The drought-stricken Colorado River Basin has experienced rapid and significant groundwater depletion since late 2004, posing a greater threat to the water supply of the western United States than previously thought, according to a new study by NASA and University of California, Irvine.

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Worldwide mandatory population control.  Period. 

Two children per couple would be legal tax-delectable dependents, a third child would be null, and anything over three would be an annual fine added to the tax bill.  Couples/families that choose not to reproduce, and can prove that they are permanently sterile, would get an extra deduction, and if they choose to adopt children, THAT would be another deduction.

We are breeding ourselves out of room, food, water, jobs, and we have nowhere else to go.

@ sk8eycat......As far  as limiting  children, it should  be  determined  by  financial  ability  to support  more  than  two children.....Why should  the Tax Payer  have to support another  person's  child?....On the other hand, if  a financially  successful family  wants  a large brood, and can afford  to feed , clothe, and educate  them then who are  we  to  tell them  how many  children  they can have in a Democracy such as ours....I will never  forget, when I was  still working as a Pharmacist  in  retail..A customer  on medicaid  announced  that she  intended  to have as many  children  as god  will allow and that the state  will have to pay for them....Everyone  around  was dumbfounded......People  like that should not be allowed  to have  more than  two children or even  one child  if  they can not  afford  to have them....

If a family can afford to feed, clothe, house, educate a large litter, fine.  BUT they should NOT be allowed to claim more than 2 of them as dependents (unless the kids are handicapped in some way, and will never be self-sufficient.)

The Octomom is on public support, as is the family that had six or seven kids from one artificial insemination treatment, and KNEW that all of them would have major health problems if they were all carried to term.  They were given the option of having all but two of the embryos resorb early on, but refused....saying it was "god's will." (God swill.)  WRONG!  It was "god's will" that they have NO children...and/or they could have adopted, but they wanted to pass along their own damaged DNA instead. Selfish, IMO.

It is women such as you describe, Freethinker31, that makes it so difficult when a women has life planned so that she can support any children she has. Whether her plan is through marriage or her own resources, things do happen unexpectedly. When something happens to interrupt the plan ... an injury, illness, loss of job, loss of financial support of any kind, she is vulnerable. When a social welfare system is set up to protect from unexpected setbacks, there are those who plan to take advantage of the safety net. 

Not all women are such sharks, nor are all men. Because there are some who exploit the system, does that mean the safety net should be taken away for all?  

Should a man or woman decide not to have children because of the risks involved? 

Yes, paying people who don't have children or who get sterilized would be an excellent idea.

Lower population is especially important for richer countries where people use a lot of energy, like the USA.  We tend to think of the population problem as mostly being about poor countries where people have a lot of children ... but what matters is people's demands on resources. 

There is some attention being paid in this regard.  For example, my home state of South Carolina does not, since it's Dixie, endorse expanded Medicaid.  I earn far too little to reach the bar of 133% of the federal poverty level and get federal insurance subsidies, and far too much (over $1,090 per year) to qualify for Medicaid.  I applied for Medicaid anyway, and got a nice letter from the Governor saying that I qualified for an irreversible sterilization procedure, but nothing else.  So there are some forward looking Republican politicians.


From your link:

The problems listed in the documents include methane gas contamination, spills of wastewater and other pollutants, and wells that went dry or were otherwise undrinkable. Some of the problems were temporary

Methane gas contamination is harmless. A lot of private wells are probably not properly cased, which may have caused a lot of the problems.  And how many tens of thousands of wells were drilled, resulting those 243 complaints?

Rather than contaminating increasingly precious water, while extracting more fossil fuel that, with out profligate use adds to the problem of climate change, we should learn to live better with less gas and oil.  We CAN

That's an assumption that isn't supported by any evidence so far as I can see. 

Conservation isn't the answer.  Even if we managed to cut our energy use in half - which would mean a lot of sacrifices that people won't want to make - we still couldn't get by purely on renewable energy.  If we used 1/10 the energy we do and had a Third World standard of living, perhaps we could. 

I really do do a lot of those energy-conservation things.  I don't have a car, I get around on my bicycle.  I have a vegan diet. 

