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Comelade
October 17th, 2006, 01:03 PM
Lu dans la presse française (Journal Libération) aujourd'hui les etats unis vont atteindre les 300 millions d'habitants.
in the French press (Newspaper Libération) today the United States will reach the 300 million inhabitants.

Quelques chiffres donnés par le Journal : Les etats unis representent 5% de la population de la planète. Les etats unis consomment plus d'un quart des ressources naturelles mondiales. Les etats unis rejettent un quart des émissions globales de dioxyde de carbone et de gaz à effet de serre. Plus de 237 millions de voitures en 2006 (contre 98 millions il y a quarante ans, quand la population etait de 200 millions d'habitants). Un américain utilise trois fois plus d'eau en moyenne qu'un autre citoyen de la planète. Et 40% des rivières (et 50% des estuaires) americains sont interdits de pêche et de baignade pour cause de pollution.

Some figures given by the Newspaper: The United States accounts for 5% of the population of planet. The United States consumes more than one quarter of the world natural resources. The United States rejects a quarter of the total carbon dioxide emissions and gas for purpose of greenhouse. More than 237 million cars in 2006 (against 98 million forty years ago, when the population was 200 million inhabitants). American uses three times on average more water than another citizen of planet. And 40% of the rivers (and 50% of the estuaries) American are prohibited fishing and of bathe due to pollution.

Le film d'Al Gore vient de sortir en France, on peut espérer que cela va faire bouger tout le monde entier

The film of Al Gore has just left to France, one can hope that that will make move everyone whole

SilentPandaesq
October 17th, 2006, 04:54 PM
not to be a jerk and start a whole thing here....but 2 things about those statistics always bother me.

1 - What percentage of the total number of personal cars does the U.S. have? and does that number match up with Americans explusion of CO2.

2 - nobody ever says where those numbers come from, the CO2 ones at least. Are they estimates?, are they recorded numbers scaled up per person, gut feelings?

Not to say that Americans are not the most wanton offenders, but I am always wondering where these numbers come from.

lofter1
October 17th, 2006, 06:38 PM
... I am always wondering where these numbers come from.

From the same folks who bring you the 3,000,000 population number ;)

Jake
October 17th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Actually the 300 million number comes from government agencies where someone's job is on the line if they're wrong.

On the other hand comparisons like 3 rivers=60 cars=1 space shuttle are made by some intern who's googling this stuff on joe'swebsite.com.

So Americans waste resources, let me tell you something, EVERYONE wastes resources. Conservation efforts may be stronger elsewhere because some countries are forced to conserve. Just off the top of my head I think America has the 2nd most water in the world after Canada. Does it really motivate us to conserve water?

Maybe if wasting resources equaled Nobel prize winners more countries would waste :p.

I agree we have a problem and now even population is a problem, but let's not act as if we're the main culprit here. Every industrial country pollutes and wastes and many are doing far less to help it than us.

To pick France (since that's the source of this info) what exactly does a Frenchman do different from an American? What do they reuse plastic forks? Do they smoke less to save the environment? No, the only difference is that we have a many-times-more-trillion economy that has a good deal of old polluting industry behind it.

Actually the US doesn't pollute any more than other developed countries per $1 of GDP

Based on this graph, US poluttion levels are identical to most on this map if you consider that dor example the US economy is 4X that of Japan, respectivelly CO2 emissions are 4X that of Japan

Most counties on this graph have economies roughly 1/12th of the US and respecitvely they produce roughly 1/12 of the CO2

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bc/CO2-by-country--1990-2025.jpg

lofter1
October 17th, 2006, 10:31 PM
thanks Jake, i feel much better now ...

knowing that we're the biggest + richest it does makes sense that we can dump the most crud on the planet -- next, of course, to China (to whom we're now indebted up to our eyeballs) so now they can wreak the havoc.

but of course the planet is strong and she can absorb this abuse ... up to a point, anyway.

although she might soon expel all those (much like the puss from a rosy red zit) who treat her so shabbily.

musicial
October 18th, 2006, 08:33 AM
guys, I have also read about what comelade says. I have also watched the same news in some channels. to me, USA has right, the end.

Frenchman must first in these days think about the pollution (or emission) of ugly French politics in Europe. I suppose every average American can think about it better than the average Frenchman.

