Friday, March 2, 2012

… and the fishes of the sea …

fishing_boat

When I was a boy many moons, several suns and quite a few stars ago, fish in the sea seemed truly unlimited.  The sea itself was unimaginably vast and the sea life within was even further from countable comprehension.

Now I share this ball in space with seven billion other people.  If we could stand on one another’s shoulders, we would reach to the moon and back about 25 times!  We are about 500 million tons of human mass!  That takes a lot of food.  That takes an amount of food incomprehensible to me.

So, back to our original unimaginably vast, limitless sea life.  It isn’t nearly so limitless now that the human numbers have ballooned so.  In fact, we are well on the path of consuming vast portions of that sea life to sustain ourselves.  And still our numbers grow.

This can’t continue forever, you know.  I’m beginning to suspect that there may be consequences.  Gather your seven kids around the table to discuss it.

This topic brought to the Loose Blogger Consortium by Magpie 11.  You can find links to his and the other active LBC Members, many of whom are publishing on this topic as we speak, on the right hand side of this site.

17 comments:

  1. More reason to become vegetarians or at least eat more veggies and less animal life.

    The prospect of population explosion is frightening--but I firmly believe that malthus will have the last say--nature will take care of excess.

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    1. By our attempts to exempt ourselves from nature's strictures on so many other fronts, we unfortunately take many creatures with us on our path.

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  2. I don't remember having seven kids! But I am in the habit of discussing matters with myself (aloud)!

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    1. And, when you discuss them with yourself, I listen!

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  3. That's a bit of a downer, Old Fossil. We can't just suck our thumbs to save the planet, can we? Come to think of it: Save the planet for whom? Note to self: I am not on Ramana's blog.

    And my one and only eldest of the other six never born likes his Omega 3. Thankfully Mackerel (line caught) is plentiful, only a stone throw away from here.

    U

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    1. All of you commenting are not American. Our debate over here is whether it is somehow sinful to provide contraception. What I am pointing to is that we have to either realize that sex for pleasure and an expression of love is a good thing, even when not aiming at procreation, or we will need to face Malthus or Armageddon.

      It is not so much of a downer as an attempt to get people to look at the reality squarely in the face. The days of "be fruitful and multiply" needs to be tempered and reproduction needs to become a responsible activity.

      Probably little chance of this happening any time soon and it certainly can't be legislated.

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    2. Hmmm ... it just struck me. Save the planet for whom? For that kid of yours who likes his Omega 3. And his kids. And their kids.

      I am a big fan of paying forward.

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    3. Oh dear, how tiresome that contraception is STILL being debated. Access to some form of birth control seems a human right to me.

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    4. bwt, I agree with you totally.

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  4. Yes, there will come a time when we are so over populated that we cannot survive. I fear for the future of the human race.

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    1. As do I. We have much to address in our growth as a species.

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  5. Another synchronicity. Please read my follow up post that should go live on Monday my time. In the meanwhile, there is another path that I used to propagate that is not receiving the attention that it deserves - Systems Thinking. I was gently led into it by Donella Meadows in her monumental work - Limits To Growth and subsequently by many others including the update after thirty years. You might like to research this.

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    1. I find pretty much all of your suggestions worthy of further research and I thank you.

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  6. Fact of the matter is we can srtill produce enough food to feed the hungry masses. We have massive distribution issues. And being a vegetarian is IMHO irrelevant as nearly all criter based food is renewable. Even fish. We just need to be smart about it.

    Be fruitful & multiply was fine when we had high infant mortality rates and an agrarian based society. History has taught is that as our society became wealthier our population stabilized. We can thank contraception for that. Now we need to revamp our education system to meet the needs of a technological society - not one agaion based on an agrarianm culture.

    Bottom line - we can ensure the little fishes will be available for future generations if we really want to. Here that means if someone figures out how to make a buck at it.

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    1. I agree that we can if we want to. Most of the time, that involves reacting as our backs are pressed to the wall. If we are lucky and enough people work with foresight, that will not be too late.

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  7. As far back as 2006 here has been concern that chemicals, known as endocrine disruptors, are causing fish to change sex. Hormones in the sewage, including those produced by the female contraceptive pill, ware thought to be the main cause.

    It would kinda put you off a fish supper!

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    1. We have the same problem with our fish in the San Francisco Bay and I would not eat anything caught from there.

      However, you may be pointing to the reason my bra size has changed ...

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