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  Uncomfortable question: Is the world overpopulated?
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Author Topic: Uncomfortable question: Is the world overpopulated?  (Read 866 times)
Tender Branson
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« Reply #25 on: September 12, 2019, 11:35:20 am »

Of course.

There needs to be some kind of pandemic that reduces the world population by about 99.99% to a sustainable level of 800.000 (Green minded) people again, to undo all the damage that the human cancerous species has done to the planet. Earth would then be able to relax and after a few thousand years, most plastic would be disintegrated and CO2 levels back to normal. The damage that the human species did to the fauna though cannot be reversed any longer.

Loved your work as the villain in the last Godzilla movie.

I should note that by "pandemic", I mean something made by mother nature - not by people. That would be man-made genocide. If nature itself (almost) wipes out humanity, I'm fine with it.

That's also what the villain in the last Godzilla movie thought.

"villain" is always a relative term.

Severus Snape was also seen as a villain for most of the Harry Potter books, then it turned out that he only had the correct intentions.
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« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2019, 11:43:44 am »

Biologists use the term "carrying capacity" to determine the maximum population size an environment can support, and it's a fairly well understood concept there. Of course, with humans it's very different from animals, because there are more complex variables involved in sustaining civilization and we are sentient creatures with the ability to control and forsee future problems. I will say that earlier predictions of human overpopulation have often completely failed to account for technological changes in agriculture, including both Malthus in the 19th century and the Ehrlichs in the 20th century.

The best way to rid humanity of the issue of overpopulation involves urbanization, education and the industrialization of agriculture. Poor and rural countries have large birthrates: children do a lot of work in smallholdings and family farms, and poor countries with lousy sanitation and healthcare (as well as low female education) will see many huge family sizes to compensate for deaths. This is not, as some people imply, a racial or cultural thing: we see the exact same family sizes as you see in Nigeria and Uganda today in peasant families in France and Spain many years ago.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2019, 11:54:46 am »

Biologists use the term "carrying capacity" to determine the maximum population size an environment can support, and it's a fairly well understood concept there. Of course, with humans it's very different from animals, because there are more complex variables involved in sustaining civilization and we are sentient creatures with the ability to control and forsee future problems. I will say that earlier predictions of human overpopulation have often completely failed to account for technological changes in agriculture, including both Malthus in the 19th century and the Ehrlichs in the 20th century.

The best way to rid humanity of the issue of overpopulation involves urbanization, education and the industrialization of agriculture. Poor and rural countries have large birthrates: children do a lot of work in smallholdings and family farms, and poor countries with lousy sanitation and healthcare (as well as low female education) will see many huge family sizes to compensate for deaths. This is not, as some people imply, a racial or cultural thing: we see the exact same family sizes as you see in Nigeria and Uganda today in peasant families in France and Spain many years ago.

I disagree.

If humans were really intelligent, they'd go back to agricultural lifestyle as it was back a couple thousands of years ago - but with the difference of using advanced technology only as a last resort (in cases of significant medical needs). But to not use it otherwise and focus on art, sport, mental training and craftsmanship instead.

The picture I have in mind here is the village in Star Trek: Insurrection, where Picard and his crew visit and first think the people there are "in need of help" because they are living agricultural and modest, only to find out that they have all the technology incl. the Warp drive available - but are not using it - because it would distract them from their modest lifestyle.

A very underrated movie indeed. Tells you a lot about today.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2019, 12:13:40 pm »

I will say that earlier predictions of human overpopulation have often completely failed to account for technological changes in agriculture, including both Malthus in the 19th century and the Ehrlichs in the 20th century.

tfw all your theories are ruined and you are turned into a stock joke for All Time by... the fodder crop.
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« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2019, 12:18:06 pm »

Biologists use the term "carrying capacity" to determine the maximum population size an environment can support, and it's a fairly well understood concept there. Of course, with humans it's very different from animals, because there are more complex variables involved in sustaining civilization and we are sentient creatures with the ability to control and forsee future problems. I will say that earlier predictions of human overpopulation have often completely failed to account for technological changes in agriculture, including both Malthus in the 19th century and the Ehrlichs in the 20th century.

The best way to rid humanity of the issue of overpopulation involves urbanization, education and the industrialization of agriculture. Poor and rural countries have large birthrates: children do a lot of work in smallholdings and family farms, and poor countries with lousy sanitation and healthcare (as well as low female education) will see many huge family sizes to compensate for deaths. This is not, as some people imply, a racial or cultural thing: we see the exact same family sizes as you see in Nigeria and Uganda today in peasant families in France and Spain many years ago.

I disagree.

If humans were really intelligent, they'd go back to agricultural lifestyle as it was back a couple thousands of years ago - but with the difference of using advanced technology only as a last resort (in cases of significant medical needs). But to not use it otherwise and focus on art, sport, mental training and craftsmanship instead.

