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Humans Will Need Two Earths By 2030

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-petroleum dept.

Earth 738

An anonymous reader writes "A recent report warns that humans are overusing the resources of the planet and will need two Earths by the year 2030. The Living Planet Report tells that the demands on natural resources have doubled in the past 50 years and are now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half."

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738 comments

Noo! (3, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926716)

I told you not to take the axiom of choice!

Re:Noo! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927024)

The end is nearing. Better either consider getting in good with your maker, since He'll be coming soon, or usher in an armageddon to wipe out much of the population. Oh, wait...

Re:Noo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927042)

I'll take the Godzilla option, please.

Bull (4, Insightful)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926718)

.. and we've run out of ipv4 addresses "in about a year" for the last decade or so..

and people will probably pay about as much heed to this warning as they do to ipv4 exhaustion.

AND just like ipv4 exhaustion, nothing serious is going to be done about this until stuff actually starts falling apart. And by falling apart I don't mean charts and graphs, I mean "The Day After Tomorrow" falling apart. And even then...

Re:Bull (4, Interesting)

ect5150 (700619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926734)

Amen... same thing about other resources. You can find clips of former President Carter claiming oil and natural gas would be gone "in the next decade" while giving speeches in the White House.

Re:Bull (5, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927064)

What Carter was discussing was resources in the USA, at projected increased rates of consumption. Since we passed peak oil in the continental USA in the 70s, this was not inaccurate. I don't think it ever occurred to him that we were collectively such self-absorbed greedy obtuse little wussies that we would let ourselves become dependent on the Arabs, Russians and Mexicans for the life blood of our economic viability and strategic safety (i.e. Oil).

Surprise!

Re:Bull (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926742)

But we can always expand our social security address space!

just like "Day After Tomorrow? (4, Informative)

gilleain (1310105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926746)

And by falling apart I don't mean charts and graphs, I mean "The Day After Tomorrow" falling apart.

So, superstorms that freeze the Earth, and CGI wolves?

Re:Bull (5, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926760)

I rather doubt we will have a "day after tomorrow", things don't happen like that. Instead I see a mechanization of our nature. For example, imagine a sort of nature where things are completely recycled? Sound far fetched? Consider how Switzerland is essentially self-sufficient in copper. Does Switzerland have copper mines? Nope not even close. Copper can be easily recycled and hence Switzerland recycles their own copper. This goes towards rare earths, etc, etc.

While many people believe that we waste, waste, waste, there are many pockets of the world that are now becoming adapt at living with little. Classic example is Israel. Israel can grow crops with water amounts that makes everybody else blush with embarrassment. That is the future...

Re:Bull (5, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926834)

Precisely. These kind of projections invariably fail to take into account even the most basic ideas about supply and demand. As we begin to run lower on a given resource it becomes increasingly more viable to recycle it or look for alternatives. In most cases this happens without even especially inconveniencing people - everyone might grumble about fuel prices, but then they just drive a little less, the market for more efficient cars grows, and not that much changes in our day to day lives.

Re:Bull (3, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926892)

Expanding on the search for alternatives, they also fail to account for changes in technology. Whale Oil was replaced by natural gas. The same will happen when Coal, Oil and Gas start to become scarce. Fusion may or may not be viable by that point but we still have Hydro, Wind and Solar going in the mean time.

Re:Bull (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927034)

I find your lack of mentioning nuclear fission conspicuous.

Re:Bull (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927030)

What I don't understand is not the future projection, but the PRESENT claim: "Demand is... now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half."

If that statement were true, we'd be starving (needing 1.5 earths to survive).
Clearly the fellow has no idea what he's talking about.

Re:Bull (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926930)

Irrigation water is massively subsidized in Israel; they wouldn't be growing cotton in the desert if it weren't.

Demographics will tell the tale (0, Flamebait)

arcite (661011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927062)

No offense, but countries like Switzerland and much of Europe presently have negative population growth. They will continue to lose their competitiveness to the US, South America, China, ect...

