Attenborough – correct or "barmy" himself

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  • Attenborough – correct or "barmy" himself
  • pondo
    Member

    I’m sure if you asked him about population density in Europe, he would agree.

    redpanda
    Member

    He was talking about population control in general, not just about Ethiopia/Africa. He’d do better to start with Europe/UK. Those in glass houses etc

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It does seem a bit mad that we’re sending them basic food supplies while they use all their arable land and water supplies to make sure we have asparagus, year round, in Tesco

    Not necessarily mad, no. Europe is really good at growing wheat, Africa is good at growing asparagus in winter – so we share. In theory, at least…..

    And yes I do appreciate that in practice there are a lot more problems associated with this idea.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Yes Molly anyone who looks at europe and then looks at the third world would agree that we do indeed “share” our resources
    Unfortunately its 90% for us and the crumbs from our table for them

    Basically what Red panda says

    I think we may reach a point where the population is unsustainable for the planet but at this moment in time it is about distribution not resources.
    I would assume no country is actually self sufficient theses days as they will all import something critical /more than they export

    Its quite close to blaming the poor as if if we have not exploited them for a number of centuries from slavery to empire

    retro83
    Member

    molgrips – Member
    Not necessarily mad, no. Europe is really good at growing wheat, Africa is good at growing asparagus in winter – so we share. In theory, at least…..

    What is crazy is using their land to grow biofuel

    Thousands of people in one of Africa’s poorest countries are going hungry because of a biofuels “land grab” by a firm that receives funding from the Department for International Development, a charity claims.

    redpanda
    Member

    An increasing number of farms in the UK are switching to biofuel production. But that’s ok, because we can just by cheap wheat from elsewhere.

    Oh.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes Molly anyone who looks at europe and then looks at the third world would agree that we do indeed “share” our resources

    Your sarcasm grows tiring. But anyway read the rest of my post – I was speaking academically, then acknowledging that there are lots of issues as you point out.

    An increasing number of farms in the UK are switching to biofuel production.

    Source?

    redpanda
    Member

    http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/12/10/2009/118291/massive-increase-in-global-biofuel-production.htm

    Just go and have a look at fields in places like Kent, Essex and East Anglia. I know farmers who have converted to biofuel crop production because it’s more profitable than producing food crops. We’re importing increasing amounts of food at increased global environmental and social cost. And this trend doesn’t look like being reversed any time soon.

    Edric 64
    Member

    Doesnt too much land go under arable crop production to feed animals for beef production ? So a higher vegetarian diet would be beneficial based on the number of people fed per hectare ?

    pondo
    Member

    “Attenborough has repeatedly said that he considers human overpopulation to be the root cause of many environmental problems. In The Life of Mammals, he made a plea for humans to curb population growth so that other species will not be crowded out. In 2009 he became a patron of Population Matters (formerly known as the Optimum Population Trust), a UK charity advocating sustainable human populations.

    He has written and spoken publicly about the fact that, despite past scepticism, he believes the Earth’s climate is warming in a way that is cause for concern, and that this can likely be attributed to human activity.He summed up his thoughts at the end of his 2006 documentary “Can We Save Planet Earth?” as follows:

    In the past, we didn’t understand the effect of our actions. Unknowingly, we sowed the wind and now, literally, we are reaping the whirlwind. But we no longer have that excuse: now we do recognise the consequences of our behaviour. Now surely, we must act to reform it — individually and collectively, nationally and internationally — or we doom future generations to catastrophe.”

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    So a higher vegetarian diet would be beneficial based on the number of people fed per hectare ?

    No, it would put additional strains on land use as people would have to stand further away from each other due to the massive increase in flatulence.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Oh and DA is right.

    Just because a line of thought is unpalatable doesn’t make it incorrect.

    As always some pretty graphs make the point:

    Though obviously things aren’t so bad if you consider this one:

    😆

    One’s attitude to people’s suffering depends if you regard humans as animals or higher-beings, IME.

