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Are we overpopulated?


  

28 members have voted

  1. 1. Is the world overpopulated with people?

    • The world can support tremendous more people.
      3
    • Human population can increase but in the future people will need to control their population
      3
    • The earth is at a good population now.
      0
    • We are already overpopulated
      22


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Ideally speaking, we'd need to:

 

1) Move everyone to a vegan diet...

2) Get rid of sprawling suburbs...

3) Abolish consumer capitalism...

Again, through what mechanism will these "I know better than you do" dictatorial plans of yours be implemented and how will you respond to unintended consequences of your attempts to implement them? I hear Mao and Stalin had some good ideas along these lines, but something happened to them... Not sure what. I should probably study history.
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That's logical and I appreciate the clarity with which you laid it out. However, as I mentioned, it has some unintended consequences that I'm personally unsure I'm ready to accept.  I'm referring sp

Vote now.   I think that religious people are more likely to believe the whole world is for humans. That human life is good and the more people, the better. But I think that is a very anthropocentri

If we just hang in there until Yellowstone erupts the problem will be fixed.

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Again, through what mechanism will these "I know better than you do" dictatorial plans of yours be implemented and how will you respond to unintended consequences of your attempts to implement them? I hear Mao and Stalin had some good ideas along these lines, but something happened to them... Not sure what. I should probably study history.

The other option is to do nothing, keep growing, keep consuming, and find ourselves caught in a Malthusian crisis and environmental disaster. I'm not saying my suggestions should be carried out in a dictatorial way, I just said they were "ideal" in my opinion. Other people probably have better ideas. Dictatorship is not a good option, I agree, but we as a species have to come together to do something to solve the population / resource problem . . . or we can destroy ourselves and the planet we inhabit.

Edited by kindheart
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1) Move everyone to a vegan diet. This would lower animal deaths and pollution from mass meat, dairy, and egg production.

What are we doing with all those animals we've bred for consumption? Are we setting them free, letting them die naturally from predators they're not equipped to deal with? Are we killing them off all at once so nobody will be tempted?

 

2) Get rid of sprawling suburbs, as they take up valuable land that should be either used for farming or animal habitat. Move everyone into cities, small towns, or rural farmsteads. Restrict any future urban sprawl.

Why is the land more valuable for farming and animal habitats than it is for our habitats? I'm not trying to be anthropocentric about this, but I think we're just as important.

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I came to conclusion that today people are happier (in average) than 100 years ago. Even more than 500 years ago... I know that many of you won't agree, but this is my view: we are happier than ever... I don't know if this is sustainable, but I think it is.

Yea, we are happier than ever. So what? So we are the most important animal? The heck with all other species? I'm looking over the members that have responded to this thread. I really don't know you guys but I'll go out on a limb and say most of you are humans. If I could get some more deer, bear and maybe even wolfs to chime in I bet we would get more responses saying humans are crowding out wildlife and animals the world over. The other animals need a chance. And they need us to give them a chance. We could kill off any animal that inconveniences us.

 

Now, what is "overpopulated"? Is this 'harming other living creatures' or is this 'being unable to sustain our own numbers'? I am with the second answer and, therefore, I think we are not overpopulated. Other creatures will be harmed, but this is what evolution is - they should adapt or die. Many adapted already - wheat, corn, dogs, pigs...

 

....

 

If you, BusaDave9, try to reduce the population by 3 orders of magnitude, we won't be as happy any more.

 

 

 

 

The question is, are we overpopulated. As I understand, overpopulated means "being unable to sustain own number by any mean".

Wow, by that standard no other animal has overpopulated the world (maybe a local area).

By that standard humans could populate the whole world as one big city and grow our food in laboratories (such as the petri dish meat posted earlier) Like what was talked about in this thread: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/57972-do-we-need-so-many-other-animals-on-earth/

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...and grow our food in laboratories (such as the petri dish meat posted earlier)...

I'm not addressing any of your other points or suggestions or comments, but out of curiosity why do you think the above is a problem somehow? Specifically, the petri dish proteins? That confuses me how someone could see that as a bad thing, especially someone who cares about our planet and the life on it.
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I'm not addressing any of your other points or suggestions or comments, but out of curiosity why do you think the above is a problem somehow? Specifically, the petri dish proteins? That confuses me how someone could see that as a bad thing, especially someone who cares about our planet and the life on it.

