Environmental Damage: The Overpopulation Indicator

In nature, we define overpopulation as when the population is beyond number the environment can sustainable without environmental damage.

Those warning of overpopulation, will often resort to warnings on the eventual starvation that would occur following environmental collapse. However, there are those who profit from overpopulation and are so rich they would not starve anyway, then point out ‘the world is not starving yet, so environmental collapse is fine!’ But can we risk the entire the world really becoming an Easter Island story.

To set things straight: famines are not a useful indicator of overpopulation.

Continue reading “Environmental Damage: The Overpopulation Indicator”

Overpopulation: starvation is the last symptom.

The Myth: Starvation is a good indicator of overpopulation. The Truth: In nature, we define overpopulation as when the population is beyond the sustainable level without any reference to starvation. Starvation will not occur until damage to the environment exhausts the supply of food. Starvation may could be highly unlikely very last consequence, but is useless as an indicator, as starvation would only occur in they unlikely event overpopulation leads to total destruction of the environment.

Long before starvation, more desirable and healthier foods become more expensive and force more people into a lower quality diet of processed foods, breads, and ‘pizza, pasta, burgers’. Overpopulation has began when further population increase will have a negative impact on quality of life for the average citizen. The wealthiest 1% will eat well and thrive better than ever in a totally overpopulated world, while an increasing percentage of rest of the population experience a decline in the quality and variety of their diet.

While some environmentalists warn that overpopulation will eventually lead to starvation, these are most likely relativity wealthy environmentalists, who are isolated from the impacts of overpopulation on everyday life today.

Focus on starvation as a symptom, most benefits those with per capita profits who wish to promote population growth as long as possible, since focusing on the last problem, allows ignoring the issue until that last moment. To focus on starvation, is to risk the planet being another Easter Island.

To set things straight: famines are not a useful indicator of overpopulation.

Using final outcomes to detect the problem means the problem remains hidden until it is too late to act. Starvation may be a final outcome, just as death is a final outcome of cancer. Starvation arrives too late to used to detect overpopulation. Declaring ‘the starving billions has not happened so we need not fear overpopulation’ is about as well advised as declaring ‘I am not dying yet, therefore I need take no precautions to prevent cancer’.

Environmental damage is the useful symptom, as control of population is on the right track, if we stay on track we can avoid catastrophe is largely already in place. It is not necessary to bury our heads in the sand.

Continue reading “Overpopulation: starvation is the last symptom.”

The New Economics of Population Growth in a Finite world

historical_map_world_1800

Summary: Most of us now live under ‘finite world economics’, where population growth results in a smaller share of wealth for each individual and the majority of the population, but increased revenues for Governments, nationwide businesses and multinationals who gain revenue from the entire population.  The rich win, the rest suffer.

The now finite World

When Christopher Columbus set sail for America, no one had a world map, doubt about a map the included America.  When Captain Cook ‘discovered’ Australia, as it approached the year 1800,  no civilization knew where all the land on Earth was located.  By 1900, humans knew where all the land was, but still had not explored all that land. Now (2017 at the time of writing), we basically know where all the land is and have even allocated ownership and mineral rights of all the land. Our world is now finite.

The post explores the ‘finite’ world concept, then discuss each of the two dynamics resulting in the widening of the gap between rich and poor.

Continue reading “The New Economics of Population Growth in a Finite world”

How the ‘basic income’ proposal could change society

The current wealth distribution system is an already a broken system about to face severe attack. As discussed in Robots & Job Terminators, the role of employment is set to change.

canada20flagflagbigfinlandOn engadget, the post How will you survive when the robots take your job? outlines the ‘basic income’ proposal, as put forward by many in the tech industry and being experimented with in Canada, Finland and the Netherlands. This articles provides a great starting point and conveys the basic idea and if unfamiliar with the idea it makes sense to read that article first. This post is about looking further, in terms of thoughts about what else should change if a ‘basic income’ is introduced and what would be needed to make such an idea work. What would such a measure cost, and what would be the impact on society of a total package, of a ‘basic income’ together with a logical set of policies to create a total package? Continue reading “How the ‘basic income’ proposal could change society”

Is our wealth distribution system really broken?

pot_goldA first reaction could be: “ok, the people who voted for Donald Trump clearly feel it is broken, but I am not sure they are that smart”, or “I am doing ok, and I think the system is fair. Yes people like that Elon Musk character have ‘X’ times more than me but he is also ‘X’ times more clever than me so he deserves it!”.

But the system feels sufficiently broken to those who voted for Trump, that they were desperate enough to vote for him, and there appears to be some similarity with the ‘Brexit’ vote in the UK.  Something has to change, even if it is just perception or we are going to keep having to live with these kinds of election results.

Also, either Elon Musk is really clever, in which case we should listen when he is proposing that we need to make changes to wealth distribution (soon, if not now),  or, he is not clever, in which case he does not deserve his wealth.  Either way, we need to consider changes.  Continue reading “Is our wealth distribution system really broken?”

Australian Record Trade Surplus: good news, or a warning on automation?

skitched20truckAs explained by ‘Alan Kohler’ of the ABC, the record trade surplus is largely due to “A huge rebound in iron ore, coal and gold exports delivers a record trade surplus of $3.5 billion in December, providing a big boost to national income.”, with no proportional increase in imports.

I suggest an analysis of the impact on the Australian economy is reason for people around the world to consider the impact of automation.

Continue reading “Australian Record Trade Surplus: good news, or a warning on automation?”

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