Israel is a horrible example of sustainability! First of all, they are subsidized by the United States (but lets not get political).... Have you noticed that the Dead Sea is quickly disappearing? Israel uses proportionally magnitudes more water than those of their neighbors. They are sucking the Dead Sea dry to grow cash crops to give the illusion of prosperity (oh, not that all the other countries in the region don't do this as well).

The FACTS are MEGA-Cities of greater than 20M people will become the norm. Natural fresh water will become an ever more scarce and expensive commodity. Levels of pollution will become greater as reliance of these megacities on fossil fuels for electricity and desalinization plants becomes greater. Nuclear power is proliferating, but even that will not compensate for increases in conventional pollution of cars and electrical generation.

And not much changes in our daily lives?.... Can one really say this as the American Middle class is steadily eroding? Your life will not change THAT much, but your childrens' life will be much different.

Anyway, I live in Cairo, Egypt at the moment. It's a city of 20M people and growing bigger every day. This is the future for most of the world, where most of the growth is happening.

I'm an optimist, but from my globetrotting I can say with certainty that there will be resource wars, they have already begun. (Just for a laugh, I suppose you would claim that Iraq was not a resource war?) har har...

Re:Bull (2, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926804)

With Ipv4, NAT gave us a reprieve, which is why we have managed up until now.

With the Earth, don't expect any such workaround.

That said, what TFA refers to isn't doomsday by 2030, but that in 2030, we will be using renewable resources twice as fast as they can be renewed. Which means that we are going to run out of lotsastuff one day, but exactly when is hard to estimate.

(And perhaps even foolish to estimate -- any estimate is going to be scrutinized by the reactionary right, who will search for any error, and use it as justification to dismiss the entire research.)

Re:Bull (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927004)

With the Earth, don't expect any such workaround.

Yes we can, and are actively working towards them even as I type this.

The workarounds include higher efficiency devices (e.g. iPad/Mac Mini/laptop instead of a massive gaming desktop), lowered consumption (when gasoline hits $5/gal in the US, odds are excellent that we'll all be driving less), and a different way of providing the goods (locally-sourced and produced foods instead of container-ship shipped, etc).

Long-term, this also includes starting colonies off-Earth, or at least having commercial space mining and production (which in turn expands the resource pool for a lot of things, from energy to minerals, to living space when we start looking centuries ahead). We're doing space tourism now (well, not-quite-LEO), and with commercial space industry warming up, it is not impossible (or even improbable) to consider viable commercial space entities making regular trips up and back by 2030. Consider that the first airplane flight happened in 1903, and we had commercial passenger flight by 1930.

This has nothing to do with "left" or "right", and using such designations will only muddy the water (and degenerate the debate). Please refrain from doing so.

Re:Bull (1)

socsoc (1116769) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927046)

what TFA refers to isn't doomsday by 2030, but that in 2030, we will be using renewable resources twice as fast as they can be renewed. Which means that we are going to run out of lotsastuff one day, but exactly when is hard to estimate.

TFA:

According to the Living Planet Report, human demands on natural resources have doubled in under 50 years and are now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half; and humanity carries on as it is in use of resources, globally it will need the capacity of two Earths by 2030.

Your stance certainly is not what the headline, TFS and TFA say. The key part is "now outstripping what the Earth can provide by more than half." now.

Re:Bull (0, Troll)

paul248 (536459) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926952)

and we've run out of ipv4 addresses "in about a year" for the last decade or so.

[citation needed]

Re:Bull (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927086)

.. and we've run out of ipv4 addresses "in about a year" for the last decade or so..

The report doesn't say that we will run out of resources by 2030. It states that we will use our resources at double the rate than the Earth can replenish. It is unfortunate to have stated it in terms of requiring two Earths, because that won't change the minds of anyone who wasn't already convinced of the need to change our ways. All it does is give the naysayers something to focus on so they can ignore the real issues raised by the report.

And the religions of the world.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926724)

still refuse to discuss population control.

Re:And the religions of the world.... (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926790)

still refuse to discuss population control.

Not true. There are a few that advocate genocide.

Re:And the religions of the world.... (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926866)

When you are competing for the minds of as many humans as possible the best way to gain followers is to encourage them to reproduce as rapidly and as often as possible. Very few religions gain members through conversion, so breeding new members is really the only option. It's no coincidence that nearly all major religions discourage birth control or family planning practices, and encourage you to have as many children (and sometimes wives) as you can support. Add to that the selfish and myopic idea that nothing we do in this life really matters (as long as you follow the rules in $HOLY BOOK) and you have a recipe for ecological disaster.

Now, I have met religious people who believe that the earth is a gift to us, and we must serve as guardians of it, protecting and managing its resources responsibly; that living in harmony and balance is what god intended for us. Unfortunately when I compare those beliefs to what is actually said in the bible for example, it's apparent that they are not closely following their religion. The bible is very clear when it comes to the earth: this place is a rental, and it's all going to come to an end very, very soon. If you believe that, truly believe that, why would you bother recycling?

Re:And the religions of the world.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926902)

I can agree with the forced genocide but I have one request for those who advocate it. You first.

Re:And the religions of the world.... (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926914)

Well, we could always start by decreasing the surplus population. I vote we start with anyone posting as Anonymous Coward.

Re:And the religions of the world.... (4, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926948)

still refuse to discuss population control.

And so do the non religious, unfortunately. Worse, they seem intent on subsidizing the fecundity of the stupid at the expense of the responsible.

Re:And the religions of the world.... (4, Interesting)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927058)

In fact, "growth" has become something of a religion itself. In public discourse and political debate, no one ever talks about stability; the need to "grow the economy" is taken as a "given", a commandment from on high. If a company's sales are merely stable from one quarter or year to the next, they are considered unsuccessful (or would be if the economy as a whole weren't currently shrinking). If a country's or state's or city's population isn't increasing, that's considered a sign of problems. There will come a day when that trend stops, whether it's in 2030 or probably much later. The only question is whether we'll bring population growth to a "controlled landing" or to a crash.

Re:And the religions of the world.... (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926990)

You like population control? Then why not set a good example by jumping off the nearest cliff?

Re:And the religions of the world.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927050)

No need. We'll just have a few wars like we always do... and maybe a plague or two. This problem will sort itself out.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926726)

get rid of US'ians and that wll reduce resource level consumption by half for while.

Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

scottbomb (1290580) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926728)

Haven't "scientists" been saying stuff like this since about the mid-1800s? "Peak Oil", "Population Overcrowding", "Global Warming"... all modern-day myths that never seem to die no matter how much they're refuted.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926808)

The myths are true, we're just really good at pushing back problems until we absolutely can't no more, at which point things screw up epically.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926994)

The myths are wrong, it isn't the humans that need two Earths, it is the Earth that needs half the humans.

You have more than 2 kids? You know people with more than 2 kids?

Thank them.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926884)

Is space on the earth infinite? No. And an individual human's need for space is much greater than zero. Given those two fact there is a limit, just on living space, for how many humans the earth can support. Now, what that limit is exactly isn't known for sure, it's a moving target because technology keeps pushing it higher and higher but there definitely is a limit. Same with water, and food production. You can squeeze more and more efficiency out of the system but eventually you're going to hit a limit, even if it's 100% that still won't allow for growth for ever and ever. People in the past have been wrong about the specific numbers and dates, but the underlying principle is sound.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926972)

Is space on the earth infinite? No. And an individual human's need for space is much greater than zero. Given those two fact there is a limit, just on living space, for how many humans the earth can support.

But so long as you can build upwards, that limit is far into the trillions. And if we can replace goop brains with nanotech AIs, humans could be built much smaller than our current body size.

Other limits are likely to stop population growth well before available space does.

Re:Ridiculous (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927014)

Packing everyone into 8x10 cells, isn't an acceptable solution to me. Any solution that doesn't allow for wide open space of undeveloped land, wilderness, forests, jungles, deserts, is suboptimal. We could cram everyone into skyscrapers that cover the entire earth in one giant planet wide city, but what kind of life would that be? Quality of life and quality of our living space are important things to consider. Humans were not meant to be packed like sardines into crowded cities with no where to escape to. The health effects both known and unknown would be profound.

