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What is a Feasible Living Situation for Future Humans?  RSS feed

 
Len Ovens
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An interesting write up. It certainly seems to sum up the best case.... As always, what happens is not so predictable. I notice that much of things is left unanswered. Like using this model, what is the highest population earth could handle. This would be very hard to calculate as each village would need a different amount of land to support it depending on climate, and what grows there... and what local knowledge is available. Just because someone has the forethought to prepare, does not equal survival and as such those who do survive at least in some places may be pretty hand to mouth or have a lot of slavery... with the slaves living pretty rotten lives at least at first.

Somehow I don't see a slow easy transition if things continue as they are. The world just can't feed all the people we have. It seems lots of people will die... starved, sick, killed by natural disaster or murdered. Already the growth of population has slowed some because people have had fewer offspring, but not enough for a decline.... In the days to come that will change as people realize a need for bigger families to gather food and make up for early deaths. Who will survive? Roll the dice, I won't say don't prepare, so much as don't trust your prep to save you.... be ready to move, learn, adapt and throw away anything you know.

It would seem that one of the best preps might be to rob a bank and learn to live on the run. No, Please don't do this!

So while imagining what would be feasible is interesting.... reality is a whole different game. This is someone who has really thought things through and has some great ideas, but even they say human nature would tend to scuttle things. I do not agree the civilization will fall as energy/technology do. I personally feel that civilization was already failing as energy/tech was building. I feel it is this failing that has removed the possibility of gracefully settling into a lower energy way of life.

Having said all that. Worrying will not help, preparing is worthwhile.... and even if not you will at least be healthier if you learn how to grow your own and buy locally. Moving to a slower more self-reliant lifestyle should be more enjoyable as well. So the future may not be the best reason for a permaculture lifestyle, so much as quality of life right now. If the rest of the world ignores you as it falls apart, you have a better chance of surviving. How soon? I don't know... I both hope to see it in my life time and hope not to. In any case, I intend to enjoy my life and my family whatever happens.
 
Brenda Groth
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well with the census, the population of our state has dropped by somewhere like 3 to 5 % ..and they said that the US population didn't rise nearly as much as they thought it had..so hey..maybe there will be fewer people and we won't be so concerned about it.

also there were more people killed by natural disasters this past year than in the last several hundred years..a new record
 
                    
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Yes, the US has a low natural growth of population, and some states are declining due to migration out. But that doesn't mean population growth isn't a huge problem, even for those in the US. Resource depletion and environmental degradation will have subtle and not so subtle effects everywhere ... higher prices, shortages, wars, etc.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Len wrote:Somehow I don't see a slow easy transition if things continue as they are. The world just can't feed all the people we have. It seems lots of people will die... starved, sick, killed by natural disaster or murdered. Already the growth of population has slowed some because people have had fewer offspring, but not enough for a decline....


The collapse of the USSR was, from a historical perspective, catastrophically fast and difficult. And while the Four Horsemen did play their usual roles in the adjustment to ways of life that couldn't support so many people, it's widely recognized that lower birthrates had a greater role.

Migration, while not without its own sort of pain and dislocation, is another, comparatively gentle, way for local population overshoot to correct itself. It's worth remembering that there's currently a global food surplus. I think a major reason that the US population continues to grow, is that it has a local food surplus, and draws immigrants, who sometimes have large families.

As to that global food surplus: our species could afford to produce significantly less, while maintaining the current population, if we found a way to grow food where it is needed, with the same level of connection to the global monetary system as the people who need it, and to prepare/preserve it with less spoilage and lower rates of energy consumption. This has been true for quite some time. For every year of its potato famine, Ireland was exported food enough to comfortably meet the shortfall caused by blight. Famines in Europe's little ice age might not have occurred if crops had been less vulnerable to molding in the field or to military activity.
 
Len Ovens
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
It's worth remembering that there's currently a global food surplus.


<with tongue in cheek> Oh Aye, but is there any food value in it?</tongue in cheek>
 
Walter Jeffries
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Not only is there a food surplus but we don't have enough people yet. We need more people. We need more bright minds thinking about the big problem. The problem of how the heck are we going to get off this rock and make backup copies. This rock and even this star system are not safe for us to keep all of our eggs in. We need to fly the coop, to colonize other planets and other star systems, even other galaxies. Something will happen to our dearly beloved home and end life here. Extinctions happen. Don't be part of the next one.