    I doesn’t seem surprising that a naturalist thinks the former.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    One’s attitude to people’s suffering depends if you regard humans as animals or higher-beings, IME.

    I doesn’t seem surprising that a naturalist thinks the former.

    Indeed. Whereas if you regard humans as “higher beings” then you’re more likely to believe we can overpower and tame nature because we have some kind of divine right to exist.

    Which scenario causes more suffering do you think: limiting a couple to two healthy children; or allowing them to have three, one of which will die in infancy?

    It’s an emotive issue – but a quick glance at population graphs shows that our current rate of growth is simply not sustainable.

    Attenborough isn’t exactly alone in this train of thought by the way. Watch this video. Look at the graphs.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x98KFcMJeo[/video]

    mrmo
    Member

    read the story of Easter Island, the earth will sort itself out. It will be messy though.

    Or think of Lemming migration.

    The human population can not continue on its current rate of increase, it can not continue with its current use of resources, something will give and it will be people.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Or think of Lemming migration.

    I don’t think that affects us “higher beings”…

    redpanda
    Member

    Discussing overpopulation is fine. Saying that Ethiopia needs to address overpopulation whilst neglecting to mention that Europe has a far more pressing need to do so, smacks of Eurocentric biological determinism. Project the issue onto a foreign ‘other’, and shift attention away from yourself.

    I’d be interested to see DA’s carbon footprint/resource consumption figures next to those of a typical Ethiopian. Pactice what you preach; DA has two children, who again I imagine consume far more than the average Ethiopian. So it’s rather hypocritical of him to go on about African population control.

    Premier Icon verses
    Subscriber

    I think the important thing to note from this discussion is that the person who placed that “blocker” lemming clearly hadn’t thought it through!

    When they blow him up he’s going to take out the bottom of the stairs and all his mates will walk off the edge.

    5thElefant
    Member

    I’d be interested to see DA’s carbon footprint/resource consumption figures next to those of a typical Ethiopian. Pactice what you preach; DA has two children, who again I imagine consume far more than the average Ethiopian. So it’s rather hypocritical of him to go on about African population control.

    He and his children have access to the resources they need.

    Selfish* but not hypocritical.

    *Not to say we’re not all selfish. We could give up playing with bicycles and send that money to pay for Ethiopian families instead.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Discussing overpopulation is fine. Saying that Ethiopia needs to address overpopulation whilst neglecting to mention that Europe has a far more pressing need to do so, smacks of Eurocentric biological determinism.

    Why does Europe have a more pressing need? I believe many European countries have quite low birth rates, and lower than average population growth.

    If you want to discuss overpopulation then you need to talk about how many children it is reasonable and sustainable for any person to have. And the places with the fastest growing populations are the biggest problems.

    He acknowledges all this, and your points, in the article of course:

    the last sensitivity – and the most tricky of all – is the fact, when you talk about world population, the areas we’re talking about are Africa and Asia, you know.”

    He agreed it could be construed as just being about “poor people”, adding: “And to have a European telling Africans that they shan’t have children is not the way to go around things.”

    When asked how to get around the sensitive issues to solve the problem, he said: “We keep on talking about the problem without putting names on it in that sense. And getting it on the agenda of people.”

    redpanda
    Member

    He and his children have access to the resources they need.

    Define ‘need’. He lives in a large house in richmond; I’d guess it’s a bit more than simply meeting his basic housing needs. 😆

    Selfish* but not hypocritical.

    Both.

    the last sensitivity – and the most tricky of all – is the fact, when you talk about world population, the areas we’re talking about are Africa and Asia, you know.”

    Yet no mention of Europe. Why?

    Why does Europe have a more pressing need? I believe many European countries have quite low birth rates, and lower than average population growth.

    Far greater elderly populations, longer average lifespan, far greater individual carbon footprints.

    That’s why.

    You can’t simply pick just those facts that suit your own agenda. The average European, through their lifetime, will contribute far greater level of environmental damage than the average African, as well as consuming far more.

    So why aren’t we discussing that instead? Because it’s easier to blame foreigners than ourselves. Simple truth.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    When they blow him up he’s going to take out the bottom of the stairs and all his mates will walk off the edge.

