MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 61.0° F  A Few Clouds
Collapse Photo Bar

The Sperm Count Crisis!

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby rabble » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:30 pm

I suggest that whether the reason is that there is no food or that the food is too far away, the effect is still the same. If we can't feed everybody, we can't feed everybody.

People have been saying the climate is changing for decades now and that the seas will rise.

And yet, here we still are.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5995
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:37 pm

But we can feed everybody.
We are choosing not to.
The roadblocks to getting food to people are of our own creation. Greed and politics. Having out-of-whack priorities is a state of mind, not some insurmountable obstacle thrown at us by nature.

And if you believe in (the myth of) overpopulation, then you should welcome climate change with open arms as a natural means of curbing population growth. I mean, if we just poison the atmosphere enough, there'll be a lot fewer starving brown people to (not) worry about, right?
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8750
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ArturoBandini » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:48 pm

rabble wrote:I suggest that whether the reason is that there is no food or that the food is too far away, the effect is still the same. If we can't feed everybody, we can't feed everybody.
I'm not sure this works. We've never been able to feed everybody. Centuries ago, people were much more likely to be negatively affected by malnutrition, famine or starvation than today, in spite of the fact that today's absolute population (and absolute resource consumption) is larger by orders of magnitude. The fact that people are hungry today is, by itself, no indication that carrying capacity has been reached or exceeded.
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby snoqueen » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:29 pm

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that we could find.(FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.


That's from the World Hunger Education Service, which as far as I can tell is nonpartisan:
http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Lea ... 202002.htm

They make a lot of fine distinctions before drawing the conclusion I quoted, but that's the overall drift.

But how can you equate mere food calories produced on a global level to quality of life? I think the limiting factor to consider first is not food, but other amenities sufficient for a population to live in comfort and modernity: electricity available 24/7, clean and drinkable water as needed, heating and cooling in most climates, building supplies, transportation.

Right now the reason I think we have too many people is industrialized countries' energy consumption patterns aren't sustainable, while at the same time a large portion of planetary citizens live in totally substandard conditions. It's not about food.

And it's not really about sperm, either, but I know sperm are a lot more fun to argue about.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11287
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sat Dec 08, 2012 12:33 am

While not meaning to pull this discussion back from it's once again more serious nature, I'm reminded of Sam Kinison's take on world hunger.

The wouldn't be starvation if you people lived where the food was


As has been pointed out, there is both plenty of land for the current population and we are probably good for several generations to come. There is also more than enough food to go around, as well as a high likely hood that our production could increase to match a growing population if needed (though first world nations might have to change their diet at some point).

The problem is that there is a much more limited supply of arable land and a good portion of the food we have is not reaching a significant portion of those who need it most. While lack of arable land in those areas is a contributing factor, the major reasons for starvation are artificial and mostly political in nature.

Of course it's easier for Americans to watch commercials with Sally Struthers and feel terrible for those poor starving children. I'm not sure there is the political will here or in other first world nations to actually fix the problems that are causing the starvation in the first place.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2170
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby rabble » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:21 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:And if you believe in (the myth of) overpopulation, then you should welcome climate change with open arms as a natural means of curbing population growth. I mean, if we just poison the atmosphere enough, there'll be a lot fewer starving brown people to (not) worry about, right?

If overpopulation was all I thought about and I believed it had to be stopped no matter what the cost or what the future would look like, yeah I guess I would.

Silly me. I prefer the scenario where we all just have fewer babies.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5995
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:11 am

rabble wrote:I prefer the scenario where we all just have fewer babies.
I don't recall ever suggesting that people shouldn't curb their babymaking. And considering I am childless and vasectomized, I'd like to think I've already done my part in that department. Heck, if I ruled the world, I'd require licenses for prospective parents which could only be obtained after IQ tests and an examination of financial records. But I wouldn't do it because resources are scarce, I'd do it because it's pretty clear that a lot of people who have children (and many of those who have the most children) don't strike me as being very fit parents. Of course (thankfully, I think everyone will agree), we don't live in a world governed by my despotic whims.

I'm not arguing against people choosing to have fewer babies, I'm arguing against alarmism. I'm arguing against the idea that if we don't stop making babies we're doomed*, and I'm even more strenuously arguing against the myth that we're already overpopulated, when clearly we are not. What we are is a greedy, political species who can't pull our heads out of the ass of the free market long enough to start providing everyone with the readily available modern comforts outlined in Snoqueen's post. Because another thing I'd do if I ran the world would be to make damn sure that governments provided food, energy, and a place to live to every man, woman, and child on the planet. Oh, and pets too. Cuz pets are like people, except that they don't have their heads up their own asses or the ass of capitalism, they prefer to have them up the assess of other pets.

