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We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction

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Posted on Mar 8, 2009
AP photo / Andy Wong

China has long imposed a limit of one child per family in an effort to reduce population growth.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

James Lovelock, an independent British scientist who has spent most of his career locked out of the mainstream, warned several decades ago that disrupting the delicate balance of the Earth, which he refers to as a living body, would be a form of collective suicide. The atmosphere on Earth—21 percent oxygen and 79 percent nitrogen—is not common among planets, he notes. These gases are generated, and maintained at an equable level for life’s processes, by living organisms themselves. Oxygen and nitrogen would disappear if the biosphere was destroyed. The result would be a greenhouse atmosphere similar to that of Venus, a planet that is consequently hundreds of degrees hotter than Earth. Lovelock argues that the atmosphere, oceans, rocks and soil are living entities. They constitute, he says, a self-regulating system. Lovelock, in support of this thesis, looked at the cycle in which algae in the oceans produce volatile sulfur compounds. These compounds act as seeds to form oceanic clouds. Without these dimethyl sulfide “seeds” the cooling oceanic clouds would be lost. This self-regulating system is remarkable because it maintains favorable conditions for human life. Its destruction would not mean the death of the planet. It would not mean the death of life-forms. But it would mean the death of Homo sapiens.

Lovelock advocates nuclear power and thermal solar power; the latter, he says, can be produced by huge mirrors mounted in deserts such as those in Arizona and the Sahara. He proposes reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide with large plastic cylinders thrust vertically into the ocean. These, he says, could bring nutrient-rich lower waters to the surface, producing an algal bloom that would increase the cloud cover. But he warns that these steps will be ineffective if we do not first control population growth. He believes the Earth is overpopulated by a factor of about seven. As the planet overheats—and he believes we can do nothing to halt this process—overpopulation will make all efforts to save the ecosystem futile.

Lovelock, in “The Revenge of Gaia,” said that if we do not radically and immediately cut greenhouse gas emissions, the human race might not die out but it would be reduced to “a few breeding pairs.” “The Vanishing Face of Gaia,” his latest book, which has for its subtitle “The Final Warning,” paints an even grimmer picture. Lovelock says a continued population boom will make the reduction of fossil fuel use impossible. If we do not reduce our emissions by 60 percent, something that can be achieved only by walking away from fossil fuels, the human race is doomed, he argues. Time is running out. This reduction will never take place, he says, unless we can dramatically reduce our birthrate.

All efforts to stanch the effects of climate change are not going to work if we do not practice vigorous population control. Overpopulation, in times of hardship, will create as much havoc in industrialized nations as in the impoverished slums around the globe where people struggle on less than two dollars a day. Population growth is often overlooked, or at best considered a secondary issue, by many environmentalists, but it is as fundamental to our survival as reducing the emissions that are melting the polar ice caps.

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By Powalla, December 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have been talking about the people problem for a long time. Bottom line, people need to consider the rest of the world and not just them selves. People like the Duggars and Octomom make me sick. You only need 1-2 children. That’s all the world can afford to carry. But too many of us are too ignorant to look beyond ourselves.

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By pudge, June 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where did you get this number?  My head is filled with many useless odds and
ends, and I just happen to know it’s the number of hours in a non-leap year. 
So it seems you got this oddly exact number by multiplying a separate
estimate: that we lose a species per hour.  I have no idea where that estimate
came from, but it seems like it came from dividing an annual estimate (perhaps
10,000?) into an hourly estimate.

So it seems you took a larger number that was divided and rounded, and then
multiplied it back into a larger number ... which gives you a garbage number,
which undermines your credibility.

Also, I’d note that there is, in fact, no evidence that there is a problem with the
rate of extinction.  You kinda just made that all up.  But at least you should use
real numbers next time.

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By ProfBob, August 9, 2009 at 1:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The overpopulation problem is covered very completely in the free ebook series “And Gulliver Returns” at http://andgulliverreturns.info  There is so much more to the problem than we have imagined.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 10, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

A child tax if you reproduce. Stipend if you don’t. extra money if you adopt. If you do it just for that and it is found out the children won’t only be taken from you but hard labor for 20 years at some farm will be you lot. The best we can hope for is enough will survive the coming tribulations of resource wars and radical climate change, social upheaval, plagues and starvation. We have tarried mindlessly along for too long and now it is time to pay the Piper. {As in Pied Piper of Hamlin.}

Having more children because we are rich in resources is what the ‘dumb’ animals do.  The curse of our evolution and layered development of our brains. All those old parts affect the new parts in strange and dangerous ways.

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By Sepharad, April 9, 2009 at 6:36 pm Link to this comment

Baka Karasu—

Too late—have two biological and one adopted children. They each seem to want one child and one true mate but are not stupid enough to buy-buy-buy (or expect to live happily ever after in such a world as ours. Each in their own field are trying to make it a better place. And not a one is religious.

Had never thought of handing out condoms to random strangers and it does seem a little weird, but on the streets of San Francisco, will give it try. Will complain to you if I get punched out.

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By Baka Karasu, April 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad -
      Re: the “what can I do” question - first I suggest http://www.paulchefurka.ca for a more comprehensive response, but here’s my haiku version:
1. Stop having babies now! Yes even one!

2. See item 1. and encourage all you interact with to do the same.

3. if you already have babies, as soon as
possible make sure they get the message that (contrary to the marketing/marriage/baby complex and socialization schemes) their life path should NOT automatically be assumed to be “grow up, find your One True Mate, make babies, buy buy buy, and life happily ever after.

3. let your representatives (and generally anyone you talk to) that you think childfree people should get tax benefits and free scholarships and people with more than 2 children should have to pay ALL school, medical, and other such costs now picked up by any government agencies.

4. Whenever someone says “I’m (or “We’re” wink pregnant - do NOT say “congratulations” - say “why”?

5. Donate $ designated for vasectomies to Planned Parenthood.

6. Give condoms to random strangers.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

Too many interests want the status quo as an operational optimum for them. A large population for a cheap desperate work force easily replaced. The squeaking wheel gets replaced when you have a whole bin of spares on the cheap to use. The job you have now is always in danger as people are finding out no matter how good you are or skilled they will replace you to save money even if they only give the ‘savings’ to themselves! With so many unemployed jobs offered get many times more applicants so they start finding ways of culling them from you credit numbers to your age to what you do in your spare time. The elites want a large population though it does limit the purchasing power of them but then the minimal pay will still allow them to shop at WalMart.

It’s a Wal Mart world after all. Sweat shops aglow with the eyes of young children as they bend over machines while steely eyed guards with guns watch them for hours on end telling them when they can eat, and empty their bowels. Averaging 12 hrs or more. The valhalla of the capitalist set! A Hobbsian life for you and me while they live long happy healthy lives maybe centuries with new bio-technologies so they can have the best the world can offer while the worker drones get the worst.

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By sandrarita, April 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

This is the crux of the matter and the root cause of the destruction of our planet, resources and wildlife.  This is a complicated issue, especially when the popular culture (in the case of more developed countries) promotes childbirth rather than adoption of unwanted children, and while idealogy prevents the distribution of safe contraceptives and education in undeveloped countries.  Similarities exist in the overpopulation problem of domestic animals which are euthanized by the thousands while puppy breeding farms cater to the ‘breed’ lovers rather than encouraging adoption of unwanted pets. 

Things have improved on that front, but if they don’t on the human front, we will continue to experience increasing violence as competition for resources increases and as the planet protests with increasingly extreme natural catastrophes.  While we hide our heads in the sand, the planet is dying before our eyes.  How long until our unwillingness to address overpopulation results in Draconian measures and total destruction of the human species.  Is this a scorched earth philosophy of human existence?

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By Sepharad, March 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Baka Karasu—I do agree with you that we are running out of time and have to move aggressively with energy-efficient changes (not just “policies”) but what more can we do besides pushing our government reps as hard as we can? (I hang out our family’s clothes outside to dry year-round unless it’s actually raining hard, but that and all the other little energy/water-savings-at-home isn’t gonna accomplish enough. The Israelis have what I would characterize as an aggressive government mandate re hydbrid cars, changes (already in place) for more efficiently desalinizing water—but that’s a little country and the big ones—US, Euros, China, Russia—apparently are having trouble turning on a dime. It’s infuriating, but true. If there is something that we in the U.S. are not thinking of that we could be doing to prod our governments and businesses I’d love to hear what it is.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 16, 2009 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller, March 16 at 3:52 pm #

One of my main pet peeves is bigotry and I am trying to give it up!  Another Pet Peeve is, imbeciles, who subscribe with the idea they are spewing bits of wisdom.
************************************************

I got the same problem, especially with mystic “wisdom”.  Whenever someone is described as a “spiritual person” I drop whatever I’m doing and RUN LIKE HELL!

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By Baka Karasu, March 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad sez:
“Inherit, re your March 14 post, I did notice that Folktruther agreed with us that the best way to reduce population is to help develop economically stable countries with decent education and living standards.”

Another unusually (at least partly) on-topic post! Wow!  Maybe it’s the start of a trend!

I semi-respectfully disagree with all who hold this opinion.  The reason is that it implies we have time.  We have no time. 

We’ve already exceeded global carrying capacity. We are now in “overshoot”.  (Visualize a car sailing smoothly, but quite temporarily, through the air after having been driven off of a cliff.)

Global population is nearing 7 billion.  Different theorists using different methods seem to end up agreeing that global carrying capacity is probably about 2 billion. (This assumes some level of social justice and a moderate, low by US standards, standard of living. More is possible if you accept a cattle car / Matrix-esque “life”.) 

In any case, we will get to that much-lower-than-7-billion number the hard way (wars, famine, disease, and their accompanying losses of environmental quality, freedom, and social justice) OR the less hard way (immediately and drastically reducing our population voluntarily). Yes, all of us, yes, everywhere. There is no scenario anywhere in which population growth is a “good thing” long term.

Yes a drop in population would cause problems, but none of those problems are as big as the problems, suffering, and environmental collapse that is certain to occur if we don’t. 

