886.html

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... a7541/meta

And the proliferating organisations arguing we should consider smaller families are being bolstered by recent reports. A major study last year concluded that not having children is one of the most effective ways of cutting our carbon footprint, and that a US family who chooses to have one fewer child would provide the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teenagers who recycle for the rest of their lives. 

Last year researchers recommended four ways to contribute to lowering our emissions, including having one fewer child – the equivalent of 58.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. The other three suggestions – avoiding aeroplane travel, ditching the car and eating a plant-based diet – totalled a fraction of the emissions of having a child. 

https://www.independent.co.uk/environme ... 37961.html

Having children is the most destructive thing a person can to do to the environment, according to a new study.

Researchers from Lund University in Sweden found having one fewer child per family can save “an average of 58.6 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year”.

Eating meat, driving a car and travelling by aeroplane made up the list of the most polluting things people can do to the planet.

But having children was top, according to the new study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

Read more
 
Carbon maps reveal those causing the most and least climate change
 
Government’s own experts slam its lack of action on climate change
 
Key environmental pledge feared shelved on Gove's return
“A US family who chooses to have one fewer child would provide the same level of emissions reductions as 684 teenagers who choose to adopt comprehensive recycling for the rest of their lives,” it said.

Lead author Seth Wynes told The Local: “We found there are four actions that could result in substantial decreases in an individual's carbon footprint: eating a plant-based diet, avoiding air travel, living car free and having smaller families.

“For example, living car-free saves about 2.4 tonnes of C02 equivalent per year, while eating a plant-based diet saves 0.8 tonnes of C02 equivalent a year.” 

The paper, which studied analysed 39-peer reviewed journals studying the environmental policies of several major economies, found most governments focused on incremental changes which have “much smaller potential to reduce emissions”.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... r-children


http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/ ... -you-about

Recycling and using public transit are all fine and good if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, but to truly make a difference you should have fewer children. That’s the conclusion of a new study in which researchers looked at 39 peer-reviewed papers, government reports, and web-based programs that assess how an individual’s lifestyle choices might shrink their personal share of emissions.

Many commonly promoted options, such as washing clothes in cold water or swapping incandescent bulbs for light-emitting diodes, have only a moderate impact (see chart, below), the team reports today in Environmental Research Letters. But four lifestyle choices had a major impact: Become a vegetarian, forego air travel, ditch your car, and—most significantly—have fewer children.

http://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541

Eating no meat cuts an individual’s carbon footprint by 820 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, on average, about four times the reduction they’d get by recycling as much as possible. (Emissions generated by eating meat result, in large part, from the large amounts of energy needed to grow, harvest, and process feed crops.) Foregoing one round-trip transatlantic flight each year would cut a person’s emissions of CO2 by 1600 kilograms. Getting rid of their car would reduce emissions by 2400 kilograms, or 2.4 metric tons. And by choosing to have one fewer child in their family, a person would trim their carbon footprint by a whopping 58.6 metric tons—about the same emissions savings as having nearly 700 teenagers recycle as much as possible for the rest of their lives.

https://slate.com/technology/2007/09/sh ... nment.html

https://globalnews.ca/news/3595511/clim ... -children/

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.10 ... rlaa7541s1

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-best-w ... s-children

https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-best-w ... s-children

https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aa7541

https://www.kinder-world.org/articles/y ... rint-19883

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... t-on-earth

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -less-meat

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.

The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% – an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined – and still feed the world. Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority – 83% – of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans. The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tists-warn
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... mals-study

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1711842115

http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg3/ ... hp?idp=115


Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet.

The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds.

The new work is the first comprehensive estimate of the weight of every class of living creature and overturns some long-held assumptions. Bacteria are indeed a major life form – 13% of everything – but plants overshadow everything, representing 82% of all living matter. All other creatures, from insects to fungi, to fish and animals, make up just 5% of the world’s biomass.

Another surprise is that the teeming life revealed in the oceans by the recent BBC television series Blue Planet II turns out to represent just 1% of all biomass. The vast majority of life is land-based and a large chunk – an eighth – is bacteria buried deep below the surface.

“I was shocked to find there wasn’t already a comprehensive, holistic estimate of all the different components of biomass,” said Prof Ron Milo, at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, who led the work, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“I would hope this gives people a perspective on the very dominant role that humanity now plays on Earth,” he said, adding that he now chooses to eat less meat due to the huge environmental impact of livestock.

http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1704949114

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared, according to research.

