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Major Challenges

World Hunger
Over Population Creates a Hungry World

Posted on April 3, 2012

The Challenge We Can't Refuse: Over population is probably the only approaching natural disaster that we as humans can prevent. It is not too late to change the inevitable if we make necessary structural changes to our societies. Otherwise, we have no way to defeat what is absolutely and assuredly certain; a complete collapse of our living systems.

Over population affects all facets of our society and the natural world around us. Our growing masses threaten the ability of the Earth to continue nurturing us with its bounty. Even the vastness of the oceans cannot keep up with our demand for seafood and other ocean related products. The reports from the fishing fleets about the catch sizes dwindling cannot be ignored. Their plight is ours. To make matter worse, we now employ increasingly sophisticated means for both locating and catching greater numbers of fish and crustaceans. There is almost nowhere left for marine animals to recoup their numbers. New methods of fish location and fish harvesting are getting good enough to actually threaten several marine species. Recently, because of dwindling numbers of such prized catches of Halibut and Cod, we now harvest those varieties that we used to thumb our noses at and soon, they too may disappear. View the graphics of our exploitation of the marine system in the March 2012 issue of Scientific American.

Or, you can log on to and view the video.

Using our arable land to produce so called green fuels is disgraceful. These non-food crops use considerable resources’ and also require large amounts of energy to produce.

While the quantities of the Earth’s resources we currently use may seem reasonable at the present, our growing population threatens that balance as more people mean more demand. If we are to defeat an over-population crash and burn, we must first look hard at tenets of morality that we have long held.

One of the moral questions to be dealt with is what to do with an unwanted pregnancy. Sex is fast becoming our entertainment of choice. Currently, the conceived children of our liaisons for the most part, are protected. Traditionally, any conceived child is given a special right to exist. The right to exist from conception was once a part of our morality. But the world changed with Roe vs. Wade. The way we thought about an unwanted pregnancy began to change. We as a society struggle with the idea of the conditions which allow abortion. Generally, these special conditions are; ‘only when the life of the mother is at stake’, ‘rape’, ‘incest’, or ‘the child is defective and has no chance’. Some advocate of ‘freedom of choice’ which gives the power over life and death to the mother. All reasons for abortion run contrary to our long standing sense of morality.

But morality is a malleable concept and differs from culture to culture. Except for the universally held crimes for murder and stealing, there is no one size fits all when it comes to human morality.

New remedies have to be developed that accommodates our sex habits but at the same time limits our population growth. It cannot be stressed enough that continuously expanding our population will eventually demand more resources than the Earth can provide. (a) Already we are depleting the fish and shellfish populations. (b) Inefficient use of energy adds to climate change. (c) Food production vs. living space will soon come under scrutiny if the current trend continues. Our ignorance of the awaiting dangers of over-population is creating a future that does not bode well for humanity.

Population Control: Efforts to control our growing population are already being executed. When detailed, it is readily discernible that the tactics employed for population control are unnecessarily cruel and underhanded.

The greatest effort being made is in the control of third-world populations. Whether this is done conscientiously or by happenstance, the result is having an effect upon those populations. Millions of people in the tropical belt countries and especially the African countries have been killed by the restriction of DDT as a method of mosquito (Malaria) control. Eliminating DDT as a pesticide has been a liberal political crusade for decades. Additionally, genocide is a part of the everyday life in most African countries. Other than lip-service, no meaningful effort is made to prevent the staggering death toll from tribal and religious conflicts in Africa.

The proponents of the current DDT policy should realize that death by disease is a terrible and suffering way to die. As a proponent of population control, there is no room in my conscientious mind to allow such cruelty. World populations would be better served by internationally recognizing the dangers of overpopulation and instituting contraception including plan “B” “morning after pill”. We must stop the practice of allowing children to come into the world to just get horribly sick so they can die. Legalizing DDT would be a big step in preventing the spread of malaria.

