Malthusian Doomsaying

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Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby the croc » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:30 am

What is the 2030 Perfect Storm idea?

By Stephen Mulvey
BBC News

As the world's population grows, competition for food, water and energy will increase. Food prices will rise, more people will go hungry, and migrants will flee the worst-affected regions.

That's the simple idea at the heart of the warning from John Beddington, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, of a possible crisis in 2030.

Specifically, he points to research indicating that by 2030 "a whole series of events come together":

* The world's population will rise from 6bn to 8bn (33%)
* Demand for food will increase by 50%
* Demand for water will increase by 30%
* Demand for energy will increase by 50%

He foresees each problem combining to create a "perfect storm" in which the whole is bigger, and more serious, than the sum of its parts.

"Can we cope with the demands in the future on water? Can we provide enough energy? Can we do it, all that, while mitigating and adapting to climate change? And can we do all that in 21 years' time?" he asked the SDUK 09 conference in London, in March.

Some of the problems reinforce each other, in obvious ways. For example, intensive agriculture swallows up large amounts of water and energy.

But Professor Beddington also points to other complicating factors and worrying possibilities.

CLIMATE CHANGE

There is a risk that climate change will have drastic effects on food production - for example by killing off the coral reefs (which about 1bn people depend on as a source of protein) or by either weakening or strengthening monsoon rains.

Also, some scientists are predicting that the Arctic will be ice-free by 2030, he points out, which could accelerate global warming by reducing the amount of the sun's energy that is reflected back out of the atmosphere.

URBANISATION

Not only is the world's population predicted to grow (until the middle of the century, at least) but more people are moving to live in cities, Professor Beddington points out. The growth of cities will accelerate the depletion of water resources, which in turn may drive more country dwellers to leave the land.

INCREASING PROSPERITY

As people become wealthier in some parts of the world, such as China and India, their diets are changing. They are consuming more meat and dairy products, which take more energy to produce than traditional vegetable diets. Like city dwellers, prosperous people also use more energy to maintain their lifestyle.

BIOFUELS

The more land is devoted to growing biofuels, in response to climate change, the less can be used for growing food.

Source information: Energy data graphic derived from World Energy Outlook © OECD/IEA, 2008, figure 2.2, p. 81 and modified by BBC News.

Professor Beddington says he is optimistic that scientists can come up with solutions to the problems and that he is encouraged by signs that politicians are listening more to scientific advice.

But he adds: "We need investment in science and technology, and all the other ways of treating very seriously these major problems. 2030 is not very far away."

Here three experts give their view of Professor Beddington's warning.

PROFESSOR DAVID PINK, WARWICK UNIVERSITY

"It's definitely one scenario, though it's the worst possible scenario. In general terms, he is right. All these things are coming together. There is some argument over population growth but the bottom line is that it's going up and food supply is going to be more of a problem. The developing world is growing, and its people are getting richer. There will be more demand for foods we have automatically assumed we will have access to. We are not going to be able to buy in everything we need and the price of food will go up. John Beddington is making the argument that we need to do something now and the best way to make that argument is to give the worst-case scenario. It is going to become a problem feeding the world, the question is how big a problem."

PROFESSOR JULES PRETTY, ESSEX UNIVERSITY

"The general premise, that we have a number of critical drivers coming together, is correct. The date 2030 is rhetorical. We don't know whether things will become critical in 2027 or 2047, no-one has any idea, but within the next generation these things are going to come to pass unless we start doing things differently. That is the urgency of this set of ideas. When governments talk about reducing emissions by X% by 2050, I despair. We need to do it by next week. Humankind has not faced this set of combined challenges ever before."

ANTONY FROGGATT, SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW, CHATHAM HOUSE

"It's true that all these things, and more, are interconnected. I study the connection between climate change and security of energy supply. For example, if you switch from coal to gas to slow the pace of climate change, the energy supply crunch comes more quickly. John Beddington is right to underline the dependence of agriculture on energy - I've heard it said that one in four people in the world is fed on fossil fuel, because gas is fundamental to the production of fertilisers. Climate change also has implications for power stations - nuclear power stations that are cooled by rivers and hydroelectric dams. And whereas changes in Europe could be incremental, in Asia it's potentially more abrupt. Whole regions are dependent on cycles of glacial melts and monsoons and if these start to shift there will be trouble."