    Tsk.. you don’t blow him up, you turn him into a Climber, he climbs nowhere, stops and turns into a normal Walker.

    Otherwise you’ll never get 100% saved.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Pactice what you preach; DA has two children,

    So as a backer of the “Stop At Two” pledge then he has practiced what he preaches. Good man.

    Yet no mention of Europe. Why?

    You mean no mention of Europe in this one out of context snippet taken from the (at least) five years he has been talking publicly about this?

    Watch or read his other stuff on this. Or indeed the same stuff from lots of other people. It is a WORLD issue.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    The average European, through their lifetime, will contribute far greater level of environmental damage than the average African, as well as consuming far more.

    So why aren’t we discussing that instead?

    Good point – I’ve never heard anyone ever talk about environmental damage or global warming.

    Someone should definitely point that out to him. 🙄

    pondo
    Member

    You can’t simply pick just those facts that suit your own agenda.

    I agree – the phrase

    Pactice what you preach

    springs to mind.

    redpanda
    Member

    So as a backer of the “Stop At Two” pledge then he has practiced what he preaches. Good man.

    Isn’t that convenient for him? Why not ‘Stop at One’? Surely that would be even better?

    You mean no mention of Europe in this one out of context snippet taken from the (at least) five years he has been talking publicly about this?

    Europe is seldom mentioned in context with global overpopulation and resource consumption. You yourself attempted to gloss over the truth with your statement about ‘why does Europe have a more pressing need?’.

    Watch or read his other stuff on this.

    He’s a TV presenter out of his depth. I prefer to read stuff by people who actually know what they’re talking about.

    redpanda
    Member

    While the consumer class thrives, great disparities remain. The 12 percent of the world’s population that lives in North America and Western Europe accounts for 60 percent of private consumption spending, while the one-third living in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 3.2 percent.

    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/810

    Uncomfortable, huh?

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Yet no mention of Europe. Why?

    No famines in Europe.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Isn’t that convenient for him? Why not ‘Stop at One’? Surely that would be even better?

    Erm.. because a rate of two children, replacing two adults, is about right for a stable manageable decline in world population, whereas effectively halving the the size of the next generation would be pretty disastrous all round.

    You yourself attempted to gloss over the truth with your statement about ‘why does Europe have a more pressing need?’.

    Eh? No I didn’t – I asked you a direct question about it, and stated why I think it doesn’t: a lot of Europe already has a growth rate of 1 or lower so you saying that Europe has a “more pressing need” to address population growth seemed a bit odd.


    World Growth rates – UN data (via Wikipedia)

    Watch or read his other stuff on this.

    I have done. This isn’t the first time we’ve discussed this here:
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/horizon-attenborough-on-population-growth

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Tsk.. you don’t blow him up, you turn him into a Climber

    when I played it you couldn’t turn blockers into climbers you had to blow them up

    but that could have been due to the hacked nature of the game my mate got off of his mate at school.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Uncomfortable, huh?

    I’m fully aware that first world nations do far more than their share of polluting and consuming.

    So is your point that we should all strive to live the happy eco-friendly lives of the people starving in Ethiopia?

    Or are you saying we should allow poorer nations to have exponential birth rates, as long as they promise to get poorer, keep low standards of living, and not consume as much as us Westerners?

    Or do you have other solutions?

    Personally I’m for the middle ground of “let’s cool it on the massive population growth AND ease off on the wasteful consumer lifestyle bit”

    6079smithw
    Member

    Overpopulation is a myth. Everyone in the world could stand on the Isle of Wight at the same time.

    Attenborough is spouting typical eugenicist bile as is to be expected of someone aligned with the number 1 propaganda outlet in this country.

    Human life on earth would be balanced and harmonious without decadent capitalist pigs like him and his ilk.

    http://thevenusproject.com

    5thElefant
    Member

    Overpopulation is a myth. Everyone in the world could stand on the Isle of Wight at the same time.