Re:Ridiculous (2, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927002)

They're not refuted - we're adapting, finding ways to both postpone the inevitable, and spread the impact out over time.
You mentioned "peak oil". We are coping by various means, including (but not limited to):
- Processing oil from wells that earlier weren't considered economically viable, but now are with the oil price increase. This directly flattens out the peak.
- Replacing oil-based power plants with other sources.
- Reducing the amount of oil used per engine. Back in the 70s, 12 MPG was pretty much standard. Now you easily get several times that.
- Substitutions. It's not just the Monsanto cartel that causes most gasoline on the US market to be 10% ethanol (and in some countries, E85 with 85% ethanol).
All in all, we cope, but are still running out, and peak oil is still with us. Even the most optimistic figures state that we'll be well down the far side of the peak by 2025, and will have to make even more adjustments to cope.

But cope we will. How painful coping is going to be depends on how much time we spend in denial, and how much do today.

#bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926736)

see subject.

I call BS (1, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926752)

Back when I was growing up, we had those quaint little videos where the Statue of Liberty's hand was the only thing showing above the ocean. And a grandfather was passing on his wisdom to his grand daughter about what they could have done differently to avoid this coast catastrophe. Which happened in 2020.

Now, I know we're still 10 years out, but I would expect NY to be at least a couple inches under water by now.

Humanity will adapt and survive. That's our strength. Fossil fuels run out? We'll figure something else out..oh, we already have. It's just not cheaper than fossil fuels...yet.

Re:I call BS (3, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926986)

you do realize that sometimes adapting and surviving might include the fall of modern society and a return to agrarian, low power, mechanization through brute force life of the 17th century, right? are you able to survive like that? I be 99% of the western culture is not and will die.

Re:I call BS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927094)

As long as you're gone, no big deal.

Re:I call BS (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927090)

Yes, we'll adapt, survive and figure something else out. The remaining 30 million humans and their donkeys in 2110 will be doing fine, I'm sure.

Another low point (5, Insightful)

groomed (202061) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926754)

What is the purpose of this post? What does it even mean? What is the purpose of posting a link to a nebulous summary of a highly suggestive report on an extremely politically charged subject on a site that bills itself "News for Nerds"?

Re:Another low point (1)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926836)

What is the purpose of this post? What does it even mean? What is the purpose of posting a link to a nebulous summary of a highly suggestive report on an extremely politically charged subject on a site that bills itself "News for Nerds"?

42

(and that's not just a /. cliché. Douglas Adams was an advocate of conservation and made many humorous references in H2G2 to a human downfall through ecological negligence - so there!)

Too bad about all that crying wolf (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926762)

If this is true, nobody's really listening. They're embroiled in their own personal battles, and they _know_ that finding a job is hard now. Any radical change 20 years away (good or bad) is almost always false. Global cooling, flying cars, personal robots, futuristic looking cars and buildings...

Re:Too bad about all that crying wolf (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926912)

Global cooling, flying cars, personal robots, futuristic looking cars and buildings umm we have all of that aruldy lol. global warning = both extremes of the weather very hot or very cold. flying car check yes they do make them in fact its the top selling sport aircraft in production. basically its a spot aircraft that folds its wings can can drive street legile and all. personal robots check maybe not in everyone home but they exist. futuristic buildings and cars check. take a car from today and travel back to the 50s i bet they will call it that.

Re:Too bad about all that crying wolf (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927088)

Has one of the roadable aircraft really made it to production? and if so which one?

The two i'm aware of are the terrafugia transition and the parajet skycar and checking their sites it appears neither has made it to production yet though they are both taking pre-orders (with substantial deposits required).

Peak Oil not Oil Running Out (4, Insightful)

bananaendian (928499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926764)

Quick, someone say "we're using the resources at a larger rate than the earth can provide" ! before the cornucopians come out of their caves to declare infinite growth through infinite resources.

The bottle maybe big but the spout is killing us.

Re:Peak Oil not Oil Running Out (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927000)

thats been true for some time when it comes to oil. but every time they think where gonna run out say by 2013 they get lucky and find more. oil will eventually run out. and its a fact humans are growing to fast we haven't had a good plague or huge natural disaster like a meteor strike in a long time. and disasters like that bring the population down reblanacing things. 20 years is a bit to short sited. more like in a couple thousand if something huge doesn't kill off billions we would simply run out of resources and die off on are own and probably start a huge war doing it. we probly will never be off the earth completely but just be alot less of us for a wile.

This just in....somebody wants money! (1)

nefus (952656) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926778)

Gimme a break. Somebody is just trying to get a buck in their pocket. Fiddlesticks I say!

Misleading (5, Insightful)

ian(at)union.io (1868404) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926786)

This has F-U-D written all over it. Yes, we might need 2.75 Earths worth of *some* minerals or resources, such as tungsten or cork trees, in 20 years, but we certainly do not need 2.75 Earths worth of other, vaster resources, such as breathable air or silicon. To say that we'd need two Earths in order to quench our ravenous thirst for light bulb filaments is overkill, and certainly does more to make me discount these studies than think poorly of how humanity manages the resources we have.

Re:Misleading (5, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927096)

This was soured from a WWF report. The same WWF that has been making dire predictions form day 1, and even managed to get their non-peer-reviewed policy papers (it isn't even science) into the IPCC reports. Wherein, recently, the IPCC has has to issue retractions for it not being up to scientific scrutiny.

In short, nothing to see here, move along. It's just WWF campaigning for more money.

Easier solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926796)

Limit population growth, but no, we can't have that.

One child per couple one would lower the population over a few generations to more sustainable number.

Re:Easier solution (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926820)

One child per couple one would lower the population over a few generations to more sustainable number.

Perhaps you should ask the Chinese how wonderful 'population control' has been? First Mao demands more kids to fight the EVIL AMERICANS, and their population explodes. Then they decide that actually they don't have the ability to feed that many people so they'd better stop and demand that Chinese couples only have one child. Now they have a rapidly aging population with about 50,000,000 more men than women.

Re:Easier solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926894)

Following an outdated dogma that advocated male over female children is not my problem. Stop tossing your female children off bridges and the male/female ratio naturally balances itself out.

Re:Easier solution (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926954)

Following an outdated dogma that advocated male over female children is not my problem.

Of course it's your problem. Whenever the government demands that people do something they don't want to do, there are unexpected consequences of this kind; this is why just about anything government does turns out to be a disaster in the long run.

Re:Easier solution (2, Insightful)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927010)

an an entire generation that has no aunts, or uncles, no siblings, and a tradition of the children taking care of the parents in old age.

It may happen one day... (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926800)

But I still remember in the 70s how oil was going to run out by 1990; we seem to have had only twenty years' supply of oil left for as long as I remember. Similarly, half the world was going to have starved by 2000, but instead we've seen population continue to increase.

The hair-shirt left have cried disaster so many times that it's impossible to take them seriously anymore.

Regulation of births is needed. (3, Insightful)

Bluude (822878) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926802)

So when are we going to start regulating birth rates? I know this is seen as racist by many, since the minorities are the main ones reproducing at an alarming rate, with obvious octomom exceptions, but it is about the future of our planet and the survival of our race at this point. Race isn't even a factor.

Re:Regulation of births is needed. (2, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926970)

Short of breakthroughs in both energy and food production, a reduction in the global birth rate is the only other solution to this problem, and even then it's going to take time to play out. It's also going to be financially painful for at least one generation as the number of young working is disproportionate with the number of people who are too old and will need to be cared for (or euthanized for our Soylent Green).

Unfortunately, when you've still got senior religious leaders saying that contraception is bad, even in areas where STDs are rife, and few countries able to even have discussions about the kind of draconian measures that China enacted with its "One Child" policy without a huge backlash, then that reduction is just not going to happen voluntarily. That just leaves it happening regardless if/when we eventually do run out of resources, and as usual it's the poor who are going to come off the worst.

Still, I'm pretty sure that the ones who are preaching against contraception now are going to be the first to make hefty donations when we have tens of millions of children starving to death. /sarcasm.

Re:Regulation of births is needed. (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927028)

octomom is a minority. She is Hispanic.

birth rates track closer to socio-economic levels than race.

The poor and stupid reproduce at much higher rates than the well off and smart.

Too bad for the "organic food" folks... (1, Interesting)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926810)

Actually, our planet should have been out of easily consumable resources a LONG time ago - but thanks to the Green Revolution [wikipedia.org] of artificial fertilizers and improved farming techniques, scientists like Norman Borlaug have saved more lives than any other group in the history of the world.

The same thing needs to keep happening if we're going to keep increasing our population. We're going to have to convert more sunlight into usable foods, using more than just simple soil in order to keep scaling.

Meanwhile, the "organic food" folks insist that food must be grown using only slightly modified classical techniques, for a variety of reasons from vitamin density (overstated relative to studies, at best), to mystical mumbo jumbo like vibrations and auras. The other argument is that a given technique is sustainable for a given circumstance, or allows for smaller farms - but none of them are sustainable across the populations modern farming techniques functionally do now.

It'll be interesting to see whether populations will continue to curve towards neutral growth on their own, or what decisions people will come to. I certainly hope the Malthusian worldview doesn't come back into dominance.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Too bad for the "organic food" folks... (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927006)

You are painting with an excessively broad brush here.

You don't need mystical mumbo jumbo to not want pesticides all over your fruits and vegetables.

You don't need mystical mumbo jumbo to not want your chicken and cows raised in factory farming conditions, fed hormones, antibiotics, and the cheapest foodstuff imaginable to fatten them up as quickly as possible.

Why do you need mystical mumbo jumbo to be aware of the major nutritional differences between wild-caught fish and farmed fish, that are principally due to their different feeding habits.

So yeah, some of the stuff labeled "organic" that's basically identical to conventional stuff may be a rip-off, but there is plenty for a purely scientific, rational-minded person to critique in our industrial food system and plenty of reasons to avoid certain food produced by them.

SSDD (1)

gone.fishing (213219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926826)

We've been on the verge of running out of oil, running out of fresh water, and killing our oceans how many times now? I have no doubt that some day humans will go the way of the dinosaurs but it will probably be a long time from now unless a killer virus morphs into something that spreads uncontrollably and kills off all of earth's connected humans. If that happens then the lost tribes in the Amazon and on some Asian islands will probably still be isolated enough and will be able to repopulate the earth.

Sigh, These TreeHuggers must need more $$ (0, Troll)

MrHyd3 (19709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926848)

Uh oh, another "non-profit" group must need money to supplement their jet's and expensive dinners. I know, release a report scaring, I mean informing/lying to people we're all going to die, throw some dates in there, release some fake charts because we all know charts and stick graphs = truth. Then sit back & collect that money! ie. AL GORE - multi-multi millionaire -- Dejavu!

IPv6 (1)

QBasicer (781745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926854)

Is this need for a second earth as urgent as the need to switch to IPv6? Or are they just going to keep pushing it back to a distant future.

Why?! (4, Funny)

nloop (665733) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926858)

Why, slashdot, do you insist on posting article after article wrote by Al Gore and the global conspirators of Climate Gate. Clearly if just drill in the Arctic it will solve ALL of our environmental woes.

Economics will take care of it (I hope) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926860)

People have been predicting this kind of gloom and doom since the 1850s. Thomas Malthus comes to mind but he was by no means the only one. The Club of Rome chanted the same thing. At some time in the mid 1900s we were supposed to run out of something critical and civilization would spiral downwards toward the stone age again.

By the mid 1900s, we clearly hadn't crashed like we should have done (in theory).

Buckminster Fuller proposed that we wouldn't have a problem because, if we were about to run out of one material, we would substitute another. He was able to present several examples.

