Arithmetic, Population And Energy

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A lecture on exponential growth and why it is a problem.

Arithmetic, Population And Energy, 9.4 out of 10 based on 47 ratings

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  • JJ

    This is very important stuff. Watch and learn people.

  • JJ

    This is very important stuff. Watch and learn people.

  • Brandos

    I remember going over this type of arithmetic in my stats class last semester but i never really understood it. this is quite enlightening and very worrying.

  • AnarchoEpistemology

    Silly mathematical mumbo jumbo.

    All through history there have been these guys speculating about population size out-stripping resources, usually accompanied with prophecies of gloom and doom. They’ve always been as wrong as the prophets of apocalypse throughout history.

    The course of events has a tendency to deviate from our human expectations. Reality is bigger than math, it is bigger than science. It does what it likes.

    To articulate how humans might approach this reality:

    “We’re living among infinite possibilities, and the prevalent philosophies of post-modernist pessimism that come out of the universities are really a major tragedy.

    The opportunities for progress and change of a positive nature are absolutely tremendous.

    Anybody who tells you that we’re running out of resources or in a terrible mess are idiots. We can’t run out of resources. Resources exist when the human mind sees how to use something, to say we’re running out of resources is like saying we’re running out of brain cells.”

    -Robert Anton Wilson

    • Thinkfree

      THANKYOU

    • Hank

      They’ve always been wrong?! What planet are you from. Tell that to the millions that have died from starvation because the number of mouths surpassed the number of meals. Global catastrophes have been circumvented because whenever we’ve always been close to the edge someone has been there to save our ass. The green revolution occurred and millions were saved from death. What if next time there is no Norman Borlough or Green revolution version 2.0 to save us.

      • Johnny

        Do you have any idea how much food is destroyed on a daily basis on this planet?

        Food shortages today aren’t due to any lack of resources but due to retarded trade policies which prevent countries that have surpluses of food from providing it those who have a shortage because it would mess up multi-billion or trillion dollar trade agreements.

        And new research into the influence of electric and magnetic fields on various agricultural crops has produced perfectly safe ‘super-sized’ corn that had 10+ heads per stalk and high quality wheat that only took about 6 weeks from planting to harvest, as well as ‘super-sized’ fruits and vegetables. (can’t find the link atm, will update if I do)

        Smart trading policies focused on humanitarianism rather than profit combined with advances in agricultural technology would eliminate any food shortages on Earth.

        Politics is the only thing that limits such natural resources.

        Unnatural resources are only limited by the brain power and determination of a people.

        For example the Nazi’s made great use of coal-gas and wood-gas technology whereby simple air is passed over heated coals giving off carbon that combines with oxygen atoms (separated due to the heat) to form Carbon Monoxide(CO).

        That highly flammable CO was then used to power hundreds of thousands of vehicles and numerous large industrial factories and such, with little or no pollution.

        Today the technology is mainly used for cremation ovens, which is fitting for a technology that was purposefully ‘killed’ by the oil and gas companies post-WWII.

        Heck, you can stick a big conductive pole(or wire antenna) into the air and collect electricity through the simple phenomenon of charge differential and discharge it into batteries for limited power use. Potentially if such energy could be converted into a constant AC current it could replace almost all of our energy needs, but there isn’t much funding for that research right now.

        There is a man in Newfoundland Canada that is using old pop cans to produce a heating system that uses sunlight to heat the cans which heats the air inside which is circulated around and delivered to wherever you need heat. Used pop cans are resources.

        I just saw on the news a few days ago that there is a woman in China who is doing good business converting old newspapers into stylish and decent quality shoes. Even propaganda can be converted into a useful resource.

        And not to mention Kristian Birkeland and Norsk Hydro and their fertilizer production using electrical transmutation to produce nitrogen fertilizer from air.

        There is a reason the term ‘resourcefulness’ exists, because those with the right amount of brain power can create resources from practically anything. Even one person’s garbage can be somebody else’s gold.

        So metal poles, old (undamaged) insulated wires, pop cans and newspapers can all be valuable resources in the right hands and minds. And you can combine 2 abundant resources (fire and air) to produce another valuable resource(CO) which has enormous potential only limited by politics.

        And most importantly of all as the population expands so too does the number of minds capable of such resourceful thinking.

        If you can’t see that then I’m sorry to say it is only your mental capacity that is lacking, not the resources.

        Even when one natural resource does ‘run out’ (yet to happen) there are people who find new resources to make use of.

        Ignoring human resourcefulness is ignoring human history.

        • Johnny

          Also, the documentary ‘Coconut Revolution’ available here on Doc Heaven describes how a ‘primitive’ and ‘backwards’ native peoples managed to convert coconuts into fuel, lamp oil, medicine, gun oil, etc. and turned spare parts from cars and mining machinery into hydro-electric power plants.

          All to fight the western mining corporation that was destroying their island.

          Even parasitic corporations can be used to motivate discovery of new resources.