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/8213884.stm


I'm glad that this sort of stuff is at least being talked about by politicians. However I don't have a lot of faith in the idea that "science and technology" will save us. I'm reading The End of Food by Paul Roberts at the moment and it's incredible how flimsy our food distribution system is. He quotes this guy Vaclav Smil, a resource economist at the University of Manitoba who describes the Haber-Bosch method (industrial process first used in 1913 which pulls nitrogen out of the atmosphere and fixes it synthetically with hydrogen as ammonia) as the most important invention of the twentieth century. Smil estimates that nearly half the extra food produced today (and more than two-thirds of the extra people) is a direct result of the availability of synthetic nitrogen production. According to Wikipedia the Haber process now produces 100 million tons of nitrogen fertilizer per year, mostly in the form of anhydrous ammonia, ammonium nitrate, and urea. 3–5% of world natural gas production is consumed in the Haber process (~1–2% of the world's annual energy supply). Based on this, as energy prices inevitably rise in the future, nitrogen based fertiliser will become increasingly expensive thus pushing up the price of food. The world has to keep producing more nitrogen fertiliser as the world population grows. When you add those other factors discussed above, we are looking increasingly fucked.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Akuma » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:38 pm

i like you croc, you got a good head on your shoulders.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Rizzo » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:09 pm

I have fairly high hopes for the various experimental fusion power systems around the world. I think the French Torus system is one of the most promising but it's been some time since I read about it. Assuming an effective fusion system can be established we can likely sort out our energy woes but that still leaves water and food as difficult to generate.

I'd like to see more inner cities with roof top gardens and so on. It's criminal the amount of space we fail to use simply because we're "in the city". Surely we could have solar panels or wind turbines on top of our buildings?
There's an energy department project around the corner from my parents house with a wind turbine on a residential home. Hopefully that'll yield some useful information.

I also wonder whether it would be possible to hook up gym equipment to the grid. Surely all those fitness junkies could be contributing kinetic energy? As it is currently it's all just flashed off as noise and heat, why not put dynamos on the various pieces of equipment?
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:39 pm

ive thought the same thing for ages.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby ghetto ninja » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:28 pm

That is a fucking sweet idea. Imagine if all those treadmills were being harnessed.
And apartment rooftop gardens rule. Spent time on one in the middle of Hong Kong. Shit was dope.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby the croc » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:00 am

That idea of gyms creating energy is really interesting. I know there are quite a few design heads on this site. Has anyone read Cradle to Cradle it's kind of related to these issues? I haven't but a mate of mine who is an industrial designer was raving about it. Really interesting talking to him about what he's working on. He's into alternative energy and engines etc and has made a miniature compressed air engine which is really impressive. I really like what I've read about the book so so far. The idea of designing products for multiple use, and to have a sustainable life-cycle from how it is produced to how it is eventually disposed of.

William McDonough's book, written with his colleague, the German chemist Michael Braungart, is a manifesto calling for the transformation of human industry through ecologically intelligent design. Through historical sketches on the roots of the industrial revolution; commentary on science, nature and society; descriptions of key design principles; and compelling examples of innovative products and business strategies already reshaping the marketplace, McDonough and Braungart make the case that an industrial system that "takes, makes and wastes" can become a creator of goods and services that generate ecological, social and economic value.

In Cradle to Cradle, McDonough and Braungart argue that the conflict between industry and the environment is not an indictment of commerce but an outgrowth of purely opportunistic design. The design of products and manufacturing systems growing out of the Industrial Revolution reflected the spirit of the day-and yielded a host of unintended yet tragic consequences.

Today, with our growing knowledge of the living earth, design can reflect a new spirit. In fact, the authors write, when designers employ the intelligence of natural systems—the effectiveness of nutrient cycling, the abundance of the sun's energy—they can create products, industrial systems, buildings, even regional plans that allow nature and commerce to fruitfully co-exist.

