merits of this discussion

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Nov 11 07:37:13 MST 2003

dmschanoes wrote:
> No, none of thosse problems are rooted in capitalist production.  But none
> of those problems are rooted in either overpopulation or overtaxing the
> capacity of the planet.

No, overpopulation was not the problem in the 12th century. But
civilization in the technical sense was. When you combine, however,
urban societies with a spiraling population base things get out of hand
rapidly. I don't want to recite all the problems this entails, but one
of them is species extinction. The breakdown of rainforest ecosystems
will likely lead to the disappearance of up to 10% of the world's
species within the next 25 years. Such a loss not only involves the loss
of a diversity desirable in itself for reasons that transcend
functionality (orangutans have a right to exist) but threaten the loss
of plants and herbs that might have medicinal values, including
cancer-fighting. Population growth puts pressure on the rainforests, as
should be obvious from Brazil and Java. Humanity needs a lighter
footprint for all sorts of reasons.

> The possible transmission of disease from animal to
> human is inherent in all societies, not on the growth of population beyond
> the natural limits of the earth.  Treatment, mitigation, control of the
> disease is a social issue.

Actually, preventive medicine is what is needed. This means living in a
more healthy fashion. Treatment, especially the use of antibiotics, is
becoming governed more and more by the law of diminishing returns.


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