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Can conservation and consumption coexsist?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 158
Location: Some where in the universe in space and time.
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As our population grows and our resources stretch ever thinner, can we conserve enough to account for the exponential functions of population growth?
I do not believe we can. New sources have to be found or our population has to peak. Something has to give.
I am NOT advocating population controls. I do not believe that life can be controlled in the ultimate scheme of things. Yet We are real good at forcing things to do stuff in the short term that affects the rest of exsistence....How ever small the effect is on the other side.
The universe eventually will either get to cold or implode upon itself extinguishing everything. The ultimate control.
So not trying to be a downer. Let us look to what we have, how we can use it, and how we can look to the future for new stuff.
Let us be positive and move forward in our small amount of time.
Let us change the future to reflect the past we wish to have lived through. Have fun and Post on.
 
pollinator
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Seth, I'm not as idealistic nor optimistic as you are. Our species is rapidly deleting its environment while at the same time polluting it. I do not see such destructive behavior stopping any time soon.

Long before the universe's demise, I believe that Earth will go through another mass extinction. The cancerous human species, in its present form, will most likely disappear and the earth will continue on although in a different form. Past mass extinctions resulted in profoundly different post extinction ecosystems.

Also, I strongly support world population controls across the board NOW. Not 20 years from now. Not 50 years from now. By then it might be too late.

Although I am not optimistic about mankind's survival, I do believe that a person can live a non-destructive low impact life and be happy.

...Su Ba
www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
 
Posts: 2679
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There are two things to look at here:

First is "consumption". How do we define things that we consume? If we are rapidly consuming finite resources (mostly non-living resources) - then we are not sustainable. If we can consume living resources that we take care to manage (as in permaculture) and even give back to this "living system" to enhance it - then we might stand a chance.

Second is "population control". If we look at populations across the globe - we usually see people in poor countries having high birth rates and those in rich countries with low birth rates. This is actually a survival mechanism (those who live in dire situations hoping to perpetuate themselves before dying). But - if you look at the resource use and waste of these two groups of people and take the sum total of each - even though there are many times as many desperately poor as there are rich - the poor STILL have a much, much lower consumption footprint. So in actuality, should we be trying to limit the population of the uber-consumers and not the desperately poor? Many times the desperately poor are in that position due to the actions of the uber-consumering rich country's' actions.

I have no answers to "save the world" here - let me be clear. But relying on renewable (living) resources and dramatically cutting consumption in the rich countries would help a lot. Also holding companies and countries that exploit the natural resources of other countries (usually poorer countries) accountable for their actions and mandating that they not only clean up messes they've already made, but also work to reestablish the native ecosystem would start to show some regeneration as well.

Just my two cents.
 
steward
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Seth Wetmore
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Thank you for your posts.
I am determined to make the largest most positive result I can from my meager exsistence.
In my humble opinion more people could benefit from gaining knowledge. As our population gets larger that means more places of education. The odd part is that California. Monterey to be more specific has shut down or threatened to shut down schools. Our education standards have dropped dramatically since I was in school. So it may come to pass that our educated public becomes less well educated, and begin to revert into an impoverished state of being. I hope others awaken and pick up the idea of further education. California also has one of the highest costs of education and the standards of that education are still dropping.
Are we creating the sollution through the problem. I have also seen farmers markets begin, as well as community gardens getting started.
I thought these were good ideas. Although I am drawn to the idea that this is because people are getting poorer, and are doing inventive things to proactivly solve the problems.
My experience has to do with my own impoverished position. At this point I am only truely referring to my experience and poverty.
Thanks and I will put up more info later. Have a great day.
 
pollinator
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Funny, but I'm quite cynical... however, even I think technology will carry us through resource scarcities. I believe population growth will slow and the human population on Earth will stabilize. What worries me most in the near term is the nonsense of governments and those who support them. The single biggest threat I see is economic/political/financial instability and general corruption all fostered by the general philosophical bankruptcy of the populace. So many keep looking to government to solve problems when they are the source of most of our problems. It's scary how many people rationalize the use of force when its presented as a "greater good".
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Miles - great vid! Geoff Lawton also did something like this for his PDC. With increased prosperity, birth rates declined. I think what's missing for me in this particular vid (and it may be that Hans covers this in other videos) is how to bring consumption under control and introduce a change from using non-renewable resources to renewable resources (from living systems) - the old "paper or plastic" question. And then... we need to figure out how to manage those living systems in a sustainable way over a very broad scale.
 
Seth Wetmore
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Thanks Miles.
I do my best to be proactive. I am of the thought that many people working together can solve great problems. And many people not working together are the cause of greater problems. I will check out the video soon. Ted talks are a very good provider of interesting information.
 
