Earth Population to Exceed 7 Billion: Video

According to recent statistics, the human population of planet Earth will exceed 7,000,000,000 (seven billion) in another month to two months.   In perspective, there are now fewer Tigers in the wild than there are in zoos in the USA... around 5,000.   The line of extinction blurs with loss of habitat, replaced by of vibrancy of the DNA (preserved in umbilical stem cells)... 

The best video on the subject of population growth remains BBC's Hans Rosling's, 

200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

The key to his video is that no country (USA) is declining.  Neighboring countries are catching up.  In terms of international comparison, there is less difference between poor and rich nations today than there was 75 years ago.  


The plan is that as the statistics on international well being level out, that the birth rate will level out, and that we may be approaching a "soft landing" as far as survival of humans and life on earth.  If we are going to survive this "soft landing", then we should start to protect the other species and planetary diversity.   Otherwise, we may survive Noah's flood, but we may have nothing but picture books of coral reefs and rain forests and savannahs to show our kids.

I for one think that internet access is important to the soft landing. The video shows that human progress helps humanity on the whole.  As the old threats to our lifespan decline, we invent new concerns about "toxics" and "vaccinations".  

The key measure is not population, but the net common sense of the population.

Ethics of Religion: Imagine You're Jesus

(at the risk of offending absolutely everyone... this is about thinking).

Imagine You Are Jesus, and You've recently arrived back in Heaven.  You are looking down at the world, and You have some followers, some people who are genuinely enlightened by the golden rule, loving their neighbors as themselves, bearing fruit one hundred fold.

You also see about a million people who are just awful.  Just the worst.  Cruel, murdering, thieving, a million people who kill children.

Two of Your followers, named Pastor West and Pastor East, feel heartbroken by the badness.  West and East both live by Your golden rule, they both give away their possessions to help the needy, and they both try to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect.

Then Pastor West speaks up.  He tells the million violent and angry people that You, Jesus, spoke to him personally, and gave him a saintly prophetic vision... that You, Jesus, had told him Your plans for a place called Hell.  Agonizing, atrocious, flesh eating fire which never ends, forever and ever and ever, and that you were going to throw those million sinners into a firey doom.  And that you spoke of a place called Heaven, where all people who believe in You and change their ways will live in Joy and harmony.

Of course, You said no such thing.  Your allegories of gnashing of teeth were intended to describe a life trying to bless itself with material goods which pass.  Pastor West weeps tears of joy at the feeling of "Your" words, adding emphasis and importance to the "vision".

But... Imagine it appears to work sometimes.  Of the million sinners, imagine that half of them pause, fearing death and Hell, and that they lay down their weapons and stop killing children...  Hundreds of thousands are spared, as armies and gangs set down their weapons, and pray for salvation from the Vision of Hell.

On the day Your two followers meet You in heaven, they each plead their case...

E-Scrap News, WEEE Dog BBQs, Geeks in Cribs

Las Chicas Bravas Retroworks Internet Cafe
[This is the first blog written in new googlese blogjava.]

I had a brief email discussion with Henry L. at E-Scrap / Resource Recycling.  I opened with something stupid, then I tried to make a point, which is that the Europeans have studied African "E-Waste" Imports, and yet don't get it.

The comprehensive studies the EU releases show that black Africans in Europe tend to carefully buy and screen electronics before importing them, and that only 15% are destined for disposal.  In principle, the reuse trade benefits symbiotically with shredding, because the buyers are less pressured to accept questionable material.  But in practice, the shredders see whole exporters as "competition", and drive them into the arms of people who do not remove the junk.  It's a vicious cycle.

Without stopping to catch their breath, European Greenpeace issues film of containers being unloaded in Accra.  Pristine, all shiny black and silver TVs, stretch wrapped.  Not a brown or broken TV in sight.  In other words, exactly as described in the Ghana study.  But the narrative tells you they go to a landfill to be burned.... stupid, stupid Africans paying $7000 to import TVs which no one wants, and burning them.  Tsk Tsk.

Then, the EU Police (Europol) release a report that Africans are indeed behind these exports to Africa, and describes them as "criminal" and "illegal" without a single piece of data, but a flippant description of "murky" relationships.

There is no reference to the Ghana study in the Europol report.  I guess "murky" means they are leaving open the possibility that blacks might reuse something, but they don't actually want to follow it too closely.  It's a circular argument - criminalize reuse, then declare that criminals have cornered the reuse market.

Look, I know Africa.  I have film of Congo reuse of refrigerators - using them as barbeque pits for dog meat.  I swam in the lake at Bukavu - and was horrified to see on the news, corpses floating in it a decade later.  I hesitate to defend a continent which is abhorrent in its leadership and shocking in its backward treatment of women.  I hate their dictators, I cry over the state of their corruption.

But strangling the techs of color in their cribs is a step too far.  Boycotting telecom and internet cafe entrepreneurs is a shockingly abhorrent reaction to recycling while black.

Zen and the Art of Recycling Apartheid



Free Market:  "You two should talk..."

What kinds of reverse marketing would it take to convince the wealthy girl that it's less ethical, or more risky, to sell the phone to the woman, directly or through her family?

What kind of marketing would it take to convince the girl to pay a tax so that the old cell phone is shredded into little bitty pieces of plastic and metal?

What kind of marketing would it take to get a dictator to pass a law, customs seizure, or import ban to keep the poor woman from obtaining the means to tweet and call and socially organize with a cell phone?

Shredding has its place.  But the shredder makes money on the girl's tax, not by adding value to the working phone.  The new cell phone company hopes to sell an additional cell phone to the poor woman.

This is my industry.   The free market is not perfect, there are cases of "junk along for the ride", cases of no infrastructure for recycling after the product is finished;  ultimately, the old woman may throw it away (even if it was purchased brand new). There are things that need to be monitored, and fixed, to ensure fair trade recycling.  Nevertheless, segregating these women is worse.  It is time to end "Recycling Apartheid".

Third party research has now documented a massive exaggeration:  1) of the number of bad units in the trade, 2) of the short useful life of display devices, and 3) of the toxic harm from reuse and recycling.  Who is funding this mad men marketing campaign?

Follow the money trail. Who benefits by convincing a nation with declining growth to shred added value, and to convince emerging nations to stop imports of used, value added equipment?

Planned obsolescence in hindsight.  New product makers, shredding companies, and dictators.  "Green Racism", even if well intentioned, even accidental, is a term we should take steps to avoid.  READ YESTERDAY'S E-SCRAP NEWS for the latest "accidental racism" news from Europol.  Africans buying used goods in Europe and sending it to their geek cousins at home, are "criminals"... (Below)

Another German Interview: John Cale

Describing the similarities between Crusaders.

It's human to define yourself via attacks on other people.

See also:  Top Ten List of African Dictators.