By the way, my math shows we can easily support 50 Billion people on Earth. The problem isn't too many people. The problem is wasteful living by some which is supported through subsidization. If things cost what they should the waste issue would be self resolving.

Have more children. Teach them. Expand the knowledge base. Innovate.
 
                  
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Link to math and collaborative calculations ?
 
travis laduke
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future primitive hth
 
Ronald Greek
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Consider the info/analysis "Sustainable Civilization:  From the Grass Roots Up" available online at:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/11849883/Sustainable-Civilization-From-the-Grass-Roots-Up


 
                            
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pubwvj wrote:
Not only is there a food surplus but we don't have enough people yet. We need more people. We need more bright minds thinking about the big problem. The problem of how the heck are we going to get off this rock and make backup copies. This rock and even this star system are not safe for us to keep all of our eggs in. We need to fly the coop, to colonize other planets and other star systems, even other galaxies. Something will happen to our dearly beloved home and end life here. Extinctions happen. Don't be part of the next one.

By the way, my math shows we can easily support 50 Billion people on Earth. The problem isn't too many people. The problem is wasteful living by some which is supported through subsidization. If things cost what they should the waste issue would be self resolving.

Have more children. Teach them. Expand the knowledge base. Innovate.


You've got to be joking.
 
                  
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pubwvj  is either a Cornucopian or is being sarcastic 


Fears grow over global food supply
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5f6f94ac-b6bc-11df-b3dd-00144feabdc0.html#axzz19ueAbCDb
 
Tyler Ludens
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Here's an article for pubwvj:  http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_n7_v107/ai_21084303/?tag=content;col1

 
Kirk Hutchison
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Len wrote:
The world just can't feed all the people we have.

  My views are often controversial (but well researched), so brace yourselves: the world can not only support all the humans currently here comfortably, it could do so EASILY. A mature forest garden in a BAD YEAR produces the same amount of food as grain-based agriculture in a GOOD YEAR, if not more. It is also good for the soil. That means that we could actually increase the population without harming the environment. Of course, other resources start to run out, but if we are just talking food, the only problem lies in people's unwillingness to embrace permaculture.
 
                  
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How many calories does it produce ?  where is it ?
 
rose macaskie
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pubwvj. agree with paint boy still, you mus tbe joking or i would say it is a crazy plan but i live among catholics and they will do what ever they can to argue that we want need and can handle more and more children, they are afraind we will run out of humans, sosaying we need more  is not crazy it is probaly just in¡doctrinated and the catholics, for example, are good at that. 
       I imagine, as it has in theory been a time of religous decline  that  people have stropped thinking much about them and  forgoten how excentric and over the top the religions can get, It seems to me that people, even there enemie,s are looking at them in a pretty innocent way recently.
      I was bought up by religouse parents, prettty religiouse ones who also gave out lots of warnings about the faults the churches can have, like famously and easy to accept, because it is not our religion that islamist keep their wives locked up, i am not sure we dont just have more subtle ways of doing the same in the west.
  tthe religions are famouse for somehow though they pretend to do everything for the poor supporting class diferences, they ask not only the rich but the poor to be humble so the poor who are in a eweaker position to ignor them, after all when they are old the religouse may be those who take them in or give them some sort of hand out, dont dare expand their businesses for fear of being called vain, interested in worldy things or being told they are looking for power, or some such, also they are much given to suggesting  that God put you were you are  so it beholds you to stay put in the misery. I was told as a child  that they had cleaned up their act and did not do these things any more but i have discovered that they do.   

