klapauzius wrote: AndyH wrote:
But in the past the capacity increases have come in a relatively 'large bottle' by making better food, messing with bread mold (medicine) and other tech achievements. The limiting factor in the past wasn't the planet. This time around appears to be very different - we've run out of bottle! We're living off principle and interest now - deficit spending, deficit mining, deficit water extraction...you get it, I'll stop.
I beg to differ.
You don't have to beg - agreeing to disagree is fine with me.
klapauzius wrote:a) There is lots more to discover. Progress has nowhere slowed down.
b) All the stuff we mine or the water we use does not vanish. It can (and will) be recycled.
All you need is energy to do this. The sun provides way more energy than we can possibly
use right now, we just need to harvest it.
Here e.g. that cartoon you posted is grossly wrong: We are far from utilizing all the sunlight reaching the earth.
What? The 'cartoon' is not about energy - it's about the sum of all we're taking from AND DOING TO the planet on which we depend. (The source is linked in the post, BTW.) Energy is only one small part of the process.
As for recycling finite resources, it's probably not socially acceptable to take the Coke can away from Joe before she's finished the drink in order to recycle it! Ok, maybe too obscure. Continually dividing the number of tons of available aluminum among a continually growing population suggests that we'd better forget 12 ounce drinks and learn to accept little 2-ounce cans - for a while, anyway.
Look back at the carrying capacity/logistic curve for a minute. This beautiful curve represents "The maximum number of individuals of a given species that a particular environment can support for an indefinite period, assuming the environment doesn't change
That blue part is significant, because we're not growing our population in isolation in a lab. Neither are we continually adding more CO2 to the atmosphere in isolation, or releasing more chemicals (the effects of which we have zero clue) into the environment in isolation, or cutting down all the trees in isolation. We've got a boatload of variables running around in no semblance of order and they all dramatically affect the outcome of the experiment and the eventual shape of the population curve.
Just from a CO2 stand point - paleoclimate folks have charted that the planet has made regular and routine dramatic temperature shifts - in as little as 10 years from toasty to ice age - in the past in response to CO2. One of the fears is that we're in the vicinity of one of those tipping points now (or maybe next year? Wanna bet?). That's just one graph-shape-changer -- and it's connected to the elbow bone and up to total population. (Don't look at me - I don't know what's going to happen - but I'm certainly not looking to buy property within 200' of mean sea level!)
I guess the main reason I don't think a single logistics curve is the right match to the data is because it's clear that we've already overshot the carrying capacity - otherwise we wouldn't be in the deficit zone in so many areas critical to our survival. I hope I'm wrong.
klapauzius wrote:c) There is a lot of fat (literally too) to trim, that wont hurt anyone. I dont care much for golf courses in the desert, nor for 7-ton SUVS (and believe it or not, I have kids too to drive around town), nor do I need a TV running all day to make me happy. If you take all that (and more), there will be room for a lot more people to live comfortable, until world population reaches its peak.
Sorry - just like unplugging the cell-phone charger -- it's an atom in the ocean.
Have a good evening up there!