Does government intervention seem to be the only solution for the modern environmental-ecological crisis?

Oct 2017
269
America ??
I think it’s said that the root cause of modern overpopulation is that our technology has advanced to the point of overcoming natural population checks, along with being able to greatly modify the environment of course. Both these to a point never possible before. Too many unrelated yet negative aspects happening all at once. Good on the individual level, not so on the environmental. Isn’t it concerning to think that modern civilisation, which has been taken for granted for the past several generations at least, clearly isn’t even equilibrially stable enough to support its own survival? It seems that the simplest solution would be to reduce population & revert to some pre-industrial state. Yet this solution is clearly not easy nor immediately possible for modern civilisation & population, which seemed to have developed inextricably & to be linked so. Countless aspects of modern civilisation are essential to not only comfort but even to being alive itself. Think about how modern technology, science & medicine saves lives & how many people & animals are dependent on then. Yet as part of modern civilisation they’re not environmentally equilibrially stablemate they? Yet the effects of such are inconceivable to modern civilization, indeed that would definitely be signify an end of it, whether it either advances or more likely devances. So it seems that humanity must eventually say bye to them mustn’t they? For most of history there seemed to always be a general ubiquitous hope of continuous technological growth & improvement for societies the world over, now the reverse seems to be looming. Can anyone think of any past civilisation or society which has had to contemplate reducing its own technological advancement?
 
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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,050
Italy, Lago Maggiore
No ... our future is to develop a technology to allow us to colonize other planets in this solar system or even in other solar systems. The human species goes forwards ... it's our "signature" in history.
 
Oct 2017
269
America ??
No ... our future is to develop a technology to allow us to colonize other planets in this solar system or even in other solar systems. The human species goes forwards ... it's our "signature" in history.
That’s ideal in theory, but it’s far beyond our technological capabilities for even the distant future. I do like how you describe progress as our historical signature.
 

Offspring

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
8,133
România
No ... our future is to develop a technology to allow us to colonize other planets in this solar system or even in other solar systems. The human species goes forwards ... it's our "signature" in history.
It's dangerous to treat this planet like something we're going to discard anyway.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,050
Italy, Lago Maggiore
It's dangerous to treat this planet like something we're going to discard anyway.
We won't discard it. It will remain the "capital" of the human galactic federation [just to use a bit of futuristic fantasy!]. Sure with less inhabitants [since a good part will leave to reach other planets]. But we are reasoning about something which will happen when we will be no more.
 
Jul 2019
104
Pale Blue Dot - Moonshine Quadrant
In his 1982 Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution Murray Rothbard offered a property rights approach to air pollution but it could be applied to other Tragedy of the Commons situations (oceans, rivers, outer space, national forests, etc.) – which are typically collectivist in management approach without carrying the label.

While the United States is hardly moving toward a more sophisticated understanding of property rights – indeed just the opposite seems to be at least a century long trend – it seems to me that Garrett Harding’s Tragedy of the Commons does represent a good starting point for a discussion. While Harding was focused on population control, he was cognizant of the fact that property rights mitigate the resource exhaustion he saw as inherent in common ownership.

Since protection of property rights has traditionally been a government function, it would in some sense entail the judiciary as opposed to the current model that uses legislation to heavily regulate activity regardless of guilt or innocence.

The current approach to me seems to guarantee political backlash from non-guilty actors who also bear intrusive costs, it creates a pretty much impossible task for regulators who will constantly need more resources and power, and it sets up a situation that incentivizes cheating until the perpetrator is caught – and even the punishment often is less than the gain that was accrued by cheating.

I don’t expect Rothbard’s approach to gain any traction in the modern political environment, but it does represent an alternative approach to the problem.
 

Offspring

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
8,133
România
@AlpinLuke: OP talked about environmental issues, you talked about colonising other planets. That makes it look like we shouldn't even try to better our environment, we should wait to go to other planets. If this is not what you meant, then I don't understand how it was related to the OP.

I was not reasoning about something which will happen after I die. This is about how we view our current environmental problems.
 
Apr 2017
1,640
U.S.A.
Humanity has been reliant on technology to support itself for thousands of years. If during the middle ages the technology of farming was lost, the majority of people would starve to death in short order. Without technology/innovation we would have been limited to a global population of a few thousand. Reverting to a pre-industrial level would still require us to depend on farms, cities, roads and other artificially created things. A perpetually stagnant pre-industrial society would be unable to control its population and would be using its limited resources at an unsustainable rate. Forests would disappear and crude and polluting forms of mining would be prevalent. We need technology to use other resources and build things cleaner. You think modern factories pollute excessively? Look at how they were decades ago. Technology isn't the problem, its the solution. A society that willingly lowers its technological advancement goes extinct or gets conquered.
 
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