          • BoNiinisto

            Have a look around where you are now … everything you have was bought from or was somehow deeply connected to parasitic corporations. You’re equally culpable.

          • Luayursula

            Doesn’t change the fact that there are levels of resposability. And Jonhy has just paid for some of his enviromental footprint with that wonderfull post.

            I think we’ve “made a lot of people” out of oil. And oil is running out. The paradigm has to change.

            We could be less in numbers, we might grow again eventually… it’s up to all of us to start adapting. Within your level of resposability.

          • Johnny

            Although the term ‘equally’ is inappropriate did I say I wasn’t culpable as well?

            Our society doesn’t allow for people to survive very easily without supporting the corporate system to some extent but I avoid it as much as possible and speak out against and support boycott’s and such of ‘misbehaving companies’ all the time.

            I at least do something to try to make up for the limited support I do unfortunately have to give them in order to survive here(and use the internet).

            It is those corporations that are the main reasons the politics exist that create the illusion of limiting our resources.

            Those corporations operate on a ‘supply and demand’ basis and as long as they create or at least support the politics that produces the illusion of limited supply they maintain high profits, and profits are the primary legal concern of all (for profit) corporations.

            The governments work closely with those corporations as it is very important for ‘economic stability’ to ensure that those corporations maintain high profits, which in turn keeps the politicians in power. And the bankers are the ultimate architects of the whole thing.

            The funny thing is although it does qualify as a ‘conspiracy’ I’ve been told many times that it really isn’t a conspiracy, it’s just capitalism… (or Americanism).

            Fear-mongering over resource depletion/limited supply is one of the easiest ways to increase profits, and in a society literally built on profiteering and ‘Public Relations’ you would have to be extremely naive to think it doesn’t happen today.

            There always has and always will be people who will figure out a way to profit from fear-mongering over such things regardless of the political or economic system in place, but our capitalist societies today specifically encourage such behavior way too much for my liking.

            But that’s not to say every single corporation is that way as there are a few out there that seem honestly concerned with making positive changes to the system.

            They typically don’t survive long though as the system isn’t designed to support their existence.

          • Ellie

            Hey Johnny, I think you are absolutely right about the excessive fear-mongering for profit tactics…as I was discussing with my mother this morning, I feel that the “bad ecomony” may actually bring about some good in that many people are being forced to buy less due to the lack of money, which also results in less waste because many are making what they do have stretch to save on spending.

            … and I also think that many people are becoming more aware of their own greed (of which the brainwashing marketing of these corporations are of a great part responsible for) and hopefully many people are doing soul searching and making an effort to keep their greed at bay.

            Personally, I now have practically no desire to acquire “things” (note, I am not free from sin as in the past I have also been greedy at times), but I do have to continue to remind myself that the fear-mongering marketing is just a ploy to get people to buy more, because these marketing tactics can be intimidating if one is not knowlegeable or aware of these corporations intents.

          • Ellie

            Hey Johnny, I think you are absolutely right about the excessive fear-mongering for profit tactics…as I was discussing with my mother this morning, I feel that the “bad ecomony” may actually bring about some good in that many people are being forced to buy less due to the lack of money, which also results in less waste because many are making what they do have stretch to save on spending.

            … and I also think that many people are becoming more aware of their own greed (of which the brainwashing marketing of these corporations are of a great part responsible for) and hopefully many people are doing soul searching and making an effort to keep their greed at bay.

            Personally, I now have practically no desire to acquire “things” (note, I am not free from sin as in the past I have also been greedy at times), but I do have to continue to remind myself that the fear-mongering marketing is just a ploy to get people to buy more, because these marketing tactics can be intimidating if one is not knowlegeable or aware of these corporations intents.

          • Alen

            ive seen that doc. it has nothing to do with what this math guy is telling us. multiply that population on the island youre talking about with a a factor of 500 and you’ll see what you’ll get and what their primitive methods of generating power or fuel will mean to them. that’s the whole point. if you got 10 apples and 200 people, some people will starve.

            new, and mankind saving resources could be technologies currently considered as SF, like cold fusion or zero point energy, but it could be long before we successfully implement them.

            the key problems are india and china and their growing demand for resources. if we stop their growth, we could make it on the time, if we don’t were on the verge of global crisis, chaos, wars, falling of civilian governments, actually, something like what is happening in middle east, mubarak, gadafi… war against governments.

            so there are 2 solutions:
            1) stop growing in population and in needs
            2) find these new resources which won’t polute, will be available for everyone.

            but if we take solution number 2, we still got the growing population problem, it’s not taken care of, it’s just postponed, we bought some time.

          • Johnny

            The documentary was mentioned simply as an example of human resourcefulness, which has everything to do with this subject.

            The issue here is education and motivation, even if their population grew by 5,000 times if their society was educated properly and maintained the same level of resourcefulness it currently does I doubt there would be any problem as they are extremely motivated to live in harmony with nature.

