Thanks for a sensitive and realistic letter. The planet is indeed finite - and
at least half of us do not believe in personal planets out in hyperspace. Earth
is our home planet, Utah is our state - and we really should take care of both.
That means a sustainable population, a sustainable economy, a sustainable
lifestyle - that's what Stewardship is really about.
To "Baron Scarpia" since you are a liberal, you probably don't
fully understand how businessmen look at a tree.A businessman who
wants to be in business a year from now will look at that tree and see the
potential products. He will also look at the land and figure out how to new
replacement trees as soon as possible. You see, a businessman that uses up all
of his resources won't be around beyond next week. The businessman that
looks for ways to keep a constant flow of resources will stay in business as
long as there is a demand for his product.
Business models need to mimic biological models to better "fit" how the
world works and allow the earth to continue replenishing itself to support life.
Nothing in nature is wasted -- the "waste" of one living entity is the
"nutrients" for another (e.g., falling leaves from a tree nurture the
soil for animals and other plants, that in turn, emit nutrients to benefit the
tree -- a circular system).Business people see the forests, however,
and say, "Ah, tomorrow's toilet paper!" when they should be saying,
"Ah, the lungs of the earth that produce our air and captures carbon!"
Sadly, business models say that a tree has no value unless it is converted to
toilet paper to be flushed away rather than having it valued as critical for
life to exist. The question then is: How do we price that tree to reflect its
true value of creating oxygen and capturing carbon? A carbon tax to pay people
NOT to cut down trees?Prices and business models are short-sighted
human inventions. But the earth's biological models, designed by God
himself, require systems to rejuvenate themselves -- and humans need to adapt to
that eternal biological design.
"One child limit (like China)?"Must not be such as bad
economic plan, as China has enough excess money to loan to the US in the amount
of several trillion.
@Mike Richards – “There are many reasons God chooses to withhold
blessings…”I’m always baffled by responses like
this especially when they are put forward as coherent explanations about the
natural world.There’s a flood – it’s God.
There’s no flood – it’s God. There’s an earthquake
– it’s God. There’s no earthquake – it’s God. We
could continue this indefinitely…But this demonstrates quite
effectively why so many scientists fall into the agnostic/atheist camp –
if God is the explanation for everything then he is effectively an explanation
for nothing – i.e., if you remove God as an explanation and no facts are
changed, then from a scientific perspective there is simply no reason to posit
God. Your case is much stronger when you stick to personal
experience – how has God changed your life.
Some hide under the cloak of "LDS" or "Mormon", thinking perhaps
that doing that gives them "gavitas". One poster mocking said to use
faith instead of seeing a doctor.Recently Elder Oaks said:
"Brigham Young would ask, “Have you used any remedies?” To those
who said no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have
faith that we shall be healed,” President Young replied: “That is
very inconsistent according to my faith. If we are sick, and ask the Lord to
heal us, and to do all for us that is necessary to be done, according to my
understanding of the Gospel of salvation, I might as well ask the Lord to cause
my wheat and corn to grow, without my plowing the ground and casting in the
seed. It appears consistent to me to apply every remedy that comes within the
range of my knowledge, and [then] to ask my Father in Heaven … to sanctify
that application to the healing of my body.” Everything
belongs to the Lord. We are simply caretakers. He gave us sufficient
instructions on how to do our duties.
