Population

Agriculture – a way to fight off Mother Nature’s murder attempts

If Mother Nature was an actual mother she wouldn’t be a very good one. She would probably be one of those manic depressive alcoholics whose benevolence it would be impossible to count on – she could come home either with a brand new bike or an eviction notice.

There is actually a point to this rant as this entry (and the following two) will focus on the issue of food production. I will be looking at how the efficient revolution has taken place in food production and how I believe it could ensue in the future in both farming as well as meat production.

In a way the history of human subsistence can be seen as a continuous struggle to stave off the innate efforts of our environment(s) to destroy us. Some might consider this a modernist view but I want to emphasise that I do not see it that way. It is only from the relative safety of the modern society that we can afford to consider nature somehow a benign being. And predictable food production is naturally one of the most important prerequisites for societies to avoid an early grave. (more…)

Humanity has been making love, not war, for some time now

The following sentence might send the parts of your brain that hold the rein on your cognitive dissonance on a flurry but I will say it in any case. Humanity is living its most peaceful time. Ever. The chances that you will be a victim of a violent crime or casualty of a conflict are lower than ever.

It is true that humans have got better and more efficient at killing each other over the history but it is also true that we have come better at restraining ourselves from committing our aggressive impulses.

In this post I will examine the reasons for such developments.

The main content for this entry comes from a book that I have been reading on and off for a year and finally finished last week – Steven Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature. He argues the world has never experienced as peaceful times as these (relatively speaking). According to Pinker, there are several factors behind this wildly positive development but I will focus on three themes. But let us start with the numbers first.Rates of violence (more…)

Is population growth a problem?

There’s a good chance that if you’ve heard of Hans Rosling‘s name you are not as worried over population growth as the average person. If you haven’t, you are likely to think that the earth is being swarmed by people. The typical conundrum goes along the lines that we are overcrowding the planet with an ever increasing speed as if there was no tomorrow. Moreover, you probably believe that in order to prevent a global population bomb from exploding it is necessary to implement strict measures, such as the Chinese one child policy. When you look at the below graph it is difficult to disagree with such musings. (more…)