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Is Overpopulation ONLY political?

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) writes | more than 4 years ago

PC Games (Games) 11

Two studies released last week seem to indicate that the real problem in human population isn't really overpopulation and overuse of the world's resources- but rather mere politics. 400 million hectares of Africa alone could double the world's current food production- feeding everybody- but development of the

Two studies released last week seem to indicate that the real problem in human population isn't really overpopulation and overuse of the world's resources- but rather mere politics. 400 million hectares of Africa alone could double the world's current food production- feeding everybody- but development of the Guinea Savanah is currently hampered by 25 different countries having jurisdiction, including well known trouble spots such as Sudan and Nigeria.
 
The OECD is even more hopeful as they report 1.6 billion hectares of new development, mainly in Africa and S. America, could be brought into production with modern climate & agricultural science.
 
Both, though, seem to agree that the real key is localization. Not huge world-spanning corporations, but small community family farmers, taught the new methods, will guarantee that the riches of these areas will reach the inhabitants of these areas. And the key to small family farmers always has been, and always will be, preferential access to local markets.

11 comments

This was always obvious to me... (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#28709019)

It always seemed obvious to me that the only threats of overpopulation came from countries that weren't free. Any country with reasonable freedoms that allow agriculture to prosper in the 21st century can feed itself. I'm convinced this world could support 10 times its current population with a standard of living comparable to the developed world today, given the technological advances we are likely to see in the next century. The only question is if the political realities would allow this technology to be put to proper use.

Africa is incredibly resource-rich. There's no economic or technological reason it couldn't be a prosperous land with no poverty and hardship. The only reasons, as you point out, are political. Once Africans can be freed and educated enough, there is no real reason they couldn't be as prosperous as the U.S.

Do you even have to ask? (2, Interesting)

visible.frylock (965768) | more than 4 years ago | (#28712693)

The one thing that has been correlated to curbing population growth to replacement levels, education, is denied to the third world. The Anglo-American axis has had policies for decades that deny educational, economic, and technological growth to the third world.

And this hits the point, it's all lies:

Tighter control of the internet:
Stated reasons - kiddie pr0n, terrorism, "cyber-bullying"
Real reasons - control of the means of communication

Gun control:
Stated reasons - reduce crime
Real reasons - disarmament of potential resistance

No fly list:
Stated reasons - terrorism
Real reasons - removal of presumption of innocence and right to a trial by jury, control of the means of transportation, expanding the list in the future (they're trying to expand it to gun control right now)

Drug war:
Stated reasons - protect the women and children
Real reasons - PROFIT!!ONEONE, removal of presumption of innocence, control over populace (Rand style "everything's a crime") through selective enforcement, excuse to build a police state

Invasion of Afghanistan:
Stated reasons - Bin Laden, Taliban
Real reasons - Unocal pipeline, encirclement of Russia and China

Invasion of Iraq:
Stated reasons - 911, wmd
Real reasons - send a message to oil exporters thinking about trading in non-USD currencies

The overpopulation, global-cooling-climate-warming-change (the wing dedicated to carbon taxes, not the people who genuinely care about environmental damage, and want to see real solutions) is no different. Ask yourself, why are we even debating carbon credits when the following three things have not happened in America:

1) Nuclear power plants have sprung up like wildfire, run by national/state governments for the benefit of the people, like water service in many cities
2) Trillions of have dollars have been spent researching batteries for cars, solar cells, better software and net infrastructure for telecommuting, rather than given to the financial establishment
3) America finally gets a real high speed rail network, like every other grown up country in the world

The reason that we're going to have carbon taxes, yet we have not done these things (1 and 3 we have the tech for already) is because, shock, they don't care about the environment or overpopulation!

Here are some suggestions:

We could build nuke plants.
Nuclear is icky. NIMBY.
But what if we put it in the woods and cordoned off a 10 mil--
No, ICKY. Next.

We could build high speed rail to move freight more efficiently and take huge rigs off the Insterstate highways. We could have high speed rail ports in LA, and bring in our crap from China through there rather than trucking it in from Mexico.
La la la, I can't hear you!

We could stop funding the IMF, which has a history of crushing development in the third world. This would allow them to get educated and start doing things more efficiently. It would also curb population growth in a completely humane and voluntary way.
The IMF is a cornerstone of the international finance system!

We could abolish patents, or at least stop trying to enforce them on the third world through the WTO. They obviously can't pay anyway, but giving them free reign over technology could really speed up their development.
Intellectual property is the new backbone of the American economy. It's what allows us to synergize our enervations in dynamic environments! And pretty soon (any day now), we're going to have magical replicators, raw materials will all be commodities, and IP will be the only meaningful property.

