Environment What happens if the population forecasts are wrong?

tom_mai78101

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In a mere half-century, the number of people on the planet has soared from 3 billion to 7 billion, placing us squarely in the midst of the most rapid expansion of world population in our 50,000-year history — and placing ever-growing pressure on the Earth and its resources.

But that is the past. What of the future? Leading demographers, including those at the United Nations and the U.S. Census Bureau, are projecting that world population will peak at 9.5 billion to 10 billion later this century and then gradually decline as poorer countries develop. But what if those projections are too optimistic? What if population continues to soar, as it has in recent decades, and the world becomes home to 12 billion or even 16 billion people by 2100, as a high-end UN estimate has projected? Such an outcome would clearly have enormous social and environmental implications, including placing enormous stress on the world's food and water resources, spurring further loss of wild lands and biodiversity, and hastening the degradation of the natural systems that support life on Earth.

It is customary in the popular media and in many journal articles to cite a projected population figure as if it were a given, a figure so certain that it could virtually be used for long-range planning purposes. But we must carefully examine the assumptions behind such projections. And forecasts that population is going to level off or decline this century have been based on the assumption that the developing world will necessarily follow the path of the industrialized world. That is far from a sure bet.

Eyeing the future, conservationists have clung to the notion that population will peak and then start to decline later this century. Renowned evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson has propounded what he terms the bottleneck theory: that maximum pressure on the natural world will occur this century as human population peaks, after which a declining human population will supposedly ease that pressure. The goal of conservation is therefore to help as much of nature as possible squeeze through this population bottleneck. But what if there is no bottleneck, but rather a long tunnel where the human species continues to multiply?

Read more here.

Very interesting read.
 

camelCase

The Case of the Mysterious Camel.
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The moon-people might shoot at us.
We need to develop our living armor before 2100, it seems.
 

Accname

2D-Graphics enthusiast
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the solution seems rather simple, all we need is another world war and population growth related issues will soon be stopped. 50 bugs for china, these guys are going to roll all over the place.
 

Azlier

Old World Ghost
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AccName said:
all we need is another world war and population growth related issues will soon be stopped.

Because, you know, the last world war definitely solved all our population issues.

All we have to do is make everybody rich. Because rich countries don't even have enough children to sustain the current population. All the increase there is from immigration.

Anybody got a get quick rich scheme that works for everyone at once?
 

Varine

And as the moon rises, we shall prepare for war
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isn't it called inflation? we can all become millionaires within the week

That's not what inflation is.

We could disband our currently shitty economic system and go back to the one where we don't rely on every other country maintaining their economy, then subsequently attack the countries with too many people for a few days. And kidnap homeless and poor people and send them to some island.
 
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