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To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.    
     William Henry Channing, clergyman, reformer (1810-1884)

I don't know. Just because McMansions are not viable in all places, doesn't mean that I have to live in a thatched condominium.

Isn't it funny that we find our arrows to be in the best fletched and in the handsomest of quivers: As a non-meat eater, I find that the capacity of the land to feed several times more people in a much more sustainable manner and without the chemicals now used, to be the most significant argument against there even being a real population or resource problem...but then, I bet you see different nails and have different hammers

...or perhaps you are implying that we have no chance, that the solution is less of everything for everyone...and less of everyone as well?

Bizarre as it may seem, I'd assert that this would only make matters worse.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Mon Jan 12th, 2009 at 03:46:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sustainability doesn't require any sort of equality across the population, but I'd like to change the culture to something that isn't an exaggerated expression of human instinct which is where we are at today.

As a non-meat eater, I find that the capacity of the land to feed several times more people in a much more sustainable manner and without the chemicals now used, to be the most significant argument against there even being a real population or resource problem...but then, I bet you see different nails and have different hammers

Efficiency cannot be greater than 100% which means there is a hard limit on our population. We could probably string out 20 billion humans on a diet of 900 calories of rice and vegetables a day, but why? Shouldn't we be concerned about our collective quality of life?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Mon Jan 12th, 2009 at 09:07:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We could probably string out 20 billion humans on a diet of 90 of rice and vegetables a day, but why? Shouldn't we be concerned about our collective quality of life?
Alternatively, it's not clear that the current low density of population is actually sufficient to ensure a reasonable quality of life either.

I have this image in my head of a pre-historic hunter-gatherer who's worrying how future people can stand living in cities, with their crazy indoor plumbing and prepackaged food available in giant walk-in refrigerators etc.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Mon Jan 12th, 2009 at 10:27:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While you philosophers and elitists argue, I'm going to do something positive for us all. I'm going to invest my money in Sustaining Stocks~!

New Mutual Fund will be First in US to Track Dow Jones Sustainability Index


Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 02:29:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<sigh>

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 02:34:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand your point, but going from today's 6.5 billion to 20 billion is beyond even my long term comments (and a diversion from discussion).

Meanwhile, just in average numbers, a unit of meat protein takes 7 times more water, 7 times more grain input, 7 times the land and creates (to use a technical term for it) a shitload of detritus, much of it not on the list of cool things to have around.

Now, I don't want to highjack this thread with a holistic rant, but it does have to do with world economics part 1. As I understand it, amino acids are amino acids, no difference between beef amino acids (and thereby, beef proteins) and vegetable amino acids (and thereby vegi-proteins.) But the stuff that comes along with modern beef production (hormones, pesticides, cutting out the bad parts instead of turning away the entire cow) and the stuff that comes along with eating beef proteins such as the great tasting fats and the cooked nitates that turn to nitrites, the aforementioned hormones and other exciting chemicals that come with the execution, the are causing cancer and other health issues that the collective pays for...a blot on our quality of life from the get-go.

I cannot extrapolate to 20 billion. Nor do I have the time to multiply out and prove that the amount of food that can be sustained without petroleum-based fertilizers is much higher than 900 calories per person well into the future. But the back of the napkin says that we can do better for everyone beyond - well beyond mere survival.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 07:38:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is still an upper bound on the number of humans that can be put on this planet.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Tue Jan 13th, 2009 at 07:47:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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