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1 2nd January 01:17
daniel j. lavigne
External User
Posts: 1
Default Is a Sustainable Future Even Possible?

From: Systems Research Institute, Pune;
J G Krishnayya wrote:

Many developing countries are not as much into the Petro-economy in many
parts of the country (other than the urbanised areas). My question is, can
we envision a sustainable future for these populations?

J G Krishnayya
Prof J G Krishnayya
Executive Director,
Systems Research Institute, 17-A, Gultekdi,
Pune 411 037, INDIA Tel: +91-20-4260323
Res: 6 Parvati Villa Road, Pune 411 040 Tel: 6363930


MODERATOR: First of all, one must define "sustainable". The definition I
have been using is: "a society that intentionally limits both consumption
and population to stay within its carrying capacity". This seems like a
reasonable, simple definition.

A sustainable society defined as such would:

#1 first have to know what its carrying capacity was (who knows that even

#2 then, ration all resources in a way that feels fair to most people (the
sustainable use of a nonrenewable resource is zero),

#3 and then, either limit births and/or terminate those who were already
born in order to stay within carrying capacity (if Mary gets pregnant, kill
one of Sally's kids).

After an extensive search of the literature, I was unable to find a reliable
record of such a society ever existing. Indeed, evolution theory tells us
(e.g., the "social intelligence hypothesis"*) that such a society is
probably impossible because limits on consumption and reproduction are
precisely what humans evolved to evade. In other words, if such a
sustainable society were to somehow come into existence, before long it
would be overthrown by revolution.



* "The social intelligence hypothesis posits that the large brains
distinctive cognitive abilities of primates (in particular, anthropoid
primates) evolved via a spiraling arms race in which social competitors
developed increasing 'Machiavellian' strategies." p. 240, MACHIAVELLIAN
INTELLIGENCE II, Andrew Whiten & Richard W. Byrne Eds.; Cambridge, 1997;

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2 5th January 21:38
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Posts: 1
Default Is a Sustainable Future Even Possible?

On Mon, 30 Jun 2003 23:59:45 -0400, "Daniel J. Lavigne"


which is clearly proving false in the advanced economies where
birth rates are steadily falling below replacement levels...

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3 12th January 06:47
daniel j. lavigne
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Default Is a Sustainable Future Even Possible?

Ah, this looks like simple denial, Jay. I give observations of limited
growth, give a mechanism for how it could become established, and you
ignore these and simply say it will never happen for people, the only thing
people can do is be limited by misery induced by pushing to the limits.

In fact, even that model of misery of the French village you give is not
the norm for most of human existence. When the bones of hunter-gatherers,
limited in population by external factors, are compared with later
agricultural societies, it is easy to see that while the numbers are less,
the bones show much healthier individuals, that did not have lives of
endless suffering. (Jared Diamond has written about this in "The Third
Chimpanzee", and I've seen references to it in other places, too)
Individuals were taller on average, better fed, with far less signs of
chronic disease. With them it was more a case of you either lived healthy
or died fast, living in prolonged misery happened but it was relatively
rare. Prolonged misery is a very unusual condition for living things.
Only the confused mentality of the last few thousand years allows prolonged
misery to go on, and this is a short time in evolutionary terms. I think
it will pass for similar reasons to the way people with a strong sense of
self limitation will be selected to live over those that have little to no
sense of limits. Mental confusion is a weakness. People are confused
about meddling with the "soul" of other people, they are confused about
whether other people are their business or not. Monetary systems divide us
into living as independent agents, rich and poor, yet we need each other,
this fosters confusion about who gets treatment and what sort of treatment.

Allowing misery to be prolonged is a weak state for a society, lots of
physically and mentally stunted people will not deal with problems as well
as a smaller but healthier number.

I do not see the example of the miserable French village as one that will
ever be common again. The confusion that created it should die out as a
weakness. The average IQ will be higher, people with the understanding of
the need to limit themselves should be selected because they act in more
energy efficient ways, are not confused about the state of reality. I do
not see how we could go back to the model of the hunter-gatherer of the
past, healthy but dying quickly of external causes as soon as health was
lost, unless we lost tremendous amounts of rather fundamental knowledge,
like the existence of microbes, the role of these in disease and food
storage, what a chimney does for keeping smoke out of a dwelling, and many
other things. We can pass information via writing better now than even the
Romans could, they had not developed punctuation and spaces between words.
An elementary school child is today taught calculation methods beyond what
the Romans had. We are not likely to forget so much.

I think humanity can go forward. The observation of the existence of
limits stands, the mechanism for how it comes to be stands. Humanity is
not immune to evolutionary mechanisms, it does not have to go back to the
confused misery of the middle ages, or the profound ignorance of earlier
times. Denial that self limitation is possible for a humanoid creature has
no backing. Perhaps survivors are not really human, in the common sense of
what a human is. Certainly I've been accused of being inhuman many many
times. But that simply falls under what I've already agreed, that for most
of humanity now, self limitation is impossible. It is not impossible for
me, and I know I am not alone. Some few can limit themselves without the
support of a group. With the support of a group, many who do not have the
strength to go it alone, would be able to do it. We exist, it cannot be
said that there are simply no examples of people practicing self limitation
to be selected. I predict that they can and will be selected to survive
better than non-limiters.