The picture I have in mind here is the village in Star Trek: Insurrection, where Picard and his crew visit and first think the people there are "in need of help" because they are living agricultural and modest, only to find out that they have all the technology incl. the Warp drive available - but are not using it - because it would distract them from their modest lifestyle.

A very underrated movie indeed. Tells you a lot about today.

With all due respect, I think you are overly romanticizing agricultural societies. There's nothing wrong with wanting to live in the countryside or living off the fat of the land or maintaining simple pleasures. I could totally understand why people dislike urban life and prefer solitude. However, humanity's tendency to destroy nature with utmost efficiency did not begin with industrialization. Indeed, as far back as the initial spread of Homo sapiens as hunter gatherers, we saw the widespread elimination of apex predators. Primitive farmers pioneered the slash and burn technique of cultivation. a process which eliminated almost all of the old growth forests of Europe before the birth of Christ. Indeed, when you see slash and burn today in the Amazon or Sumatra, it tends to come from small farmers and ranchers. Likewise, there is a reason population growth is so massive in farming societies: it's because education is limited because all children are expected to help out rather than get educated.
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Suburban Vegas Moderate for Trump (if Sanders/Warren win)
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« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2019, 12:32:13 pm »

No, though perhaps a few very specific locations are a bit too crowded. The problem isn't that there are too many people, it's wealth inequality and the systems in place to defend said inequality. The reason many people don't have basic necessities such as sufficient food, clean water, healthcare, etc. is due to corruption and greed, not a lack of resources.
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Badger
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« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2019, 10:36:25 pm »

Change starts with one's self, Tender.
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2019, 07:22:56 am »

Change starts with one's self, Tender.

He hasn't got any children so he is contributing to solving the problem. You can't expect him to commit suicide, if that's what you are implying.
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Snowguy716
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« Reply #33 on: September 13, 2019, 01:24:29 pm »

The question is more complex than our resident negationists believe. It depends on several factors like resource availability, technology development, wealth distribution or the carrying capacity of ecosistems. World population is estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, while the productivity of farming land in many regions across the globe will be reduced as the climate crisis gets worse. Draw your own conclusions.
The new UN projections were released recently and they have revised downward slightly their projections to 9.7bn by 2050 and stabilizing at 10.8bn in 2100, but with steady decline after that.

The reality is that the UN has not captured the rapidity of fertility drops in Latin America, Africa, or east Asia.  Nations with rapidly dropping fertility suddenly see huge slowdowns or even reversals in the fertility rate declines as soon as the UN projections start with all nations averaging toward 1.9 by 2100.  But while we might be at 1.9 in 2100, we’re bound to go lower in between....rates are falling too quickly everywhere.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next projections down to 9.5bn in 2050 and 9.5bn in 2100 (with a peak in between)


My answer is:  no, not overpopulated.  China’s pollution problem has likely peaked and India’s will likely in the next several years.  There will be big issues in Africa.  But keep in mind the African nations with the highest fertility and growth pains are some of the least densely populated in the world.  Many countries can and will triple their populations and they’ll still be far less dense than Europe or South/East Asia.
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Velasco
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« Reply #34 on: September 13, 2019, 06:23:31 pm »

The question is more complex than our resident negationists believe. It depends on several factors like resource availability, technology development, wealth distribution or the carrying capacity of ecosystems. World population is estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, while the productivity of farming land in many regions across the globe will be reduced as the climate crisis gets worse. Draw your own conclusions.
The new UN projections were released recently and they have revised downward slightly their projections to 9.7bn by 2050 and stabilizing at 10.8bn in 2100, but with steady decline after that.

The reality is that the UN has not captured the rapidity of fertility drops in Latin America, Africa, or east Asia.  Nations with rapidly dropping fertility suddenly see huge slowdowns or even reversals in the fertility rate declines as soon as the UN projections start with all nations averaging toward 1.9 by 2100.  But while we might be at 1.9 in 2100, we’re bound to go lower in between....rates are falling too quickly everywhere.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next projections down to 9.5bn in 2050 and 9.5bn in 2100 (with a peak in between)

I don't know what are you talking about, to be honest. The question is actually very complex and I proclaim my ignorance. Thankfully there are scientists and researchers that make papers