Scientists analysed both common and rare species and found billions of regional or local populations have been lost. They blame human overpopulation and overconsumption for the crisis and warn that it threatens the survival of human civilisation, with just a short window of time in which to act.

The study, , eschews the normally sober tone of scientific papers and calls the massive loss of wildlife a “biological annihilation” that represents a “frightening assault on the foundations of human civilisation”.

Prof Gerardo Ceballos, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who led the work, said: “The situation has become so bad it would not be ethical not to use strong language.”

Previous studies have shown species are becoming extinct at a significantly faster rate than for millions of years before, but even so extinctions remain relatively rare giving the impression of a gradual loss of biodiversity. The new work instead takes a broader view, assessing many common species which are losing populations all over the world as their ranges shrink, but remain present elsewhere.

The scientists found that a third of the thousands of species losing populations are not currently considered endangered and that up to 50% of all individual animals have been lost in recent decades. Detailed data is available for land mammals, and almost half of these have lost 80% of their range in the last century. The scientists found billions of populations of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians have been lost all over the planet, leading them to say a sixth mass extinction has already progressed further than was thought.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... tists-warn

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... scientists

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... population

The human population has grown so large that roughly 40% of the Earth’s land surface is now farmed to feed people – and none too well at that. Largely due to persistent problems with distribution, almost 800 million people go to bed hungry, and between one and two billion suffer from malnutrition. As a consequence of its booming population, Homo sapiens has taken much of the most fertile land to grow plants for its own consumption. But guess what? That cropland is generally not rich in food plants suitable for the caterpillars of the 15,000 butterfly species with which we share the planet. Few butterflies require the wheat, corn or rice on which humans largely depend. From the viewpoint of most of the Earth’s wildlife, farming can be viewed as “habitat destruction”. And, unsurprisingly, few species of wildlife have evolved to live on highways, or in strip malls, office buildings, kitchens or sewers – unless you count Norway rats, house mice, European starlings and German roaches. Virtually everything humanity constructs provides an example of habitat destruction.

The more people there are, the more products of nature they demand to meet their needs and wants: timber, seafood, meat, gas, oil, metal ores, rare earths and rare animals to eat or to use for medicinal purposes. Human demands cause both habitat destruction and outright extermination of wildlife. So when you watch the expansion of the human enterprise; when you see buildings springing up; when you settle down to dinner at home or in a restaurant; you are observing (and often participating in) the sixth mass extinction.

The expanding human population not only outright destroys habitats, it also alters them to the detriment of wildlife (and often people themselves). The more people there are, the more greenhouse gases flow into the atmosphere, and the greater the impacts on wildlife that require specific temperature ranges.

And the more people there are, the more cities, roads, farm fields, fences and other barriers preventing wildlife from moving to areas of more favourable temperature or humidity in a rapidly changing climate. Less recognised, but perhaps even more dangerous to both people and wildlife, is the increasing toxification of the entire planet with synthetic chemicals. Growing populations want myriad more items of plastic that often leak toxic chemicals: more cosmetics, cleansing compounds, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and industrial chemicals. Many of these novel chemicals mimic natural hormones, and in tiny quantities can alter the development of animals or human children, with potentially catastrophic consequences. As with climate disruption, this is one more case of human overpopulation threatening civilisation.

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/2018053 ... es-to-live

Generally speaking, evidence suggests that green spaces are good for those of us who live in urban areas. Those who reside near parks or trees tend to enjoy lower levels of ambient air pollution, reduced manmade noise pollution and more cooling effects (something that will become increasingly useful as the planet warms).

Natural spaces are conducive to physical and social activities– both of which are associated with myriad benefits of their own.

Time in nature has been linked to reduced physical markers of stress. When we are out for a stroll or just sitting beneath the trees, our heart rate and blood pressure both tend to go down. We also release more natural ‘killer cells’: lymphocytes that roam throughout the body, hunting down cancerous and virus-infected cells.

Researchers are still trying to determine why this is so, although they do have a number of hypotheses. “One predominate theory is that natural spaces act as a calming backdrop to the busy stimuli of the city,” says Amber Pearson, a health geographer at Michigan State University. “From an evolutionary perspective, we also associate natural things as key resources for survival, so we favour them.” 

 

City residents tend to suffer from more asthma, allergies and depression – but they also tend to be less obese, at a lower suicide risk and are less likely to get killed in an accident

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 4611003665

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180531-where-are-the-worlds-healthiest-places-to-live
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169204611003665
http://www.ecehh.org/research-projects/urban-green-space/
 
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Watsisname
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

09 Dec 2018 22:25

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post That same study put those 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide into perspective: If a typical American decided to recycle newspapers, magazines, glass, plastic, aluminum, and steel cans over the course of her entire life, she would save the environment from just 17 metric tons of carbon emissions.