But I still use plenty of fossil fuels.  The electricity here is generated primarily by natural gas.  Fracking has lowered the price of natural gas, and that has improved USA carbon emissions.  Much better than making electricity by burning coal.  

It would help if we had a longterm goal of reducing the population.  If the USA had a population of 100 million instead of 300 million or whatever it now is, no question we'd be a lot better off.

We should be building more nuclear power plants.  Modern ones, without the liabilities of the Fukushima reactor. 

We would not be in this very dangerous situation with global warming, if we had developed nuclear power in a big way.  But nuclear power freaks people out. 

Misguided idealism is fucking dangerous

Solar or wind power are not going to step up and take over our energy needs.  Even if we conserve energy.  They consume too much land and too much raw materials for the energy generated.  For a detailed exposition of the problems, see Sustainable Energy without the Hot Air, a free online book that introduces facts to the debate about our energy future. 

Fracking does need to be properly regulated.  The fracking companies are no more ethical than any other big business, and they'd be dumping fracking wastewater into streams if they were allowed to - they used to do that.  And probably some of the complaints in Pennsylvania were because of such negligence by the fracking companies. 

But banning fracking would be very shortsighted. 

Fracking really could help us to lessen our huge economic interest in the Middle East and its oil, because natural gas is the main current contender for an energy source to replace oil in vehicles, either by vehicles directly using natural gas, or electric vehicles using electricity generated from natural gas (probably cleaner). 

Electricity generation is moving to cheap natural gas, replacing coal (which is very polluting).  Cheap electricity could help us switch to electric vehicles. 

I don't want a nuclear war.  And energy independence for the USA would contribute to world peace, a lot.  The USA wouldn't throw its weight around in the Middle East so much.  Osama bin Laden was funded by Americans at their gas pumps.  Probably al Qaeda still is funded by our oil imports.  If anybody can give me a good argument as to why energy independence for the USA would not contribute to world peace, I might change my mind about fracking. 

I don't think fracking is going to be banned, because the economic incentives, although not sexy, are powerful. 

Hopefully in 25-50 years or so, nuclear fusion will become a practical energy source and we can stop worrying about energy.

But, we need to get to that point without having a nuclear war. 

With the premise that solar power, wind power, water power, power from waste  can not replace fossil fuel as a power  source, only contributes  to that mind set.....Our  natural  resources with  a low carbon foot print, has to be  the way to go......What good is going  the easy way by fracking  and destroying our  precious earth  to get at these  fossil fuels, if the beautiful land, water, and forests  are depleted....If the quality of life  is diminished  with  fewer parks and  forests and  contaminated  water supplies  for  drinking and  recreational use....By putting  wind mills all over  the  coastal waters  and the open plains, and solar panels on every building, and using  human and animal  waste to convert to energy...No one can say  that won't put  a huge  dent  on our  total  energy needs....We can then use  less nuclear power  and  fossil fuel but between  all of theses  sources of energy, our needs  should be met...  Instead of nay saying  we should be supportive and think more  of our  future quality  of life  for our  descendants and not what we  want now no matter what the cost....

People living in suburbia or rural areas have bigger carbon footprints than city-dwellers.

So while urbanites might seem very separated from nature, they are actually kinder to our planet. 

One of my neighbors in my house (which I can't live in right now) is very "cool" and "natural" - his lawn and his car sport signs vilifying Big Oil and promoting various environmental causes.  He's an acupuncturist and herbalist.

But he gets his heat from a wood stove - very polluting - and drives a car to work.  I used to ride my bike past his "don't buy Exxon, buy Citgo" bumper sticker and laugh. 

THIS is fascinating!  The reason wolves (and other predators) are necessary....and too many people are NOT.

The bottom line is  humans can learn a lot  from  wild animals  like  the wolf..What do humans  do?  We destroy forests  to build homes, thus  destroying  the  habitat  of many animals and birds...We pollute  rivers  and streams  with waste  and  chemicals and we pollute  the air we breathe  with  the burning of fossil fuels......If  humans  don't  change  their ways  , we will some  day  become extinct  ourselves.....

We may become the first species in evolutionary history to destroy its own habitat.



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