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... given increase in population is, in part, a matter of distribution of resources and efficiency in utilizing them.

Indefinite, continuous population growth is only possible the old fashioned way ... by spreading out. Since the surface of the earth was sufficiently occupied 5,000 or so years ago to force people to descend into civilization in response to increased population density, spreading out at this point means moving out ...

... so here on earth, we do indeed to halt population growth.

However, according to the rough guide at the global footprint network, the resources consumed by one American can keep two Japanese, five Chinese, and six Burkinabe going. So the ecological footprint per person is not a static and fixed constant value.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Apr 17th, 2010 at 02:31:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How can we compare the quantitative value of the various lifestyles?  The american would quip that not only would they not like to live like burkinabe, but that the burkinabe would rather live like them.  Whether this is actually true or not, let's suppose it is, isn't that then saying that the american lifestyle is fundamentally superior to the burkinabe lifestyle and hence a morally directed goal for all humanity to reach?
by njh on Sat Apr 17th, 2010 at 08:17:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure, if morality is measured by desire.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sat Apr 17th, 2010 at 09:00:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Its simply an observation of fact that the desire for increase material consumption can be cultivated among a population, but it also seems to be entirely beside the point.

For the conclusion that a given population implies a given level of resource consumption, you have to assume that the other two factors of I=PAT are held constant - the consumption per capita and the technological impact per unit of consumption.

However, assuming those to be constant is silly - for all of the living memory of each of us, the A and the T have been subject to constant and ongoing change, and so to assume them constant is to assume the one thing we have never observed them to be.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Apr 17th, 2010 at 09:58:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But impact per unit can be constant at a given time (everywhere may be able to use the same ideas) so comparing sideways is not unreasonable.
by njh on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 12:11:21 AM EST
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Technology is not disembodied ideas alone, its ideas as implemented by social rules of behavior and available tools and skills.

So you still must respect that talking about population growth without talking about resource distribution is only ever a first cut analysis.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 at 01:19:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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