Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

The biggest cause of envirnomental polution is mankind! Minimize polution by advocating "Zero Population Growth". That means a maximum of two offspring per couple.

This use to be one of the slogans that I grew up with in the sixties. Promote this to help the envirnoment stay as green as possible for the future of our kids.

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Arin, thank you for the link. I did not realize the concept is still around. As an engineer, I've always been concerned on the sustainability of our limited resources and how it affects our house keeping of our environment. Many proponents of going technically green help minimally, and I feel the biggest impact is to control the source of our green problem...population.

EVERYTHING our population does affect pollution. New "greener" technologies help minimize the rate of pollution. Unfortunately, greener options cause more money and energy to implement; and also produce an increase in another form of problem areas.

We have to provide solutions and evaluate the total impact to implement the solution. For example: if we build electric cars, how much energy and pollution is required just to build and maintain the car...is this a better solution considering the majority of electrical power in the US comes from coal...a major contributor to polluting the environment...on and on..

So,...it's easier for me to get a vasectomy and minimize the increase of environmental problems...lol. Also consider adopting a child, it's a win-win solution.
I live in a very liberal mainly left wing small town. I was in a political group that decided to work on green causes and saving the planet. I realized I was fed up with the group when I suggested we work on zero population growth and the head dictator said well she had 3 kids and thought because she was raising such wonderful socially conscious children she was entitled to 3. I am sure her 3 will think it is okay to have 3 too. No one in the group seemed to get the idea that working on zero population growth would do anything for the environment. I got tired of being in a group where it was suppose to be a group but it was obvious to me it was actually a dictatorship with someone at the helm of the ship that I did not really respect so I quit.

Zero population is a good thing especially when trying to help the planet.
this is the best idea ever to be termed "human rights abuse" when china actually got it going on. clearly, all the rest of the world's green/blue+ problems stem from us breeding like rabbits and eating like locusts. do we have enough compassion for our children & the air that they'll breathe to get with this program?
I don't believe it is just about population growth, i believe it is about how we use our vital resources.

Let's talk about "external costs for a minute". What is meant by external costs are the environmental costs that are deferred to "next generations" and not included in the retail price at point of sale. Take for instance beef and oil, two of the top revenue producers in the U.S. and the world, but both of which are the top toxicant-producing activities worldwide.. If the external costs of just these two products were included in the retail price, almost no one would be able to purchase them but the very, very wealthy.

So, why are we continuing with these activities? 1) to produce jobs, 2) as revenue-generators.

But neither activity is sustainable.

This does not mean that i am not in favor of some sort of population boundaries. But i am also aware that the natural means of birth control exercised by indigenous people is best utilized in the developing countries -- modern methods do not work well there. But another factor is that until just recently when India and China began to demand their share of the world's resources and right to live "the American lifestyle" that even with greater population growth, the developing countries did not use anywhere close to the resources used by American consumers.
I agree with your claim:

mary rose said:
I don't believe it is just about population growth, i believe it is about how we use our vital resources.

This is a very important issue, and we have to be careful how we approach it and communicate about it. In the worst case, some people believe it would be good if the total population could be reduced to, say, one tenth of the current number, even if that involves massive numbers of premature deaths due to some global catastrophe.

Since the average lifespan across the planet is now about 60 years, that means it would take about 60 years to reduce the population to zero, if there were NO additions in the meantime, i.e. zero births, not zero growth (where growth is births minus deaths). So if we have a problem with our imbalanced use of resources, it probably won't be enough to just reduce population growth, even down to zero, or even negative growth down to zero births. If we are not planning on a massive die-off, we need to address the use of resources. We should all be unanimous about this.

On the other hand, if we DO address our use of resources and figure out how long we have at our current rates of consumption, and growth rate, etc, it might be that we have either very little time, or enough time given what we need to do to fix the problems before they become too severe.

And furthermore, if we figure out how to be net-neutral or net-positive, on average, so that each person does not contribute to further decline or may actually contribute positively, then the number of people does not matter, or the more the merrier even. Can we do this? It seems perfectly conceivable to me. If, for each person, on average, we use only renewable resources (e.g. solar, wind, etc) to generate electricity, enough to cover all the consumption by each person, then it would work out. We would need to account for everything, however, including all the waste products now dumped into our air and water, and including the energy required to either clean it up, or avoid creating the waste in the first place. We have a lot of damage that must be cleaned up already, but nature is very willing to help out, if we let it.

Another factor to keep in mind, regarding population growth, is that the more educated parts of the world tend to have lower growth, or negative growth. This could be due to several factors, which we should try to understand, but there is a good chance that if we simply raise the standard of living around the world, we will automatically get a zero population growth as well.

So while we do need to understand population growth, it should probably not be the primary focus of solutions to world problems, other than understanding how it is a scaling factor in all the other problems and solutions. In other words, population growth is not a problem by itself, assuming we respect people's right to life and freedom of choice.
in complex/dynamic situations it's vital that a few rules of engagement are well understood and adhered to. that's how biologic systems adapt and that's what allows some of them to sustain. ignoring the exponential growth of humans - especially given our carbon footprint - is a mistake we've been making for generations. it's as simple as calculating the necessary range of high-end predators.

clearly there are things we can do to be more efficient and yep, education is the greatest population limiter. these things take policy & social will - the kind that banned cfcs and limited slavery/mass-murder. the kind of collective common sense we uber-lucky architects need to engender/espouse right?
I have a correction and extension to what I said.

Daniel LaLiberte said:

Since the average lifespan across the planet is now about 60 years, that means it would take about 60 years to reduce the population to zero, if there were NO additions in the meantime, i.e. zero births, not zero growth (where growth is births minus deaths).

This is not correct. Since the AVERAGE lifespan around the world is about 60 now, that means that in 60 years, only about half the population would be gone, the half that lived less than 60. The other half will live longer than 60, and the two halves average out to 60. (This is still an over simplification for a couple other reasons, but it is roughly correct.)

Meanwhile, we have to make a few new babies along the way, otherwise in 60 years we will all be over 60 and unable to reproduce at all. Many of the survivors would be unable to support themselves 100% also. So at best, it would seem that in 60 years we could only reduce our actual population by no more than 50%, and maybe closer to 25% without risking making ourselves extinct. All the more reason we should be careful about any increase in our population.

But are we actually growing exponentially? In the long view averaging over 100 years, yes, we are. But that would ignore what has been happening since about 1980. The population growth has actually been declining which you can see in the following image.


In fact, almost the entire world has moved to about 2 children per family, and the remaining increase is due to extended life span. We are NOW on a path to peak population around 9 billion, and then we might actually decline gradually, unless something else changes. Please watch this great video: Hans Rosling debunks several myths about world development
Daniel,

You pointed out excellent points on growth and the average life span...thanks for enlightening. Also, enjoyed Hans Rosling's lecture on world development using statistics.
Kaicho Jesse said:
Daniel,

You pointed out excellent points on growth and the average life span...thanks for enlightening. Also, enjoyed Hans Rosling's lecture on world development using statistics.

Glad you enjoyed it. I was inspired to put together some more thoughts on this in another blog for my new GlobalConsensus project. See World Population is Stabilizing.

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