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WEEK 8: STUDENT QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS


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I don’t understand how the oil companies have such control over the market in terms of automobiles. I feel like some of the responsibility should be put on them to allocate funds to the various auto makers and the like. I wanted to know how it is possible for the government to leave them unchecked. (9171).


According to Kunstler, based on everything we know right now no combination of so-called alternative fuels or energy procedures will allow us to maintain daily life in the US the way we have been accustomed to running it under the regime of oil. Does this mean that life will be sustainable using alternative fuels, but just different that we are accustomed to, or will it not be possible at all? And if it isn't possible at all, why are people so dependent on the thought that alternative fuels will save us, and why are they trying so hard to find new ways to produce alternative fuels? (9945)

Although GM decided to get rid of the electric car in 1999, it seems to be making a return a decade later. The 2010 Nissan Leaf is currently being advertised, and will be available for both lease and sale. In addition, the 2011 Chevrolet Volt is also being introduced to the public as an electric/gas combination vehicle. My question is why did GM decide to recall the electric car over 10 years ago, but are now bringing it back in the form of the Chevy Volt? What has changed that made them decide to change their minds? Is it the presence of another electric vehicle from a competing car company (Nissan), or is it due to other, external factors? Popularity does not seem to be the issue here, as many people expressed interest in the EV1 in 1996 when the car was introduced, and even cared enough about it to protest the practices of the recall. What has changed that led to a decision to bring back the electric car? And what is the fate of cars such as the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt? Will they meet the same end as EV1? (2742)

In the film Who Killed the Electric Car? it discusses who is to blame for abolishing the electric car. Although we do not have EVs anymore, we now have hybrid cars that run on gas and a battery. Was this a form of evolution in terms of the EVs or was it just falsely marketed as a step forward, when really it was a step backwards? If everyone was driving an electric car, gas companies could potentially go bankrupt; however, it would greatly improve the environment and conserve oil (especially when we are in an oil crisis). People that are unaware of this peak oil crisis think that hybrids are a huge “green” move. But, were the EVs a more advanced form of machinery that got a bad rep by the oil and major car companies in an attempt to save their own fortune? And, ultimately, should EVs be the only cars people should be allowed to drive? Allyson Welch


An acquaintance of mine suggested, in accordance with the film, that the electric car was sabotaged by major motor companies fearing the extinction of the internal combustion engine and subsequent dependence on oil, which the auto industry was built on. As a result, electric cars remain impractical and expensive. At best, a four-hour charge, assuming you can find a port, will last about 150 miles. For someone that drives as much as I do, an electric car simply would not work. However, what would happen if the auto industry put more research into the development of better batteries. My same friend insists that the technology in the current electric cars is decades old and could be further developed with greater access to financial resources. So assuming electric-car technology improves, and we abandon the concept of the combustion engine, where will this electricity come from? Lets hope its not coal, which would make our carbon footprint even larger. I would suggest solar energy, however, that technology would have to be improved as well. If we cannot substitute oil with another cheap, fluid fuel, I think the electric motor is the second most viable option. Electric cars already exit and would be a temporary, effective solution to help mitigate our dependence on oil. (5792)

Oil companies seem to do anything in their power to manipulate everyone around them to stay the leader in the car business. How is the public putting up with this? How are more people not angered by the oil companies’ power and how they control the market in their favor, or to whomever they want? Oil companies may back politicians, but maybe we should start voting for people who are not backed by oil companies. 0169

It is ironic that so many people believe in and try to enact a “hydrogen economy” when a more plausible solution is available. Using public transportation or resorting to city-centered living would not only be effective, but it would be possible to achieve. On the other hand, a “hydrogen economy” is not possible to achieve at this point. We are not able to depend on hydrogen because of the EROEI problem exists, as well as several over issues involving the storage and transport of hydrogen. We are, for the most part, in a trance. We cannot see the plausible solution because we are so engulfed in our modern consumer driven lives. We are addicted to oil and all that it brings, from suburbia to car culture. We consider our oil-addicted lives to be “the American Dream.” However, realistically, we are not only at risk of losing “the American Dream,” but we are also at risk of population die off. What can we do? Is there a way to get out of this trance? What psychological concepts can we implement to wake people up? (7473)

