Human's Continued Survival
April 30, 2014 at 9:11 pm #8483eric whitakerMember
This topic is relevant to our course because it addresses human evolution and the direct affect our evolution has had on the environment. It deals with the great strides we have made as a race, along with the destructiveness we have caused to the world around us. What we must do to prevent further destruction.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge(s) to our continued survival as humans comes down to the compromise and restraint of our own capacity. If we lack both these characteristics as a race, we will ultimately lead to our own downfall and the downfall of all species that coexist with us in the world today. We, as humans, lack the ability to accept that we, although are considered the ultimate species on earth, rely on everything around us to hold the title of “top of the food chain”, or to exist at all. Because we lack this conviction, we cultivate the land at a radical rate, thus killing off several species of plants, animals, necessary bacterias, etc. In addition to this, the amount of habitable land we have on earth is also diminishing at a radical rate relative the population growth. Considering these two factors, we can assume that we are our own greatest threat. In order amend the damage we have already done to our environment, and to ensure survival of our future generations, we must first accept this fact, and, second, we must adopt the compromise and restraint that is necessary for the recovery of the world around us.
We must be able to compromise with ourselves and with those around us. What natural goods are really necessary for our survival? What is effectively utilized by our society and the cultures around us? What is being wasted on a day-to-day basis? When is it a good time to do something? What material can we substitute with this that is cheaper, has a more dense availability, and is less harmful to the environment? We must be able to answer these questions. We must learn when to say “NO!” Which also is influenced by this concept of restraint.
However, it starts with our ability to define this problem in our lives. After we do this, we must make it known to those who do not recognize this as a problem. Once we do this, we must then accept it and persuade those around us to accept it as well. Then collectively we can address the issue and work to provide solutions that are viable and agreed upon. There is no question that the environment has experienced several negative affects since the evolution of mankind. We have been considerably destructive to the world, cultivating it to the last grain it has to offer. Obviously we are not at that point yet, however, we will be in the generations to come if some initiative isn’t taken. It saddens me to speak so aggressively towards our race, one that has cultivated a high level of beauty in the world today as well. However, that beauty has come in the form of materials and recourses. Recourses that were once beautiful in their own natural forms. How much is the world willing to compromise? How much are we?
May 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm #8787
What natural goods are really necessary for our survival? <- This does not matter.
What is effectively utilized by our society and the cultures around us? <- This does not matter.
What is being wasted on a day-to-day basis? <- This does not matter.
When is it a good time to do something? <- Now.
What material can we substitute with this that is cheaper, has a more dense availability, and is less harmful to the environment? <- this does not matter.
We must be able to answer these questions. <- No, these questions don’t matter.
We must learn when to say “NO!” <- Yes, we must say no to unrestricted birth rates, or rather we must say “Yes” to birth restrictions.
No amount of more efficient natural goods, or waste reduction, or cheaper materials can possibly create enough sustenance for the attempted exponential population growth that we humans have always attempted.
We must teach everyone that unrestrained fertility is a murderous thing to allow on a finite sized planet. We must teach everyone that we have been, and are, and always will be, at the population limit unless we restrict births. We must teach everyone that the population limit is not some high number, but is the situation where births are arriving faster than the environment can accommodate them and that causes other children to die. We must explain that a rising population does not indicate that we are not at the limit, it just means that we are increasing the limit. (Maybe this can be taught by using an analogy: Imagine a bucket of water. I pour water in at a rate that is proportional to how much water is in the bucket. It increases exponentially and then spills over the top. I can put holes in the sides and bottom to represent old age and accidental death, and water flowing over the sides is death caused by too many births. I can raise the sides of the bucket, and yet at the same time, water will be pouring over the sides. This is what has always been happening on Earth, the bucket, with humans, the water.)
We must also teach that today we do not know how to keep our current 7+ billion population alive without consuming resources faster than they renew. We must teach that this means that we have a moral obligation to average less than 2 babies until we are capable of keeping our numbers alive without destroying future generation’s ability to do the same. In other words, it is morally reprehensible to attempt saddle future generations with population numbers that we do not know how to keep alive without destroying the resources necessary to do that.
May 29, 2014 at 2:55 am #8829Vantte KenttaMember
The real problem of continued human survival is actually: “A information processing problem!”
Please, let me make my case before judging climate change or the population bomb to be the “real” problem.
