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Earth Government

World Population Grows Beyond 7 Billion 349

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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  • Alarmist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by J'raxis ( 248192 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:43PM (#40740573) Homepage

    The biggest generation in history is just entering its childbearing years.

    And fertility rates are dropping everywhere, and more people than ever are choosing to simply not have children. Of course by mentioning that, this article wouldn't be nearly as alarmist, so it was conveniently omitted.

  • Just Stop! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:43PM (#40740587)
    How many of those people starve to death everyday? People who cannot provide for their kids need to make a conscious effort to stop having them.
  • Re:Alarmist (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrcaseyj ( 902945 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:47PM (#40740655)

    The population growth rate will explode again as more children are born of high birthrate religious parents and are increasingly high birthrate themselves. This slowing of population growth is only temporary.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:47PM (#40740657) Journal

    By bringing middle classes to developing nations. People who don't have to have litters to ensure that one child survives have one or two children, below the replacement rate. People who have careers and money to spend and cultural activities to take part in don't spend so much time screwing. And when they do, they realize that having extra children will prevent them from enjoying those luxuries.

    In short, the fight against overpopulation is the same as the fight against global inequality.

  • Re:leave! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by magarity ( 164372 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:52PM (#40740751)

    B5... ...and now we leave the cradle for the last time.

    The problem of course is it's going to be super hard to find funding and staff at the beginning since we know ahead of time what happens to B1-B4.

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:56PM (#40740817)

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

    The problem with that is that you're effectively dooming three billion years of evolution to comparatively short term extinction.

    Humanity may be killing vast percentages of the biome, and may be causing substantial short term damage to the ecosphere, but its also the best opportunity the planet has had, or likely will ever have, to getting off the planet. And life that doesn't get off the planet will end, period. The odds are there won't be a second chance. Could intelligence arise again? Its possible. Its also possible it has arisen before.

    The problem is one of opportunity. Getting life off this rock doesn't take intelligence. It takes intelligence, the right series of events making that kind of capability important to be developed, *AND*, most importantly, it will require some hypothetical future species to have access to vast amounts of energy.

    Guess what, we've used up virtually all of the dense sources of energy that can be recovered without technology. The conditions that led to the development of coal, oil and natural gas involve geological and environmental conditions that in concert won't likely happen again.

    So your short-sighted action would likely save one small potential set of life that otherwise wouldn't have a chance to exist, but would essentially guarantee an end to the entire chain of life in another half billion or billion years.

  • Re:Just Stop! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @03:56PM (#40740819)

    The reason people in poverty have more children is in the hope that one of them will rise out of that misery, and at the very least grow to adulthood and have children of their own. But a most of their problems are a consequence of government corruption, not a true lack of food or medicine.

    Most developed Asian nations, generally still more densely populated, are seeing fertility rates barely above 1. Hell, even China is starting to see the impact of population decline and has been experiencing the consequences of it's one-child policy. Europe has also seen marked population decline, especially if you don't count immigration. I think the US is one of the exceptions, where the more affluent population continues to have more than multiple children. And even then, it's hard to argue that we have any kind of population problem.

    I'm not sure why the stories of a population explosion persist when it's long since been shown that it's not going to happen.

  • Re:Colonization (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:03PM (#40740939) Homepage Journal
    Oceans and deserts are even closer, and probably the investment needed to sustain a lot of people is smaller.
  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:05PM (#40740967)
    "We need regulations that strictly govern who is allowed to reproduce and how many babies can be born. That is unpleasant and almost unthinkable but it must be done." *** And may I suggest we begin the sterilization with YOU!
  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:08PM (#40741025)

    This is why I call the birth control pill the greatest boon to mankind since the smallpox vaccine.

    Except it means that the sensible people have few or no kids while the nutty cultists continue to have dozens. Doesn't take long for that to result in a world of nutty cultists and few sensible people.

  • Re:What nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:10PM (#40741057)

    With the advent of medicine, however, mortality rates plummeted but birth rates did not.

    I'm not sure that's the case - at least not here in the US. If you go back to my parents generation all the families had 5-7 children without fail. Some had more than that (my grandfather on my mother's side came from a family of 14).

    Fastforward to modern times. None of my aunts or uncles had more than 3 kids per family. Between my own generation I'm seeing more like 1 or 2 kids per family. Part of it may be the increased cost of raising children - part of it may be the increased number of women in the workplace (where each child is not only time off from work for recovery but without a parent at home each is another daycare bill). I'm sure a large part of it is simply the invention of birth control.

    Regardless, birth rates per family (if not for the planet as a whole) seem to have come down significantly in the last 50 years.

  • by Antipater ( 2053064 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:12PM (#40741107)
    Unless I'm missing some hidden factor that forces groups of people's net worths to be exactly equal, then I'd say that "assuming everyone is worth a different amount" is a very valid assumption. Even if you magically redistributed everything to be exactly equal, that would end as soon as one person wanted extra pepperoni on their pizza.
  • Re:Alarmist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brainzach ( 2032950 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:18PM (#40741189)

    You are safe from overpopulation in the developed world, but it is still a major problem for the billions in the developing world.

  • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:27PM (#40741305) Homepage Journal

    If you kill yourself then the effect is the same, from your point of view.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 23, 2012 @04:56PM (#40741715)
    This entire stupid fucking argument is why Slashdot is becoming less and less the place for me to get my tech news and discussion. Fuck all of you guys.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday July 24, 2012 @03:02AM (#40746291)

    Not science, technology. Learn the difference.

    Since you want to split hair -

    Where are you going to get any advancement in technology without advancement and more understanding in Science?

    Technology advanced by trial and error for millennia before science AWKI existed. Maybe you could say that trial and error is a form of science, but I wouldn't. Trial and error doesn't require understanding *why* the new idea works better.

    Even today technology isn't entirely science-driven. We have rigorous mathematical approaches to engineering, but we still get sent beck to the drawing board whenever a bridge collapses or an airplane falls out of the sky.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.