Re: virus: Hyperbolic Growth

Vicki Rosenzweig (
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 13:29:00 -0800 (PST)

I agree with Tyson on this one. As soon as we say "humans versus the
environment," regardless of which side we take we're accepting that anything
that benefits humans is at the expense of the environment and vice versa. In
reality, part of why preserving a complex environment is desirable is that
is good for humans; as for the converse, I for one am not quite ready to
call for
the extinction of the human species.

Humans are part of the ecosystem. The environment is where we live. We can
remodel it, if we want or because we don't know what happens when we push
button, but we will live in whatever it becomes. The useful questions are
things like
"how should humans relate to other species?" and "Do we know enough to
an environment without risking catastrophe?"

Vicki Rosenzweig
From: virus-owner
To: virus
Subject: Re: virus: Hyperbolic Growth
Date: Monday, November 20, 1995 11:34AM

Eric Hardison wrote:

> I would like you to submit
>a plan whereby mankind can live in balance with the earth when the scale
>(with respect to earth's resources) is completely tipped toward man. As
>far as I can see, it's not possible.

While I do think that the easiest solution to the problem of human
over-population would be to reduce the population, that is not realistic
goal -- at least not in the near future (the next 50 years or so). It
sounds like a good goal for the longer future, however.

The thing is that our ecological impact is a function of much more than
mere population. If the "scale is tipped" in the favor of humans over the
environment, then there is an implicit rivalry between the two. That is
part of the problem: the nature of our relationship with nature. That is
largely a memetic problem.

WHether that can realistically be changed in 50 years is a good question,
but we'll have a better chance of that than reducing the population through
smaller families and fewer children.

And yes, I DO think the next 50 years are critical.

Tyson Vaughan memetic engineer graphic designer

"The way up and the way down are one and the same." - Heraclitus