We already posses a multitude of absolutely GREAT solutions to ALL known ailments known today. We can actually solve everything with the ingenious ideas people have made already. The real problem is how do we finance, implement and develop, mix, combine and execute these dozens, if not hundreds of ingenious ideas we already posses. The real problem is an “Information processing problem”.
Did you know about Solar FREAKIN´ Roadways? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU
or about a Litre of Light? http://aliteroflight.org/
Or the other hundreds if not thousands of ideas we already got. http://www.gtne.org/
Granted, those ideas in themselves wont fix everything (or anything), but imagine if you could, the consequences of developing, mixing and combining these hundreds of ingenious ideas.
Wondering how to finance all of this? Well that´s also covered by a number of ingenious ideas. http://blindspot.org.uk/seventh-policy-switch/ or this http://climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300401/planId/307
First entering the epoch where the species controls the entire planet (in our case it is called the Anthropocene) is an extremely dangerous time for any intelligent species. How to continue developing, yet prevent all of the catastrophes we ourselves make possible, here is Noam Chomsky talking about the edge: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axdrh9F3Kqo
If we already posses dozens, hundreds if not thousands of ingenious ideas to solve every problem known to man, what on earth is stopping us?
As a conclusion; our real problem is a catastrophic lack of information analyzing capabilities. Our civilization produces more Data then ever
in the history of our species. But as our amount of Data continue to expand, our capabilities to accurately analyze it, as comprehensible information, policy, impacts, investments, remains the same or even diminishes.
This is why I am trying to develop the way we look at Green Impact Bonds, those could just be the answer we have been looking for, in a number of ways.
– Cheers guys!
May 29, 2014 at 9:41 am #8833
Vantte Kentta, you are making the mistake that almost everyone else is making, including Paul Ehrlich. These consumption type solutions simply do not add up. It is impossible to keep humans alive with zero consumption. When we average more than 2 children, we are attempting to have infinite humans alive at one time.
This attempt, has been happening since humans first walked the Earth, and that attempt has always been kept in check by the finite nature of the environment via premature death. Only if we control our fertility can we stop that attempted growth in our numbers and ensure that nature is not killing as a consequence of our over breeding.
Not one of your examples are sustainable. The solar bottle of light is nothing more than a lens. That bottle, along with all the other products required in the video, required oil to make. The solar road cannot be built without burning fossil fuels. I have a Nissan Leaf, an all electric zero emission car! It is not remotely zero emission. It was not built without burning fossil fuels. It cannot be repaired without burning fossil fuels, and I cannot drive it without burning fossil fuels. Your whole argument is based on an assumption that each of these are sustainable, that all the other thousands of cool ideas are also sustainable, then extrapolating that up to the whole world scale. Those assumptions are ridiculous, that extrapolation is ridiculous, and using that dreadful logic as the foundation for the conclusion that the real problem is a “catastrophic lack of information analyzing capabilities” is ridiculous.
A fine example of the lack of information analyzing capabilities lies right here on MAHB and in your comments. No amount of conservation, or new technology, will enable infinite humans to be alive at one time, and uncontrolled fertility attempts infinite humans. Analyze that.
May 30, 2014 at 5:56 am #8843Vantte KenttaMember
Hi guys, and sure John, happy to be of assistance;
Lets forget infinite, lets just talk where we are today, where we are 2050 by the very best of predictions, and where we are going to be 2100. After that, well, its no longer in our hands. The first problem of information, more social in nature than mathematical, is that our language and concepts become entangled, and don´t provide much of a tool for co-operation. We can´t end social problems like poverty, unemployment or prisons by opinions, we should have facts. But where do we get facts concerning data/information social in its nature?
To get a clearer picture about the difference of information types; what information is more mathematical than social by its nature? At the moment you are using a computer, do you know how to build one? From scratch, from the very basic raw materials?
We happily use computers, watch tv, fly with jets, work in skyscrapers and drive in Nissan Leafs, but we don´t have the remotest of possibilities of building one ourselves (from the basic raw materials). The knowledge of building a satellite or a hadron collider is engulfed in our society, our culture, our civilization. We are just happy to use the fruits our civilization provides for us. The information more mathematical in nature becomes knowledge that we can build upon like Legos. Finally, we can build Apple iPads, they are indistinguishable from magic, I say.
Hopefully we could also build upon certain bricks of facts when that information is more social, than mathematical, by nature.
In our culture today, as a global super civilization, we have a number of methods how to acquire facts, the method of science first among them. Love science. The house rules of science: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
But science has done a poor job of disseminating information that is more social than mathematical by nature.
Our ability to use computers or fly with jets comes from the METHOD of science. That method provides us with ever increasing capabilities to describe and impact reality. Mathematical, physical, chemical facts of nature.
To spread the fruits of science we use a free market economy which makes change easy. “Bad” companies go bankrupt and “good” companies flourish. Its called the creative destruction of Capitalism. Our free market economy is a METHOD of achieving social change; 70% of Fortune 1000 companies will have changed in 15y.
Now for the “catastrophic lack of information analyzing capabilities”..
How do we develop the governmental institutions, organizations, agencies and/or their mandates?
How do we develop the “free market economy”?
How do we develop “Democracy”?
How do we develop international organizations and agencies, and/or their mandates?
How do we mix, develop and combine these; http://www.ted.com/
We are a long way from an zero footprint economy, yes we are. Agreed. BUT should that hinder us from working towards the goal of a zero footprint economy, (for the sake of future generations) hopefully not. Or should the fact that we have a long way to go, hinder us from taking the first step, the second step and the third step, hopefully not.
All of this means that we lack capabilities to analyze information that is social in its nature. Proof? Well, Social Impact Bonds will be a multibillion dollar industry in 2014. The very nature of Social Impact Bonds implies governmental failure to achieve goals (to develop the governmental organizations and their mandates). Because Social Impact Bonds will have billions of dollars in 2014 is a proof that we lack the capability to analyze data/ information social by its nature. But at the same time Social Impact Bonds and Green Impact Bonds also represent a clear development in our capabilities to analyze socially based information. To get the money from the investors, firstly they must predict an Impact, secondly that impact must be verifiable, calculable, certifiable and reportable. That IS a METHOD that provides us with ever increasing capabilities to describe and impact reality. There fore more valuable than any single Social Impact Bond or Green Impact Bond is the METHOD by which it is developed and then implemented and finally verified and certified.
But in my opinion we can not develop the METHOD of certifying or verifying Social Impact Bonds or Green Impact Bonds if we don´t recognize that it is the FIRST METHOD of analyzing social data and information comprehensibly. Only then can we start down the path of perfecting that method.
What all of this means? Well, Climate Change, Overpopulation, technological hazards like Nuclear or nanobots, are social in their nature, to be able to implement the dozens, hundreds or thousands of ingenious solutions we already posses, we must be ably to reach the gap of NOT having a METHOD of analyzing data social in its nature, and having a certified way of reaching a SOCIAL IMPACT.
June 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm #8871
You did not analyze the issue properly. I agree we should not waste time talking about the future, and certainly not about some infinite future. I have no intention of making any predictions about the future. Paul Ehrlich made that dreadful mistake and lost a bunch of credibility.
I agree that maybe we could improve our social scientific information, but that is irrelevant when we are failing to handle the simpler logic/mathematic information properly as you are on this topic.
Reproduction attempts to achieve infinite population at an exponential rate. This planet is finite. Humans have been around for a very long time relative how fast we reproduce. There are over 40 million people that are averaging more than 6 children right now. If we assume an appalling child mortality rate of 1/3, then those 40 million are doubling their numbers every generation. The simple math says that a population of 2, yes just 2, will turn into 4 billion in about 800 years. Shift that into the past. Why weren’t human numbers 4 billion 1000 years ago, or 4 billion 10000 years ago, or 100,000 years ago?
Was it because those people limited the number of children they averaged? Or was it because the finite planet simply killed when those numbers got too large? Is there some mechanism in nature that magically throttles fertility so nature does not have to kill to stop or slow our numbers from growing?
You are correct when you say “We can´t end social problems like poverty, unemployment or prisons by opinions”. I don’t pretend to have solutions for poverty, unemployment or prisons, however, the last two are exacerbated or caused by poverty, and poverty is caused by over breeding. Too many people competing for a finite production of resources creates poverty. It makes no sense to attempt to solve poverty without doing something to stop us from making babies at a rate that causes poverty.
Science, and this includes Paul Ehrlich, have done a dreadful job at understanding and disseminating the fundamentals of population and reproduction related concepts. We must each know that we must limit the number of babies each has.
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