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11104-010-0328-z

Quote
Feeding the world’s growing population is a serious challenge. Food insecurity is concentrated in developing nations, where drought and low soil fertility are primary constraints to food production. Many crops in developing countries are supported by weathered soils in which nutrient deficiencies and ion toxicities are common. Many systems have declining soil fertility due to inadequate use of fertility inputs, ongoing soil degradation, and increasingly intense resource use by burgeoning populations. Climate models predict that warmer temperatures and increases in the frequency and duration of drought during the 21st century will have net negative effects on agricultural productivity. The potential effects of climate change on soil fertility and the ability of crops to acquire and utilize soil nutrients is poorly understood, but is essential for understanding the future of global agriculture. This paper explores how rising temperature, drought and more intense precipitation events projected in climate change scenarios for the 21st century might affect soil fertility and the mineral nutrition of crops in developing countries. The effects of climate change on erosion rates, soil organic carbon losses, soil moisture, root growth and function, root-microbe associations and plant phenology as they relate to mineral nutrition are discussed. Our analysis suggests that the negative impacts of climate change on soil fertility and mineral nutrition of crops will far exceed beneficial effects, which would intensify food insecurity, particularly in developing countries.
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Sen. tack50 (Lab-Lincoln)
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« Reply #35 on: September 13, 2019, 08:33:54 pm »


My answer is:  no, not overpopulated.  China’s pollution problem has likely peaked and India’s will likely in the next several years.  There will be big issues in Africa.  But keep in mind the African nations with the highest fertility and growth pains are some of the least densely populated in the world.  Many countries can and will triple their populations and they’ll still be far less dense than Europe or South/East Asia.

Thing is, not every country can be equally dense. You can't have a huge and densly populated concentration of people in places like Africa, where half the continent is desert (see: the Sahara) and another huge part is jungle (like in the Congo).
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Mopolis
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« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2019, 10:11:05 am »

I don't doubt that we could replace more rainforests with industrial agriculture and hoard more people into monumental termite hills; the question is what kind of life that produces for man. I do think a definite trend to look out for will be the growth of groups like the Amish and the Haredi - not just because they'll be the only people left in their part of the world with positive birthrates, but because more and more people will be choosing to live in communities that set the terms by which culture serves them.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #37 on: September 14, 2019, 12:25:32 pm »

The question is more complex than our resident negationists believe. It depends on several factors like resource availability, technology development, wealth distribution or the carrying capacity of ecosistems. World population is estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, while the productivity of farming land in many regions across the globe will be reduced as the climate crisis gets worse. Draw your own conclusions.
The new UN projections were released recently and they have revised downward slightly their projections to 9.7bn by 2050 and stabilizing at 10.8bn in 2100, but with steady decline after that.

The reality is that the UN has not captured the rapidity of fertility drops in Latin America, Africa, or east Asia.  Nations with rapidly dropping fertility suddenly see huge slowdowns or even reversals in the fertility rate declines as soon as the UN projections start with all nations averaging toward 1.9 by 2100.  But while we might be at 1.9 in 2100, we’re bound to go lower in between....rates are falling too quickly everywhere.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next projections down to 9.5bn in 2050 and 9.5bn in 2100 (with a peak in between)


My answer is:  no, not overpopulated.  China’s pollution problem has likely peaked and India’s will likely in the next several years.  There will be big issues in Africa.  But keep in mind the African nations with the highest fertility and growth pains are some of the least densely populated in the world.  Many countries can and will triple their populations and they’ll still be far less dense than Europe or South/East Asia.

Africa doesn’t have declining fertility or population growth rates.

In fact, Africa is growing faster than ever before, also in real terms - not just in absolute numbers.

Several censuses (or censi ?) have shown from Egypt to Malawi and Madagascar, that their population growth rates in the past decade increased compared with the decade before.
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AngryBudgie
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« Reply #38 on: September 14, 2019, 12:29:47 pm »

The question is more complex than our resident negationists believe. It depends on several factors like resource availability, technology development, wealth distribution or the carrying capacity of ecosistems. World population is estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, while the productivity of farming land in many regions across the globe will be reduced as the climate crisis gets worse. Draw your own conclusions.
The new UN projections were released recently and they have revised downward slightly their projections to 9.7bn by 2050 and stabilizing at 10.8bn in 2100, but with steady decline after that.

The reality is that the UN has not captured the rapidity of fertility drops in Latin America, Africa, or east Asia.  Nations with rapidly dropping fertility suddenly see huge slowdowns or even reversals in the fertility rate declines as soon as the UN projections start with all nations averaging toward 1.9 by 2100.  But while we might be at 1.9 in 2100, we’re bound to go lower in between....rates are falling too quickly everywhere.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next projections down to 9.5bn in 2050 and 9.5bn in 2100 (with a peak in between)


My answer is:  no, not overpopulated.  China’s pollution problem has likely peaked and India’s will likely in the next several years.  There will be big issues in Africa.  But keep in mind the African nations with the highest fertility and growth pains are some of the least densely populated in the world.  Many countries can and will triple their populations and they’ll still be far less dense than Europe or South/East Asia.

Africa doesn’t have declining fertility or population growth rates.

In fact, Africa is growing faster than ever before, also in real terms - not just in absolute numbers.

