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Remember Bee-pocolypse?
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Zarathustra
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:48 pm    Post subject: Remember Bee-pocolypse? Reply with quote

Like the ozone hole, Y2K, the year 2012, peak oil, overpopulation, robots taking all our jobs, and many other things that pessimistic people worry about, most people have forgotten about bee-pocolypse because the dire predictions never happened. The bees never died out. They were supposed to die out. 10 years ago, everyone was worried that cell phones were killing the bees, which pollinate 1/3 of the crops human eat, which would cause mass starvation and collapse of our civilization. I actually know people who said we should give up our cell phones to save humanity.

What ever happened to that?

Well, the fear-mongering media rarely reports when they got something wrong. They report good news even more rarely. And they praise the virtues of capitalism even less.

[url=reason.com/archives/2017/07/19/how-capitalism-saved-the-bees/]How Capitalism Saved the Bees[/url]

We have more bees now than ever before. You'd think the story of saving humanity from destruction would be worth reporting.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alarmists know how to do only one thing--see the worst possible outcome of any situation; this still applies to climate alarmists, who are absolutely convinced that humanity as we know it will be defunct by 2100 and that the world will be wracked by billions of people migrating (well, the billions of people who didn't drown and/or starve to death because they were too stupid to move out of way of rising water or figure out how to grow sustenance crops for themselves).

Panic sells papers and generates click traffic, though, so media outlets will continue to do what media outlets have done for a couple of hundred years now--drum up panic with the disaster du jour.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the plus side, our 24-hour news cycle tends to mean that every disaster fades away pretty soon. (To be replaced by the next one to be sure.)

Interesting article.

Saw quite recently that 700 native US bee species (out of 4,000 apparently) are in danger of extinction though.

Hang on...

Hundreds of North American bee species face extinction: study

So, it's perhaps not quite that capitalism saved the bees so much as it saved the bee-keeping industry and maybe commercial pollination, but I'm not saying that that's a bad thing by any means.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is that species which are valuable--in terms of someone making a profit from them--don't usually go extinct. People sometimes act like mankind is the problem with the world, but the world doesn't give a shit about anything. The universe has killed over 90% of all species that have ever lived. Only mankind has the power (and will) to preserve.

It's not just the news cycle that fades away. People themselves lose interest. Just look how dead this thread is. The one we had during the time of doom and gloom got a lot more response.

Few people have interest in admitting that their fears were overblown or paranoid. For this reason, we consistently fail to learn from the past. People have been predicting the end of food, the end of oil, the end of precious metals, the end of jobs, etc. for a long time now. Malthusian reasoning has been proven wrong over and over. And yet over 200 years later people still ignorantly argue using his fallacies. We consistently underestimate the power of human ingenuity, even while we are the inheritors of an unfathomable world made possible by that ingenuity.

It bugs me. People try to set public or even global policies based on outdated ideas, trying to use government to solve problems that the free market solves on its own. Europe tried to combat the bee problem, for instance, with government action banning certain pesticides (that were never proven to cause Colony Collapse Disorder), leading to much worse pesticides and other negative effects. Meanwhile, people trying to save their industry solved the problem, and not only do people not use this example to learn a valuable lesson, they don't even know the lesson exists.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
The point is that species which are valuable--in terms of someone making a profit from them--don't usually go extinct. People sometimes act like mankind is the problem with the world, but the world doesn't give a shit about anything. The universe has killed over 90% of all species that have ever lived. Only mankind has the power (and will) to preserve.


Yeah, pretty much agree with all that. All this "save the planet" stuff is a lie...it's not the planet that needs saving, the planet will be fine. It's us and our idea of what it should be like to benefit us that needs saving or preserving.

As you point out, species die out all the time. But even knowing this, I still feel that we'd be better off if things like tigers and and whales didn't die off. Maybe it's not rational, but there you go...we're not really rational anyway. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every species which exists on this planet right now will die off at some point in the future, including human beings. We shouldn't hasten such an event happening, of course, but neither should we expend unnecessary emotional energy worrying about it happening or being upset if it does happen.

The last post in the other thread about bees was a full year and a half before I joined here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:
Every species which exists on this planet right now will die off at some point in the future, including human beings. We shouldn't hasten such an event happening, of course, but neither should we expend unnecessary emotional energy worrying about it happening or being upset if it does happen.


If we're causing it though, I think it's fair that we are willing to try and prevent it from happening too.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can anyone prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that we are causing it? No? Then there is no point worrying about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasn't talking about the bees there. There are plenty of species being brought to extinction by our actions, don't think that's really in doubt.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sensible fisheries management in order to maintain stock levels for future harvesting makes sense to me.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed, and that's just one of the more practical examples.

