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Human Population / putting human population on an environmentally sustainable path





"Human Beings are the only species on Earth that can evolve cognitively,and with means to maintain itself,the others forms of life on Earth are at our mercy"






Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion

On World Population Day, Worldwatch explores nine polices to help stabilize population growth

Washington, D.C.—Although most analysts assume that the world’s population will rise from today’s 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, it is quite possible that humanity will never reach this population size, Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman argues in the book State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

In the chapter “Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion,” Engelman outlines a series of steps and initiatives that would all but guarantee declines in birthrates—based purely on the intention of women around the world to have small families or no children at all—that would end population growth before mid-century at fewer than 9 billion people. “Unsustainable population growth can only be effectively and ethically addressed by empowering women to become pregnant only when they themselves choose to do so,” Engelman writes.

Examples from around the world demonstrate effective policies that not only reduce birth rates, but also respect the reproductive aspirations of parents and support an educated and economically active society that promotes the health of women and girls. Most of these reproduction policies are relatively inexpensive to implement, yet in many places they are opposed on the basis of cultural resistance and political infeasibility.

Eschewing the language and approaches of “population control” or the idea that anyone should pressure women and their partner on reproduction, Engelman outlines nine strategies that could put human population on an environmentally sustainable path:

  • Provide universal access to safe and effective contraceptive options for both sexes. With nearly two in five pregnancies reported as mistimed or never wanted, lack of access to good family planning services is among the biggest gaps in assuring that each baby will be wanted and welcomed in advance by its parents.
  • Guarantee education through secondary school for all, especially girls. In every culture surveyed to date, women who have completed at least some secondary school have fewer children on average, and have children later in life, than do women who have less education.
  • Eradicate gender bias from law, economic opportunity, health, and culture. Women who can own, inherit, and manage property; divorce; obtain credit; and participate in civic and political affairs on equal terms with men are more likely to postpone childbearing and to have fewer children compared to women who are deprived of these rights.
  • Offer age-appropriate sexuality education for all students. Data from the United States indicate that exposure to comprehensive programs that detail puberty, intercourse, options of abstinence and birth control, and respecting the sexual rights and decisions of individuals, can help prevent unwanted pregnancies and hence reduce birth rates.
  • End all policies that reward parents financially based on the number of children they have. Governments can preserve and even increase tax and other financial benefits aimed at helping parents by linking these not to the number of children they have, but to parenthood status itself.
  • Integrate lessons on population, environment, and development into school curricula at multiple levels. Refraining from advocacy or propaganda, schools should educate students to make well-informed choices about the impacts of their behavior, including childbearing, on the environment.
  • Put prices on environmental costs and impacts. In quantifying the cost of an additional family member by calculating taxes and increased food costs, couples may decide that the cost of having an additional child is too high, compared to the benefits of a smaller family that might receive government rebates and have a lower cost of living. Such decisions, freely made by women and couples, can decrease birth rates without any involvement by non-parents in reproduction.
  • Adjust to an aging population instead of boosting childbearing through government incentives and programs. Population aging must be met with the needed societal adjustments, such as increased labor participation, rather than by offering incentives to women to have more children.
  • Convince leaders to commit to stabilizing population growth through the exercise of human rights and human development. By educating themselves on rights-based population policies, policymakers can ethically and effectively address population-related challenges by empowering women to make their reproductive choices.  

If most or all of these strategies were put into effect, Engelman argues, global population likely would peak and subsequently begin a gradual decline before 2050, thereby ensuring sustainable development of natural resources and global stability into the future. By implementing policies that defend human rights, promote education, and reflect the true economic and environmental costs of childbearing, the world can halt population short of the 9 billion that so many analysts expect.

Worldwatch’s State of the World 2012, released in April 2012,focuses on the themes of inclusive sustainable development discussed at Rio+20, the 20-year follow-up to the historic 1992 Earth Summit, which was also held in Rio de Janeiro. The report presents a selection of innovations and constructive ideas for achieving environmental sustainability globally while meeting human needs and providing jobs and dignity for all. 

Reducing population growth

Population planning that is intended to reduce a population or sub-population's growth rates may promote or enforce one or more of the following practices, although there are other methods as well:

The method(s) chosen can be strongly influenced by the religious and cultural beliefs of community members. The failure of other methods of population planning can lead to the use of abortion or infanticide as solutions.[citation needed]


Increasing population growth

Population policies that are intended to increase a population or sub-population's growth rates may use practices such as:

  • Higher taxation of married couples who have no, or too few, children
  • Politicians imploring the populace to have bigger families
  • Tax breaks and subsidies for families with children
  • Loosening of immigration restrictions, and/or mass recruitment of foreign workers by the government

Mass society


Mass society is any society of the modern era that possesses a mass culture and large-scale, impersonal, social institutions.[1] A mass society is a "society in which prosperity and bureaucracy have weakened traditional social ties".[2] Descriptions of society as a "mass" took form in the 19th century, referring to the leveling tendencies in the period of the Industrial Revolution that undermined traditional and aristocratic values.

In the work of early 19th century political theorists such as Alexis de Tocqueville, the term was used in discussions of elite concerns about a shift in the body politic of the Western world pronounced since the French Revolution. Such elite concerns centered in large part on the "tyranny of the majority", or mob rule.

In the late 19th century, in the work of Émile Durkheim, the term was associated with society as a mass of undifferentiated, atomistic individuals. In 20th century neo-Marxist accounts, such as those of the Frankfurt School, mass society was linked to a society of alienated individuals held together by a culture industry that served the interests of capitalism.

Conservative accounts in the 20th century critiqued mass society from a different perspective. José Ortega y Gasset, for instance, lamented the decline of high culture in mass society.


Culture industry

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The term culture industry (German: Kulturindustrie) was coined by the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973), and was presented as critical vocabulary in the chapter "The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), wherein they proposed that popular culture is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods—films, radio programmes, magazines, etc.—that are used to manipulate mass society into passivity.[1] Consumption of the easy pleasures of popular culture, made available by the mass communications media, renders people docile and content, no matter how difficult their economic circumstances.[1] The inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism; thus Adorno and Horkheimer especially perceived mass-produced culture as dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts. In contrast, true psychological needs are freedom, creativity, and genuine happiness, which refer to an earlier demarcation of human needs, established by Herbert Marcuse. (See Eros and Civilization, 1955).[2]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Self-Portrait with Two Circles, oil on canvas, Rembrandt, c. 1665–1669.
Black Square, oil on canvas, Kazimir Malevich, 1923–29

In European academic traditions, fine art is art developed primarily for aesthetics or beauty, distinguishing it from applied art, which also has to serve some practical function, such as pottery or most metalwork.

Historically, the five main fine arts were painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and poetry, with performing arts including theatre and dance.[1] Today, the fine arts commonly include additional forms, such as film, photography, video production/editing, design, sequential art, conceptual art, and printmaking.

One definition of fine art is "a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture."[2] In that sense, there are conceptual differences between the fine arts and the applied arts. As originally conceived, and as understood for much of the modern era, the perception of aesthetic qualities required a refined judgment usually referred to as having good taste, which differentiated fine art from popular art and entertainment.[3]

The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline according to traditional Western European canons.[citation needed] This definition originally excluded the applied or decorative arts, and the products of what were regarded as crafts. In contemporary practice these distinctions and restrictions have become essentially meaningless, as the concept or intention of the artist is given primacy, regardless of the means through which this is expressed.[

Social alienation


Social alienation is "a condition in social relationships reflected by a low degree of integration or common values and a high degree of distance or isolation between individuals, or between an individual and a group of people in a community or work environment".[1] It is a sociological concept developed by several classical and contemporary theorists,[2] The concept has many discipline-specific uses, and can refer both to a personal psychological state (subjectively) and to a type of social relationship (objectively).

Powerlessness

Alienation in the sense of a lack of power has been technically defined by Seeman as "the expectancy or probability held by the individual that his own behaviour cannot determine the occurrence of the outcomes, or reinforcements, he seeks." Seeman argues that this is "the notion of alienation as it originated in the Marxian view of the worker's condition in capitalist society: the worker is alienated to the extent that the prerogative and means of decision are expropriated by the ruling entrepreneurs".[23] Put more succinctly, Kalekin-Fishman (1996: 97) says, "A person suffers from alienation in the form of 'powerlessness' when she is conscious of the gap between what she would like to do and what she feels capable of doing".

In discussing powerlessness, Seeman also incorporated the insights of the psychologist Julian Rotter. Rotter distinguishes between internal control and external locus of control, which means "differences (among persons or situations) in the degree to which success or failure is attributable to external factors (e.g. luck, chance, or powerful others), as against success or failure that is seen as the outcome of one's personal skills or characteristics".[24] Powerlessness, therefore, is the perception that the individual does not have the means to achieve his goals.

More recently, Geyer[25] remarks that "a new type of powerlessness has emerged, where the core problem is no longer being unfree but rather being unable to select from among an overchoice of alternatives for action, whose consequences one often cannot even fathom". Geyer adapts cybernetics to alienation theory, and writes (1996: xxiv) that powerlessness is the result of delayed feedback: "The more complex one's environment, the later one is confronted with the latent, and often unintended, consequences of one's actions. Consequently, in view of this causality-obscuring time lag, both the 'rewards' and 'punishments' for one's actions increasingly tend to be viewed as random, often with apathy and alienation as a result".

Meaninglessness

A sense of meaning has been defined by Seeman as "the individual's sense of understanding events in which he is engaged".[26] Seeman (1959: 786) writes that meaninglessness "is characterized by a low expectancy that satisfactory predictions about the future outcomes of behaviour can be made." Whereas powerlessness refers to the sensed ability to control outcomes, this refers to the sensed ability to predict outcomes. In this respect, meaninglessness is closely tied to powerlessness; Seeman (Ibid.) argues, "the view that one lives in an intelligible world might be a prerequisite to expectancies for control; and the unintelligibility of complex affairs is presumably conducive to the development of high expectancies for external control (that is, high powerlessness)".

Geyer (1996: xxiii) believes meaninglessness should be reinterpreted for postmodern times: "With the accelerating throughput of information [...] meaningless is not a matter anymore of whether one can assign meaning to incoming information, but of whether one can develop adequate new scanning mechanisms to gather the goal-relevant information one needs, as well as more efficient selection procedures to prevent being overburdened by the information one does not need, but is bombarded with on a regular basis." "Information overload" or the so-called "data tsunami" are well-known information problems confronting contemporary man, and Geyer thus argues that meaninglessness is turned on its head.

A interesting person to read about,concerning Society: Samuel P. Huntington @ wikipedia