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Old 3rd September 2019, 04:52 AM   #81
kellyb
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post

What are your definitions then?
Not really sure. I do know it's not "far below the world average" = "middle income", though.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 05:51 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
My info comes from documentaries about the rural people in China (about half the population) and some knowledge of how many factory workers live.

Of course, there are rich cities with wealthy people, too.
That urban population is slightly more than half of the population. I don't think it's really fair to discount them.

The migrant workers also tend to send money back home to family members. Many save money and use it to start businesses in their home towns. The factories have also spread to lower income areas on China away from the wealthy first tier cities.



Quote:
I personally just think of a "middle-income country" as something better than "slightly above constant famine".
So do I, but modern China is very far away from "slightly above constant famine".
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:44 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
I think it was 2017 when for the first time more Chinese moved from the cities to the rural areas than the other way around (Source: John B. Cobb, great book), which is because the improved living standards have reached those areas. Impressive.
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
According to wikipedia the urban percentage of the total population in China in 2016 was 57.35% and in 2017 it was 58.52%. They don't have data beyond 2017, though. Does the book give some numbers that you could quote?
Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
No, the book is a documentation of conversations in which it came up. No numbers, and it could have been 2018, not 2017. I read the book and gifted it to someone else after that.

I found an article about the topic the book expanded on, written by its main author, which has the claim as follows (so it was 2016):

Originally Posted by John Cobb
[...] There has been one very important shift in Chinese policy due to the commitment to “ecological civilization.” As part of its goal of modernization, China planned to industrialize agriculture. At many of the conferences here and at others in China, we argued that China could not build an ecological civilization on an industrial agriculture. The Communist Party was persuaded to shift its policies from the continuing depopulation of rural China to the development of the thousands of villages that were slated for destruction. Policies have changed, and in 2016, for the first time, more people moved from cities to countryside than from countryside to cities. Development of villages has been emphasized along with the goal of ecological civilization in last fall’s crucial meetings of the Communist Party. And I believe that the Chinese parliament’s writing the goal of ecological civilization into the national constitution implies its support of the changed rural policies. It seems highly probable that this important shift in Chinese society will endure. [...]

The book is a conversation between a US theologian (Cobb) and a Czech communist (Vltchek) about China's ecological development.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 12:35 PM   #84
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The world is so much better than I would have (did) guessed.

And I consider myself a positive person.

Congrats Earthlings!
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Old 3rd September 2019, 01:13 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So do I, but modern China is very far away from "slightly above constant famine".
I was referring to the world bank's classification of a country with an average income of $3 a day as "middle income" when I described that ($3 a day) as "slightly above constant famine", and I was responding to angrysoba asking me to think about how people used to suffer regular annual famines.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 01:25 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
I found an article about the topic the book expanded on, written by its main author, which has the claim as follows (so it was 2016):




The book is a conversation between a US theologian (Cobb) and a Czech communist (Vltchek) about China's ecological development.
Some of that (I think) is in this documentary about re-greening deserts (you can get the gist by watching just a few minutes of it, starting at 1:25 or so) here:
https://youtu.be/IDgDWbQtlKI?t=85
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Old 3rd September 2019, 01:47 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Some of that (I think) is in this documentary about re-greening deserts (you can get the gist by watching just a few minutes of it, starting at 1:25 or so) here:
https://youtu.be/IDgDWbQtlKI?t=85

Thanks Kelly, that looks interesting. I'll watch on occasion.

While we're at it, there's a search engine based in Berlin that plants trees for ad revenue you generate while searching with it - and it's pretty good at searching: ecosia
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:41 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
How? You said the figure wasn’t very meaningful?
It wasn't meaningful if it didn't account for how far it would go in the relevant community.

