Population Crisis: Beyond 7 Billion

By | August 7, 2012

After remaining stable for most of human history, the world’s population has exploded over the last two centuries. The boom is not over: The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years. The coming wave will reshape the planet, and the impact will be greatest in the poorest, most unstable countries.

via Beyond 7 Billion – latimes.com.

… the world’s population — now 7 billion — will continue to grow … According to United Nations projections, the number will rise to 9.3 billion by 2050 — the equivalent of adding another India and China to the world.

That’s an optimistic scenario, one that assumes the worldwide average birthrate, now 2.5 children per woman, will decline to 2.1.

If birthrates stay where they are, the population is expected to reach 11 billion by midcentury — akin to adding three Chinas.

Under either forecast, scientists say, living conditions are likely to be bleak for much of humanity. Water, food and arable land will be more scarce, cities more crowded and hunger more widespread.

On a planet with 11 billion people, however, all those problems will be worse.

The outcome hinges on the cumulative decisions of hundreds of millions of young people around the globe. …

We’re going to have to produce more food in the next 40 years than we have the last 10,000,” he said. “Some people say we’ll just add more land or more water. But we’re not going to do much of either.”

Most of Earth’s best farmland has already come under hoof or plow, and farmers are losing ground to expanding cities and deserts. Soil erosion, chemical contamination and salt buildup from irrigation are despoiling prime acreage.

Climate change will make all of these challenges more daunting. Higher temperatures and violent weather will stunt or destroy crops. Increased flooding will imperil millions living in low-lying regions. More severe droughts could displace masses of people, leading to conflict.

By 2050, the United Nations predicts, there could be as many as 200 million “climate refugees.”

Despite these trends, population growth has all but vanished from public discourse. …

via LATimes

If you gave people a choice: starve to death, die in a nuclear war, or stop reproducing, which do you think they’d choose?

2 thoughts on “Population Crisis: Beyond 7 Billion

  1. Fred Killer

    They wouldn’t choose either option, as they do not think.

    This is self-evident.

    Every person does what he or she can as challenges arise and no-one will ever vote for the responsible or sensible option, particularly if they are already starving, illiterate and being bombed.

    Hence, the ever-present comments about the poorest always suffering the most whenever population growth comes up. They always will suffer more for they are less educated
    and are therefore less aware of the options available and their relative value.

    We in ‘The West’ are only just beginning to make these long-term decisions, although it looks as though it will be yet again, at the expense of the poorest or least well educated.

    I must get around to reading the Georgia Guidestones sometime.

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