Population is the elephant, gorilla and Tyrannosaurus Rex in the room along with a whole flock of Velociraptors that everyone wants to ignore.
Right wingers need constant growth to keep the capitalistic economic model functioning, while left wingers are so enchanted with pluralism, veganism and the idea that we have a planetary cornucopia that can feed the masses no matter how large their number spewing the charge of racism at anyone suggesting limiting the number of children people have.
The cold hard fact is we can only feed the seven billion people on this planet by drawing down energy that it took the planet hundreds of millions of years to create.
Without petroleum we had better look at the idea of having a billion people or less on this blue marble, about the number we had prior to the the age of petroleum.
We damned well better start practicing some major deep ecology and preserving a function environment if we want to be able to sustain that number in 2112.
No sane person would suggest killing off billions of people as a reasonable approach. Yet by not facing this problem and seriously limiting births we are making the premature deaths of billions an unavoidable certainty.
Both Malthus and Ehrlich were right in their premises even if they didn’t factor in things that would slightly shift the the day when the butcher’s bill would be payable. For example Malthus didn’t factor in the petroleum age, and Ehrlich under estimated the power of the “green revolution in agriculture”.
The problem is Al Gore’s famous Global Warming CO2 levels hockey stick graph. He shows the problem of burning petroleum and how it feeds the rise in atmospheric CO2. But we can’t really reduce that use of petroleum and maintain the population much less continue to increase the population.
It isn’t even as simple as giving up cars although cars are a major problem. Also given the choice between cars vs children many would choose the cars. But growing food locally isn’t a solution. No matter what they do certain areas of the world wouldn’t be able to grow enough food locally to sustain their populations at even a starvation level, much less the vaunted balanced diet.
Organic farming requires shit or if you will compost to provide the soil nutrients to grow crops. The green revolution is oil driven. They make fertilizer and pesticides as well as the herbicides the GMOs require from oil.
As long as the population grows the carbon foot print of humanity grows.
As long as you have an economy based on “growth” and extra consumption the carbon foot print of humanity grows.
Even with all the “Green Measures” like CF and LED light bulbs as long as the number of people grows humanity will continue to march towards the same cliff civilizations such as Mesopotamia marched over the same one, the Easter Islanders marched over.
David Brooks is a total right wing tool of the corporations and no where near as bright as he thinks. Indeed he only has his position due to rich white male affirmative action.
From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/opinion/brooks-the-fertility-implosion.html
The Fertility Implosion
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: March 12, 2012
When you look at pictures from the Arab spring, you see these gigantic crowds of young men, and it confirms the impression that the Muslim Middle East has a gigantic youth bulge — hundreds of millions of young people with little to do. But that view is becoming obsolete. As Nicholas Eberstadt and Apoorva Shah of the American Enterprise Institute point out, over the past three decades, the Arab world has undergone a little noticed demographic implosion. Arab adults are having many fewer kids.
Usually, high religious observance and low income go along with high birthrates. But, according to the United States Census Bureau, Iran now has a similar birth rate to New England — which is the least fertile region in the U.S.
The speed of the change is breathtaking. A woman in Oman today has 5.6 fewer babies than a woman in Oman 30 years ago. Morocco, Syria and Saudi Arabia have seen fertility-rate declines of nearly 60 percent, and in Iran it’s more than 70 percent. These are among the fastest declines in recorded history.
The Iranian regime is aware of how the rapidly aging population and the lack of young people entering the work force could lead to long-term decline. But there’s not much they have been able to do about it. Maybe Iranians are pessimistic about the future. Maybe Iranian parents just want smaller families.
As Eberstadt is careful to note, demographics is not necessarily destiny. You can have fast economic development with low fertility or high fertility (South Korea and Taiwan did it a few decades ago). But, over the long term, it’s better to have a growing work force, not one that’s shrinking compared with the number of retirees.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/opinion/brooks-the-fertility-implosion.html
By Amanda Marcotte
Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2012
David Brooks plays a special role in the ranks of conservative punditry. His job is to take outrageous right wing ideas, clean them up with a comb to the hair and a tie to the neck, and hope that he can hoodwink readers who mistake gentility for moderation. Now he’s seeing how far he can take this strategy by getting involved in the exploding conservative war on contraception and general women’s rights. The tactic? Concern-trolling the women of the world for abusing our reproductive rights and causing a “population implosion.” Yes, while the rest of the world is noticing that every year, the actual number of human beings on the planet gets bigger and bigger–recently surpassing 7 billion people, many times larger than it was just 100 years ago–conservatives have decided that we’re actually suffering a crisis of too few people, a concern that conveniently has implications for women’s basic reproductive rights.
Brooks manages to get through his entire hand-wringing op-ed without mentioning contraception or abortion, but he doesn’t really have to. Even though he stupidly guesses women are having fewer children for mysterious reasons, he can’t really be unaware that it’s because women don’t have to be constantly pregnant anymore. By refusing to directly address the question of force, Brooks can let the supposed problem of not-force hang in the air without getting his hands dirty.
When it comes to conservative fussing over women’s shocking unwillingness to spend years of their lives with one on ’em and one in ’em, the preferred rhetorical strategy is to decline acknowledging that women give birth to children, and instead portray women as specialized production mechanisms for laborer production. Brooks knows the genre well, spending most of his column worrying that we’re not going to have enough future workers to keep him well-stocked in loafers and golf clubs. With unemployment as high as it is, however, he probably should reconsider how willing the audience is to hear that we need more people flooding the employment lines and offering to work for lower and lower wages.