I would try it but petri dish meat, that's just not right. I care about the life on this planet but I also firmly believe in the natural food chain. Let's go out and kill our own meals. I am firmly against killing off wolfs and other animals that are a threat to our livestock, us and our safety. I live in the mountains of SW Colorado. We have wolfs, bear and mountain lions here. They may be scary but I eagerly hope to see these animals when I am out. They aren't too much of a threat since none of them consider us thier prey. but they are still far from being safe animals.

If i gave the impression that I care so much about animal life that I am a vegan that's far from the truth.

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What if we could still eat hamburgers and steaks, damned tasty ones, ones that don't cause heart disease, and all without the need for raising methane producing cattle that increase global warming and that we often slaughter in inhumane ways? How is that "just not right?"

 

Actually, never mind. We'll probably derail the thread. I'm just trying to follow what appears to be a rather broken chain of logic when it's really emotion driving most of this thread, anyway.

Edited by iNow
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Actually, never mind. We'll probably derail the thread. I'm just trying to follow what appears to be a rather broken chain of logic when it's really emotion driving most of this thread, anyway.

 

 

How is it emotion-based? I think the proposition that the Earth is overpopulated is backed by sound science, and the solutions being proposed here seem very rational to me.

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I would try it but petri dish meat, that's just not right. I care about the life on this planet but I also firmly believe in the natural food chain. Let's go out and kill our own meals.

 

I sure hope you aren't serious about this. That rocks back the clock on our development by a few millenia. We have the kind of society we do because we left the hunter/gatherer process quite some time ago in favor of agriculture and animal husbandry. This frees up people to do more than just survive. If we have to kill our own meals, we won't have time for anything else like art or music or expanding our minds discussing ethics over the internet.

 

I agree that non-food animals like wolves need our help, but when you look at this rationally, animals like pigs and cows we raise in protected environments as food sources have a much less stressful life on the whole than any animal in the wild does. We've bred them that way and it's too late to change that unless we're willing to set them loose (which might be giving the wolves too much help), or slaughter them all to save them from being kept for our consumption.

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Overpopulation is a problem that has no practical solution.

I hate to complain about things without a solution but I'm afraid that's what I'm doing. unsure.png

 

Conquest/colonization of galaxy is not a solution?

 

No, I don't think so there is too many people yet.

Food can be easily produced by changing DNA of bacterias to generate proteins, hydrocarbons, vitamins, fat etc.

So if we would like to (or have to- because of too large population) produce a lot of food, there is open door for doing so. Artificial food, instead of natural. It will be also more efficient, less energy used to create 1 kg of substance, than f.e. cattle, or chicken, that waste of lot of energy on their own life.

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By that standard humans could populate the whole world as one big city and grow our food in laboratories (such as the petri dish meat posted earlier) Like what was talked about in this thread: http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/57972-do-we-need-so-many-other-animals-on-earth/

Exactly. We can grow our food in labs and sustain our population - therefore we are not overpopulated.

 

I am afraid you asked the wrong question... you asked if we are overpopulated, but you realy wanted to hear how do we feel about exterminating other life.

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I sure hope you aren't serious about this.

...

we left the hunter/gatherer process quite some time ago

oh no I didn't mean we should all go back to hunters and gatherers. I only meant we could hunt if we want or kill livestock. I don't like the idea of our population being so high that we have to resort to raising meat in such tight confines as artificial meat factories.

Exactly. We can grow our food in labs and sustain our population - therefore we are not overpopulated.

 

I am afraid you asked the wrong question... you asked if we are overpopulated, but you realy wanted to hear how do we feel about exterminating other life.

So if wolfs grew in population that they were killing up all the deer, all the racoons, the beavers and otters. They would not be overpopulated? They would continue to exterminate other life forms but never be overpopulated until they kill off all their food. Once they start to die off because they killed off their food, only then, during their demise would you consider them overpopulated?

 

 

 

Conquest/colonization of galaxy is not a solution?

 

No, I don't think so there is too many people yet.

Food can be easily produced by changing DNA of bacterias to generate proteins, hydrocarbons, vitamins, fat etc.

Colonization of other planets is still very far off. I believe we are already very much over populated.

 

Did you guys vote?

from the looks of the responses everyone but kindheart seems to think we are not at all overpopulated. But the poll says everyone agrees with me that we are already over populated. confused.gif

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Did you guys vote?

from the looks of the responses everyone but kindheart seems to think we are not at all overpopulated. But the poll says everyone agrees with me that we are already over populated. confused.gif

 

I thought my previous post implied I believe we are over populated but I'll state it explicitly here.

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So if wolfs grew in population that they were killing up all the deer, all the racoons, the beavers and otters. They would not be overpopulated? They would continue to exterminate other life forms but never be overpopulated until they kill off all their food. Once they start to die off because they killed off their food, only then, during their demise would you consider them overpopulated?