In the film, Who Killed the Electric Car?, everyone seemed to have their own idea when asked the question, “who killed the electric car?”. These affordable cars were removed from the market as quickly as they were brought on. The consensus seemed to be that the electric cars were killed by big oil companies who control the auto industry. I believe that there are already electric cars, such as Tesla, that are currently being sold at a very costly price. Is this the compromise between the auto industry and the oil companies? I don’t understand why they were allowed to be put on the market in the first place if they were just going to be recalled. And why isn’t the air quality board doing something to maybe find better technology to fix the pollution problem from gas cars? With oil running out at a fast pace, will the electric cars eventually become the norm? (8341)

Oil companies seem to have no limits to what they will or will not do in order to protect themselves against alternatives to gasoline. Do they think that the peak oil crisis will not (eventually) affect them? Or do they know and just not care? (9758)

The same problem seems to be coming up again and again in this class. At the heart of nearly all the issues we have looked at is the problem of greed. Human greed is an extremely powerful force, especially when looked at in the context of evolutionary psychology. In the ancestral environment, helping others meant you ran the risk of dying at the expense of others’ survival. This need for survival has led to a dominating “look out for number one” mentality in which we have businesses and individuals who are merely concerned with making a profit. Capitalism was built on anyone being able to design a product or service that was so good and useful, everyone would want to buy it. However, now, in the interest of the dollar, the goal of companies is to make you want to buy their product, regardless of how useless it might be. Sales are the ultimate goal, not actually making a difference. Seeing as this type of thinking has likely been crafted by 4,000 years of evolution, do you think it is possible to override this way of thinking without taking another 4,000 years to evolve? If so, how?(7933)


My overall reaction to the "Who Killed the Electric Car?" film was surprise. I could not believe that the state government would side with the car/oil companies over the production of electric, ecologically-friendly vehicles that would have had many positive effects on our state (and society as a whole). I feell like this cycle will only keep continuing and the government will not take responsibility in enforcing environmental policies until it is too late. So if the federal and state governments will not take responsibility for the well-being of the people, is there some way for the people to push/enforce policies ourselves? Since GM pulled the electric car line on the basis that there "was no demand", if we were to have demonstrations and tallies to raise awareness and "demand" the production of electric cars, would that not attract the attention of car manufactuers (who are going bankrupt and are desperate for business)? (5478)









WEEK 6: STUDENT QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS


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One of the main concepts that Kunstler brings up is the idea that a global peak oil situation would inevitably lead to a world war. While in some ways I agree with the idea, I feel that there are other environmental hazards that will have more impact on the global war situation. I feel that while they are related, population increase is much more of a hazard in this sense. I would like to know how the two concepts of population and oil use are related. I feel that the countries that are increasing at the largest rate do not have the largest annual increase in oil use each year. If this is so how could those countries possibly fight in a world war when their population vastly outnumbers the amount of oil and energy resources that they have. (9171)


Kunstler states that an unfortunate self-reinforcing feedback loop of delusion was amounted to by the former baby boomer crowd, who were the ones who started the SUV craze and bought huge mansions in the outmost suburbs. At this same time, computer technology grew as well as the industry that went with it. These baby boomer elite were the ones who thought technology is going to save us, and that there would be a smooth transition into the alternative fuels future- which squared with the wishful views of conventional economists. What is this self- reinforcing feedback loop? (9945)


According to Kunstler, when we reach the global oil peak, a collective state of paranoid will ensue throughout the population. However, how will we truly know when we reach the point of global peak? Who will be the first to experience the effects, and how rapidly will oil become an unavailable resource? According to Hubbert’s second prediction, oil would reach its peak in the earliest part of the twenty-first century. This means that peak oil is already on our doorstep. Have we reached peak oil and have just not felt the effects? (5792)

Kunstler proposes that two decisions made after World War II – suburbanization and building the highway system – were the catalysts bringing us to the result of technological lock-in. Now we are stuck living in suburbia, using enormous amounts of oil. I definitely agree that if we had stayed in the cities and maintained a city-centered society we probably wouldn’t be in this position. However, I can’t help but wonder if we would have compensated, using oil for other things, leading to the same demise of our planet. On another note, I find it really interesting that the world oil production was estimated to have peaked between the years 2000 and 2008. We will not know we have peaked until afterwards, but one sign is several years of market instability, a period of recurring price shocks and recessions. This seems really scary. Consider the economic recession, maybe we really did peak between 2000 and 2008. Since we can never know for sure how much oil we have left, and we tend to overestimate it, maybe we’ve already reached the point of no return. (7473)


Kunstler describes Arabia as being crucial and central to the world’s oil market. However, this is an unstable market, obviously, as the United States has already reached peak oil and the world peak should be currently occurring if it hasn’t already. The western world and the United States, especially, rely heavily on Arabian oil. Global tension already exists, so when the oil reserves are down to its last supplies (which should be very soon) will another World War break out? It doesn’t make sense that world leaders don’t emphasize the problem of limited oil. What is the point of all this talk of world peace if everyone will be fighting over oil? Making the problem known to the public would be a good step in making people aware that the problem of peak oil even exists. At this point, the damage has been done and there is no way to get the world’s oil back. Why would you wait until the very last minute when it is too late to change? It is obvious the United States knows there is a problem, but maybe there are subtle changes that could be made in order to start a change of lifestyle. Instead, the United States continues to be a top consumer of oil and has yet to make any changes in the way this country lives. It makes me wonder what the world will say, looking back in hindsight, when all the oil may be used up in warfare over oil. (8341)

The facts presented in The Long Emergency are so discouraging. Daunting phrases mark every page: “These trends are irreversible” (Kunstler, 26), “…no real solution” (Kunstler, 28), “It all amounted to an unfortunate self-reinforcing feedback loop of delusion” (Kunstler, 30), “we are…unprepared for what is coming” (Kunstler, 31). Statements like these make it seem like there is no hope for our society in surviving very long after the world’s oil production has peaked. I wish this book could be more uplifting and pose feasible alternatives to us, instead of giving us information overload on the negative things. Can you think of any way Kunstler may have been able to frame these problems differently to give us some hope instead of taking it all away? Do you think that everything he is saying is really so matter-of-fact, or do you think he is trying to scare us? Do you think that change would come if this book landed in the hands of the right person? (9758)

Many of the issues we have discussed seem to stem from an odd sort of perpetual optimism. For some reason, humans think they are the be all end all of the universe and that they are above all traditional rules of nature. Is there some sort of evolutionary psychological mechanism that has developed which prevents us from ever thinking something bad might happen to us? Yes, we have created spectacular inventions which have made things possible which few people even dreamed of. However, we are not in complete control of nature and are still subject to many natural laws. Why can there not be a sense of realism in those who believe we can completely avert disaster? In case we don’t happen to find previously untapped sources of oil, or don’t develop a techno fix in time to avert disaster, wouldn’t it be nice to have a backup plan? Would it really hurt anyone if we still continued using oil but there were more wind farms and rooftops all covered in solar panels. We seem to still be stuck in this you are either with us or against us mindset which simply takes us further down towards disaster and away from any real change. Is it that radical of an idea that if the human race does not succeed then none of us as individuals succeed? (7933)

In chapter 3, Kunstler describes the background of the world powers’ interactions with each other on the basis of oil. By the end of the chapter, he has foreshadowed the state of the world after the collapse of the oil industry, which is that it will lead to the biggest (and perhaps last) world war. I remember discussing in class how currently, demand of oil surpasses supply, and also how our current world population growth is unsustainable. Since we are still in the process of creating an alternate energy source, would we have to enforce some kind of world population control strategy by limiting the amount of children a family can have? Of course this will not solve the peak oil problem and would be a seemingly radical law to enforce, but could it have any kind of positive effect on the future supply/demand and also sustainability problem? (5478)

Kunstler stated that because peak oil predictions were like the boy who cried wolf, environmentalists became more cautious in their predictions, downplaying the importance of accurate peak oil predictions. If these conservative predictions had never happened, would we be closer to avoiding peak oil, because we would have begun acting on it earlier? Would current science be more devoted to finding other substitutions for oil, or would we have already found one, since we would have already begun decreasing our dependence on oil? (2742)

In The Long Emergency, it talks about how the various presidents have attempted to inform us about the dilemma of peak oil and how to deal with the future of this dilemma. Jimmy Carter told us that “our continued hyper dependence on oil was a deadly trap and that we would have to change the way we live in America.” George Bush, Sr. told people that there was no need to act or change for the sake of the future because we were at the hands of God and it was under his control. And today, President Obama, is on board with the idea that peak oil is a major issue. These people are educating the American populous based on their own informants or their own beliefs. There are many Americans who are not educated about this topic, so, when they look to a figure such as the President for knowledge about the future, it is often that these people are convinced, despite the fact that this person (the President) may have little to no credibility to be talking about ecological or environmental issues. More people need to be educated about this through school systems, the news, magazines, etc. Credible sources who have some clout over the American people need to be informing people. With so many mixed messages coming from various Presidents coming in and out of office, it is easy for people to start to feel that peak oil is just a conspiracy theory. Allyson Welch