*Especially given the obvious fact that if we stopped having babies, we would be doomed.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8750
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby rabble » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:22 am

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I'm not arguing against people choosing to have fewer babies, I'm arguing against alarmism. I'm arguing against the idea that if we don't stop making babies we're doomed*

I am not sure where you got the idea that I said all that. I thought I said that it might not be a bad thing for our sperm counts to go down because there are so many of us.

Why the hell THAT got everybody's undies in such a damn bunch, I have no idea. But have yourself a time.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 5995
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:26 am

rabble wrote:I am not sure where you got the idea that I said all that. I thought I said that it might not be a bad thing for our sperm counts to go down because there are so many of us.
To be fair, when I initially posted, it wasn't specifically in response to anyone in particular, just what I perceived as a general tone (and I also freely admitted I'd only kinda skimmed the thread. What? Prof. Wagstaff has a reactionary response? Well, I never!)

But looking back over the thread now, I do want to respond to this (What? Prof. Wagstaff has a nit to pick? Well, I never!):
snoqueen wrote:Making a baby doesn't take a kazillion sperm. It just takes one.
Not so. Only one sperm ends up fertilizing the egg, sure, and while it doesn't take a kazillion sperm, it does take several dozen to break down the outer defenses of the egg to allow penetration by the lucky winner, as depicted here. (Seriously, follow the link and then press "Play". It's pretty adorable.)
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8750
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ArturoBandini » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:10 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Because another thing I'd do if I ran the world would be to make damn sure that governments provided food, energy, and a place to live to every man, woman, and child on the planet.
You've got a nice little totalitarian hubristic nightmare brewing there. How would you handle disagreements about the fair distribution of all those resources?
ArturoBandini
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 pm
Location: near west

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:39 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Because another thing I'd do if I ran the world would be to make damn sure that governments provided food, energy, and a place to live to every man, woman, and child on the planet.
You've got a nice little totalitarian hubristic nightmare brewing there. How would you handle disagreements about the fair distribution of all those resources?
If I ruled the world, there wouldn't be any disagreements. Duh.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8750
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ilikebeans » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:19 pm

ArturoBandini wrote:
Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Because another thing I'd do if I ran the world would be to make damn sure that governments provided food, energy, and a place to live to every man, woman, and child on the planet.
You've got a nice little totalitarian hubristic nightmare brewing there. How would you handle disagreements about the fair distribution of all those resources?

I love your view of a "totalitarian hubristic nightmare"-- namely "to make damn sure that governments provided food, energy, and a place to live to every man, woman, and child on the planet." Most people would have picked an earlier spot from Wags' post: "I'd require licenses for prospective parents which could only be obtained after IQ tests and an examination of financial records."

Says a ton about your priorities; but of course, it's nothing we didn't already know.
ilikebeans
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:23 am

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby ilikebeans » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:27 pm

Back to the topic, perhaps not being able to conceive isn't such a bad thing. If you're absolutely hell-bent on having a child, why not adopt? The child already exists, and needs a good home with caring parents. Is it really so important that the child look like you, or carry on your genes?

The alternative fertility treatments are often quite expensive, aren't covered by insurance, and carry a higher risk of multiple births, premature births, and other complications. Why take those unnecessary risks?
ilikebeans
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2792
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:23 am

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby jman111 » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:51 pm

Lower sperm counts could, very well, be an indication of a natural correction- a sign that we've overshot capacity. Not likely, but certainly possible.
jman111
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2922
Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:43 pm
Location: Dane County

Re: The Sperm Count Crisis!

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:06 pm

ilikebeans wrote:
ArturoBandini wrote:You've got a nice little totalitarian hubristic nightmare brewing there. How would you handle disagreements about the fair distribution of all those resources?

I love your view of a "totalitarian hubristic nightmare"-- namely "to make damn sure that governments provided food, energy, and a place to live to every man, woman, and child on the planet." Most people would have picked an earlier spot from Wags' post: "I'd require licenses for prospective parents which could only be obtained after IQ tests and an examination of financial records."

Says a ton about your priorities; but of course, it's nothing we didn't already know.


I know, beans -- ain't he a hoot?
I couldn't have asked for a better example of out-of-whack priorities if I'd invented some fantastic scenario wherein I get to make the rules for everybody. And notice that without any details given about my dictatorial plan, he just leaps to the conclusion that it must be unfair. I mean, I didn't say "lobsters and caviar for everyone", I simply said "food", which could just as easily mean "only enough rice to not starve." He just assumes that any system wherein nobody is left to die because of the whims of the free market will naturally be unacceptable to... well... people like him, I guess.
Prof. Wagstaff
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 8750
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2002 6:35 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Headlines

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar