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Earth Government

World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion 349

Posted by samzenpus
from the bigger-is-nor-better dept.
First time accepted submitter assertation writes in with a LA Times feature about the booming world population and the strain it puts on the environment and governments. "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."
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World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion

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  • 100% serious.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:47PM (#40740649)

    ....that if i had a button which if pressed, would kill every man, woman and child; I would push it without hesitation.

  • Re:Colonization (Score:3, Interesting)

    by busyqth (2566075) on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:51PM (#40740727)
    Let's just move Mars closer to the sun so it would be a more hospitable place.
  • Population Cap (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DeeEff (2370332) on Monday July 23, 2012 @02:53PM (#40740767)

    Obligatory TED links, that might actually be a bit more insightful than TFA.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html [ted.com]
    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_on_global_population_growth.html [ted.com]

    While I am skeptical that we'll have enough resources either way, I think that humans are going to have to adapt hard or the entire race will just fade away. This won't necessarily be a problem for a few generations, but there is very little left in this world that is untouched, or that we can leave untouched. Solutions to the energy crisis aside, food and water are still major concerns, and we can't infinitely increase the amount of farming, because we'll also need to increase our living spaces; however, this is unless we go full Tokyo and build above and below ourselves and learn to live in cramped situations. Even still, it will be an incredibly difficult feat to convince most Westerners that they aren't allowed cars anymore and that they need to walk or use trains to go to work. I don't mind myself, since I'm a student who uses trains and busing all the time, but few people want to give up the luxury of driving to work in favour of using a subway system (similar to how most east asian countries operate).

    In the meantime, I'm going to be developing my zombie formula so that I can do my part to end overpopulation. Call me if you can help, I'm trying to put a patent together so I can sue others who want to destroy the Earth while the zombies and lawyers (?difference) take over.

  • Re:Just Stop! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rgbrenner (317308) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:08PM (#40741013)

    the us native-born reproductive rate is 2.

    2.1 is required for the population to stay the same.

    The US only has a growing population because of the higher birth rate among immigrants

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_fertility_rate#United_States [wikipedia.org]

  • by jeffasselin (566598) <cormacolinde@gmaCHICAGOil.com minus city> on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:12PM (#40741103) Journal

    "This natural inequality of the two powers, of population, and of production of the earth, and that great law of our nature which must constantly keep their effects equal, form the great difficulty that appears to me insurmountable in the way to the perfectibility of society."

    Thomas Malthus, 18th century.

    People have been saying that the "end is near" since human beings developed speech. None have been right. Ockam's razor and the law of induction tells me they won't be in the future.

  • Re:Just Stop! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CubicleZombie (2590497) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:15PM (#40741137)

    I think the US is one of the exceptions, where the more affluent population continues to have more than multiple children.

    The intelligent hardworking people I know have two, one, or no children. The dumbest and poorest just keep pushing them out. It's exactly like the movie Idiocracy.

    It doesn't help that we have a social system that rewards low income high birth rate. My wife and I will have to make a tough decision when it comes to offspring #2. Can we afford it or not? If we can't, I'll get snipped and we'll just go on working to pay for other people's children through welfare, food stamps, WIC, EIC, Section 8, school lunch vouchers, head start, etc, etc, etc. Our standard of living would improve if we both just quit working and had more children.

  • Random things... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trims (10010) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:34PM (#40741411) Homepage

    Firstly, TFA is dead wrong in stating that human population has been relatively stable throughout most human history. This is blatantly false, for anyone who has bothered to look at the historical record. In pre-history, human populations have varied wildly, from up to several dozen million to possibly as low as several tens of thousands. Likewise, once "civilization" has started, human populations have obeyed a rather steadily increasing geometric curve. We notice now because we're finally at the heel portion of the hockeystick curve where the numbers start increasing quickly.

    Secondly, the decline in number of children per woman is primarily tied to increasing Woman's Rights in a society. The closer women are treated like property (both culturally and legally), the higher the number of children borne, and the inverse when women and men are treated equally. Women's Rights is also closely correlated (and, likely a causative factor) in development of a significant middle class. Religion only has an impact in so far as it affects Women's Rights (which, it certainly can have a very negative impact).

    Also, there are two major factors that aren't really addressed in TFA: lack of energy, and water. Advanced civilizations require ludicrously larger amounts of power than low-tech societies, and, even with conservation, this isn't going to change. We need power to run our 1st world countries, and the more everyone else tries to emulate us, power requirements will be exponential (probably high exponential) in growth. Until we have real clean energy, this energy demand and the side effects of providing energy is going to be the number one environmental pressure. On the other hand, (decreasing) access to clean water for both drinking and agriculture is something that is radically reshaping societies, as we can't really de-salinize enough to make a difference at this point, and we're well on our way to draining many historical water sources out of existence. Water will be the new oil which people fight over, likely very, very soon. It's already a major friction point in the Middle East and Indian subcontinental areas.

    To quote the old Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @05:27PM (#40742829)

    I misspoke, I meant net worth.

    Funny--because if you own a car, you're in the top 10% of the wealthiest people in the world.

    Having a job that pays over $25,000/year puts you in the top 8%.

    So shut the fuck up, sell your car, and hand your paycheck over to the 80% of the world that lives on less than $1,000 PER YEAR....

"The Mets were great in 'sixty eight, The Cards were fine in 'sixty nine, But the Cubs will be heavenly in nineteen and seventy." -- Ernie Banks

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