Carrying Capacity – the big picture in the details

Regarding Russ Hopfenberg’s article on population carrying capacity Lawrence Espy and Bill Reese similarly replied to Steve Solmony that the model of population growth limited by the natural carrying capacity of the earth was too general.

Lawrence had pointed out ‘carrying capacity’ has many diverse natural system and artificial system parts, that evolve very differently and those differences need to be considered but were not. Bill similarly pointed out that many ecologists do not see “carrying capacity” as a particularly useful term as the ecosystem (the species’ environment) is constantly changing its ‘productivity’ and is never a fixed target.

All agree with the basic premise that civilization’s whole shaky house of cards will come tumbling down if we are unable to maintain the constant throughput of resources necessary.  I offered the following:

Tuesday 6/2/09
Lawrence & Bill,

I think the way to tie the two kinds of potentials, the natural and artificial “carrying capacity” limits of the earth is using the experience curves that indicate our own ability to leverage more and more of those potentials.

That ability to find and invent more cheaper stuff increased for centuries, but is now decreasing, so there was a peak somewhere.