            Provided they avoid the multinational corporations that plunder their resources for the benefit of other people’s in the future…which from what I hear isn’t likely as they seem to be ready to cut a new deal for some $$$ to allow the mine back now.

            The problem is if they become westernized and decide that every person over 18 needs their own car or two, their own apartment or house for themselves that naturally is quite empty without filling it with tons of useless consumer crap, and need to keep their fridges and freezers and cupboards stocked with enough food to feed an African village for a week that they end up throwing away a large portion of cause it went bad, and so on.

            Smart, conservationist living could allow 100 billion people to inhabit this planet together without shortages of resources.

            Politics, poor education and greedy corporations and the ‘programmed’ consumers are what prevent building a truly sustainable society.

            But ultimately all of those things are laid on a political foundation(capitalism currently), so if you can fix the politics everything else should fall into place more easily.

            Although the Solar System does offer vast resources that are within our reach in the near future(if not already) that could sustain a constantly increasing human population for a few centuries at least, some of which are potentially renewable.

            Presumably we should be able to reach beyond the Solar System for resources by the time we run out of them here if we have to.

            Not that I support that as simply plundering the resources of the universe won’t solve anything and will cause many more problems.

            The solution needs to be in our race becoming less parasitic, not simply finding new ‘hosts’ to infect and slowly drain/kill.

            But the human race will find ways to sustain itself regardless, human resourcefulness and the drive for self-preservation will ensure that.

            Maybe we will only postpone the problem, but maybe we’ll postpone it long enough that a real solution will be found, or maybe just another temporary fix that just postpones it further until we figure out a way to postpone it further until we figure out a way to really solve the problem.

            When things actually get tight that’s when the motivation to find new resources is at it’s highest and the best ideas forward.

          • Alen

            lets take it this way.

            on that island, there are 2000 wild animals available for hunting, 5000 fish swiming in the sea surrounding it, 3000 fruits, vegetables and roots growing in it’s ground.

            of course, if you wait next year, there will be more fruit and vegetables, more fish will come from ocean near the island, new wildlife will be born, but…. if you got 5000 x 1000 = 5.000.000 people instead of 1000, you will have to hunt all these animals down, that way you won’t have any wildlife remaining for next year, you will eat all plants and will have to starve till next year, you would catch all fishes from the sea and you still wouldn’t make it to the next year.

            do you see the problem? there is no resourcefullnes to make 5 apples from 1 apple.

            only thing you can do about it is “westernizing” and start growing apples in winter, on low quality soil, sawdust or whatever it is, spraying them against all kinds of diseases, start building farms and breeding animals for slaughter, feeding them with low quality foods, maybe even flour made from bones of their relatives…making them prone to all sorts of diseases again…

            you can’t make food from nothing my friend, it doesn’t go that way, we still can’t “energize” it like in start trek from replicators, we need either to grow food making it less natural and changing it’s natural evolution cycle, or die out of hunger.

            but if we gave people of china, india and other much much overpopulated countries freedom to choose their own professions and create their own workplaces and ability to survive on marketplace, we distracted them from fucking around and making children like rabbits, thus making new problems for mankind.

            was any tribe ever overpopulated? i dont think so, they never had trouble with resources as long as they were able to travel on foot and migrate from one place to another. but where are we gonna migrate? to mars? jupiter? saturn? we’re pretty much cornered for next 100 years or so.

            can we make it that long in the future without crises?
            food, oil, water, even soil (desertification) crises?

            so the solution for overpopulated world is not to drop a nuke on most dense areas of planet Earth, it’s pure education. it doesn’t even require us to switch from capitalism to any better ideology, cause this thing is working in north of Europe, it’s lowering population in those countries without forcing them by some kind of political acts, like China has.

          • Johnny

            Although I agree in general on the education being the solution aspect I really can’t get over the arrogance of your position in assuming that education on birth control alone with no political changes will make any difference.

            So we should limit the growth of the human race so our advanced societies can maintain their retardedly over-indulgent lifestyles?

            The politics is the problem but we should ignore that and focus on acting against human nature because it’s easier for those of us who won’t have to lose our lavish lifestyles…

            Most of the figures in those equations you talk about are variables that depend on human management(ie – politics) and changing the management practices can greatly change the entire equations.

            No genetic alterations or chemicals are needed to greatly increase production of food these days using natural electrical processes(a weak positive electrical flow through the roots of plants can greatly stimulate their growth, as has been known since as early as 1909), but the politics and the money of the chemical and other industries backing current systems and such prevent it right now(I’m surprised the hydro industry hasn’t jumped on it though).

            Modern electric ‘weather manipulation’ techniques using static charge fields or ionization can turn desert into fertile land by ‘encouraging’ rainfall in even the most barren landscapes – if there is moisture in the air it can make rain, at least to some extent.

            Electric Rainmaking Technology
            Gets Mexico’s Blessing(in 2004) -

            http://www.holoscience.com/news/img/Electric_Rainmaking.pdf

            Of course in the U.S and Canada and such politics over advanced military projects and ‘establishment’ bullshit on the matter prevents that technology from being realized while numerous other nations around the world are now benefiting from it.

