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Jake Maddox

Field Service Engineer,

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How can we sustain infinite growth on a finite planet?

Human population growth is a serious problem that is growing by ridiculous geometric progression. Everyday approximately 200,000 people die, and in contrast 450,000 are born. That is a staggering 250,000 new mouths to feed everyday! We cannot support infinite growth on a finite planet! We're running out of land. Thousands of square miles of rain forest are gutted every year for palm plantations to produce palm oil so that masses can be sustained. Fresh water supplies are in limited quantities. Polution and contamination abound. Why do people ignore the realities of where we're headed? It frightens the crap outta me. It appears as though the discovery of oil is when things really took off. Oil ultimately led to the internal combustion engine so that huge amounts of land could be cultivated. Pesticides and fertilizers were also made possible via oil to enhance production yields. As well as affecting the pharmeceutical industry to produce vaccines. It's not natures way.

Check out this human population growth chart: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu/images/Popn_Graph2.jpg&imgrefurl=http://worldhistoryforusall.sdsu.edu/themes/keytheme1.htm&h=324&w=524&sz=49&tbnid=YSJSr0mYU4gonM:&tbnh=77&tbnw=124&zoom=1&usg=__kIp3FdU9ydMckYq62HCWmiEmqXc=&hl=en&sa=X&ei=2nk9UOvmL8vsigKdhIGwDg&ved=0CCUQ9QEwAQ&dur=655

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  • Sep 21 2012: infinite grow will be limited by war,
    that's what happened over and over in history

    so you dont need to worry,
    • Sep 21 2012: That is an old fashion way of thinking about population control. If all people think that population control has to decrease by any other means but wars, then we all are a bunch of genocides, incapable of making more creative solutions and then we might desserve to be wiped out from existance.

      Do you really think so?
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        Sep 22 2012: No!
        Please do not do that!

        Today's war will very probably lead to human extinction rather than population control.

        Will it be far easier to quit the silly invalid happiness to control it?
      • Sep 22 2012: it's not old fashion, it's still gonna happen , because you know, not all country in the world are developed country who has technology to prevent hunger , many countries still importing food, and when the exporter countries cant supply them anymore, what do you think gonna happen ? peace ? thinking about how to make food ? oh come on, people cant delay their need of food more than 3 days, many could do but not all, and according to human natural behavior, yeah there gonna be massacre, kanibalism, etc

        it's inevitable...you know not all people could use their brain in the crysis situation, most people will use violence...

        the effective way to prevent it is by birth control, government need to make a research about how many food vs human a country can supply so they can decide healthy birthrate value, so gov can decide whether it's time to only have one kid/family or more or not even one

        if they have surplus food then no birthcontrol but if there is a potential of minus food supply I think gov need to apply those 1 kid 1 family is enough
        • Sep 23 2012: Thank you so much for your response. You see, you're looking out for ideas to solutions, like birth control, it's just that it seems you haven't completed the whole idea.

          Let me share with you my cosmogony; the way I see this issue. In the past, people used to have many children, it was a part of their "modus-vivendi" for many reasons. First of all, the circunstamces they lived were very different: there was a lot of land to even explore, medicine was very limited and therefore live expectancy was very short, having many children was a way to increase the work force in the typical family business, currents of thought, in those days, said people had to dwell earth and everything in existance was made for the use and joy of humankind.

          Since the industrial revolution until now days, human's life has changed drastically. All the advances in science: medicine, technology, sistems etc. have contibuted, not just to improve human's lives, but also, unfortunatelly, jeopardizing our own supervenience, like the following reasons:
          1) Medicine advances have impulse an exponential birthrate and overpopulation. We have adapted so good to this world that, now, we are a kind of cancer or plague to our planet. I have friends that have known their great-grandparents and have children as well, that is: 5 generations living in a same period of time.
          2) Technology, have create us many needs and thus we have become very consumerist and materialistic society, having to consume huge quantities of resources, sometimes unecesary; some others unificiently, creating ecology devastation and inmbalances in our environment.
          3) Systems like economy have made many injustices. I believe this is the greatest flaw in this issue because it has create a greate gap between societys, countries and people. And the problem with this is that this creates ignorance as there exists a correlation between lowincome - low, inefficient education or non-existence at all.

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        • Sep 23 2012: (CONT'D)

          So, just to conclude, yes, I think birth control is definitely a very important part of the solution. But it's missing the how. How can we control birthrate? Let's be reaasonable, we can not imposse people not to have children. It might be, probably, something that future generatioms will have to do as a way of survivance if we keep these birthrates. And, yes, I agree wars are one of the resaults from many of our exesses. Although we can not take it as a solution to control overpopulation. That would made us regress instead of progress as society and as developed beings.

          I believe the answer for many solutions for today's issues is EDUCATION; good education. Education that not just permit everyone have acces to the several fields of knowledge, but also that teaches ethics and good values that can inspire people and society to be be better; a "formative education" that can change the world.

          I know it might sound very naive, but it is a fact that good education change people's way of thinking and way of living.

          Let me put you an example. In Mexico, my country, we can find a huge gap between rich and poor people and we can clearly see the correlation, I was talking you about, good or competitive education - high income vs inefficient education - low income people, and the huge gap in the way of thinking. My parents made has four children and two grand-children at the age of fourty, this is not an isolated case, actually it is pattern we can observe. Low-income people are more ignorant due they're enable to have goog education what they get is just a rickety education, and we can say it's one of the reasons they have more children at younger ages. If we could help improve the education sistem and let everyone have a formative education, we could help a lot in solving this problem. Another way to improve education are these kind of movements; TED's movement, where people can enrich their criterion and perhaps inspire society to be better.

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        • Sep 23 2012: (CONT'D)

          Another way to improve education is by improving the entertainment industry, as this is, every day more and more, the one who educate and transmit values (good and bad) to society. That's the reason I started to write scripts; to make stories that could inspire people to be better and thus contribute to cociety for better.

          If we could convince people to have less children, perhaps one or two; and if we could convince them, if they want to have children, have them at older ages, perhaps at 30's, I'm positive we could save the world and have a green planet again.

          The worst genocide of tomorrow is the ecocide of today.
    • Sep 22 2012: as long as some people supply food for profit or non profit people will keep bredding till something ends that supply of food then there will be mass famen and death and the people responsible will be the ones that supplyed the food

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