      We cant handle what we have, maybe we should be able to do so but we can't, read about slums in poor countries and remember that though you might have a good time visiting them as the poor are usualy nice to the rich, especially those who might buy something off them, it might not be such fun living there. There can be more bullying and down treading in poor places than rich ones, drink has a more crushing effect if you have to work very hard to keep a small busines going an dhave no help when you fall a small slacking off can spell disaster and drink does tire people. There are definatley a lot less material advantages, like the chance of getting a job or health care, as well as not having lap tops etc..
      We are not  handling the rubbish we creat there is big area of floating plastics in the pacific and we have just poisond the gulf of mexico, it is crazy to think of what we should be able to do when obviously we have not got the the level of eficiency that allows us to manage what we could do well well. What about all the AIds in places where they can hardly cope with it like Africa.
    Permacultures ideas are good still we have no evidence tha any political ideas can cure our problems the workings of the mind are not as concrete as say concrete is as the ground beneath our feet, still what humanity has never yet managed it is as well to believe wont happen in the immediate future we usually get better slowly like we nolonger decortae the walls oof our twons with heads on stakes to warn people to behave. We have no reason to expect us to get so much more globall efficient suddenly that doesn't mean that the it is not important to say look we can grow even more food than we do already in a garden  without poisons, it is important but it is no assurance that we can instate a world order that will greatly reduce misery .
  the cahtolics say tha tcouples can rely on abstinence as a way of reducing the number of children they have, they say the bishops practice abstinence so its possible . You cannot  suggest plans for the world that include suggesting that humans will behave in a way they have never yet been known to behave in.  Being unreal only increases problems- 
  what breanda groth say is wha t i wanted to say though i did not know the figures, last year people were dying of disasters,  the problems are hitting us now, only as they are spread out we dont feel as if it was as apocalyptical as it is for many.
     We have lots of people unemployed and at the same time a need for  more people to work things out, more techers more people helping aids orphans in africa or producing medice¡ines fo rthe victims, We dont lack workers, we dont know how to bring the workers together with their jobs and though there is enough for everye to have houses and lots of luxuries we dont know how to pay the people who do the jobs that need doing unless they are all part of the market already whch does not handle ol the situations that are around. We need to be better at priniting money more efficient at the economics part of things. We are not efficient enough yet to manage what we have got.
     Why anyway be in such a hurry to have new souls, it would be better to have lots of humans over millions of years than all in one century. agri rose macaskie.
 
Len Ovens
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rose macaskie wrote:

 ...such, also they are much given to suggesting  that God put you were you are  so it beholds you to stay put in the misery. I was told as a child  that they had cleaned up their act and did not do these things any more but i have discovered that they do.   



Many people use religion(s) to give them excuses for doing what they want when they know it is wrong. That just makes them people. The religion itself may be good or bad, but the way it is used reflects the person and who they are. Science gets used in the same way... to a point it is hard to believe anything.
 
Matt Ferrall
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Yes,a mature forest garden does outproduce annual production when you take into account all outside inputs ect..Mature forest gardens require a populous intergrated into them in order to manage all that complexity.That doesnt leave much surpluss for industrial technological advancement.Civilization requires agriculture to generate its surplus.Also..much food is grown in desert regions with irrigation ect.These areas are unsuitable for forest gardens.So its not as easy as just converting existing agriculture lands into forest gardens.That said,there are roads and sports stadiums and peoples lawns we could convert to forest gardens not to mention all the mountains.Not sure how many people that would leave to run a space program though?
 