I disagree with any argument that there is some “right to reproduce”. If there is any “right to reproduce” it’s in the concept that one has the freedom to nurture a child or children and form some sort of family.  Biological reproduction is not necessary to do that and there are many in need of this sort of nurturing.  I would also argue that there is no right to cause suffering to others, now or on into the future, and that is exactly what having babies does.

This is a global issue with local and nation-state consequences.  For example, immigration is a consequence of overpopulation, not a cause of it.  Likewise, global climate change and the collapse of ocean fisheries are not impressed by national boundaries.

No technological / “alternative energy” options have the capacity or can be ramped up fast enough to avoid major global calamity. That isn’t to say we shouldn’t do them. Aggressively shifting to alternative energy is necessary, just not sufficient.

For more comprehensive analysis of all this I suggest

Bandura etc.
http://growthmadness.org/2008/02/18/impeding-ecological-sustainability-through-selective-moral-disengagement/

Albert Bartlett on the exponential function as it relates to population and oil:
http://c-realm.blogspot.com/2008/12/kmo-interview-with-albert-bartlett.html

Approaching the Limits http://www.paulchefurka.ca

Bruce Sundquist on environmental impact of overpopulation http://home.alltel.net/bsundquist1/
How Many People Should The Earth Support? http://www.ecofuture.org/pop/rpts/mccluney_maxpop.html

Carrying Capacity
http://iere.org/ILEA/leaf/richard2002.html

The Oil Drum Peak Oil Overview - June 2007 (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2693)


...and of course the classic “Overshoot” by Catton

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By Leefeller, March 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

One of my main pet peeves is bigotry and I am trying to give it up!  Another Pet Peeve is, imbeciles, who subscribe with the idea they are spewing bits of wisdom.

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By TAO Walker, March 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind seems to be clutching at straws here.  It is, after all, our domesticated Human Relations who’ve thrown-up the self-serving “civilized” vs. “savage” CONceit.  Us surviving free wild Natives just knew right-away f’r sure which side of that ‘line’ we’d rather be on.  So can we really be blamed for picking-up the pejorative once-in-awhile, and tossing it back like the virtual Trail-of-Tears gas grenade our tormentors and their two-legged tools intend for it to be?

Harking-back to his earlier ‘critique’ of this old Indian’s suggestion that our tame Sisters and Brothers might do (in-fact ARE doing) much worse than to give the Tiyoshpaye Way a try, it’s hard to imagine anything MORE “atavistic” than the interminable internecine blood-feud (with its “....eye for an eye, etc….” rules-of-engagement) between and among various self-proclaimed descendants of Shem.  Just how ‘stone age’ is that….no matter how ‘sophisticated’ their “....slings and arrows….” have gotten, here in these latter days?  As for the exact same “history” between and among the self-styled followers of the so-called “Prince of Peace,” not to mention their murderous assaults on us Heathens, and every breed of “other,” including those same Shemites of either stripe….“let’s not,” as Inherit The Wind wishes, “go THERE!!!”

Wholesale slaughter for fun and profit (a-k-a WAR) continues to be the exclusive province of more-or-less “civilized” peoples.  It has always been a luxury us Savages can never afford….just like “BREEDING OURSELVES TO EXTINCTION.”

HokaHey!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 16, 2009 at 11:29 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, March 15 at 11:21 pm #

ITW,

What did you mean by this? In reference to which part of your comment?

You, too, LeeFeller.
*****************************************

I see the admins pruned my first response to you. Wonder why? Of all the posts I’ve made I thought that was one of the least offensive—they also pruned your response to mine as well…I’ll bet this doesn’t last 24 hours either….................

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By Sepharad, March 16, 2009 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Inherit, re your March 14 post, I did notice that Folktruther agreed with us that the best way to reduce population is to help develop economically stable countries with decent education and living standards. (I just didn’t mention it because I was afraid he’d change his mind, being in such bad company and all.)

Also agree that promoting adoption would help reduce number of births, though I’m not sure what the number would be. What adoption also does is reduce the number of kids growing up feeling unloved and unwanted, which I think makes it harder for them to find and build a life of their own (and indeed many troubled teenagers with seemingly dead-end lives and no one they can call their own are likely to have children out of wedlock they, being almost children themselves, can’t care for). But the main thing adoption does is give the adoptive parents an unexpected whole life’s worth of payback in terms of love, delight, all the reasons people want to have kids in the first place. (There are thousands and thousands of children of all ages who are orphaned or abandoned—many more than people waiting to adopt, because most people want babies with no health or emotional problems. But watching and helping a child transcend those problems has its own rewards, and the system needs to do more to reach out to the many people who don’t want to or don’t have work schedules that would fit the baby-toddler years. In fact, in California well-educated single people are beginning to adopt the more troubled older children, because some of these kids need so much love and one-on-one attention that it’s virtually impossible to focus on anyone else such as spouse or siblings. It’s amazing and encouraging to me to see what a wide range of individuals there are whose lives would be greatly enriched by kids once seen as unadoptable and throw-away. You’d think that with states’ budgets being stretched to the max they’d put more effort into getting the right person/s with the right kid.

Leefeller, I’ve enjoyed your and Inherit’s responses to wadosy. Sometimes I have to tune people like him out entirely. Especially when my party of choice, Meretz (farther left-wing than anyone not suicidal in Israel) got a total of 3 seats in the Knesset election and people like Netanyahu and Lieberman are in the driver’s seat. What is depressing is to realize that people DO vote out of fear as well as anger, and bigoted morons like wadosy all over the world only feed that fear.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2009 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment

ITW,

What did you mean by this? In reference to which part of your comment?

You, too, LeeFeller.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm Link to this comment

Baka Karasu, March 15 at 8:20 pm #

A modest proposal:

Let’s try to stay a bit more on topic and also think globally.  The basic topic here is overpopulation.

Religion is indeed relevant but only to the degree that it tends to strongly resist measures to control or voluntarily reduce population.

In that context, Judaism is quite similar to the other Abraham based religions and is not worthy of tedious distracting side discussions.

Note also that only app. 0.22% of the world’s population self identifies as “Jewish”.  (app. 16% self identifies as “non religious”.)
****************************************************

Baku, Until Wadosy runs out of steam and stops double-posting, he’s NEVER going to stop his hi-jack of this thread, nor his insane hatred of all things Jewish.

It doesn’t matter to him that he’s off-topic. To Wadosy there is ONLY one topic—how Jews are an evil infestation on the earth.  Ed Harges on another thread is making the same arguments, hijacking as well.  If the writing styles weren’t so different I’d think they were the same guy.

Heck, even FolkTruther and I are in agreement about the BEST solution for the main topic of this thread—It’s a cosmic rarity for us to both argue the same point that the obvious answer to overpopulation is the creation of modern industrial/technical societies in those nations with the greatest population growth because fertility rates ALWAYS fall in more prosperous societies.

It is the best answer.

Forget Wadosy—he’s hopelessly hooked on attacking me and has no interest or concern with this topic.

You, too, LeeFeller.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment

Baka Karasu,

Sorry, I saw your post after I posted my comment on our missing poster and his swastika mishap. No mare swastikas talk from me.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment

Another poster who asked for forgiveness for his unrelenting bigotry, even though I had already suggested his apology was not necessary, since I am not the pope I cannot forgive anyone.

He had a swastika problem when he tried to self tattoo a large swastika on his forehead, (evidently his forehead was larger then most peoples)  using a mirror reflection, unfortunately the results ended being the star of David which really upset him and became the butt of all jokes at the local Chapter of the American Nazi Party. So he decided to chop off his own head. We have not seen any posting by him lately guess he may have been successful.

First we heard he tried closing a garage door on his forehead and was unhappy with the results, last we heard he was getting his chain saw tuned up, though he may still be running up and down the street trying to push start it, he may just be busy?

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm Link to this comment

”...some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races…”

DoD News Briefing: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen April 28, 1997


Israel Planning ‘Ethnic’ Bomb sunday times

this article appeared in the sunday times on November 15, 1998

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By Baka Karasu, March 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment

A modest proposal:

Let’s try to stay a bit more on topic and also think globally.  The basic topic here is overpopulation. 

Religion is indeed relevant but only to the degree that it tends to strongly resist measures to control or voluntarily reduce population. 

In that context, Judaism is quite similar to the other Abraham based religions and is not worthy of tedious distracting side discussions.

Note also that only app. 0.22% of the world’s population self identifies as “Jewish”.  (app. 16% self identifies as “non religious”.)

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 5:10 pm Link to this comment

people are also catching on to the fact that you’re out of ammo… all you can do is trot out the same tired old accusations of antisemitism.

the situation will deteriorate because of “limits to growth” ...exhausted resources, degraded environment, and way too many people to sustain.

given your support for the genocidal state of israel, can we expect you to support some ethnic specific solution to the population problem?

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment

people are catching on to your tactics, and they know that the problems isnt jews.

the problem is zionists who’ve hijacked american politics in support of the racist state of israel…

you’re so befuddled by israeli claptrap that you’re willing to support a country that’s in the process of destroying your own country.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 15, 2009 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

Wadosy:
Why don’t you and Ed Harges get together and paint some swastikas? I’m sure you two would enjoy that.

You could go around and terrorize local Jews by painting stuff on their houses and burning things on their lawns, just like your intellectual forebears did in the 50’s and 60’s in the South and in the 30’s and 40’s in Germany.

After all you are both following Goebbel’s “Big Lie” theorem—keep spouting The Big Lie about Jews until people actually believe it—and then you can do what you want.

You STILL refuse to discuss how this affects the world population crisis—because you know it doesn’t and you have just hijacked the thread for your own purposes.  You clearly don’t give a rat’s ass about ANYBODY but your chance to tear down Jews.

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

“Can you imagine a world without bigots?”

i can no more imagine a world without bigots than i can imagine a world where people dont resort to namecalling as they attempt to defend an indefensible position.

