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Overpopulation is this a serious problem or am I overeacting

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  • Overpopulation is this a serious problem or am I overeacting

    I was wondering what Mike and the over posters think about this subject? 100 years ago the population of earth was 1 billion now i'ts 6-8 billion if you do the math it's gonna be 50 billion (or thereabouts) in 100 years time and even more in 200, 300, or 1000 years so here's the problem but whats the solution.

  • #2
    move to mars?

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    • #3
      World development - as countries get more affluent, the birth rate declines (I'm not of the Malthusian persuasion).
      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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      • #4
        The more the merrier, I say. I added to the population last year (well the wife helped of course). But I think we are going to be "zero growthers", because I'm so happy with the one I have, I don't think I need another. But anyone else that wants a big family, go for it!!! We have natural population controls thanks to evolution and nature- disease, war, poverty, pestilence. And as already pointed out, the 1st world nations are actually declining in population. My theory is we'll have a peak population the planet can handle and then go back the other way. Don't worry about it. You would be dead long before any serious population overload anyway. I think all the people on the planet could fit in a space the size of Rhode Island or something like that.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dl
          We have natural population controls thanks to evolution and nature- disease, war, poverty, pestilence.
          What a disgusting comment. War and poverty aren't natural. Get a clue.

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          • #6
            I for one am slightly pessimistic. Nature's no longer capable of curbing our population growth with diseases and disasters, even with AIDS, SARS, Tsunamis and Hurricanes. While I'm certain Earth could nourish 10 billion of people, I'm not sure how many more, and they all need energy too... , not only food and water. So one can expect fierce distribution wars unless REASON gets more weight.
            Google ergo sum

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LEtranger
              Nature's no longer capable of curbing our population growth with diseases and disasters, even with AIDS, SARS, Tsunamis and Hurricanes.
              I wouldn't be so sure. If all else fails, all we need is a nice comet (think of the dinosaurs).

              Sadly, I agree with you about the coming wars, although unequal distribution will be the cause, not absolute population levels. Also - climate change will be furnishing a large number of not-so-natural 'natural' disasters. Look out for conflict over water - the USA (for instance) will be a net importer in the next couple of decades. :(

              But to cheer us up - there's always the Elric movie!
              \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

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              • #8
                I'm afraid world development is no solution. Just the opposite: 1st world countries are less populous but consume much more natural resources and produce incomparably more waste and pollution.

                And btw, disease, too, ceases to be natural and becomes social/political where it could be controlled or eradicated with sufficient money....

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                • #9
                  But, Feuerfuchs, War and Poverty are the direct consequences of the human condition, and therefore are natural. Your natural aversion to them won't change that. I think DL is on the right lines - in our human arrogance we can lose perspective, and forget that, even if we can manipulate our environments to a certain degree, there are many natural controls on our expansion - limited food and resources, disease, warfare and not least our own education and understanding - the more 'advanced' the species becomes intellectually, the more we limit our own reproduction. Don't forget that in the develpoed countries, we enjoy unusual and 'unnatural' longevity and low levels of infant mortality. As our qualityof life improves, so we are inclined to indulge ourselves in more ways than simple reproduction - and indeed can resent the restrictions that large numbers of offspring impose!
                  The highlighting of the unsavoury but inevitable limits on the population is no more disgusting than anything else in nature, which is, as ever, red in tooth and claw...

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                  • #10
                    In fact, our host on this 'ere website has written about a possible ultimate human evolution in the End of Time series: A very few individuals with enormous power over their environment. An extreme scenario, perhaps, but a logical one in many ways. Do we not naturally crave greater space and influence over our lives as our health, longevity and inellectual capacity increases?

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                    • #11
                      mmmm. i don't know. the argument that "natural control", whatever definition you give it, just doesn't stand when you look at the figures. The demographic evolution in the last century proves that no natural force is regulating human population anymore. Or rather not sufficiently.
                      Of course, humanity finally drying up all the resources it depends on and disappearing or dramatically reducing its numbers would also be natural.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by feuerfuchs
                        Originally posted by dl
                        We have natural population controls thanks to evolution and nature- disease, war, poverty, pestilence.
                        What a disgusting comment. War and poverty aren't natural. Get a clue.
                        Sorry I'm not PC enough for you, but I stand by my comments. War and poverty are in a nature, they are a natural result of overpopulation, and they are also a result of our evolution (or lack of if you like).

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                        • #13
                          huh, perdix, i hadnt read your second post. yeah that could be a logical evolution. Probably requires a sudden decrease in population to begin whith, though....or a thousand years. the latter i'm afraid we don't dispose of.

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                          • #14
                            everybody out-types me here

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                            • #15
                              Nature bats last

                              We can and do make a mess of things, but humans are not exempt from the laws of gravity or nature. If we over populate the planet we will strip it of it's ablity to support us and *then* the population will crash. Much like a herd of moose on an island who grow and grow until they strip all the food off the island and then go through a "die off". Depressing but very real.

                              For those who are interested in this topic Jared Diamond (Author of Guns, Germs and Steel) has written a new book called "Collapse". It documents the collapse of several societies in the past.

                              Diamonds quote about the topic From http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/bbing...es/s743310.htm

                              Why did these ancient civilisations abandon their cities after building them with such great effort? Why these ancient collapses? This question isn’t just a romantic mystery. It’s also a challenging intellectual problem. Why is it that some societies collapsed while others did not collapse?

                              But even more, this question is relevant to the environmental problems that we face today; problems such as deforestation, the impending end of the tropical rainforests, over-fishing, soil erosion, soil salinisation, global climate change, full utilisation of the world’s fresh water supplies, bumping up against the photosynthetic ceiling, exhaustion of energy reserves, accumulation of toxics in water, food and soil, increase of the world’s population, and increase of our per capita input. The main problems that threaten our existence over the coming decades. What if anything, can the past teach us about why some societies are more unstable than others, and about how some societies have managed to overcome their environmental problems. Can we extract from the past any useful guidance that will help us in the coming decades?

                              "Some of these romantic mystery collapses have been self-inflicted ecological suicides, resulting from inadvertent human impacts on the environment."

                              There’s overwhelming recent evidence from archaeology and other disciplines that some of these romantic mystery collapses have been self-inflicted ecological suicides, resulting from inadvertent human impacts on the environment, impacts similar to the impacts causing the problems that we face today. Even though these past societies like the Easter Islanders and Anasazi had far fewer people, and were packing far less potent destructive practices than we do today.

                              It turns out that these ancient collapses pose a very complicated problem. It’s not just that all these societies collapsed, but one can also think of places in the world where societies have gone on for thousands of years without any signs of collapse, such as Japan, Java, Tonga and Tikopea. What is it then that made some societies weaken and other societies robust? It’s also a complicated problem because the collapses usually prove to be multi-factorial. This is not an area where we can expect simple answers.

                              What I’m talking about is the collapses of societies and their applications to the risks we face today. This may sound initially depressing, but you’ll see that my main conclusions are going to be upbeat.
                              He goes on to talk about Easter Island, Henderson and Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, Anasazi in the US south-west, and the Greenland Norse. It's worth a look...

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