In the age of pleny, the world will starve in a few decades

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by PracticalMac, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. PracticalMac, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018

    PracticalMac macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #1
    Oh, the irony that modern highly efficient farming is producing record crops that can feed the world a few times over, we have also made ourselves extremely vulnerable to disaster should a disease strike a major crop.
    Like the banana (The world’s bananas are under attack)
    (another article, from WIRED magazine)


    And to support that massive agricultural water supply and usage is radically changing.
    Reservoirs around the world, including the US, are drying up.

    Since 1970 approximately 60% of the worlds animal population has declined.

    And up to 90% of seabirds have plastic in their guts, study finds (this is 2015 study). Very likely you have eaten plastic in the foods you eat.

    These environmental changes are causing pollinators, Bees, Butterflies, Humming birds, to decline.

    And these are concrete, undeniable results of mans actions, weakening the natural limits of disease and disaster, and pollution as insult.
    (plus I am not even talking about the effects of Climate Change)
     
  2. Raid macrumors 68020

    Raid

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    #2
    We (as in the species) have to become better stewards of the planet. Individual change seems small and insignificant, but ignoring the problem because it was small and insignificant got us here in the first place.

    We should have been done denying there's a problem decades ago.
     
  3. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    #3
    Well, that would take care of over-population.
     
  4. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #4
    So do condoms :p
     
  5. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #5
    Ah, the good old Malthusian theory. :rolleyes:
    What is it with conservatives that they often seem to have a compassion bypass?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2018 ---
    Problem is, we've had decades of warning and we've done close to **** all. Keep kicking the can down the road.

    I feel for people with children. The world they are leaving for them is one I am glad I won't be witness to.
     
  6. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #6
    Do not be sure of that.
    Things can go bad even in your/our lifetime.

    Theoretically humans can live over 100 years, and 90 is now common.
    Results of environment changes can happen in at little as 10 years on a worse case scenario.
     
  7. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #7
    This is true. But… mid 50s, I'm hoping things will hold on a few years more. :)
     
  8. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #8
    Or you can support efforts to prevent further damage?
     
  9. arkitect macrumors 603

    arkitect

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    #9
    Errrm. I don't quite know why you're having a go at me. I do all I can as it is to minimise myself and my husband's footprint.
    My original point was if you bothered to read before seeing red mist was that any reasonably well informed person alive in the west has known that we are headed for disaster for decades but not a single politician has stood up and actually done anything. And frankly, most of the voters don't care either.

    So, my point is, why is this going to change?
    Now go and be snide at someone else.
     
  10. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #10
    I took your posting as a bit of fatalism and hand washing,
    But apparently you made a tongue in cheek comment are doing something, small as it is, to minimize the impact (good for you!)

    FWIW, just talking about it here, spreading the word, keeping the issue at front works to stop environmental destruction.

    In fact.....
     
  11. RootBeerMan macrumors 65816

    RootBeerMan

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    #11
    While it is incontrovertible that we are experiencing some serious problems, we aren't going to starve to death. We are currently farming fewer acres with less water and feeding more people, than ever before. As we develop even more and better crops to suit our environment, more people will be fed. And, as the worlds population advances away from grinding poverty, as we have been, and more people enter the middle class we will see population growth taper off globally, as we have in most modern societies. We do have issues to handle with climate change but we are not likley to see mass starvation.

    https://humanprogress.org/article.php?p=448
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #12
    ...all based on petroleum. So we either cook the planet by continuing or we get real that the agricultural boom was and is not sustainable. If there is a place for fossil fuels in the next 50 years it’s going to be a wind down operation and an end to the notion that we’re entitled to fresh strawberries year round.

    No amount of magical thinking changes that the entire modern world is completely reliant on a material that is running out AND destroying the ecological life support systems on the planet. The markets will not save the species.
     
  13. RootBeerMan macrumors 65816

    RootBeerMan

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    #13
    Machinery doesn't have to be run by petroleum. We know that electric works quite well and that hydrogen does, too. It's just a matter of getting companies to produce them at a decent price point that farmers can afford. Till then we keep feeding the world, regardless.
     
  14. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    #14
    Until, until, until.

    We’ve known for 40 years that we need to transition, yet until the magical market makes it MORE profitable to switch it won’t happen. We’re out of time to let this long con continue.
     
  15. RootBeerMan macrumors 65816

    RootBeerMan

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    #15
    There is no other solution currently out there that will work. We have to work with what we currently have and make an economic environment that will make it more worthwhile for farmers and manufacturers to make the switch. John Deere is already responding to market forces, which want to see a switch to zero emissions, and has an electric tractor in development. They just need better batteries with a longer charge life. And we will get there. Hydrogen powered tractors have been around for awhile, but lagging hydrogen infrastructure has really stalled things in getting them to market and in common use. Both New Holland and Deere have developed them. The automobile did not supplant the horse drawn wagon for quite a while. Infrastructure takes time and will.
     
