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since 11/12/2005


Is an increasing population a good or bad thing for humanity? 01/12/2011

The Population Bomb?

Is an increasing population a good or bad thing for humanity? Is an Increasing Population a good or bad thing for Humanity? With the recent news that we have now reached a global population of over 7 billion, it is inevitable that there would be discussion about the (often negative) impact of the global population and whether we can sustain this continued growth. While it took an eternity for the earth’s population to reach just 1 billion people, (approximately 200 years ago), we have been reaching the billion milestones at an increasing rate over the last 100 years, and lately it has been taking around 12-15 years for the population to grow another billion. This trend is projected to continue throughout the first half of this century at least, although on the other hand, it is not projected to continue to accelerate the way it has done in the past, and will de-accelerate slightly. As is always the case with a Ciao Current Issue, it is necessary to put this broad question, which covers a number of complex interrelated issues into some kind of context. The negative side of a growing population is usually seen as the environmental degradation that might be caused – e.g. by burning more fossil fuels, or by the changing land use to support that population. In fact finding the positive angle i.e. “a good thing” for humanity is much harder to imagine – perhaps science and man’s collective power/intelligence being the most obvious reasons. The very term humanity also needs some consideration, as taken literally, this simply refers to ...

reveals yourself in 100 questions... 01/05/2011

Two for the Price of One...

AV Referendum on 5th May! Which is fairer, AV or First Past the Post? 27/04/2011

When you have to Make a Choice...

AV Referendum on 5th May! Which is fairer, AV or First Past the Post? In just over one week’s time, the voting population of the United Kingdom are having a referendum on whether to continue with the current voting system, known as First Past The Post (FPTP), or move to the Alternative Vote system (AV). The discussion about our voting system has been going on for years, but the issue has effectively been forced by the formation of the coalition government approximately one year ago, where it was agreed that the public would be consulted on the matter. There are obviously only two possible outcomes on the matter, and the result will be determined , ironically, in a FPTP method. Of course, the bigger question on many people’s minds, including many of the parties is that neither system is much stronger than the other, and the real answer is Proportional Representation. I think I would concur with that view, although it is not quite the question set here by Ciao, and certainly not the question we all have to answer next week. That’s if the electorate bother to turn out, which to me is one of the major problems of any system. I believe that there needs to be a minimum turnout for the vote to be valid, although this is set very low, probably in line with the normal voter apathy. Proportional representation of course, means that the number of seats in parliament are allocated according to total votes, this does not work with our current voting system with one seat for every constituency, and therefore makes the current result “unfair” in ...

Oil: Is there enough left? 29/08/2010

Now: If Only the Oil Companies Owned the Sun...

Oil: Is there enough left? Oil: is there enough left? This immediately made me think this was yet another bad example of a badly worded question which has recently been added here in the cafe? “Is there enough for who?” being the most obvious question I can think of, closely followed by the fact that whether there is enough depends on our technological plans for the future (e.g. the potential hydrogen economy) and indeed, was the question simply posed by someone who has their head buried in the sand and refuses to accept the worldwide statistics on the reserves/production ratio, but instead would rather think that the “oil crisis” is simply a conspiracy theory. Hmm. I will attempt to present my understanding of oil production and use in attempting to answer this simple question. Oil is first reported to have been seen as a commercial venture back in 1850s in Pennsylvania, although earlier peoples had also seen and used oil in smaller quantities. In the UK, the Nottinghamshire village of Eakring was crucial for the early oil industry, particularly during the Second World War, despite the fact it is far inland and nowhere near the North Sea, which is much more familiar to us for our oil production at least. In the UK, offshore oil began rapidly in the 1970s and while some may think this is surprising, it did peak in the mid 1980s at around 130 million tonnes. The piper alpha disaster also had an impact on production which slumped to 90 million tonnes in the early 1990s. Production peaked again in ...

Review of the Year 2009 01/01/2010

365 Days in the Noughties...

Should world debt be forgiven? 01/11/2009

Does "Dropping the Debt" miss the point?

Government to offer up to £5000 towards a brand new electric car! Will this encourage you to purchase one? Write us your opinion! 01/11/2009

We Don't Think About Future Generations-They Will Never Forget Us

Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, United Kingdom 23/08/2009

Under the Boardwalk..

Your Personal Review of 2008 13/02/2009

Crunch Time?

Your personal review of 2007: Which events stand out for you? 23/12/2008

May Peace Prevail on Earth

Christmas Holidays: Are you a crazy shopper or a conscientious buyer? 14/12/2008

It's Crackers Really

Top 10 Ciao Users I would Like to Meet 07/12/2008

Come Dine with Me

What are your thoughts on Britain's worst downturn in 60 years? 05/10/2008

Small is Beautiful...

The Final Call - In Search of the True Cost of our Holidays - Leo Hickman 04/10/2008

Last Call for the Planet? 14/09/2008

It's not all about the Money

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