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How long can society sustain its growing population?

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Replies

  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,356 Member
    edited May 2018
    I think the advent of vaccines that prevent half or more of the child population from dying is and will continue to lead to lower birth rates, along with the combined effects of less labor required to sustain a family (this ties in strongly with the overall wealth of a nation). These are what drove high birth rates down previously in today's developed countries. It is and will continue to have an impact in developing nations as well.

    Long story short: The population is stabilizing for a variety of reasons but it is stabilizing.
  • MishMashMisha
    MishMashMisha Posts: 39 Member
    Maybe I'm the optimistic type, but I think we will be okay. If I recall we are living in the most peaceful time in human history. Of course we need to balance our optimism with a fair bit of pessimism, so we don't stagnate or slip backwards, but don't believe the hype, it's not all doom and gloom. :smile:
  • laur357
    laur357 Posts: 896 Member
    Earth could support billions more human. At this point we produce more than enough food to feed everyone. We have technology to provide clean drinking water to everyone. We have clean energy sources. We have powerful healthcare abilities. We have room and resources. We have technology that makes like easier and more efficient. We know so, so much more about the world and how it works than we did even 50 years ago.

    We're just really bad stewards of all the awesome *kitten* we've done, and generally are very selfish and competitive. We don't always use logic and our collective reason is tainted by emotion and limited worldview. So instead we have very poor nations, starving people, people without shelter or water, people who can't get basic medical care, people who kill people for resources and space. At this point it's a matter of humanity and how much people actually care to solve problems and show compassion beyond immediate family and friends. Honestly, from where I sit, it's not looking great.
  • Bry_Fitness70
    Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,484 Member
    edited May 2018
    A long time. I have taken multiple road trips across the US and it is staggering how much unoccupied or sparsely occupied land is available (just like in most other countries around the world). We just choose to crowd together into urban areas and live on top of each other, and then lament how the population is out of control.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    laur357 wrote: »
    Earth could support billions more human. At this point we produce more than enough food to feed everyone. We have technology to provide clean drinking water to everyone. We have clean energy sources. We have powerful healthcare abilities. We have room and resources. We have technology that makes like easier and more efficient. We know so, so much more about the world and how it works than we did even 50 years ago.

    We're just really bad stewards of all the awesome *kitten* we've done, and generally are very selfish and competitive. We don't always use logic and our collective reason is tainted by emotion and limited worldview. So instead we have very poor nations, starving people, people without shelter or water, people who can't get basic medical care, people who kill people for resources and space. At this point it's a matter of humanity and how much people actually care to solve problems and show compassion beyond immediate family and friends. Honestly, from where I sit, it's not looking great.

    The problem is that unless those resources are protected with force, the evil men who rule those poor starving nations will destroy the food on the docks.

    TONS of food has been sent to Africa as aid by both nations and private charities and been destroyed, blocked, or left to rot by the governments of those poor nations.
  • TheRoadDog
    TheRoadDog Posts: 11,800 Member
    edited May 2018
    TheRoadDog wrote: »
    Don't worry, the Earth will self-regulate. It'll make adjustments to whatever we throw at it. It'll still be here long after we're gone.

    I’m not talking about earth lol, Mother Nature plays its part, I’m talking about societies. I totally agree that everything works it’s way out in NATURE, the strong survive, and the weak die. Or that things adapt to stresses or issues, it’s the fact that we alter those natural stresses to avoid them, such as antiobiotics, increased food by Factory farming, increase infrastructure....etc. I believe that Darwin was correct in survival of the fittest, but everything is basically given to us now whether we’re fit or not lol.

    Then, I have no idea. I'm 63 and have witnessed a lot of health and technological advancement. We have advanced at an incredible rate in the last 50 years. Can we continue to deplete our resources at this rate? I don't know. Most likely, I'll be dead in the next 3 decades and won't have to worry about the damage my generations has done to this planet. I apologise for what my generation has done and hope that your generation can turn it around.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    edited May 2018
    jrulo16 wrote: »
    The US is at an all time low in birthrate right now.

    Life expectancy goes up, infant mortality rates come down, fertility rates (birth rates) go down. That is typically how it goes with development and that is in general the way the entire world is headed.

    https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=b&strail=false&nselm=s&met_x=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_s=sp_pop_totl&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&dimp_c=country:region&ifdim=country&iconSize=0.5&uniSize=0.035

    Poverty and high mortality correlate with high birth rates while low mortality and high life expectancy correlate to low birth rates. So, although it might be counter intuitive, in general populations that live longer and have fewer infant and child deaths end up with lower population growth rates.