Significant reductions in emissions are necessary in the next few decades to avoid passing critical global warming thresholds.  So these figures showing how much emissions are saved by having 1 less child, over the course of their entire lifespan, or even their children's lifespans, do not reveal it as an effective solution.  If families do decide to have fewer children, what it helps is reduce the strain in the even longer term.  It's a fine thing to do, but attempting to market it as "the best method for reducing emissions and solving climate change", is both incorrect and very unlikely to be enforceable as policy.

Let's examine another strategy:

A 5% improvement in the efficiency of one coal-fired power plant reduces the amount of CO2 emitted by ~125 grams per kilowatt hour.  A typical coal plant produces around 600 MW of power.  Over a 50 year operating span, this is about 33 million tons of CO2 saved.

Is a 5% improvement in the efficiency of a coal-fired plant reasonable?  Yes:

Image


How about the retiring of one coal-fired plant and replacing with clean energy?  Then we remove 5 million tons from being emitted each year.

These are two examples of strategies that, adopted on a global scale, are very effective at reducing emissions in the short term.  And it does not require telling people things they will be unlikely to respond positively to, like "have fewer children because having children is bad for the environment and if you have another child then you are a bad person."  That is somewhat the vibe I get from many of those news articles you linked, and I feel that it is extremely bad science reporting.
 
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

09 Dec 2018 22:43

I just think it's family planning, which all families really need to do.  Having more children also results in a significantly higher expenditure.  How do you feel about the scientists' calculations in terms of the four ways they identified to reduce GHG emissions/carbon footprints?  Limiting animal farming, airplane travel, cars (unless they are electric) and of course family planning.  It seems more like bad politics rather than bad science, as the carbon footprint calculations should be rather easy to make, but in terms of asking people to do something- human psychology usually results in people wanting to do the opposite of what is suggested (which is why I sometimes employ reverse psychology.)  Limiting meat intake has tremendous health and ethical benefits which is why I adopted that years ago.  Dont miss it either.

I would end coal, oil and socalled natural gas (a euphemism if there ever was one)- we finally got fracking banned here which was  a long time coming.  Have to deal with dangerous pipelines too.  

It's going to be extremely difficult to meet the goals set forth.  Some countries like iceland will be all renewable by 2050 if not earlier, but for us, if we get there by 2100 we will be lucky.  Going all solar was something I always have wanted to do, and I wish we would have solar powered cars in my lifetime.  Tesla may do that one day.

Meanwhile there is something like an 8 ft sea level rise predicted for parts of the east coast by 2100 and the costs of GHG emissions in terms of flooding rainfalls as well as sea level rise will be astronomic.  I already cant stand the summers here because of how much more humid they are now.
 
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 00:41

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post I knew I remembered this study from somewhere.....

Man, those are a lot of links....  :shock: ...of which I noticed that most seem to assume that current consumer trends will continue despite the reproduction cuts. That is hardly what I call a sustainable solution.


Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post Let's examine another strategy:

Me, I'm holding out for fusion and similar developments in the fission industries. Hopefully thorium might be considered for the latter, although everybody has always said it would be fusion, and yet just never was.

Speaking of which, has anyone been tracking the progress (such as it is) of ITER and the similar projects like General Fusion in Canada? Fun fact: The latter's facility I actually had the privilege of visiting in Burnaby, BC last year since it's fairly close to where I lived.
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 01:04

Fusion would be fantastic as an eventual energy source, but the joke is that it is always 20 years away.  Maybe that's less true now, as more experimental designs are being tested, but still it's not looking like it will be a viable method for immediate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.

What does look like a good method is the use of nuclear power.  It isn't clean or renewable, but it does dramatically reduce emissions, and can act as a bridge between the current era of fossil fuels and a future of clean energy. 

Unfortunately, many countries are moving away from nuclear due to public opinion of them.
 
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 01:20

I remember when water fusion was in the headlines many years ago turned out to be a false alarm :(

Nuclear fission would have a better reputation if old plants were replaced with new ones that had better codes.

Also, there should be no nuclear plants near fault lines!  Fukushima was a horrible disaster which eventually even made it to the west coast.  Although with Japan, it's hard to find a place to put a reactor that's not near a fault line.

We'll have controllable fusion one day, it just wont be in time to save us from from GHG.
 