Several censuses (or censi ?) have shown from Egypt to Malawi and Madagascar, that their population growth rates in the past decade increased compared with the decade before.

Which is expected. That doesnt negate what Snowguy is saying. UN population growth estimates are far too simplistic when it comes to measuring fertility. Its why they keep having to adjust their estimates down.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #39 on: September 14, 2019, 12:35:12 pm »

The African population boom also cannot be solved with education alone in the coming decades (but of course it is the most necessary thing*), because African women who are educated still want to have 4 kids on average compared to 6-8 for uneducated women. So, even if all African women would have a tertiary education, the population there would still explode because of fertility rates twice the replacement level ...

* one of the main reasons why I support a foster child in Uganda with a monthly payment, for a good education.
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Tender Branson
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« Reply #40 on: September 14, 2019, 12:37:20 pm »

Change starts with one's self, Tender.

I already live a fairly green lifestyle, going mostly by bike and avoiding plastic.
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Lord Halifax
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« Reply #41 on: September 14, 2019, 01:00:39 pm »

The question is more complex than our resident negationists believe. It depends on several factors like resource availability, technology development, wealth distribution or the carrying capacity of ecosistems. World population is estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, while the productivity of farming land in many regions across the globe will be reduced as the climate crisis gets worse. Draw your own conclusions.
The new UN projections were released recently and they have revised downward slightly their projections to 9.7bn by 2050 and stabilizing at 10.8bn in 2100, but with steady decline after that.

The reality is that the UN has not captured the rapidity of fertility drops in Latin America, Africa, or east Asia.  Nations with rapidly dropping fertility suddenly see huge slowdowns or even reversals in the fertility rate declines as soon as the UN projections start with all nations averaging toward 1.9 by 2100.  But while we might be at 1.9 in 2100, we’re bound to go lower in between....rates are falling too quickly everywhere.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next projections down to 9.5bn in 2050 and 9.5bn in 2100 (with a peak in between)


My answer is:  no, not overpopulated.  China’s pollution problem has likely peaked and India’s will likely in the next several years.  There will be big issues in Africa.  But keep in mind the African nations with the highest fertility and growth pains are some of the least densely populated in the world.  Many countries can and will triple their populations and they’ll still be far less dense than Europe or South/East Asia.

Africa doesn’t have declining fertility or population growth rates.

In fact, Africa is growing faster than ever before, also in real terms - not just in absolute numbers.

Several censuses (or censi ?) have shown from Egypt to Malawi and Madagascar, that their population growth rates in the past decade increased compared with the decade before.

Which is expected. That doesnt negate what Snowguy is saying. UN population growth estimates are far too simplistic when it comes to measuring fertility. Its why they keep having to adjust their estimates down.

They have often adjusted them upwards.
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AngryBudgie
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« Reply #42 on: September 14, 2019, 02:26:47 pm »

The question is more complex than our resident negationists believe. It depends on several factors like resource availability, technology development, wealth distribution or the carrying capacity of ecosistems. World population is estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, while the productivity of farming land in many regions across the globe will be reduced as the climate crisis gets worse. Draw your own conclusions.
The new UN projections were released recently and they have revised downward slightly their projections to 9.7bn by 2050 and stabilizing at 10.8bn in 2100, but with steady decline after that.

The reality is that the UN has not captured the rapidity of fertility drops in Latin America, Africa, or east Asia.  Nations with rapidly dropping fertility suddenly see huge slowdowns or even reversals in the fertility rate declines as soon as the UN projections start with all nations averaging toward 1.9 by 2100.  But while we might be at 1.9 in 2100, we’re bound to go lower in between....rates are falling too quickly everywhere.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see the next projections down to 9.5bn in 2050 and 9.5bn in 2100 (with a peak in between)


My answer is:  no, not overpopulated.  China’s pollution problem has likely peaked and India’s will likely in the next several years.  There will be big issues in Africa.  But keep in mind the African nations with the highest fertility and growth pains are some of the least densely populated in the world.  Many countries can and will triple their populations and they’ll still be far less dense than Europe or South/East Asia.

Africa doesn’t have declining fertility or population growth rates.

In fact, Africa is growing faster than ever before, also in real terms - not just in absolute numbers.

Several censuses (or censi ?) have shown from Egypt to Malawi and Madagascar, that their population growth rates in the past decade increased compared with the decade before.

Which is expected. That doesnt negate what Snowguy is saying. UN population growth estimates are far too simplistic when it comes to measuring fertility. Its why they keep having to adjust their estimates down.

They have often adjusted them upwards.

Not the most recent report. And i was under the impression the report before that aswell but it appears they actual adjusted the numbers up substantially. A mistake, i think.

Most of what i know on this topic comes from Jorgen Randers btw. 
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