[Marxism] Too many humans?

Will Miller wmiller at uvm.edu
Thu Nov 27 09:56:37 MST 2003


	As I recall an ecologist at Cornell, David Pimentel, several 
years ago argued that the optimum sustainable (with a decent material 
quality of life for all) human population was about 2 billion people. 
On that model we are only 3 times too numerous.  10-20 generations of 
less births than the replacement rate offers a possible future 
without the dismally familiar death rate solutions--famine, disease, 
war.
	Sustainable population and carrying capacities are real 
ecological limits within which even a socialist alternative must 
operate and, of course,  capitalism cannot.

Will


>Mark Lause wrote:
>>I don't claim to understand how anyone can come up with such figures as
>>1,000 times too many to be sustainable.  The entire problem is that
>>what's sustainable does change over time, owing to a range of factors in
>>which human will and technology are sometimes minor considerations.
>
>It is not that hard, really. You can take, for example, the energy, 
>water and food requirements of the average worker in a G7 country. 
>The amount of water required to produce 1 pound of California beef 
>is 2,464 gallons according to the Water Education Foundation in 
>Sacramento. It is not Malthusian to state that this is not an 
>effective use of resources. There is an unlimited amount of soil in 
>the USA, but the Oglalla aquifer is not replenishable. Socialism can 
>do wonderful things, but unfortunately it cannot synthesize H2O.
>
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>
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-- 

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If you give me a fish, you have fed me for a day.
If you teach me to fish, then you have fed me until
the river is contaminated or the shore line seized for development.
But if you teach me to organize, then whatever the challenge
I can join together with my peers and we will fashion our own solution.
							Ricardo Levins Morales
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