State of the Planet

Discussion in 'News and Current Affairs' started by Reiver, 1 Jan 2019.

  1. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    Well again I'd agree up to a point.
    I'm certainly not in a big hurry to defend 'celebrity culture'

    But 'famous' people can draw attention to issues that us mere mortals, can bang on about for decades and be totally ignored, or sidelined as eco freak nut jobs (who haven't flown for years for all of above reasons) .

    These better known sorts certainly need to guard against hypocrisy though, as they draw an unequal amount of attention to themselves. And possibly inadvertently dilute the basic message of learning to live well, but within our means.

    Many people made massive efforts, and hum drum sacrifices to take part in the collective XR activities, and they barely get a foot note.

    Tbh I've even got a bit of a niggle with dear old St David of Attenborough.

    Who doubtless was well aware of the depredations of climate change, and ecosystem collapse, long before he embarked on 'Blue Planet' and his current more outspoken eco activism.

    He's had a pretty safe, and secure platform in the BBC for years now, but up until only very recently has mainly chosen to point the camera away from the reality of what is going on.

    So the majority were definitely entertained, but maybe not so much educated or informed.

    It feels that times are at last changing, and that finally this issue, has sifted its way to its rightful place at the top of the pile marked 'urgent action needed now'

    Whether we are in time to avert total disaster remains to be seen.
    Rusty Nails likes this.
  2. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey Nearly 63 - oh dear! Moderator

    “All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder — and ultimately impossible — to solve with ever more people.”

    – Sir David Attenborough, Population Matters patron

    I copied this from the front page of this interesting website:

    As already said elsewhere in this thread the limitation of future population growth and its reversal seems to be the Elephant in the room re climate change debate.

    Maybe it is time to upweight the profile of the subject that Big Media seems to avoid?
  3. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    Agree more people equals more consumption up to a point.

    But the reality is that only relatively few of us are massively over--consuming.. Even those if us 'trying to do our bit'
    But that's in part because the system is set up to encourage us to consume more, than we really need.

    But global birth rates are falling, or at least levelling out.
    Especially where women and girls are empowered to have lives outside of traditional endless child bearing and rearing, and have good access to reproductive health care.
    So they feel secure, and can manage just fine without the patronage, or protection of rigid social structures, that try to keep them mainly house and family bound.

    And anyway we have the people we already have, I'm sure no one is advocating deliberately getting rid of people.
    And we would want everyone to have at least survivable, but preferably decent living conditions??

    So we really need to work on limiting our consumption.

    Not least because the majority world is already suffering under climate disruption, from the actions of us in the westernised world.

    And to my mind that just isn't fair..
    theclaud likes this.
  4. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    You were right first time.

    And in the most polluting parts of the world, population growth has stopped.


    Unsuprisingly, a modest amount of economic prosperity, easily availability of contraception, female education and the rudiments of a welfare system encourage parents to have smaller families.
    Flying_Monkey, mudsticks and theclaud like this.
  5. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    I read that with some interest. I've long thought this kind of stuff will be where the answer is as I just don't think the world is at a stage where it will reach a meaningful accord. There's other similar stuff going on elsewhere.
    SpokeyDokey likes this.
  6. SpokeyDokey

    SpokeyDokey Nearly 63 - oh dear! Moderator

    I think many people appreciate the over consumption issue but maybe not the disparity of actual consumption per head in affluent areas of the world compared to the less affluent. The latter is probably a message that needs driving home harder.


    I accept that we have what we have in terms of the current population but projections are still indicating that the Earth's total population will rise from 7 billion to somewhere between 9-11 billion by 2100. Even sunny side up 2 billion more resource consumers is one heck of a problem. Couple that to the possibility that many of today's relatively low consumption per head individuals will increase their rate of consumption as they follow the natural course (seemingly) of humankind wanting more and more in an effort to better their lives.

    My point is that discussions re measures that could be taken to limiting the birth rate seem to be somewhat taboo. As an example it seems that there is limited high profile debate in the media re the Pope & Co's influence on 1.2 billion of the world's population re contraception.


    I think that this 'live' ticker is equally as scary as any of the other data that is used in the climate change debate:
  7. Flying_Monkey

    Flying_Monkey Toll Collector on the Road to Nowhere

    It's not taboo, it's just seen as a rather simplistic view these days, and unfortunately - and I am not sugggesting this is your view at all - is also often a cover for racism.
    theclaud and mudsticks like this.
  8. srw

    srw It's a bit more complicated than that...

    Those projections are so dependent on assumptions about fertility in specific countries that a range of only 2 billion is massively understating the uncertainty, and your worldometer is frankly just a scare tool - it's certainly not a credible way of representing a complex picture.