Cradle to Cradle maps the lineaments of McDonough and Braungart's new design paradigm, offering practical steps on how to innovate within today's economic environment. Part social history, part green business primer, part design manual, the book makes plain that the re-invention of human industry is not only within our grasp, it is our best hope for a future of sustaining prosperity.

In addition to describing the hopeful, nature-inspired design principles that are making industry both prosperous and sustainable, the book itself is a physical symbol of the changes to come. It is printed on a synthetic 'paper,' made from plastic resins and inorganic fillers, designed to look and feel like top quality paper while also being waterproof and rugged. And the book can be easily recycled in localities with systems to collect polypropylene, like that in yogurt containers. This 'treeless' book points the way toward the day when synthetic books, like many other products, can be used, recycled, and used again without losing any material quality—in cradle to cradle cycles.
http://www.mcdonough.com/cradle_to_cradle.htm

I had a really interesting discussion with Peter Cozens, the Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies New Zealand at Vic Uni a a few months ago. He's an absolute guru on pretty much everything but he was talking about a speech he gave a few years back on how badly designed many everyday items are. Examples he used were newspapers, which require trees and bleach for paper, dyes for ink etc, and then we read them once and throw them away where they can sit in landfills for over 100 years (surprisingly); and baked bean cans which require the sauce, the beans, tin & other metals for the can, paper and inks for the label, and then they go and make the cans round so when you box them up you leave large spaces for air, which essentially means you end up trucking large amounts of air around the country. There were a few others which I can't remember but when you analyse all these products they start looking really fucking stupid.

The stuff that really shits me these days is the single serving bullshit inside a plastic bag inside a bigger plastic bag inside a box. I saw a new product today from McCain's:

The McCain Steam Fresh selection of vegetables steam in the bag in your microwave, so the delicious goodness and freshness is locked in.

Available in 120g single serve bags, they are the perfect portion size. Each single serve portion accounts for 1.5 serves of your daily recommended vegetable intake.*

McCain Steam Fresh come in a variety of nutritious mixes and straight vegetables. They steam in a matter of minutes in the microwave with no preparation time required, just simply heat and serve. Convenience is guaranteed with McCain Steam Fresh. Ah McCain...you’ve done it again!


Fuck these cunts. Shit like this should be illegal.

In saying all that I don't think we can design out way to a better future. It definitely helps to delay the inevitable, but it still relies on the consumption of finite resources from somewhere. The real problem lies deeper, much deeper.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Rizzo » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:35 am

I've always found the double and triple packing of food fairly obscene. But as with anything, bigger is better, hence air in chip bags, water injected into bacon and so on.

I also find the addition of unneeded ingredients somewhat troubling. Like that "whole water" bullshit. Why the fuck do people want to add milk protein to water? Just eat a fucking banana you nonces.

I'd love to see every home with a wind turbine, solar panels and rain water tanks for toilets etc. I recall the government giving some kind of subsidy for water tanks a while back but I don't know if it still exists.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:20 am

Rizzo wrote:I also find the addition of unneeded ingredients somewhat troubling. Like that "whole water" bullshit. Why the fuck do people want to add milk protein to water? Just eat a fucking banana you nonces.

stuff like milk protein is a byproduct of the dairy industry, they blend it into just about anything as a way to get rid of it basically.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:30 am

I think it's pretty apparent there is no 'silver bullet' solution - just like the problem is a combination of lots of things, so would any solution.

At the moment, the company I'm with is trying to get electric heavy vehicles made. The thing is, the technology exists, people want to buy it, but there are lots of little barriers around compliance. All of the road standards and so on are written for vehicles with axles and mechanical braking and all that kind of thing. So the red tape is as big a battle as any of the technical stuff.

But it looks like, just new electric heavy vehicles instead of purchasing new diesel vehicles will save something like 1% of national emissions cumulative each year for ten years (by which time most fleets would have been fully replaced) - so that on its own is 10% emissions cut.

Combine that with various other initiatives like the single-house power ideas, battery-backing the electric grid instead of using fossil fuel backing and using gym junkies on a giant hamster wheel to run Auckland and you chip away at things...

