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Old May 13th, 2016, 10:26 AM   #1
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How Many People can the Earth Sustain?

A guy at coffee the other day stated that WHO had announced that the earth can only sustain about 4 billion people. When challenged he couldn't produce a source of this, and I couldn't get one from Mr. Google. But I did do some digging.

The first of many complications is what is one using as a definition of an adequate lifestyle. Assuming everyone wants meat three times a day or assuming that everyone would be happy with lentils and salad give very different results.

How many electronic toys are needed? It's amazing how many of the articles quoted Ghandi: "man's need is greatly exceeded by man's greed" or very similar.

There are lots of papers on this subject that have been published and the conclusions vary from half a billion to close to 100 billion, a terrible spread. But there were two meta analyses, essentially a weighted averaging of the existing articles on this subject (with apologies to the researchers in the field, it is far more complex than a simple average).

One came up with an answer of 6 billion, the other with 7.7 billion.

Currently the population is about 7 billion and is expected to peak at 11 billion in 2050. So, what do we do?
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Old May 13th, 2016, 10:38 AM   #2
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i was watching some interview by people who I'm not sure who they were, it was in passing..anyways..

the guy being interviewed was talking about the promise of people living well into their late 90s`100s healthy and active exc. the guy doing the interview kept asking if the world could sustain that flux of people. once he finally got around to addressing the question he diverted the term resources into money saying that thru extending the life of people we would no longer have the extreme expense of the healthcare for the elderly and those funds could be reallocated into more efficient things.

what i don't think people want to look at is that "money" is just a place marker for actual resources and those are limited. if we jump to 10bil humans and they stop dying off at a reasonable rate things could get out of hand very quickly. IMO
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Old May 13th, 2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what we should do, but it's pretty simple what we will do.

We'll continue savaging the Earth. We'll deplete aquifers. We'll go to war over resources. Formerly habitable places will become uninhabitable. We'll suffer terrible losses as pathogens win the antibiotic war.

Because of these facts, the population may not peak at 11 billion.
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Old August 4th, 2016, 08:16 PM   #4
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Intersesting question.
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Old August 5th, 2016, 05:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
I'm not sure what we should do, but it's pretty simple what we will do.

We'll continue savaging the Earth. We'll deplete aquifers. We'll go to war over resources. Formerly habitable places will become uninhabitable. We'll suffer terrible losses as pathogens win the antibiotic war.

Because of these facts, the population may not peak at 11 billion.
And there it is. THIS is why I support massive investment in green/renewable energy. If we as a nation are to survive, provided Trump doesn't start a nuclear exchange, we have to figure out how to sustain our life styles. We, the US, are 5% of the worlds population yet we currently consume 45% of the worlds oil. China and India both have emerging middle classes that EACH have more people in them than we have in total population. If anyone thinks they won't fight us over resources you're delusional. Our resources are finite. The worlds resources are finite. If we don't make a massive shift to renewable energy and sustainable food production we WILL find ourselves in a shooting war. Probably several.
Thanks from imaginethat and GhostRider
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Old August 5th, 2016, 06:20 PM   #6
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The neo-Malthusians are slithering about again.


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Old August 5th, 2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
I'm not sure what we should do, but it's pretty simple what we will do.

We'll continue savaging the Earth. We'll deplete aquifers. We'll go to war over resources. Formerly habitable places will become uninhabitable. We'll suffer terrible losses as pathogens win the antibiotic war.

Because of these facts, the population may not peak at 11 billion.
Whether we kill ourselves off with wars or pollution, it's sad outlook for the future and it will probably be our grand children who suffer for our ignorance.😥
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Old August 5th, 2016, 07:44 PM   #8
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Our government has spent billions of our dollars "developing" third world countries so they could exponentially expand their populations and contribute their share of pollution and consumption.

That was the job of the Peace Corps and A.I.D..
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Old August 5th, 2016, 07:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
I'm not sure what we should do, but it's pretty simple what we will do.

We'll continue savaging the Earth. We'll deplete aquifers. We'll go to war over resources. Formerly habitable places will become uninhabitable. We'll suffer terrible losses as pathogens win the antibiotic war.

Because of these facts, the population may not peak at 11 billion.
The movie water world is a good depiction of the future.Mad Max is a less scenario that might happen.
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Old August 5th, 2016, 07:52 PM   #10
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Whether we kill ourselves off with wars or pollution, it's sad outlook for the future and it will probably be our grand children who suffer for our ignorance.��
No fkn kidding.
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