You can still hear both sides of this debate. I really trust neither side. It has become obvious to me that global warming hysteria was a fraud. I really did believe in it until about a year ago. The global warmers tried to cook the books and erase the Medieval Warm Period. All the bristlecones in the world will not convince me that hundreds of years of historical documents are wrong. That caused me to check the science more closely.

The skeptic side of the argument is just as bad as the AGW alarmist camp, maybe worse. Some of the people posting on the blogs are real scum.

My problem now is that I believe no one. So, are we going to run out of resources and will civilization collapse. I'm willing to bet it won't. I hope I'm right. In any event, I'm not willing to bork the economy on the chance that the alarmists are right.

Re:Economics will take care of it (I hope) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926942)

Nobody has tried to "erase" the MWP. Tree rings are not the sole source for historical temperature reconstructions. Nothing anyone of note is suggesting would result in "borking" the economy in any manner. As much as you may complain about the denialists, it seems you've readily bought into their bullshit.

war solves this, usually. (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926868)

well then, we just better have a few more large wars, that'll kill off lots of the planetary population - problem solved, right? riiiight...

reuse, recycling & conservation ignored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926876)

Where do reuse, recycling and conservation factor into this? The article, like the others before it carefully ignores these things.

It seems like yet another deliberately vague scare piece by another hack. People are tired of all this chicken little crap. Many reading this story are going to be moved only by their BS detectors.

By the way, the article is really at www.indiareport.com/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/917700/FeaturedArticles/14/54/14 for those who don't want to deal with iframes.

Don't count us out quite yet (2, Insightful)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926880)

Fortunately, things are being dramatically better managed than even just 30 years ago. For instance, the birth rate of most densely populated countries has flattened to almost zero; agriculture is far more efficient than before; trees are being reforested in earnest. As things get gradually get worse, people will gradually put more emphasis on sustainability, and an equilibrium will eventually be reached somewhere between the Utopian and Doomsday extremes. Might not be quite as rosy as it is, comparatively, today, but it will be manageable.

My hobby: extrapolation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926896)

I drank 1 soda yesterday,
I drank 2 sodas today...

Tomorrow I should drink 4 sodas
the day after that I should drink 8 sodas ... ... ...
By month's end, I should be drinking over 1 billion sodas.

Who care's? (1)

shougyin (1920460) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926898)

Well, all i can say is that everything needs to be recycled, and i'm not big on doing that by any means, but that doesn't mean that companies can't start and work to just divide up all of our waste. I mean, it's not like we are running around eating plastic and metal! It's all still there, we have just decided to put it in landfills. And who care!? It's our nature to grow and expand and evolve! No matter what, the human race will survive. If i make it through or not is not up to me, so why worry about it. I say we continue to grow and strive for better things, no matter what the cost.

Not a problem. (0)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926906)

It ends in 2012...we just need to last about 2 more years.

Re:Not a problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927056)

Ok, lets waste it all right now !!!

I guess the end of the world in 2012 is a self-fullfilling prophecy. ;)

Consider the source (4, Insightful)

davev2.0 (1873518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926922)

Somehow I doubt that the groups who created this report are impartial and it is well known that if one goes looking for a specific conclusion, one will find the conclusion whether the conclusion is correct or not.

Extrapolating (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33926960)

If i keep climbing stairs, i will get like 20 meters in the air over the buiilding. It works in cartoons, why not in real life?

Near the point you used all the resources, population, and/or use of resources will stop growing, just because we reached the ceiling. You can raise the ceiling being more efficient obtaining/using resources, but will always be a limit after which people will die or stop growing.

When people get the idea that getting more children will mean death in short time from them, and religions understand that anticonception save lives instead of terminating them, then we could be at a good distance of such limits.

Bah, joking... they won't change their way to be, and just will die hundreds of millons, by wars, famine or disease, and people will blame whatever they want to blame, except themselves.

inb4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33926974)

understanding how the market sets prices

Shameless self promotion (5, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927012)

The overpopulation myth [simplyshrug.com]. Bottom line - we could provide for every single person living on this planet with just the resources inside the US. Never mind the rest of the world. We're a LONG way from overpopulation... We have a distribution - not resource - problem to solve.

