Level 1: The very basic and necessary requirements of all animals, including the human animal, are water, food and shelter, with humans needing the water to be clean.

Level 2: Health and education. Without those, advancement is next to impossible.

Level 3: Luxuries. All those possessions that people consider necessities, such as phone, TV, cars, refrigerators, stoves etc. etc. are luxuries. Mind you, they are very nice to have, but ultimately, they are luxuries, that only a small percentage of the world’s population can afford for itself.

Level 4: Totally unnecessary crap, wasting energy and precious resources.
But here comes the crunch: The people producing this crap are relying on the sale of it to provide themselves with levels 1, 2 and later, if all goes well, with level 3 of materialism. Which leaves us with an ethical question: do we continue buying the crap?

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One of the most significant reasons that there are such terrible problems with water in the Murray-Darling Basin is the fact that extremely irrigation intensive crops are permitted to be grown in that region: cotton and rice. This practice is not only greatly irresponsible, but also totally unnecessary. Both crops are being produced in abundance in other places in the world, and the production in Australia should be stopped immediately. If this was done, there would be more than enough water for all other users in the region.
A good crop to replace both cotton and rice would be MILLET (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millet) It requires very little water and has many excellent characteristics.

On climate change.

26/10/2010

Climate change has taken place as long as this planet has HAD a climate. The same goes for global warming, as well as global cooling. Both have occurred quite often. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milutin_Milankovic)
The present climate change is a process that started moving at about 1750, the start of the industrial revolution, and the human population explosion (See National Geographic , Vol 174, No.6, page 916) It has been accelerating ever since and it would be folly to believe that the effects of a process that has been accelerating for more than 250 years can be halted in as short a period as 50 or even 100 years. It is now more like an avalanche thundering down a slope that is getting progressively steeper. Does anyone seriously  believe that this process can be stopped before it reaches the bottom of the valley, where most of the life as we know it exists, and mass extinctions will occur?

The discussion about the extent to which human presence on this planet has an effect on these processes is purely academic, and is NOT what should be debated. What SHOULD be talked about, by everybody, not just politicians and scientists, is what can be done to improve LIFE on this planet, and I mean ALL LIFE, not just human life. And simultaneously, what can be done to halt the disastrous rate of extinctions of species, both plant and animal. And how to put an end to the catastrophic habitat destruction that we humans are guilty of. As we claim more habitat for humans, this goes at the expense of habitat for all other species. This HAS to stop, otherwise we will destroy our own chances of survival.

On Future Energy

08/10/2010

I’d like to present my personal ideas regarding the energy requirements for the future, based on non-fossil fuels.

There are basically two types of energy requiring situations:
Static requirements (as in homes, offices, industries etc.), and transportable  requirements (as in transport, industrial, fishing, agricultural machinery, etc.).

The static requirements are presently supplied for the main part by electricity, the common term being “base load”. The energy to supply “base load” will come from geothermal, hydro, tidal- and wave action, nuclear ( safety concerns permitting ), supplemented by solar, wind and bio fuels from non food producing materials.

Transportable requirements will be supplied by hydrogen, supplemented by wind and electricity.

Busses, trucks and trains have the room for strong, safe hydrogen tanks. Such busses are already in use. Urban cars can be powered by electricity alone. Regional private transport may require a mixture of both, which is also an option for farm machinery.

Sea transport will use wind, supplemented by hydrogen engines, with the hydrogen manufactured on board by solar and/or wind power. Japan is already investigating very large wind powered container ships.

Aviation is the most challenging mode of transport. Aircraft engines are already being tested in flight, running on fuel derived from organic materials. Very large airships to carry huge loads were under development in Germany, but stopped for lack of financial support. They remain a serious option for freight and passengers that are not in a hurry.
Perhaps we will have to re-learn not to be in so much of a hurry, and put into place a much more intensive use of tele-commuting.

What is money?

14/09/2010

Everything this magnificent planet has to offer us is completely and utterly free, gratis, for nothing!! So why do we have to pay for the things we need, or the things we want?

The only reason that most things cost money is because humans want to be paid for their efforts and skills.

Some examples: the cow grazes and produces milk for nothing. But the farmer wants to be paid for the effort of milking, storage and looking after the cow. The truck driver wants to be paid for transporting the milk etc. etc.
The apples grow on the tree for nothing. But the farmer wants to be paid for the effort of picking, etc. etc.

Petroleum resides in the reservoir rock for nothing. But the geologist and geophysicist want to be paid for finding it, the driller wants to be paid for tapping into it, etc. etc.

So what is money? It obviously has no intrinsic value whatsoever. It simply is one of several ways to exchange effort. Bartering is quite a good example of another way of doing that.
So, if it is only human effort that dictates that things cost money, why is the same human effort in one country much more “valuable” than in another country?

If we could find a way to reward equal effort in an equal manner, we might find ourselves in a much more livable world.

On IVF

10/09/2010

In this critically overpopulated world of ours there are many  thousands, if not millions, of orphans. They would wish nothing better than to belong to a loving family, with caring parents and siblings. Against this background, I consider any taxpayer money spent on research into, or application of, IVF, unethical and antisocial. If you Must have your very own biological child, and IVF is the only way to achieve this, YOU pay for it. Do not expect the taxpayer to subsidise your wish. About 4 million children (baby makers and baby getters) have been added to this already overpopulated world. And now the Nobel Prize has been awarded to the inventor of the IVF process. What a disaster!!

Dick Smith, the well known australian aviator and businessman recently appeared on ABC TV with a documentary called “The Population Puzzle”. Inspired by his daughter Jenny, he made an heroic effort to break through the taboo on TALKING ABOUT OVERPOPULATION. Unfortunately, I fear that he was very widely misunderstood. But have a look for yourself, and make up your own mind about what he was trying to accomplish.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/breakfast/stories/2010/2977120.htm – 9 Aug 2010

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/11/2979958.htm – 11 Aug 2010

National Geographic, the magazine published in the USA, celebrated its 100 year anniversary in December 1988 with an issue in which the growth of the human population, from 16,000 BC to 1988, with an extrapolation to 2100, was illustrated on quite a large scale. The effects of the “Black Death” are clearly visible, but of the two world wars the effects are hardly noticeable. I find it very interesting to observe that the population growth up to about 1750 was largely linear, but then rapidly turned exponential. This appears to coincide with the start of the industrial revolution.
I strongly believe that every socio-economic or environmental problem in the world can be linked in a logically reasoned manner to overpopulation!

In view of the above, we now should have somewhere around 1.5 billion people. We have about 7 billion.

Have a look at one of the world population clocks:        http://www.ibiblio.org/lunarbin/worldpop

With other words, we have 5.5 billion too many. Any ideas on how to address this problem?

With just 1.5 billion, all the people that would want to have the luxuries that we in the so-called “West” take for granted, could have those without the risk of running out of resources and with a level of pollution the planet could still cope with. It might give us time to refine the art of recycling, and develop sources of energy that would not run out with time, thus safeguarding our finite and therefore extremely precious natural resources.

In a well-run society, unemployment is never a function of too few jobs, it is always a function of too many people. As a consequence, downsizing as a result of advances in technology, leading to people losing their jobs, must not be permitted unless an equal reduction in population is achieved.

If by magic, one could make all unemployed people disappear, together with their families, none of the essential services in this country would suffer. There would be a slight ripple effect of more unemployment as a result of this “magic”, but this ripple effect would quickly fade. I therefore wish to state that any country that has people willing to work, but unable to find work, is overpopulated.

Similarly, homelessness is not a function of a shortage of accomodation, once again, it is due to having too many people!