No no. Wolves, in your case, are becoming overpopulated as soon as there is nothing they can do to prevent their future die off.... Humans are not, I think, in this position yet. We are capable to sustain our current numbers, but the price is to destroy the wild life... This seems like a high price to pay, but as far as I know humans, we are not going to think twice.

 

Huh... defining the term 'overpopulated' in terms related to 'pressure to environment' is wrong. There was a time in history of life when oxygen-generating bacteria killed many other creatures providing enormous pressure to the environment. But I would not dare to say that these bacteria suffered from overpopulation - they just changed the environment for good. This is what humans are doing now.

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oh no I didn't mean we should all go back to hunters and gatherers. I only meant we could hunt if we want or kill livestock. I don't like the idea of our population being so high that we have to resort to raising meat in such tight confines as artificial meat factories.

Please clarify this phrase, "...raising meat in such tight confines as artificial meat factories". Are you referring to the tight confines of factory farming as being unnatural or artificial, or are you referring to meat grown "artificially" in vitro?

 

 

Colonization of other planets is still very far off. I believe we are already very much over populated.

The greatest thing about exploring space, imo, is all the innovation we come up with that helps us here at home. Learning to feed ourselves off-planet more efficiently is bound to help us on Earth as well. We don't necessarily have to look at colonizing as a way to relieve our population pressures. We can look at space exploration as a means to stretch our resources further, or at least not use the planet's resources to work off-planet.

 

As long as we have people we can't feed adequately, it's either a problem of overpopulation, underproduction or poor distribution. I think we're capable of producing food to feed everyone, but without incentive to do so we can't count on standard business models to reach the poorest and most needy.

 

Did you guys vote?

from the looks of the responses everyone but kindheart seems to think we are not at all overpopulated. But the poll says everyone agrees with me that we are already over populated. confused.gif

I didn't vote because none of the options gave enough leeway to adequately represent the way I feel on the issue. I can make a fairly good case for each response, so I'm torn on which to choose.

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I didn't vote because none of the options gave enough leeway to adequately represent the way I feel on the issue.

Ditto. I avoided voting because the choices were incomplete and none applied accurately to my actual position.

1) Move everyone to a vegan diet.

FYI - There are 7 nice charts at the following link supporting why this might be a good idea: http://www.businessinsider.com/reasons-to-go-vegetarian-in-charts-2013-10

 

Thought you might be interested.

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We are overpopulated and it's evident because of the degree that we disrupt the environment.

We have to all be ecological with our resources because of our overpopulation.

And if we have to become vegetarians then we are most certainly overpopulated. We are omnivores.

 

We have taken over most of the fertile land as farmland.

Environmental deterioration is part of the definition of overpopulation.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overpopulation

Straining available resources is also part of the definition

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/overpopulation

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What, exactly, is wrong with a vegan diet? It's far less cruel than meat-eating (especially with our current factory farm system), and it is demonstrably better for the environment.

 

As for the population problem, it needs to be addressed. We can't just keep raising the population indefinitely, and interstellar space travel is still hundreds of years away (if it is physically possible at all). Population reduction needs to be on the agenda, along with consumption control.


What are we doing with all those animals we've bred for consumption? Are we setting them free, letting them die naturally from predators they're not equipped to deal with? Are we killing them off all at once so nobody will be tempted?

 

Free them. Keeping animals for consumption is not only unethical, it is woefully inefficient and damaging to the environment. Predators would probably eat most of them, but some will survive and even thrive in the wild.

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What, exactly, is wrong with a vegan diet? It's far less cruel than meat-eating (especially with our current factory farm system), and it is demonstrably better for the environment.

...

 

Free them. Keeping animals for consumption is not only unethical, it is woefully inefficient and damaging to the environment. Predators would probably eat most of them, but some will survive and even thrive in the wild.

First off I love meat. A nice big steak is my favorite food.

Secondly we have canines for a reason, were are meant to eat meat. We're omnivores.

We need big factory farms because we are overpopulated. If a large percentage of the population were to become vegans we wouldn't release the cattle and pigs to roam the wild, we would simply produce less livestock. We have complete control over their population. Sure we raise the cows and pigs just long enough to be killed for food but I believe it's better for the animals to have a short life than to never have lived at all.

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Free them. Keeping animals for consumption is not only unethical, it is woefully inefficient and damaging to the environment. Predators would probably eat most of them, but some will survive and even thrive in the wild.