It was also in the context of my reply to kellyb, who suggested $3 a day was not a good figure for a middle income..
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Old 3rd September 2019, 04:35 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I was referring to the world bank's classification of a country with an average income of $3 a day as "middle income" when I described that ($3 a day) as "slightly above constant famine", and I was responding to angrysoba asking me to think about how people used to suffer regular annual famines.
Sorry, you quoted two separate posts in a way that looked like they were from the same post, so from the context of the first quote it seemed that both he and you were still talking about China specifically.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 05:38 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
That sounds tautological to me: "the way to get economic growth is through economic growth". Did you have some deeper meaning in mind?
Not really. It's the only reason for an economies existance in classical economic terms.


Economic growth has it's downside.



Quote:




Do you have any information about how immigration is contributing to habitat destruction and extinction of native species? I'm assuming you're not talking about cat immigration here. It's not obvious to me that it either is or isn't an important factor so I'd be interested in some info, thanks.

Australia is mostly desert with severe water problems. Most major cities depend on water desalination. The inland 'food bowl' is suffering from a dysfunctional water war between miners, farmers, states and commonwealth. Of course the natural environment is coming out a very poor last place in the fight for water allocation rights. Siginficant parts of Australia are experiencing their worst ever drought.



Economic growth is being purely driven by immigration.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:46 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
Not really. It's the only reason for an economies existance in classical economic terms.
So can you explain how it's not tautological?


Quote:
Economic growth has it's downside.
Sure, though I think the upsides are much larger than the downsides, in general.






Quote:
Australia is mostly desert with severe water problems.
It also has the most arable land per capita of any country in the world.

Quote:
Most major cities depend on water desalination. The inland 'food bowl' is suffering from a dysfunctional water war between miners, farmers, states and commonwealth. Of course the natural environment is coming out a very poor last place in the fight for water allocation rights. Siginficant parts of Australia are experiencing their worst ever drought.
I can see how population increases can put more pressure on already strained water resources, and obviously immigration is related to population increase. There may be solutions related to efficiency of use rather than avoiding population increase, however.



Quote:
Economic growth is being purely driven by immigration.
Can you support that statement?
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:37 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So can you explain how it's not tautological?




Sure, though I think the upsides are much larger than the downsides, in general.


The downside is that it has to keep growing forever. The earth is not infinite.



Quote:


It also has the most arable land per capita of any country in the world.
Yeah, that. The "Skeptical Enviornmentalist" also thinks we are among the top ten for the most fresh water per person. Simple stats really don't apply.



Most of the dry cropping land is hugely dependent on rainfall. Droughts kill most of that productivity. There are large parts of that arable area experiencing the worst drought ever in Western NSW.



https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/...0a74286622f24d



Quote:
I can see how population increases can put more pressure on already strained water resources, and obviously immigration is related to population increase. There may be solutions related to efficiency of use rather than avoiding population increase, however.

Efficiency has been worked on for many years now. Australia invented the low flow toilet, to the annoyance of many people around the world.



Quote:


Can you support that statement?
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australi...rants-rba-boss
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Old 4th September 2019, 06:38 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Got 9.

Like Mike!, my wrong answers came from overestimating what most would think of as the severity of certain problems.
Same here, though I got a third of that. All of them because I was being too cynical.
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Old 4th September 2019, 07:43 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
All rhino lives matter!
When rhino lives have crashed then they do all matter.
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Old 4th September 2019, 08:13 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
The downside is that it has to keep growing forever. The earth is not infinite.
The earth is not infinite, but economic growth doesn't necessarily require more resources.

To the extent that it does, I also don't agree that it has to keep growing forever.




Quote:
Yeah, that. The "Skeptical Enviornmentalist" also thinks we are among the top ten for the most fresh water per person. Simple stats really don't apply.
It's actually a stat that I happened upon yesterday when looking up food security in China (out of interest inspired by this thread). It was mentioned in an article about world food import and export stats.

Is the issue that the total arable land may be large but it's all relatively low yield? Or something else?


