The Limits to Human Carrying-Capacity

overpopulation ecointernet

Exposing the Big Game

Harvard archeologist Steven Le Blanc writes in “War or Peace for the Future,” the final chapter of his book, Constant Battles; Why We Fight (pg. 224), “…let’s examine the myths of a peaceful past and of humans living in ecological balance and contrast them with a careful assessment of reality that turns the more traditional view on its head. These myths assume that for long periods of time the earliest humans were simple foragers [hunter-gatherers] who lived in harmony with nature, had few wants, and were able to control their populations. When agriculture was developed, populations grew, but farmers managed to remain inherent environmentalist and continued to avoid the environment. Then finally, but not until the rise of complex societies, we humans lost our ability to live in ecological balance. At that point, the appealing story of millions of years of peaceful coexistence with nature turns ugly, and violent, environmentally…

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Published in: on April 23, 2015 at 10:33 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. There has never been peace on earth since the homo genus led to human sapiens. We’re getting to the point there may be one billion people on this earth by mid-century, and they will continue to view the planet as a resource to be used up. The forests will continue to be ravaged, the rivers and oceans will be polluted even more, and all the other creatures we share this earth with will continue to suffer and move toward extinction. Our stupidity and arrogance are so monumental that it has become politically incorrect to even discuss overpopulation and the effect it has on the wildlife we displace and hunt, the farmed animals we slaughter by the billions, and the pets we don’t even bother to spay and neuter. I feel bad for the animals and the earth, but our species, for the most part, deserves what it gets.

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  2. All we can do is keep fighting for what is right. If we ever stop fighting, stop caring…then the earth and all living creatures will be doomed….even the ones who caused it.

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  3. Yup–7 billion humans on the planet, and counting. Yet we are always “managing” wildlife populations. Wildlife is not the problem–we are. Time to get serious about managing ourselves.

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    • Joanne, This is a subject many people don’t want to touch but it has to be faced. Human population numbers are unsustainable…we’re headed toward 9 billion, destroying the planet as we go.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,
      Nabeki

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  4. I’m glad someone has called humans out on our assumed to be unlimited carrying capacity – we only hear those two words regarding other species’ populations, whose carrying capacities are judged smaller and smaller as our numbers get larger and larger.

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  5. Although ahimsaforever mentions a highly probable fact, his or her pessimism results in a rather intolerant outlook on humans.
    I often share this outlook, but limit my intolerance to the basis for most egregious offenses toward the other life on earth.

    Under a shortened verion of my name, I posted a comment on Exposing the Big game article from which the above was taken. To find a more comprehensive look at the human , go there.

    We are here in “Howling for Wolves.”

    this morning, after reading of the latest release of two Mexican Wolves, on of the most endangered species on the planet, I posted elsewhere some things concerning the heavy-handed “management” being done, with lots of helicopter darting, etc. and other interference with their lives.
    We might look upon this as necessary due to the ongoing illegal killing/persecution of those small, thinly-dispersed wolves. poached as much as possible by motorized individuals in Western NM and Eastern AZ.

    Check the AZ DGF site to find the monthly .pdf’s on the Mexican Wolf management they post.

    Although many early reintroductions ended or were hindered by humans killing, and in places like Idaho and the eastern Washington Cascades, are stil hindered (Montana has a deeply entrenched legal killfest going on, as cattlemen and sheephobbyists (keep up on comment postings for more info on that characterization – it’s accurate)You might take heart from the other intensively managed re-introduction that has occurred , in this way:

    Once a subpopulation manages to achieve a certain, though LOW size, it is able to resist the present illegal poaching going on from AK through Canada down to AZ/NM.

    Since we can do nothing effective in restraining human numbers, (this is another intensive area for activism, but requires that $ be spent on education – especially of women; and, unfortunately we have to wait for one of the increasingly emergent diseases to make real inroads into human populations. Worldwide communicable disease programs are so far preventing the escape of these species-restrainers. In this we differ hugely from all other species.), only doing as former EarthFirst! cofounder Dave Foreman does: actively helping to build wild habitat and connectivity, so that Others may survive the temporary onslaught of humans and their damaging methods of habitat destruction.
    His most recent book is titled “Manswarm” – I have not read it.

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  6. URGENT NEWS: a third bill was just introduced to Congress that would strip Gray Wolves of their protections under the Endangered Species Act! This new bill, H.R. 1945, targets wolves in Oregon, Washington, and Utah! It would also prohibit any state from giving wolves more protection than the federal government does! We must stop this anti-wolf bill from passing!

    Bill info: https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/1985?q={%22search%22%3A[%22wolves%22]}

    News story about bill: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/04/24/3527054/newhouse-proposes-ending-federal.html

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  7. It’s politically incorrect to even talk about overpopulation, and I think education will have limited success, because the so-called educated aren’t restraining their numbers either – and in prosperous societies they tend to use up the most land and resources, eat more meat and animals, and have time to waste with wreckreation! We are heading for ten billion people on the planet, yet I’ve been seeing articles about countries whose populations are dipping only slightly, but considered a crisis! It’s nature’s way to reproduce mindlessly as instinct – don’t think for a minute that we intellectually control our reproduction. The only thing that might restrain us is not being able to afford them, and even that doesn’t stop us.

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