Two Earths (1, Interesting)

hackus (159037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927020)

How many of these so called experts have been proclaiming doomsday now for the past century.

We won't need two Earths, we have plenty of resources here.

The real problem is the social mechanisms we use to get resources, which is mainly through warfare.
(i.e. Invading countries for their lithium supply for example when there is a well known shortage.)

I mean, Africa is rich in mineral resources, most of it undeveloped. Yet the populations are in disarray.

They are meant to be, kept that way by George Soros and friends at the IMF for good reason.

A developed industrialized stable Africa would mean competition, and they don't want any.

So expect Africa and its people to continue to have all sorts of silly woes, like famines....political instability
until the IMF and George decide otherwise.

The author I think is living in a glass academic bubble and should probably investigate trends and get his feet
wet and pound the pavement a little before stating something so stupid.

I mean, we haven't even touched the ocean floors yet which have vast reserves of volcanic mineral wealth.

Technology is being developed to mine the ocean floor in the next 5-10 years in a big way for example.

Same thing with oil. We were suppose to have peaked in 1970's, now we are discovering oil, huge oceans of the stuff
in the earths crust at 32,000 feet or more....obviously produced by geological processes that dwarf anything
in the middle east.

But it is all the same thing, these oil companies NEED you to believe that oil is scarce otherwise they won't be able to charge 100 dollars a barrel for it.

Same thing with the population explosion B.S. Once you provide people who health care, food and water and a place to stay, the motivational operandi goes from worrying about food for tomorrow, having tons of kids to work the farm or look for food...too education and self improvement. In fact, populations start to contract, not grow.

Japan is going through that right now, so is the USA. Well we would be, but our crooked politicians selective enforce the laws on immigration for WalMart and co.

So the USA would be contracting as well in population, so is Europe.

But the whole thing we need two Earths, is a bunch of crap.

We do need two Earths, mainly I would say for:

1) We need two Earths to flee the tyranny and new dark age that the IMF and George and his friends have planned for humanity.

In the past you could defeat tyranny by discovering a new land, building a free nation, and destroying it.

Now, there is no place to flee which means my prediction is the 21st century is going to see incredible civil wars that are very violent because there is no place to go, and people will be forced to fight the police states the IMF have been setting up around the globe.

2) Disaster, I mean acts of God with a big G kinda thing. Asteroid impact, volcanic disaster, solar disaster. If we are only in one solar system, we could get wiped out pretty easily. (All of our eggs in one basket.)

3) Finally idiots. From scientists who think they know everything that want to start tinkering with our atmosphere to the idiots at Monsanto who are passing laws in Congress that make it illegal to grow your own food. The side affects of genetic science gone mad with Vaccines which go wrong (creating super bugs) and other madness we see with the use of Antibiotics on just about everything and anything. (Stop washing your hands with that anti bacterial soap!!!)

I think my reasons for two Earths have much more basis in historic _fact_ than this guy who claims like lots of others, we are running out of everything.

B.S.

-Hack

Solution: kill more people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927048)

A nice world war will solve that pesky overpopulation problem!

People have been saying this for over 200 years (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#33927054)

First off, why are we linking to a frame/url shortener rather than directly to the article?

But blind extrapolation tells us nothing. If you're an economist then you think exponential growth can happen indefinitely. If you're a biologist you know that populations follow a sigmoidal curve if they approach their carrying capacity. For humans, our population curve will likely fall somewhere in between.

The most developed nations are already at zero population growth, and the developing world isn't going to magically become developed if the resources simply aren't there. For those countries, maintaining an agrarian birth rate despite modern medicine and an economy transitioning away from food production is a good way to ensure lasting poverty. That's a big problem for them, but not for English speaking Internet users. Or, more precisely, it's not "our" problem unless we want to involve ourselves in their affairs (for better or for worse).

Soylent Green all over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33927098)

Harry Harrison wrote a book based on a similar 1950's report. The book is called "Make Room, Make Room". The book was used as the basis for the movie Soylent Green.

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