WEEK 4: STUDENT QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

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I found the analogy between addiction to drugs, and addiction to oil very interesting. As Hagens states, “just as an addict becomes addicted to cocaine, heroin, or alcohol,” we as humans have a the neural architecture to become addicted to anything which gives us pleasure (most of which comes from a surplus of energy.) Hagens argues that we need to understand what it will be like when we hit rock bottom, find another addiction, or quit our addictions to energy cold turkey. I don’t understand what he means by this, because our society would no longer function or more realistically exist without energy? (Marisa)


In the article about societal collapse, it discusses the features of collapse. The features are destratification, decentralization, despecialization, destructuralization, and depopulation. It is interesting how these various features can all potentially lead to societal collapse. Societies continuously progress in complexity until they reach a point where they are so complex that the only alternative is any or multiple of these features. The complexity becomes too much for the existing natural resources. If any or multiple of these features are significant to a society then, ultimately, that society falls under a category: dinosaur, runaway train, or house of cards. These categories are overlapping and one category tends to be in existence with another. I believe that our society belongs to all of these categories. Western society is unable to change (at least quickly enough), it functions on growth, and is so large and complex that it may be prone to collapse. What can be done in order to fall out of these categories? Is societal collapse inevitable even if society recognizes its faults and its potential for collapse?
Allyson Welch

If a prosperous economy is an indicator of societal collapse, what should we do? Are we supposed to not try to succeed? I feel like that destroys the young’s motivation to conquer the world. To regulate economic growth, would mean to tell people not to grow to their full potential. Is a communist society to only way to sustain our society? (7473)


When reading about societal collapse, I found it ironic that it is believed that as society becomes more complex, it also heads toward collapse. It seems that the rate at which technology advances in today’s society, it would be impossible to regress. I understand how it can be said that complexity becomes too difficult to monitor and control, which would eventually lead to society’s demise. It made me wonder about our society, which runs heavily on capitalism and technology. Would the United States and other Western societies be faced with the possibility of collapse? The long list of past civilizations and empires, which were labeled as once great and flourishing, makes the idea of Western civilization collapse seem very possible. What kind of collapse would the current world civilizations have? What role would the feature of reversion/simplification and incorporation/absorption, as well as destratification, despecialization, decentralization, destructuralization, and depopulation play in today’s societies? With the population growth, and technological and economic progresses, what features would contribute to collapse or would these all? (8341)

If a prosperous economy is an indicator of societal collapse, does this mean we should regulate economic growth? Capitalism itself has been described as an example of a ‘runaway train’ model. Does this mean that the capitalist system, which promotes economic growth, is destined to result in societal collapse? If this is the case, what social system is sustainable? This seems paradoxical in a sense because any attempt to remedy capitalism of its fatal flaws may also result in an alternative form of societal collapse. Doesn’t changing the system itself necessarily mean the collapse of the current society? (5792)

How do you think globalization relates to societal collapse? Do you think that the improvements in transportation, information technology, and communication technology in the world will steer us away from societal collapse, or do you think they may contribute? Do you think that our ability to do business and trade with other countries will help us grow, or do you think it could ultimately lead to or contribute to our demise? (9758)

In the article by Nate Higgens titled “Peak Oil—Believe it or Not?”, several behavioral and cognitive human tendencies are presented in order to explain why people are not taking the peak oil threat on a personal level. In particular I found the example on denial and cognitive dissonance to be very interesting. The example about the people living downstream a dam concludes that the further away a person lives from the dam, the less concerned they will be about it breaking; however for the person living directly next to the dam, instead of intense anxiety being present, it seems that there is no fear present at all! This is because the person who is the most threatened uses the defense of denial in order to function and not be paralyzed by fear. If it is the case that this is how we, as a country, are dealing with the energy crisis and other environmental problems, what are some strategies we can take to break people out of denial? Instead of showing people data and facts, would it perhaps be more affective to educate them on these sort of behavioral and cognitive tendencies that are keeping them blind to the threats? (5478)