            Even without very advanced technology I know people who live ‘self-contained’ lifestyles that have practically zero resource impact while still being ‘modern’.

            Using geo-thermal, solar, wind and hydro-electric systems for energy needs, smart gardening and ‘mini-farming’ techniques whereby small animals(hens/roosters, chickens, pigs, a couple of cows, etc.) are raised to provide eggs, meat, milk, etc. while their dung is used to fertilize their gardens which grow 100% natural organic food used to feed the animals and the people.

            With all their non-clean water needs coming from a nearby stream and being filtered and returned whenever possible and their clean water coming from rain-water collection and filter systems they are ‘off the grid’ for water resources as well.

            It’s not absolute zero impact living, but it’s still modern and as close as you can get as such and although not possible in many extreme urban environments if even half a nation’s population converted to ‘near-zero impact’ living all that mathematics becomes greatly inaccurate.

            And even in the extreme urban environments there is still great potential for rooftop gardens, rain collection and use, recycling programs, etc. that can make them far more sustainable than current set-ups.

            You keep blaming human stupidity and mismanagement of resources on an alleged lack of resources itself in ignorance of the fact many of the resources you refer to are nearly inexhaustible if managed correctly no matter how big the population gets(food/agriculture in general especially).

            You can still have modern farming and city living in a very sustainable society with proper resource management combined with good education.

            Your proposed solution of educating people to get them to defy human nature and stop reproducing is no solution at all, especially going by your own views of there being limited resources.

            Even if we managed to stop the population growth right now which is unlikely as it would take time to implement such programs globally the current rates of consumption based on a ‘limited resources’ viewpoint will lead to disaster anyways.

            Without changing the current politics and unnecessarily wasteful lifestyles of our modern societies in a big way we aren’t going to avert any problems through birth control.

            And no, current ‘Carbon Credit’ schemes and any crap like that is not a change or a solution by any extent of the imagination, it has barely been 2 years since the EU implemented such programs and there’s already been over 6.4 billion U.S dollars worth of fraud by major corporations and banks, that’s known about.

            And this new money making scheme is supposed to curb the corporate greed that produced most of our environmental problems?

            Political change is an absolute must, education on birth control and all that is secondary but I support that too.

            Reproduction is a basic human instinct, to try to combat that before or without trying to combat increasingly indulgent and wasteful lifestyles is complete silliness to me.

          • Alen

            who do you think is tailoring politics? politicians? no. people are, just like you and me. when we seem ready to switch from one politics to another, they make their moves (politicians). if they hadn’t done it that way, they would’ve stood against mass uprisals and rebellions. they might try pursuading people into one thing or the other, but still, until people are ready to make a move, they won’t make a move. they assess every move before they make it, analyzing every possible consequence they can think of, all because of the fear of people and loss of their positions. that’s what politicians do.

            what we the people do, is we become aware of problems in current politics and try to maintain it, first in smaller groups like greenpeace activists do, than on larger scale, but all in all, we have the power to change things, not politicians.

            so don’t blame them, blame you and me.

            What we can do is become aware of the problem (by education) and spread this awareness to our surroundings and descendants both.

            once we become aware of the problem, most of us will try to fix it. no politician will solve the problem by use of repression or any kind of force, at least not permanently.

            one fullproof solution is education.

            so peoples of china and india must press on their politicians to give them better educations, less state bureaucracy which will make their life after they come out of schools much easier.

            which again, will make effect like northern european countries are experiencing. less babies are being born than people are dying each year.

            and if you checked and compared their lifestyles to American or of those other ‘less enlightened’ countries, you’d notice they crave for less materialistic posessions, so their houses are emptier and cleaner, rooms smaller and more efficient.

            check this out:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8fCbOX0Ou8

            I’m not saying this is the solution, I’m saying it’s a path towards the solution.

            so without anyone forcing them to live like that, or have less children than average european, they just made their own choice into right direction.

            same should happen to Chinese or Indian people.

            tell me, is this normal, healthy environment for a person?
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0t_GkIqw0g0

            and you’re saying we could be ready for 100 billion of ‘those’.

            I’m not saying it’s impossible to fit that many people all over the world, scatter them properly and give them enough resources for life, but just multiply 100 billion by a factor of 10.000 square meters / 4 (area of square 100x100m) which I’d say is smallest possible for decent healty life of 1 family.
            If you divide this area by 4 as an average of familiy members living on that area you get 2500 m2 per person.

            Now let’s multiply it by 100 billion and we get 250 trillion square meters.

            Now, if we take that there is around 50-66 percent of world’s land area inhabitable by human (not including area of high mountains, rivers, lakes, deserts, etc), that would be around 100 trillion square meters (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/DanielChen.shtml).

            250 trillions we need versus 100 trillion we have…
            do you begin to see the problem?

            where do we put all the other things we need for life? like forests, or meadows or wildlife?

