On August 6, 2017 at 21:08, Dean Roddey said...
The problem with carrying capacity when it comes to humans is that we aren't depending just on the environment. We are depending (very heavily now and more so as we move forward) on our technology. If we were depending just on the environment, we probably are well past the capacity.
And that makes any calculations sort of useless. Anything that interrupts that technology's availability can cause a negative cycle. I.e. it'll probably just be a bump and we get over it. But it may not. There are so many inter-dependencies, and those are dependent on so many factors, that it's always possible you can have a perfect storm scenario. Even then most of those would not be civilization collapsing scenarios. But they could cause significant collapses.
Also, the higher the population, the more people are likely to be impacted by any man-made or natural disaster. The cost of those things therefore go up at a non-linear rate. And the local infrastructure/technology collapse that occurred because of one of them can be one of those cracks that suddenly spreads in an unexpected way.
Obviously carrying capacity is not fixed. That is why I gave the example of human stupidity where water that might be needed in the future for food is wasted today for golf greens and lawns. But an even better example are the dinosaurs, the prevailing hypothesis at this time is that a large meteorite hit the earth, obviously the impact could not have killed all of them, but it send out enough debris that the planet became shadowed by the gunk in the air and so most of the vegetation died, over grazing by huge herbivors decimaded them even further and the hungry herbivors nwere easy picking for the carnivors that freasted for a bit and then starved to death as well.
At the end of the day we can only talck about the caryiing capacity at abny given time.
As for tech, I kind of agree with you, without it we can't really survive, but that is nothing new. it was hunting with tools that meant we could kill mammoths and have plenty to eat, it was farming and conservation (salting, pottery) that meant our stomachs were always full .
Now will it be our downfall(maybe, who knows, in a scifi why it is possible we tend to be stupid that way. On the other hand it could also be our saviour. If a continent gets destroyed (.e. no life on it any more) humanyity might survive but every other species that did not find a way to live on other continents and environments will be annihilated.