Author Topic: Population decline  (Read 2133 times)

Online Fulk

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2020, 10:25:40 pm »
Quote
I get a bit confused when we think of the planet as 'better off' without us,

So – who is wrecking the planet by mass-producing ‘stuff’, whether or not it’s ‘useful’? Is it the ants, the bees, the oak trees, the ferns, the frogs, the parakeets, the delphiniums, the muskrats, the trout, the crocodiles, the chimpanzees, the cockroaches . . . . Of course not, it’s us, our species. Who is filling the oceans with plastic waste? Is it the ants, the bees, the oak trees, etc.? No again. The rest of nature is bound by checks and balances that our species have, to a fair degree, managed to circumvent, and when people speculate that the planet might be better off without us, I’m sure they mean that the wreckage that we are inflicting on it and the waste with which we are filling it would not be happening.

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2020, 10:37:38 pm »
We are just leaches on a floating ball of gas relying on another planet for energy which is actually in a process of supernova, and when the sun reaches supernova it will take half of our immediate universe with it
Just saying
 

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2020, 11:29:27 pm »
We are just leaches on a floating ball of gas relying on another planet for energy which is actually in a process of supernova, and when the sun reaches supernova it will take half of our immediate universe with it
Just saying

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Offline PeteHall

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2020, 12:00:34 am »
when people speculate that the planet might be better off without us, I’m sure they mean that the wreckage that we are inflicting on it and the waste with which we are filling it would not be happening.

Better off for what?????

Within the lifespan of our planet, our impact is zero. Even if we wiped ourselves out with nuclear weapons and took every known species with us, the planet would go on, some DNA would survive with a huge head start compared to day one of the planet and something would grow back, perhaps "better" than what we see today.

Previous species have evolved and become extinct, either as their environment changed or because they were out-competed by another species. Each species has sought to pass on its DNA as best it can, in a hostile and competitive environment, some have been more successful than others.

We have just out-competed every other known species on our planet, not because we are bigger, or stronger, but for the same reason this discussion is even happening; because we have a creative mind, unlike any other species. We are the pinnacle of evolution, something that should be admired and celebrated.

If we all disappeared, would there suddenly be peace and harmony? Would the animals suddenly stop hunting each other for food? Would they suddenly start to care for the weak?
Of course not. Nature is cruel. Animals chase, fight and eat each other. The weak and sick are left to die alone. The strongest survives until something stronger comes along, then they are killed.

Watch the whale calf at he start of Blue Planet; a huge and majestic animal, think of the resource that went into producing it, killed for a mouthful of food. Surely the killer whales should have just eaten few small fish instead of killing something so big when they had no intention of eating it all. Oh wait, they don't give a shit, they just want the easiest dinner they can get, to grow strong and pass on their DNA. Just like every other species.

The reality is that we are far nicer than most creatures on our planet. What other species goes out of its way to support the weak? What other species goes out of its way to help another species? What other species regulates the way they kill their food to minimise suffering? What other species changes its diet to reduce its impact on other species?

Our job is to look after our own species and pass on our DNA. part of that involves looking after where our species live and for that reason alone, we must look after our planet to keep it the way it supports us best.

We need to protect the environment as we know it, because it supports our own life and gives us the ability to pass on our DNA. If the temperature rose by 100 degrees, or the air changed to anthrax, we would die out, but something else better suited would fill the void.

The planet doesn't care, it's an inanimate lump of rock. The other species don't care, they just try to pass on their DNA before they get eaten. It's only us who care and at a species level, we only care because we are selfish, just like every other species.

Given the choice of my species or another, I'll be protecting my species all day long!

I genuinely can't believe that anyone would really want to eradicate their own species (including themselves and everything they love) for the benefit of another species that doesn't give the slightest shit. If you genuinely believe this, feel free to put your money where your mouth is and lead by example. Something else will fill the void.

As for the original topic, a declining population will be bad for the well-being of our species in the short term at least, but no doubt things will re-balance to suit the future environment with or without us or the species that currently exist.
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Offline 2xw

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2020, 12:40:33 am »
All these good reasons to become a multi planetary species

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2020, 07:33:39 am »
We are just leaches on a floating ball of gas relying on another planet for energy which is actually in a process of supernova, and when the sun reaches supernova it will take half of our immediate universe with it
Just saying

The mass of the Sun is too small to form a supernova.

.

Online Fulk

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2020, 08:31:27 am »
Im struggling with this, cavemanmik: 'We are just leaches on a floating ball of gas relying on another planet for energy which is actually in a process of supernova'
The Earth is a rocky planet, and it doesn't float on anything (except, perhaps, in a metaphorical sense), and the Sun is, of course, star, not another planet. Would you care to explain what you mean?

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2020, 08:36:57 am »
We are just leaches on a floating ball of gas relying on another planet for energy which is actually in a process of supernova, and when the sun reaches supernova it will take half of our immediate universe with it
Just saying

The mass of the Sun is too small to form a supernova.

.

It would still wipe us and many other planets out and would create a bigger knock on effect.
But hey the human race will be sipping cocktails on Mars by then  :lol:

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2020, 09:24:18 am »
Natural selection usually benefits individuals and their offspring at the expense of others in the species, soon allowing the entire species to acquire the desirable characteristics needed in a changing environment.
Humanity will have fitted in well until quite recently.
But then discoveries and inventions (sewers, vaccines, domestic electricity, the internal combustion engine, antibiotics, plastics, etc.) made by a very small number of intelligent and imaginative individuals have enabled the human race as a whole to increase its numbers dramatically without conferring those characteristics on the general population.
The result is now that humanity is (collectively) not bright enough to realise that something must change. If it’s not already too late.
Perhaps good old Mother Nature is already delivering the boot up the arse she keeps in reserve for a species that overreaches itself by failing to exist in harmony with its environment. Global warming, the odd pandemic, antibiotic resistance, plastic pollution in the sea may represent the first twinge of discomfort as the fast-moving toe touches our backside.
It’s very sad that we shall take many other innocent creatures down with us.

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2020, 10:22:14 am »


I genuinely can't believe that anyone would really want to eradicate their own species (including themselves and everything they love) for the benefit of another species that doesn't give the slightest shit. If you genuinely believe this, feel free to put your money where your mouth is and lead by example. Something else will fill the void.

As for the original topic, a declining population will be bad for the well-being of our species in the short term at least, but no doubt things will re-balance to suit the future environment with or without us or the species that currently exist.
Of course nobody wants to eradicate our species, all people are saying is the earth would be better off without us unless we learn to control ourselves and not pollute the place. Over population has been a concern for decades so as you say a declining population will be hard for us in the short term but better in the long once we've learnt to live with it.
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Offline kay

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2020, 11:29:39 am »

What about healthcare for the elderly?


It would help if we let those who wished depart at a time of their choosing, rather than be "kept safe" to enjoy 10 years of more of dementia or other life-quality-sapping illness.

Online JoshW

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #36 on: July 16, 2020, 11:33:50 am »

What about healthcare for the elderly?


It would help if we let those who wished depart at a time of their choosing, rather than be "kept safe" to enjoy 10 years of more of dementia or other life-quality-sapping illness.

Yes! this, a thousand times this. Our sickening obsession with keeping people alive when clearly it's not in their best interest is insane

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #37 on: July 16, 2020, 11:49:51 am »

What about healthcare for the elderly?


It would help if we let those who wished depart at a time of their choosing, rather than be "kept safe" to enjoy 10 years of more of dementia or other life-quality-sapping illness.

This is a very slippery slope.

If euthanasia were legalised, over time, this would put considerable pressure on the elderly and vulnerable to "do the right thing" and stop "being a burden on society". We should be protecting the elderly and vulnerable, not labelling them as a burden and certainly not pushing them to kill themselves to make space for us!

There is also the obvious risk that beneficiaries would put pressure on elderly relatives, or sign paperwork against the will of the elderly in order to pick up an inheritance before it is depleted by old age care.

This isn't the kind of society I want to live in.
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Online JoshW

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #38 on: July 16, 2020, 11:59:54 am »

What about healthcare for the elderly?


It would help if we let those who wished depart at a time of their choosing, rather than be "kept safe" to enjoy 10 years of more of dementia or other life-quality-sapping illness.

This is a very slippery slope.

If euthanasia were legalised, over time, this would put considerable pressure on the elderly and vulnerable to "do the right thing" and stop "being a burden on society". We should be protecting the elderly and vulnerable, not labelling them as a burden and certainly not pushing them to kill themselves to make space for us!

There is also the obvious risk that beneficiaries would put pressure on elderly relatives, or sign paperwork against the will of the elderly in order to pick up an inheritance before it is depleted by old age care.

This isn't the kind of society I want to live in.

Correct it's a slippery slope, but doesn't mean that it can't be implemented well and not proceed further down the slippery slope.

Online darren

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2020, 12:38:20 pm »
People under hospice care are given large amounts of drugs to keep them pain free. It is accepted that these drugs will shorten lives sometimes down to hours.

Does anyone think these drugs should be withheld?

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Offline Speleofish

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2020, 01:08:52 pm »
Whenever the issue of assisted dying is discussed, someone comes up with the counter-argument that old people will be pressurised into seeking euthanasia. This is a very strong argument in favour of extremely tight controls of assisted dying but doesn't invalidate the proposal that there are circumstances in which help with dying is far more humane than prolonged palliative care. The majority of people can be kept comfortable with an acceptable quality of life with good palliative care, but some can't. These people deserve better 'care' than we provide at present. It should be possible to produce a tightly written law with adequate safeguards to prevent abuse. It shouldn't allow assisted dying on demand, but only after a patient has demonstrated a sustained, consistent desire to die and only after a very thorough consideration of their circumstances.

Online darren

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #41 on: July 16, 2020, 01:27:22 pm »
Soylent Green has got a lot to answer for.

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Offline JasonC

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #42 on: July 16, 2020, 07:46:20 pm »

This is a very slippery slope.

If euthanasia were legalised, over time, this would put considerable pressure on the elderly and vulnerable to "do the right thing" and stop "being a burden on society". We should be protecting the elderly and vulnerable, not labelling them as a burden and certainly not pushing them to kill themselves to make space for us!

