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Old 12-30-2010, 01:36 AM   #21
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Home values would greatly decrease (in general), if the population decreased significantly. Some homes simply would not be needed. E.g. What has happened to Detroit on a larger scale.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:21 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
T-Al, how do you debunk the math?

7,000,000,000
268,581 sq miles = 26,063 people/square mile

2000 Census : NYC /Surrounding Boroughs = 26,517 people/square mile

26,517>26,063
You've left out the farms that produce NYC's food, the ranches that produce the wool they wear and the leather for their shoes, the forests that produce the wood to make the furniture they sit on and the paper the NY Times is printed on, the watershed their drinking water comes from, the mines and refineries that produce the steel to hold up the skyscrapers (without which you couldn't possibly pack so many people into such a small area), the power plants that generate their electricity or the factories that produce the manufactured products they use, and on and on and on. I don't think very much at all of what a New Yorker needs to survive is actually produced within the land area of the Five Boroughs.

This is all in the second link from T-Al's post, but I'll cut to the chase:
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Using present technology, how much land would it take so that everyone on Earth could live like an American? Let's see... 24 acres, times 6*10^9, divided by 640 to get the area in square miles... 225 million square miles. What's the surface area of the Earth? 197,000,000 square miles. And only 57, 268,900 square miles of that is land at all, much less arable land.
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:34 AM   #23
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.

What I am really curious is how they arrange for fresh water supply, sewage, and garbage collection in Hong Kong, or any densely populated places like that. That urban engineering feat is truly amazing.
The efficiency of the garbage collection, sewage and water supply here in HK is impressive, although I suspect the dense population actually helps by reducing the distances the garbage, sewage and water has to be transported. Like a lot of other places, the local landfills are rapidly running out of capacity and the debate over whether to open new landfills or build inconerators is pretty intense - everyone agrees that we need a solution soon, but every possible solution is going to be close to a residential area which the local residents (understandably) object to. Since the elected politicans are demanding that the government (i) address the issue and (ii) "listen to the people", I'm just hoping that we don't end up like Naples
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Old 12-30-2010, 05:11 AM   #24
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You have a motor home with a bathroom, for crying out loud. Just pull over and let your wife do her thing. Good grief!
Now, where's the fun in that?
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:52 AM   #25
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You've left out the farms that produce NYC's food, the ranches that produce the wool they wear and the leather for their shoes, the forests that produce the wood to make the furniture they sit on and the paper the NY Times is printed on, the watershed their drinking water comes from, the mines and refineries that produce the steel to hold up the skyscrapers (without which you couldn't possibly pack so many people into such a small area), the power plants that generate their electricity or the factories that produce the manufactured products they use, and on and on and on. I don't think very much at all of what a New Yorker needs to survive is actually produced within the land area of the Five Boroughs.

This is all in the second link from T-Al's post, but I'll cut to the chase:
Ah, but you are reading too much into this, adding self-sustainability at an "American quality of life" within the borders to the equation. The math is based on pure population density, nothing more. The point is that you'd only need .5% of our current land mass to fit all the people; you'd still have the other 99.5% of the world available to clear-cut, strip-mine, and landfill
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
T-Al, how do you debunk the math?

7,000,000,000
268,581 sq miles = 26,063 people/square mile

2000 Census : NYC /Surrounding Boroughs = 26,517 people/square mile

26,517>26,063
No debunking; pretty soon this place will look just like Manhattan...
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Old 12-30-2010, 03:10 PM   #27
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Ah, but you are reading too much into this, adding self-sustainability at an "American quality of life" within the borders to the equation. The math is based on pure population density, nothing more. The point is that you'd only need .5% of our current land mass to fit all the people; you'd still have the other 99.5% of the world available to clear-cut, strip-mine, and landfill
OK, maybe it doesn't debunk the math as such, but it debunks the argument that "all of the people currently alive would fit in Texas, therefore there is no overpopulation problem". Once you include the land areas needed to produce food, clothing, energy etc, for all those people, the argument falls apart. Technological advances can perhaps reduce the requirement for support areas somewhat (i.e. less land required to support each person)I think the authors suggested it might be cut in half. But I think the obvious conclusion to draw is that the planet can't support even its current population, if everyone lived like Americans.
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