Why does everyone's view of
reality leave out some truths,
Maybe its because some truths follow from causal relationships:
natural forces push every organism on earth
to use every available resource to
survive to reproduce, and
make life easier.
The resulting demands for the earth's resources,
from these forces
summed over all individuals of a species,
create the species' total footprint.
When members of a species have the same personal consumption
(usually because there is little capacity to live above subsistence)
the total species' footprint relates to the number of members.
The members increase in number until the species' niche is filled.
if the niche expands the population rises,
if the niche contracts there is a die-off.
This simple model describes the rabbit population
on an island.
Humans are not like rabbits.
Our population size on an island is described by additional truths.
In our discussions of overpopulation problems and
behaviors that address them,
if we leave out these extra truths
our scenarios are incorrect.
1) Humans can increase their niche by consuming non renewing resources.
With exhaustible resources, humans can support (within their niche)
a bigger number than the niche can support after
the non renewing resources exhaust.
2) Every human does not consume the same amount of resources.
For the same total human footprint, there can be either
a few individuals consuming a lot,
many individuals consuming a little, or
some mix of large and small consumers.
When the niche is full
any change in consumption of any individual
up or down
(assume most other individuals
holding their consumption constant)
results in a population change.
3) Humans can increase the size of their niche by taking the resources
from the niche's of other of earth's organisms.
4) humans have cognitive abilities that create
variable technology, and
self, social, and system conscious.
When we leave these truths out of our discussions
the rapid rise in overshoot and
the increase in the
of civilization collapse
just don't exist.
For example, because of
1) the diversion of resources to attend to conflict
2) the extreme and rapid stratification of wealth and
3) the decline in renewable or non renewable resources
that support the present human footprint,
the human experiment is (or soon will be) in overshoot by a factor of 100.
The meaning of this statement, if true, is earth shaking.
the poorest 80% of the globe's population
disappeared from the surface of the earth,
the 20% of the world's resources
(consumed by these ~5 billion people)
would be released.
This release means that the human community would then be
in overshoot by a factor of 80 (instead of 100)!
the remaining top 20% of the earth's population
(the group that already consumes
80% of the earth's resources)
would increase their total footprint by 3% a year,
it would take only ~8 years to
return the community to 100 fold overshoot.
today's global population is not in overshoot,
but is very near the earth's carrying capacity,
(e.g., next year we will not be able to
increase food production,)
and the world's rich
(top 20% of the existing population)
increased their footprint
(from 80% of the supporting resources)
by 3% per year,
they would take all food from the world's poor in 8 years.