 

These animals have been bred for consumption, they have neither the instincts nor the physical capability to thrive in the wild. We give them a life as free from stress and pain as possible until we need them for food. We need to improve those conditions, not abandon them completely.

 

Free them... where? Where exactly is "the wild"? What keeps them off the roads and highways? What happens to the ecosystems they're introduced into? Once predator populations explode with all the available prey, where will they look for their meals when the cows and pigs are gone? That many wolves and coyotes will eventually bring down the wild animal populations we're trying to save.

 

This is one of those emotional responses iNow was talking about earlier. It's not cruel to raise livestock, it's one of the main reasons you're here today, living in a society that doesn't have to spend every waking minute looking for food. What makes humans eating meat unethical when every other omnivore does? Is it because we're intelligent? It was our intelligence that came up with the brilliant idea to raise animals for food. I think it's much more cruel to abandon animals we've bred to be docile into an environment of constant predation they're not equipped to deal with.

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We are overpopulated and it's evident because of the degree that we disrupt the environment.

 

I think, the science of Biology will have to clarify the term 'overpopulated'... Definitions like "pupulation size that cannot be supported by the environment" are unclear when it comes to tech-capable beings like humans. From such definition it is not clear whether the environment is alowed to change substantially or not... Humans are, however, capable to change (to engineer) the environment substantially into a very different form that is capable to support them.

 

Because of this, there is now a communication problem between you and me. (Despite the fact the we both agree that the pressure from humans toward wilderness is much too high for wilderness to sustain.)

 

This also makes the poll question unanswerable to me.

Edited by Danijel Gorupec
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I made this thread a poll because I knew that, even if everyone was looking at the same data, some would say we're very overpopulated and some would say the Earth can sustain much more people.

When Mother Teresa was asked about overpopulation she said "how could there be too many people? That's like saying there are too many flowers."

 

 

I think, the science of Biology will have to clarify the term 'overpopulated'...

...

From such definition it is not clear whether the environment is allowed to change substantially or not... Humans are, however, capable to change (to engineer) the environment substantially into a very different form that is capable to support them.

 

Because of this, there is now a communication problem between you and me. (Despite the fact the we both agree that the pressure from humans toward wilderness is much too high for wilderness to sustain.)

 

No the environment is not allowed to change at all. If the environment does change then it is overpopulation.

If the population of deer in a area becomes so high that they eat up most of the vegetation then that is overpopulation. In such areas you can see just how high the deer can reach because all the leaves below a certain height on the brush and trees are all eaten by the deer. Just because the deer can survive doesn't mean they are not overpopulated. By everyone's definition (except Danijel Gorupec's) once the environment is impacted then it is overpopulation. A species does not start to die off from lack of resources until the very late stages of overpopulation.

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These animals have been bred for consumption, they have neither the instincts nor the physical capability to thrive in the wild. We give them a life as free from stress and pain as possible until we need them for food. We need to improve those conditions, not abandon them completely.

 

This still seems wrong to me. Of course, as a philosophical nihilist, I realize I have no basis other than my own emotions for making that statement. It just seems unfair to me for one species of animal (let's be clear: humans are just another species of animal) to use another as property. It's fundamentally different from, for example, a lion hunting a zebra. The lion may kill and eat the zebra, but it doesn't own the zebra. It's that ownership (and the cruelty that often comes from it) that doesn't sit well with me.

 

 

What makes humans eating meat unethical when every other omnivore does?

 

I never said eating meat in and of itself was unethical, I said that about factory farming and livestock production.

 

 

 

Is it because we're intelligent? It was our intelligence that came up with the brilliant idea to raise animals for food. I think it's much more cruel to abandon animals we've bred to be docile into an environment of constant predation they're not equipped to deal with.

 

Then keep them alive and taken care of for a generation, but don't allow them to breed anymore -- this will eliminate the problem.

 

Anyway, this is simply another symptom of overpopulation. Such large-scale factory farming and livestock raising would be totally necessary if the human population wasn't so high. In my subjective opinion (which I realize doesn't mean much), humans aren't inherently anymore valuable than other animals, and because of this, we shouldn't take over the planet at the expense of the well-being of other species.

Edited by kindheart
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By everyone's definition (except Danijel Gorupec's)...

 

Certainly! I make a strong distinction between terms overpopulated and overpopulated by:

 

A) The environment is overpopulated by humans.

B) Humans are overpopulated.

 

The A) is concerned with environment future, while B) is concerned with humans future... Having this in mind, if I am allowed, I will now answer your OP question:

 

If you asked A) the answer is trivial and is: Yes

If you asked B) the answer is less trivial, but I think it is: No

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