My question for discussion comes from Nate Hagen’s article on peak oil. He uses a passage from Jared Diamond’s book Collapse which discusses the attitudes of people living different distances from a dam. He brings up that the level of concern about the dam breaking becomes greater and greater as you get closer to the dam, but that once you get to the people living directly beneath the dam, you find an attitude of a sort of planned ignorance. Only by going on blind faith can the people living beneath the dam go about their lives rather than running around in panic. My question for discussion is why do you think humans do this? Why do we leave underneath the dam in the first place? What is this seemingly insatiable thirst for conquering nature rather than working with it? Doesn’t it make more sense to live somewhere else rather than have to rework your cognition? (7933)

I was interested in the social complexity idea. The fact that we do this is somewhat disturbing. It almost seems like we waste more time by making a new committee or creating new layers of bureaucracy. Which in turn prolongs the problem. It is understandable that not one person can make all the decisions but why make a mountain out of a molehill if you don’t have to.
In not saying never make a committee, because they can be useful in some circumstances, but for certain issue it would seem to be more efficient if we didn’t hide behind making more layers to a simple issue. (0169)

In response to the societal collapse idea, would our society learn from past mistakes of other cultures and find a solution to inevitable societal collapse, or will we simply deny that anything is wrong until complete collapse is inevitable? Is it even possible to save ourselves from collapse at this point, and if so, will technology be part of the answer like it was in the green revolution of the 1980's? Even with a technological fix, would we as humans be able to continue living the way we are currently, or would we still need to make certain sacrafices and cutbacks in order to ensure the fix will be successful? (2742)





WEEK 3: STUDENT QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS



James Kunstler, author of the book, The Long Emergency, states that he falls in between the “cornucopians,” and the “die-off” crowd, but closer to the more pessimistic of the two. He seems to believe that mankind will continue, but only with huge alterations that will lead us to a “dark passage.” What I wonder is, if so many people believe in the Malthusian theory, that we are all going to die off in the very near future (due to lack of food, because the population is growing exponentially and food grows arithmetically) wouldn’t many people not find the motivation to change their ways, and want to instead live life to the fullest and enjoy what they can instead of sacrificing and losing a lot of what our society has to offer. (ex. Shopping at Kmarts and Walmarts…or buying lobsters flown over from Maine everyday…both actions are possible by an abundance of cheap fossil fuels.) Marisa


In the first chapter of James Gustave Speth’s The Bridge at the Edge of the World, he discusses the eight major global-scale challenges lacking progress. Towards the end of the chapter, he discusses the implications and how people are responding to these challenges. According to Speth, most people are solutionists- people who believe that answers can be found and should be implemented. Furthermore, not all solutionists think the same way; they have different ideas about the “right” answer. Although there seems to be a distinction between the five solutions, based on the evidence from the chapter, it seems the solution should be some kind of implication of the last four.
Government policies implemented that control and guide environmental preservation are essential for forcing people to change their ways. Technology is something that evolves with time; it constantly improves and should be considered a gift in terms of helping the environment (Market World). Environmentally sound technology can be used once people have chosen to use alternative ways for production of goods. A “deep change in social values” (New Sustainability World) can occur as a result of the Policy Reform World (implementation of environmentally sound policies) and the Social Green World (which deals with a redistribution of power in order to regulate available resources). The Fortress World solution does not seem to build a hopeful future nor does it seem to actively address the issues that are at hand.
Allyson Welch


In The Long Emergency, Kunstler is adamant that the “long emergency” is inevitable and will be a period of time in which political, economic, and social crisis will occur. I found this to be a little unclear because I wasn’t sure if there was a set definition of the Long Emergency or if it was as general as I stated above. Kunstler states that there will be a rapid decrease in fossil fuels due to excessive use. Fossil fuels are basically what runs American civilization. He also attributes the population boom to depleting and destroying the natural resources and species of the Earth. It is also predicted that some diseases, such as HIV, will become drug-resistant or mutate and thus become an epidemic.
He also uses an argument based on globalism to support the Long Emergency. This is where I am a little confused because I do not quite understand it in detail. It seems that the gist of it is that, especially in capitalist America, the Long Emergency will affect globalism due to a massive shortage of fossil fuels, and this will result in the downfall of the global economy. As a result, social and political chaos will ensue. (8341)

