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Thread: Sustainable development

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Sustainable development

    With the topic of sustainable development being all the rage around the world, I haven't seen much discussion (that would be none, actually) on the major cause of the problem in the first place - the ever growing human population that this world and its resources is expected to sustain.

    Is population numbers management too controversial to discuss?
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    It is quite a complex question, and certainly one worth exploring. I pointed out an article which mentions this,

    ..finds the human ecological footprint is on average 21.9 hectares per person. Given the global population, however, the Earth's biological capacity is just 15.7 hectares per person.
    So we have one of two solutions: (1) Reduce our footprint, (2) fewer people.

    There has long been a trend towards fewer children in developed nations, which is a slow move toward (2). On the other hand we have disease, natural disaster, war and so on which accelerate it a bit.

    Reducing our footprint requires a whole shift in habits, marketing and, I believe, our economy.

    I'm not really sure what could be proposed under "population management" - what are your thoughts?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    It is quite a complex question, and certainly one worth exploring. [URL="http://www.theforumsa.co.za/forums/showthread.php?p=8570"]
    So we have one of two solutions: (1) Reduce our footprint, (2) fewer people.
    How about tackling the problem from both ends?
    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    I'm not really sure what could be proposed under "population management" - what are your thoughts?
    Neither do I at this point. Probably building awareness and simply getting it on the agenda seems to be a good place to start.

    It just struck me that there seems to have been remarkably little dialogue around this rather obvious and pertinent aspect of sustainable development.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    You're right, sustainable development is widely used term. I've never thought about population management as part of it.
    However, I don't think it's too controversial to actually discuss this topic. We're currently observing the trend of extreme urbanization. Africa, as a continent, is highly affected by that. "As a continent, Africa is experiencing one of the fastest rates of urbanisation in the world, with sub-Saharan Africa leading the way. By 2030 Africa will have 760 million urban residents – more than the entire western hemisphere today." Source: Sustainable Development, Siemens SA. I don't believe that something like population control can actually be effective. To me there are three main questions that need to be tackled:
    1) How can we prepare cities to actually meet everyone's needs (water, energy, etc.) in the future?
    2) At the same time, how can we help rural areas to create jobs, etc? -> which would eventually make people stay
    3) How can we create a more balanced SA? Right now, the situation in the cities differs a lot from the situations in rural areas.

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    Good thread!

    Fear that Population Management is an almost impossible challenge hence the reason it doesnt feature high on the agenda and particularly because its the greatest challenge in poorer communites and nations, where survival seems to bank on large families and getting them to see the logic is just not going to happen.

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    I'm with you in your thinking

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Dave seems to have touched a nerve here. Uncontrolled population growth appears to be too controversial for the bunny huggers and green movements. We have had our COP 17 which was just another talk shop where the delegates get a sponsored trip and be wined and dined at someone else's expense.

    I believe there is no such thing as global warming. We are moving through a cyclical phase of climate change which is exacerbated by overpopulation. The more we save the human race, the more pressure we put on nature.
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    Have to say I agree with your thoughts as well. You make sense. aside - COP17 cost Durban Ratepayers R55million from what I know. Add that to the Fup being Ushaka, Durban Transport and Moses Mabida and its no wonder Durbs was recently cited as being the most expensive place in SA to live.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gac View Post
    its no wonder Durbs was recently cited as being the most expensive place in SA to live.
    It is because the taxpayer base is very small in comparison. The numbers of the non-payers are rising all the time and the municipality has to spend more money to provide basic services.

    The scary part is our demographics show that the "golden goose" is getting older and has now reached retirement age. As less of these "geese" (or is it geezers?) are economically active, the tax base contracts even more. Their children can not get work here due to BEE so they have emigrated and may not come back.

    With no new "geese" being added to the tax base, the government will run out of funds to buy votes by giving grants, free services and parties. Moeletsi Mbeki has predicted that by 2020 the ruling ANC will run out of money. I fear the end will come way before that. One can see how they are already grasping at straws to incease revenue. Read his book Architects of Poverty and also Advocates for Change.
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