The loss of it of language and culture is definitely important to those who lose it. Look at the Palestinians, or post-colonial indigenous people across the planet. The value of it, as a resource, is one of the incalculable elements of the planet's human ecologies. Language and culture are the bonding agents that keep some groups of neighbours together and others apart. The sense of distinction and difference -- the unique element of existence -- is largely informed by language and culture.
Originally Posted by Hereford Eye
So the loss then makes it a resource, absolutely. There is also the question of the end-product language/culture we derive from our proposed solution. If our goal is to sustain the planet, then a resource that needs to develop is an as-yet non-existent planetary eco-culture and language. How would we go about creating that resource?
Does the system you propose require a universal language or culture?
You're proposing a worldwide solution. There are several systems in place. You mean the American system?
I would use the systems already in place.
I suspect the American system would roundly reject your proposed solution. Unless you are the most eloquent speaker of all time -- better than Hitler and JFK combined -- then the average, lazy, systemically stuck, economically sunk, debt riddled democratic citizen is going to look at your plan and go "WTF? I have to move? Where? Why?"
Environmentalists would **** a brick. Human rights organizations worldwide would become militant!
Poor Africa and South America! ;)
Suppose you subtracted Antarctica from the numbers, then you’ll have 134,344,000 square kilometers of land mass on good ole Earth. Of that, 33% lies in Asia (which in this accounting includes the Middle East). Europe has 7% and North America 14%.
Now I'm wicked confused... how does a 60:33 ratio equal 9ppl/km2, 11:7 equal 7.6ppl/km2, and 8:14 equal 20ppl/km2???
Sticking with the numbers though, in Asia (yes, still including the Middle East), 60% of the world’s population lives on 33% of the world’s land mass. That’s 9 people per square kilometer. In Europe, 11% of the world’s population lives on that 7% of the total land mass for 7.6 people/sq km, and in North America 8% of the total population lives on that 14% of the land mass. That’s 20 people per sq km.
Also, do your area-per-person quantities take into account the area of farm land per person required to keep them fed? Does it take into account available land-fill space required per person to allocate their waste? What about space for the resources we use to build the things we use?
And again, even distribution? clustered distribution? vertical vs. horizontal distribution?
Consider that Australia/Oceania has virtually every single one of the world's deadliest animals and viruses. Consider than Australia's natural environment is a fire-based ecology and has to burn down in order to grow. Consider that Australia's aboriginal people are adapted into the ecological system. Consider that Sydney to Perth is the same distance as New York to Honolulu, and that Australia is some 6000+ kms away, separated by oceans, from the nearest substantial fresh water sources. Consider that the nearest large fresh water source is in China, where the aforementioned 60% of the world's population lives.
consider Australia/Oceania where a mere ½ of 1% of the world’s population is living on 6% of the world’s total land mass for 4 people/sq km.
There is no way to make Australia a globally habitable place, even if the moral and ethical issues in doing so weren't tantamount to genocide!
Why is that scary, exactly? City dwellers, individually, have a lower environmental impact than their rural and suburban brethren. Many cities are veritable models of efficiency. They are the home of culture and language and education. Such population centres have existed throughout human history.
Oh yeah, the final really scary numbers. The proportion of the world’s population living in cities rose from 29% in 1950 to 47% in 1998 and is projected to rise to 55% by the year 2015.
Outside your personal preference in living arrangements, what exactly makes cities a serious consideration in the problem?
But what you're proposing is to make **** happen.
2.5% of the total fresh water available around the globe is in the form of ice and permanent snow. With poles slowly metling away, the amount of moisture entering the atomospher increases. That water must go somewhere. When it does we lose species, e.g., polar bears. When it goes elsewhere, we will lose other species. No matter what we do, we lose species. The nice thing about nature is that species adapt, fill in the niches vacated, and life goes on. Consider the wolf and the coyote. The coyote, in under 50 years, spread from the Sonoran desert to virtually everywhere on the NA continent. In the words of the immortal bumper sticker: **** happens.
First off -- the coyote was already more widespread than just in the Sonoran desert. It has existed across North America since before Europeans got here. As a solitary creature, it naturally evades certain limitations that pack/herd creatures can't cope with caused by human intervention. Human borders and fences have cut off the mobility of herd animals, ending their migratory channels. The coyote is a solitary scavenger and can easily move around between our fences. Mass hunters and grazers have no such luxury. The coyote survives largely off of human waste. I don't understand how this is supposed to be an example that would support any kind of good environmental practice. This is an example of **** happening that we didn't really predict -- incidental. What your proposing, though, takes the incidental things that have lead to the present situation and makes them even more widespread.
Now let's say we took your population figures are really broke them down. Assuming cities really are a problem, assuming we want to level them out and limit their population size so that they conform to an even population distribution across the surface of the earth -- what would the surface of the earth look like?
What we end up with is basically 72 m2 of land per person (based on a population figure of 7 billion, and that's including Antarctica because hey -- it's melting, right? And we need to maximize our land usage, right?). 72 metres. That's basically an 8m x 8m box of space per person across the entire planet. Including the tops and slopes of mountains. Every single human, distributed evenly, gives each of us about the size of a basketball court.
So let's say that people continue to decide to share their lives together and cohabitate. So maybe that's 3 basketball courts of space per person. Which is what suburbia already has -- and suburbia is amongst the largest group of polluters.
If everyone put a fence around their chunk of land, there is no more wildlife. At all. Everyone's backyard becomes a garbage dump? (unless you propose we chuck it in the oceans?) Everyone maintains their own farm? Do the people who live next to the lake get to use the water directly from the lake? How are their resources allocated? How do people get around? Where do they get their power from? Are they allowed to build upwards on their properties? Is it their property?
How much space does industry get? Do they get a share of the water? Will there be large farms? Or does everyone have to feed themselves? How much space does commerce get? How do people get to and from work? Where do they work?
And while I'm at it... how do you get rid of desert ribbons/patches? Weather patterns being what they are, every single continent has a dry area that is roughly 1000-2000kms inland from its westernmost coast, or strung behind a mountain range. Do we over-water these area and under-water the others?
What about areas of geological importance? World heritage sites? Parks?