Is the World Population Really What We Think it Is? According to our class discussion last week, the world population is quickly approaching 7 billion. This got me thinking, how is population measured, and just how accurate are our measurements. Over the weekend, I had a discussion with an individual who insisted that the current figure is actually closer to 9.5 billion. He pointed out that poor sampling methods resulted in inaccurate data. Do we really account for non-industrialized, tribal societies. How did we come up with the 6.5 billion figure? How is population growth accurately measured? Also, are we closer to the end than we think? (5792)

After reading Limits to Growth some points really stuck with me. I was thinking about how much food my household throws out when reading a section that stated, “850 million people chronically eat less food than their bodies require” (Meadows, 58). I felt guilty for throwing away so much food, which then lead me to wonder if that even effects these 850 million people that are going hungry.
Another interesting section to me was the part on the organic food industry. The media leads us to think that organic is almost just a fad, but the book seemed to bring up valid reasons of why we should all buy organic (if our pocket books allowed). Which brings me back up to what I said earlier, how much of a difference would it really make if we all did this/is it worth the extra dollar to buy the organic apple? (0169)

According the Speth, together, the features of modern capitalism are highly destructive of the environment, undermining the planet's ability to sustain life. Therefore, he suggests the fundamental problem is our government, meaning in order to restore and protect our environment, we must change our government / social structure. However, I don’t see how this is really possible. How can we call for government intervention when we know America is founded on the principles of liberty and freedom. How can we propose that our government intervene and take away our civil rights to have children or to have the ability to work and make as much money as possible. How can we propose limits when we worked so hard to get these freedoms? Is it really realistic to believe that the public will comply? (7473)

Everyone has an attitude toward the information presented about the ecological challenges humans are currently facing. In his book, The Bridge at the End of the World, James Speth lists some that he’s encountered:
Resignation: All is lost.
Divine Providence: It’s in God’s hands.
Denial: What problem?
Paralysis: It’s too overwhelming.
Muddling Through: It’s going to be all right, somehow.
Deflection: It’s not my problem.
Solutionist: Answers can and must be found.”
Speth says “most of us are solutionists” (Speth, 42). In your experience, have you found this to be true? If not, which of the above attitudes would you say the majority of people adopt? Do you think a person’s stance can change? What are the psychological reasons that make a person choose one of these particular attitudes? Finally, can you think of a psychological study that examined any of these positions? (9758)

From my experience, it seems the only driving force behind large scale change is profit. We see this in environmentalism or, “going green”. There as long been the call for humans to live more responsibly and more in touch with the environment rather than abusing it. Several small scale companies have been making an effort at producing goods which are more environmentally friendly, but only lately have you seen the bigger companies “going green”. Unfortunately, it seems the motivating factor behind this is that being green is now in. Before, and somewhat still to this day, people simply wanted the cheapest product available no matter what the side effect. However, now that being green is the thing to do, people are willing to pay a little extra to show they are environmentally conscious. Companies realize this, and you now see even the biggest brands promoting products as “green”.
This is unfortunate, for as the authors of our book believe, I feel drastic change is needed if we as a nation want to be more environmentally responsible. As Kunstler writes, “conditions over the past two decades made possible the consolidation of retail trade by a handful of predatory, opportunistic corporations […] this development was uniformly greeted as a public good by the vast majority of Americans” (16). We are a nation fueled by consumption and greed, with many of those at the top being the greediest in the nation. With culture change comes a changing of the system, and no one wants what they have earned to be taken away. However, if those at the top now can stay at the top in the new system, perhaps some change will occur. (7933)

In response to the Malthusian Catastrophe, I have a problem with the claim that even voluntary population control methods will eventually fail and we will still have a population crisis. Recent statistics have shown that, especially in developed countries, people who are making more money typically have fewer children. The exact reasons for this are unclear, but there could be a third variable present, such as education levels. Those with higher education tend to marry later and make more money, and also have fewer children. Birth control is also more readily available to people in developed countries, and can even be accessed by those of lower socioeconomic status. Therefore, a solution to the Malthusian Catastrophe would be to help developing countries continue to develop, and push those third-world countries into development.
The Malthusian Theory also states that some groups of people prefer to have larger families with more children, which will lead to their children wanting to have large families with a lot of children, and so on. While this is true, this represents only a small portion of the population. And with the majority of the population having less than 3 children, this minority is not necessarily a problem. In addition, most of the individuals who are having many children live in third-world or developing countries, and as a result, have lower income, which decreases the likelihood of the survival of the children. With education and development of these countries, birth rates should decrease as well as infant mortality rates, and population will stop growing at such a rapid rate. (2742)