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Overpopulation (This thread may not be suitable for minors)


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193 replies to this topic

Poll: Overpopulation is a serious problem. To tackle it, should we... (59 member(s) have cast votes)

Overpopulation is a serious problem. To tackle it, should we...

  1. Deliberately exterminate 3.5 billion people in the most humane way science can devise. (12 votes [18.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.75%

  2. Allow "nature to take it (20 votes [31.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.25%

  3. Do everything we can to avert this catastrophy and allow numbers to fall naturally in line with declining birth rates due to the higher standard of living enjoyed in the West. (24 votes [37.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 37.50%

  4. Pray (8 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 ArabiaTerra

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 08:48 PM

.... As far as humanity, and I use the term very loosely, given how many who come under its umbrella behave on a daily basis, I'm not wholly opposed to a cull.

As far as I can see at some point in the 20th Century if not much sooner the maximum "safe" world population of homo sapiens on this bit of space debris was exceeded. So what if global warming is neutralised, as long as we go on breeding at current rates it'll be some other and even more difficult issue that crops up in a few years, there is simply far too many of us demanding too much from too little, and while we may be able to postpone the inevitable, it will eventually get us on our current course, and the longer the postponement is, the greater the destruction will be when it finaly overwhelms us.

Things have already gone so far that letting nature fight back and redress the balance with climate change now, for whatever reason it is happening, if it is indeed happening at all, will not be pretty and its goes against the grain of human compassion, but I'd see it as being cruel to be kind. Stalling that which may prune our numbers in the foreseeable future will just result in some other more brutal, more difficult to counter and more devastating occurance in the slightly longer term future. We cannot "win" as long as we multiply like we are and make the ever increasing demands we are on finite resources.

I agree that there are too many people on the globe, so what are we going to do about it? Let's look at the options.

1. A cull
This immediately raises further questions. Who lives and who dies? Should we, for instance, kill the poorest 3.5 billion, as they are the ones having all the babies? Or should we kill the richest 3.5 billion as they use the most resources? Or should we just all toss a coin, heads you live, tails you die?

Then there's the method of culling and the disposal of the bodies. The Nazi's came up with a most efficient and humane (for the operators) method of mass killing: the gas chamber, and with the myriad of painlessly, instantly lethal nerve gasses designed during the cold war, we can do considerably better than Zyklon B these days (which would make the victims part in the proceedings much less traumatic). The disposal of the bodies, however, presents a more intractable problem. Burning them (as the nazi's did) is out as the carbon footprint would be huge and add to the problem we're trying to solve. Perhaps we could get each of the victims to dig their own grave before entering the gas chamber, or we could uses airtight ovens to turn the bodies into biochar, then use them for fertiliser.

Then, of course, there's the problem of who operates the execution chambers and the administrative problem of enforcement. After all, not all of those selected for death might be expected to walk into the killing chamber voluntarily. But I'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers (such as ghostrider) to enforce compliance. We all need to do our bit to save the planet.

(BTW, heads, I live. Your turn.) :shock: :evil: :roll: ;-)

2. Let nature take it's course
In many ways, this would be the easiest course to follow, after all, all we have to do to ensure it happens is... nothing. Nature (or Gaia, if you prefer) will do the messy bit for us. Nature will also take care of the knotty problem of selection, it truly will be a case of survival of the fittest richest. And there is much we could do to help nature along in this unpleasant task. Ending food aid, AIDS drug provision, vaccination programs and research into tropical diseases would speed things up considerably, and save us a pile of money to boot. Something would have to be done about the media, though. We don't want to have to spend the next 30 years staring at starving African babies on our TV's (and I don't think I could put up with 30 years of Geldof, Sting and Bono preaching at me, could you? Perhaps we should just shoot them first.).

But there's a problem with letting nature do our dirty work for us. Nature is not the most efficient of killers and starving people tend to eat whatever they can find within reach before they die. This would include every animal, insect, tree and blade of grass. Surely the whole point of the exercise is to get rid of the people without destroying the land they currently live on, else we would lose the use of this land, reducing our lebensraum living space and leaving us right back where we started, too many people trying to live on too little land. (Though, the resulting cannibalism would reduce the body disposal problem somewhat.)

:shock: :shock: :shock:


Now, as I hope you have all realised by now, I am not advocating either of the above options as a serious solution to the problem (though some on this forum are advocating option 2), I simply thought I should spell out the (theoretically) available options in order to prompt some serious consideration of the awful consequences which would result from the application of some of the throwaway comments which have been posted on this subject in the past. There is, in my opinion, only one sane, moral and ethical (morals and ethics, what's the difference?) solution to the problem, which is option 3 which I will discuss in my next post.

