The world existed for billions of years before we came along and will very likely continue to do so well after we have gone. Whether we have made the place better or worse during our (relatively brief) existence I guess is still to be judged, and not by us. As a species I think we sometimes adopt an overly-inflated view of our own importance.
Consumption is a big factor along with being more efficient (I.e. adopting new env friendly tech). Countries such as Cuba and Bhutan’s consumption per capita are good examples (brought about not by choice though).
Bhutan has adopted Gross National Happiness instead of GDP (again out of circumstance as well as choice).
Many multinationals are adopting zero harm
policies, the issue with is is that you they actually cause env damage and compensate in another way.
So, there is some systemic change, which hopeful for the future generations.
As far as global climate change is concerned consider these facts and then tell me they are not due solely to human industries. London smog 1800s onwards, it wasn’t there before, link that to high levels of pollutants in our cities compared to countryside again from 1800s. Crikey, we’ve got pollution charges in our cities for ‘dirty’ vehicles. This is all man made although how much difference this makes to global warming, if any is up for debate, after all we’ve had ice ages and heat since time immemorial and who’s to say that what’s happening now with global warming as apposed to pollution is just a natural working of our planet? The point is we are increasingly adding pollution to the atmosphere and it is nieve to think that pollution will not alter in some way the climate. The ozone hole comes to mind. To paraphrase Al Gore, it’s ‘an inconvenient truth’ that we are polluting the planet and in so doing altering the atmosphere by adding poisons to it. It’s purely coincidence that in cutting down pollution we improve the health of the population and just maybe alter the atmosphere to the better! I’m not going to say it’ll reduce global warming though, but that may be a by product. A lot of pollution can be reduced simply by being sensible, it even saves the individual money. Rich
How would you purport we discriminate between “natural” and “unnatural” global warming? Are human contributions not a part of overall planetary evolution?
We’ve had asteroid impacts, major volcanic eruptions, and (relatively) recent ice ages that have been responsible for major climate shifts, species extinctions, and re-distributions of the flora and fauna on our planet. As well, these events have contributed to humans’ current dominance as Earth’s top species (at least as we like to look at ourselves). Should humans end up shitting themselves out of existence via global warming, it may well prove a boon for the other 8.7 million species that inhabit Earth.
Hi Joerand, I’ve my own views on global warming but I’ve left them out. I think they may be similar to yours. I haven’t differenciated between whether or not human activity alone is contributing to global warming as apposed to pollution because there’s a number of scientists that disagree that our actions are adding to it. I’m no scientist so who am I to disagree with them? However because this minority do disagree doesn’t mean they are correct. After all, some have an axe to grind because they are employed by the very companies that may be causing the problem. I personally go along with Al Gore’s assessment. Have you seen his documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’? It’s quite thought provoking. One other observation, figures can be made to look like they agree with whatever the person wants you to think they show. (That’s why I don’t trust many politicians, they’re past masters of disinformation). Rich
When I talk about population reduction, I am NOT talking about the death of anybody. I am talking about a reduction in birth rate to the point where population numbers actually decrease.
Please don’t confuse these issues.
Hi Don, I think the post might have been directed at me rather than you because in a previous post I implied that if we don’t get a grip on feeding the growing population it’ll end with famine and war (haves vs have-nots) and that will then cure the problem of over population as disease follows famine. We have for to long not considered what will happen to society when demand exceeds supply. Civilisation is only a very thin veneer, witness the troubles and strife in the world today in both the so-called ‘civilised’ West and in developing countries. Yes, it’s sad that if we don’t do something now the future may be many millions of deaths. We do have a choice but our leaders are not yet willing to face it and I’m not at all cirtain that the general population would support mass birth control. Individuals rights to do what they like etc., without considering their actions on the environment, resources or indeed others. We’re as a species somewhat self centered. Rich
Wasn’t directed at you, it was explicitly a reply to MDS comment about antibiotic resistance and impending disease wiping out large swathes of humanity.