  16. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

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    I’m talking fertilizer buddy. It’s a product of the petroleum age and it was what the entire agricultural boom was built upon.

    Industrial farming has destroyed the balance of nutrients in our souls to the point where more fertilizer is required. It’s a nice closed loop racket if you got in on it early.
     
  17. RootBeerMan macrumors 65816

    RootBeerMan

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    #17
    The most common fertilizer around is anhydrous ammonia, and it's not petroleum based at all, (unless you count natural gas as petroleum, which is a stretch). Yeah, you have to drill for it but it's not petroleum. I am literally surrounded by farms and none of them are using anything but normal fertilizers. Humans have been using them since the dawn of agriculture and they have been improved on substantially. That's why we can literally feed the world. Going back to using night soils and compost would just result in millions dying from starvation. I'd have to take the trade off. I like organic farming, but we need a balance to survive.
     
  18. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #18
    The problems go very deep.

    The world's insect populations are declining precipitously. And while the prospect of fewer mosquitos might sound appealing, insects are at the base of the food chain that support birds and reptiles. Insects provide other useful environmental functions. With them gone, or severely reduced in number, all sorts of ecological catastrophes could befall us. Already farmers are seeing declines in crop yields due to losses in bee populations.
     
  19. TrenttonY macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    If institutions (UN, WWF, etc) really cared about the environment, they would turn their attention to places like Africa and Asia, whose population continues to climb at a rapid pace.
     
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #20
    The population isn’t rising at a rapid pace in Asia. Only in Africa is that true. And not everywhere.
     
  21. PracticalMac thread starter macrumors 68030

    PracticalMac

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    #21
    You forgot the socio-economic factors.
    Climate change will cause changes in growing regions and groups unable to adapt to the change will suffer food shortages.

    Even America suffers from food shortages (on economic side), namely poor people, specifically their children.

    Oh, and that is not considering migration due to CC.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 31, 2018 ---
    Propose birth control?
     
  22. A.Goldberg macrumors 68020

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    #22
    If humans aren’t humans are good at one thing it’s adapting to their environment. We more than likely have major environmental issues ahead of us and we need to do our best to mitigate these. At the same time, our ability to genetically modif my organisms is rapidly evolving. I’m confident our technology will progress to help adapt to our needs.

    I also presume our population will level off with advancements in quality of living around the world. In much of the western world it’s simplyn too expensive to raise more than 1-2 children. I suspect this trend will follow in developing countries with currently high birth rates. In fact, this trend is already being observed. The current birth rate is half of what it was 3-4 decades ago and a 1/3 less than what it was 2 decsdes ago.
     
  23. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #23
    Of course not. If history has taught us anything, it's that people (tribes/governments) will use force to gain exclusive rights to limited resources. Since time immemorial bandits have raided villages, strong countries have invaded weaker countries...all for the sake of gaining resources. There will be a world war before world's population starves to death.
     
  24. Sydde macrumors 68020

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    #24
    There is a group called Our Children's Trust which is pushing a class action lawsuit on behalf of a handful of young people to force the executive branch (originally on the Obama administration) to take aggressive action to mitigate AGW and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies.

    The administration, of course, does not like this idea. The DoJ has been filing for stays, because arguing against this will not be good optics. In their most recent filing, on page 4 of the text (the 14th page of this pdf, their case statement reads

    On the merits, the district court … found in the Fifth Amendment’s protection against the deprivation of “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” U.S. Const. amend. V, a previously unrecognized fundamental right to a “climate system capable of sustaining human life,” and … that Plaintiffs had adequately alleged infringement … further determined that Plaintiffs had adequately stated a claim … (for) a judicially enforceable prohibition on the federal government against “depriving a future legislature of the natural resources necessary to provide for the well-being and survival of its citizens.”

    The government petitioned this Court for a writ of mandamus to halt these deeply flawed proceedings.

    In other words, the DoJ seems to be arguing that our children (and by extension, we) do not have an inalienable right to a sustainable/livable world. In this, it becomes rather obvious why the government does not want this case to proceed to a high-profile hearing before SCotUS (which, with the court's current makeup, the government will probably earn a pyrrhic victory).
     
  25. TrenttonY macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Promote safe sex, the dangers of an unexpected pregnancy.
    Or I don't know the common sense of stop having kids who you can't feed.
     

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27 October 30, 2018