.

so you must be content with “might makes right” as the guiding principle of behavior when we deal with overpopulation, huh?

i guess, then, we can assume that “might makes right” applies to pretty much everything… for instance, if i hired enough thugs to become mightier than you, i would be entitled to your home and land.

good enough.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2009 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Interesting thought, only if some posters would try breeding themselves to Extinction, hopefully science could innovate ways to help them do it in a time span of several hours. Maybe we could cross some annoying people with rabbits. Can you imagine a world without bigots?

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 10:42 am Link to this comment

replacement link for not quite human (below) ...kook referring the souls of non-jews.

kooks of various generations, jabotinsky and netanyahu are woven together in the history of rightwing israel and zionism.

a current of ashkenazi supremacism seems to run not far from the surface in israeli politics, lately surfacing in the ideas of the radical right—netanyahu and lieberman.

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By Richard Hake, March 15, 2009 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

Thanks for your insightful article “We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction” [Hedges (2009)].  I have referenced it in a discussion list post “Re: Is Global Warming really a one-sided point of view or a scientific fact? #2” [Hake (2009)] that may be accessed by clicking on http://tinyurl.com/aj2fcg .

The abstract of Hake (2009) ends with: “. . . . the generally ignored gorilla in the living room is GLOBAL OVERPOPULATION as pointed out by e.g., Al Bartlett (2008), Elmer Eisner (1999, 2009), and Chris Hedges (2009). 

BTW: Please ignore an early version of this comment that was sent when I was not logged in.

REFERENCES
Bartlett, A.A. 2008. “Why have Scientists Succumbed to Political Correctness?” Teachers’ Clearinghouse for Science and Society Education, Vol. 27, Spring 2008, Pg. 21; online at http://www.albartlett.org/articles/art2008spring.html .  This article won an international prize for writing on the subject of population.

Eisner, E. 1999. “Comment on ‘Dyson Debate Prophet or Heretic?’ “ online at http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199908/letters.cfm

Eisner, E. 2009. “Malthus Still Relevant,” APS News 18(2): 4, February; online at http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200902/letters.cfm

Hake, R.R. 2009. “Re: Is Global Warming really a one-sided point of view or a scientific fact? #2,”  post of 14 Mar 2009 09:33:00-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold, online on the OPEN! AERA-L achives at http://tinyurl.com/aj2fcg  . The abstract was sent to about 25 academic discussion lists.

Hedges, C. 2009. “We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction,” Truthdig, 8 March; online at http://tinyurl.com/cfhzqq.

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

so it kinda boils down to the original question, doesnt it?

do you expect palestinians to forgive you?

how can they forgive you if you dont admit you’re wrong?


but this is all bullshit, because, had the zionists ever had any concern for justice or truth or ethics or morals, they never would have embarked on the israel project in the first place…

right from the start, it’s always been “might makes right”, it’s been terror and murder and injustice, and judging from the trends, that’s just how it’s gonna be, only worse.


Inherit The Wind has a fine (if only semi-coherent) line of bullshit, but it’s probably more instructive to apply doc aumann’s game theories here…

we can tell what people know and what they believe by watching how they behave…

and if we judge israel by its behavior…

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

european zionists have killed tens of thousands of people and terrorized hundreds of thousands more from their land, but those people are not quite human, so they have no human rights, they have no right to defend themselves, and they most certainly have no right to expect apologies from israelis.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2009 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Forgiving would entail some sort of realization of something having been committed or done by the party being resolved. 

If anyone should be asking forgiveness it would be the person making the insane bigoted comments.

In this case it would be like asking forgiveness after burning a cross on someones front lawn, only to find out it was the judges, in all the excitement he did not recognize his own house with the sheet over his head, because he had it on backwards.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 15, 2009 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

wadosy, March 15 at 11:17 am #

  ”...there is nothing Palestinians need to forgive me for.”

you cant expect people to forgive you if you refuse to admit you’re wrong, can you?
***************************************************

????? Can you even recognize the absurdity of this statement??????

***************************************************
too bad the palestinians are making kids faster than you can kill them.
***************************************************

Other than the “too bad” this is the first true statement I can remember you issuing.  Since I’ve never killed a Palestinian child and never intend to, then everything is true about the empty set (the set of all Palestinian children I have killed).

Please stop evading the question: What does this have to do with the problem of population explosion threatening the globe?  Or do you intend to keep hi-jacking this thread for your attacks on me?

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By wadosy, March 15, 2009 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

”...there is nothing Palestinians need to forgive me for.”

you cant expect people to forgive you if you refuse to admit you’re wrong, can you?

too bad the palestinians are making kids faster than you can kill them.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 15, 2009 at 7:23 am Link to this comment

wadosy, March 15 at 12:26 am #

do you expect the palestinians to forgive you?
**********************************************

Please explain what this has to do with the problems of the population explosion facing the globe.

(And there is nothing Palestinians need to forgive me for.  See if you can figure out why that is, Einstein.)

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By wadosy, March 14, 2009 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

do you expect the palestinians to forgive you?

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By Inherit The Wind, March 14, 2009 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Before we were so rudely interrupted…Did you notice that you, me and FolkTruther were all pretty much in agreement that the way to solve the population problem is to better the economic conditions of poorer nations?

I also think a world-wide campaign to encourage people who want big families to adopt rather than breed, combined with laws to make it easier, and a PR push to try to convince people of what you and I know:

When you adopt a child, that child is as totally dependent and needing of you and as fully deserving and needing of your love as the one you procreated.  You will feel that bond faster than you can imagine, and so will your child.

Plus, there’s a secret (well, not so secret): That child gives YOU back as much as you give the child.  When people say to me “Oh, what a blessing, what you did for this child’s life” I say: “But he’s done just as much for us.”  I don’t EVER want him to feel he “owes” us—and if he does, he’s to repay that debt to HIS children.

I don’t expect certain bile-filled fanatics to understand any of this, and I expect them to mock you and me for it.  Let them.

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By Baka Karasu, March 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Ah, Mr. Hakes, a voice of reason.
Here are some other links you may find worthy:


Bandura etc.
http://growthmadness.org/2008/02/18/impeding-ecological-sustainability-through-selective-moral-disengagement/

Albert Bartlett on the exponential function as it relates to population and oil:
http://c-realm.blogspot.com/2008/12/kmo-interview-with-albert-bartlett.html

Approaching the Limits http://www.paulchefurka.ca

Bruce Sundquist on environmental impact of overpopulation http://home.alltel.net/bsundquist1/
How Many People Should The Earth Support? http://www.ecofuture.org/pop/rpts/mccluney_maxpop.html

Carrying Capacity
http://iere.org/ILEA/leaf/richard2002.html

The Oil Drum Peak Oil Overview - June 2007 (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2693)


...and of course the classic “Overshoot” by Catton

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By Richard Hake, March 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for your insightful article “We Are Breeding Ourselves to Extinction” [Hedges (2009)].

I referenced your article in a widely distributed discussion list post “Re: Is Global Warming really a one-sided point of view or a scientific fact? #2,”  online at http://tinyurl.com/aj2fcg

The abstract of Hake (2009) ends with: :”. . . the generally ignored gorilla in the living room is GLOBAL OVERPOPULATION as pointed out by e.g., Al Bartlett (2008), Elmer Eisner (1999, 2009), and Chris Hedges (2009).

REFERENCES
Bartlett, A.A. 2008. “Why have Scientists Succumbed to Political Correctness?” Teachers’ Clearinghouse for Science and Society Education, Vol. 27, Spring 2008, Pg. 21; online at http://www.albartlett.org/articles/art2008spring.html  .  This article won an international prize for writing on the subject of population.

Eisner, E. 1999. “Comment on ‘Dyson Debate Prophet or Heretic?’ “ online at http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/199908/letters.cfm

Eisner, E. 2009. “Malthus Still Relevant,” APS News 18(2): 4, February; online at http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200902/letters.cfm

Hake, R.R. 2009. “Re: Is Global Warming really a one-sided point of view or a scientific fact? #2,”  post of 14 Mar 2009 09:33:00-0700 to AERA-L and Net-Gold, online on the OPEN! AERA-L achives at http://tinyurl.com/aj2fcg  . The abstract was transmitted to about 25 discussion lists.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment

Wadosy:
I consider your posts as nothing more than insane ravings.  According to you, Jews are responsible for all the evil in the world.

Why do you post about how evil Jews are and Israel is in a post about the population explosion?

Unless, of course, you believe that it’s a giant Zionist plot as well—to destroy the world by overpopulating it.

Take it to your neo-nazi web sites and get some help.

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind says…

“Don’t you know what STFU means? Spew your racist jew-hating crap in the appropriate threads—like on a white-supremacist website.”

readers will note that you have to resort to standard ADL tactics, accusations of antisemitism, rather than deal with valid questions about israel and its effect on jews.

those questions being…

has your defense of israel corrupted you so bad you cant see how lame you sound, bragging about adopting kids while israel cluster bombs and snipes kids?

or have you simply decided to obey mr dror and abandon all pretense at morals?

do you think it enhances jews’ chances of survival if jews abandon moral behavior?

can we finally admit that tikkun olam is a crock?

or is tikkun olam—“repairing the world”—intended only to benefit israelis, who must tear the world to smithereens before they can repair it?

.

maybe you’d like to drop saul landau a line, seeing as how he thinks How Israel Gives Jews a Bad Name

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

the three biggest problems the US faces are: peak oil, global warming, and the stranglehold israel has on american politics, foreign policy and media.

who lied the US into the iraq war? ...what small country in the middle east, known for its previous false flag attacks on america, has been calling for invasion of iraq for decades?

if israel has been agitating for decades to invade iraq, they must have had a motive to cook up some scenario in which the US would invade iraq for israel.

once israeli americans and their fellow travelers were installed by the phony 2000 elections, who had—by far—the most means, opportunity and character to have staged 9/11?

.

why did the israeli americans of AEI/PNAC say they needed “a new pearl harbor”?

why, if israel had nothing to do with 9/11, is israel behaving as if it profited from 9/11?

why did netanyahu think 9/11 was such a good deal?

why are neocons saying they need another 9/11?

.

again, the three biggest problems facing the US are: peak oil, global warming, and the stranglehold israel has on american politics, foreign policy and media.

since it’s gonna take tons of money to deal with peak oil and global warming, and that money is being siphoned off in wars to defend israel, the US is unlikely to successfully deal with peak oil and global warming…

...and you have to wonder about the condition of the financial system, dont you?

is the behavior of those looters a demonstration of what happens when morals are abandoned…?

did those looters abandon their morals in anticipation of having to loot america to secure israel?

.

and yet you attempt to whitewash the country that will destroy your home country ...you should move to israel, as saul landau suggests, then you wouldnt have employ such blatant hypocrisy, as you defend the country that’s helping destroy your home country.

and you attempt to whitewash yourself by bragging about adopting a kid as israel murders kids by the hundreds.

wonderfully smarmy

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Wadosy,

Don’t you know what STFU means? Spew your racist jew-hating crap in the appropriate threads—like on a white-supremacist website.

It has NOTHING to do with this thread on population control.  Nothing. So STFU already.

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By Sepharad, March 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

wadosy, tikkun olam is not a crock but it isn’t for wusses either. And how is it that you can bring yourself to live in the country that launched the war against Iraq? You protested and voted against people who were for it, right? What else could you do? Immolate yourself on the steps of the Capitol? But you are still here and you presumably don’t want the U.S. to go down the tubes, right? So. Connect the dots and try to empathize. (And write in your notebook 100 times “The world’s problems are not all about Israel.”)

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment

i guess the remaining questions are these:

has your defense of israel corrupted you so bad you cant see how lame you sound, bragging about adopting kids while israel cluster bombs and snipes kids?

or have you simply decided to obey mr dror and abandon all pretense at morals?

do you think it enhances jews’ chances of survival if jews abandon moral behavior?

can we finally admit that tikkun olam is a crock?

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By Sepharad, March 13, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

Inherit, You were probably smart to go out of the country for all the reasons you mentioned, and despite the paperwork it probably took less time overall. While we were waiting, they allowed us weekly visits of two hours, which was hard on kid as it was on us. To this day he doesn’t do separations well.

I’d never thought of it that way, but you’re right: none of the kids will be alone when we die. (World is such a scary place.) Though they’re in 3 different cities/towns, they remain in close touch. Nice when something works out, no?

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

wadosy, March 13 at 4:24 pm #

if you are such great human beings, why do you persist in defending a country that was founded and has preserved itself and apparently intends to continue preserving itself by being an abomination?

you dont see any moral inconsistency between (a) bragging about adopting kids, and (b) defending a country that snipes at kids?

Snipers with children in their sights
*************************************************

Don’t you know when it’s time for you to drink a nice big cup of STFU?

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

if you are such great human beings, why do you persist in defending a country that was founded and has preserved itself and apparently intends to continue preserving itself by being an abomination?

you dont see any moral inconsistency between (a) bragging about adopting kids, and (b) defending a country that snipes at kids?

Snipers with children in their sights

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad, March 13 at 1:57 pm #

Inherit—Our son/adopted is amazing, light of the family life. Oldest son’s politics are far to the left of even husband’s (tutelage Angela Davis) and both were debaters in college days, so when we all get together our dinner conversations can get pretty, well, lively. One of son/adopted’s winning ways when he was young was to detect, even before I did, that a discussion was on its way to becoming a real argument. He’d stop eating and say robotically “beep-beep-beep-you-are-now-entering-argument-zone” and repeated it until oldest son and husband both got a grip. You would like him.

It definitely is weird being accused of racism here, but I’m finally used to it. You know, a lot of adoption agencies actually are racist. San Francisco’s, for one. We had to fight to adopt our son because we were not a racial match-up (though husband tried to argue that his Cherokee qualified as racially mixed). No one else was trying to adopt him as, at only 9 months, he had some significant physical trauma and was abused as an infant, but the SF bureaucrats felt it would be better to wait for an exact racial match, and their lawyers backed them up. Finally our social worker told his boss he was going to go to the newspapers and embarrass them unless they stopped being ridiculous. Consequently we were able to adopt him when he was 1&1/2 years old instead of 10 months. But it turned out well just the same and, as I know you know, like our other two kids, he is of course perfect except when he isn’t and a major asset to the universe.
************************************************

We didn’t have those problems as we had to go out of the country due to certain bizarre restrictions in the US based on age. We also didn’t want some woman or bureaucrat to show up 4 or 5 years later and say “I want my baby back now—I’ve gotten my life together” like the kid was a toy or an automobile—and have some idiot judge agree!

But the paperwork!  We were meticulous about EVERYTHING—every notarization had to be certified—and it was. Multiple copies of our birth certificates and marriage license—not xeroxes but agency issued duplicates. Fingerprinted 3 times—twice at the same place, too! Home inspections. Legal translations (has to be by a certified legal translator).  Then a week down there, followed by a week 2 months later to get the baby…and every bit of it worth it.  Neither kid is an only child or will have to face our end alone. They love each other, play together, argue, fight, do everything sibs do, what families do.

Siblings are our longest relationships.  Longer than with parents, spouses or children. My dad was a kid brother for 87 years.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

wadosy, March 13 at 2:34 pm #

Inherit The Wind and Sepharad defend israel while israel is dropping white phosphorus and cluster bombs on kids…

meanwhile, Sepharad attempts to… what? ...compensate? ...appeal for sympathy? demonstrate zionist jews’ infinite capacity as hypocrites? ...what?!? ...by bragging about an adopted child?
**********************************************

Is there ANY thread you won’t turn into one of your bigoted anti-semitic Jew-hating rants?

There was NOTHING in this thread about that—till you brought it up. 

What’s that matter, you can’t bear the thought that Sepharad is actually a HUMAN BEING with a husband and children, or that I’m a HUMAN BEING with a wife and children and that both of us found it in OUR hearts to adopt a child?  What, does that actually physically revolt you, the thought of Jews actually being HUMAN?

Get a life and grow up!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker, March 13 at 3:24 pm #

Inherit The Wind mistakes (deliberately?) the rather common ability to type and get “on-line” for some kind of supposed “anti-atavism” magic.  Us surviving Savages can operate all kinds of “modern” machinery.  We also can get along quite well without any of it….something our domesticated Human Relations are CONsiderably less fortunate in.

This particular Old Man has said several times here the “costumes” and “furniture,”  however elaborate and sophisticated, are completely incidental.  It is the organic functional integrity of the Human Beings who make and use them that determines their “quality of Life.”

And here’s “the rub.”  The more otherwise naturally fit people rely on prosthetic devices to amplify their “individual” effects, the weaker and less viable they become within the natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  Which leaves them in the fix they’re in today when the apparatus starts breaking down….as it is and ALWAYS does.

This old Indian is going to send Inherit The wind a specific “message” by-way-of our Living Relatives.  It’ll be interesting to see whether s/he “gets-it.”  Anybody here in our free wild world will.

We’re temporarily using their gadgetry to communicate with our tame Sisters and Brothers because they’ve most of ‘em become utterly insensitive to the Natural Ways we use among one another….as did all our AND their Ancestors.  But let’s see if our (rather rude) “critic” can still do that.

HokaHey!
***************************************************

Right. Sure.  Sounds like nothing but rationalization to me. 

BTW, there’s two definitions of what being a “savage” is—1 is the very racist and elitist description of a non-technical society which may or may not be savage, depending on the culture.  I think it’s inappropriate to describe a pre-industrial tribal society as “savage” solely for being pre-industrial and tribal.

The second definition of savage is, of course, in the “Clockwork Orange” / Charles Manson /Jeffrey Daumer type of savage—as in sadistic and brutal.

So calling yourself a savage is either incredibly inappropriate (as you read this on your cathode-ray or LCD screen) or an admission of being violent and dangerous.  Frankly, Tao, I have a hard time thinking of you that way!

Oh—there’s a third definition—Michael Savage.  Let’s not go THERE!!!!!

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By TAO Walker, March 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind mistakes (deliberately?) the rather common ability to type and get “on-line” for some kind of supposed “anti-atavism” magic.  Us surviving Savages can operate all kinds of “modern” machinery.  We also can get along quite well without any of it….something our domesticated Human Relations are CONsiderably less fortunate in.

This particular Old Man has said several times here the “costumes” and “furniture,”  however elaborate and sophisticated, are completely incidental.  It is the organic functional integrity of the Human Beings who make and use them that determines their “quality of Life.”

And here’s “the rub.”  The more otherwise naturally fit people rely on prosthetic devices to amplify their “individual” effects, the weaker and less viable they become within the natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  Which leaves them in the fix they’re in today when the apparatus starts breaking down….as it is and ALWAYS does. 

This old Indian is going to send Inherit The wind a specific “message” by-way-of our Living Relatives.  It’ll be interesting to see whether s/he “gets-it.”  Anybody here in our free wild world will.

We’re temporarily using their gadgetry to communicate with our tame Sisters and Brothers because they’ve most of ‘em become utterly insensitive to the Natural Ways we use among one another….as did all our AND their Ancestors.  But let’s see if our (rather rude) “critic” can still do that.

HokaHey!

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 11:34 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind and Sepharad defend israel while israel is dropping white phosphorus and cluster bombs on kids…

meanwhile, Sepharad attempts to… what? ...compensate? ...appeal for sympathy? demonstrate zionist jews’ infinite capacity as hypocrites? ...what?!? ...by bragging about an adopted child?

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By wadosy, March 13, 2009 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Sepharad and Inherit The Wind are rabid supporters of israel, and admit that israel’s policies are repugnant.

what justifies israel’s repugnant behavior, what justified israel’s founding in lies, terror and injustice, and why do Sepharad and Inherit The Wind defend a state that was founded in lies, terror and injustice… a state that has preserved itself with lies, terror and injustice, and shows signs of hardening its determination to continue the lies, terror and injustice?

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By Sepharad, March 13, 2009 at 10:57 am Link to this comment

Inherit—Our son/adopted is amazing, light of the family life. Oldest son’s politics are far to the left of even husband’s (tutelage Angela Davis) and both were debaters in college days, so when we all get together our dinner conversations can get pretty, well, lively. One of son/adopted’s winning ways when he was young was to detect, even before I did, that a discussion was on its way to becoming a real argument. He’d stop eating and say robotically “beep-beep-beep-you-are-now-entering-argument-zone” and repeated it until oldest son and husband both got a grip. You would like him.

