Re:NANFA-- 1,000 times too many humans

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Fri, 02 Jan 2004 23:02:09 -0500

> Date: Fri, 2 Jan 2004 14:04:49 EST
> From:
> Subject: NANFA-- 1,000 times too many humans
> An interesting if depressing little tidbit of info!
I hesitate to be led to conclusions by someone flashing a graph at me
and saying 'this means the end of the world'. Remember the Club of Rome
and their book "Limits to Growth" back in the 70s? They had all these
computer models that always, no matter what kept pointing to overshoot
and collapse scenarios.

Who can really say how many humans are too much for the planet to bare?
I believe the greatest danger is not carrying capacity- that is a
relative term and over the long haul , human numbers will probably
stablize if the bulk the population is allowed to attain a decent
standard of living- which generally leads to lower birth rates and a
greater consenus for conserving the natural world - which really is a
luxury of those whose basic survival needs have been met.

I tried to look it up a relevant quote from a Jerry Pournelle editorial
but can't locate it at the moment. I think it was in "A Step Farther
Out" which was a collection of short SF stories from the 1980s. It goes
something like this- go ahead: shut down civilization and see how fast
hordes of desperate people strip the planet to the bone!

When it comes to starvation- no cow is too sacred to be eaten.


> At any moment, human beings are trying every possible survival strategy in terms of geography, topography, diet, habitat, clothing, custom, and belief. Since the universe is essentially random, no one can predict what disaster will next engulf the Earth. We're way overdue, statistically, for another big meteor strike. There's bound to be another supernova soon. Mt. Saint Helen's hardly compares with the great volcanic eruptions of the past. If we've each chosen our own survival strategy and, in aggregate, we've chosen a broad enough spectrum of survival strategies, then someone will survive, whatever happens, and human life will go on.
> L. Neil Smith
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