            I know that we could put entire world’s population to fit on some middle sized island currently, that would be enough to fit all of us, but I’m talking about quality of life.

            stop dreaming of that SF scenarios, weather control, minifarming for all, desertification is imminent because of the global warming, before we succeed in altering climate globally we need to overcome that lack of oil which will soon become impacting us more seriously than we thought it would.

            if we overcome that problem, without returning to stone age once again, we could talk about your solutions for global food demand.

            all of the world’s production relies on oil, from your toothpastes to electronics, electricity, science, internet, transport, you name it.

            so, to conclude, what did we learn today?

            first lower the demand by lowering growth of population by giving education to peoples of most populated countries in the world.

            the education will be given to them when they ask for it, when they remove the current regimes or force them to change.

            cause regimes won’t change if they feel good at where they are currently.

            also foreign offensive isn’t the answer cause it will make the regime turn the story upside down, spread propaganda and make people fight for regime instead for freedom of education, so it’s best to leave them take care of their own business and just offer them alternatives by asking them to come abroad and see how they could live (not like Americans do cause it’s too wasteful, but more like enlightened individuals in northern Europe and possibly some other countries).

            more people we invite to live outside India and China, quicker the word will spread, also if we manage to open their insides to internet, the word will also spread quicker.

            so again, it’s the flow of information or education which will help us control our growth.

            if we, by any chance, manage to remove the chains of capitalistic corporationistic society we’re stuck into now, yet better.

            but that’s not necessary in order to lower the growth of pop.

          • Johnny

            Although I agree in general on the education being the solution aspect I really can’t get over the arrogance of your position in assuming that education on birth control alone with no political changes will make any difference.

            So we should limit the growth of the human race so our advanced societies can maintain their retardedly over-indulgent lifestyles?

            The politics is the problem but we should ignore that and focus on acting against human nature because it’s easier for those of us who won’t have to lose our lavish lifestyles…

            Most of the figures in those equations you talk about are variables that depend on human management(ie – politics) and changing the management practices can greatly change the entire equations.

            No genetic alterations or chemicals are needed to greatly increase production of food these days using natural electrical processes(a weak positive electrical flow through the roots of plants can greatly stimulate their growth, as has been known since as early as 1909), but the politics and the money of the chemical and other industries backing current systems and such prevent it right now(I’m surprised the hydro industry hasn’t jumped on it though).

            Modern electric ‘weather manipulation’ techniques using static charge fields or ionization can turn desert into fertile land by ‘encouraging’ rainfall in even the most barren landscapes – if there is moisture in the air it can make rain, at least to some extent.

            Electric Rainmaking Technology
            Gets Mexico’s Blessing(in 2004) -

            http://www.holoscience.com/news/img/Electric_Rainmaking.pdf

            Of course in the U.S and Canada and such politics over advanced military projects and ‘establishment’ bullshit on the matter prevents that technology from being realized while numerous other nations around the world are now benefiting from it.

            Even without very advanced technology I know people who live ‘self-contained’ lifestyles that have practically zero resource impact while still being ‘modern’.

            Using geo-thermal, solar, wind and hydro-electric systems for energy needs, smart gardening and ‘mini-farming’ techniques whereby small animals(hens/roosters, chickens, pigs, a couple of cows, etc.) are raised to provide eggs, meat, milk, etc. while their dung is used to fertilize their gardens which grow 100% natural organic food used to feed the animals and the people.

            With all their non-clean water needs coming from a nearby stream and being filtered and returned whenever possible and their clean water coming from rain-water collection and filter systems they are ‘off the grid’ for water resources as well.

            It’s not absolute zero impact living, but it’s still modern and as close as you can get as such and although not possible in many extreme urban environments if even half a nation’s population converted to ‘near-zero impact’ living all that mathematics becomes greatly inaccurate.

            And even in the extreme urban environments there is still great potential for rooftop gardens, rain collection and use, recycling programs, etc. that can make them far more sustainable than current set-ups.

            You keep blaming human stupidity and mismanagement of resources on an alleged lack of resources itself in ignorance of the fact many of the resources you refer to are nearly inexhaustible if managed correctly no matter how big the population gets(food/agriculture in general especially).

            You can still have modern farming and city living in a very sustainable society with proper resource management combined with good education.

            Your proposed solution of educating people to get them to defy human nature and stop reproducing is no solution at all, especially going by your own views of there being limited resources.

            Even if we managed to stop the population growth right now which is unlikely as it would take time to implement such programs globally the current rates of consumption based on a ‘limited resources’ viewpoint will lead to disaster anyways.

            Without changing the current politics and unnecessarily wasteful lifestyles of our modern societies in a big way we aren’t going to avert any problems through birth control.

            And no, current ‘Carbon Credit’ schemes and any crap like that is not a change or a solution by any extent of the imagination, it has barely been 2 years since the EU implemented such programs and there’s already been over 6.4 billion U.S dollars worth of fraud by major corporations and banks, that’s known about.