Magical replicators?
LA LA LA!

We could plan our cities and towns much better to leave more room for bikers and walkers. Of course, to do this, we would have to stop the oil-for-USD system. Otherwise Americans wouldn't have any economic incentive to do it.
But that would crash the entire economy! *

We could fund public domain open source software to make telecommuting much easier. We could nullify the patents on h264.
You want to give the people a Just Works open source OS? But how will we control that OS vicariously through the company that makes it? And you want to give the plebs even more encryption? What are you hiding on your hard drive, citizen?



This whole overpopulation/carbon tax agenda, and in general, the agenda across much of the world right now, is nothing but neofeudalism: control of the means of production, transportation, and communication.

The domination of all things economic, intellectual, and military by, surprise, surprise, a tiny elite.

* This one is actually true.

So... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28726775)

...do we invade (and liberate the people on that continent from their oppressors)?

Re:So... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#28731757)

Either that- or we start shipping tractors and plows instead of guns and food- and let the market do the rest.

Re:So... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28739361)

But don't typically a peoples' tyrannical overlords confiscate such useful stuff?

Re:So... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#28758061)

Actually, they're MUCH more interested in more immediately useful stuff- like food and bullets. The thing about tractors and plows is, once you have them, if you're going to get any use out of them whatsoever, you have to *hire somebody to drive them*- so even if you are a tyranical leader, you're going to have a positive effect on local wages merely putting the equipment to use.

On the other side of the equation- putting that equipment to use would mean *actually growing food*, which means more food available locally even if in guarded warehouses, and less need for international charity shipments.

Re:So... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28768339)

Actually, they're MUCH more interested in more immediately useful stuff- like food and bullets.

True. Then it's prolly a function of us (the U.S.) waiting until tyranny pops up, and then naturally we treat what is the immediate need, for finished goods. When maybe instead we should be practicing preventative humanitarian aid, by dropping off equipment and raw materials and how-to manuals now, everywhere people are hungry, before deep suffering causing political turmoil has the chance to take root. I'd much rather see major resources going into world-wide alleviation of hunger and malnutrition and vaccinable [if there's such a word] disease, and expanding into space, than our current useless and reckless program of "remaking America". I don't want America remade, I want a minimum unacceptable level of human suffering ceased here on earth, and alleviation of overcrowding and habitat destruction via eventual colonization of our moon and/or Mars. The magnitude of dollars we're throwing at things could actually do dramatic good, if Liberals actually cared about people.

Re:So... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#28771479)

And that "preventative" aid is the real key- so obvious that the week these studies came out even Obama embraced the idea of an Africa that could feed itself.

I'm hoping to see some positive change from that- if the Conservatives on Wall Street will ever let loose of our government enough to stop sucking up trillions into their failed investment gambling.

Re:So... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28773601)

Ditto on the bank bailouts, but AFAIK that's mostly said and done. So is some of Obama and Dem's trillion-dollar spending, but much of it is yet to still come. For example it's totally unnecessary to totally overhaul the U.S. health care system, of course. Just add coverage for the poor. But to Liberals it's about a power grab, not helping the poor. Of course. But if they really cared about people, those trillions could go to what we've been talking about. And when you invent a time machine let me know, and I'll go back in time and oppose the bank bailouts and advocate those trillions be spent on what we've been talking about. Meanwhile, keep believing in your Obama. Heh, my sister believes China's gonna go green with us! You guys keep on believing whatever you need to to keep on having faith in Liberals and Leftism. No wonder nothing ever gets better. (Or can.)

Re:So... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#28774673)

Actually, the poor are pretty well in the current health care system. And the Goldman Sachs collapse is still ahead, I believe (because they've returned to the same stupid gambling as before).

What we need to oppose, from here on out, is *individuality*. That's the core of the bank bailouts and the Liberal Power grabs- the idea that the individual is the only thing that counts and fuck the rest of the world.

Re:So... (1)

Bill Dog (726542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28775517)

Certainly those who caused the need for bank bailouts put a sinful level of emphasis on individualism. But, and this is only an academic exercise, as I agree that the result is the same, Liberal power grabs are about something else. The former says "I'm the only thing that counts and fuck everyone else" and the latter says "My utopian plans are the only thing that counts and fuck everyone else". So it's not the "individuality" part they have in common, it's the "fuck everyone else" part. So while you like to go off about capitalism and individualism and freedom and whatever else, you fail to seek to the lowest common denominator of our ills and hence the ultimate source of the problem.

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