So, anyway, chew on this for the moment. ;-)



#2 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:09 PM

This was the problem addressed by Malthus. From

http://www.tiscali.c...n/m0034800.html

Malthus Theory
Projection of population growth made by English economist Thomas Malthus. He based his theory on the population explosion that was already becoming evident in the 18th century, and argued that the number of people would increase faster than the food supply. Population would eventually reach a resource limit (overpopulation), and any further increase would result in a population crash, caused by famine, disease, or war.

Malthus was not optimistic about the outcome and suggested that only ‘moral restraint’ (birth control) could prevent crisis. More recently, famines in Ethiopia and other countries, where drought, civil war, and poverty have reduced agricultural output, might suggest that he was correct. In the USA, the UK, and other developed countries, the agrarian revolution boosted food production, and contraception led to a decline in birth rate; and in some countries, such as China, population control policies have been introduced.


Malthus's expected population crash did not occur due to improved methods of farming making possible to feed more people and effective birth control. Is there a similar happy ending coming for the world this time?

#3 Spinner72

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:13 PM

Why not just let the currernt world leaders continue thier current plans?

I always stuns me how unaware many people are of recent, and indeed current, eugenics programmes.

Since compulsory sterilization was declared a crime against humanity in the 70's (for once, a pretty decent Wiki article HERE ) things have been kept pretty quiet in the westren world, but that doesn't mean they stopped funding it :

http://frwebgate.acc...d=02-3605-filed < for example.

We need a "No need to worry, it's all in hand" option added to the poll :wink:

#4 KOYAANISQATSI

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 10:56 PM

We need a "No need to worry, it's all in hand" option added to the poll


Yes indeed; I am very surprised that the gracious global elites like the Rothschilds and Rockefellers haven't taken this kind of thing into consideration and come up with some cunning plan to sort it.

Never mind, I'm sure they'll tell us all about it when they do. :lol:

Of course now the planet is almost empty of humans after the first bout of swine flu, the need for population control is a lot less. Lets just hope they can get the vaccine for swine flu ready soon for when it mutates in the fall, just like Obama said it would and that there are laws put in place to ensure everyone gets their meds in time.

I'm hoping they will allow me to donate my prescribed dosage to paulb as a goodwill gesture for forewarning everyone of the lurking danger. :wink:

#5 ArabiaTerra

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:36 PM

We need a "No need to worry, it's all in hand" option added to the poll :wink:

I thought that was covered by option 2, do nothing.

#6 number 7

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Posted 23 June 2009 - 11:57 PM

eh where did dis tread come from ? wild . i think the otter should be first !

#7 Spinner72

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 12:37 AM

We need a "No need to worry, it's all in hand" option added to the poll :wink:

I thought that was covered by option 2, do nothing.


It would be, if the general public weren't so ignorant of the fact population control has been going on for decades in one form or another, and still is.

"Do Nothing" infers you either don't think its a problem, or that nature will take its course.

My suggestion was to give those who understand current population control methods an option to say they support them (or that they think they are enough, if they don't).

Perhaps "Encourage further eugenics research and continue current population control methods" would be a more sensible additional option to avoid any misunderstanding.

#8 Ghostrider

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 01:04 AM

I dunna hae time ta flite wi de da nicht, bit I'll be aboot igyen, rest assured o' dat. :wink:

Afore I geen tho..... Yes, I used the word 'cull', but as part of a side comment in a much larger rambling post attempting to make a far broader point, rather than it being a point in and of itself. With hindsight *cull* or "cull" would probably have been nearer what I was going for.

And....Nope, Ghostrider won't be enforcing any compliance of any cull. I said that "I'm not wholly opposed to a cull". I never said I supported one though, and I definitely never said I would participate in the execution of one. (Nice bit of spin there AT, there'll always be a job for that talent at any red top, so how to pay for your yesterday's loaf from Tesco is assured for the rest of your natural). :wink:

Anyhow....I'll be back.

P.S. That Part 3 best hurry up, my curiosity is killing me.

#9 JohanofNess

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 07:01 AM

In a 100 years global warming will have changed the climate enough that vast sections of the earth will be desert or covered in ice, then two big factions will have a rammy over what decent ground there is left. Bish bosh population will plummet.

Oh wait that was Battlefield 2142

#10 Njugle

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 02:00 PM

Hmm. I'm in some ways reluctant to contribute to this thread, but it does give an opportunity for some callous frigid objective philosophy.

