trubadour wrote:Your data is wrong. It's 300 years old (and it was proven wrong then, too).
Breathtaking statement. And wrong. Not sure which data it is you're objecting to, but the growth rate in those charts I published are historical fact. They already happened and are engraved in stone. The only thing that is not already carved in stone are the future projections.
Hard fact is: world population growth has been exponential, and still is. When I was born, the world's population was a little under 3 billion. Fact is it is now over 7 billion. More than doubled. This is in just one person's lifetime, and I'm not dead yet.
trubadour wrote: It's now generally accepted that as nations develop, populations decline. So there is no threat exponential growth in population. In fact, we might be facing the opposite problem (not enough people).
Yes, in countries that develop, population growth rates tend to drop. Reality on the ground is that many countries are not developing and some even are going backwards. A pretty substantial portion of Africa falls into that category. In the developed world, some countries are seeing substantial population increase due to immigration - the USA derives more than half it's annual population increase from immigrants. And the immigrants have a high birth rate for at least one more generation, before they fall into developed country habits of reproduction.
Taiwan has a low birthrate, and population growth may soon turn negative here. Considering how crowded it is already in Taiwan, I'm rather glad. I'm fully aware that this means an aging population. The price we pay for overpopulation by past generations.
Taiwan is, I think, a very good example of a country that has populated way beyond the means to support itself without relying on hefty imports of energy, and at least some food. A war in the Middle East that cuts off our imports of oil, natural gas and coal means starvation for Taiwanese. If the population were half of what it is now, we might be able to squeak by.
A big wildcard is the recent rise of religious fundamentalism, which brings with it a desire to breed more foot soldiers for "the cause." That's particularly true in the Middle East. It also sets the stage for war, the traditional means of population control.
The following map gives a good idea what parts of the world are breeding like crazy, and which aren't:
trubadour wrote:Either way, for those worried we could starve, consider this: we currently have more than enough resources to meet everyone basic needs - but people still go hungry. This is not because there is a problem with the earth supporting our population but because humanity exhibits various social and psychological problems which I think we can generally refer to as collective distributive inefficiency.
The very uneven spread of wealth in the world is indeed a cause of starvation. Some form of wealth redistribution could help a lot, but what I see happening in the world today is mostly the opposite. I'd like to point out that my native country, the USA, is the current leader on making the world more unequal. Sadly, the Ayn Rand mentality is spreading.
Legend: World population estimates from 1800 to 2100, based on UN 2010 projections (red, orange, green) and US Census Bureau historical estimates (black). According to the highest estimate, the world population may rise to 16 billion by 2100; according to the lowest estimate, it may decline to only 6 billion.
I don't see why this graph you published gives much cause for optimism. It shows possible population projections. So which one is correct? I guess you want to believe it will be the lower one, resulting in 6 billion souls by year 2100. Why it could not be the one projecting 16 billion? Actually, I don't think we'll reach 16 billion, but not because of a declining birth rate - rather, I think because of a rising death rate.
If the world continues to burn coal and pump CO2 into the atmosphere like now, we will certainly see a rising death rate regardless of other factors.
If the world listens to the anti-nuclear power greens (which seems to be happening), the nukes will shut down and we'll certainly see a lot more coal being burned as a result. I find it greatly ironic to see the so-called "greens" working hard to put even more CO2 into the atmosphere. They are making the same mistake as the "drill-baby-drill" crowd, and they don't even know it. Their reasoning is different, and yet the result is the same.
At the end of the day, only results matter. Greenpeace and the Tea Party are both advocating a path to disaster.Merkel's Green Shift Forces Germany to Burn More Coal Energy
Of course, the "greener alternative" is natural gas, right? Because it's so much cleaner than coal...If Natural Gas is Less Noxious Than Coal, Don't We Have to Frack?