    There's a wealth of information at the UN site: Just to take one example of a country often portrayed as "a massive problem", here's the projections for the Chinese population:


    It's striking, incidentally, that the People's Bank of China (the Chinese equivalent of the Bank of England) was one of the first signatories of the Network for the Greening of the Financial System. (

    Simply by increasing the rate of development of a few large African countries, which all the evidence ever collected shows results in smaller families, we can reduce the earth's population quite quickly.

    And I wouldn't worry about the influence of the Pope. There's no evidence at all that enough people listen to the official Catholic teaching on birth control to make a difference to population.
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2019
    Flying_Monkey likes this.
  9. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    Access to reproductive health facilities, is so often used as a political weapon too.

    There's some pretty retrograde steps being taken in The States right now even.

    Women's rights to self determination, has been shown over and over to limit the birth rate.

    These rights should be upheld of course, in all parts of the world anyway

    But the fact that they help limit population growth, has to be a welcome side benefit
    theclaud likes this.
  10. dutchguylivingintheuk

    dutchguylivingintheuk Well-Known Member

    Africa has been in receipt of both government as numerous support from different kind of charities. Still after years of aid zero to nothing has really changed. Assuming you are correct and it is a question of simply increasing the rate of development, how do you want to achieve that?
  11. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    'Africa' is not one homogenous country.

    Different countries in Africa are developing at different rates. Some countries are far more prosperous than others.

    Aid such as it is, is often very much tied to trade, so it will be dependant on the recipient subjecting themselves to the will of the donor, usually very much to the donors advantage.

    The Western world continues extractive practices, and big corps continue to exploit.

    And dump their toxic waste there.

    Water systems in Ghana are being contaminated by electronic waste.

    Look at the despicable way Shell has behaved in the Niger Delta,

    Exploitative corps routinely take advantage of corrupt and weakened governments, for massive profit.

    And good governance, land rights, democratic progress are swept aside.

    Land grabbing, is still going on

    Add on top of that the drought and flooding caused by climate change, often leading to more conflict and suffering, its no wonder that many places are still struggling.

    'Charity' and aid are tiny, and rather insulting sticking plasters applied, when compared with the external damage that's been done.
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2019
  12. dutchguylivingintheuk

    dutchguylivingintheuk Well-Known Member

    Sure, but still as a whole a don't see that undermining my point. But you're right to point that out
    Don't agree on that one as on the different countries in Africa lots of different aid has been offered surely there will be in fact ''bad deals'' in between because they are tied to the donor but you can't play it all down to that
    That's where the world fails to police itself, even Greenpeace's old boat has been dismantled in a very bad way for both humans and the environment. However if you want to stop this you have to be at the source(so the companies doing this crimes) as the local goverment surely is'nt able too. It also perfectly possible as Dutch ''Bussinesman'' ''Van Anraath'' is convicted to jail sentence(years ago) on the same basis for delivering chemical's to Saddam's Iraq back in the ''90.
    Agree with you on this one, however coming back to the first question, if the goverment is the problem, how are we going to increase their rate of development? I guess we won't because if we tried that corrupt goverments would hamper all our efforts, keeping development low keeps their power high.

    Is it dought, flooding caused by climate change or lack of knowledge because they where to busy killing their own people /white people /buying tanks to show off etc. ? Surely climate change is partly a cause but as with most things it much more than the climate alone.
  13. mudsticks

    mudsticks Über Member

    Well its generally agreed amongst the scientific community, that climate disruption is leading to the higher rate of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts in SubSaharan Africa.

    These will have knock on effects, in political and social terms.
    I was chatting with a Ghanaian farmer the other day.
    He says that the last five years have been particularly difficult for cropping, for his community of producers.

    I know the politics is fiendishly complicated, but given our (and your home) countries long history of colonialism, and extractive practices around the globe, which has diminished these countries resources, and their ability to cope, I think its incumbent on us to take some respondibilty, and act to help where appropriate.

    How that help is best manifested is, in itself, another tricky issue.

    But pressing for corporate responsibility, and accountability, instead of looking the other way, must help somewhat??
    theclaud and Flying_Monkey like this.
  14. Duffy

    Duffy Well-Known Member

    Humphrey’s on the Today show on BBC Radio 4 is a great example of why we are going to hell in a handcart now.

    His whole message this morning, “what’s the point and we’ll need to scrap our holidays to the Costa Brava”

    Oh lordie me!
  15. stowie

    stowie Guru

    Brazil is hugely religious and Catholicism still dominates (albeit now vying with Pentecostal and others) . In 1960 Brazil's birthrate was over 6 per 1000. In 2016 it was 1.74.

    I doubt that this massive drop was due to a sudden national abstinence.....
    theclaud and mudsticks like this.
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