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 01:31

First, forget about carbon emissions.  In the big picture it's irrelevant, or will be.  I'll get back to that.  It's also overhyped.  All kinds of environmental problems have been incorrectly attributed to carbon emissions.  For instance, there's been a major shift in the biodiversity over the past few centuries, which despite popular beliefs and extrapolations out of control of the science has extremely little to do with these emissions, but very much to do with the size of the human populations.  It should be obvious: Humans have converted roughly half of the world's land area, the most fertile half, into fields, pasture or concrete.  That has major implications for nature.  Imagine that you could visit earth in a spacecraft a few thousand years ago and do the same trip again today.  Would you attribute the differences mainly to differences in climate or to the spread of human business?

So population growth is what we should be concerned about and our impact on nature.  But again popular belief mostly gets the solution wrong.  We do not "save nature" by collectively saving energy, growing organic, returning to nature, whatever.  The best thing we can do is to eliminate poverty and spread prosperity and education.  It's not a question of getting the rich world to bring down the energy consumption to the level of the poor world, but rather bringing the poor world to the level of the rich world.  10 billion people consuming like the middle class - should environmentalists endorse that?  Yes, because the alternatives are worse.  It is what it takes to entirely stop population growth.  It's also the ethical thing to do: putting the same food that you have on your starving neighbour's table is ethical.  Throwing your own food and starve in sympathy is not.  We may be heading at great speed towards a pit, but the worst thing we can do is to slow down.  It's too late for that, and we'll surely crash,  Rather, we need to keep the momentum with a steady hand on the steering wheel and cross the pit.

A key to eliminating poverty is the availability of cheap, abundant energy.  And here's the thing about carbon emissions.  Fossil fuel cannot become the main source of such energy, so a reduction emission will become a side effect of tackling the greater problem (though fossil fuel will surely have its niches for centuries).  It's expensive to mine, it's a limited resource.  It was realised long ago that nuclear energy was going to become this source, but we've stumbled.  It turned out to be a much more difficult problem technologically, and progress has been slowed by superstition about radiation.  Cheaper energy is also a powerful tool helpful for solving any problem.  For instance, we need to reduce our land usage footprint, and that is mostly about how we produce our food, which is quite inefficient (e.g. can we please find more efficient ways to produce a steak than having tons of grass passing through a cow?).  Will cheap energy give us more options for solving this?  Probably.
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 01:37

You're right meat consumption needs to be limited for both health and environmental reasons.  Unfortunately here in the states we've had a meat industry that has been spreading propaganda for decades the same way the tobacco industry used to do.

Brian Greene gave up meat and dairy for ethical reasons, but there are also health and environmental reasons for doing so.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Gre ... sonal_life

Greene has been vegetarian since he was nine years old when he realized, "...the connection between the meat and the animal from which it came direct; I was horrified and declared I'd never eat meat again. And I never have."[16] He became vegan in 1997[17] after touring Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York,[18] where he learned, "...about the dairy industry which was so disturbing that I could not continue to support it. Within days I gave up all dairy."[16]

According to biologists, organic no till farming is also great for nutrient retention in soil, as nutrient run off during big rainstorms (which are on the rise) is less.  It's not about returning to nature, but rather working with nature rather than trying to fight against it.
Last edited by A-L-E-X on 10 Dec 2018 01:41, edited 1 time in total.
 
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10 Dec 2018 01:41

midtskogen wrote:
Source of the post So population growth is what we should be concerned about and our impact on nature.  But again popular belief mostly gets the solution wrong.  We do not "save nature" by collectively saving energy, growing organic, returning to nature, whatever.  The best thing we can do is to eliminate poverty and spread prosperity and education.  It's not a question of getting the rich world to bring down the energy consumption to the level of the poor world, but rather bringing the poor world to the level of the rich world.  10 billion people consuming like the middle class - should environmentalists endorse that?  Yes, because the alternatives are worse.  It is what it takes to entirely stop population growth.  It's also the ethical thing to do: putting the same food that you have on your starving neighbour's table is ethical.  Throwing your own food and starve in sympathy is not.  We may be heading at great speed towards a pit, but the worst thing we can do is to slow down.  It's too late for that, and we'll surely crash,  Rather, we need to keep the momentum with a steady hand on the steering wheel and cross the pit.

A key to eliminating poverty is the availability of cheap, abundant energy.  And here's the thing about carbon emissions.  Fossil fuel cannot become the main source of such energy, so a reduction emission will become a side effect of tackling the greater problem (though fossil fuel will surely have its niches for centuries).  It's expensive to mine, it's a limited resource.  It was realised long ago that nuclear energy was going to become this source, but we've stumbled.  It turned out to be a much more difficult problem technologically, and progress has been slowed by superstition about radiation.  Cheaper energy is also a powerful tool helpful for solving any problem.  For instance, we need to reduce our land usage footprint, and that is mostly about how we produce our food, which is quite inefficient (e.g. can we please find more efficient ways to produce a steak than having tons of grass passing through a cow?).  Will cheap energy give us more options for solving this?  Probably.

Well said midtskogen. Yes, people really have to understand that the point of no return has already passed us. The best we can do is blaze ahead on this freight-train we made ourselves and just make the best out of it, using what we have learned from this to better inform our future decisions.
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A-L-E-X
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 01:42

I wonder what that will mean though for future generations.  They may look back upon us as people from the Dark Ages who ruined the planet for them.  That would be really sad.

The fossil fuel industry will be (already is) looked upon as being as bad as the tobacco industry ever was.  They already have multiple class action lawsuits against them including a big one right here that the state of NY has filed against them.  Likewise for the sugar and fast food industries that have made for a generation of sicker and more obese people, more than ever before.
 
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 02:07

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Also, there should be no nuclear plants near fault lines! 

Proofing a nuclear reactor from failure due to seismic shaking is fairly straightforward.  In fact, design procedures to this effect are already laid out by the International Atomic Energy Agency:

Seismic Design and Qualification for Nuclear Plants

So why did the disaster happen at Fukushima?  Not simply because of the earthquake, but because of the subsequent tsunami, for which the facility was very poorly located and designed to handle.  You can chalk it up to poor or even ignorant planning.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post a horrible disaster which eventually even made it to the west coast.

I live on the west coast and was not once even remotely concerned.  The levels of radiation found in the waters off the coast were so low that you could have swam in them for a year and receive less radiation than 1 dental X-ray.  Or living at higher altitude like in Colorado.  Or even going outside after it rains.

Many people go nuts at the thought of radiation exposure, yet forget that we are constantly surrounded by radiation.  The radiation levels anywhere not very close to Fukushima were barely above background levels.  You have to think about the amount of radioactivity that was actually released, and then how much it was diluted after travelling that distance.
 
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 02:17

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Also, there should be no nuclear plants near fault lines! 

Proofing a nuclear reactor from failure due to seismic shaking is fairly straightforward.  In fact, design procedures to this effect are already laid out by the International Atomic Energy Agency:

Seismic Design and Qualification for Nuclear Plants

So why did the disaster happen at Fukushima?  Not simply because of the earthquake, but because of the subsequent tsunami, for which the facility was very poorly located and designed to handle.  You can chalk it up to poor or even ignorant planning.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post a horrible disaster which eventually even made it to the west coast.

The levels of radiation found in the waters off the west coast here were so low that you could have swam in it for a year and receive less radiation than 1 dental X-ray.  Or living at higher altitude like in Colorado.  Or even going outside after it rains.

Many people go nuts at the thought of radiation exposure, yet forget that we are constantly surrounded by radiation.  The radiation levels anywhere not very close to Fukushima were barely above background levels.  You have to think about the amount of radioactivity that was actually released, and then how much it was diluted after travelling that distance.

Why were there so many concerns about the radiation making it to the west coast and contaminating the fruit and such for months though?  There were scientists talking about it (who also said that there should have better safeguards at the plant to protect against quakes and tsunamis).
We have a nuclear plant here in NY that is getting shut down also, it's called Indian Point.  There were concerns about it polluting the Hudson river and also security concerns.  Years ago, the plant at Brookhaven got shut down because heavy water was found in the aquifer system.  I agree that fission is a good fuel but there should be very tight regulations for safety.
 
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Watsisname
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Population Growth and Sustainable Development

10 Dec 2018 02:18

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Why were there so many concerns about the radiation making it to the west coast and contaminating the fruit and such for months though? 

Because it makes good click-bait!  


You can also probably find reports of people detecting radiation along the beaches.  Little if any of those detections were actually due to Fukushima, but rather naturally radioactive minerals in the sand.

Fun fact: you can go outside after it rains (or snows) and measure an increase in the radioactivity.  Midtskogen even has a post showing this on the old forum using his own data.  The source of this radiation is not man made -- it is instead radioactive daughter isotopes from radon decay, adsorbed onto the rain drops, and precipitated to the ground. :)

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