    We elevate the world out of poverty and provide the necessary quality of life, infrastructure and health services to limit child mortality and increase life expectancy and birth rates will plummet and we will deal with our population issue. The countries with the highest life expectancy and lowest child mortality also have the lowest birth rates and lowest population growth. Japan which is at the top actually has negative population growth right now.

    https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&ctype=b&strail=false&nselm=s&met_x=sp_dyn_le00_in&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&met_s=sp_pop_totl&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&dimp_c=country:region&ifdim=country&iconSize=0.5&uniSize=0.035#!ctype=b&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=s&met_s=sp_pop_totl&scale_s=lin&ind_s=false&dimp_c=country:region&met_x=sh_dyn_mort&scale_x=lin&ind_x=false&met_y=sp_pop_grow&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&ifdim=country&hl=en_US&dl=en_US&ind=false

    The last 50 years have seen VAST improvements in child mortality rates globally. Things are actually looking up despite all the doom-and-gloom attitudes I see expressed. Those links are to raw data plots from world census data centers and at the bottom there is a slider for the year so you can see the change over time. That isn't some biased article that is phrasing things in an over-optimistic way, that is just the raw data.
  • laur357
    laur357 Posts: 896 Member
    The problem is that unless those resources are protected with force, the evil men who rule those poor starving nations will destroy the food on the docks.

    TONS of food has been sent to Africa as aid by both nations and private charities and been destroyed, blocked, or left to rot by the governments of those poor nations.

    I'm well aware of that. Which is why I think we can't support earth's current population, let alone a growing one, even though we actually have the capabilities to do so. We have a lot of just awful people making decisions for huge chunks of society, and decent people who have been blinded by power and greed (or going along with atrocity because they fear for their own lives and the lives of their families) all over the globe. I don't see any evidence of people successfully coming together to fix *kitten*.
  • Aaron_K123
    Aaron_K123 Posts: 7,121 Member
    edited May 2018
    Unfortunately I think the news organizations in the developed world tend to promote content that is quite negative because that tends to garner more attention and views. Gives people the impression that the world is going to hell in a handbasket when the reality, if you look at the data, is that all indicators of quality of living globally (health, life expectancy, wealth, child mortality etc) have been steadily and rapidly increasing up until the present day. In terms of quality of life the world is better off now than it has ever been and yet you would not get that impression from our news sources.

    I imagine if the news did up covering the diminishing birth rates (which are most certainly a good thing tied to improvements in quality of life) that they will cover it in terms of loss of fertility leading to some doomsday scenario like the Handmaid's Tale or something.
  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,356 Member
    edited May 2018
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Unfortunately I think the news organizations in the developed world tend to promote content that is quite negative because that tends to garner more attention and views. Gives people the impression that the world is going to hell in a handbasket when the reality, if you look at the data, is that all indicators of quality of living globally (health, life expectancy, wealth, child mortality etc) have been steadily and rapidly increasing up until the present day. In terms of quality of life the world is better off now than it has ever been and yet you would not get that impression from our news sources.

    I imagine if the news did up covering the diminishing birth rates (which are most certainly a good thing tied to improvements in quality of life) that they will cover it in terms of loss of fertility leading to some doomsday scenario like the Handmaid's Tale or something.

    Yeah. News is now clickbate. Long form journalism is dying and the age old saying of, "if it bleeds, it leads," has only become more apparent and prevalent.
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    laur357 wrote: »
    The problem is that unless those resources are protected with force, the evil men who rule those poor starving nations will destroy the food on the docks.

    TONS of food has been sent to Africa as aid by both nations and private charities and been destroyed, blocked, or left to rot by the governments of those poor nations.

    I'm well aware of that. Which is why I think we can't support earth's current population, let alone a growing one, even though we actually have the capabilities to do so. We have a lot of just awful people making decisions for huge chunks of society, and decent people who have been blinded by power and greed (or going along with atrocity because they fear for their own lives and the lives of their families) all over the globe. I don't see any evidence of people successfully coming together to fix *kitten*.

    The problem is whenever people come together to fix *kitten*-Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, etc.

    Other people come along and criticize(while not suggesting alternatives) those who are contributing to fixing things.
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    edited May 2018
    We could use a judgment day; just my opinion - the world would be a better place with say 50% cut
    (Bias from living in one of the highest population dense parts of US)
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,187 Member
    Basically the title. We’ve increase by over 2.5 billion in a little over a couple decades. How do you think we will sustain ourselves or avoid problems (which we already have) like drought, increased Factory farming, extremely populated areas....etc. just curious on your opinion of how it will be in let’s say 50-100 years!

