up close and personal

up close and personal

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    • #37443
      Timothy Havel

      Read Alan Weisman’s book “Countdown” for an up close and personal account of the state of the world on population growth.

    • #37801
      Steven Earl Salmony

      With remarkable clarity and perhaps too simply, unfalsified ecological science of human population dynamics provides empirical data of a non-recursive biological problem that is independent of economic, political, ethical, social, legal, religious, and cultural considerations. This means human population dynamics is essentially similar to the population dynamics of other species. It also means that world human population growth is a rapidly cycling positive feedback loop, a relationship between food and population in which food availability drives population growth, and population growth fuels the misperception, the mistaken impression, the fatally flawed concept that food production needs to be increased to meet the needs of growing population. The data indicate that as we increase food production every year, the number of people goes up, too, in the same way population numbers increase in other species, i.e., as a function of food availability. More food equals more people; no food, no people. No exceptions.
      With every passing year, as total global food production is increased leading to an increase in the human population worldwide, millions of people go hungry. Why are those hungry millions not getting fed year after year after year… and future generations of poor people may not ever be fed? Every year the human population grows. All segments of it grow. There are more short people and more tall people. Every year there are more people growing up well fed and more people growing up hungry and starving. We are not bringing hunger and starvation to an end by increasing food production; we are “producing” more hungry and starving people at the same time we are feeding more people.
      It appears that human exceptionalism is the bedrock for much of the confusion about this virtually irrefutable scientific evidence. There are many ways in which human beings correctly choose to view ourselves as exceptional. But we also widely share and consensually validate the false notion that human beings stand somehow above all other species, in a unique position described in many other places as “a little lower than angels.” Lost to many too many of us is the realization that we are an integral part of the Tree of Life of Earth, one of millions of similarly situated, wondrous creatures in a planetary home. In this natural world a sense of our distinctly human creatureliness has been fatefully forgotten.

      Of all the understandable ways humans think of rightly ourselves as exceptional there is one mistaken impression, one misperception, one fatally flawed conception that appears to have led the human species to precipitate the Sixth Mass Extinction Event. The specious idea to which I want to direct attention is this: Homo sapiens sapiens is exceptional in terms of its population dynamics. We hold tightly to the pernicious notion that human population dynamics is somehow different from the population dynamics of other species; that food is not the independent variable in the food/population relationship, just like other species; and that in terms of its population dynamics humankind is extraordinary. If that is a fact of the human condition, that Homo sapiens is exceptional in terms of its population dynamics, will someone kindly report the scientific evidence that supports such an hypothesis? Thank you.

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