            And this new money making scheme is supposed to curb the corporate greed that produced most of our environmental problems?

            Political change is an absolute must, education on birth control and all that is secondary but I support that too.

            Reproduction is a basic human instinct, to try to combat that before or without trying to combat increasingly indulgent and wasteful lifestyles is complete silliness to me.

          • Johnny

            The documentary was mentioned simply as an example of human resourcefulness, which has everything to do with this subject.

            The issue here is education and motivation, even if their population grew by 5,000 times if their society was educated properly and maintained the same level of resourcefulness it currently does I doubt there would be any problem as they are extremely motivated to live in harmony with nature.

            Provided they avoid the multinational corporations that plunder their resources for the benefit of other people’s in the future…which from what I hear isn’t likely as they seem to be ready to cut a new deal for some $$$ to allow the mine back now.

            The problem is if they become westernized and decide that every person over 18 needs their own car or two, their own apartment or house for themselves that naturally is quite empty without filling it with tons of useless consumer crap, and need to keep their fridges and freezers and cupboards stocked with enough food to feed an African village for a week that they end up throwing away a large portion of cause it went bad, and so on.

            Smart, conservationist living could allow 100 billion people to inhabit this planet together without shortages of resources.

            Politics, poor education and greedy corporations and the ‘programmed’ consumers are what prevent building a truly sustainable society.

            But ultimately all of those things are laid on a political foundation(capitalism currently), so if you can fix the politics everything else should fall into place more easily.

            Although the Solar System does offer vast resources that are within our reach in the near future(if not already) that could sustain a constantly increasing human population for a few centuries at least, some of which are potentially renewable.

            Presumably we should be able to reach beyond the Solar System for resources by the time we run out of them here if we have to.

            Not that I support that as simply plundering the resources of the universe won’t solve anything and will cause many more problems.

            The solution needs to be in our race becoming less parasitic, not simply finding new ‘hosts’ to infect and slowly drain/kill.

            But the human race will find ways to sustain itself regardless, human resourcefulness and the drive for self-preservation will ensure that.

            Maybe we will only postpone the problem, but maybe we’ll postpone it long enough that a real solution will be found, or maybe just another temporary fix that just postpones it further until we figure out a way to postpone it further until we figure out a way to really solve the problem.

            When things actually get tight that’s when the motivation to find new resources is at it’s highest and the best ideas forward.

          • Johnny

            The documentary was mentioned simply as an example of human resourcefulness, which has everything to do with this subject.

            The issue here is education and motivation, even if their population grew by 5,000 times if their society was educated properly and maintained the same level of resourcefulness it currently does I doubt there would be any problem as they are extremely motivated to live in harmony with nature.

            Provided they avoid the multinational corporations that plunder their resources for the benefit of other people’s in the future…which from what I hear isn’t likely as they seem to be ready to cut a new deal for some $$$ to allow the mine back now.

            The problem is if they become westernized and decide that every person over 18 needs their own car or two, their own apartment or house for themselves that naturally is quite empty without filling it with tons of useless consumer crap, and need to keep their fridges and freezers and cupboards stocked with enough food to feed an African village for a week that they end up throwing away a large portion of cause it went bad, and so on.

            Smart, conservationist living could allow 100 billion people to inhabit this planet together without shortages of resources.

            Politics, poor education and greedy corporations and the ‘programmed’ consumers are what prevent building a truly sustainable society.

            But ultimately all of those things are laid on a political foundation(capitalism currently), so if you can fix the politics everything else should fall into place more easily.

            Although the Solar System does offer vast resources that are within our reach in the near future(if not already) that could sustain a constantly increasing human population for a few centuries at least, some of which are potentially renewable.

            Presumably we should be able to reach beyond the Solar System for resources by the time we run out of them here if we have to.

            Not that I support that as simply plundering the resources of the universe won’t solve anything and will cause many more problems.

            The solution needs to be in our race becoming less parasitic, not simply finding new ‘hosts’ to infect and slowly drain/kill.

            But the human race will find ways to sustain itself regardless, human resourcefulness and the drive for self-preservation will ensure that.

            Maybe we will only postpone the problem, but maybe we’ll postpone it long enough that a real solution will be found, or maybe just another temporary fix that just postpones it further until we figure out a way to postpone it further until we figure out a way to really solve the problem.

            When things actually get tight that’s when the motivation to find new resources is at it’s highest and the best ideas forward.

        • Johnny

          Also, the documentary ‘Coconut Revolution’ available here on Doc Heaven describes how a ‘primitive’ and ‘backwards’ native peoples managed to convert coconuts into fuel, lamp oil, medicine, gun oil, etc. and turned spare parts from cars and mining machinery into hydro-electric power plants.

          All to fight the western mining corporation that was destroying their island.

          Even parasitic corporations can be used to motivate discovery of new resources.

        • TusT

          “And not to mention Kristian Birkeland and Norsk Hydro and their fertilizer production using electrical transmutation to produce nitrogen fertilizer from air. ”

          Er… don’t you mean The Haber Process.

