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@ TNT666 the word "sustainable" IS an incorrect word for what we need to do. You wrote "sustainable" no longer belongs to biology."
What would state that which we need? Living in balance with nature, perhaps? Or human numbers in balance with other large mammals on the planet?
Now we get into the question, how do we decide the proper numbers of humans the Earth will support, and how do get populations down to that number? Pandemic? Wars? Enforced sterilization? We are kind of like rats, are we not? And just as voracious.
TNT666, thanks for alerting me that I had posted the same material twice. Correction made.
Chris, in the past couple of decades, the word "sustainable" has come to mean very little. It's not a biological concept but an economic one, it is usually loaded growth dogma bias. My opinion goes with the rest of true environmentalists on this one, "sustainable" no longer belongs to biology. It is for this reason I hope that environmentalists everywhere can work on a number which depends not on sustainability but which places all the emphasis on the population sizes of other large mammals on the planet, a strictly biological perspective. This is what I bring to the table when I meet with other environmentalists locally... but there's still a lot of anthropocentrism (sorry for the "morphism" misspell in my previous comment :) in the environmental movement, it's the largest challenge I find out in the field.
Illusions of Prosperity
"In January of 2000 there were 281 million people in America. Now there are 309 million. We have 10% more people but roughly the same overall net worth. Therefore, the average American is 10% poorer than they were 10 years ago."
Have you noticed how many changed took place in the 1970s? Look at economic, political, energy charts and graphs and you will see tremendous changes taking place with exponential growth. World Population and the 7th Billion
Two million people sounds too low for 2000 years ago. Here's a UN chart showing 0.30 billion people in year 0. I saw estimates ranging from 170m to 300m.
Here's a paper saying the world can sustainably support between 1.5 and 2 b people at the world's average footprint. It continues with the sustainable level is the maximum number. It doesn't provide an optimum population number.
During my time in university in biology, the number that was stated by population biologists was around 2 million for the entire planet, that would put us in balance with other species... that is, were the populations of other species at pre-Roman levels. With today's across the board extinction levels, even 2 million humans could be hard on the planet. From 7 billion 2 million, that's over 90% in population reduction. That's my aim in all conversations on this topic. The USA has a few cities which have died due to corporate changes. Downsizing a modern western city is a difficult process because we have only ever practiced GROWTH. If we start planning and practicing DE-growth, we'll get better at it. The single-child policy in China I don't consider a good option, socially speaking it causes competition between M and F births, causes widespread cheating unless the government police's it heavily. The Chinese people never did accept that policy in their minds. What we need is a total change in perspective. We need to decide on a number, and then sell it for all it's worth!
Before determining immigration policy an ideal population number should be identified. The U.S. doesn't teach pregnancy prevention in school and its STD prevention policies overseas is horrid. It appears that population policy is determined only by economic policy using the economic growth through consumption model. It's good input is sought for immigration policy based on population #'s and environmental impact. It would be better to implement a strategy rather than let nature take its course and wait for civilization collapse, or saturation to take care of it. As it is uncontrolled population growth (except in China) is the policy by default. The current world population level is beyond sustainability as evident by climate change and species collapse. Off the top I'd say the world population should be no higher than it was around 1900. Population control critics are as bad as Zionists who call any criticism of Israeli expansion anti-semitic by using equally inappropriate extremist name calling.
Environmentalists need to get involved in the single largest cause of environmental degradation: H.sapiens population growth. Here in North America, we have the largest ecological footprint of any nation. Any child raised in N. America has a 10x larger eco-footprint than a child raised in the parts of Africa.In a sense, in N.America, through education of females, we have achieved a nominal lowering of bird rates, at times to just a tad lower than the 2/female renewal rate. However governments have recognised this and simply compensate for us N.American females breeding less by getting third world females to immigrate. Newly arrived immigrants are the major force behind sustained breeding statistics. Beyond social commentary, the largest consequence to constantly growing numbers of us large footprint N.Americans, is massive amounts of loss of habitat and species diversity. Most environmentalists are too politically correct to debate this topic, others are only environmentalist in the anthromorphic context, to eventually increase the H.sapiens population. But the only valid reason I see to be an environmentalist is to regain some degree of ecosystemic balance. In this context, immigration to large ecofootprint countries is a topic which we cannot afford to leave to chance.Begin with this interesting article on Rewilding.org.
Yet another tipping point H. sapiens is crossing: Siberian Tiger Quest. One of the most beautiful and haunting video studies of these disappearing beauties of nature...I don't know if this video is available online anywhere, I didn't find any, but watch on PBS television, keep an eye out for future showings.
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