In the UK there is on sale a product that is absolute prima facie proof of global warming…
Yes, it seems self-evident that this is ultimately required. Or perhaps immediately. There is a paradox that increasing wealth increases GHG emissions per capita, but reduces fertility rates (The US stands out as a bit of an exception where very high wealth/consumption and increasing, but still quite low, birthrates exist - the level of wealth inequality might come into play here). The overall global trend is towards reducing fertility rates. TFL?
Sort of. The coastal areas are becoming indistinguishable from Europe, particularly when you subtract the hispanic birth rate. It’s the heartland that is an exception, whereas the entire country used to be.
CDC has a nice report:
WSJ has a nice summary:
Thanks. That’s all very interesting. I didn’t realise that the overall rate was now that low. The graphs and some of the data in the CDC report are perhaps a bit misleading on a quick read. Displaying the data by state ignores the fact that the centre of the country is relatively empty (and getting emptier in some parts). Similarly, displaying by ethnicity needs to be tempered with the relative population levels of that ethnicity.
X-Y scatter charts with bubble size as a third variable would possibly be more informative than the maps alone. I’d also like to understand what correlation there was to the level of urbanisation. Much (some?) of the touted coastal Vs. heartland divide in the US is actually a city Vs. country thing. Other aspects include the relative wealth. A correlation between income and fertility, perhaps? In the world as a whole, that correlation is very strong. Lift people out of poverty and they have fewer children, it seems.
That’s one factor [lifting people out of poverty], Winky. But there are many others, principal among which are urbanisation and emancipation of women.
In the countryside, a child will soon grow to be an extra pair of hands on the farm; and it will also look after its parents when they age. This is one reason why poor rural people have so many children. But in cities, children are an extra mouth to feed, and someone to find space for. In highly urbanised socities familes are smaller. Population growth falls.
The position of women is also crucial - as they become better educated, wealthier and more independent, they free themselves from the tyranny of their families, and priests and mullahs. They have fewer babies (and have them later in life) and population growth falls.
Population growth almost everywhere has slowed or even reversed (Europe and the developed parts of Asia). Even India and China’s birth rates are falling. This has led many to wonder whether the UN’s often apocalyptic population forecasts are correct. Personally I’m with those who think it will peak in the next decade and then decline. This natural decline on population (perhaps exacerbated by disease) will be good for the environment.
The big dog in the manger, as it were, is Africa, where birthrates are csatastropihically high, and show little signs of easing. The continent is a disaster waiting to happen. What one does about that, I’ve no idea. But education and wealth creation are crucial.
This is true in the city as well, but masked by the indirect way in which it happens: taxes and social security. Unfortunately this means selfish individuals can forego the expense and work of having and raising the next generation of taxpayers that will support all of us in our old age. You do this on a farm in a third-world country and you starve in your old age. You do this in the developed world, and people say you’re virtuous when in fact you’re just selfish.
When we were living in Utrecht, we lived in a street were we had a world-class ice cream shop. They had a billboard: ‘Stop global warming, eat more icecream’.
I think this is an issue that should not be underestimated. There’s a UK based campaign group called populationmatters.org that puts female empowerment at the centre of their arguments - not least for the simple and rather obvious reason that access to contraception is often denied to women by men.
Talking of Republicans, I was on the wires to a buddy in Minneapolis last night (he is Republican or die but can’t mention the orange one without reference to his anal gland). Anyhow he said if anyone can spare a bit of that global warming stuff, please send it over his way; Minneapolis was -33’C overnight with -45’c windchill.
And talking of Minneapolis, here’s hoping our forum buddy @Hook is well hunkered down & listening to some warming music.
Sounds like classic climate change denial dogma to me. Of course, he may have meant it as just a light hearted comment, but if he was using it to justify denial, he certainly wouldn’t have been the first.
The old chestnut of adaptation versus mitigation…
Surely there needs to be both, but changing demographic and social patterns as well as social expectations appears to have been filed under “too difficult”.