@MikeRichardsThose who lack faith will tell us that unless God
listens to them, that we're doomed. Wow! What arrogance. They would limit
God. They would tell God who He can bless and exactly how much He can bless
them.4:49p.m.Feb.6,2014========= Mike, What part of "Man can NOT be save in ignorance" -- slips past
you?God is NOT going to save those who pretend to be
"ignorant".He expects us to do all we can, THEN act in faith.He gives Man skills, intellect, ingenuity, a spark of his divine glory
to imagine, create and problem solve-- I don't believe He will
float down and say "SpitSpot" Mary Poppin's style and clean the
Earth for us so we can go outside and fly kites!FYI -- I do not
"mock" God. I see his Love and Wisdom to trust us with some of HIS
knowledge so we can make due for ourselves.It's part of Growing
up.He also commanded us to tend, dress and beautify this world.I intend to keep his Commandments.BTW -- since you claim so much
faith - don't see a Doctor.By your account, that would also be
Shaun, I'm sure that you know the answer to your questions,
but, if you really want to know, why not ask Him who sends moisture. While
you're in that religious mode, why not do a study of all the times during
earth's history when the heavens were sealed?There are many
reasons God chooses to withhold blessings, just like there are many times when a
righteous father and mother take away privileges when their children show
contempt and disrespect. Just because God chooses to withhold blessings does not
mean that He has nothing to give. Giving "spoiled brats" blessings that
are neither acknowledged nor appreciated is something that the Creator off all
things will not always do, any more than a righteous father and mother would
would continue to shower "blessings" and "kindness" on mocking
children.If you had millions of dollars to bestow, would you pay
attention to the attitudes of the receivers? God gave us much more than money.
He gave us life and instructions on how to best use that life. Too many
squander life as if it were as worthless as money.
Re: RedShirtCalTech " When food begins to be in short supply, the cost
will go up, and people will self regulate and population will not grow at the
same rate."Robert Malthus lives!
"A good example of this is gasoline. When it was around $1.50/gallon we were
using more gas than we have been since the price has been up over
$3.00/gallon."And that is fine like a country like America.
But, think about it. Oil is a commodity, just like gold and silver. The price does not fluctuate based on location or economy.The
value of a bbl of oil is based on the world value. So, if you look at the cost
throughout the world of barrel of oil is fairly constant.Factor in
taxes and cost to refine and one can reasonably predict the cost of gasoline.So, if you go to Nicaragua, for instance, where the average wage in US
dollars is just over $2 per hour, the price of gasoline is still over $4 per
gallon (closer to $5).That is where the argument falls apart.
The population explosions is a left over from the last century myth. Now the
opposite is true - Europe, Asia, and the US are facing a major loss of
population that will have disastrous results for our planet. 2012/11/28/'united states faces demographic bomb coming under population
problems' by Arland Nichols. 'There is no baby-boom - there is a
birth-dearth. And, yes, there is economic stagnation and looming long-term
economic decline, but this is exacerbated (or perhaps caused by) the decline in
birth rates....We have witnessed this in the disastrous economic situation
throughout Europe, which is due in part to extremely low birth rates.
Europe's fate appears increasingly likely for the United States. We are not
having enough babies to replace our current population levels . From a
documentary by Peter J Smith entitled."Demographic Bomb: demography is
destiny,"...The phrase "demographic winter" refers to the
contemporary phenomenon of a worldwide rapid decline in birthrates. The new
documentary makes a forceful case that the loss of millions due to population
control efforts has meant an irreplaceable loss of millions of producers and
consumers who otherwise would be participating and supporting today's
@mike richards. Why hasn't god given California an abundance of rain or the
Colorado basin an abundance of snow. You know there is a difference between
blind faith and being good stewards of the environment. Will god
reward people with abundance if they are bent on destroying his gifts or being
Those who lack faith will tell us that unless God listens to them, that
we're doomed. Wow! What arrogance. They would limit God. They would tell
God who He can bless and exactly how much He can bless them. In other words
they have already judged everyone and found everyone but themselves to be
lacking.Fortunately, God will do His work whether they participate
or not. He will still send the sunshine, even on us sinners. He'll give
us moisture. He'll bless our crops, our flocks, our herds, and our
families. The covenant that he has made with His children does not need their
approval. God has enough and to spare whether some people believe
it or not. Those of us who are under covenant understand our full
responsibility and most of us are actively engaged in fulfilling those
responsibilities. The sky is not falling.
Irony guyBurn hydrogen. That is how to produce more water.LDS
lib,Only applies IF we are good stewards? You mean God did not know when
He created the earth and placed us on it some of you would NOT be good stewards
and He therefore did not create enough? Sorry, I do not accept that argument.
Tyler D: no, you can't make that assumption. Those economists you're
referring to are probably Malthusians (aka Keynesians) themselves. Central
planning has never succeeded and never will. I don't think it's a good
idea to give them enough rope to hang themselves because we'll all go down
To "Grover" that is simple. As the supply of fresh water decreases from
its current sources, then the price goes up until new sources become available.
As price increase, use goes down. A good example of this is gasoline. When it
was around $1.50/gallon we were using more gas than we have been since the price
has been up over $3.00/gallon. Plus, as the cost to deliver fresh water from
our current sources goes up, the viability of desalinization for coastal areas
becomes a reality.To "LDS Liberal" and
liberalism/Progressivism is like water to capitalism's fire. The more
liberalism you pour on the fire, the more usless it becomes until it is put out
and everybody is left in the dark, cold, and hungry.
HutteriteI didn't say you can't see ANY signs of humans from
orbit, or from a plane. Obviously there are many places we do exist and you
can see our impact.But what I said is... there are a lot of places
on the planet where humans don't even exist (yet). The space that is
currently actually inhabited by homo-sapiens is probably around 1% (of the total
land mass). We are just clumped into such tight spaces (in our big cities).We need to spread out. Not pile up in mega-cities that are
unsustainable on their own. Try to have LA sustain it's own needs for a
year... there would be mass starvation.===But
that's what we keep building... mega-cities, with more high-density
housing, so we can fit more people into a smaller space. But those people
still drive their own cars, heat their own homes, use water, fuel, etc....High-density housing of humans is counter-productive if you are going
for sustainability. We don't get oxygen from more asphalt or more
skyscrapers... we get it from more plant life. So doing away with
lawns/vegetation is not the goal.
RedShirtCalTechPasedena, CATo "Richard Fox" that is the
great thing about capitalism. As resources become limited, they also become more
expensive. As the price goes up, consumption and use go down.======== That's not always the case Red....Petroleum oil was black, dirty, and completely and utterly useless -- and only became economicially viable when whales were hunted into near
extinction.It was evolve, adapt or die.Man and greed of
the market destoyred the Do-Do, Quadda, Passenger Pidgeon, Carolina Parakeet,
and dozens of other species.Captitalism is like fire, kept
contoled and regulated it provides warmth and safety.Left unchecked
and to itself, it detroys everything in its path.
RedCal: And when fresh water becomes in short supply?? How will people
"self regulate" then? The mayor might be on the right track if the new
housing he proposes in SLC is high density without lawns and water consuming
plants and built to current more stringent energy standards. Whoops. Utah
wouldn't adopt those standards since we don't listen to anyone outside
our borders. Yes sir, just more liberal calptrap telling us what to do!
To "Richard Fox" that is the great thing about capitalism. As resources
become limited, they also become more expensive. As the price goes up,
consumption and use go down. At the same time as availability goes down, people
come up with new ways of either producing that item or else come up with a
substitution that can be made cheaper. If they do a good job, then they begin
to prosper and move forward.For example, it used to be that piano
keys were made out of ivory. As the availability of ivory diminished, the
people that made piano keys found that they could make really nice looking keys
out of plastic.The same with virtually every other product that has
been replaced. When a viable option comes along, people adapt. When food
begins to be in short supply, the cost will go up, and people will self regulate
and population will not grow at the same rate.If you let capitalism
work, solutions will be found.
@2 bits, I'm with you. Let's encourage people to move somewhere else.
Repubs pleading for diversity of opinion? Huh? This coming from the same group
who shut down SB 100 behind closed doors? I thought repubs hated closed door
meetings where the other political party isn't even allowed to come in?
Apparently not!I would love to see more diversity of opinion. But
the folks claiming that religion is being quieted are the first to quiet other
points of view with their religion.
