Re: FAQ: SOCIETY AND POLITICS
Sun, 26 Jul 1998 07:35:44 -0500
Nick Bostrom wrote:
> This answer should probably be shortened and simplified a bit.
> Won't extended life worsen overpopulation problems?
> If we continue to use up resources like we currently do
> then we will run into serious shortages sometime in the first half of
> the next century that will force the world economy to contract and
> the world population to decrease drastically.
- 1962. Man-made radiation and man-made chemicals, particularly
pesticides, are destroying the biosphere, poisoning the food chain, and
threatening to wipe out man in 20-odd years(Carson) .* 1968. Because of
overpopulation, hundreds of millions will die of starvation in the '70s
- 1969. "Our present system of technology is not merely consuming this
capital (land, water and other resources), but threatening - probably
within the next 50 years- to destroy it irreparably" . Solution: impose a
moratorium on technological innovation (Commoner).
- 1972. The Earth is running out of resources (eg. oil by 1992) (Club of
Rome) . * 1975. Nuclear weapons, energy and waste, oceanic oil residues,
ozone destruction, the automobile, industrial accidents, lung diseases,
cancer, overpopulation and famine will make it difficult for the human
race to "get itself much past the year 2000" (Wald) .
- 1976. Man-made aerosol emissions will cause a new ice-age (Ponte) .
- 1976/77. Biotechnology (eg. genetic engineering) will cause plagues that
will ravage the Earth (Cavalieri) .
- 1982. Acid rain is causing Waldsterben, the death of forests and lakes
in North America and Europe. Ten-year German and American studies refuted
- 1983. Nuclear winter will end the human species . Therefore the west
must unilaterally disarm - NOW!
- 1984. The UN Environment Program declared 25% of the world's land area
to be threatened by desertification. However, latest data show no long
term increase in global desert area.
- 1988. Increased greenhouse gases will cause catastrophic global warming
(Ehrlich et al) .
- 1989. Humanity has less than 40 years left on Earth unless a Global
Emergency is declared and energy consumption cut 70-80%.
- 1991. If Saddam Hussein torches Kuwait's oil wells they may take 7 years
to put out , smoke could lower temperatures over a quarter of the Earth's
surface , causing droughts in India and Bangladesh and "massive
agricultural failures in the US" (Sagan) .
- 1992. The "man-made" ozone hole will allow increased ultra-violet
radiation to wither crops, destroy ecosystems and cause skin cancer .
Therefore the developing world must be denied the cheap refrigeration we
- 1994. The Earth is cooling down - again! Culprit: man-made aerosols -
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'