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July 12, 2012

Various Groups that want to use Population Reduction as the Main Solution to the Environmental Problems they see

Population matters used to be the Optimal Population Trust (OPT)

The OPT pushed for draconian state controls on birth rates and on immigration: Their press release of 30 May 2006 argues that mass migration is stopping people from repairing the damage caused by climate change and by other factors that led to the migration in the first place.

From the Population Matters frequently asked questions about optimum population level.

The world population of 6.8 billion would need 3.4 planet Earths to achieve typical UK living standards. The United States has an even higher consumption footprint. Optimum population means the best balance between the number of people and the quality of life that they may obtain, though it should not be viewed as an exact number.

Because carrying capacity refers to maximum sustainable population for a given environment, it doesn’t take into account any margin to allow for changes in the environment. This is another reason why the ‘best’ number of people is almost always fewer than the maximum that the environment can support.

They publish their population overshoot calculations by country.


They think Europe should have half of its current population and North America should have 152 million less people.



World Watch published a list of nine strategies to have a peak world population that is less than 9 billion. They are not coercive policies but involve taxation and other means.

The RIO +20 conference did not adopt any population control policies.

The World can support a lot more people even with Western Levels of Affluence

There is no feeding the world problem. Population reduction is a very bad solution to problems that do not exist. But when these kinds of stupid plans and false dangers are spewed, the organization behind would look like a bunch of buffoons.

The world can support about 100 billion at western standards. This is a calculation based on waste heat and the environment. It assumes that we use energy and other technologies that control emissions. 100 billion people will not appear overnight, so considering advanced technologies is perfectly reasonable. Below are summaries of detailed studies that look at intelligently doing what is already being done in agriculture to meet the demands of 9 billion and 15 billion people within the timeframes when those people might arrive.

It will be possible over that longer time frame to make a lot of space ships for large scale colonization of the solar system. Space planes able to move 200 people at a time. Make ten thousand and you can move 2 million per day. 200 million to 400 million per year. The technology is being developed with Spacex reusable rockets, Skylon space planes and Bigelow inflatable space stations.

Climate

The fastest and most effective way to address climate (beyond geoengineering) are 16 measures to cut soot and methane.


Note - population control and reduction takes many, many decades. So the focus of their solution is slow unless they were successful in imposing something obviously insanely evil. They claim that the focus is greenhouse gas footprint. Carbon dioxide limitation takes decades to have an impact on climate. So decades to meaningful effect population based on birth limitations and then more decades for the climate impact.

Feeding

Stimulated by higher demand for fish, world fisheries and aquaculture production is projected to reach about 172 million tonnes in 2021, a growth of 15 percent above the average level for 2009–11. The increase should be mainly driven by aquaculture, which is projected to reach about 79 million tonnes, rising by 33 percent over the period 2012–2021 compared with the 3 percent growth of capture fisheries. However, a slowing in aquaculture growth is anticipated, from an average annual rate of 5.8 percent in the last decade to 2.4 percent during the period under review. This decline will be mainly caused by water constraints, limited availability of optimal production locations and the rising costs of fishmeal, fish oil and other feeds.

So if the this over $100 billion a year fish farming industry can develop better solutions to those problems then fish farming would grow beyond this projection.

Increases projected to 2021
* 33% more from aquaculture
* 15% more for fish overall
* 80% boost from chicken (70 million to 126 million tons)
* 40% boost from pork (90 million tons to 126 million tons)
This projected increase is not based on much genetically modified fish adoption.

Feeding 9.1 billion in 2050 using more productive versions of current wheat and other basic proven methods.

Net investments of $83 billion a year must be made in agriculture in developing countries if there is to be enough food to feed 9.1 billion people in 2050 according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

By 2050 the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion, 34 percent higher than today. Nearly all of this population increase will occur in developing countries. Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace, and about 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban (compared to 49 percent today). Income levels will be many multiples of what they are now. In order to feed this larger, more urban and richer population, food production (net of food used for biofuels) must increase by 70 percent. Annual cereal production will need to rise to about 3 billion tonnes from 2.1 billion today and annual meat production will need to rise by over 200 million tonnes to reach 470 million tonnes.

This report argues that the required increase in food production can be achieved if the necessary investment is undertaken and policies conducive to agricultural production are put in place. But increasing production is not sufficient to achieve food security. It must be complemented by policies to enhance access by fighting poverty, especially in rural areas, as well as effective safety net programs.

The global gap in what is required vis-à-vis current investment levels can be illustrated by comparing the required annual gross investment of US$209 billion (which includes the cost of renewing depreciating investments) with the result of a separate study that estimated that developing countries on average invested USD 142 billion (USD of 2009) annually in agriculture over the past decade. The required increase is thus about 50 percent.

Other studies show how 15 billion could be fed with improvements of conventional agriculture.

China superrice yields up to 13.9 tons per hectare.

China plants about 29 million hectares of rice every year, with an average output of 6.3 tons a hectare, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In the field and at high volume the new rice should provide 10.5 tons per hectare. Yuan said he believes the yield could eventually increase to 15 tons a hectare.

This is before using Genetic modification. This is with crossbreeding.

The GM will provide salt tolerance to allow a lot of land that is too salty to be used.

Energy and Water

There are also ways to increase the amount of energy and water that will be needed.

The World could sustainable scale up nuclear fission technology with deep burn modular factory mass produced nuclear reactors and achieve 100 times the current world energy production.

History of Anti-human Environmentalists

The Limits to Growth report (also 1972) presented a left social democratic approach to what was perceived in the 1960s and 1970s as the population and resources crisis. It predicted that (then) current trends were unsustainable, leading to collapse of human civilization as a result of resource depletion “well before 2100.”

The report recognized that an equilibrium of constant population and industrial output is not compatible with current economic relations, which have increased the gap between rich and poor. But, immediately after this it says, “the greatest impediment to more equal distribution of the world’s resources is population growth.” It used arguments similar to Hardin and Malthus, but also echoed those who cite carrying capacity and ecological footprints, “Equal sharing becomes social suicide if the average amount per person is not enough to maintain life.” Statements like this were seized upon by some environmentalists to argue for population control, while their dire predictions for the future were scoffed at by anti-environmentalists.

In the period following these two reports, the idea of population control as a means to prevent resource depletion and protect the environment gradually lost credibility. The period saw militant campaigns against sterilization programs, especially in India, and against the use of contraceptive injections like Depo-Provera. The Greens in Britain modified their position on population and UN reports and conferences backed off from outright advocacy of population controls.

In 1998, there was been a campaign in the Sierra Club, one of the biggest environmental groups in the world, to link an anti-immigration policy with its policy of population reduction over the whole world.

In Britain, the main organization making the links between population, immigration and climate change is the Optimum Population Trust (OPT). The driving force behind this is Jonathan Porritt, head of the government’s sustainable development commission. Other leading lights are Paul Ehrlich (again), former Green leader Sara Parkin, Crispin Tickell, who wrote Thatcher’s first speech on climate change and David Nicholson of the New Economics Foundation.


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