2050: end of earthly resources

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by sunflow, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

    Thanks Edufer: if the Will of God becomes the principle subject of this thread, it should be moved to the Religion forum. Colouring one's science with religion is a dangerous thing, since you will soon be rejecting empirical evidence.
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  3. kazakhan Registered Abuser Registered Senior Member

    I just rated this thread terrible. It was supposed to be about the Earths resource sustainability. Not religous crap about the population. I vote this thread be closed!
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  5. the_greenvision (3,746,185 posts) Registered Senior Member

    Point taken. There shouldn't have been any relation whatsoever to religion.

    Well, but isn't the issue of resource consumption - and sustainability - directly pegged to our global population growth patterns?

    Granted, our planet would run dry on fossil fuels by around 2050. And new alternative energy sources have been mostly identified. Much as we like to toy with all these exciting new technologies and scientific concepts in our heads, we really should take time to consider the demand aspect for earthly resources in future: the many many more human beings of Earth 2050.

    I'd say the core essence of sustainability stems from curbing the demand. Less mouths created, less mouths to be fed.
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  7. Rick Valued Senior Member

    I think Km has made an important point here.How come you guys are able to predict so readily.Did you actually take into account what variations might occur? may be tommorow we invent a Hydrogen Pill which energizes our body to the full! may be tommorrow we stop eating what we eat today,then AP of food wont matter.
    The alternative Path of Predictions or Curve Fitted with predictor values taken may change completely then.Did you guys think of any such scenario?

    Sun,is about to extinguish in so...so... years,what then? we"ll find some other way then...

  8. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    the_Greenvision said: “Granted, our planet would run dry on fossil fuels by around 2050.” I am sorry to disappoint you, but it is not granted at all – at least not by credible scientists. Canada has oil sand fields easily converted into oil that can provide present oil demands for more than 500 years.

    The “many, many more human beings of Earth 2050” are going to be around 9500 billion, as population increase is leveling (according to United Nation’s studies and projections). Then we must consider that back in the 40s Earth had about 4,5 billion and a kind of agri-technologies that barely supplied food for all people in the world. Also, we must consider that now we are about 6.5 billion and technologies have developed in such a way that food crops have tripled – using half the land used in the 40s.

    This trend, in diminishing population growth and increasing crop production, means we shouldn’t worry too much about “vanishing resources”. Resources are only resources when a given technology makes something never heard before a resource. When we look back in history, we can see that wood was a widely used resource, used for making fire for cooking and heating, house building, furniture, boats, wagons, and many other uses. Now wood is used mainly for manufacturing paper or expensive furniture, and is being replaced by plastics in most uses.

    For centuries, oil was a fowl produce surfacing and ruining crop fields, until in the 1850s it was converted into a “resource” because the internal combustion engine demanded it. Afterwards, oil was used as a source of fuel for fueling cars, electrical generators in facilities, planes, boats, any kind of vehicles, etc. Until around the 40s, uranium had no value at all, but came to replace oil a source of energy for producing electricity. The uranium supply around the world, especially in Canada, Australia, Argentina, etc, is so vast (and cheap) that mankind will have unlimited amounts of energy at its disposal, even if fusion energy is not developed the way everybody hopes.

    Sand (or silica) was (and still is) considered useful just for making mortar for building houses. Now you find it inside any electronic device, your computers, radios, TV, phones, you name it. Even CO2 is a resource, as it is collected from nay limestone and cement kilns and used for making “dry ice”, the white piece of ice found in ice cream containers that do not melt, but vaporize.

    How many “not-yet-resources” are there waiting in Earth’s crust for a new technology to demand them and give mankind a new “resource”? And we have only scratched Earth's surface! And what will happen when we venture into oceans's floors?

    As you see, I am the kind of guy who sees the glass half-full. It makes me live happier, and all people around me too… Perhaps that’s the result from having read during my youth Voltaire’s “Candide”, whose hero underwent terrible experiences during his life (around the 1500s), but his motto was “Tout est pour mieux”, meaning, “Everything is for the better”. Candide was, of course, an optimist. I am one too. And I am firmly convinced that optimists are going, someday, to overtake and rule the world. Because optimism is HOPE, is what makes us keep going and fighting against adversity and problems. Without hope there is no use in keep living.