It definitely is weird being accused of racism here, but I’m finally used to it. You know, a lot of adoption agencies actually are racist. San Francisco’s, for one. We had to fight to adopt our son because we were not a racial match-up (though husband tried to argue that his Cherokee qualified as racially mixed). No one else was trying to adopt him as, at only 9 months, he had some significant physical trauma and was abused as an infant, but the SF bureaucrats felt it would be better to wait for an exact racial match, and their lawyers backed them up. Finally our social worker told his boss he was going to go to the newspapers and embarrass them unless they stopped being ridiculous. Consequently we were able to adopt him when he was 1&1/2 years old instead of 10 months. But it turned out well just the same and, as I know you know, like our other two kids, he is of course perfect except when he isn’t and a major asset to the universe.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Sepharad, March 9 at 5:52 pm #


Services pairing children and adoptive parents should be improved with waiting periods minimized. (Having two biological and one adopted child, I guarantee there will be not one iota’s less of a bond between you and your adoptive child than between you and your biological child.)

******************************************************

Sepharad: I didn’t know you had done that too! We have one of each and you are right—your kids are your kids, period.  You don’t see anything but your kid, whom you alternately adore so much it hurts and want to strangle the next minute—and then adore again!

I mean, people adopt dogs and cats and get right-down silly about them—why should it be surprising about kids?

It’s so weird to be accused of racism here—my younger was born in Central America and has not a drop (I think) of our race—who cares when he’s battling imaginary bad guys with light sabers across the family room? Or falling asleep to a story being read to him at night? Or being picky at dinner? Or doing any of the 10,000 things kids do to alternately enchant and infuriate their parents? His older sib did the same (and occasionally still does—teenagers!!!!!)

“Mix an angel with a devil in the twinkling of an eye and that’s my Katie, little lady, and I love her!”—Tom Paxton

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 13, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Further studies have found Norwegin rats for some unknown reason, are bigited toward Danish rats, a few researchers suggest it may be Norwegian rats suspect somethings stinks in Denmark!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker, March 9 at 6:05 pm #
...
Meantime, “DON’T PANIC!” is excellent advice.  There IS a Way through these CONditions, to ones we can all together go on Living with.  There are, among our Mother Earth’s Two-Legged Children, besides all these domesticated peoples trapped in such dire straits, and so desperately looking for an escape, still a few of us surviving free wild Natural Human Beings around who haven’t lost The Way….and so can help our tame Sisters and Brothers back to it, once they calm-down and stop thrashing-around trying in-vain everything else they can “think”-of.  Why hells-bells, among our Lakotah Cousins it even has a “name”....The Tiyoshpaye Way!  The Dinee say, “The Beauty Way.”

********************************************

You old phony! You are sitting at a PC, tied into the Internet, that allows you to instantly communicate with people all around the world and you pretend to celebrate atavistically going back to “the old ways”, presumably sitting around a campfire discussing your religion.  Can’t do that while driving a computer, can you?

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By Sepharad, March 13, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, re Norwegian rats, those rather chilling studies did more to focus my mind on overpopulation that all the zero-population-growth material. Four-year-old children are pretty realistic and self-protective; maybe that’s why the picked the Norwegian rats to study.

wadosy—There still ordinary Arabs along with ordinary Jews in Israel, probably the most ethnically diverse population in Arab region. Those 700,000 who left during ‘48 war were replaced by the 900,000 Jews kicked out of Arab countries shortly afterward at the same time in the Arab League’s “population exchange”, mingling with the Arabs who stayed in Israel. You would be surprised how well most of the ordinary people get along, even trying to protect each other. I expect that if there is ever a solution it will come from the ordinary Arab and Jewish people, not the politicians.

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By Sepharad, March 13, 2009 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

Inherit—You’re right on all counts, as usual. Getting birthcontrol across (along with AIDS info) is so far the easiest way to make a dent, but raising level of income, education and living standards is probably most important for SUSTAINED population control even though it’s hardest to achieve. MBSS’s suggestion that birth control chemicals in beer was not a terrible idea. (Agree too that turning to PNAC and colonialism is definitely not how to go about that). My niece returned a couple years ago from a two-year stint with Peace Corps in Benin, and said that people were soaking up the languages and literature she was teaching like a sponge (and taught her their dances and cookery in return) but were pretty much uninterested in birth control info as they felt it ran counter to their cultural tradition. Like all the women there, she had to wear long dresses and cover her hair. They wanted to modernize in some ways—allowing girls and women to be educated though in separate classes from the boys and men— but not others.  I suspect this is a fairly typical response. (Also suspect there are some posters who regard Peace Corps as a force for indirect colonialism, but most people who actually work abroad, like my niece, are radically anti-colonialism so even if that’s what the higher mucky-mucks want to spread, it’s a wash.)

Folktruther, you have a schizophrenic brain, sometimes rational and sometimes not. Great post.

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Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, March 13, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

Sepharad,

Fournd your comments on the Norwegian Rat intreging. After doing some research, I have found Norwegian Rats have more commen sense than some posters on TD,  for the Norwegin Rat is found to have the intellegence of a 4 year old human.

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By Inherit The Wind, March 13, 2009 at 4:28 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, March 10 at 12:26 pm #

Yeah, you’re right, Outraged, the irrational focus on the population problam, which does exist, is a consequence of racial, ethnic and gender bigotry, an an uncouscious contempt for children, and the traditional vilification of women.  Most important, it is contempt for people which is contained in the presuppositions of our religious traditions, which are used to glorify oppressive power and instill a contempt for the people ruled by power.

Hedges has stated explicitly that he conceives people as all traditional religions do, as sinful, depraved, willful, and above all, DISOBEDIENT to authorized power. And he is a progressive, and the reason that the American people are so clueless, mindless and braindead.  They are led to identify with conservative values by progressives, which prevents them from thinking thoughts that subvert power.

As people become more economically developed, THE RATE OF POPULATION INCREASE DECLINES. This is a documented historical tendency, that prole reports.  It is not emphasized in the US because as the world develops economically, it is more capable of resisting US imperialism.  As people become more enlightened oveer historical time, and do not depend on traditional large families for their identities, they have less children.  My grandmother had twelve children, we have one.  An extreme of a common world tendency.

The most developed economies have the lowest birthrates by and large. The obvious solution is to develop economices in ways that sustain the enviroment.  But this would increase the rate of decline of Western power.  And so the kind of bullshit that Hedges delivers here is replicated in Progressive Western comments.  I said it before and I say it again about Hedges piece here.  Phoosh.
****************************************************

Folktruther get a brain transplant or something?  Or did you kidnap poor FT’s handle?

For once you are right on target, and the other posters who say the same: the key is to bring the underdeveloped nations up to being developed.

There are 4 answers to the overpopulation problem which will get worse:

1) Ignore it.  Then the obvious results will be famine and international strife as the poorer peoples attack the richer ones to try to feed themselves—think Zimbabwe on a world scale.

2) Birth control everywhere easily accessible.  This will ONLY work I fear where AIDS is rampant—otherwise we men are pigs and don’t want to wear a “raincoat”.  The Ugandan model of A-B-C was pretty effective, to a point, but only to a point.  Ultimately, the West and North telling the South to stop boinking without protection ain’t gonna work.  And the George Botch “Abstinence Only” works real well, right? Ask Bristol Palin!

3) Eugenics wars—just what we need—a resurgence of Hitlerian slaughter and acres of carrion—this is even worse than 1)

4) The toughest: Find ways to advance the economic progress of the nations with the highest birthrate.  Birthrates fall in industrialized nations and it doesn’t seem to be at all affected by the ethnicity or culture—from Japan to Brazil birthrates are down.  The PNAC and neo-con dead-head idea to revive 19th and 18th century colonialism needs to be buried, along with its parent, Reaganism.

For once Folktruther is right on target and is probably plotzing to see me in agreement.  But recognizing a problem and recognizing what has been and OBVIOUS solution isn’t that hard.

I think Hedges is a schlock “journalist” who’s full of crackpot old recycled “progressive” “ideas”.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 12, 2009 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

For all of those waiting to be saved by the deus ex machina will have a long wait. Doesn’t God help those who help themselves? We need to be the homo ex machina because we got ourselves into this mess and the only ones that have a bare chance of getting out of this with the species intact. [Though many will die horribly as the adjustments to the new way of life are inevitable and regrettable. I may be one of them] However for all of those that will be sitting on their thumbs waiting for their Savior at least get out of our way.

We have been living on borrowed time anyway. An oil based adrenalin rush that is now ending. Expect the oil prices to go up and stay up then rise some more. We need to move away from a hydrocarbon energy based systems, the GHG’s, which are creating part of the ongoing climate change we have been experiencing for the past 80 or so years. With more changes to come.

If GCC is a hoax then why are the ones that attack it are the same ones who are mostly in power & will benefit from letting it go on? Population reduction would be a boon for the worker but not for the people in power. We would actually be worth more if there are fewer of us. That same with any commodity. Why do you think DeBeers keeps the access to diamonds so restricted? To make them worth more. A smaller population means a richer more comfortable one, over populated means poorer all around except for the oligarchs who hog the wealth and maintain power of the rabble i.e. us.

I must say it is a lock out that if you want a smaller population of people and want to stop the present climate change you are a racist (automatically) and wish to be a dictator (automatically). So who does it serve to keep the population too large and the continuing pollution rates the same or worse? You and me or the oligarchs. Your answer should tell you what is right.

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By Anarcissie, March 12, 2009 at 7:16 am Link to this comment

Report from Iron Mountain is satire.

