Plants also build themselves, repair themselves, provide their own transport systems, defend themselves against pests, and provide their own structural support -- all of which I consider "plant services" which humans would otherwise have to provide.
Plants do generally have fairly specific growing conditions, and require nutrients and fertilizer, which limit growth potential.
I'm still really not sure that humans, building structures and equipment which will need replacement on a 20-40 year basis (most PV systems), maybe longer for solar thermal, though I kind of doubt it, can beat that.
On carrying capacity, I've been looking over a few refs this evening, and that's sobering stuff. But I tend to fall in the general range you guys are talking about: 500m to 2 billion. I figure a standard of living of roughly early-to-mid 20th century in terms of resource consumption. If you scale your infrastructure right that's actually not horrible, and could be quite pleasant. Other alternatives ... not quite so much.
I've missed seeing your posts, found a bunch looking for Paul Chefurka refs after shared some links earlier.
Just as there are no atheists in foxholes, there are few climate-change skeptics amongst those who grow the world's food – if any. Farmers don't have to read UN reports to know how radically their weather is changing. And consumers don't need academic studies or bullet points to know that food prices are steadily rising.
Do you have beliefs? A political point of view? Do you mind testing them against others who have different beliefs than you?
How about you?
- Thompson Rivers UniversityGeneral Studies, 2012
- Cultural Critic. You didn't know that that was an occupation?
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