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Population and proliferation
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TOPIC: Population and proliferation
#22
Population and proliferation 5 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
In 1972 the book ‘Limits to Growth’ (Meadows et al) was released outlining two major findings. Firstly, there was a growing disparity between the worlds populations and that the need for a redistribution of wealth would be required to even the playing field. Secondly, that the economic system could not expand indefinitely and expect resources to be infinitely available. Nearly 40 years on increased social inequities and devastated landscapes force people to take leaky boat trips across the Indian Ocean (and others) in search of refuge. There exists in all of us an innate will to survive, unfortunately, we do this at the detriment of others and consequently ourselves in relation to our environment and the consumption of it.

Meanwhile corporations are loving it because to them it means growth, without it they crumble.

I know this must be blatantly obvious or naive, but are not our current population levels a direct result of our ability to adapt ourselves to our environment and more so manipulate our environment to suit ourselves. As probably most of us are aware the ecosystem upon which we now tread so heavily is fighting back.

Having said all this I don’t know that population control through political avenues works, it doesn’t seem to have done much in China. I do think the best case scenario for achieving healthy and self sufficient populations all over the world is to plant food anywhere and everywhere. Abundance in ecosystems is achieved through diversity. Perhaps diverse political agenda might focus on introducing abundance across all areas of its control. This of course is how Permaculture principles work. People Care, Land Care and Fair Share.

The factors which have enabled us to evolve to this level as a species can also find the answers. I agree that overpopulation is a threat to our survival as a species in current circumstances. I believe earth can sustain more of us but not at the levels we extort natural resources from our planet. A couple of proactive examples that might help sustain populations and see them self sufficient follow. The Permaculture Aid Course run by Geoff Lawton at The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia (which I noticed there is a link available on the Pachacuti website). Also a very interesting article is ‘Fifty Million Farmers’ by Richard Heinberg at www.energybulletin.net/node/22584

It seems to me that political and corporate powers are focused on tipping the scales in their favour and increasing disparity and therefore we are unlikely to see a truly spiritual and compassionate resolve for population control or sensible use of natural resources. That is of course unless the majority of us vote with our feet and opt not to support the corporations but to build self sufficient lifestyles based on passive footprint. An extremely difficult task for most even if we wanted to. But I also can’t help think, Nature has always taken care of itself.
good2b (User)
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#31
Re:Population and proliferation, SPA 5 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
The Sustainable Population Australia group has existed for a few years now, and is beginning to make an impression. They have some very good patrons, an excellent website, a bi-monthly newsletter and branch groups in every state.

The National Executive of SPA is sending a delegation to Bonn next month, to attempt to get a population policy onto the new Copenhagen Protocol, which will supersede the Kyoto Protocol, and they have been given permission to make a side presentatiion (not in the main hall).

Website: www.population.org.au
You can see archived issues of the newsletter there.
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#33
Re:Population and proliferation, SPA 5 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
Thanks for the links to all the informative material. I am a sponge at the moment soaking it all up.

I agree that all things being constant, population growth is not sustainable and that it may well be the biggest challenge for humanity given that it is the very thing that creates these modern dilemmas of excessive consumption, waste, pollution etc.

Population will continue to grow exponentially in coming decades, in spite of any controls or limits placed on the population by governing bodies. The horse has bolted. I am inclined to think that this will be the case until nature or some other factor intervenes. Perhaps this might be seen as defeatist, however, I also believe that the reason we want to talk about it is because we want to be part of the solution rather than the problem. Hence my leaning towards communities focused on passive footprint and assimilation with the environment as an answer to ever expanding population.

I think too that if people are told when, how much and if at all they can procreate, they feel deprived and controlled. So population control through legislation does not make for contented populations. What if, rather than being forced to live in societies like China, where freedom is not the norm, people were introduced to smaller communities where their contribution to the workings of that community gave them a feeling of worth and awareness which was more likely to see them making the right choices for not just themselves but their communities as well. In other words a natural inclination towards smaller families. I think that there needs to be an attraction to living within the needs of community and this is achievable in small communities. So I guess my argument is that if there were many, many small communities all over the globe, rather than a few cities in comparison, populations would be more sustainable.

Look forward to hearing your thoughts. I suspect that what I have said here is not new but a conglomeration of ideas gleaned from the musing of others. Best Regards.
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#34
Re:Population and proliferation, SPA 5 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
It seems pretty clear that a particular 2-pronged approach is the best way to persuade people to have smaller families: good, well-rounded education for girls and women and very good access to effective methods of birth control. And for all boys and men, girls and women, consistent, subtle education and indoctrination about the benefits of having small families.

Governments would have to play their part by ensuring that access to good healthcare was available to all, including counseling and freely available abortion services.

The situation regarding small communities is a whole nother ballgame. I agree, it is a very important subject, but it is something that would have to be directed by government on both a federal and local level, because private enterprise would never undertake what needs to be done. The best book you could read on this topic is called: 'A Pattern Language', by Christopher Alexander et al. Oxford University Press, 1977, Library of Congress Catalogue Number 74-22874. Also, the book about cities by Elaine Morgan that I mentioned elsewhere.

There is a whole constellation of conditions that would have to be satisfied before very many people would even begin to consider moving to small communities: employment, availability of goods and services, etc. Communities need to be purpose-built or carefully retrofitted so that amenities are available and the use of fossil energy is minimised.

Once again, the benevolent dictator would be the best choice to set out the rules and then see that they are enforced, otherwise all the little ants will run around doing a million irreconcilable things with all the unintended consequences. I wonder if an elected government is capable of acting like a benevolent dictator. The Russian and Chinese examples so far suggest that they inevitably fall into disarray because of human weaknesses - corruption and greed.
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#35
Re:Population and proliferation, SPA 5 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
I wonder if the Transition Town movement addresses the population question? I'll do some research.
On the socio/political front, I wonder if the term 'population optimisation' is more persuasive than 'control' or 'reduction'? Be nice if a simple shift in terminology was all that's required..........
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#36
Re:Population and proliferation, SPA 5 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
Transitiion Towns have potential, but also a long way to go. I have been keeping an eye on them from a distance. In the current world situation, only a small percentage of the population will have any interest in them. That may change if things get tougher.
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