13 Sept We'll meet 9:40 to 11:15 because of the Memorial Service

We covered a LOT of territory on Tuesday, but it's hardly a surprise that we didn't manage to get to everything I laid out as my agenda for the day. Among the subjects for consideration for Thursday:

...and still hanging fire (and likely to be postponed until next week), more on basic demography.

We asked that you (1) read Joel Cohen's Population growth and Earth's human carrying capacity (Science 1995), and (2) that you look through the AAAS Atlas to see what it contains that connects with things we talked about. I spent some time on (2) myself and found a LOT... hardly surprising. I'd like to add another assignment from the Atlas: (3) spend some actual time on pp. 12-20, reading text and sidebars and contemplating maps and graphs.

...and if you find time hanging heavy on your hands, consider this:

Today's mail brought the 7 September issue of Science, in which is an article that addresses issues absolutely central to Global Stewardship: Humans as the World's Greatest Evolutionary Force (Stephen R. Palumbi Issue of 7 Sep 2001, pp. 1786-1790). The first article cited in the text is Human Domination of Earth's Ecosystems (Peter M. Vitousek, Harold A. Mooney, Jane Lubchenco, Jerry M. Melillo Science Volume 277, Number 5325, Issue of 25 Jul 1997, pp. 494-499). The 'Similar articles found in Science' feature for the latter article is similarly instructive.

From Joel Cohen's article:
Three valuable approaches have been advocated to ease future trade offs among population, economic well-being, environmental quality, and cultural values. Each of these approaches is probably necessary, but not sufficient by itself, to alleviate the economic, environmental, and cultural problems...
First, the "bigger pie" school says: develop more technology.
Second, the "fewer forks" school says: slow or stop population growth.
...Third, the "better manners" school says: improve the terms under which people interact.

...When individuals use the environment as a source or a sink and when they have additional children, their actions have consequences for others. Economists call "externalities" the consequences that fall on people who are not directly involved in a particular action. That individuals neglect negative externalities when they use the environment has been called "the tragedy of the commons"... (pp 344-345)