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:17 am

ive been doing a lot of thinking about a electric bike of various kinds, it would be fuckin awesome if you could recharge its batteries even if only a lil bit by benching its axle or something.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby the croc » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:48 pm

If you believe the below three premises then we are in real trouble.

1. Global peak oil production has either already occurred or will occur by 2020 according to the majority of experts in the field (Shell's official position is "after 2025" and OPEC's is "never" but there are a number of financial and political reasons for their optimism).

2. As oil production peaks and begins declining demand will continue to rise. This will lead to an exponential price increase in all commodities as energy in the form of oil is required to extract resources and to manufacture everything. This is detailed in the Hirsch Report that was commissioned by the US Department of Energy http://www.netl.doe.gov/publications/others/pdf/Oil_Peaking_NETL.pdf

3. There will be no technological fix nor any other energy source discovered that comes close to producing the same amount of energy as oil.


What really hit it home for me was a talk I went to about alternative energy sources. The argument was made that wind turbines, wave turbines, solar panels etc all take large amounts of energy to produce. If oil production does indeed peak around 2020 and prices go up these alternative energy sources will become increasingly expensive to produce, because by and large the world economy will still be based on oil. Therefore we need to take pre-emptive action and build everything we need for energy production in the future right now (perhaps even 10 years ago) in order to avoid massive energy shortages. Obviously this isn't happening at all. I think New Zealand is better placed than just about any country to deal with this, but I still don't think enough people take this seriously enough.

Our four main industries (dairy, meat, forestry, fishing) are all hugely energy intensive and oil dependent. They will all quite literally collapse if oil prices rise too high.

Anyway fuck this I'm having a beer.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:55 pm

If there was battery-backing to the power grid, you could make a huge difference. Right now, the electricity usage spikes MASSIVELY at 8:00am-9:00am as everyone gets into work and turns everything on. So the grid needs backup so if something goes wrong, the backup can kick in it a matter of seconds.

This backup is provided by fossil fuel power, which means we have power stations running just in case because they take too long to start up if something does go wrong.

Just by providing battery back-up for a few minutes, these stations can be shut down until needed, saving SHITLOADS. The batteries can then be recharged off-peak at 3am or something when there is loads less usage than the capacity of the grid.

As for the use of oil in vehicles - same deal. Make 'em all electric. The problem with the technology at the moment is one of range - to get decent distance between charges, you need big heavy expensive batteries. But those are barriers that will be eroded over time and as the economics of demand pick up.

Oil will still be required for many industries, but the elimination of the chief area of demand will extend the lifecycle of it as a fuel by decades at least.

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:57 pm

actually bro theres been massive advances in both solar panels and electric storage in just the last 12 months, i wont speak at length(on things i know fuck all about) but they are still in their infancy, but are looking set to make the current arguments against non-fossil fuel look stupid as hell(since they are by and large the main thing standing in the way)

i cant link you online but i can refer you to sun and wind energy magazine(which probably does have a website?) to which my dad is a subscriber and i read every quarter(or however it comes out, bi monthly i think)
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:58 pm

Matt wrote:As for the use of oil in vehicles - same deal. Make 'em all electric. The problem with the technology at the moment is one of range - to get decent distance between charges, you need big heavy expensive batteries. But those are barriers that will be eroded over time and as the economics of demand pick up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEStor
nothing concrete, but its work, the fact its getting money going in is the main thing.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:01 pm

Yeah, exactly - it's that sort of thing. I haven't run into that specific company personally, but there are a number of variants on those kinds of technologies. Once there is some vehicles in place, the demand will kick in and economies of scale should lead to fairly widespread adoption.

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:05 pm

mircro batteries are another tech thats pretty much still considered impossible by guys like george(puppykicker) [personal argument-please ignore]yet are actually in full production, just at a cost which is way out of reach of even the most flashy manufacturer

http://www.memsnet.org/mems/what-is.html

but it wont always be
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:18 pm

I think it's all very possible - the problem is usually finding someone willing to invest cash in it or willing to buy that first wobbly prototype. If the Government sank even a fraction of the cash they've lined up for purchasing Carbon Credits into domestic research & development, we'd potentially get a strong local industry together.