Actually after seeing this topic name, I thought that somebody has 300million dollars, I jumped into this topic like a carp to see who has this amount of money .... god!!! it was just a sensational topic name.....

SilentPandaesq
October 18th, 2006, 10:31 AM
Thanks Jake, that graph was helpful.

I feel as though these statistics are thrown out to show how wanton Americans are with respect to other peoples. (and a tacit dig at the American economic/social/political structure)

I never saw anything in Japan or Europe that lead me to believe that those countries peoples pollute less than the average NYC resident (it is hard to compare a nation of car owners with a nation of metro users)


Being the biggest is not free reign to destroy the planet, but neither is not being the biggest. Everyone complains about Kyoto, but nobody complains that China and India won't sign up. As though global warming was an issue that would go away if Americans were better stewards of the planet. Everyone needs to be better, not just the U.S.

Ninjahedge
October 18th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Why should people complain about China if we are one of the biggest offenders?

Glass houses?

Maybe we should work to not allow things like Coal Plants with outdated standards to come back into the NY area (I believe there was some sort of bizzarre deal that would allow them so long as the companies national "average" of pollutants was below a certain ammount... I don't know...).

What we need to do is make it so that we can lead by example, not by finger pointing. Critisizing our own system is the only way we can do that now.

As for Japan, I do not know what they are like industrially, but all you have to do is walk around in Tokyo and realize that people will actually throw their cigarette buts in the trash to get an idea of the cleanliness mentality that they have......

SilentPandaesq
October 18th, 2006, 01:44 PM
Ninja - I am not saying that since China can do it, that we can. The point is that the emission of CO2 is harmful. That means that everyone should attempt to reduce.

It is fashionable to point at America's reluctance on Kyoto as some sort of vindication that Americans are bad global actors, while at the same time not pressing others to do the same thing. It is like telling one person to quit smoking cause it is harmful, but saying to another person "no, you can keep smoking cause you have not smoked as long or as much".

Either something is bad or it isn't.

Either Kyoto is applied to the whole world equally, or it is just a masked wealth redistribution scheme. Still that does not mean that America should not be doing its part regardless of what the rest of the world does, it just means that the Glass house axim works for quoters of statistics as well as the subject of them.

P.S. - Japanese people (well Tokyo, I have never been to any other areas) are extremely tidy. It took me 20 minutes to find a place to throw out a giant american sized water bottle. However that does not mean that all those fancy taxies and jumbo vans are running on tidy fuel either. As per Jake's graph, Japanese people pollute more than say... Brazil, but I have been to Rio and Tokyo and I will let you guess which one was dirter. ( i understand this is not a valid to compare, since Japan is "1st world industrial" and Brazil is "developing" but they have similar population sizes)

lofter1
October 24th, 2006, 08:52 AM
Humans living far beyond planet's means: WWF

reuters.myway.com (http://reuters.myway.com/article/20061024/2006-10-24T102931Z_01_L19402119_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-ENVIRONMENT-WWF-PLANET-DC.html)
By Ben Blanchard
October 24, 2006

BEIJING (Reuters) - Humans are stripping nature at an unprecedented rate and will need two planets' worth of natural resources every year by 2050 on current trends, the WWF conservation group said on Tuesday.

Populations of many species, from fish to mammals, had fallen by about a third from 1970 to 2003 largely because of human threats such as pollution, clearing of forests and overfishing, the group also said in a two-yearly report.

"For more than 20 years we have exceeded the earth's ability to support a consumptive lifestyle that is unsustainable and we cannot afford to continue down this path," WWF Director-General James Leape said, launching the WWF's 2006 Living Planet Report.

"If everyone around the world lived as those in America, we would need five planets to support us," Leape, an American, said in Beijing.

People in the United Arab Emirates were placing most stress per capita on the planet ahead of those in the United States, Finland and Canada, the report said.

Australia was also living well beyond its means.

The average Australian used 6.6 "global" hectares to support their developed lifestyle, ranking behind the United States and Canada, but ahead of the United Kingdom, Russia, China and Japan.

"If the rest of the world led the kind of lifestyles we do here in Australia, we would require three-and-a-half planets to provide the resources we use and to absorb the waste," said Greg Bourne, WWF-Australia chief executive officer.

Everyone would have to change lifestyles -- cutting use of fossil fuels and improving management of everything from farming to fisheries.