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By Eso, March 12, 2009 at 5:11 am Link to this comment

The very first “democrats” were the princes against the king. Then after the princes had their fill, came the outright secular oligarchs: Rockefeller, Mellon, Krupp, et al. Then some workers started making enough money not to starve and afford a decent home, and they were then persuaded that “democracy” really worked, though the oligarchs were the ones still in real power. The Magna Carta started the “democratic” pogrom in 1215 and it has not stopped demoralizing people to this day, which is why the overpopulation. There was more democracy around before the princes introduced the Magna Carta than at anytime since. In any case, I am not persuaded by the so-called liberal democracy either in Europe or America, and America going its own unilateral way in order to stay on top of the heap longer than others.

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By Leefeller, March 12, 2009 at 3:51 am Link to this comment

Eurasia2012,

Many scientists, is that more than one?  Are you counting real science or religion?  Now that I know the Polar caps are not melting I feel so better, thanks for clearing that up.

My agreement with Hedges is further than some, but calling him a Nazi, is over the top, suggesting he is not quite someone’s cup of Christianity, even further?  Yes religion is always right,  of course your religion.

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By Eurasia2012, March 12, 2009 at 1:29 am Link to this comment

This article by Chris Hedges is patent disinformation and propagates ideas on over-population and climate change that have their origins in the Anglo-American eugenics movement, which was taken up by Hitler in the 1930s-40s. Mr. Hedges, are you aware of the Club of Rome and their publications?  The Club of Rome was founded in April of 1968 and decided that they had to INVENT STRATEGIES that could be used to manipulate governments and populations. One of their “brilliant” inventions was “global-warming,” something that is highly contested by many scientists and by the facts. Here, in fact is a quote from page 115 of “The First Global Revolution: A Report by the Council of the Club of Rome,”—“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill . . . ” And, here is another lovely quote from the same document—“Democracy will be made to seem responsible for the lagging economy, the scarcity and uncertainties. THE VERY CONCEPT OF DEMOCRACY COULD THEN BE BROUGHT INTO QUESTION AND ALLOW FOR THE SEIZURE OF POWER.”  There is another important document that curiously enough appeared in 1967—“The Report from Iron Mountain.” This document argues that war was been a very effective means of controlling the world’s population, but then goes on to consider what new ways “they” can control the world in the event of global peace (which would be enforced by a heavily armed UN!).  This document also considers different “scenarios” to be used as a means of controlling people—and one idea that is put forth here is “the threat of the environment.” Now is it not a coincidence that just as the Banksters are in an advanced stage of turning the whole world into a third-world country, is it not a coincidence that we have experienced over-the-top media hype about these “invented” threats? You, Mr. Hedges are a part of that hype, and in the name of some unproven “theories” you contributing to the kinds of scare tactics that are being used to usher in one-world government, a totalitarian state, and along with this a global “carbon tax.”  I recommend that anyone who wants to find out what is really going on, and for anyone who wants to expose themselves to some very credible reasons for not accepting all this media hype (on over-population and global-warming), to go to the Alex Jones websites, PrisonPlanet and Infowars. I have gone on longer enough, but for anyone who cares to explore the eugenics agenda and the way that wars, famine and disease have been used to reduce the world’s population, targeting Blacks, the poor, and children as the first to go, do your own research on the Internet where you will find an abundance of very solid information.

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By Kesey Seven, March 12, 2009 at 12:30 am Link to this comment

My Dear Mr. Hedges:

Ordinarily, I agree with you, but I must say you got this so wrong I feel compelled to speak up and disagree. 

You say we are approaching the “Eremozoic—the era of solitude,” which is patently false. Any scientist will tell you that if we proceed on our current course we will have plenty of companions: Cockroaches. That’s right, those friendly cuddly crunchy fellows. Not only do they make plenty of noise to keep one company when they are herding by the thousands, they also make a delicious snack. They are, after all, the genetic equivalent to shrimp, so cook them up in a bowl of creole, and you got yourself a right fine meal. Folks will do just fine. 

Next thing. You fail mention the positive. You always fail to mention the positive. You are just a negative guy, so I’ll do it for ya. Republicans. We need to thank the Republicans, be grateful to the Republicans because they’ve managed to do a wonderful thing: Stop the overpopulation debate before it ever gets started. See, because before you can get to overpopulation, you gotta talk about abortion. And the Republicans have got everyone scratching their little peanut heads and a-thinkin: Does the great omniscient presence in the sky regard a fertilized egg, an embryo, as a human being with a soul worth saving, or at least worth keeping alive until it can be born to starvation, deprivation, and war? If yes, well then, we can’t talk about overpopulation. We gotta talk about embryos, fetuses, trimesters and human beings all in one breath. And the breathless media has to give an objective point of view to this dilemma. It would not do for them talking heads on the television to say: “It’s self-evident the world is overpopulated with human beings and we’re killing its ecosystem, so your point about every embryo being sacred is thereby moot.” Nope, they stand mute on the subject. And good thing they do, too, because that brings me to my next point.

See, Mr. Chris Hedges, I know what you are. You’re a listless, shiftless communist or something of the like running with similar ilk. You don’t realize there’s a savior coming for us. All your dire predictions fail to mention that those of us who are devout will be saved, and that’s why, that is WHY, we don’t mind that we’re killing off all the other critters, we don’t mind that we’re blowing the tops off mountains, polluting the streams, the rivers, the oceans, the air. We don’t care because we’re saved. You care because you’re not saved. You won’t be taken up to heaven with the rest of us, so well you should be worried. As for me I’ve got my divine ticket to ride.

Bless you sir. And do change your ways and your poisoned thoughts lest you wind up burning in hell with Zinn, Chomsky and the rest of them apostates on the left.

Have a nice day, sir. I do hope you regard my modest proposal with its true import.

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 11:14 pm Link to this comment

Sepharad says…

“I know you don’t think well of Israel, but you’d like the way ordinary people live there.”

so.

ordinary people didnt live in palestine before the jews terrorized 700,000 of them—whatever they were—from their homes and land.

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By Sepharad, March 11, 2009 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment

wadosy, just read your post re city people moving in and destroying the area. I’m not a hillbilly—grew up in St. Louis mainly—but spent many summers at godparents’ small Ozark farm. Loved it all—the creeks, the woodstove, the pond and bullfrogs and dusty roads and the hounds. Well I didn’t love the snakes. Got bitten by copperheads on two separate occasions, and a big watersnake once. Luckily it wasn’t a cottonmouth; if I saw one, even on the other side of the river, I’d swim out fast.

Anyway, after the old ones died, a brother sold the farm to people as a weekend place, then later it went to a developer, and now my sister says she can’t even find it. Dirt road was long ago paved, and the persimmons and mulberry trees and peach trees were long ago uprooted for a big vineyard. No beauty, no mystery left. Maybe the snakes are.

Where we live, in northern California, it’s about two hours north of San Francisco—too close. Bankers and lawyers and the like have bought out lots of the people, overbuilt and raised the price of land. Luckily, we’d moved into an apple packing shed in the ‘80s on 3 acres of apple trees (could have our choice: a small house or a few acres but not both, so the packing shed, 900 sq. feet, looked pretty good). We fixed up the inside, not adding any feet, and it’s the same on the outside so the tax assessment is still low. Planted about 1,000 seedlings in the ‘80s (5 cents each from the forestry dept.—redwood, pine, oaks) because it was an old apple orchard and we didn’t want to be sitting there in the summer sun in 10-20 years. A couple farmers and orchardists didn’t sell out, but mostly McMansions occupy what were meadows and woodlands, miles and miles of deciduous woods torn up for vineyards which every one seems to want to go with their big ugly houses. They paved most of the dirt road but husband refused to let them pave the portion around our place (not county maintained) and if you ride your horse around people yell that it’s invading their privacy or that the horse might poop in front of their concrete-surrounded house on the road. We put horse manure (a neighboring farmer uses a lot of it) on three compost piles. Last year a new neighbor in his sports car asked if we would put a little building over them because he didn’t like his friends to see the unsightly piles as they drove by. (Husband’s response is unprintable; the compost piles are still there, still uncovered.) When we ride out, we nearly always see sad, run-over snakes, and once a poor, beautiful little fox. One day, some drunk wine tasters got lost and made a fast turn over our yard and hit our terrier; broke most of his ribs and punctured a lung. Husband chased them down the road—he runs fast—but they flipped him off and threw a bag of trash out the window. Without all the trees and meadows around, the animals have nowhere to go except along the creeksides where people can’t build too close because of flooding. However, our little forest has grown up and a lot of animals sojourn there, along with the owls and a hawk and quail. We used to do a history magazine, and when one of the writers dropped by one day he walked into our house and said “But you guys are poor!” I was so offended I nearly threw him out but later forgave him as he wanted to take pictures of us working with a new foal. 

I know you don’t think well of Israel, but you’d like the way ordinary people live there. Houses and apartments are small, people don’t buy as much stuff, and where my family lives in the Galilee its very green, very wild. In the Jezreel valley and in the desert, the Bedouins are very hospitable. Also like the little desert towns. People there—Arabs and Jews—argue a lot in tense times but nevertheless look out for each other. As everywhere, people are different than they are in the big cities.

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

I tried to go back, as if I could
All spec house and plywood
Tore up and tore up good
Down on copperline

It doesnt come as a surprise to me
It doesnt touch my memory
Man Im lifting up and rising free
Down over copperline

james taylor

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm Link to this comment

i’m a hillbilly, and i grew up in a beautiful place in the backwoods of the northwest.

i watched refugees from the city move in, i watched the traffic grow, i watched the creek die, i watched a more-or-less sustainable culture expire under a flood of new people who just naturally knew more about everything than us hillbillies.

so now, most mornings, they sit around in the beer joint, talking about their last trip to LA or san francisco.

wonderful.

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

Virginia777 says…

“This whole issue is suspect and the racial overtones are horrible.”

yes… which explains the chinese “one child” policies: chinese are racially prejudiced against chinese.

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By Virginia777, March 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm Link to this comment

This whole issue is suspect and the racial overtones are horrible.

