Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby Trail on Tue 22/Sep/09 1:22pm

A world with fewer people would emit less greenhouse gases

FAMILY planning is five times cheaper than conventional green technologies in combating climate change. That is the claim made by Thomas Wire, a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics.

http://www.economist.com/world/internat ... 9&fsrc=rss

Mr Wire points out that if all women who wanted contraception were provided with it, it would prevent the release of 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2050. Given the myriad of other reasons to limit human fertility (Dr Potts notes, for example, that slowing population growth is essential if poverty is to be eradicated), your correspondent cannot help but commend the report to mandarins meeting in Bangkok on September 28th to discuss the forthcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby philstar on Tue 22/Sep/09 1:45pm

good read :)
even if its all been said before
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby RJD on Tue 22/Sep/09 2:49pm

See, Christchurch has been doing its bit for global warming recently then...
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby j2hyde on Tue 22/Sep/09 5:09pm

The population bomb bandwagon and climate change bandwagon left the building a few years ago. People have more serious thing to discuss these days, like this awful end of the world recession that we are currently struggling to survive. :)
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby CrustyMTB on Tue 22/Sep/09 9:16pm

j2hyde wrote:The population bomb bandwagon and climate change bandwagon left the building a few years ago. People have more serious thing to discuss these days, like this awful end of the world recession that we are currently struggling to survive. :)
And don't forget the tragedy of Michelle leaving Steve on Coro... :o
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby fatwombat on Wed 23/Sep/09 1:02am

Trail wrote:. . . FAMILY planning is five times cheaper than conventional green technologies in combating climate change. That is the claim made by Thomas Wire, . . . if all women who wanted contraception were provided with it, it would prevent the release of 34 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2010 and 2050. Given the myriad of other reasons to limit human fertility (Dr Potts notes, for example, that slowing population growth is essential if poverty is to be eradicated).


This stuff about the need for population reduction is a crock of shit. There has been extensive brutal poverty all through human history before there was modern technology and modern pollution. There is more than enough wealth and food production capacity in the world to feed double the existing population, the problem is that 10% of the population is killing itself by overeating - Europe, USA, Aus & NZ, now the upper classes of India and China as well, while the rest starves to death. The OECD countries who consume way more than their share also produce it, but their governments pay their farmers more to not produce what they could, or else to destroy it once it is produced, than they spend in foreign aid. Even here in NZ, every year the orchadists moan that half the crop rots because they can't find enough people to work as fruit pickers.

If there is a need for population reduction to reduce poverty and pollution, it would have to be targeted at the countries with carbon footprints bigger than their proportion of the world population: that means we need volunteers to go and depopulate the USA and Europe first, then India, China Aus and NZ!! An academic colleague of sifter was telling me that every month China opens NEW power stations with a carbon emission level higher than NZ's total annual carbon production - so what the hell are we worrying about it for? If we cut back our national emissions by 50%, the Chinese would wipe out that saving in 2 weeks.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby Fraser on Wed 23/Sep/09 1:35am

The protistant enviromentalist concerned about carbon footprints..

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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby Yogi on Wed 23/Sep/09 8:10am

fatwombat wrote:
This stuff about the need for population reduction is a crock of shit. There has been extensive brutal poverty all through human history before there was modern technology and modern pollution. There is more than enough wealth and food production capacity in the world to feed double the existing population, the problem is that 10% of the population is killing itself by overeating - Europe, USA, Aus & NZ, now the upper classes of India and China as well, while the rest starves to death. The OECD countries who consume way more than their share also produce it, but their governments pay their farmers more to not produce what they could, or else to destroy it once it is produced, than they spend in foreign aid. Even here in NZ, every year the orchadists moan that half the crop rots because they can't find enough people to work as fruit pickers.

If there is a need for population reduction to reduce poverty and pollution, it would have to be targeted at the countries with carbon footprints bigger than their proportion of the world population: that means we need volunteers to go and depopulate the USA and Europe first, then India, China Aus and NZ!! An academic colleague of sifter was telling me that every month China opens NEW power stations with a carbon emission level higher than NZ's total annual carbon production - so what the hell are we worrying about it for? If we cut back our national emissions by 50%, the Chinese would wipe out that saving in 2 weeks.


You reckon? So we're sitting at just under 7 billion people and you think we'd be able to double that?

Where are all these people going to go? Cut down more forests and clear more land for them so they have a place to live? Won't this add to climate change? Maybe just build high rises and condense the population? Where are you going to get all the resources to build all these new buildings and the infrastructure to support the population? What about the effects of disease on super condensed populations?

This is going to be a bigger issue than climate change in our life time and if you're planning on having kids, it'd be wise to think about only replacing yourself and having no more.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby philstar on Wed 23/Sep/09 8:25am

fatwombat wrote:This stuff about the need for population reduction is a crock of shit. There is more than enough wealth and food production capacity in the world to feed double the existing population.


only if we all live is conditions of "poverty". the key point of the article I thought was " that by giving people who want contraception access to it, it will reduce both poverty and global warming"
africa relife.gif
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby fatwombat on Wed 23/Sep/09 8:50am

philstar wrote: the key point of the article I thought was " that by giving people who want contraception access to it, it will reduce both poverty and global warming"


That is the bit that is a crock of shit. The current levels of poverty and global warming are not caused by population numbers but by unequal access to resources and by materialistic consumerism.

The reality is that global warming WILL get worse whether there are 2 billion, 7 billion or 14 billion people on the planet if those people want more cars and 4WDs, air conditioning, central heating, flat screen TVs and year-round access to fruit and vegetables that grow seasonally.

