Carrying capacity is real in every ecological sense where it is used to describe organic life. All life requires food and other resources. If a population requires more food than can be produced by the land, the population is above carrying capacity and is thus unsustainable and prosperity cannot occur.
If you truly believe this you should castrate yourself to keep the planet from reaching carrying capacity on principle – likewise you need to convince everyone else in your commune to do the same. It is in the best interest of everyone if you do.
How exactly does a population reach carrying capacity if there are not enough resources to support it in the first place? As soon as goods/resources become scarce enough they become expensive (harder to produce) thus lowering the incentive to reproduce which in turn puts the population back in equilibrium. Population is self regulating.[/quote]
Populations are not self regulating. They are regulated by their environment in the form of extinction. Look up the St. Matthews Reindeer experiment. When a population overexploits, it doesn’t necessarily drop to equilibrium levels. It drops – in the form of massive die offs and extinction. There is a latency period between when overexploitation begins and shortages result. This latency allows populations to double or triple carrying capacity.
The biggest example of latency is when a population finds 400 years of a nonrenewable resource and allows their population to blow up because they will not experience any repercussions immediately.
And by the way, scarcity of resources doesn’t lower the incentive to reproduce. This is simply naive. People only have an incentive to mate, and only in affluence and prosperity do people suppress this and plan. Every civilization in history is testament to the fact that it works the other way around.
Tough words coming from a guy who only a few years ago was a registered green and “deeply liberal.”
Industrialization had a minor effect on the population. But the much bigger factor came later – oil.
The population explosion – the quadrupling in the last 150 years – is due to oil. Oil, a finite resource, has created a population that was impossible 150 years ago, and one that will be impossible to sustain in the future as oil becomes increasingly scarce.
Any use of a non renewable resource creates an artificial and unsustainable population. All instances in nature where organisms attempt to use non renewable resources have resulted in extinction. It simply doesn’t work. 4 Billion years of evolution has proven this.
Extracting a non renewable resource to create an artificial bump in the population is not real progress.