See this, which examines the history of this issue, back to the 1960’s:

Liberal Philanthropy and the “Birth” of Population Control Environmentalism
by Michael Barker
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/barker230708.html

excerpt:
The increasing focus of liberal foundations on the population issue—or more precisely the high birth rates among the poor in the Third World, throughout the 1950s and 1960s—led many New Left activists to be highly suspicious of the foundations’ motivations, suspecting that their population fixation was closely wedded to US imperialism.  In a special Earth Day issue of Ramparts magazine in 1970, Katherine Barkley and Steve Weissman explained “Why the Population Bomb Is a Rockefeller Baby” born of the foundations agendas tied to elite interests more concerned with devising way to minimize the increasing Third World upheavals than with protecting the environment.

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By politicky, March 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller,

You think your comments make sense?

Whatever.

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment

politicky,
]
Me thinks you insulted yourself? If there is a will there is a way, just try harder.

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By politicky, March 11, 2009 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

Finally. I’ve been saying this for years, and it’s nice to know that I could send this article to my PollyAnna acquaintances and friends who don’t have a clue, or won’t accept the truth.

I see a few commenters here like that.  I wish I could see them face to face and show them my favorite keyfob which says “I’m trying to see your point of view, but I can’t get my head that far up my a$$.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 11, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Darn? Not damn as it really is? Such is the euphimisms being used in the corporate press to either under play or sensationalize without the alternatives we need to go to to have less of an effect on our ecology and biome. The problem is humanity. That and the ideas among a destructive regressive few who believe that a free market will fix all things. Without regulation it runs wild and is destructive as we have seen so far coming from the regressives in our country. Ironically solar alone is essentially free energy if we would just take advantage of it. We can use many other things to lower our usage, move away from carbon based fuels and limit our population and depredation on the land and water. How will be divide the wealth of the world among 6.56 billion people? Equally would be interesting to see. I wonder how fast those who blindly attack Malthus, lumping him in with the racist eugenicists of our time, to attack the poor by the rich who cause most of the damage. Directly and indirectly by keeping the poor, poor. Are we advanced enough as a species to use our minds and our empathy to fix it, or at least minimize the affects to come? [There is a lag time to all of this.] We are all in this together whether we want to be or not. The time for happy-go-lucky lalaland must end. We must find a way to exit this tunnel into the light. Burning a lamp isn’t the same thing.

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By caroblite, March 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad that James Lovelock is also for solar thermal power. He’s an intelligent fellow, but his support of nuclear power is a bit misguided.  Cost overruns are legion in nuclear, and as long as it is still fission and not fusion, the waste problem will prevail.

The fact that at this moment there still no large scale, committed, and intense development of solar thermal, wind, and methane (from our own wastes!) power, and to the phase-out of destructive pesticides (which are destorying the bee population), shows that there is little chance to really “dodge the bullet” of population growth.

While Europe has shown probably the most intelligence in this regard, even the EU is still far too slow in its approach.  We are in a state of stagnation, where the momentum of fossil fuel use (and the pesticides that are made from petrol) are overwhelming the meager reforms that use alternatives.

And yes, even the left, including the alternative left, while getting much better, are not up to par in implementing the use of alternatives in their own lives and businesses, nor radical enough in calling on the governments to make the use of alternatives easier, both from a funding point of view, and from a building-code point.

But things are getting better.  But it is too slow!  Too “god-darn” slow!

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By Crimes of the State Blog, March 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

ABSOLUTELY,

Finally someone calls out Al Gore for his misdirection. 

The problem with the “global warming” cult is that it fails to address the more severe environmental problems (not to mention it may be based on a fraud).  The goal of the global warming establishment is to impose new controls on the world, new taxes and revenue streams flowing from bottom to top.  “Cap and trade” and “carbon taxes” are all these people want to talk about.  This has derailed the environmental movement for over a decade now.

Cutting population growth is the number one, massive, major problem there is.  It is the root of most other environmental problems (including man made climate change if such a thing exists, despite a decade of global COOLING, since the solar activity diminished).

The oceans are full of garbage.

The rainforests are disappearing and the regions may eventually turn to desert.

Most non-human species are in decline heading toward extinction.

Topsoil is being used up and food calamities are a real possibility.

Fresh water is being used up, mostly wasted on nonsense like front lawns and washing cars.

And it’s all pretty much due to one inescapable fact: THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE, AND THEY’RE BREEDING LIKE GOD DAMNED INSECTS.

Which is something the capitalist overlords and media oligarchs don’t want to talk about, because the secret of “cheap labor” is more poor people fighting for a job.

http://crimesofthestate.blogspot.com/

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

motives for staging the 9/11 false flag attack:

trigger motive

long-term motive

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 11:40 am Link to this comment

assuming you dont want to kill billions of people outright, you could start by telling them the truth… but telling the truth is opposed, on philosophical grounds, by the people who are running things.

if common people refuse to accept the truth, even after global warming, sea level rise and peak oil become undeniably obvious, then all bets are off.


the problem is aggravated by the fact that, most likely, a combination of peak oil and global warming were the motives for staging the 9/11 operation… which leads the perps to deny the existence of their motives in an attempt to avoid becoming suspects.

motive, means, opportunity and character… once you establish the fact that certain prominent factions in the israeli american government had motives to stage 9/11, then you have to admit that those same people had means, opportunity and character in spades.


the fact remains: if humanity came to its senses and told itself the truth about everything, they could depopulate the planet completely, without killing a single person, in a little over a hundred years.

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By china, March 11, 2009 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I mean honestly, chris, what the the hell are we supposed to do to curtail this problem?

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By Sepharad, March 11, 2009 at 10:49 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, funny you should mention “Mad Max”. Saw the film when it was first released and found it so upsetting that I resolved to never live in Australia. About the same time my favorite cousin was designing space colonies for NASA down at Ames. They seemed to be far enough away from the potential Mad Maxes, and I begged him to tell me all of the possibilities and details over and over. (I found the huge atmospheric bowl too claustrophobic even though planes could fly in it, but he thought it was really cool and regretted that he’d be too old to travel to the first colony when it became a reality.) So the only way to avoid Mad Max is to avoid creating a world in which he would not appear. Too bad we’ve already probably done it.

One way to slow down global warming: The Saudis discovered oil when the were only looking for water. We could tell them that if they want to survive they should cap the oil wells and start looking for water again, which sooner rather than later will have a higher per barrel price than oil ever has had.

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By Sepharad, March 11, 2009 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Robert M. Selinger, Your statement that all 6.5 billion of the world’s people in 4x4’ spaces could fit into Jacksonville, Florida, surprised me. I won’t argue because I’ve not done the math, but when you speak of our capability of feeding all 6.5 billion you should factor in the fact that our capability to grow food is slipping.

Before you say we’ve always had dustbowl conditions and droughts in cycles, those cycles are getting closer together. Not only that, the vast desert areas are growing—the Sahara in North Africa is creeping south alarmingly. I know that man has been ingenious in coping with these problems but there is a limit. In the 1800s some Jews seeking to grow food in the driest parts of Palestine devised drip irrigation; others drained swamps and channeled the brackish water into pipes and rows of plants; in the 20th century desalinization plants made parts of the Negev desert bloom. But while Israelis are making increasingly energy-efficient desalinization plants, the process still consumes a very limited resource. Of course there’s the Jordan river and wells beneath the West Bank and Israel, but as population is doubling and trebling itself among some of the peoples inhabiting that area, the demand for water is close to outstripping the supply.

In the U.S., the Western states are on the dry side of the great divide. California’s great central valley, which provides about 25% of the world’s vegetable and fruits, the ground-water accumulated from thousands and thousands of years from winter rains was tapped more and more until now, when it’s at record lows and disappearing rapidly. The rivers that water California are almost shadows of their original selves because of the rapidly diminishing Sierra snow packs from which they flow (except the Colorado), are tapped and dammed for farming as well as drastically increasing populations, the fish harvest from the rivers is now negligible and water rationing only provides marginal-at-best relief and will not work forever.

So the lack of water alone will make it impossible to feed the increasing billions of people—and THAT is assuming everyone will eat low on the food chain, which is not even remotely the case.

We’ve already seen the effect of famine in Africa and Bangladesh. In Africa particularly it has led to widespread suffering and encouraged the sort of warfare that hasn’t been seen since the Mongol hordes swept through Asia—mounted janjaweed killing and driving out subsistence farmers in Darfur, and Somalian warlords using UN food aid as a political weapon brutally seized and wielded.

(And if you actually tried to confine 6.5 billion to Jacksonville Florida they would tear one another to pieces, as the Norwegians found out re their rats in studies that the average rat requires between a quarter-mile and a mile’s worth of space or it becomes violently aggressive. But of course you were only using the Jacksonville example as a joke. Right?)

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

sorry that little pop in the gold price in the last half of february didnt last long enough to show up on my graph, because i’m plotting points once a month instead of every day.

i’ll try to compensate on the next version of the graph.

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

yup.

more graphs

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By knobcreekfarmer, March 11, 2009 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

wadosy,

Nice chart!

I’d love to see your version on a 10 maybe 20 year span with world population added. It’s very interesting to see historical data on world population and oil extraction together. Pretty much a duh…

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By wadosy, March 11, 2009 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

as of 11 March, 2009, 13:50 GMT

oil graph: production, drills working, price. gold price, dollar index.

references:

oil production

rigs working

oil price

gold price

dollar dx

as the looting continues, production continues to fall, as does the number of drills working…

we can probably be confident that the cause/effect relationship between peak oil and 9/11 has been successfully obscured.

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

“Mad Max” it is then!

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By Night-Gaunt, March 11, 2009 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Nature will find a way but it isn’t one we would want. Over production is just as dangerous as under production of any species. We have the capacity to regulate ourselves but haven’t matured to the point of being able to do that. Our time to do this is nearing its end. I personally doubt the earth will have 6 billion by 2050 if the delicate structure of food production and distribution is interrupted. Lack of clean water and increased spread of deserts along with the resource wars and extreme climate change will move to kill millions if not billions in an awful orgy of war and pestilence that will leave many unburied dead. Perhaps a few high tech fortified islands, enclaves of the very rich while the rest will live a Hobbsian life; nasty, brutish and short.  That will be our legacy in the fossil record, like the trilobites. Only the trilobites survived two previous extinction events but the massive Greenhouse die off of the Permian 250 million years ago was too much even for them. Our lives are in our collective hands and we are fumbling with it to the endzone. Only it is in a china shop and each fumble and stumble causes even more damage around us. Like a drunken giant blundering around smash everything while being ignorant of the true damage being caused. It is in our hands, we hold the seeds of our destruction and salvation. Can we as a species evolve to protect our collective heritage? Or is our time already up and we are just ghosts? As in already extinct except we all aren’t dead just yet?