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd | Sourced from AlterNet
Posted at March 19, 2012, 10:30 am
Think the war on women is a relatively new development with the rise of the radical right? Think again. A new report released by the National Women’s Law Center shows how nefarious gender discrimination has been subtly embedded into our health care costs, to the tune of over $1 billion more than what males pay. Not only that, but important care specific to women’s bodies (but clearly not specifically to women’s concerns), such as maternity coverage, is specifically left out of many health care plans. Raw Story:
Through the practice of gender rating, or charging women more for the same coverage, women are paying a $1 billion more than their male counterparts. States that haven’t banned gender rating have seen women charged more for 92 percent of best-selling health plans.
In most states, non-smoking women are commonly charged more than even smoking men. And even with maternity coverage excluded, nearly a third of plans analyzed found that 25 and 40-year-old women were charged at least 30 percent more or even higher than men for the same coverage.
Despite being aware of those practices, insurance companies have no taken steps to stop the inequality until the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.
From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/17/john-demjanjuk-dead-dies_n_1355316.html
BERLIN — John Demjanjuk was convicted of being a low-ranking guard at the Sobibor death camp, but his 35-year fight on three continents to clear his name – a legal battle that had not yet ended when he died Saturday at age 91 – made him one of the best-known faces of Nazi prosecutions.
The conviction of the retired Ohio autoworker in a Munich court in May on 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder, which was still being appealed, broke new legal ground in Germany as the first time someone was convicted solely on the basis of serving as a camp guard, with no evidence of involvement in a specific killing.
It has opened the floodgates to hundreds of new investigations in Germany, though his death serves as a reminder that time is running out for prosecutors.
Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk steadfastly maintained that he had been mistaken for someone else – first wounded as a Soviet soldier fighting German forces, then captured and held as a prisoner of war under brutal conditions.
And he is probably best known as someone he was not: the notoriously brutal guard “Ivan the Terrible” at the Treblinka extermination camp. That was the first accusation against him, which led to him being extradited from the U.S. to Israel in the 1980s. He was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death – only to have the Israeli Supreme Court unanimously overturn the verdict and return him to the U.S. after it received evidence that another Ukrainian, not Demjanjuk, was that Nazi guard.
“He has become at least one of the faces” of the Holocaust, Israeli historian Yehuda Bauer said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem.
Continue reading at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/17/john-demjanjuk-dead-dies_n_1355316.html
From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/18/iraq-massacre-emos-killing-gay
Hassan – it’s not his real name – had a heavy metal band with two other twentysomethings. The raucous music represented rebellion, and in Iraq there was plenty to rebel against: occupation, poverty, patriarchal families – ample impetus to anger. The band made an album, but nobody would touch it; their songs and their look, people said, were satanic. Hassan uploaded a video to YouTube, and included the band members’ names. Five days ago, the other two musicians were killed on the street. Hassan is in hiding; he’s almost too terrified to speak. “Why are they doing this to us?” he asked me. “Why?”
A new killing campaign is convulsing Iraq. The express targets are “emos”, short for “emotional”: a western-derived identity, teenagers adopting a pose of vulnerability, along with tight clothes and skewed hairdos and body piercing. Starting last year, mosques and the media both began raising the alarm about youthful immorality, calling the emos deviants and devil worshippers. In early February, somebody began killing people. The net was wide, definitions inexact. Men who seemed effeminate, girls with tattoos or peculiar jewellery, boys with long hair, could all be swept up. The killers like to smash their victims’ heads with concrete blocks.
There is no way to tell how many have died: estimates range from a few dozen to more than 100. Nor is it clear who is responsible. Many of the killings happened in east Baghdad, stronghold of Shia militias such as Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (the League of the Righteous). Neither, though, has claimed responsibility. Iraq’s brutal interior ministry issued two statements in February. The first announced official approval to “eliminate” the “satanists”. The second, on 29 February, proclaimed a “campaign” to start with a crackdown on stores selling emo fashion. The loaded language suggests, at a minimum, that the ministry incited violence. It’s highly possible that some police, in a force riddled with militia members, participated in the murders.
Continue reading at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/18/iraq-massacre-emos-killing-gay
A long-term trend toward smaller houses is well underway — with huge implications for the future of our cities.
By Sara Robinson
March 16, 2012
Very Tiny Houses may be the new American homeowner porn.
I know I’m far from the only one who looks at pictures like this one and thinks wistfully about all the stuff I’d get rid of if I had such a place. I could prune my closet to nothing. Cull out the excess kitchen stuff, and winnow things down to a few pots and place settings. Consolidate all my books, movies and electronic toys onto a single iPad. And my Saturdays would be my own: I could clean the whole place in half an hour flat.
And if we did this, how simple life would be! How much more time I would have for stuff that mattered! And think of the money we could save on mortgages, taxes, utilities, and upkeep!
Of course, the vast majority of us will never actually go all the way to this extreme. (My geek husband’s bank of computers alone would overwhelm every inch of this lovely little space with a nova-like explosion of screens and wires; we’d have to sleep on the roof.) But, according to a growing mountain of data from the building and real estate industries, Americans are in fact backing away slowly from the sprawling McMansions of the 1990s, and increasingly tucking ourselves into cozier quarters.
Intriguingly: professionals in the building industry are saying that this move may be a long-term shift that’s reflecting a deep sea-change in American values and attitudes about what makes a place a home.
In a 2009 article in USA Today interior designer Christine Brun sums up the emerging ethic: “You’re almost unpatriotic to live so large.” She points out that baby boomers are downsizing their now-empty nests; and younger adults “don’t care if they live in 500 square feet. They just want cool stuff.” Add in growing awareness of our environmental footprint and a crashing economy, and you’ve got a perfect storm that’s moving Americans back toward the kind of smaller digs we lived in in the days of Ward and June Cleaver.