At 02:24 PM 07/01/2003 -0700, you wrote:

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4 16th January 22:04
daniel j. lavigne
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Posts: 1
Default Is a Sustainable Future Even Possible?

At 5:51 PM -1000 7/1/03, <> wrote: [--]


Survival in the short term: Type 1 group
Survival in the long term: Type 2 individuals


Moderator: Groups don't evolve, individuals (or gene groups) evolve.

In the short term AND long term, type 1 individuals will survive/evolve. Type
1 people will take resources from the type 2 people, **** their women, kill
their men, and eat their children. Before long there will be no type 2 people
left. That's essentially what has happened all over the world.

If they were isolated from each other, then the total numbers of type 1s would
be less than the numbers of type 2. But if they interact, aggression wins.

"War is a male reproductive strategy. All that is needed for the strategy to
evolve, is that aggressors fight and win more often than they lose."
-- Michael P. Ghiglieri

The goal of the Tax Refusal is to force Humanity to choose
between the total and ALL-OUT USE, OR DISMANTLING, of all
Nuclear and other Weapons of Mass Murder.

In order to arrive at a decision to "dismantle" all such weapons,
"EVERYONE" must come to a conclusion that Humanity, continuing
as it presently does, will USE all such weapons and that, if
our purported existence as "sentient beings" is to hold as
valid, the only choice is to vote to "dismantle".

However, everyone KNOWS (or believes) that everyone else is lying,
that being a fact that can not be overlooked, we are left to accept
the unavoidable outcome, the TOTAL USE of all Nuclear and other Weapons
of Mass Murder . . especially as the needs of greed are increasingly
denied due to the peak of production of conventional oil, and the total
depletion of Natural Gas in North America.

So, what can one do to address the situation, other than to accept the
reality of such near term use, and the demand by most nation states that
their citizens ignore such as the Nuremberg Principles and their lawful
duty to refuse to support a society that would be party to Mass Murder??

Dare one actually ACT on such duty? Dare one imperil their selves and
their families increasingly desperate situations by actually taking part
in a process that DARES TO CONFRONT SUCH FACTS and asks that ALL develop
a similar level of courage and insight??

If too few dare to do such, is there any possibility that Humanity, left to
own devices, will develop a sense of "Human Dignity" sufficient to permit it
confront the reality of the energy crisis with determination sufficient to try
to mitigate the horror and undescribable misery that shall be the lot of most
we have to learn to survive on a planet which has been rendered an
unfit habitat for humanity due to our past reluctance to acknowledge the
reality of our unlimited greed for "MORE!" ??

Is anyone foolish enough to claim that Humanity, without fossil fuel inputs
as fertiliser and oil and fuel for tractors, delivery vehicles and processing
will be able to grow and process food sufficient to feed 6.3+ BILLION PEOPLE??

If there is any solution that might offer some hope of Humanity surviving
the coming crisis with integrity and hope sufficient to guide us towards an
understanding of what is meant by "Sustainability", that "solution" can be
found solely in the minds of those who are not prepared to abandon the
significance of their existence as sentient beings and are prepared to
confront any and ALL governments and to force them to address the crisis
while there might still be time to instill a rigorous program of sharing,
necessary rationing and limits on births, leading to an acceptance by ALL
that we have no other choice if our hopes for Humanity's long term future
are to have any chance of coming to fruition.

Alas! I share Jay's views. We haven't a hope, none whatsoever, of bringing
about that necessary "awakening". That being so, there is no reason to pay
taxes to societies that lack the ability to understand where they will all
soon end up. And, that being so, make your refusal to support such fools
work to Humanity's advantage by proclaiming your decision to everyone
you meet. Thank you.
Add your voice to reason's call. Join the Tax Refusal.
"Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change
the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
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5 20th January 06:54
External User
Posts: 1
Default Is a Sustainable Future Even Possible?

Indeed: any society that worries about "sustainability" is already
doomed. If we could create the ideal bunny-hugging sustainable utopia
here on Earth, then it would, at best, only last until bunny-raping,
expansionist, bug-eyed monsters arrived from outer space and killed us all.

And how exactly would you do that? It's only big government that has
kept nukes mostly out of private hands, in a free market Bill Gates
could just call up Nukes'R'Us and order a few twenty megaton fireworks
on his Amex card... nukes are just not that hard or expensive to build.

Which is impossible, since most non-fanatics can see quite clearly
that there are many other choices... and in the long run the Earth is
doomed anyway; if we don't destroy it then the bunny-raping bug-eyed
monsters from outer space will do so sooner or later.

Yes. We just build nuclear power plants for energy (with enough energy
you can do anything), and optimise food production as much as possible
to reduce the energy required.

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