The Return of The Limits of Growth:
It's always interesting reading this kind of analysis.
Limit of growth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ did I hear "the club of rome" ?
@fribbledom And like the first time it's still wrong because it fails to take into account technological development.
I'm not sure that's correct. Measuring technological development and expressing it as a figure may be pretty much impossible, but it certainly affects all the graphs across the board:
resources, births, deaths, food, services, industrial output & pollution.
@fribbledom Technological development can dramatically reduce resource consumption. In fact, this has always been the case as some resource nears exhaustion. For example whale oil -> kerosene -> electricity. And of course solar and wind for electricity, better electricity storage, fixed nitrogen from electrolyzed hydrogen instead of reformed natural gas, and soon phosphorus extraction from municipal waste streams. The effects of these will be massive.
You can't always rely on technological development to save the day, though. or at the very least not without some forecasts that tell you what will happen otherwise and what type of solution to work on.
You can't predict all technology, and that's not the aim of such forecasts. rather it's to show the current trajectory, so we can have ideas on how to change it.
@Mr_Teatime @fribbledom No, we shouldn't *rely* on it all, because that's the surest way to make sure it doesn't happen. Stuff like Limits to Growth serves the important function of getting people to get off their asses and build it. I think it would be a terrible tragedy, though, if we responded by impoverishing ourselves or instituting tyranny as the Chinese did with their so-called "one child" policy.
I think the problem is that while you could include generic factors like expected improvements in efficiency/capabilities of known technologies, you can't really reliably predict much else.
The first time round I believe they did not predict the land efficiency increase for agriculture -- but there are physical limits to pretty much any such development, so it can only delay, not prevent the ultimate scenario
@Mr_Teatime @fribbledom There are indeed physical limits. The ones we need to worry about are the ones which don't give outward signs that you're nearing them until it's already too late. Which is why the idea of a "bistable climate" is so scary.
As for physical limits for things like the land intensiveness of farming, there's a point you cross where everything becomes a proxy for energy. For water, it's the point where desalination becomes economic. For food, it's indoor/vertical farming.
@fribbledom @Mr_Teatime I think the real limit we need to worry about is a society's ability to produce happy, healthy people who are each able to make the society better off on net. I think there's only so much an "education system" and "employment' can do toward this end. I think we need to figure out how to make both learning and "work" ambient. Like back when a huge fraction of families owned their own farms & traded, but where we farm our minds instead of the land.
@fribbledom The rightists hate family planning because Jesus.
The left hates family planning because it’s “racist” to follow China, Bangladesh, and Indonesia... somehow, they are never sure exactly how.
So not once does this blurb ever simply state that the crux of *every single global problem* is human overpopulation. We need a global family planning policy (which includes equity) but with the goal to mitigating the worst. It would be nice if a few animals bigger than roaches survive.
I'd probably agree, but it looks like there is a self-regulating mechanism in place already. We just don't understand it well enough.
@fribbledom Self correction can be pretty terrifying. The self regulating mechanism is pretty clearly the rise of death rates from resource exhaustion. It’s already beginning. But it’s quite true we don’t understand it well enough. Few have the intellectual honesty to look.
Frankly, I’ve tallied up as much as I can, and don’t think we will survive as a planet without a stern global population cap. Which is to say, we won’t. Hopefully better models will prove me wrong.
I agree, however there's a big difference between human and animal populations: birth control.
And we can already observe that in various (western) societies: just look at the population pyramid and demographics in Germany, as an example.
When and why we as a society choose not to procreate is still very much unclear, though.
Is this basically forecasting global collapse around 2025?
Oh, the article is 7 years old, needs fresh data. But anyway, see you later, I'm going to learn how to build a bunker now.
"no plausible assumptions produce any result but overshoot"
Raised by an evolutionary biologist, computing population ecology simulations before I was old enough to drive, this was a deep assumption for me growing up.
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