The Gaia concept offers up two particular perspectives on mankind and his recently inveterate destructive ways, one positive, one negative.

The background to this ideology stems from the period of transition, identified and referred to as koyaanisqatsi by the Hopi, during which man chose to depart from a life of harmiony with the planet and opted to follow the path of life out of balance. Many tribes, perhaps incorrectly referred to as primitive, continued in balance as we've been accustomed to ogling on TV documentaries, and corrupting with our promise of TV, inappropriate clothing and the dollar.

The divergent path that mankind chose, as I said, can be viewed in two simplified ways as follows:

One, we are a cancer on the body of our parent Gaia, consuming resources, killing healthy tissue and releasing deadly toxins that will ultimately choke the life out of the planet as we know it. Natural Gaia defences, antibodies if you will, are forming continually against us but, like a virus me mutate our ways around them. Gaia may yet find an insurmountable single defence that eradicates our unbalanced existence or a combination of causes may effect chemotherapy upon us and stabilise the patient.

Two, we are the planets reproductive system, burgeoning from humble beginnings in the industrial era , now having gone through the process of tentative practises toward reproduction, (launches, satellites, capsule and now stations), and soon, as Gaia matures, so we will eventually perfect a means to fertilise another planet and the Gaia life cycle will continue. In this, we are transient, but our unbalanced consumption of resources is justified towards the end of successful fertilisation. Gaia may even, having reached maturity, retain her reproductive mechanism, in harmony and with contentment, or she may devour us like a black widow. Time will tell.

What we do in both of these scenarios is a matter of reaction, choice and development. It is not to be, and cannot ever be, nor shouild ever be, viewed instantaneously and subjectively but the path toward balance again is starting to take shape. Population numbers and human compassion in the transition are largely irrelevant to the greater process, the only benefit in sustaining the growth in human form is that it may provide collective and individual knowledge, wisdom and insight to develop technologies and policies that regain balance and breed or harmonise the planet itself. If this is not the case then population numbers are unnecessary and should not attract excessive resources. Hence, education in the third world is essential, as is reflection and educational policy in the rest of the world. The United Nations, if nothing else, should politicise these educational policy requirements and certainly should not promote subjective, instantaneous empowerment for all nations, devoid of historical direction. Targeting the needs of the planet through targeted funding could make a huge difference - subject for another thread.

One interesting aspect of Gaia consideration is that through the internet, the organism has now the embryonic components of a brain. Each terminal a neuron and each cable a nerve. We then are neurotransmitters. If the brain eventually gains sentience, ( which it undoubtedly will, think SETI and Folding computer idle-time projects) it will be interesting to see how it regards it's "body".

That's probably enough for one day, it's a huge subject that can draw in religion, politics, biology, and much more.

So, you can choose your own path and titling: Neurotransmitter, cancer or....reproductive organ. You decide.

(Hope you in particular enjoyed reading this Ghostrider. I'm guessing you might have.) :wink:

#11 Styumpie

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 05:33 PM

I cant believe the amount folk on here who willingly voted on a cull of their own kind, or just let them die, staggering.

Whats caused this problem in the first place is the modern monetary system, poor places generally were sustainable for thousands of years before money was introduced. The human race has to live sustainably in the long term, we are a million miles from that right now, major changes are in the pipeline, its going to get nasty.

#12 Njugle

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:27 PM

I didn't vote. Education, incentives and politics apparently aren't options.

#13 Medziotojas

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:38 PM

It seems that the wording of the poll may influence the vote in your favour (AT), no?

However, I decided to (fell into the trap :wink:) vote for option three as the lesser of the given evils rather than abstain.

#14 Carlos

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:50 PM

The background to this ideology stems from the period of transition, identified and referred to as koyaanisqatsi by the Hopi, during which man chose to depart from a life of harmiony with the planet and opted to follow the path of life out of balance. Many tribes, perhaps incorrectly referred to as primitive, continued in balance as we've been accustomed to ogling on TV documentaries, and corrupting with our promise of TV, inappropriate clothing and the dollar.


The "primitive people living happily in harmony with nature" idea take a bit of a hit when you read of the effects we had arriving in the Americas 20,000 years ago and just how many species were killed out as the wave of people spread south. Mostly we are just not very good at being remotely sensible about anything.

#15 Medziotojas

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Posted 24 June 2009 - 09:51 PM

And at those of you who chose option two--disturbingly many (within the context of a Shetlink poll), all things considered; if da boot wis on da idder fit :?: