AuthorTopic: Malthus to China Potpourri  (Read 39636 times)

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42014
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #75 on: July 22, 2012, 02:31:31 PM »
I personally don't like mega-posts. I like bite-sized chunks, partly because
I can then refer to them later by number; but also because I think that
parsing them out like that makes it all easier to digest. Maybe I am wrong, but
that is how I look at it. 

You think that 15,000 words as ONE post is more likely to be read than 15,000
words divided into 20 posts?  Maybe. But I don't see why. If anything, the
opposite.

The problem is you clutter up the Recent Comments Listing with just posts from this thread.  You could easily take chunks of say 4 of your posts and combine them in one post broken up into 4 Parts I-IV.  This would reduce the listing in Recent Comments by 75%.

RE
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 02:35:14 PM by RE »
Save As Many As You Can

Offline alan2102

  • Contrarian
  • Waitstaff
  • *
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #76 on: July 22, 2012, 03:20:55 PM »
I personally don't like mega-posts. I like bite-sized chunks, partly because
I can then refer to them later by number; but also because I think that
parsing them out like that makes it all easier to digest. Maybe I am wrong, but
that is how I look at it. 

You think that 15,000 words as ONE post is more likely to be read than 15,000
words divided into 20 posts?  Maybe. But I don't see why. If anything, the
opposite.

The problem is you clutter up the Recent Comments Listing with just posts from
this thread.  You could easily take chunks of say 4 of your posts and combine
them in one post broken up into 4 Parts I-IV.  This would reduce the listing in
Recent Comments by 75%.

Well, that's different.  I didn't know I was screwing up some listing somewhere
else. Pardon me. I had never been to the "recent comments" page.  However, now
that I have gone there (just now), I note that there is ONE line for each thread; i.e.
individual posts are not listed there, just threads... with the one having the most
recent activity at the top, I gather, and the rest descending by time of last activity.
Is that what you meant? You don't like having the "Malthus to China" thread at the
top of that list, persistently? 

For the record: I'm done with the mass posting. There was a bunch of stuff that
needed to be said, more or less all at once, but from here on it will be smaller and
more occasional repartee. Anyone who is interested in China needs to read the
complete series of posts, starting with #19 I believe.  I do not apologize for the
fact that it is a fair amount of reading.  That's the price of being an informed
person, and having something worthwhile to say about a subject.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42014
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #77 on: July 22, 2012, 04:23:21 PM »

Well, that's different.  I didn't know I was screwing up some listing somewhere
else. Pardon me. I had never been to the "recent comments" page.  However, now
that I have gone there (just now), I note that there is ONE line for each thread; i.e.
individual posts are not listed there, just threads... with the one having the most
recent activity at the top, I gather, and the rest descending by time of last activity.
Is that what you meant?

No, wrong page dude.  Go here:

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=recent

This listing gives the most recent 100 comments on the Diner.  Its what I read from to catch up after I have been away from the computer a while.  When you make a zillion posts to your thread, you push off the bottom of list posts I may not have read yet.  It is unnecessary to make so many posts.  You could consolidate information like this into fewer posts.  Your cooperation in this is requested.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline alan2102

  • Contrarian
  • Waitstaff
  • *
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #78 on: July 22, 2012, 06:00:54 PM »
OK. As I said, no more mass posting; that was a one-time thing.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42014
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #79 on: July 22, 2012, 06:01:56 PM »
From Steve on Economic Undertow in his article Fuel, Money, Climate

Quote from: Steve from Virginia
Quote from: Keith Bradsher
China and Money:

Price Data Suggest Specter of Deflation in China
Keith Bradsher (NY Times)

Prices are tumbling across the Chinese economy, according to government data released Monday, as a flood of goods pouring out of the country’s factories and farms exceeds anemic demand from Chinese households and businesses.

The downward trend makes it much harder for businesses to sell enough goods to repay loans that they took out, usually on the expectation of rising prices. Falling prices also discourage investment, which had slowed sharply this spring, and gave consumers an incentive to delay purchases until prices could fall further.

The news of falling prices, together with a pledge by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Saturday to maintain stringent bans on real estate speculation, produced a slide Monday in mainland Chinese stock markets. The main index of the Shanghai stock market dropped 2.4 percent, while the Shenzhen stock market’s benchmark fell 2.2 percent.

China has been a candidate for hyperinflation to occur and still might, however declining interest rates and the slowdown of Wall Street lending in general mean the long-running carry trade bringing dollars to China has run its course. Without a flow of new capital, hyperinflation appears to be less likely. Fewer funds are also being imported by manufacturers as sales slow in Europe and the US.

« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 06:07:07 PM by RE »
Save As Many As You Can

Offline alan2102

  • Contrarian
  • Waitstaff
  • *
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #80 on: July 22, 2012, 06:21:23 PM »
This is a lengthy, detailed report, which is unfortunately
placed behind a registration wall. You have to register to
enter; however, registration is easy and FREE, so go ahead
and do it to get the full text. Also, this is one of two
reports along similar lines (see at the link).
These are just fragmentary snippets:
Quote

http://www.china-greentech.com/report
The China Greentech Report 2012
Faced with Challenges, China Accelerates Greentech Growth
[...snip...]


I just realized that the registration wall is not real; they just don't give you
the link until you register.  But I will give you the link!  here it is
(I would have given it to begin with, but I didn't realize that it is accessible
without registration):
http://www.fileden.com/files/2012/5/11/3302935/China_Greentech_Report_2012_English.pdf

Also: this is a GREAT, very detailed report, almost 200 pages, with many hundreds
of references to both the  Chinese and English literature.  The orientation is business
and investment (in the Greentech sector), which is not my preferred orientation, but
they are forgiven. The book is laden with detail and documentation as to what is
going on in this area, not restricted to finance/investment.   It  is not a puff-piece or
tout; it is very candid about the PROBLEMS being encountered. For example, there
are significant financing problems in the solar  area (Ash, take note), and these might
get worse if the global economy goes south.

There are TONS OF PROBLEMS, CHALLENGES, DIFFICULTIES, and ROAD-BLOCKS. There
are SHORTCOMINGS, SHORTFALLS, WEAKNESSES and FAULTS. There are DANGERS,
HAZARDS, TRAPS and TRIP-WIRES.  I don't want anyone to get the idea that the
conversion is going to be easy!

Offline JoeP

  • Sous Chef
  • ****
  • Posts: 2148
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #81 on: July 22, 2012, 06:25:01 PM »
Alan:  "Anyone who is interested in China needs to read the complete series of posts, starting with #19 I believe"

Well I'm interested in China, but I didn't catch where you answered my question in reply #56.  Can you point me to where you answered this specific question?  There are just so many replies in this thread in one day I probably missed it.
 
just my straight shooting honest opinion

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42014
    • View Profile
Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
« Reply #82 on: July 22, 2012, 06:39:13 PM »
Two from Caixin Online.  Where the "Subscribe Button" reads, "Buy Now or Die Later".  If I ever Monetize the Diner, I am ripping off that Tag Line.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE

By Yang Wang 07.13.2012 19:21
Why Eating in China is No Game

To win gold, China’s athletes must beat not only their competitors, but the chemicals added to food in the country


 Liu Xiang, China’s best 110 meter hurdler, hasn’t had pork for years

Because of my work, I often have lunch meetings with athletes. Most of the time, they are most willing to sit down to talk to me over a meal, but not recently.

"We are not allowed to eat outside of the training center cafeteria anymore," one athlete from China's swimming team told. "Otherwise we could be thrown off the team!"

This year, the General Administration of Sports prohibited all of the country's sports teams from eating pork, beef or lamb, except for the meat provided from known safe sources at the athletes' training bases.

China's has had countless serious issues with food in recent years. In the sports sector, where doping is of particular concern, it's no wonder the sports authority keeps a very close eye on what the members of its national teams put in their mouths.

Before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng received a lifetime ban. He was believed to have eaten barbecue at a roadside stall and thus had a serious level of clenbuterol in his blood. Farmers in China illegally add clenbuterol to pig and sheep feed to keep the animals lean. In the sporting world, the chemical is a performance-enhancing drug.

In August 2010, German table tennis star Dimitrij Ovtcharov tested positive for clenbuterol in a routine examination. He suspected that the meat he ate a week earlier in Suzhou during the China Open must have contained this banned substance.

As a result, the anti-doping organizations in France and Germany have exhorted their athletes not to eat any meat products coming from China to avoid getting a positive score in a doping test.

China's national quarantine department says that before meat can be cooked for the national teams it is tested.

Except that for China's astronauts, no supply of food is safer than the one especially for China's national teams.

In it for the long haul, the Chinese marathon team eats chickens they raise themselves. The judo team in Tianjin keeps an arm lock on its meat supply by keeping its own pigs.

The vice-director for security at the National Aquatic Centre said that all 196 swimmers of the national team were obliged to stop eating any meat for 40 days around February this year simply because of a lack of any source of qualified meat.

The family of Liu Xiang, China's best 110 meter hurdler, said Liu hasn't had pork for years.

China recently came fifth in the World Grand Prix Finals of women's volleyball. Yu Juemin, the national team's coach attributed the poor performance to the fact that "the team hasn't had any meat for three weeks. The impact of this diet on their nutrition has affected the physical force of the players."

China's sports teams' attitude towards food also reflects the mindset that only a gold medal is worth having.

At the upcoming Olympics in London as many as 600 international chefs are said to be working to come up with all variety of delicacies to satisfy the best athletes in the world.

It will be a great shame for the Chinese teams, who are supposed to stick to their own cooks, not to enjoy the Chinese food that would have been prepared specially to cater to them. Most of all, they should get out of their dormitories and have some fun with other athletes from all over the world.

After all, it's only a game.

The author is a sports columnist


-------------

By staff reporter Gong Jing 07.17.2012 16:54

Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket


Will a 410 billion yuan government project be enough to finally rid China’s cities of unsafe drinking water?   


(Beijing) – Hurtling beneath the ground, there are sturdy new subways coursing through every major urban center of China like an electric current of modernity. The country's rapid urbanization in a matter of mere decades has produced engineering marvels that will be held up in the future as feats of fortitude and ingenuity.

But also installed underground with the power to astonish are failing water supply infrastructure networks. To date, there isn't a single city in China that provides safe tap water to all of its residents.

In 2006, the latest revisions to the Standards for Drinking Water Quality stipulated that tap water quality across the country would be directly potable by July 1 of this year. The deadline came and went with no apparent recognition.

Du Ying, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), announced the results of a 2011 report on drinking water. In samples from major cities nationwide, Du said the largest cities had an 83 percent rate of compliance, while medium-sized cities had a 79.6 percent rate. This means that for every 100 urban residents with tap water, roughly 79 have access to water that can be drunk straight from the tap without boiling.

City governments have attempted to raise drinking water coverage but appear to have gained little headway. In 2004, Hangzhou completed construction of its Nanxing Waterworks Deep Treatment Facilities. The Hangzhou government announced the city would have directly potable water by 2008. However, just before the end of 2008, the municipal government pushed the deadline back by two years. By the end of 2010, however, the city still was not able to provide directly potable water to all residents.

Parts of Guangzhou and Shenzhen have also attempted to achieve directly potable tap water, but without success.

In addition to this, large and medium cities have compartmentalized the effort by setting goals for potable tap water in residential complexes, schools, hotels and public places.

City government officials have complained that the cost of water treatment remains too high for current budgets. Others say that even when properly treated, directly potable water may not be feasible with deteriorating water infrastructure networks.

Adding to this was the tepid reception to the 2006 drinking water standards. The standards were never viewed as feasible given the country's poor management of its secondary water supply, numerous senior officials at Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) and Ministry of Health said on the condition of anonymity. Water pollution, old pipes and private sector siphoning of water resources all represent major obstacles to addressing tap water quality.

Liu Wenjun, former director of the Tsinghua University's Drinking Water Safety Institute, said that in contrast to other countries, the question of feasibility comes after investment plans and projects are issued.

"The new standards were introduced without preliminary studies or implementation plans. After that, there were no follow-up investment plans and no assessment measures," said Liu.

The failure to meet the new standards by the deadline is not the standards themselves, said Tsinghua University Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering Wang Zhansheng, but instead the government's lack of initiative. Wang said funds were never issued by the central government, and not enough importance was attached to the task.

Many of China's drinking water experts say that since the 1990s, the country has not kept up with water infrastructure investments. The result has been a hulking barrier to clean water made up of sub-standard water plants and pipe networks, embedded in every major urban area.

On June 14, MOHURD and the NDRC jointly issued a plan to invest 410 billion yuan in the urban water supply before 2016, the biggest flow of government funds to national water infrastructure since the 1990s.

The plan allocates 46.5 billion yuan to updating water treatment facilities, 83.5 billion yuan to improving water pipe networks, 94 billion yuan to new plant construction, 184.3 billion yuan to new pipe networks, 1.5 billion yuan for water quality testing and 200 million yuan in emergency water supply capabilities.

Wang said the 46.5 billion yuan will be directed at upgrading water treatment facilities, adding that following this, the government estimates roughly 20 percent of water plants nationwide will be able to meet national water treatment standards.

Investments to the pipe network are expected to completely update the water pipe infrastructure.

However, a lingering concern among experts isn't so much the plan itself, but execution. Wang said he is concerned over whether the investments will be implemented. A striking omission in the plan is the source of the funding – it seems the central government will be relying on local governments to bear most of the cost.

"The plan won't work if it relies on local governments for investment," said Wang. "Provinces with poor economies just won't be investing what they need to invest."

Investment is only one dimension of providing safe drinking water for China's 600 million urban residents. Nationwide, the secondary water supply is becoming increasingly polluted by industrial activity and poor sanitation treatment.

In China's provincial capitals, each city has thousands of tanks and reservoirs. But because facilities were never built to standard and sanitation inspections remain lax, much of the water supply is susceptible to microbial contamination.

Tap water is the product of a complex system which includes water treatment plants, pipes and other factors. But if no measures are taken to address water quality at the source, corrective measures for a functioning infrastructure aren't likely to succeed, said Liu.
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Ashvin

  • Troll
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 3136
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #83 on: July 22, 2012, 07:35:50 PM »
Alan,

I'd like to look at that report, but this is the message I get from virus protection software:

"When we tested this site, it attempted to make unauthorized changes to our test computer by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious security threat which could lead to an infection of your computer."

I don't know if that's just some issue with my software, but I'd rather not risk it.

Here's an idea I was going to propose anyway - why don't you just write an article about the state of clean energy tech development in China, picking out what you feel are the most relevant parts of that report or others? I'm sure RE would publish it for you.

Frankly, you're not going to get many people to ever sift through a 200 page report to figure out WTF is going on over there. And if your ultimate objective is get this information out to more people, then you need to do your own write up and make it an article. Maybe even a series of articles. That would also make it easier for other people to formulate any criticisms of the information that they may have, and then for you to respond to those, so on and so forth.

Just an idea...

Offline alan2102

  • Contrarian
  • Waitstaff
  • *
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #84 on: July 22, 2012, 07:54:45 PM »
Alan is kind of like me with regards to spiritual discussions. He feels that he has
discovered some very important Truths, perhaps a year or two ago, that are not
getting nearly enough attention in the Doomer community.
Yes, truths, in my view, but heavily undergirded with FACTS, which are not a
matter of my opinion, and which can be gathered and studied by anyone with
sufficient interest in gaining  knowledge.

Unfortunately, the doomer community (like most tribes) tends to be insular,
with limited, narrow information sources.  Once you're  in the doomer orbit,
you tend not to venture out very much, groupthink takes over, people start
quoting each other too much, etc. Large swaths of  media/info-sources get
ignored, favoring the "official" tribal recommended reading list.  A big walled
garden, you might say.  I know this from personal  experience, and from
observation of others, over about 13 years now.

Quote
So he showed up on TAE about middle of last year to bring the "Gospel" to us,
Or rather to bring some challenging, novel ideas to you.

Quote
and then he disappeared after probably taking a lot of abuse.
Let's just say that the challenging ideas were not appreciated.

Quote
Now he has decided to bring the information to DD, and I for one will say
that he raises some very good points and that I appreciate his enthusiasm
to get the facts and figures out there.
Glad you're enjoying the show. Hopefully a  few others will as well.

Quote
he feels that a lot of other people are talking out of their ass when they
speculate on China's potential collapse into extreme economic, financial,
social and political upheaval.
Yes, for the most part they are talking out of their asses. Which is not
to say that they are certainly wrong. Maybe China WILL collapse into
extreme upheaval.  But the people who are talking out of their asses
will still be talking out of their asses.  Stopped clocks are right twice a day.

Quote
Perhaps we are to a certain extent. After all, there's no exact, mathematical
way to describe the inter-dependencies of the global economies and financial
systems, as well as their effects on things like development of energy infrastructure.
You really have to go off of your instinct when it comes to those complex issues,
and project against the grain of what seems to be the dominant trends of the
last few decades. People like me and RE and other China Doomers are forced to
rely on theoretical arguments about how a nation increasing its dependency on
a criminal banking cartel to finance infrastructure is never a good thing for the
masses, even if it appears to be allocated towards positive things like clean-tech.
Yes, that's a paradox.  But it is hard -- nay, impossible -- to deny the fabulous
progress that China has made, wherever the financing came from. And it is
progress in which  hundreds of millions of very NON-rich people have partaken,
materially. That is, again, with the caveat that China's exploitation and abuse
of the lower class is very real, and unacceptable. Giant contradiction, but
there it is.

Quote
Or how all of the clean-tech in the world cannot fix the environmental and
socioeconomic issues that are a necessary by-product of industrial capitalism,
which has been on steroids in China for many years now.
It can fix, or prevent, an awful lot of the environmental issues; rather less
the socioeconomic (class) issues, although even that area might be improved
more than I imagine.  Rising tides DO sometimes lift all boats, and it could be
argued that that is what is happening in China right now, even with respect
to the exploited sweat-shop laborers -- who are, overall, living a much better
life than they would have lived as rural peasants in the old country
(malnourished, half-starved, suffering from chronic infections, living in filth,
dying at age 32, etc.)  Anyway, it for sure will not result in an egalitarian,
classless society, but it might result in something acceptable, short of that.

Quote
Or how the West will not idly sit by and collapse quietly while China tries
to secure a bunch of deals for necessary resource inputs and continues to prosper.
When the dollar falls, the U.S. will not be able to do much BESIDES sit idly by.
There will be chest-beating and raised fists, but they will be impotent. 
I'm guessing a 5-10 year window for that.  Could be longer.

Quote
Those are just a few examples of the speculative theoretical and, for lack of
a better word, intuitive arguments that we must make, because there is no hard
data or mathematical models that can capture those realities. Alan recognizes
some of these realities, but usually dismisses as them as being a part of a "mixed
bag" of good and bad that, ultimately, does not overwhelm the rapid progress
that China is making in developing clean energy tech and addressing
environmental issues, such as water contamination and waste.
That's right. Does not overwhelm. The progress, however incomplete, is simply
undeniable. They are as though building a new world, the 21st century world,
leaving us behind. This will be more clearly visible, even stark,  in 10-20 years.
Or so I think.  If DD is still around, I'll post about it.

Quote
He believes these things will take many decades or even a century+ to play out,
and countries like China will have that kind of time because they will not be as
badly affected by economic and financial issues as the West. They will bounce back
more quickly than we could ever imagine.
The financial tail does not wag the economic dog to the same extent there as
it does here. Money is EVERYTHING here; not as much, there. Also, when your
country issues the world's reserve currency, your thinking becomes more
financialized; everything reduces to money, and the money is basically OURS,
or so goes the unconscious thought. But what if that changes? What if the
reserve currency loses credibility? What then? Does the world and its activities
come to an abrupt and permanent halt? Or are alternative arrangements
quickly made? The latter, I think.

