X-Message-Number: 23786
Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 10:25:28 -0800
From: James Swayze <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #23777 - #23783 -- carrying capacity
References: <>

>Message #23778
>Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2004 11:12:34 -0500 (EST)
>From: Charles Platt <>
>Subject: population
>References: <>

>The median of all estimates was between 8 and 12 billion (not
>a precise number, because many "experts" in this field
>suggest a probable range rather than a specific figure--again
>indicating uncertainty).
I would say with the advent of raising cities to the sky as the Japanese 
necessarily are developing rather than continuing to eat up arable and 
wildlife habitat land the carrying capacity could range far higher. 
However, I must also consider the downside of overcrowding on social 
psyche. I understand there were experiments of overcrowding on small 
mammals and it wasn't pretty. Perhaps we're seeing these effects in the 
Middle East even now. Still if enough thoughtful planning is put into 
new human habitats to make them pleasant and feel less crowded we should 
do fine until we have the capability to live off world/Earth.

>Cohen himself figures the population limit by looking at
>resources for which there is no substitute, and #1 on his
>list is water for agriculture. If about 9000 cubic kilometers
>of fresh water are globally available per year, "the optimal
>population to be supported by irrigated agriculture is below
>five billion people."
>Of course even this estimate, derived by someone who has
>spent a large part of his life studying population and
>evaluating statistics, could be invalidated very quickly if a
>new energy source (for instance) enabled vast desalinization
Why are new energy sources needed? Why couldn't wind, wave, geothermal 
and solar, to mention but a few clean renewable sources, be used to 
power the desalination and pumping? Put these sources, the equipment 
such as wind generators, etc. right on the pipes themselves if needed to 
reduce transmission losses. The Dutch have been doing so mechanically 
for ages. I'm of the opinion nothing exotic is needed, just the will to 
do it. The problem right now is politics and entrenched corporate 
interests. For example we find that fish are showing up with increased 
mercury, an effect of wide use of coal burning for electricity 
production. The current administration's answer is not to reduce coal 
use but to suppress the science that reflects negatively on their 
policies and gut the EPA. This is probably done, in my opinion, to 
deflect attention aimed at reducing our dependence on oil that leaves us 
vulnerable to unfriendly foreign interests but enriches the pockets of 
this admin's financial supporters and favorite special interest group.

We should long ago have put emphasis on renewable energy sources and 
extremely abundant ones such as Hydrogen. Only special interest pressure 
and the strangle hold of big oil has prevented it and in this I blame 
all previous and present administrations.

For it to be possible for us to return from cryosuspension the civilized 
world must not only still exist it must progress. These are uncertain 
with current energy policies.


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