There are others less practical but more emotionally or psychologically significant (IMO anyway) I think.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I intended this thread to be a catch-all for things people once worried about A LOT, and then it turned out to be a nonissue. It seems that overpopulation will be another one of those things.

THE WORLD MIGHT ACTUALLY RUN OUT OF PEOPLE

Quote:
YOU KNOW THE story. Despite technologies, regulations, and policies to make humanity less of a strain on the earth, people just won't stop reproducing. By 2050 there will be 9 billion carbon-burning, plastic-polluting, calorie-consuming people on the planet. By 2100, that number will balloon to 11 billion, pushing society into a Soylent Green scenario. Such dire population predictions aren't the stuff of sci-fi; those numbers come from one of the most trusted world authorities, the United Nations.

But what if they're wrong? Not like, off by a rounding error, but like totally, completely goofed?


"In roughly three decades, the global population will begin to decline," they write. "Once that decline begins, it will never end."

. . .

And it didn't take long before we realized that there was a whole body of demographers who have been questioning the UN's numbers for years. They've just been talking to each other at conferences and through scholarly articles, but they've never gotten this information before the general public.

. . .

UN forecasting model inputs three things: fertility rates, migration rates, and death rates. It doesn't take into account the expansion of education for females or the speed of urbanization (which are in some ways linked). The UN says they're already baked into the numbers. But when I went and interviewed [the demographer] Wolfgang Lutz in Vienna, which was one of the first things we did, he walked me through his projections, and I walked out of the room gobsmacked. All he was doing was adding one new variable to the forecast: the level of improvement in female education. And he comes up with a much lower number for global population in 2100, somewhere between 8 billion and 9 billion.

JI: Lutz has this saying that the most important reproductive organ for human beings is your mind. That if you change how someone thinks about reproduction, you change everything. Based on his analysis, the single biggest effect on fertility is the education of women. The UN has a grim view of Africa. It doesn't predict much change in terms of fertility over the first quarter of the century. But large parts of African are urbanizing at two times the rate of the global average. If you go to Kenya today, women have the same elementary education levels as men. As many girls as boys are sitting for graduation exams. So we're not prepared to predict that Africa will stagnate in rural poverty for the rest of the century.

. . .

JI: We polled 26 countries asking women how many kids they want, and no matter where you go the answer tends to be around two. The external forces that used to dictate people having bigger families are disappearing everywhere. And that's happening fastest in developing countries. In the Philippines, for example, fertility rates dropped from 3.7 percent to 2.7 percent from 2003 to 2018. That's a whole kid in 15 years. In the US, that change happened much more slowly, from about 1800 to the end of the Baby Boom. So that's the scenario we're asking people to contemplate.

. . .


I've been saying for years that demographers already know we've reached "peak child." Most people don't know that. Most people have been depressed and worried about overpopulation in much the same way people worried about the coming Ice Age in the 1970s. So much of what the public fears and what the "expert consensus" tells us is just wrong. We save our scientific skepticism for Israeli cancer cures, not for things that "everyone knows."

Malthusian fears always fail for the same reason: an inability to imagine human responses to change. Humans adapt! We always have. You can't plot out trajectories of tragedy based on things like a temperature graph. That graph is ALWAYS going to leave something out. Sometimes, it's a crucial variable that we've failed to estimate*, but most of the time it's also a factor of human psychology or ingenuity. Like the bees (above). People failed to imagine that bee keepers would want to keep making money and simply breed more bees to make up the lack. Simple shit like that.

Well, it turns out that the UN "experts" failed to take into account that women are curious and ambitious, too, and want more out of life than a shit ton of kids. Turns out they also want an education and a job. Who would have thought? Rolling Eyes

Maybe we should stop listening to the UN "experts." Maybe they have a skewed view of humanity and the various "crises" facing us.


* (e.g. for global warming, it was the sensitivity of atmospheric temperatures to increasing CO2 levels--this was estimated about twice as high as it actually is, back in the 1990s).
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a hole in my O-zone, if you know what I mean.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys are looking further into the future than we have anyway. 12 years is it. Then climate change kills us all. Ask OAC.. she will tell you.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think we'll run out of people on a global scale, but certainly recent research about it has been predicting that global population will plateau at about 13 billion by 2100, after which it may star dropping a bit.

I don't buy the quoted plateau of 8-9 billion though, since we're already sitting at 7.7 with about 130 million births a year, and only 55 million deaths, but overall agree that the over-population scare appears to be over, with some places already experiencing negative growth.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK there hasnt been a population increase seen since the Baby boomers. As they pass away, there should be a net decrease in the population.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your rate of increase has decreased, but your population is still increasing, albeit a bit more slowly.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Your rate of increase has decreased, but your population is still increasing, albeit a bit more slowly.

--A


A lot more slowly. A 40% decrease in the rate of increase.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always found that humans are a dying breed...
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See the "anti-natalism" movement? Very Happy

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