If we want to stop global warming, we have to accept a lower technology lifestyle, fewer luxury foods, probably less entertainment, more physical work instead of physical recreation. I'm not saying that's the way I live, or even the way I want to live, but the crisis of pollution and global warming is much more due to industrial waste and reckless disposal of "opulence waste" than due to basic human waste.

As far as I can see, most people who campaign for population control are making a selfish choice to live for themselves, not the selfless choice they pretend of making room for others.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby Chickenman on Wed 23/Sep/09 11:23am

fatwombat wrote:The reality is that global warming WILL get worse whether there are 2 billion, 7 billion or 14 billion people on the planet if those people want more cars and 4WDs, air conditioning, central heating, flat screen TVs and year-round access to fruit and vegetables that grow seasonally.

If we want to stop global warming, we have to accept a lower technology lifestyle, fewer luxury foods, probably less entertainment, more physical work instead of physical recreation.


I wouldn't consider fruit and veges to be luxury foods.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby BrokenKonaRider on Wed 23/Sep/09 11:34am

Chickenman wrote:
fatwombat wrote:The reality is that global warming WILL get worse whether there are 2 billion, 7 billion or 14 billion people on the planet if those people want more cars and 4WDs, air conditioning, central heating, flat screen TVs and year-round access to fruit and vegetables that grow seasonally.

If we want to stop global warming, we have to accept a lower technology lifestyle, fewer luxury foods, probably less entertainment, more physical work instead of physical recreation.


I wouldn't consider fruit and veges to be luxury foods.


There are nuances in Wombat's (excellent) post that you fail to see then.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby Chickenman on Wed 23/Sep/09 11:54am

No I see them. I'm realistic that none of us will change our ways.

Afterall do we really need computers? Do we have to have internet? Do we have to post on this site?

No, but we do, so are part of the problem.
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby fatwombat on Wed 23/Sep/09 12:27pm

Chickenman wrote:No I see them. I'm realistic that none of us will change our ways. Afterall do we really need computers? Do we have to have internet? Do we have to post on this site? No, but we do, so are part of the problem.


In case anybody else missed it, the point about fruit and vege is that in the "real" world those things are only available at the end of their growing season; in the rich world they are sprayed with hormones, pumped with gas and put in coolstores, or they are grown in artifically controlled atmospheres with all sorts of technology, in order that people can eat what they want when they want.

I think you're probably right that almost nobody in the wealthy West is going to give up an opulent lifestyle to experience partial poverty just so that the impoverished masses can have poverty instead of dire poverty. Look at the way countries like India China and USA refuse to even acknowledge the existence of global warming (to be fair, Obama is better than Bush, but he's not making much headway against the republican-controlled business world; and China has just admitted that it needs to cut back the rate of growth of its power station emissions). Even these international conferences on global warming are all held in huge airconditioned, centrally heated conference centres with hot and cold running servants, everything available at the push of a button, thousands of cubic metres of aircraft emissions for the delegates to fly there (though to be realistic, all those planes probably would have flown with or without the delegates) . . .

But I don't think your comment is really being realistic, it's just being cycnical and defeatist, because if we all ignore the problems they won't go away, just like if your DH bike has a crack in the frame, it won't go away by ignoring it. Being realistic means saying "We can do this set of things and get this set of outcomes, or we can do the other set of things and get the other set of outcomes". So you've done a quarter of that, you've said "In reality we will do nothing" - but you haven't discussed what will be the outcome of that choice. I'm certainly not saying that anyone WILL do the right thing, I'm just addressing the other half of the set - "to avoid the consequences of not doing anything, what else can we do and what consequences will that have?".

My comments didn't fully explain that because I was making a specific response to the thread topic - that population control will solve the problem. Population control is a popular suggestion from the rich world because it implies that responsibility for the global environmental crisis lies not with them and their industrialised pollution, but with the poor masses in the third world who are already the main sufferers from the side effects of western opulence.

Maybe you believe my tagline more than I do?!? :D
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Re: Fewer Feet, Smaller Footprint

Postby philstar on Wed 23/Sep/09 12:29pm

fatwombat wrote:
philstar wrote: the key point of the article I thought was " that by giving people who want contraception access to it, it will reduce both poverty and global warming"


That is the bit that is a crock of shit. The current levels of poverty and global warming are not caused by population numbers but by unequal access to resources and by materialistic consumerism.


it may not be a the cause but less people will help solve the problem in many ways.
less people in 3rd world countries means less 3rd world wage slaves to make consumer items which makes them more expensive which decrease demand.

fatwombat wrote:The reality is that global warming WILL get worse whether there are 2 billion, 7 billion or 14 billion people on the planet if those people want more cars and 4WDs, air conditioning, central heating, flat screen TVs and year-round access to fruit and vegetables that grow seasonally.


yes but it will get worse a lot faster with more people, especially if those people start to become more affluent like they are in china.

fatwombat wrote:If we want to stop global warming, we have to accept a lower technology lifestyle, fewer luxury foods, probably less entertainment, more physical work instead of physical recreation. I'm not saying that's the way I live, or even the way I want to live, but the crisis of pollution and global warming is much more due to industrial waste and reckless disposal of "opulence waste" than due to basic human waste.


yes, but I would rather people have the choice to stop breading if they don't want to and have a slightly higher lifestyle for everyone.

fatwombat wrote:As far as I can see, most people who campaign for population control are making a selfish choice to live for themselves, not the selfless choice they pretend of making room for others.


yet again you mist the point the article was not advocating population control it was advocating access to contraception for those that wanted it. but I advocate population control ( by indirect methods at this stage) cos I'd rather have quality of life, than quantity of bodies :)
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