    The next 50-100 years, your lifetime, is easy. There may be 7 billion of us, and we may get to 9 billion, but we're expecting to stabilize at 9 billion. Factory farming is not a problem.
    People moving to cities is not a problem.

    Problems are more the evolutionary advantages that bacteria and viruses get when we offer a target rich environment in densely populated cities.
  • JeromeBarry1
    JeromeBarry1 Posts: 10,187 Member
    laur357 wrote: »
    Earth could support billions more human. At this point we produce more than enough food to feed everyone. We have technology to provide clean drinking water to everyone. We have clean energy sources. We have powerful healthcare abilities. We have room and resources. We have technology that makes like easier and more efficient. We know so, so much more about the world and how it works than we did even 50 years ago.

    We're just really bad stewards of all the awesome *kitten* we've done, and generally are very selfish and competitive. We don't always use logic and our collective reason is tainted by emotion and limited worldview. So instead we have very poor nations, starving people, people without shelter or water, people who can't get basic medical care, people who kill people for resources and space. At this point it's a matter of humanity and how much people actually care to solve problems and show compassion beyond immediate family and friends. Honestly, from where I sit, it's not looking great.

    The problem is that unless those resources are protected with force, the evil men who rule those poor starving nations will destroy the food on the docks.

    TONS of food has been sent to Africa as aid by both nations and private charities and been destroyed, blocked, or left to rot by the governments of those poor nations.

    Despite the despots, even in Africa, more people are able to get good food and clean water than in previous decades of the 20th century. No, it's not perfect, but it's moving toward better.
  • Keto_Vampire
    Keto_Vampire Posts: 1,679 Member
    edited May 2018
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    We could use a judgment day; just my opinion - the world would be a better place with say 50% cut
    (Bias from living in one of the highest population dense parts of US)

    Thanos...is that you?
    Nah, just tired of feeling people breathe on me, touching/bumping into, clostrophobia, feeling like I'm always being watched, having no personal space, having cars drive on my ***, etc. Try living in Boston, NYC, or NJ for a few years & you'll understand (these places are overdeveloped hell holes with just too many people jam packed into too small of areas...a chicken coop)
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,256 Member
    I've noticed an increasing anti-human element to the environmental movement. Funny...well actually quite sad... how all those believing the world is going to end always imagine themselves among the survivors...
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,736 Member
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    We could use a judgment day; just my opinion - the world would be a better place with say 50% cut
    (Bias from living in one of the highest population dense parts of US)

    Thanos...is that you?
    Nah, just tired of feeling people breathe on me, touching/bumping into, clostrophobia, feeling like I'm always being watched, having no personal space, having cars drive on my ***, etc. Try living in Boston, NYC, or NJ for a few years & you'll understand (these places are overdeveloped hell holes with just too many people jam packed into too small of areas...a chicken coop)

    I mean, I feel like it would be easier for you to move to a less densely populated area than it would be for the 50% of the population you'd kill off so you don't have to deal with someone bumping into you.

    Wrote a response listing some places with lot's of open space, then hit backspace and IE nuked it.

    Anyways. Totally agree.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    brower47 wrote: »
    Aaron_K123 wrote: »
    Unfortunately I think the news organizations in the developed world tend to promote content that is quite negative because that tends to garner more attention and views. Gives people the impression that the world is going to hell in a handbasket when the reality, if you look at the data, is that all indicators of quality of living globally (health, life expectancy, wealth, child mortality etc) have been steadily and rapidly increasing up until the present day. In terms of quality of life the world is better off now than it has ever been and yet you would not get that impression from our news sources.

    I imagine if the news did up covering the diminishing birth rates (which are most certainly a good thing tied to improvements in quality of life) that they will cover it in terms of loss of fertility leading to some doomsday scenario like the Handmaid's Tale or something.

    Yeah. News is now clickbate. Long form journalism is dying and the age old saying of, "if it bleeds, it leads," has only become more apparent and prevalent.

    A staple of journalism training for more than 40 years has been misery and failure sells. Long form was always a small segment of the industry, but accessibility skews our perception.

    I've worked in several of the countries mentioned upthread, and wouldn't recognize them in the news media. I'm very amused by the perception of the UK, and Europe, that I hear from those in the US. Again, doesn't reflect the reality.