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By Eso, March 11, 2009 at 9:18 am Link to this comment

olddog. “Developed countries tend to have stable or even reduced population growth. It is the still primitive and newly developing populations that over-breed.”
......................
This is such an outdated saw. The so-called “primitives” had their cultures destroyed and they were demoralized by “us”. All those brilliant “folk rags” they wear for tourists came from “the time before” we (the enemy) arrived. I believe even Pogo knew that.

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By theo, March 11, 2009 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can fundamentalists be against birth control?

When they poll on people’s opinion about birth control, they should ask,

  “have you ever riden a bicycle on a crowded street in the developing world?”

I guarantee that anybody who has this experience will automatically switch their position to “free condoms for everybody”!

a friend tells me that she had to look high and low to get condoms in India!  They were practically blackmarket, and as a women, pharmacists were reluctant to sell them to her.

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By GoldenT, March 11, 2009 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

You’re high, Mr. Malthus. The world is underpopulated by at least 70%.

Do yourself a favor. Go out on a clear, moonless night and look up. See all that energy out there? See all those resources just waiting to be harnessed by a creative culture living in harmony with Nature’s Law of anti-entropy?

Halloween is over, Mr. Hedges, and the “trick” of easy riches with help from the City has run full-circle into bankruptcy of world-views you likewise serve to support (whether you know it or newt). So, you can take off your “Made in Mandeville” Grim Reaper costume now and get with the American program.

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By Leefeller, March 11, 2009 at 7:12 am Link to this comment

No one needs to die?  Needs to or does, the difference is in who is welding the bigger stick. History has shown the constant struggles of peoples expanding and taking over other peoples with compassion-less zealotry.

One could argue, pacifists and the helpless may be the first to go. Is it survival in it’s raw form?

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By James Buckley, March 11, 2009 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ZPG now —Thank you Mr. Hedges for broaching the subject.

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By oldog, March 11, 2009 at 5:41 am Link to this comment

Developed countries tend to have stable or even reduced population growth. It is the still primitive and newly developing populations that over-breed.

I am distressed by the fact that most religions encourage suicidal behaviors (like over-population) in countries that cannot feed their citizens. In a misguided crusade to save unborn fetuses, religious crusaders are condemning millions of unwanted children to a short life of starvation and misery.

I encourage pro-life advocates to adopt and provide a decent life for at least one of the unwanted children they demand to be born. To put it bluntly: “Put your money where your mouth is.”

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By Inequality is every problem, March 11, 2009 at 5:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s another link and some snips from a good read that exposes the fallacies in logic and reasoning behind the “overpopulation gonna get us” story:

http://people.uleth.ca/~kent.peacock/Why Malthus Was Wrong 2004.pdf


Why Malthus Was Wrong
Kent A. Peacock

There are a lot of expressions of pessimism these days about whether we can save the
environment — and thereby ourselves. Some of this pessimism is self-serving, but most of it is
quite genuine. People look at the trends, and they despair — or else go into denial. And those
who despair will almost invariably point to one factor above all others — the threat of over-
population. No matter whether we recycle all our waste, switch entirely to non-polluting energy sources, sponge the skies of CFCs and greenhouse emissions, turn the deserts into gardens, and save the rainforests and the poor whales, all these gains will be washed away, these people say, by a surging tide of hungry hominids.

(snip)  the first step toward solving a problem is to identify it correctly.

Malthus, writing 200 years ago, could perhaps be excused for his ignorance of some basic
facts of ecology that have only become clear since his time. But a closer reading of his essay shows that he really had something else in mind all along.

Malthus goes on to explain that among humans, the inevitable consequences of the
struggle for existence are “vice and misery”. By misery, he meant warfare, starvation, poverty, disease, and ignorance. Vice, he says, “is a highly probable consequence, and we therefore see it abundantly prevail, but it ought not, perhaps, to be called an absolutely necessary consequence.  The ordeal of virtue is to resist all temptation to evil.”

The final, bizarre statement is the giveaway. For it appears that what Malthus actually
meant by “vice” (although he could not bring himself to write it in plain English) was birth control. Not only did the Rev. Malthus get his biology wrong, he was so utterly lacking in compassion for humanity that he really believed that endless war, pestilence, and starvation would be preferable to the vile indulgence in sexuality for any other purpose than procreation.
In other words, Malthus was not really saying that it is biologically impossible for
humanity to control its population growth. He was saying that it would hardly be surprising if
we might, in our weakness, attempt to control reproduction in spite of the “passion between the sexes” — but that we should not.

In the end, the argument of Malthus falls to pieces. He ultimately concedes that people — unlike the beasts of the field — might well be capable of modifying their reproductive behaviour on the basis of intelligent foresight. However, despite his pretension to be delivering a dispassionate diagnosis, based on simple biological and mathematical facts, his real purpose is to issue a moral exhortation. It is to remind us that we are put here on this Earth to suffer — except, of course, for a few especially favoured members of the social class to which he happened to belong.

In fact, Malthus was writing in the context of debates over the Poor Laws — the social
welfare net, such as it was, in Great Britain in the 1790s. The debate was hauntingly familiar:  should we help the poor (which, of course, would cost money…) or leave them to their own pathetic devices. And Malthus’s purpose was to set forth an argument that is all too familiar as well: don’t bother trying to help the poor; their suffering is inevitable, and we would only prolong their agony, and perhaps weaken the species, if we try to alleviate it. Here is a pseudo-scientific argument that would be dear to the heart of Mike Harris or Newt Gingrich — a biological determinism with a vindictive spin that relishes the misery of those who would be tempted to “vice”.

read it all at the link

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By Inequality is every problem, March 11, 2009 at 5:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Really sad to see Chris Hedges get this so spectacularly WRONG. If what’s left of “the Left” keeps promoting this diabolic misinformation, the real danger will continue to be hidden.  I urge all here to go read the rest of this essay at the link.  Maybe this will help Chris come to grips with his awful error before it’s too late:

MALTHUSIAN THINKING PROVIDES NO SECURITY

In a briefing paper, the UK-based CornerHouse Research and Solidarity Group notes that Malthusian thinking is providing an enduring argument for the prevention of social and economic change and to obscure, in both academic and popular thinking, the real roots of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.

by Chakravarthi Raghavan

Geneva, 31 July 2000—A decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, end of the Cold War and the triumph of the capitalist market, Malthusian thinking is being enlisted to counter land claims, opposition to free trade policies and emigration to seek work.

In a briefing paper, “Poverty, Politics and Population,” the UK-based CornerHouse Research and Solidarity Group notes that Malthusian thinking is providing an enduring argument for the prevention of social and economic change and to obscure, in both academic and popular thinking, the real roots of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.

The briefing paper is an edited extract of ‘The Malthus Factor: Poverty, Politics and Population in Capitalist Development’ by Eric B Ross, published by Zed Books, London. Ross is an anthropologist at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Netherlands.

Thomas Malthus was a late 18th century Church of England cleric, an originator of the theory about human population - its doubling every 25 years, thus growing at a geometric proportion while food production increases at just an arithmetic rate, and hence population always outstripping food supply. This Malthusian assumption persists even today as a common explanation for poverty and environmental degradation. This theory continues to produce in the West and among Western-influenced elites an unremitting anxiety about ‘over-population’, and has been providing an enduring argument for prevention of social and economic change and obscuring the real roots of poverty, inequality and environmental degradation.

“As such, no other ideological framework has so effectively legitimised Western interests, development theories and strategies, especially the Green Revolution and, now, genetic engineering in agriculture. This argument has consistently overwhelmed other explanations of poverty. Malthusian famine scenarios have systematically distracted attention from the fact that it is not people’s reproductive habits that are the principal source of most of the misuse or waste of the world’s resources, but the contradictions and motives of capitalist development.”


http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/malthus.htm

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By Karen Freed, March 11, 2009 at 3:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Outraged (sorry, not outrageous)

Your comment: Although, I would question who is “we” and who is “us”, if you mean the citizens of the world… sure.  The underlying premise on this thread has implied “we” have to do something about “them”.

I get your drift. You and I, however, appear to be in agreement. When I said “us fixing us” I meant that we, here in the West, in the wealthier nations, should look to our own culpability. And wouldn’t it be great if the citizens of the world could work together to ensure a more equitable distribution of resources while also addressing environmental sustainability?

The way I see it is that I have no control over what others will do or say, but I can attempt to have a positive impact, and to strive for a positive outcome, through my actions and my work. Hence, my original question: I need authentic facts if I aim to be taken at all seriously, yes? Sooo… if anyone can help me with this, I’d be grateful… “inquiring minds need to know.”

Thanks for the chat.

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By Outraged, March 11, 2009 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

Re: Karen Freed

Your comment: “The issue of population explosion and relative resource consumption is only one aspect of a broader problem, incorporating resultant environmental devastion as pertains to deforestation, climate change, extreme weather patterns, natural disasters, and the current/future rates of species extinction (other than our own). All are related indicators that a future depleted ecosystem called Earth will not be able to sustain us. It isn’t about “us” fixing “them” - it’s about us fixing us.”

I agree.

Although, I would question who is “we” and who is “us”, if you mean the citizens of the world… sure.  The underlying premise on this thread has implied “we” have to do something about “them”.

If the situation were in the hands of the people of the world, how much easier it would be to address this extremely complex and vexing task, but as yet, it is not.  This is not meant to say we shouldn’t make the valid attempt, only that very realistically it is a situation not predicated upon facts or ingenuity, but one of power and money.

To maintain a “middle class” stature no one on this earth needs to die, at least not currently.  They do die, but it isn’t necessary.

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