    You couldn’t keep them all in iphones, carbon bikes, cars, planes… without using a bit more than the isle of wight.

    mindmap3
    Member

    Panda – you raise some interesting points about the west being wasteful which it is. Just out of interest, what were you using to respond to this thread? Just wondering if it’s a modern iThing that no one needs or a recycled jobbie o its last legs… 😆

    It’s a difficult one but there is a fair amount of hypocrisy on issue ssuch as these. Let’s face it most on here have more than one bike for fun not transport when you factor in the production process for the latest bit of carbon bling, extraction of materials, global shipping etc its a pretty wasteful hobby!

    There is a population issue – the birth rate in the west is low and more and more people are not having kids however we’re all living too long due to modern science. The key in places such as Africa has got to be education because a high birth rate combined with medicine etc is going to put extra pressure on resources. At the same time the west needs to use less….a lot less which will be hard given that our entire economy is based around consumption and increased financial growth. It will come to a head and it won’t be pretty.

    6079smithw
    Member

    mindmap3 – Member
    At the same time the west needs to use less….a lot less which will be hard given that our entire economy is based around consumption and increased financial growth. It will come to a head and it won’t be pretty.

    Capitalism is only sustainable through war and other engineered decimations. This is why it needs to be consigned to history, along with its perpetrators.

    We deserve better. Look at http://thevenusproject.com

    wobbliscott
    Member

    He’s right in the sense that the land cannot sustain the population. The problem is that the areas where the population growth is happening Is occurring in parts of the world that can’t sustain the sheer weight of numbers. So DA is right, but it’s a huge oversimplification. One issue complicating things is the catholic faith in some countries that still continues to spout crap about not using birth control so you end up a double wammy of families with loads of kids that can’t be fed, and the problem of the spread of AIDS.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    however we’re all living too long due to modern science

    Unless we ever crack immortality then longer life isn’t as major an issue in terms of world population because it only causes a temporary bump – it doesn’t continue to grow.

    e.g. thought experiment: imagine a hypothetical scenario with an entirely stable population, “One out, one in”, where everyone conveniently lives to exactly 50 then dies.

    If you double the lifespan to 100 then that population will double. But then it will be stable at the doubled figure. It won’t grow any further.

    If instead you increase the birth rate, to “one out, two in” then it grows exponentially and dies.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Attenborough’s right that sending flour doesn’t fix the problem. Those folks out in the desert in the Horn of Africa live on the edge of sustainability and it takes very little (be it a bad harvest, or most likely a bloke with an AK47 who nicks your cows then steals the flour from the warehouse) to tip the balance over to famine.

    It’s not strictly down 100% to the environment (Las Vegas seems to do OK and that’s also in the middle of a desert) but that’s most of the problem. They skate on very thin ice. Not their fault at all, one is born where one is born, we don’t get to choose. It sucks.

    It will come to a head and it won’t be pretty.

    Yeah I’m with you on this.

    I have a hunch it’s simply not possible for everyone in the world to live how most of us live. There’s just not enough resource, be it wood or water or land or oil or whatever, to go around.

    The only possible answer I see is in technology, perhaps there’s a break through yet to be found, perhaps we’ll be able to irrigate the desert and find limitless energy and so on. Or perhaps not. I don’t know. But if not, at some point it’s going to get messy.

    Obviously anybody deeply troubled by what they consume has the option of stopping. It won’t be noticed though.

    To clarify, I use to term “higher beings” to mean that we might be capable of governing our future though intellectual ability, rather than our future being governed by just natural instinct.

    I totally appreciate that we are biologically animals. But look around at the environment and society we created: were quite different from any other animal that ever lived on this planet. I’m not saying that other animals have no capacity for abstraction, rationality and compassion, but they seem uniquely manifested in humans.

    IanMunro
    Member

    We deserve better. Look at http://thevenusproject.com

    I’ve looked.
    Thomas Moore wrote about the same concept back 1516.
    500 years on and it still doesn’t exist.
    Which possibly says something about people not understanding the nature of people.

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