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thermodynamic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:33 PM
Original message
3 billion earthlings...
Picture it: The year is 1981. The British Broadcasting Corporation airs the latest episode of "Doctor Who" - "Four to Doomsday", episode 2. The fact is mentioned there are 3 billion earthlings and that adding 3 billion more creatures would be a very bad idea.

Fast forward. It's now 2003. There are over 6.25 earthlings. And rather remarkable, given its history of wasting resources, is that there are only 300 million Americans. Very strange indeed...

At this rate, when are we going to run out of resources to put, feed, bathe, and keep hydrated everybody? We can't even support half of them properly right now anyway! How will doubling the population, which will happen long before 2020, help anything at all?

Please note I'm trying not to bring in the typical off-topic diatribe about my favorite subject of oil usage and what happens to the quality of life when it runs out... Oops, I just did! :D

Will Duhbya's* idea of preaching abstinance help? He's clearly a dingleheaded dolt if he thinks so.

But something's got to be done about world population control. I'm doing my bit, but for me that's relatively easy so I still end up feeling guilty...
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 12:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. Relax. Your data is dated.
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thermodynamic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I hope so!
It's otherwise a horrible concept to think about...

Didn't know it was closer to 7 billion than 6.25, but oh well...
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:07 PM
Response to Original message
2. Education is the key
The only way I can see in controlling world population is through education. It would have to be a program run by the U.N. Preaching abstinence won't work. We have to make birth control easily available to everyone on the planet. There would have to be public service ads run through all media sources educating the people about the imoportance of keeping the population down. Eventually something like this will become necessary.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. *&cabal
see a neat way of ridding the earth of the "excess population."
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brokensymmetry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
5. Mathematics offers the answer, IMO.
It's called a predator-prey model, and uses differential equations. The classic model uses coyotes and rabbits. They start out at some point; the coyotes do what coyotes are prone to do and increase in number. The rabbits act according to their nature, but as the coyotes increase in number, the rabbits aren't able to continue increasing their population.

At some point, the rabbit population peaks, but the coyotes keep hunting. Thus the rabbit population crashes, leading to mass coyote starvation. Ultimately, there are few coyotes, and the rabbit population begins to increase again. This leads to a repeating cycle.

It may be that the lack of food (mass famine) will do this to human-kind. Or it may be that disease will accomplish the same end. (humans like to think of themselves as very effective predators, and so they are...but bacteria and viruses are quite adaptive. They're mutating even now; check out the research on AIDS and TB among others. And then there is that new disease, SARS...)

Perhaps the particulars don't matter. I suspect that the salient point is that external factors will adjust the population toward a more sustainable level. I doubt that human-kind will exercise the restraint to accomplish this on their own.

Your mileage may vary. Standard disclaimers apply.
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
6. LOL, Therm you are a blast
Edited on Sun Jul-20-03 04:43 PM by LeviathanCrumbling
"I'm doing my bit, but for me that's relativ ely easy" that is the best line ever. You should post more pics or yourself :-)

edit: to add something topical the most effect form of birth control in human history is a college education.
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thermodynamic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Why thank you, but...
posting more pictures of myself so everybody knows what I look like will only make it easier for people to sniper me down!! Like a chivalrous coward, I like to work in secrecy, though my ego more than ruins the effort...

Besides, being gay has got to be the best form of birth control out there! Mind you, I'm not into recruiting anyone, I've got plenty of toasters already...

And my college education didn't include sex education and you don't see me boinking everyone I meet... Of course, being a goofy eccentric weirdo may have something to do with that too...

:-)
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
8. World-wide birth tax
If you have a baby, you pay to the UN (or some other body) some significant percentage of your annual income for that year.

Although that would lead to terrible massive amounts of abortion and childkilling, so that's not a good idea, becuase the other option of forcing them to offer the kids for adoption also doesn't work, since they're still there, and not enough people to adopt them anyway.

Or maybe, for a generation or two, we need a world-wide ban on more than one child in the family. That'll cut the population down.

or get more people to just stop having so damn many babies out of a sense of respect for the earth and their fellow human beings,a nd not to be so selfish about their use of resources by bringing another human into the world.

There really aren't any good answers, except to rewire people's minds (and cultures and societies) into NOT thinking that we should have lots and lots of babies.
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thermodynamic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. How to enforce the ban?
Taxation wouldn't be right unless the money went to the betterment of society, but in concept it's still not a bad idea.

And how to stop people from being selfish, that's an age-old question...

China had a few vogue ideas, but everybody rained down on them for human rights concerns. I appreciate both sides of view so I can't make a moral judgment.

The ultimate solution, of rewiring peoples' minds, would be the best. But how to teach it so that people don't discard the info as they grow up?
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Ah, I had a brainstorm
You asked about how to wire people's brains - we get the same mind control engineers the republicans so ably have used to convince their people that wrong is right, black is white, and war is peace.

:-)

But of course, you are right - there's really no way to enforce anything, and most can/will lead to horrible human rights abuses, and/or insane amounts of abortions or baby killings.

And I hate to go the obvious route for it is too horrible, but we can always enforce mandatory sterilization of women and men after the first child. I could see a science fiction shrot story there - the world starts doing sterilzations after birth, then in 10 generations, it's tradition and unstoppable, and ten generations after that we'll be in a state in which the medical field will assume that sterilization is necessary for the survival of the parents after birth, and that's why they've been doing it so long, and no one will have the courage to have a baby and not be sterilized until a real coutner-cultural woman decides to give it a try, doesn't die, and the tradition slowly dies out after another 5 generations, but at least in the meantime, the human population has gone down to a billion...
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