For those of you not familiar with the controversy over DDT, these are excerpts from:

"As to the circumstances surrounding the banning of DDT, the November 1980 issue of Fusion magazine (page 52) stated: "When U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief William Ruckelshaus was about to announce his decision to ban DDT in June 1972, he confided to a friend, “There is no scientific basis for banning this chemical --- this is a political decision.” The 'friend' was never identified however. In a commentary the magazine concluded (page 56): “The EPA and environmentalists must be held accountable for their crime: There was not a single human death from DDT usage; there have been untold thousands of deaths and millions of disease-stricken persons as a result of the DDT banning.”(The death toll from Malaria has since been amended to the tens of millions since the DDT ban. -Robert)

"Fusion's most comprehensive article about DDT (a dozen or so pages) was in their June 1979 issue. The article stated that independent tests refuted nearly every single government claim as to the harmful effects to wildlife from exposure to DDT and addressed each claim. As evidence DDT wasn't harmful to wildlife, the article stated wildlife living downstream from DDT manufacturing plants actually thrived, their numbers increased. There wasn't any disagreement about any lethalness to humans however because the government never claimed there were any deaths, and there wasn't, not a single one. In summation the article concluded the ‘political' reason for banning DDT was because it was 'saving too many third-world lives’... an utterly shocking observation."

Posturing as friends to Minorities, Democrats have managed to make sure that Minorities have open access to abortion. The demographics of who is getting abortions are staggering when you think about population control over Minorities.

Excerpted from the Washington Post:

"Although abortion rates have declined among all racial and ethnic groups, large disparities persist, with Hispanic and black women having the procedure at rates three to five times the rate of white women."

"In 2004, there were 10.5 abortions per 1,000 white women ages 15 to 44, compared with 28 per 1,000 Hispanic women of that age and 50 per 1,000 black women. That translates into approximately 1 percent of white women having an abortion in 2004, compared with 3 percent of Hispanic women and 5 percent of black women. Jones attributed that to the focus on reducing teenage pregnancy and on increasing contraceptive use."

Investment in Black Abortions: From:

"Planned Parenthood’s 800 clinics receive more than 300 million dollars of taxpayer money annually. It is unacceptable for a nonprofit to accept donations that target specific races. Unfortunately, The Advocate’s investigation discovered this is official policy. The calls unearthed a Planned Parenthood program that poses a threat to minority communities. Many centers set up "women in need" or "justice" funds designating money specifically for minority abortions. With more than 79% of clinics in minority neighborhoods, and more than 1400 black abortions daily, these programs are doing precisely what our actor asked them to do. Planned Parenthood is (intentionally or not) exterminating the black community."

The Catholic Position:

Recently, attempts were made to force Catholic institutions to provide contraception and plan “B” birth control to their charges. But the attempt ran into a buzz-saw of opposition from the Catholic Bishops and adherents to Catholicism. From a purely Constitutional stand point, the Catholics make a legitimate case. I also defend their right to practice their religion the way they see fit.

But, the secondary question has to be allowed. Has the Catholic position on contraception already been defeated by the Church’s stand on the less reliable “Rhythm” and “Standard Days” for contraception? Tradition is hard to overcome, but originally the ban on contraception was for no other purpose than to produce more Catholics. The Church has already relented when it adopted the “Rhythm Method” as a limitation to offspring. The practice of “Standard Days Method” has more recently been accepted. But both are just poor methods of contraception.

So for Catholics to be against contraception takes a bit of playing ‘pretend’ with reality. The plan “B” pill will not cause abortion if conception has already taken place. The morning after pill is not the same as the “abortion” pill.

Some History of Catholic Contraception from:

“In the first half of the 20th century, most users of the rhythm method were Catholic, they were following their church's teaching that all other methods of birth control were sinful. In 1968 the encyclical Humanae Vitae included the statement, "It is supremely desirable... that medical science should by the study of natural rhythms succeed in determining a sufficiently secure basis for the chaste limitation of offspring." This is interpreted as favoring the then-new, more reliable symptoms-based fertility awareness methods over the rhythm method. Currently, many fertility awareness teachers consider the rhythm method to have been obsolete for at least 20 years, and calendar-based methods are not classified as NFP by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops."

"New attention was drawn to calendar-based methods in 1999, when Georgetown University introduced the Standard Days Method. Designed to be simpler to teach and use than the older rhythm method, the Standard Days Method is being successfully integrated into family planning programs worldwide.”

It is clear that progress will have to be made to overcome the Catholic position of blocking good birth control methods. Overcoming the traditionally held Catholic position is important if we are to make a dent in population expansion. Contraception is a much more humane way of curbing our population than resorting to the disease and warfare method now being practiced. The Catholic Church has the opportunity to be a real leader in this effort.

Population Expansion and Climate Change:
Climate change on nature’s timetable is not an event that we can prevent. But our energy use may be accelerating natural climate change.

Imagine an Earth that has no humans, just an idyllic place full of natures other creatures. As the Sun shines down on the Earth, the Earth absorbs and uses some of the radiant energy and returns the rest (as heat) back into space. The balance between the energy received and that which is returned to space maintains the Earth’s mean temperature. Any change in the Earths mean temperature is decided by changes in the Sun’s output, pollutants from volcanoes, clouding, and other atmospheric changes due to collisions (such as with an asteroid). Without man, heat exchange between the Earth and the heavens is regulated by these natural events.

Man’s Interference:
Over the course of millions of years, the life on earth has slowly stored energy in the form of fossil fuels. These fuels are stored as coal, natural gas, petroleum, and in the flora of the world. We have learned to use this stored energy. We use this stored energy for the production of heat. The heat warms us and powers our machines.

Waste Heat:
Heat engines convert heat into mechanical power directly or indirectly. Steam, natural gas, gasoline, and diesel engines, make up the largest segment of prime movers that are powered by fossil fuels. Heat engines are not efficient and in most cases, produce more waste heat than useful mechanical energy. Nuclear fuel is not a part of the energy we get from the Sun. However, nuclear fuel is used to generate steam for power production via the steam turbine which is a heat engine, so in that regard, is a contributor to the amount of waste heat we produce.

Here is a partial write up about the efficiencies of heat engines:
From Wikipedia: Thermal_efficiency

"The efficiency of even the best heat engines is low; usually below 50% and often far below. So the energy lost to the environment by heat engines is a major waste of energy resources, although modern cogeneration, combined cycle and energy recycling schemes are beginning to use this heat for other purposes. Since a large fraction of the fuels produced worldwide go to powering heat engines, perhaps up to half of the useful energy produced worldwide is wasted in engine inefficiency. This inefficiency can be attributed to three causes. There is an overall theoretical limit to the efficiency of any heat engine due to temperature, called the Carnot efficiency. Second, specific types of engines have lower limits on their efficiency due to the inherent irreversibility of the engine cycle they use. Thirdly, the nonideal behavior of real engines, such as mechanical friction and losses in the combustion process causes further efficiency losses."

The city of Houston is an example of how our waste heat has increased over the years. 20 years ago, Interstate 10, with the exception of a small distance close to the downtown area, had only 2 west bound lanes and 2 east bound lanes. Driving across Houston from either direction was an aggravating experience. Heavy traffic impeded even the best efforts. Today, there are ten-lanes plus a four-lane toll portion but the traffic has also increased so that it is still an aggravating experience driving across Houston.

Houston is no exception as all cities have experienced great increases in traffic. All of that increase in traffic comes at a price. The waste heat produced by all of those vehicles has gone up exponentially. Our population expansion is responsible for creating more and more waste heat. New technologies are desperately needed to curb our production of waste heat. One of the solutions put forward has been the electrically powered car. This is going to be one of the necessary changes that will have to be made. Electric motors are at least twice as efficient as a heat engine. Electric motors are close to 90% efficient and produce far smaller amounts of waste heat. Solar panels or other means of converting solar power, which also includes wind, into electric power without the use of a heat engine will drastically change our waste heat profile.

Waste heat directly dumps into our atmosphere and has to be expelled. The balance of heat exchange in the Earth’s atmosphere has a direct bearing on Earth’s mean temperature. As we produce more heat, that heat has to join the naturally occurring heat to be expelled into space.

I want to emphasize, this is not a dire warning; we have time to fix the problem. Our addiction to the wasteful heat engines, made more complicated by over population is a major challenge for maintaining our standard of living and at the same time, reducing our part of the heat balance equation. At the present, it is the changes in solar output that is the main governing factor for the Earth’s mean temperature. The solar assault on the Earth in the last century is documented at: sunspots_and_the_earth.


Robert welcomes your comment to this or any other of my commentaries.

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Over Population --Population control is a BIG issue. People will soon reach the point of eating themselves out of house and home. As we dominate and destroy the ecology, we are factually making war upon ourselves.

Saving the Planet-- Solving problems about the environment and our industrial pollution need to be thought out. We create disasters from schemes that are not adequately planned.

Ecosystem at Risk-- Trying to look the other-way in the face of logical and scientific evidence demonstrating human activity is reshaping our climate and the ecosystem is a waste of intellectual pursuit.

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