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby FC » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:21 pm

Getting the government to sponser research is like getting blood out of a stone. My supervisor just got back from a talk that the minister of science gave, where he basically told everyone they are going to support research by cutting back the marsden fund. Fucking retards.



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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:22 pm

aidan, you are the architect of your own defeat.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Matt » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:35 pm

I've gotten a number of grants in the past, but they're always dollar-for-dollar ones. So, they give you $100,000 as long as you put in $100,000 of your own. With the recession, though, it seems nobody even has that half to contribute.

We're still tryin', though!

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby toothbrush » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:18 pm

didn't read thread but, about the global warming bit: the polar ice caps melting issue isn't just about the albedo effect but also about how they drive deep sea currents (water freezing in winter increases the salinity of the water, it sinks, drives currents blah blah). so when they come up from deep down they bring up nutrients stuff feeds on them and keeps ocean alive. so if the currents stop shit will get fucked up in the ocean. he should mention that. Also, I've been drinking.

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Mugabe, Robert » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:36 pm

Suspect wrote:aidan, you are the architect of your own defeat.


And you are the building engineer of your own hassle.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:58 pm

and youre heavily into techno.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Mugabe, Robert » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:01 pm

Suspect wrote:and youre heavily into techno.


I'm heavily into lots of shit bro.
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xSUSPECTx
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:08 pm

like gabber :|
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Mugabe, Robert
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby Mugabe, Robert » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:09 pm

Yeah and other shit too bro. Heavily into other shit, what you into man?
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:11 pm

oh im heavily into lots of shit man, lots of heavy shit.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?

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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby mark tyler » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:20 am

i just had a heavy shit. Been eating wild pork which is good for solidity.
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby the croc » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:22 pm

The seven terrors of the world

Rob Edwards

Published on 2 Aug 2009

The world is facing a series of interlinked crises which threatens billions of people and could cause the collapse of civilisation, according to an international report out this week.

Climate pollution, food shortages, diseases, wars, disasters, crime and the recession are all conspiring to ravage the globe and threaten the future of humanity, it warns. Democracy, human rights and press freedom are also suffering.

The report, called 2009 State Of The Future, has been compiled by the Millennium Project, an international think-tank based in Washington DC, and involved 2700 experts from 30 countries.

“Half the world appears vulnerable to social instability and violence,” the report says. “This is due to rising unemployment and decreasing food, water and energy supplies, coupled with the disruptions caused by global warming and mass migrations.”

The project has been backed by organisations including United Nations agencies, the Rockefeller Foundation, private companies and governments. It provides “invaluable insights into the future for the United Nations, its member states, and civil society,” according to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

The report’s bleakest warning is on the dangers of the climate chaos being caused by pollution. It also highlights the 15 wars taking place in the world. It further predicts there could be three billion people without access to adequate water by 2025.

“About half the people in the world are at risk of several endemic diseases,” it says. These include HIV/Aids, swine flu, drug-resistant superbugs and a string of new infections.

The global income from the proceeds of international crime is reckoned to be around $3 trillion.

“Democracy and freedom have declined for the third year in a row, and press freedoms declined for the seventh year in a row,” the report says. The global recession was caused by “too many greedy and deceitful decisions”, it argues, but there were now some signs that humanity was growing out of its “selfish, self-centred adolescence”.

1: Environment

The most serious danger is the pollution that is affecting the climate, the report says. Every day the world’s oceans absorb 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, increasing their acidity.

The number of dead zones – areas like La Jolla off the coast of San Diego, which have too little oxygen to support life – has doubled every decade since the 1960s.

The oceans are warming about 50% faster than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2007, while the amount of ice flowing out of Greenland last summer was nearly three times more than the previous year. Summer ice in the Arctic could disappear by 2030, the report warns.

“Over 36 million hectares of primary forest are lost every year,” it says. “Human consumption is 30% larger than nature’s capacity to regenerate, and demand on the planet has more than doubled over the past 45 years.”

The strains these changes will put on the world include floods, droughts and storms.

“This important report puts climate change up there with the major economic, social and political challenges that the human race faces,” said Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland. “Whether you are worried about food security, the threat of war or mass migration, climate change is going to make things worse.”