          • Johnny

            Hmm, my post didn’t get posted for some reason…

            The Haber(-Bosch) Process and the Birkeland-Eyde method are not the same thing, though they are similar processes and both deserve mention here as being examples of human resourcefulness.

            The Haber-Bosch Process produces ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

            The Birkeland-Eyde method produces potassium nitrate fertilizer.

            The Birkeland-Eyde method predates the Haber-Bosch Process slightly as Norsk Hydro’s Notodden Nitrate Factory was put into production on May 2, 1905; although today it is the main process used(as far as I know) the Haber-Bosch Process wasn’t successfully demonstrated until 1909.

            But again both deserve mentions under the context of my original post and I should have included it originally, so thanks for reminding me.

          • Johnny

            Hmm, my post didn’t get posted for some reason…

            The Haber(-Bosch) Process and the Birkeland-Eyde method are not the same thing, though they are similar processes and both deserve mention here as being examples of human resourcefulness.

            The Haber-Bosch Process produces ammonium nitrate fertilizer.

            The Birkeland-Eyde method produces potassium nitrate fertilizer.

            The Birkeland-Eyde method predates the Haber-Bosch Process slightly as Norsk Hydro’s Notodden Nitrate Factory was put into production on May 2, 1905; although today it is the main process used(as far as I know) the Haber-Bosch Process wasn’t successfully demonstrated until 1909.

            But again both deserve mentions under the context of my original post and I should have included it originally, so thanks for reminding me.

      • Anonymous

        That’s life. Peoples life expectancy tends to follow the availability of resources.

    • Anonymous

      It sounds like someone just watch The Quantum Activist, lol.

      Watch some more documentaries buddy, maybe then you’ll have a broader prospective on things.

    • Anonymous

      While the possibilities of various scenarios are extremely difficult to predict (if not impossible) with precision; it is imperative to understand that natural resources are only able to replenish themselves at a slow pace. Too slow for our continuing use into the distant future. I think it’s no secret that we are either destined to seek alternatives (via inventions, etc.) or to do without certain things we have grown accustomed to having and using. Brain cells cannot be compared to most natural resources, because brain cells regenerate at a much faster rate. In addition, they are living things. Most natural resources are not living organisms. One thing is certain. The earth will be here long after humans have gone extinct. 

    • Theirallgoingtolaughatyou

      You are a complete idiot if you truly believe what you are saying. Exponential growth is simple math, and yes we are and will run out of resources in the very near future. The population is growing so fast our children will be left reeling with a lack of food to eat and materials to build with. It will be scary, that is a fact and you all better get used to it and plan for it.

    • Abc

      it is clear to me that you never traveled ,

      haw many counties do not have drinking water on tap ,

      clean drinking water is already a problem in many nations ,

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  • Alen

    the key thing in this documentary is the term this guy didn’t know in which category to put.

    Education.

    Education is reducing population and growth, just like war or sickness, but on much cleaner and more ethical way. By choice.

    So the real solution for all the growing problems in the world is education, that goes almost entirely for India and China. Give their people best education you can, give them idea that they don’t have to live their life in dirt 20 square feet around their house. Cause when they do have to live like that, their only joy in life could be and are – children (procreation, sex..).

    If you give people professions, something to occupy their minds for life, they won’t rush into marriage, they won’t rush into having children. Just look of that effect in Scandinavian countries, north of the Europe, Sweden, Norway, Denmark…, also in Lithuania, Estonia.

    These countries strive for growth, they’re afraid for their survival, but they really shouldn’t be. If you gave peoples of China such choices in life, many of them wouldn’t just multiply as rabbits.

    so the population control does not lie in repressive methods they’re currently using, like 1 child per 1 family restriction, or anything similar, but pure and simple education.

    Build more schools, universities, let them make their own companies as simple as possible, there will be a huge boom of new worplaces, there will be a lot less worker issues in megacompanies consisted of thousands of workers, give these people choices in life and their only joy won’t be having children, not anymore.

  • Roberto

    Derrick Jensen’s Endgame.

  • Rk33

    Greed, excess and waste. Nasty, regardless of the math and never, never sustainable.

  • Rk33

    Greed, excess and waste. Nasty, regardless of the math and never, never sustainable.

  • Anonymous

    lol, the guy who commented before me is pretty oblivious. No, we do not have unlimited resources. The mass of those resources will always be present but the majority of the products we consume are not being reused they’re being discarded resulting in mountains of trash and the toxic by-products that come from consuming radioactive materials.

    It’s a good video.

    • Johnny

      I don’t get your statement if referring to mine and Alen’s discussion… I really think you need to read all of the posts in that discussion before commenting on something like obliviousness.

      I didn’t say all resources are unlimited but that human resourcefulness is unlimited and we can create new resources out of almost anything as per the numerous examples I have mentioned and many more, but politics right now prevents that to a large extent.