There is also the obvious risk that beneficiaries would put pressure on elderly relatives, or sign paperwork against the will of the elderly in order to pick up an inheritance before it is depleted by old age care.

This isn't the kind of society I want to live in.

Ah, but what about when it's you that is elderly and vulnerable?  Say you've avoided an early death from doing something exciting or catching an exotic illness, and you face another 10 years of not recognising your family, having to be spoon-fed and your arse wiped? 

This is not a position I want to be in, and it would be nice to think I can express my wishes while I still can, and have relatives or doctors carry them out without being prosecuted.

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #43 on: July 16, 2020, 08:04:04 pm »
I agree. I don't want to be like my parents hanging around waiting to die. But there have to be proper safeguards
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Offline AR

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #44 on: July 16, 2020, 08:42:45 pm »
I would suggest reading the late Terry Pratchett's essays on this matter, as published posthumously in "A Slip of the Keyboard" - as you'd expect, thoughtful and well-reasoned, and sprinkled with his trademark humour.
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Offline Robert Scott

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #45 on: July 16, 2020, 09:20:45 pm »
We are just leaches on a floating ball of gas relying on another planet for energy which is actually in a process of supernova, and when the sun reaches supernova it will take half of our immediate universe with it
Just saying

The mass of the Sun is too small to form a supernova.

.

It would still wipe us and many other planets out and would create a bigger knock on effect.
But hey the human race will be sipping cocktails on Mars by then  :lol:
Our sun will eventually in about 3 to 4 billion years start its progress to a Red Giant. It will grow and grow. Consuming our Earth and then Mars and then possibly Jupiter.
At some stage, our species needs to find a "Goldilocks" planet that has recently become agreeable somewhere. My offspring would need to pick the best and bravest to start the mission. Let's hope
they choose better than "brave and unthinking"

Offline owd git

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2020, 09:30:34 pm »
Worry less! you are all now one day closer to death. (Roger Waters.)  :beer2:
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Offline AR

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2020, 09:53:27 pm »
Worry less! you are all now one day closer to death. (Roger Waters.)  :beer2:
O.G.

I'll see your Roger Waters and raise you an Alice Cooper - "Enjoy your death, it's a one-in-a-lifetime experience"
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2020, 10:24:49 pm »
Arguably one of the benefits (or even reasons) for increased longevity is precisely for the reasons mentioned above - the long space flights that will be needed to colonise other planets. or even just a decent career in the space industry. I can't think of any other advance in transport (and thus advances in all connected lifestyles, for want of a better word - someone (probably R. Buckminster Fuller) once coined: 'livingry') that has had less enthusiasm from the public, despite the moon landings. Boats, wagons, trains, bikes, cars, planes and everything up to spacecraft were gleefully adopted by everyone, and the democratisation of travel has always been the definition of 'progress'. Yet even with the popular interest in space in movies and TV, the overall enthusiasm for the 'next step' is relatively low amongst the public - possibly as there's nowhere obvious yet 'to go'. Not even boldly, where no man has been before.

However, space will need a huge amount of infrastructure to construct, and will undeniably need a lot of labour to do that. How many people have they thrown at that shit-stupid 'World Cup' stadium complex in Qatar? And for what? If it even goes ahead it'll be empty now. All the technologies that support the space industry will need a lot of labour to make all the components and widgets and more trivial items that go into every programme. There are plenty of companies in Britain quietly making a good living making plastic components, lighting units, ventilation systems and nutrient solutions for the hydroponics industry - which occasionally also grows salad and strawberries amongst its bulging repertoire. They're not struggling, as they've identified a 'growing' market and gone for it - and only make components, so 'it wasn't me, guv'.

The US had the money and the skills to begin building a moonbase in the early 1980s until Ronald Reagan diverted the entire budget to his 'Star Wars' laser-weapons program - which, predictably didn't work, and just pissed everybody off so they didn't want to work with them. If they had started work on the moonbase then, arguably they would probably be hiring rather a lot of labourers right about now to begin building the first 'moontown', starting of course with bars, casinos and brothels. What else are those labourers going to do with their spare time?

Speaking of spare time, anything by R. Buckminster Fuller is well worth reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller

He also produced the only map to show the Earth as it really is, with no deformation anywhere. Strangely it never gets mentioned, probably as it has 'funny edges'. It's on my wall above my desk here:

https://www.bfi.org/about-fuller/big-ideas/dymaxion-world/dymaxion-map
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 10:34:12 pm by pwhole »

Offline JasonC

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Re: Population decline
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2020, 11:05:16 pm »
.... If they had started work on the moonbase then, arguably they would probably be hiring rather a lot of labourers right about now to begin building the first 'moontown', starting of course with bars, casinos and brothels...

Yes, arguably.  Arguably, pigs will attain the power of flight.

Meaningful space colonisation is science fiction, and will remain so.

When we can solve relatively simple problems like feeding all humans adequately, and living in our one planet sustainably, then maybe we can make such fantasies real: until then, forget it.

 

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