Quote
He also believes that peak oil will not severely affect countries like China before
they are able to displace most of their fossil fuel reliance with renewable energy.
Peak oil advocates will have a hard time finding any solid data that gives them
a good idea of just how badly current projections are over-estimating supply
over the next few decades, but we know it's happening.
How do you know that?

Quote
And we know financial collapse will create the conditions for supply collapse
later, due to falling prices and massive under-investment in the industry.
There will be currencies, and capital, and it will be invested in vital industries
such as energy.

Quote
Frankly, all of this is a good thing in terms of AGW and the collapse of the big oil-
banking complex, but it could throw a HUGE monkey wrench into China's energy
plans, and perhaps much quicker than the China Optimists expect.
Time will tell!

Quote
All in all, though, Alan is giving us some great information to help judge where
China currently stands in their transition efforts and form a more complete big picture.
I believe he is extremely over-dismissive of many other factors that relate to such
a transition, but perhaps he will respond and give us a clearer picture of why he
thinks those factors are not much of a threat. I'm sure RE will probably weigh in
with his thoughts as well. Keep up the enthusiasm, Alan, and keep spreading
that Gospel!
Thanks for the encouragement.  And if you'd like to make a contribution to the
spreading of this Vital Truth, please click on the PayPal icon just to the right....

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42014
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #85 on: July 22, 2012, 08:09:29 PM »
Alan,

I'd like to look at that report, but this is the message I get from virus protection software:

"When we tested this site, it attempted to make unauthorized changes to our test computer by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious security threat which could lead to an infection of your computer."

I downloaded it Ashvin, its clean.  I would upload a copy into the Library here except the file size is too large for the current settings, which I cannot figure out how to modify at the moment.  I'll try to get in touch with Peter on this, but right now he is MIA.

Meanwhile, just lower your protection settings for this download if you want to read it.  No issues I can see.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline alan2102

  • Contrarian
  • Waitstaff
  • *
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #86 on: July 22, 2012, 08:10:48 PM »
Alan,
I'd like to look at that report, but this is the message I get from virus protection
software: When we tested this site, it attempted to make unauthorized changes to
our test computer by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious
security threat which could lead to an infection of your computer."
I don't know if that's just some issue with my software, but I'd rather not risk it.
In that case, register first and then download it. I did not get that security warning;
maybe THAT is why it is necessary to register.

Quote
Here's an idea I was going to propose anyway - why don't you just write an article
about the state of clean energy tech development in China, picking out what you
feel are the most relevant parts of that report or others? I'm sure RE would publish it
for you.
Maybe.  I have too many interests, and limited time. I feel like I've done enough
on this subject.  The materials I've excerpted and linked should be adequate for
anyone with a serious interest.  And if there is no serious interest, then I can't help.
But I'll think about it.

Quote
Frankly, you're not going to get many people to ever sift through a 200 page report
to figure out WTF is going on over there.
I don't need to get a lot of people to read it. Only a few -- the pundits. The
people who SHOULD read this stuff.   

But maybe you're right. Maybe I should do an exposition. It would be an OilDrum kind
of thing, cross-posted here.

BTW: you don't have to read 200 pages; you can read the Executive Summary, which
is much shorter. My snippets are shorter even than that, but they are inadequate.