    Sorry if this is against your beliefs, the_Greenvision, but I find “greens” utterly pessimistic and negative. They don’t even like to hear about the good news about the environment, and how it is improving in many places in the world. But this is another entirely different issue.
  9. Andre Registered Senior Member

    And Eduardo, tro get all that food crops, you need carbon to build it. Right, carbon as in carbon dioxide

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  10. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    That's true, Andre. CO2 is plant food - and ours too by extension.

    Do I hear Malthus speaking from his grave? The Club of Rome, a Malthusian organization, published its “Limits to Growth” book and manifesto back in the 60s, encouraging governments around the world to curb population growth (genocide) by any possible means, including the ban of DDT, an insecticide that had almost eradicated malaria in the tropics. Of course this caused that some countries doubled their population in 20 years – and this ecological sin was something Malthusians wouldn’t let go without punishment. DDT was banned and malaria death toll returned to its original level of 3 million persons a year – until today.

    As for Malthus theory on population, I would suggest you to read Malthus Essay on Population, available in http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~stephan/malthus/malthus.0.html

    Quoting some interesting views expressed by Malthus (bolds are mine):

    <dir>“Assuming then my postulata as granted, I say, that the power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.
    Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence increases only in an arithmetical ratio. A slight acquaintance with numbers will show the immensity of the first power in comparison of the second.” … “By that law of our nature which makes food necessary to the life of man, the effects of these two unequal powers must be kept equal.” …
    </dir>This is the basis of Malthusian (flawed) Theory.<dir>“Consequently, if the premises are just, the argument is conclusive against the perfectibility of the mass of mankind.”</dir>According to Malthus mankind is a beast worth of being wiped from the Earth’s face. Sound familiar? <dir>“This ratio of increase, though short of the utmost power of population, yet as the result of actual experience, we will take as our rule, and say, that population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every twenty-five years or increases in a geometrical ratio.”

    “The population of the Island [Great Britain] is computed to be about seven millions, and we will suppose the present produce equal to the support of such a number. In the first twenty-five years the population would be fourteen millions, [by 1823] and the food being also doubled, the means of subsistence would be equal to this increase. In the next twenty-five years [1848] the population would be twenty-eight millions, and the means of subsistence only equal to the support of twenty-one millions. In the next period, [1873 ] the population would be fifty-six millions, and the means of subsistence just sufficient for half that number. And at the conclusion of the first century [1898] the population would be one hundred and twelve millions and the means of subsistence only equal to the support of thirty-five millions, which would leave a population of seventy-seven millions totally unprovided for.”
    </dir>As you all can see, Malthus was wrong in all accounts. See what some statistics say in: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/population.html
    <dir>“The population of the UK at mid-2001 was 58.8 million (see Table below). Official projections, based on 2000 population estimates, suggest that the population will reach more than 65 million in 2051.”</dir>According to Malthus’ theory, England’s population should double in 25 years, and quadruple after 50 years. This means that by 2025, according to Malthus, England should have 117.6 millions and by 2050, 235.2 millions of very hungry people. Malthus predicts a 200% increase for 2050.

    Present official projections, based on more realistic assumptions and experiences, say England’s population in 2050 will be around 65 million well fed people. A mere 2% increase.

    But, believe it or not, (you better believe it!) Malthus theory is the Sacred Gospel for ALL environmentalist ONGs and institutions, among them the Club of Rome, the WWF and Gr$$npeace, and public policies are forced upon the people based in this absurdity!. Paul Ehrlich, an ardent follower of Malthus theory, received many awards for his flawed theories on Earth’s resource depletion and population increase predictions. What is really outrageous is that Ehrlich keeps receiving attentions, grants, money and honors after more than 40 years of being proven wrong – dead wrong! – by real world events.

    The funny thing of Malthus’ theory is that Malthus never checked it against the real world! Had it made the necessary calculations, he would have seen that according to his own theory, the British population would have started with TWO persons – just in 1212 AD! And this would have shown that all historians had been lying when telling stories about the Romans colonizing the British Islands.

