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(8/8) De meest belangrijke video die je ooit zal zien (deel 8 van 8)

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...than anything in all of human history. Now because of our enormous per capita consumption of resources, we can say with confidence THE WORLD'S WORST POPULATION GROWTH PROBLEM IS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES! You hear all sorts of well meaning people pointing to distant underdeveloped nations and saying: "They're the problem with overpopulation." The average person in the U.S. in a lifetime will consume something like about 30 times the amount of resources that'll be consumed by a person in a lifetime in an underdeveloped nation. We are the problem, we have the responsibility and we have the authority to deal with the problem here as a domestic problem in the U.S. Some years ago, speaking on the campus of the University of Colorado, U.S. Senator Tim Wirth said that the best thing we can do to help other countries stop their population growth is for us to set an example and stop our own population growth here in the U.S.. We have sent representatives to international conferences to tell the underdeveloped nations: "You're the problem. You got to stop your population growth." And they just laughed and said: "Look, you're the problem with all your high per capita consumption." Now, except for the petroleum graphs the things I tell you are not predictions of the future. I am only reporting facts and the results of some very simple arithmetic. But I do this with confidence that these facts, this arithmetic, are more important. Our level of understanding of them will play a major role in shaping our future. Now don't take what I say blindly, uncritically because of the rhetoric or for any other reason. Please, you check the facts. Please check my arithmetic. If you find errors please let me know. But if you don't find errors then I hope you take this very, very seriously. You are important people. You can think. And if there was ever a time when the human race needed people who will think, it's right now. It's our responsibility as citizens in a democracy to think. And so to be successful with this experiment of human life on earth we have to understand the laws of nature as they are encountered in the study of the sciences and mathematics. We should remember the message of this cartoon: “Thinking is very upsetting, it tells us things we’d rather not know." We should remember the words of Galileo; he said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” We should remember the words of Aldous Huxley, that “facts do not cease to exist because they're ignored”. And we should remember H. L. Mencken social philosophy. He believed that it is the nature of the human species to reject what is true but unpleasant and to embrace what is obviously false but comforting. We should remember Eric Sevareid's law. He was a news caster who made the transition from radio to television back in the 1950's. He observed that the chief source of problems is solutions. Now listen, look at an example. The Nile river for thousands of years would flood in the spring and the silt that was carried down by the river was deposited on agricultural land on the two sides of the river and this renewed the fertility of the land. They had a sustainable agriculture for thousands of years. But now the flood was kind of a nuisance as you have cities developed along there and the city people didn't like these floods and the city people needed electricity. So that was the problem. What was the solution? The high dam of Aswan. Now let's look at the problems caused by the solution. First of all, all the silt is carried down by the river, is deposited in the reservoir behind the dam. This means the dam has a lifetime of maybe 100-200 years. It certainly is not very long. So it will be filled and than there won't be the storage capacity that it was designed to have. So water that's let out today from the dam is very clear water. So this means all of the erosion patterns downstream have changed. There used to be deposit here, pick up there and so on. Now it's pretty much just picking up, because it starts out from the dam as clear water. Down at the delta in Alexandria was an island in the Mediterranean Sea. They're washing away agricultural land because it's no longer being deposited and the river is just washing it out into the Mediterranean. And there used to be a load of biological nutrients that were brought down in the river all the time, supporting a major fishery in the Eastern Mediterranean. That fishery is in serious decline because the nutrients no longer reach there. And now in order to have their agriculture they have to do irrigation. They have to buy fertilizer. It takes energy to make fertilizer and it could easily be that some of the energy to make fertilizer, comes from the dam. And now there are lots of agricultural workers wading barefoot in the irrigation ditches and they're subject to schistosomiasis, which is some kind of a parasite that's carried by things in the water, that can get through the skin and if you're barefoot in the water, you can get this. Everything went bad because of the solution to the problem. Nobody looked at the problems that were caused by the solution. This is one of the most important things that we need to remember. Now here's a challenge. Can you think of any problem on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long term solution is in any demonstrable way, aided, assisted, or advanced by having larger populations in our local levels, state levels, national level, or global level? Can you think of anything that can get better if we crowd more people into our cities, our towns, into our state, our nation, or on this earth? Think about it. Will anything get better with increased population? And I like these words from the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. He said, “Unlike the plagues of the dark ages, or contemporary diseases which we do not yet understand, the modern plague of overpopulation is solvable with means we have discovered and with resources we possess. What is lacking is not sufficient knowledge of the solution, but universal consciousness of the gravity of the problem and the education of the billions who are its victims.” So I hope I’ve made a reasonable case for my opening statement, that I think the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand this very simple arithmetic. So, I thank you very, very much. And I'll be happy to answer questions. (Applaus) THE END

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 28 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 282
Posted by: ridelo on Jun 1, 2011

Deze lezing door prof. Albert Bartlett toont het onvermogen van de mens aan om in te zien hoe beperkt onze aardse energiebronnen zijn. En de klok tikt...

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