The Millennium Project report argues that combating climate change requires a 10-year programme by the US and China equivalent to the Apollo moon mission launched in 1961.

Other environmental problems are highlighted, including toxic waste dumping. About 70% of the world’s 50 million tonnes of annual electronic waste is dumped in developing countries in Asia and Africa, much of it illegally.

A quarter of all fish stocks are over-harvested, the report says, and 80% cannot withstand increased fishing.

2: Food and water

A global food crisis may be “inevitable”, the report warns, because of an obscure fungus called Ug99 which causes stem rust on plants. It is threatening to wipe out more than 80% of the world’s wheat crops, and it could take up to 12 years to develop resistant strains of wheat.

Food prices rose by 52% between 2007 and 2008, while the cost of fertiliser has nearly doubled in the past year. Meanwhile, 30%-40% of food production is lost in many poor countries because of a lack of adequate storage facilities.

Nearly a billion people are undernourished and hungry, while 700 million face water scarcity – this could hit three billion by 2025, the report warns. The world’s population is expected to grow from the current 6.8 billion to 9.2 billion by 2050 – and could reach 11 billion.

“Christian Aid’s partners in developing countries are already reporting that water is hard to find,” said Claire Aston, acting head of Christian Aid Scotland. “The idea that three billion people will be in this position as a result of climate change by 2030 is a frightening prospect.”

Water shortages are also being worsened by the growing global consumption of meat. The report predicts demand for meat may rise by 50% by 2025 and double by 2050.

3: Disease

About 17 million people – nine million of them young children – are killed by infectious diseases every year, according to the report.

Half of the world’s population is at risk from endemic diseases, with TB, malaria and HIV/Aids together causing more than 300 million illnesses and five million deaths a year.

The number of people living with HIV/Aids is estimated at between 30 million and 36 million, two-thirds in sub-Saharan Africa.

The dangers from other diseases seem to be getting worse, too. Over the past 40 years, 39 infectious diseases have been discovered, and in the last five years more than 1100 epidemics have been verified. There are up to 20 new strains of “superbugs”, such as MRSA, that are difficult to counter, while three-quarters of emerging pathogens have the ability to jump species.

Old diseases such as cholera, yellow fever, plague, dengue fever, haemorrhagic fever and diphtheria are re-emerging, not to mention new strains, like the H1N1 swine flu virus.

“Massive urbanisation, increased encroachment on animal territory, and concentrated livestock production could trigger new pandemics,” the report cautions.

“Climate change is altering insect and disease patterns. Other problems may come from synthetic biology laboratories.”

4: Wars and disasters

More than two billion people have been affected by the world’s 35 wars and 2500 natural disasters over the last nine years, the report says. By mid-2009, there were 15 conflicts raging around the globe – one more than in 2008. Four wars were taking place in Africa, four in Asia, four in the Middle East, two in the Americas and one, against terrorism, internationally.

“A pending unknown is whether Iran and North Korea will trigger a nuclear arms race,” the report says. “Another more distant spectre, but possibly even a greater threat, is that of single individuals acting alone to create and deploy weapons of mass destruction.”

The Iraq war has left behind an environmental

catastrophe of 25 million land mines, hazardous waste, polluted water and depleted uranium contamination. “It will take centuries to restore the natural environment of Iraq,” said the country’s environment minister, Nermeen Othman.

The number and intensity of natural disasters is increasing, the report says. In 2008 there were a total of 354 disasters with an estimated 214 million victims, 80% of them in Asia.

Increasing climate chaos could exacerbate the damage wrought by natural disasters and see the number of people suffering grow to 375 million a year by 2015 and 660 million by 2030. Economic losses could reach $340 billion a year.

“The world has moved from a global threat once called the cold war, to what now should be considered the warming war,” said Afelee Pita, the UN ambassador from Tuvalu, a small, low-lying island in the Pacific Ocean.

The report also reveals the world recently escaped a potentially planet-ending event.

“In March 2009 an asteroid missed Earth by 77,000 kilometres,” it says. “If it had hit Earth, it would have wiped out all life on 800 square kilometres. No-one knew it was coming.”