"Get on the Space Station, or watch some video from orbit, you usually you
can't even see any signs of human infestation"...Actually, you can. The
smoke and declining amazon forests are visible, as is the smoke from their
burning. As is the bathtub ring around lake mead. Intensive agriculture is
clearly visible. I imagine our inversion is clearly visible from space, as is
pollution downstream from most large urban areas. As for there being enough
space and resources for us...space maybe. Resources, no. And any premise that
touts there being enough if we would only share is nothing short of socialism on
these pages. Wealth Redistribution of the worst kind. We will never let that
happen. The problem is not just that populations are increasing, and they are,
but that billions already here are gaining spending and consumer power.
We're not adding people, we're adding consumers. A billion cars in
China and India are pulling up to the same gas pump you are. Guess what's
going to happen to supply, and price?
Curmudgeon makes a good point that a good editor can prove anything.
Irony Guy,Again... what solution do you propose?Just
complaining doesn't help. What's your solution?I see no
reason why all the growth needs to be in this tiny valley. Why can't it
be in other parts of the State that are less overpopulated?===Have you talked to Mayor Becker about your solution?The last
two DEMOCRAT Mayors we have had in SLC have both proposed more low-income
high-density housing developments for SLC. Does high-density housing make the
problem of more people living in one area than it can sustain WORSE? Or
BETTER?I think it makes it worse. Have you said anything to the
Mayor or his people planning a more sustainable future for SLC?Maybe
we need to encourage people and businesses to move to other areas... instead of
trying to attract them to move to Utah (mostly SLC is the problem). There are
plenty of areas in Utah that could sustain more growth. SLC is the main
problem (in our area).
@CurmudgeonSalt Lake City, UTMike R, I appreciate your reference to
LDS scripture that there is enough and to spare. I wish you had included the
rest of the passage: "Therefore, if any man shall take of the
abundance which I have made, and impart not his portion, according to the law of
my gospel, unto the poor and the needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his
eyes in hell, being in torment." (D&C 104:18)========= My seniments exactly -- Guys like this like to take scriptures
completely out of context simply to fit their agenda.The blessing of
"enough and to spare" only applies IF we are good stewards, use our
resourse wisely, do the very best that we can with what we have, not be selfish
and greedy, share and share alike, --- otherwise, it will be our own cursing --
just as the Lord promised in the very next line of scripture!
Again DeForrest, if the "growth model" is unsustainable... what
alternative model do YOU propose?Any model requires growth. A
stagnant system is not a healthy system. And when it gets sick... it eventually
crashes. Is THAT what you want??===Without growth
(growth in population, growth in the economy) the system regardless of it's
politics will collapse. What model are you talking about that doesn't use
the Earth's limited resources?We can use them slower. But all
systems use them.===Get on the Space Station, or watch
some video from orbit, you usually you can't even see any signs of human
infestation.There is plenty of space on this earth for humans to
live. And plenty of resources if we use them wisely and develop new more
advanced alternatives as technology advances. We no longer use whale blubber...
we don't use coal in our homes like we use to... right? We change and
adapt (switching to cleaner options).I've heard the
overpopulation scare tactics since I was a child in the 60's... and all the
things they predicted back then never happened. And they hadn't even
thought of Global Warming yet!
Richard, you sound dangerously like the new Pope. And he's been branded a
@SEY – “And they've been wrong every time they predict that the
sky is falling.”So let me make sure I understand –
Malthus makes a prediction that, so far, has not come to pass so his ideas have
no merit whatsoever (even though many economists think he just did not
adequately account for technology)?Can we assume you apply this some
logic in all areas of your life… like religion? If so then please google
“religious predictions that have not come true” and then explain why
you (or any logical person) would take any of it seriously. And just
so we’re clear – I’m not saying you’re wrong… just
following the implications of your logic.@JoeBlowSpot on
When our conservative friends come up with a way to create more water, please
let us know. In the meantime, we really ought to think twice about twice the
population in this thirsty little valley.