Offline EndIsNigh

  • Contrarian
  • Bussing Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 240
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #87 on: July 22, 2012, 08:20:57 PM »
Alan, I think the point you're missing is that development, of any kind, creates more problems than it solves.  I have read much of what you posted and while I agree that planning is vital, and it's a good thing they've targeted a reduction in growth, anything short of steady-state or actively reversing development is a losing proposition.  Even conservation and efficiency is misleading because, as per Jevon's paradox, it leads to greater use of resources by expanding the application of the resources to other activity or to a wider population.  China is still operating within the technology and progress worldview, so it just amounts to changing the window dressing rather than a structural change.  Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).  Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

I've concluded, rightly or wrongly, that small self-sufficient regulated (not through infanticide or abortions but through preventative measures) populations that have greatly reduced their use of technology, practically to zero, is the only viable solution for long-term human survivability.  In short, we should seek to work within the boundaries of ecological niches.  But I don't see that happening without an evolutionary change or bifurcation of the species.  Homo sapiens will use all the available resources until they no longer can.  Then we'll just be stuck with our useless ingenuity.  That's if we don't further disrupt the ecological equilibrium (unlikely based on our history) we depend on before arriving at that point.

I see two options: Evolve or Perish.  Evolution sometimes gets it wrong, I think we're a case in point.  What China is doing is clearly better than what the West is doing, but it still falls way short.  Nature doesn't reward for effort, only for success.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 08:28:48 PM by EndIsNigh »

Offline alan2102

  • Contrarian
  • Waitstaff
  • *
  • Posts: 359
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #88 on: July 22, 2012, 08:37:11 PM »
Alan:  "Anyone who is interested in China needs to read the complete series of
posts, starting with #19 I believe"
Well I'm interested in China, but I didn't catch where you answered my question in
reply #56.  Can you point me to where you answered this specific question? 
There are just so many replies in this thread in one day I probably missed it.

Believe it or not, Joe, that was on my list of things to do. Seriously.

Your question was:  "Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great
plan for the future?"

The answer is: I don't know. I would offer these thoughts, though:

-- How many are actually LEAVING, and how many are simply making some backup plans.
The articles cited by Smith suggests that most are doing the latter.

-- How are "wealthy elites" defined?  Are we talking true WEALTH, mega-bucks? Or just
some skittish, nouveau-"rich" upper middles?

-- The quality of life for rich people may not be, in China, what it would be elsewhere.
In fact it probably isn't.  They would be better off living in luxury in Dubai.   China's "great
plan for the future" does not necessarily mean a great plan for the  maximal pleasure
and comfort  of rich people -- and for my money, that's just fine!

-- Are they afraid that the PRC may institute more capital controls, and otherwise make
rich people less comfortable or (heaven forfend) less rich?   Are they afraid that the PRC
may make greater moves toward social justice, and a more level playing field?  Do they
sense these things -- tendencies -- in ways difficult or impossible for us, here, to discern?
It sounds like it.   I would be very happy if the PRC got back to some of that Old Time
(Maoist) religion!  But the rich would be less than pleased.

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42014
    • View Profile
Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #89 on: July 22, 2012, 08:47:20 PM »
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).  Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Megafauna Extinctions don't show unsustainability for Homo Sapiens, they show unsustainability for MFs in the presence of Homo Sapiens.  They were basically Sitting Ducks.

Megafauna were basically replaced by smaller versions of the same species which were more Nimble and did better surviving in the presence of Homo Sapiens HGs.

Similarly with the Fisherie, while under Sail Power we came pretty close to Extinguishing all the Whales (Ocean Mega Fauna), we never even came close with the rest of the smaller Fishies until we started trolling around with Floating Fish Factories complete with Liquid Nitrogen freezers that can stay out for months at a time netting up everything down to Fingerlings to process into Fertilizer or Dog Food.

The use of Fire by Homo Sapiens is problematic on a sustainability level, but it is not by any means a necessary technology to use or keep.  I've documented how the Inuit and Athabascans did that in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.

If we manage to avoid the ELE,it is quite possible IMHO for Homo Sapiens to live a Sustainable Lifestyle that actually could be quite a few steps up from the way the Inuit lived.

In reality, the ONLY thing that makes Homo Sapiens unsustainable now is unrestricted exponential Growth resultant from lack of predation on the species.  This will change rapidly once "modern" medicine goes the way of the Dinosaur.

If the Nukes can be decommissioned and all the Spent Fuel Glazed and  dropped into a Subduction Zone around the Marianas Trench,this experiment with Sentience can likely continue on a while longer.  Obviously at no where near current Population Levels though.

RE
Save As Many As You Can