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Earths Population - When is too much, enough?


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#1 Crisp

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:32

Earth population 'exceeds limits'

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There are already too many people living on Planet Earth, according to one of most influential science advisors in the US government. Nina Fedoroff told the BBC One Planet programme that humans had exceeded the Earth's "limits of sustainability".


- Current world population - 6.8+bn
- Net growth per day - 218,030+
- Forecast made for 2040 - 9+bn
Source

Earth population 1980 - 4,453,831,714+
Earth population by 2020 - 7,584,821,144+
Earth population by 2050 - 9,346,399,468+
Source

With the price tag of "standard of living" going up and up each year, with more people going below the poverty line, less jobs becoming available with more people claiming benefits, when it too much, enough?

What's the answer? Cut down on the love making, or is it time to move onto the Space race of liveable space stations/another planet (Mars)?


#2 Thief000

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:40

It was already too much many decades ago. The earth under normal natural conditions has a maximum capacity for about 1 billion people, yet we keep stressing the planet even further to suit our needs. At some point, something's going to give. Food supplies are already short in many parts of the world and current energy resources are getting thinner (not saying that if everyone starts investing in alternative energies that nothing more can be gained). That space race isn't going to happen in the next 50 years (Mars) and we won't be able to colonize other planets in time before we suffocate.
At some point it will either be voluntary sterilisation or some form of war that will sterilise/erradicate a big chunk of humanity for the planet's resources, there's no doubt about that. Humanity has become a plague that feeds of the planet like a parasite.

/grim

#3 Nick H.

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:44

It was already too much many decades ago. The earth under normal natural conditions has a maximum capacity for about 1 billion people, yet we keep stressing the planet even further to suit our needs. At some point, something going to give. Food supplies are already short in many parts of the world.

Can you provide a source for that? Because I disagree, and my evidence is the fact that we are 6 billion+ people and there is still more space.

As for the comment on food supplies, the fact is that we have enough food to feed everyone in the world right now. It doesn't happen because we don't distribute it correctly, leaving some people with nothing and leaving others with so much that they end up wasting what they have. Source.

#4 vetneufuse

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:45

yeah just wait for the day when we have a "third sex"... aka you where fixed at birth... you are still a male or female, just never will reproduce... done just to reduce the population randomly

Can you provide a source for that? Because I disagree, and my evidence is the fact that we are 6 billion+ people and there is still more space.

As for the comment on food supplies, the fact is that we have enough food to feed everyone in the world right now. It doesn't happen because we don't distribute it correctly, leaving some people with nothing and leaving others with so much that they end up wasting what they have. Source.


and most places there are a shortage of food its because of the location they are at... like in parts of africa where its hard to support large crops of food and has to be brought in from other locations

#5 Thief000

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:53

Can you provide a source for that?


It's a quote by many biologists and it's been quoted by Sir David Attenborough on many occasions in his documentaries. The keywords are "natural conditions", because what we are all living under and reshaping the earth to suit our needs are unnatural conditions.

#6 threetonesun

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:55

I find it hilarious people worry about this problem. Trust me, if there's too many of us, the Earth will take care of that all by itself.

A better question is how many people can the Earth comfortably support, which, since we haven't stopped reproducing, is apparently more than how many we have right now. That's an issue humans can self regulate.

I'd also like to point out that along with these "fewer jobs, more poverty" claims comes advances in medical care and technology unheard of 50 years ago. If resources are really the issue, we could give a lot of it up, fewer people could work at manufacturing jobs, and we could drop the life expectancy some.

#7 thejohnnyq

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 13:57

Really, so some how figured out that there are to many people and think the growth should stop? There have been people over the last 400 to 500 years claiming there were to many people in the world, whats any different now?

Sorry, but the science doesn't add up, there is more then enough resources and capacity to handle. The majority of the world is open and un-used. The resource constrains are man-made. The majority of the scientist making these claims alarmist who make these forecast that never come true or that are never held to account for.

#8 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:05

As countries develop, the population growth will eventually stabilize and possibly reverse. Statistics have already shown that while we are living much much longer, we are also choosing to have kids later in life on average. Can't find any scholarly sources that are free to the internet. Really wish the sources that you have access to through college libraries were open to the public.

#9 Jason S.

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:14

there's a fantastic TED Talk (13 mins) in which the speaker shows how religion affects birth rates around the world. The point to take away from it (towards the end) is that religion doesnt affect birth rate, women are having fewer and fewer children, and the global population will level out at 10bil.

TED Talk - watch here

#10 tsupersonic

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:21

There are two different things here (physical vs resources) - the Earth physically can easily sustain 10+ billion people. The whatif on xkcd said you can cram all the people in Earth in the state of Rhode Island. Resources wise, we should be able to sustain more people, but we may have to change habits for that.

#11 ~Johnny

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:21

I say we find something useful to do with all that space in Russia :p

Although seriously, I think at some point in the future to remain sustainable, we're going to have to probably start heading down a very GM centric route in regards to animal & plant production.

#12 TPreston

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:26

I don't see how the above is any different than the last 8000 years hell the last 50-70 gave us the green revolution
That ship has set sail a long long time ago...

#13 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:31

Overpopulation is a myth. Every person on Earth could fit into the land area of Texas and have a comfortable living area to themselves. Yes, some places on Earth are crowded and some places simply can't be populated, but there is a lottttt of room that can be used. The US alone probably has the capacity for billions of people. Granted it would involve cutting down a lot of trees, but it's possible.

http://overpopulatio...aking-of-a-myth

#14 ~Johnny

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:34

Overpopulation is a myth. Every person on Earth could fit into the land area of Texas and have a comfortable living area to themselves. Yes, some places on Earth are crowded and some places simply can't be populated, but there is a lottttt of room that can be used. The US alone probably has the capacity for billions of people. Granted it would involve cutting down a lot of trees, but it's possible.

http://overpopulatio...aking-of-a-myth


It's more about having the resources to comfortably sustain ourselves and being able to continually replenish our resources, rather than how much space we have. Hence why the issue is more considered as sustainability rather than overcrowding.

#15 BillyJack

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Posted 05 October 2012 - 14:41

I think there is plenty of space like some of you mentioned, but we have to learn to take care of our resources and environment and then we will be fine. If we do not then we will start to perish due to lack of food, water, energy we use to do the work, disease, pollution, etc.