[Coral-List] The Irony of the Pope's science - is it's selectivity.

Durwood M. Dugger ddugger at biocepts.com
Fri Jun 26 11:49:52 EDT 2015


First I suggest you revisit the basic definition of overpopulation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpopulation <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overpopulation>). Simply by acknowledging that there is anthropogenic climate change, global environmental degradation, and peak critical resources - you have met all the requirements that define global human overpopulation as unsustainable on this planet. Current populations are simply not sustainable on the planetary resources and the related technical processes that currently exist.

I suggest you read your own email. You provide a very convincing argument that consumption, technical development and overpopulation are not only interlinked, but in a developing world - consumption per individuals is increasing over time much faster than population growth - which still continues globally - and as such increases anthropogenic impacts per individual. It would be naive to believe that the developing world - and especially  population dense Asian countries are going deny themselves the same consumptive luxuries that previously developed countries have enjoyed - without significant conflicts.

Without a major energy/economics technology paradigm shift that includes producing energy at fractions of the current fossil fuel costs, we can’t even leave the fossil fuel energy/currency we currently exist under globally. Without getting into the details economic and peak critical resource of our current path, be assured our population is not sustainable and in combination with climate change, we will perish from a lack critical resources long before CO2 levels actually become lethal to the planet at large - though its biological degradation and the destruction of sensitive ecosystems like coral reefs will continue to increase. 

The real danger in the perspective of being satisfied with any attention to the problem (like the Popes), is that you are satisfied by incremental, and very debatable “progress” in addressing only the symptoms anthropogenic impacts on the planet. By addressing symptoms rather than the source it is impossible to make progress in solving the source problem. By definition you don’t have “progress” until there is a measurable movement toward defined goals. I believe that CO2 is still and will continue to increase for the foreseeable future. We have no economically viable energy replacements for current fossil fuels, we are not addressing the economy-of-scale petroleum industry elimination impacts on other industries such as petro-chemicals (that current food technology/volumes are absolutely economically dependent upon) in leaving petroleum energy production, and we have not found economically viable ways of recycling phosphorus that limits our global food production capacities in the long term (30 to 300 years - depending which “experts” you read.

If we are not making progress in the ways I previously mentioned and our population continues growing - albeit slower, we really aren’t making measurable progress in solving our problems. In any disease treating symptoms makes the patient feel better, but unfortunately doesn’t change the course of the disease.

Best regards,

Durwood M. Dugger, Pres.
ddugger at biocepts.com <mailto:ddugger at biocepts.com>
BCI, Inc. <http://www.biocepts.com/BCI/Home.html>
On Jun 25, 2015, at 8:03 PM, Douglas Fenner <douglasfennertassi at gmail.com <mailto:douglasfennertassi at gmail.com>> wrote:

     I quite disagree that overpopulation is the primary cause of all anthropogenic climate change.  The USA has released more greenhouse gases over the course of history than any other country, 28.8% of the world's total, three times as much as the second ranking country (China) in the most recent statistics available, shown below.  While the US is the world's third largest population country by current national boundaries, it was 4th before the breakup of the Soviet Union, and has only about 1/4 the population of China and 1/4 the population of India.  The reason that USA and some European countries have released so much greenhouse gas is not because they have huge populations, it is because of industrial development (multiplied by population, indeed, if the US had a tiny population, like Luxumbourg, which has the highest cumulative per capita emissions, then like Luxumbourg it would rank very low in the total national cumulative emissions).  Greenhouse gas emissions increased much faster than population in the US and Europe.  On the other hand, until recently, China and India had huge populations and small greenhouse gas emissions.  Now, as they develop rapidly, their greenhouse gas emissions have grown very rapidly, much more rapidly than their populations.  I'm afraid blaming anthropogenic climate change on population is the favorite thing for developed countries do, blame it on somebody else.  Well, I say look in the mirror.  And I'm from a developing country, the one that made by far the biggest contribution.  We can't solve a problem unless we know what the facts are about the problem.  And yes, to solve the problem both China and India are critical, China is already the top current emitter and India is growing very fast and large.  But it's not about blame, its about solving the problem.
     As for the Pope and family planning, yes, the Roman Catholic church has had a long history of resisting family planning (they are not the only ones), and Pope Francis certainly didn't embrace it in this encyclical.  However, he is a relatively new Pope, and he has moved forward on a lot of issues (also, in some countries like the US, Catholics have just as high use of birth control as others).  Myself, I'm very appreciative of the progress.  I am not going to attack anyone for not solving all the world's problems in one document.  I will take what I can get, and I think we should keep trying to move forward.  As I've said before, population control cannot possibly avoid the coming destruction of the world's reefs without a nuclear holocaust.  I also don't think it can solve the climate change and global warming problems either, which are the greatest future threat to coral reefs in many people's views.  I think these statements are evidence-based. 
      I favor continuing to move forward to try to make progress, joining with those who would also like to do so.  And I strongly support free voluntary family planning for everyone around the world who wants it but can't afford it.  Reducing population growth now will indeed reduce future problems, larger populations multiply other problems caused by things like development and consumption.  China has probably done more than any other government to slow world population growth, with it's "one child family" policy.  I don't agree with the fact that it is not voluntary, but their government realized population was a major problem for them and did something about it.  India has a voluntary program which has made a significant difference too.  Population growth rates usually come down with development as women get more education, equality, job opportunities, and ability to control their family size.
     Cheers,  Doug

From the World Resources Institute, cited in a web page by the Guardian:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/21/countries-responsible-climate-change <http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/apr/21/countries-responsible-climate-change>
"Historical emissions
Since carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere can stay there for centuries, historical emissions are just as important – or even more important – than current emissions. The tricky question of historical responsibility is one of the key tensions in the process of negotiating a global climate deal. The following figures from the World Resources Institute <http://earthtrends.wri.org/searchable_db/index.php?theme=3&variable_ID=779&action=select_countries> show the top 10 nations as measured by their cumulative emissions between 1850 and 2007. The US tops the list by a wide margin – though Chinese emissions have risen significantly since these data were assembled.

1. US: 339,174 MT or 28.8%
2. China: 105,915 MT or 9.0%
3. Russia: 94,679 MT or 8.0%
4. Germany: 81,194.5 MT or 6.9%
5. UK: 68,763 MT or 5.8%
6. Japan: 45,629 MT or 3.87%
7. France: 32,667 MT or 2.77%
8. India: 28,824 MT or 2.44%
9. Canada: 25,716 MT or 2.2%
10. Ukraine: 25,431 MT or 2.2%
See all countries <http://cait.wri.org/cait.php?page=cumul&mode=view&sort=val-desc&pHints=shut&url=form&start=1850&limit=0>"

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 3:22 AM, Durwood M. Dugger <ddugger at biocepts.com <mailto:ddugger at biocepts.com>> wrote:
While I would agree that it is ironic that the Pope is seemingly embracing science - I think the irony is his selectivity in the science he embraces. He still leads a major religion that doesn’t support birth control and or a woman’s right to control her reproductive destiny. This is hypocrisy at its worst - lecturing the world on climate change and environmental degradation (Did he forget to mention critical resource depletion conflicts - also known as war?) all the while enabling, encouraging - if not demanding unlimited population growth. Over population is the primary cause of all anthropogenic climate change, environmental degradation and resource conflicts. Perhaps neither climate science nor the world of political (includes religion) manipulation are as simple as many of you seem to think.

Best regards,

Durwood M. Dugger, Pres.
ddugger at biocepts.com <mailto:ddugger at biocepts.com> <mailto:ddugger at biocepts.com <mailto:ddugger at biocepts.com>>
BCI, Inc. <http://www.biocepts.com/BCI/Home.html <http://www.biocepts.com/BCI/Home.html>>
On Jun 24, 2015, at 12:00 PM, coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <mailto:coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> <mailto:coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov <mailto:coral-list-request at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>> wrote:

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