      The fear-mongering over ‘limited resources’ is used to push political agendas and current trade and development policies prevent true sustainability.

      Foods like fruits and vegetables, wheat and even animals are all ‘renewable resources’ that if managed properly and combined with modern technology are practically unlimited, and perfectly safe and healthy.

      Sources for ‘alternative’ and ‘clean’ energy are abundant but politically stifled and economically non-viable to any meaningful extent due to that politics.

      We’re even discovering new ways for energy production from light itself –

      ‘Solar power without solar cells: A hidden magnetic effect of light could make it possible’

      http://ns.umich.edu/htdocs/releases/story.php?id=8368

      And I am quite familiar with the mountains of trash as that is a big part of why the politics needs to change, because although there is a slow change being made in a positive direction it’s being controlled by greedy corporations and politicians that are using it to serve their own agenda’s, mainly personal profits.

      But much of that trash can be recycled and put to good use, even in industrial and commercial applications but it costs too much money and hurts the profit margins so it’s not ‘economically viable’.

      Even much of the truly non-recyclable trash can be disposed of far better than it is in most cases today but it’s too expensive to be ‘economically viable’ based on the current political system.

      No matter what we aren’t going to run out of resources as long as there is some intelligence within our race but current practices are going to cause needless loss of many resources due to stupidity and mismanagement.

      I believe in living in harmony with nature but I also believe that it is possible while maintaining a technologically advanced society, but not with the way it’s being done today.

      We aren’t going to run out of resources, but that doesn’t mean we should keep abusing the natural resources we have now the way we currently are and hurting this planet.

      I support a change but I don’t support this kind of fear-mongering to achieve it.

      • Concerned

        “I didn’t say all resources are unlimited but that human resourcefulness
        is unlimited and we can create new resources out of almost anything”

        These are two contradictory statements in one sentence. You clearly believe that resources are unlimited because it is humans that create resources and human ingenuity is infinite (in your mind). It really doesn’t matter how many examples of human ingenuity you trot out; ultimately nature has the last word. Human ingenuity can’t bypass physical limits like the laws of thermodynamics, for example.

        Yes, humans could make do with less but it will be a very different set of societies from the ones we inhabit now. Resources aren’t infinitely substitutable so, of course we’ll eventually run out of some critical resource and not be able to substitute anything else at the same level of utility.

        The point of the lecture is to explain the obvious but which most people believe can be circumvented. Growth in anything is unsustainable. It is really an unarguable point. Steady growth produces the kinds of consumption shown in the lecture (with each doubling consuming more resource than all consumption in human history combined).

        Of course, it’s not just growth that’s unsustainable, consumption of resources can not exceed the renewal rate of that resource sustainably. This has obvious consequences for our consumption of non-renewable resources. Even renewable resources have limits. We have to figure out how to live with less and as close to the annual resource budget of the planet, without seriously damaging the environment that sustains everything. People who deny the problems just make the task of understanding harder, just as vociferous climate change deniers have made the task of seriously addressing that predicament harder, and decreasingly likely.

        With the inertia of our present mindsets, it seems like collapse is assured. Eventually, and likely within our lifetimes, one of these so-called doomers will eventually be right.

  • Realist

    ahh people who think well invent our way out of everything!

    if it were only that simple…. were hitting/hit peak everything, water, top soil, oil, natural gas, coal, metals such as nickel and copper…. everything.

    On top of that we got climate change/ global warming.
    Earth is undergoing a mass extinction.
    the loss of diversity of food species.
    corrupt politics that cater to multinationals who only care about profit.
    A corrupt monetary system where money is debt.
    And culture that has lost connection with the natural world that views it as something to be used that is seperate from them. A culture based on making the environment and people into slaves.

    all of this in addition to a growing population that are demanding a higher standard of living.

    civilization is going to hit the environments limits this century and then the population will decline. Our machines that simulate what the environment does for free create oxygen, purify water, and create top soil cannot replace nature.

    No one knows how far climate change will go but its likely it will stop the conveyor belt or cause an ice age.

    lets just face it humanity has tipped the scales too far and nature is going to balance things out.

  • Anonymous

    When was this made, the 70′s?

  • Anonymous

    When was this made, the 70′s?

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  • http://none Michael Kinsey

    Morality is the demonic element to big business. This demon requires the common good be the prime mover of technological improvements. The likes of J.P. Morgan still rule the world, which keeps all mankind enslaved. These spiritual cretins have experienced abomination of desolation, having desolated all spiritual life in the relationships of God to man, man to man, and their physical nature to their spiritual nature, They serve themselves, not God, they live for bread alone, and they tempt God with occult spiritual power. These cretin possess 90% of all the money in the world. This is the real problem, and the reason these welcome inventions are not being produced. They are slavers, to the max and murderers to the max, they love death and the devil and themselves. based upon their wealth. They consider themselves superior based upon their serving mammon, but the devil wants them dead and punished with eternal damnation as well as everyone else. They are the stupidest people who ever lived..