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Jan 07, 2006

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ZenTiger

Minor point SageNZ, when talking about India + China versus the Muslims, is that both India and China have growing Muslim populations:

India around 130 million (10%+) and China anywhere from 28 million (official estimate) to 150 million (unoffical estimate I read somewhere).

The thing is, how big is the Muslim population in France today, versus 30 years ago? I'd guess its gone up, and will continue to increase.

To what degree, I have no idea. However, on the percentages we have today, some serious shit is going down. And some of the statisitcs under-reported. A recent post I did pointed out that the French Minister for Womens something or other declared an incident of a Muslim setting a workmate on fire for not marrying him an example of male violence against women. The stats get recorded as that. Not as "extremist mulsim radical with totally different view of women through religion/culture set fire to women"

Maybe Steyn is over the top, but I suspect the "nothing to see here" crowd is also way under the bottom.

sagenz

we are talking about over 60% of the worlds population happily on its way to capitalist democracy. I think India & china's muslims are already contained in steyns 20%.

My point remains.

phillipjohn

The one unavoidable flaw within the capitalist doctrine(s) that most people fail to see goes as follows:

A) Capitalism is predicated on the idea of perpetual economic growth. i.e. When social and environmental goals are subsumed by the imperative of capital accumulation capitalism is said to occur. This, I'm sure no one will disagree with (if you know anything about macroeconomics).

B) The world contains a finite volume of material resources, be them re-newable or non-renewable. Again, only a fool would disagree with this.

C) Any expansion of an economy requires an increase in the consumption of re-newable or non-renewable material resources (excluding efficincy gains.

D) Unless all economic growth is achieved through efficiency gains capitalism is inevitably unsustainable.

sagenz

actually you are wrong on B and therefore your conclusion is wrong. resources are infinite at a chemical level. Hydrogen that is burned in an engine does not disappear. it simply combines with other molecules to become a different compound. once the sustainable biological production of pure hydrogen has been made commercially viable energy production will effectively be limitless. we are talking sunlight being used to separate the molecules of water.

so actually more consumption and more capitalism will save the world. we will steadily become more efficient. high consumers concentrated in urban areas with limitless cheap energy. The environmental impact of those people are much lower per unit than "environmentally friendly" socialist hypocrites like jeanette fitzsimons. their resource footprint of the only limited resource is much smaller. the only limited resource is land. and capitalism rations that in the most effective way. by price.

sorry just a few quick thoughts. i suggest you google biological production of hydrogen as well as fuel cells

It is arguable that the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology comes under efficiency gains. Besides, your point, which is only technological conjecture (as is "fusion power"), only accounts for the sustainability of energy requirements. What about the soaring prices of all the earths productive minerals (Iron, Copper, Tin to name a few). Once these sources become prohibitively expensive we will have to move on to other resources. Capitalism cannot escape this treadmill. Sooner or later, when commodity prices reach a critical point a huge global recession is on the cards. Capitalism by definition necessitates this.

Your point about ecological footprint is totally nonsensical. i.e. Wealthy countries like great Britain require many more resources than they posses in order for their economy to function. From memory G.B's footprint is 3-4 times its own size.

sagenz

markets will simply offer cheaper alternatives. recycling is what happens when something has a value. You think we will run out of iron :) the price of copper and other commodities has risen on the back of china and india growing strongly. alternative products will become commercially viable.

I was being mildly facetious with the resource point. but it really depends on what and how you measure.

fuel cells are commercially available now. nothing at all comparable to fusion. that is what powers the Toyota Prius.

have you heard of malthus. he forgot about the power of the market too. as did all those gloomy population growth reports from the un in the seventies.

The vast bulk of UK GDP is now generated by services. Accountants growth has made up for reductions in manufacturing. If you try to measure that growth as both having the same resource footprint that is totally misleading. A $ of GDP growth in China has a far higher footprint than a $ in the UK.

in the long term comsumption becomes computer games, movies, higher quality food. all consume an infintesimal amount of limited resource in relation to their value. Current GDP measurement and the cries of the environmentalists simply ignore this nuance

phillipjohn

The problem with hydrogen energy technology at the moment is that it requires more energy to separate the hydrogen cells than you get from them. You hear people go on about the process getting ever more efficient, and you hear other people saying that it is physically impossible to get more energy out of the process than you put in. So the durries’ is out on that one. As such it isn't really usable as an argument.

It is a fallacy that the market will always provide cheaper alternatives. You're essentially saying that humans are smart enough to find endlessly more efficient way of using resources, in keeping with demand none the less. Also, in general terms, each time you recycle a product it becomes more expensive to recycle the next time and it is a cruder product (i.e. plastic). There are 5 billion people in developing countries that want the same living standards as us. Consumption of all resources is increasing at an exponential rate (i.e. global consumption of oil has doubled in the last 25-30 years). Within the next 50 years oil will only be commercially viable for a few selected uses - how are you going to recycle oil? Unless we can find some viable cheap alternative energy sources we will face recession. We may overcome this, but the same thing is due to happen with every resource we become dependant on (OK, as Iron makes up about 80% of the Earth's mass we probably don't need to worry about that). I hope the arrogance of free market ideologues such as yourself is warranted otherwise we may live in some very interesting times in the not too distant future.

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Demographic analysis can be applied to whole societies or to groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion and ethnicity. In academia, demography is often regarded as a branch of either anthropology, economics, or sociology. Formal demography limits its object of study to the measurement of populations processes, while the more broad field of social demography population studies also analyze the relationships between economic, social, cultural and biological processes influencing a population.

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