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There is a finite amount of fossil fuel- we can conserve it but as long as we are consuming it at all, someday it will run out. Oops. So, the two can run alongside for a while, then consumption wins.

But there's more!
Let's stick to consuming renewable resources, conserving and renewing them as we go.
This way conservation and consumption can run alongside forever.

Or anyway until the sun moves into its next phase of star life and we are consumed in its fiery expansion...

 
Seth Wetmore
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Go Matu. Fastest way to solve problem is to remove the problem as a problem. Rock on
 
Seth Wetmore
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Miles Thanks for the video. Good view on adaption for survival. I am not sure it is realistic, but I like the way he thinks. Have a great day.
 
                    
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There is a video I rented from the video store, called: The Eleventh Hour, hosted by Leonardo Dicaprio. The whole video address this topic similarly to what permies members have done here in this thread. The video I rented offers a second section that was nearly as lengthy as the video itself, the second section offers some interesting solutions. I'm hoping to buy the video when the store is done renting it, because it helps remind me which direction I want to go, and I've never really seen anything else at the video store equal to this movie.

james beam
 
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Don't worry!
http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth.html



Spoken ironically, I assume.
When I watched this talk I did not see any reason for optimism. Yes, growth rates are going down, but by the time we reach steady state it's going to be too late. Or, more accurately, I don't believe the world can keep going the way it is long enough, to reach that state. And he never even talks about what the long term carrying capacity really is - certainly lower than 10 billion.
 
Posts: 290
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I think while we are at risk if we don't do anything stupid like nuclear war it will work out. Per person consumption of energy in the US is leveling out and if we made a real effort just to apply existing technologies like insulation across the board it would fall rapidly. Add in all the improvements in agriculture and we can feed the people. Now we have to keep getting smarter in what we do and how we do it. Some things like turning big chunks of the grand banks into a fishing protected preserve to rebuild fisheries we need to spread world wide. There needs to be dozens more of these areas world wide to begin rebuilding fisheries. That is something we should begin working for now because it takes time. Other things are just a matter of using our resources more wisely now. Add in all the coming technologies and I think we will find a way.

But even without coming technologies I think there is way more we can do right now with existing technologies. See that attached pdf. It is all about how to use existing technologies in new ways to step towards improving things.
Filename: Challlenge.pdf
File size: 3 megabytes
 
Patrick Mann
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I wish I could share your conviction that "it will work out". Others have covered the topic far more eloquently and thoroughly than I can - here is a good place to start:
http://www.newsociety.com/Books/L/The-Long-Descent

Either way, permaculture approaches can play a large role in making the future better than it would be with conventional thinking.
 
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I love talks like these!

I have viewed many things and have sat still for many days just thinking and perhaps I could type endlessly on these topics... and I believe to make a complex understanding a bit more simple we must look at what we produce and remember "quality over quantity". Perhaps a lesson we learned in high school but we have not been taught a greater meaning to it. I believe that in todays industrialized world many businesses (men/women) have learned to become greedy for many reasons. Not just for survival but more so because the desire to feed/live has become more acceptable and enjoyable. Although, an intelligent species we still retain a primitive and natural state in nature bound by laws of the earth and tied to it with the complexities of our foolish intelligence and ways; we fight for survival. The human race is still learning with either great insight or trial and error. It is up to us to realize this, not just in ourselves but as a species and to do our best to maintain balance and safeguard our actions so that we can do so. I remember years ago but can't recall when, I was fairly young I'd say around my teens and 31 now, of a Monk who said "do more" when asked a question about the problems in our life/lives. I smiled when he said this and blinked as my spirit bowed to him. Some times I feel we over analyze things and I have been told I do this too but wouldn't it be nice to know exactly what the our purpose as a race is? I believe that it is up to us as a race/species to decide.

One of the reasons I came to permies is because of the views and beliefs of its community and I believe I have a great plan in life and this may be a good place to start.


So with that said going back to what we produce it should be quality over quantity and we should do more of it.

I wish we could live in a world not bound by our foolish economics but produce a great, creative, intelligent and joyful life where everyone is equal.


.....its difficult to fill contentment when you fear something.


peace,

J
 
gardener
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I don't know that you can assign a specific purpose to a being. Sentience and the degrees of sentience beings have, should some influence on how they act.
 
John Hill
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ooo a new word! thanks yea I agree but given our current state I feel you have a responsibility to decide what may be the best. If are are going to venture out into new worlds we better have a firm grasp on what we represent.
 
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