    So “the core essence of sustainability stems from curbing the demand. Less mouths created, less mouths to be fed” is as flawed and unrealistic as anyone can imagine.
  11. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

    And why do you suggest that we may have already been sufficiently fruitful? We should now just get fat and lazy and turn into couch potatoes?

    The main reason to multiply, would seem to be so that more people could then live. Overcrowding? Cities only occupy but 2 or 3% of the land. There is room for lots more people. People would still want to be born and live, even if their surroundings were "overcrowded." Better to be "overcrowded" than to not exist at all. If we really cared about other people besides ourselves like we should, why not populate every place imaginable, if needed to welcome everybody? Why not stack people in highrises to make room for more people, if we really care much about people? Who wants to eliminate God's other creatures, other than a few undesirables like mosquitos? But people have to come first. People are God's Creation masterpiece. And why waste relatively cheap matter or food that could be "invested" into being converted into people of immense value? Not only should people have plenty to eat, but be welcome to turn food into all the more babies.

    I would love to see humanity not only fill the Earth, but colonize the moon, Mars, and wherever else we can. But I don't think we will, nor will there ever be so many people. But humans would do well, to avoid the pitfalls of needless racism or eugenics, and welcome everybody to have "all the children that God gives." It is simply not meant for humans to limit their numbers. Humans aren't smart enough to "play god." It is up to God to decide how much he would multiply us. With so many of us in the world now, the question isn't how to limit our numbers, but how to accomodate them, and better coexist with our neighbors. And I see no conclusive evidence to suggest that humans would be any better off, if our numbers were fewer. Rather, most of us wouldn't have been born. And that would be bad. World population is barely large enough for you and I to have been born, I heard somewhere.
  12. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

    Nice post.

    Yeah, why do the population pessimists, insist that everybody should share their unjustified pessimism?

    Why can't we be optimistic, that at some time in the future, world population could be higher than expected, while prosperity is also higher than expected?

    Why all the Chicken Little ranting about the "sky is falling?" According to the Malthusians, we should have all starved by now. And yet I detect my belly is full? And obesity is a growing problem throughout the world. A recent news report I heard, said that even the dogs in China are getting obese. So even the evidence suggests that the world could easily deal with still more mouths to feed. It's great to bring precious new human lives into the world. That there are so many people now, is largely irrelevant to all the great reasons which are still just as applicable, to have children. The world could hold far more people, if need be. "Over population" is way overrated.
  13. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Biological waste to oil. This was mentioned in another thread about oil already. The latest issue of Discover has an update on it. <a href="http://www.changingworldtech.com/home.html">Changing World Technology</a> has a process of converting biological waste products into high grade oil. The concept has already been proven to work in a smal scale setting. A plant in Philadelphia converted 7 tons of waste a day into oil. A new plant is being constructed which will handle 200 tons a day, producing 500 barrels of oil a day. I don't believe that the oil is good enough for regular gasoline, but it does meet specifications for diesel fuel. This has the added benefit of giving us something to do with dead animals and by products than to feed it to the animals. Mad cow disease is a name on everyone's lips these days. There have been no tests on the effects of this process on prions, but those involved are certain that the high temperatures and pressures involved should break them down no problem. Oil for the masses. We may soon be free from the deadly grip of big oil.
  14. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Nazi Germany didn't have plenty oil during the war. That's why they got their oil from Ploesti, Romania, in the Black Sea coast. The Allies bombed the refineries during a night raid. However Germans still kept producing synthetic fuel for their fighter planes (they produced about 4000-5000 every month!) and tanks, trucks, cars, and the whole economy from coal. The world has vast coal resources and using the German technology oil can be produced to satisfy present demands. Did somebody remember to store the German formula in a safe place before the Russian got into Berlin?

    The myth says the greedy oil companies have it but will never release it. Perhaps they will do it when oil runs out - but when will oil run out?
  15. the_greenvision (3,746,185 posts) Registered Senior Member

    Utterly pessimistic and negative? That's far too extreme, I fear.