"As countries work to improve the well-being of their people, they risk bypassing the goal of sustainability," said Leape, speaking in an energy-efficient building at Beijing's prestigous Tsinghua University.

"It is inevitable that this disconnect will eventually limit the abilities of poor countries to develop and rich countries to maintain their prosperity," he added.

The report said humans' "ecological footprint" -- the demand people place on the natural world -- was 25 percent greater than the planet's annual ability to provide everything from food to energy and recycle all human waste in 2003.

In the previous report, the 2001 overshoot was 21 percent.

"On current projections humanity, will be using two planets' worth of natural resources by 2050 -- if those resources have not run out by then," the latest report said.

"People are turning resources into waste faster than nature can turn waste back into resources."

RISING POPULATION

"Humanity's footprint has more than tripled between 1961 and 2003," it said. Consumption has outpaced a surge in the world's population, to 6.5 billion from 3 billion in 1960. U.N. projections show a surge to 9 billion people around 2050.

It said that the footprint from use of fossil fuels, whose heat-trapping emissions are widely blamed for pushing up world temperatures, was the fastest-growing cause of strain.

Leape said China, home to a fifth of the world's population and whose economy is booming, was making the right move in pledging to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent over the next five years.

"Much will depend on the decisions made by China, India and other rapidly developing countries," he added.

The WWF report also said that an index tracking 1,300 vetebrate species -- birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals -- showed that populations had fallen for most by about 30 percent because of factors including a loss of habitats to farms.

Among species most under pressure included the swordfish and the South African Cape vulture. Those bucking the trend included rising populations of the Javan rhinoceros and the northern hairy-nosed wombat in Australia.

(Additional reporting by Alister Doyle in Helsinki)

Copyright 2006 Reuters / © 2006 IAC Search & Media

Ninjahedge
October 24th, 2006, 09:23 AM
If if if.

The one thing these guys always ignore is that th resources will not just be ther ein abundance one day and gone the next, tehy will taper, we will see increases in cost, and we will see an externally imposed reduction of consumption brought apon by these COL increases.

They RAE right in saying that these will hurt developing countries, but doing the dooms-day forecast in such simple tems usually misses the target audience they wish to address.

teh main problem will be, what will happen ion the next 20 years? What will happen if our population increases at its given rate? What are the possible SOCIAL impacts that will occur if gas goes to $8 a gallon, people are living in condo-country right on top of each other AND a loaf of white bread costs $6.50 at the local market?

Which industries will be hurt the most, and what government agencies will need to rethink their strategies or be buried under the new demand?



Don't get me wrong, I do agree that we need to address these things. But I never liek it when these studies draw a bunch of strait lines from a few points on a graph without considering long term effects and changes to the study environment.

Just like large scale deflection in a structure. You push a building a little bit and it moves a little. You push it a lot and the geometry changes so much you have to rework your model just to be able to tell how much that push will do.

Derek2k3
October 24th, 2006, 11:13 AM
These articles are devices to encourage change and awareness not to foretell the future. Kind of like...if we don't adjust this is what will happen.

Bob
November 16th, 2006, 09:47 PM
I recall a dire-predictions TV special run by New York's Channel 5 (or was it 7?) back in the early 1970s, predicting the end of all civilization by 1975. We were going to run out of oil, overpopulation would result in mass starvation, the skies would be so polluted people would be dropping dead in the streets, ad nauseum. None of that came to pass. My point? Simple: don't believe all the hype. This planet was here billions of years before the first human, and will be here billions of years after the last.

ZippyTheChimp
November 16th, 2006, 10:38 PM
I recall a dire-predictions TV special run by New York's Channel 5 (or was it 7?) back in the early 1970s, predicting the end of all civilization by 1975. We were going to run out of oil, overpopulation would result in mass starvation, the skies would be so polluted people would be dropping dead in the streets, ad nauseum.I don't recall any credible body of study that concluded any of that. The date that oil would run out has always been tied to known oil reserves.

But what what did happen 30, 40 years ago?

See below:

These articles are devices to encourage change and awareness not to foretell the future. Kind of like...if we don't adjust this is what will happen.


This planet was here billions of years before the first human, and will be here billions of years after the last.Let's see:

Humans become extinct in 2400; the planet goes on for billions of years.

Or...

Humans become extinct in 9400; the planet goes on for billions of years.