11
   

Is it necessarily a good thing to feed everyone?

 
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 10:20 am
@Wilso,
So true, but humanity in this world emphasize the spending of resource on wars and not on feeding the world. That ratio will not change any time soon.
0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 11:12 am
@Banana Breath,
Banana Breath wrote:

Quote:
(currently we throw away a lot of food)

Tell me how you'd propose "better managing" our food to feed an ever increasing population.


Don't we heavily subsidize meat production?

http://usmfreepress.org/2013/04/29/meat-subsidies-strip-other-food-industries-to-the-bone/

That's a huge waste of crops and water right there.

(Ultimately, though, I like a good steak,
which is part why I'd like to see to the world population start falling
-- if it does so naturally, without heavy-handed coersion.)
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 12:02 pm
@Kolyo,
Quote:
- if it does so naturally, without heavy-handed coersion.)


a couple of good microbe epidemics should do the trick, and very natural too!

They kinda suck. I would rather manage the shrinkage of the population, have it well ordered without enormous suffering...that might be just me though.

If the humans number more than the planet can support the numbers will go down, one way or another. A likely way will be war, fighting over shrinking resources. A good nuclear war will do the shrinkage job, not fun, and not natural.
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 12:20 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
E.g. something like half of the world fish catch is thrown back to the sea.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. When dolphins and sea turtles are accidentally caught, would you prefer that they are thrown back in the sea? Or should the laws just be changed to allow any number of endangered species to be shipped to the supermarkets just to "avoid waste?" Agreed though, waste should be avoided, it's a cornerstone of sustainability, which I believe is essential.

I don't agree that population control can't be better enforced, but to do so would take several things including improved methods of long term safe reversible sterilization. If everyone received a free reversible sterilization as an infant, and everyone could have it reversed for free on request when one desires to have a child, I can't imagine it would be nearly as controversial as you assert, except for certain groups such as Catholics. I think that alone would keep population at sustainable levels.

Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 12:52 pm
@Banana Breath,
Quote:
waste should be avoided, it's a cornerstone of sustainability

Exactly.

Quote:
I don't agree that population control can't be better enforced, but to do so would take several things including improved methods of long term safe reversible sterilization. If everyone received a free reversible sterilization as an infant, and everyone could have it reversed for free on request when one desires to have a child, I can't imagine it would be nearly as controversial as you assert, except for certain groups such as Catholics. I think that alone would keep population at sustainable levels.

My kids are not going to be sterilized by anyone. In fact, I am totally against any genital mutilation including circumcision. Anyone who tries to touch my kids' genitals better have a very good reason to do so... And I am an atheist.

Me think you grossly underestimate how controversial your proposal would be.
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 02:43 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
If the humans number more than the planet can support the numbers will go down, one way or another. A likely way will be war, fighting over shrinking resources.

Indeed.
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 04:13 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
My kids are not going to be sterilized by anyone. In fact, I am totally against any genital mutilation including circumcision. Anyone who tries to touch my kids' genitals better have a very good reason to do so... And I am an atheist.

Me think you grossly underestimate how controversial your proposal would be.


Maybe so -sigh- but it's maddeningly ironic that it should be more controversial to do something like insert a removable plug in the fallopian tubes than to have perhaps 100,000,000 people die horrible deaths in the next major famine/drought, a reasonable guesstimate number given that perhaps as many as 45,000,000 died in China's last famine just a couple decades ago, and the next major famine would likely extend to other countries as well.
Olivier5
 
  0  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 04:38 pm
@Banana Breath,
Are you female? Do you have a DIU yet?

The great chinese famine dates back to the early 60s, 60 years ago. Funny that you said: two decades ago. Funny because in fact, there hasn't been a famine, in China or elsewhere, for quite some time. You may be aware of Amartya Sen's thesis that famine results more often from a political problem than from a production crisis.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 04:45 pm
@Olivier5,
That's true today, but it wasn't during the last century.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 04:46 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
Funny because in fact, there hasn't been a famine, in China or elsewhere, for quite some time.