    I do agree with you that optimism embodies hope, and that is what fortifies the human spirit against all odds and adversities. And problems.

    Discovering treasure troves of natural resources, finding new uses for existing resources, or exciting new technologies that’d contribute to the betterment of our kind, there are so many reasons for us to look forward to, and be optimistic about our future. Unfortunately, there is a very thin line between optimism and situational arrogance. In our instinctive desire to actualise plans into reality, we sometimes tend to overlook the distant ramifications of our actions. So many examples. Take the classic CFC as a example. There were many industries that were optimistic about this new miracle Freon substance, and didn’t bother with the concealed effects of the substance. We didn’t see the problems until it was too late. Until after the damage was dealt. It was an uneventful episode that could have been averted with prior research and planning.

    I’d prefer to see that as being more cautious; not pessimistic.

    The future of our earthly resources. There’s a plethora of reasons for hope – promising new technologies, brilliant concepts, ingenious methods, increased government spending, and so much more on-going research devoted into this field. There’s no doubt about the immense value of the “not-yet-resources” waiting in Earth’s crust.

    But are these readily available? And to be considered as a global resource? Surely when we talk about energy for mankind, emphasis must be placed on meeting the needs – and also suitable to the available means – of the different countries? These new resources need to be accessible to and usable by a majority of the world’s population in order to qualify as a global resource. Currently, while the privileged are utilising state-of-the-art infrastructure like nuclear facilities for power generation, the developing nations are still largely dependent on primitive resource gathering for survival. Take uranium. These natural ores are only used to benefit the nations that can afford nuclear technologies and infrastructure. For the countries that can ill-afford, they're still left with the “old-fashioned” resources like coal, wood and biomass to content with.

    "…mankind will have unlimited amounts of energy at its disposal…"

    That is, of course, assuming if the Third World countries unwedge themselves out from the vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy and muster the means to harness these “not-yet-resources”. If not, the “unlimited amounts of energy” would only be limited to the exclusive few superpower nations; not mankind.

    I’m merely echoing all that have been said before – Vortexx: “There is no physic resource problem, only economical/political problems about SHARING/DISTRIBUTING the loot.” Most of the times we seem to leave out the massive populations of the Third World from our equations.

    Pronatalist, you mentioned that obesity is "a growing problem throughout the world". Something seems to be wrong with that statement. Are you even taking into account the overcrowded slums of the Third World countries into consideration? People are out there starving and afflicted with malnutrition. You do know about their existence, don’t you?
  16. kmguru Staff Member

    Let Edufer answer to CFC. But as you know, there are over 200 countries on this planet. These countries are proud to become independent from each other, yet do not do anything to be self sufficient in energy or develop alternate means of energy production. No one is holding a gun to their head, not to design simple technologies like solar cells, hydropower or wind power. Next level to that, one can produce agri based alcohol, mine borax, produce polymer cells, fuel cells, lithium batteries, capacitors, etc. I am sure there are many other methods besides digging for oil or gas.

    Even countries who do not have Uranium technology could obtain energy from the countries that do have. The world is all about interdependence and chances are that a country is just a few hundred miles from one that does have the advanced technologies to produce energy. Just swap the human resource with that country.
  17. the_greenvision (3,746,185 posts) Registered Senior Member

    "Let Edufer answer to CFC."

    Oh I'm sure he will. I've seen the ozone thread resurrected by invert_nexus just 5 days ago. Only a matter of time before he unleashes yet another barrage of spectacular arguments here.
  18. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    GreenVision, my answer to the CFC subject was posted in the ozone thread you mentioned and are posting too. It seems you are disturbed by the information provided by me that you qualify as "barrage". Check the info against real world facts. Ease on you green neurosis. Provide some real scientific facts instead of press releases (as your buddy Mr. Chips does) so we can see the scientific basis of your claims. Leave the emotion and the Apocalyptic green vision (no pun intended) out of the discussion.

    Irony and sarcasm will not help your arguments. Be serious.
  19. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    This site has a few decent articles on the "peak oil" phenomenon http://www.fromthewilderness.com/

    I started reading Pronatalist's posts in this thread and quickly came to the conclusion that there was nothing there but fantasy fed broo-ha-ha and happily ignored the major portion of his attempts to hog the thread. I have long known that Edufer is a pathological liar with an ardent zeal for promoting disinformation ad nauseum to defend power elites. Though he states there is no such sycophantic rewards coming his way, I cannot trust a god damn iota of anything he posts based on his continual misrepresentation of data and out right lies. Andre, why don't you post more in your support of the Edufer? I suspect you have learned that other than the occasional little bully goading supplication of the Edufer, you stumble heavily in defense of your opinions when attempting to address them at any length and it is best that you leave the misinformation promulgation to the more calculating and prepared disinformation campaign of your beloved champion of antiscience. Expect such bozos in a public forum.

    I like this quote from Michael Ruppert in the current feature article at the site above "...the world’s economic system is hopelessly corrupt and absolutely incapable of telling the truth. Yet, even still so, there are signs that the thin veneer between outward confidence and fear; between a half-truth which is really a lie and a whole truth which can lead to real solutions; is fast approaching. dissolving. Until that Rubicon is crossed the deception and denial are overcome, there will be no real solution other than continued war, bloodshed and destructive behavior which is blocking us from more peaceful, longer-term and more humane solutions."

    I do believe there are real solutions but I do not believe that "business as usual" has a chance in hell of bringing them forth. We will need to create a bonafide human society rather than this ossified anarchy of power elites that plagues us now in order to find and apply the solutions, IMHO. The least developed science, sociology, in relation to the most ardently developed, weaponry, will need to be reversed.
  20. kmguru Staff Member

    "Business as usual" happens because no one talks about the truth - not even the half truth. It is the same whether it is about the people of the book (Judaism and Christianity) and Muslims OR Job Outsourcing or environment or Wal-Mart.

    That happens because people with little brains can not grasp the complexity due to too much information and too many variables and as they simplify, they attack for the wrong reasons which in turn creates wars without any real basis.

    In other words, we fight for our lies. And that solves nothing.
  21. Mr. Chips Banned Banned

    We wont need or want to colonize most planets. Using conservative estimates of what was known feasible at the time, in the nineteen seventies, a project done at MIT estimated that the available land surface for human habitation could be increased by a factor of 300 times within 75 years. That was considered to be a conservative estimate. Say they were only 20% correct, thats still 60 times the current comfortably habitable areas of earth. This was with largely planet free humongous cylinders with radiation shielding and rotation.

    I dare say, if we want to colonize space, we better start with this space colony as so far, we do not treat it as a closed environment and can not be expected to without loads of change. As within, so without. Space colonization means being a being that accounts for its liberties. So far, we seem bound to cultural, linguistic and geographical disparities that lead to much missaccounting of our life support systems integrity effecting transactions, mainly for the powerful to retain power, basically a terminal disease state of the human information system. Here is the key, can we learn how to share rather than base our social contracts on conscription? Appears that a scientific approach will often avoid abstractions of bias as a favorable path. We are rife with bias.

    Cool kmguru.
  22. kmguru Staff Member

    Our dificulties comes from our western values or lack of it. The same western values that provided the explosion of technology and productivity gains are producing tremendous social stress. Even in USA, the polarising nature of our political parties has split the country to two camps. It is becomeing extremely difficult to do the right thing towards a global, vibrant and peaceful civil society.

    Apparently we can not get our acts together. Perhaps the Chinese will show us the pragamtic solution having transformed a backward communist country to an economic powerhouse.
  23. Starthane Xyzth returns occasionally... Valued Senior Member

    How supremely arrogant!! :bugeye:

    Even if one believes that people were created directly rather than evolving, who can claim to know the mind of God?! If we are His creation masterpiece, we are also his last word as a creator. And if the Creator has a last word, He must now be considered dead.

    Surely, God is not dead. And He may well have plenty more things in mind to follow us on Earth.

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    Your posts here have been fascinating - but please, not that MIT study again...

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    I'll not mention Dyson spheres as a serious option, if you lay off "300 Earths in 75 years" fantasy. Deal?

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