5: crime

Organised crime is very big business, according to the Millennium Project report, with an income of $3 trillion a year. That’s twice as much as all the world’s military budgets combined.

This includes more than $1 trillion paid in bribes to corrupt officials, and maybe another $1 trillion from cybercrime thefts. Counterfeiting and piracy could bring in at least $300bn, the global drug trade $321bn, human trafficking $44bn and illegal weapons sales $10bn.

“Governments can be understood as a series of decision points, with some people in those points vulnerable to very large bribes,” the report says. “Decisions could be bought and sold like heroin, making democracy an illusion.”

Shockingly, there are reckoned to be between 14 million and 27 million people still being held in slavery, the vast majority of them in Asia. This is more than at the peak of the African slave trade.

The report argues that the world is beginning to wake up to the “enormity of the threat of transnational organised crime”. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has called on all states to develop a coherent strategy, but efforts are still piecemeal.

The 2009 G8 meeting of justice and home affairs ministers explored anti-crime strategies, and in June the US launched the International Organised Crime Intelligence and Operations Centre.

“Meanwhile, transnational organised crime continues to expand in the absence of a comprehensive, integrated global counter-strategy,” observes the report.

6: Human rights

Freedom and democracy are waning, the report reveals. They have declined for the third year in a row, with press freedoms worsening for the seventh year in a row.

In 2008, democracy declined in 34 countries, and only improved in 14. Just 17% of the world’s population lives in 70 countries with a free press, while 42% lives in 64 countries with no free press.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, 14.4% of humanity enjoys full democracy, while 35% live under authoritarian regimes. “Democratic forces will have to work harder to make sure that the short-term reversals do not stop the longer-term trend of democratisation,” the report says.

Women account for more than 40% of the world’s workforce but earn less than 25% of the wages and own only 1% of the assets, it found.

“Many countries still have laws and cultures that deny women basic human rights,” the report states. “Gender equity is essential for the development of a healthy society and is one of the most effective ways to address all the other global challenges.”

The human rights organisation Amnesty International warns that the recession is having a “devastating impact” on the world’s poor, driving more and more people into poverty, unemployment and homelessness.

“The recession is also leading to repression of people who are desperate,” said Amnesty’s Scottish programme director, John Watson. “It is creating new tensions between governments and vulnerable people.”

7: Science and technology

The Millennium Report warns that, due to the staggering rate of technological advances, politicians and the public need a “global collective intelligence system” to track the effects of such rapid changes. Contingency plans need to be prepared by governments in case the speed of development has a “highly negative impact” on the human race.

Although advances in science and technology are increasing the chances of major breakthroughs in medicine, computing and biotechnology, these breakthroughs come with a health warning as we are unsure what the flipside may be. Some experts speculate that civilisation is heading for a “singularity”, the report says. This would mean that “technological change is so fast and significant that we today are incapable of conceiving what life might be like beyond the year 2025”.

The electronics company IBM has promised a computer capable of performing 20,000 trillion calculations per second by 2011 – just like Hal, above, from 2001: A Space Odyssey – roughly equivalent to the speed of the human brain.

On the upside, the boom in power generated by wind turbines and other renewable sources has been unprecedented. For the first time in 2008 the majority of the increase in electricity production in the US and the European Union came from renewable sources.

“Mobile phones, the internet, international trade, language translation and jet planes are giving birth to an interdependent humanity that can create and implement global strategies to improve the prospects for humanity.”
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Re: Malthusian Doomsaying

Postby xSUSPECTx » Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:57 pm

in the movie 2012 the powers that be are still tryna build spaceships and take their chances that way, thats depressingly close to the reality of how people think.
Carly Ngarotata-Simon wrote:U misd two commas u illiterate fuk. It should read...mainstream, whilst at the same time, ... Who da dumb cunt now. Im bilingual. I can txt speak n also write in 'proper' english havin bn a legal secretary 4 13 years. So im actualy fukn streams ahead in inteligence ova u. Plus i hav a life! I dnt waste my time typing evry leta out cos i have a life! Dum ass. Peace, im out. Hahahahaha

Spots2012 wrote:do animal rights activists vehemently oppose Maori eating pigs etc, or are they willing to let that one slide?


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