rose macaskie
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 Maybe Geof Lawtons establishment of an ecosystem in the desert in jordan has been the most important experiment of permaculture: That is subjective, from my point of veiw, i am more interested in  greening  deserts than in other aspects of permaculture.
   They, the experts, always say the sort of thing that Bill Mollison says in his you tube video, dryland strategies part three,, that the soil in the desert forms at a rate of of a milimetre per thousand years and  this ecosystem that Geof Lawton built up in Jordan has built up a good layer of soil in a few years.
    He built up an ecosystem by  putting swales in though the land was pretty flat, still he manages to build some swales on contour to hold the water when it rained and to take the run off from roofs and so stop run off and quick evaporation if water is spread in a thin layer over thre land it is more likely to eveporate off then seepp into the land.  He planted nitrogen producing trees like propopsis, that is also native to  arab countries if i remember right and serves as forage and then fruit trees and ground plants. He put thick layers of mulch on the berms  taking the vegetable matter other farmers throw away . i think that is the best thing to do, if farmers are throwing away organic matter, if they see what a lot of benefit you have got out of what they throw then they will copy you, i imagine. He did put in micro drip system but used less water than they the p`roject organisers expected him to.  A thick layer of soil has formed in a few years this  over turns all the theories about the build up of soils in deserts in a positive way. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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Len. You have to ask the churches, the heads of the churchs what is up with them if their followers are being mean, like not wanting to educate the less priveledged, you can't give them the benefit of the doubt, it is just better to be safe than sorry.
i know of one religion that gets away with blue murder by putting out a series of films about how sweet their ministers are or somehow getting their ministers written in as sweet while the populations they educated are anything but sweet, might better be described as being a a murederouse crew. You have to ask them what they taught their disciples if the people educated by them have turned out to be heartless and even corrupt beyond the normal.
 You have to ask them  if they could not please go over what they teach with care and find out what about it created ideas that were far from what we normall call christian. For instance maybe we have to ask what is it about Jesuses teaching that made christians so warlike though he said he who lives by the sword will die by the sword. It is precisely saying that all the acts of christians that are less sweet, such as their warlikeness, are th political self and not their christian self o fshristian warriors, that it is the fault of hte ndividuals rather htan the fault of hte different churches that educated them, that stops that carefull tidying up of the house, in this case the religiouse group ideas, a going through of things  that would assure their good behavior, that is necessary to stop abusive behavior on the part of powerfull groups of people.  Religiouse groups are the first to advise a rigorouse examination of conscients on ht epart of  their followers so they should understand it. they are the people who are the best ant argueing the point of veiw that most suits them they have had two thousand years practice.

    If any one wants to know it, one of hte signs of paternalism is exactly that you can bring to task your children, after all they are young and can't be expected to have a great grasp of all the ins and outs of the ways of the world, but that grown ups don't have to give an accunt of their goings on to children. Extended this means tha the staate or the churches dont have to explain themselves but the poor do. In an work shop the owner does not have to say on what he spends the money of the business or his time but the workers have to account for any money that they might use to buy new raw material fo instance and the time how they spend the time if it is wihtin work hours. . The question is when is this fair and practicle and when is it abusive, an dthat is a complicated theme.

    This is 2011 modern times we have to a great extent overturned political paternalism and consider we should know and take to task polititians, if we vote it means we should know about the diffent political groups, it is time we stopped bein gtoo respectfull to the religiouse to take to task religiouse groups, if we want to be adult and responsible, when we have doubts about them, they are human too and their calling makes them on occasion more than normal over confident in themselves and mad ,as they are the interpreters of God they can't be wrong it would mean fo rhtem god was.
   The different churches at the moment are promoting the right and taking us away from the welfare state that was the pride of modern times it was for my mother she was very proud tha england was creatin ga well fare state tha twas so inclusive though she did not like payin gtaxes and she made me proud of it and it i sdisapearing and i dont know wha tis modrn abut us if we dont have tha tnew sor tof structure of states then we are old fashioned wit hcomputers and such but old fashioned.  It is time to ask thdiffernt christian sects  what they are up to and i don't think you can say it is their followers, it is incredible how people of hte sort wh odo follow one religion or another who could not possibly get any advantage out fof it are voting for the right, pople for whom th eonly common factor is their relgiosity an dif htey say it is for abortion i ask why they could nt form anti abortion groups on the left it must be easier to get people already on the left to form anti abortion groups wihtin their political grooup than to turn them inot faschists the truth is they use abortion ofo rtheir own plitical ends.
   That the relisiously inclined part of the populatio is voting for the righ t is happening in america and in italy tthe television networks of berusconi manipulate the population with so much success they vote for a corrupt person lik e him an dit is ht emore religiouse part of the poppulation that votes for this corrupt person is not it worth asking the religioiuse why the plititians tha tlead the parties tha tthe churches like are so corrupt. Also Berlusconi  has just bought out the Spanish channel on which CNN aired and there are already channels here  that seem to be very good at manipulating the public so that though  poor they vote for a right that isnot going to look after their main advantage. It is a worrying modern phenonemon and it is extended and the churches do seem to be behind it though descretly so osmetimes nt so descretely. When it is the lay people acting they can always pretend to have nothing to do with it. agri rose macaskie
 
                  
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Paintboy wrote:
You've got to be joking.




http://scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook/2011/01/and_its_back.php
 
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