Quote:
Most of the dry cropping land is hugely dependent on rainfall. Droughts kill most of that productivity. There are large parts of that arable area experiencing the worst drought ever in Western NSW.
Ah, so in times of drought a lot of that supposedly arable land becomes non-productive?



Quote:
Efficiency has been worked on for many years now. Australia invented the low flow toilet, to the annoyance of many people around the world.



https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australi...rants-rba-boss
That doesn't suggest that more progress can't be made.
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Old 4th September 2019, 08:52 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The earth is not infinite, but economic growth doesn't necessarily require more resources.

To the extent that it does, I also don't agree that it has to keep growing forever.
I agree with you that economic growth can happen alongside a shrinking of the use of finite material resources (technology allows for increases in monetary value of things using less raw materials, and people can be paid for physical and mental activities that don't deplete the earth's finite resources, for example,) but economic growth really is necessary unless we all decide to go completely back to the drawing board and re-do the system of national and international finances.

We need the growth to keep making the interest payments. Paying off the debt itself shrinks the economy, causing recession.

Government debts = private sector wealth.

If a government spends ("seeds" the economy) with $100 and only taxes back out $90, that's $10 now in the private sector economy which would otherwise not be there.

If the government spends $100 and taxes back $110, with that $10 going to pay off the debt, that $10 comes from the private sector economy, shrinking the economy, and (eventually) setting the economy up for recession over time when repeated.
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Old 4th September 2019, 05:09 PM   #97
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https://www.nationalgeographic.com/m...urray-darling/


That was written ten years ago. Nothing has changed in ten years. It's still people arguing with each other and blaming each other as the water runs out.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:46 AM   #98
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I'd just like to point out that, if you encounter this poll in the side bar of the index page, you just see "what score did you get?" and a list of numbers with no other clue as to what the question is about. So I answered 0.

Can I suggest that future pollsters frame the question with a little more context?
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:50 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
The earth is not infinite
Of course it is. Start going in any one direction and you'll never see the end of it!
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Old 5th September 2019, 09:20 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Of course it is. Start going in any one direction and you'll never see the end of it!
Finite but unbounded.
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Old 5th September 2019, 03:47 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
I'd just like to point out that, if you encounter this poll in the side bar of the index page, you just see "what score did you get?" and a list of numbers with no other clue as to what the question is about. So I answered 0.

Can I suggest that future pollsters frame the question with a little more context?
You answered the poll without reading the OP?
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Old 6th September 2019, 08:23 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I agree with you that economic growth can happen alongside a shrinking of the use of finite material resources (technology allows for increases in monetary value of things using less raw materials, and people can be paid for physical and mental activities that don't deplete the earth's finite resources, for example,) but economic growth really is necessary unless we all decide to go completely back to the drawing board and re-do the system of national and international finances.

We need the growth to keep making the interest payments. Paying off the debt itself shrinks the economy, causing recession.

Government debts = private sector wealth.

If a government spends ("seeds" the economy) with $100 and only taxes back out $90, that's $10 now in the private sector economy which would otherwise not be there.

If the government spends $100 and taxes back $110, with that $10 going to pay off the debt, that $10 comes from the private sector economy, shrinking the economy, and (eventually) setting the economy up for recession over time when repeated.
There is no room on a finite planet for economic growth to continue indefinitely. Assuming we agree that we aren't going to go into space as a population, we are stuck here with finite resources, and a limit to how much people will be willing to pay for something. The only growth that could continue for longer is knowledge (and that assumes we can store such data in a way that doesn't cook the Earth from waste heat). Beyond that there is a limit to how much stuff people want (Ikea has already acknowledged this).

There is limit to energy efficiency and resource efficiency, and population is set to level out, and a limit to how much well crafted items people would be willing to pay (people have different values).

Interesting read on this here:
https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/2012/04/e...ets-physicist/

We are left with the problem of redesigning a global economy that is no longer addicted to growth.
A good book I am currently reading on this subject is Doughnut Economics:
https://www.kateraworth.com/doughnut/
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