Only because the Africans dont count.....
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 06:18 pm
@Banana Breath,
Quote:
there hasn't been a famine, in China or elsewhere, for quite some time


You missed a few:

1959–1961 The Great Chinese Famine, best estimates 15–43 million died.
1966–1967 Lombok, Indonesia. 50,000 died.
1967–1970 Biafra, Nigeria, numbers unknown, thought to be in the millions.
1968–1972 Sahel drought, Mauritania, Mali, Chad, Niger and Burkina Faso, 1 million died
1972–1973 Ethiopia, 60,000 died.
1974 Bangladesh, 1,000,000 died
1975–1979 Cambodia, 2,000,000 died
1980–1981 Uganda, 30,000 died
1984–1985 Ethiopia famine, 400,000 died
1991–1992 Somalia famine, 300,000 died
1996 North Korea famine, estimates vary from 200K to 3.5 million died
1998 Sudan famine, 70,000 died
1998–2000 Ethiopia famine, 1,000,000 est died.
1998–2004 Congo- 3.8 Million est. died in famine related to second Congo war.
2011-2012 Somalia drought, 260,000 died
2012 West Africa - Sahel drought, ongoing, 18,000,000 at risk.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/world/africa/somalia-famine-toll-in-2011-was-larger-than-previously-reported.html?_r=0

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140420-south-sudan-famine-africa-hunger-war-world/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Sahel_drought

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_famines

Setanta
 
  4  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 06:27 pm
@Banana Breath,
I've already stated that what we need to do is to assure that everyone gets enough to eat, clean water, shelter and retirement security. Fertility levels will plummet under those conditions, just as it has in the industrial world since the Second World War.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 06:51 pm
@Banana Breath,
Right... Quite a few indeed even in the last decade. I remembered the 2010 Sahelian crisis, and i know that Ethiopia is having nearly a crisi a year in some part or another. Both cases are clear examples of what you are arguing: that high fertility rates in resource-poor environments lead to periodic famines.

But among the other cases you list, a lot are political crisis. Democratic Rep. of Congo is obvious: the war killed millions through various combined effects : direct conflict, crime, total collapse of the state, mass emigration out of combat zones (often into the rain forest... city dwellers and rural people having to survive like Tarzan in the jungle for a month or two... imagine the hecatomb), disruption of food and medical supplies... diseases and yes, famine. It was not a sustainability issues. Congolese have fertile land in abundance, more forest than anybody else on the tropics, and large mineral deposits. It's a resource-rich environment, a so-called case of resource curse.

The DRC case goes in my direction: that state failure, dictatorship and conflicts creates the largest famines. Somalia, North Korea famine (3.5 ml people... Shocked) and Darfour also.
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2014 07:21 pm
@Olivier5,
Quote:
But among the other cases you list, a lot are political crisis


All populations are far more vulnerable to political crises when they depend upon a centrally-controlled food supply. If the US depends upon the Midwest for all its grain, and the Midwest depends upon Monsanto for all its seed, and the Ogalala aquifer is running dry and there's a change of political administrations in Washington, don't you think there's a bit of a setup here for a political situation affecting the nation's food supply?
Olivier5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2014 09:55 am
@Banana Breath,
No dispute here. A lack of genetic and economic diversity is a recipe for disaster.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2014 11:53 am
@Banana Breath,
Quote:
Maybe so -sigh- but it's maddeningly ironic that it should be more controversial to do something like insert a removable plug in the fallopian tubes than to have perhaps 100,000,000 people die horrible deaths in the next major famine/drought, a reasonable guesstimate number given that perhaps as many as 45,000,000 died in China's last famine just a couple decades ago, and the next major famine would likely extend to other countries as well.


there is an article in this months Atlantic that largely tracks your reasoning, though the aim of the author is to have only wanted kids born for the well being of individual kids, not the aim here to prevent calamity to the collective through population control.
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Nov, 2014 12:25 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
there is an article in this months Atlantic that largely tracks your reasoning


Thanks, I just read it.
0 Replies
 
 

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