Excellent letter. The endless growth model based on turning earth's limited
resources into waste is certainly unsustainable. But the bigger question is
this: Which wall will we hit first — the resource/global warming wall or
the internal wall built by a system of funneling most of the wealth to the top,
thus creating increasingly stressed middle and lower classes, consequently
putting too much burden on government to make up the difference and resulting in
eventually overwhelming levels of debt? It might be a neck-and-neck race right
to the finish line, but do we really have to hold this race at all?
When it comes to sustainability I'll trust a scientist more than religon.
The evidence is all around us. What has always happened to a species when it
overextends the carrying capacity of it's environment? To continue to
exploit our resources, with no regards to science, just because a religon tells
us God wants us to is foolish! That makes about as much sense as the Mayans
performing human sacrifices for centuries just because their religous leaders
told them it keeps God satisfied.
Mike R, I appreciate your reference to LDS scripture that there is enough and to
spare. I wish you had included the rest of the passage: "Therefore, if any man shall take of the abundance which I have made, and
impart not his portion, according to the law of my gospel, unto the poor and the
needy, he shall, with the wicked, lift up his eyes in hell, being in
torment." (D&C 104:18)So there is enough and to spare only
if the wealthy share with the poor and needy, which the growing income gap
between rich and poor suggests is not happening.
Richard,You complained, but what SOLUTION do you propose to control
population growth?One child limit (like China)? Forced
sterilization? Mass executions? What is your proposed solution? The ones
fascists and central-government extremists have employed in the past have been
very unsavory.And what does this have to do with moving the
prison?Do you think keeping the prison where it is will limit
population growth? I don't.===IMO the problem is
not the population itself. It's the location of the population (when it
gets crowded into one area that can't sustain that size population, like
LA, NYC, Chicago, etc, even SLC). When these big cities don't have enough
resources to sustain their population... they take resources (re-channel water,
fuel, air, etc) from the surrounding areas, even the surrounding States.Maybe we should spread out a bit. Leave the cities and make other
parts of the country bloom (instead of sucking their resources dry to serve the
people in the megatropolises).If more Americans lived like rural
mid-America (instead of living on top of each other like the megatropolises on
the coasts)... it would be more sustainable.
Yes, building wealth is indeed a necessary and morally worthwhile goal. We
don't live in a utopian fantasy world, we live in the real world where
people have to make a living and a prosperous economy is essential. A wealthier
society is a cleaner society, per capita. Look at the improvements in air and
water quality in the U.S. over the past 50 years! They are a direct result of
prosperity and technological innovation. Poor countries (and companies and
people) cannot afford pollution control measures. Kill prosperity, and you kill
"Right Joe Blow: let's not have any diversity of opinions by including
religious ones."Religion tells you that God will provide and
that we have enough resources to support whatever population we can produce.OK,Now, what does common sense tell you? Not even talking
about science. Just good old common sense.I am OK with a diversity
of opinion. But, not the opinion of a small group of people whose best
justification was "cause God told me"
"And they've been wrong every time they predict that the sky is
falling." Unless you come to Salt Lake in the winter, and then
the sky is literally falling. In fact you can taste it.
Right Joe Blow: let's not have any diversity of opinions by including
Malthusians will always be among us, as evidenced by this letter. They, like
communists and other central planners, believe that we should turn all economic
decisions over to a few elite and oh-so-wise intellectuals who know better than
the rest of us how our time, effort and money should be spent in order to
"save the planet" as well as save us from ourselves. And they've
been wrong every time they predict that the sky is falling.
"The business model requiring continued population growth is fatally
flawed."Actually, as a "business model" it is probably
spot on. However, logic and common senseshould tell us that an ever
increasing population will ultimately stretch our resources to the breaking
point. With clean water being the future bottleneck.The point will
fall on deaf ears, especially when religion comes into play.
As long as the living tell us that they will not be inconvenienced by having to
share the bounties and blessings of this world with others, their message will
amount to nothing but selfishness. Our Creator told us that there is enough,
and to spare, but they know more than our Creator, or at least they think they