Clueless_Academic

World Population Now At 7 Billion & Growing Fast!

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I was surprised to see World Population now at about 6.9 Billion People !! We were only looking at 5 Billion 20 years ago !!

What are your toughts on 'Carrying Capacity' of the planet ? Any cause & effect (re population growth) for increasing prices in commodities over say next 10 years or can we continue increasing production to cater for these 7 - 10 Billion people and keep staple food prices / water/ energy / etc / at low levels ??

world%20population%20growth1.gif

Have also attached a youtube video which shows population growth over last 2000 years + extrapolated a few years into future.

I'm asking your ideas as there's been a lot of speculation on this forum (and other sites) on decline of 'Western' powers (and standards of living) to benefit of BRIC developing nations of Brazil, Russia, China, and India.

Does this mean a certain decline of 'European' (and American Anglo Saxon) culture and values over say next 50 years ?

World%20Population.JPG

However, if you look at above graph you see a correlation between population growth and Industrial Innovation / Energy Use. Thus, if we can't provide enough low cost "resources", can we expect Global Population to maintain levels of 7 Billion+ over next century or do you expect reduced population to level seen in 1800's ??

i.e. will an Increasing Global Population cause prices of items & commodities to keep inflating to infinity (and Governments keep inflating money supply) OR will a deflation set in as consumers can't afford products leading to a decline in population due to lower living standards ??

My main question is, can we maintain our UK / European living standards even though Global Population is increasing ?

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(...)

My main question is, can we maintain our UK / European living standards even though Global Population is increasing ?

This video is brilliant. Highly recommended. Impressive moving charts.

And a more technical lecture here:

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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I thought we'd got rid of the neo-Malthusians a few weeks ago?

Not only are there more mouths to feed, but they are also getting better fed on all continents.

Classic bubble mentality. The sheeple don't see they're in a bubble until it bursts. When it does burst, we can't just print.

Malthus may have been premature, but he was absolutely not qualitatively wrong. Like someone who sold houses in 2003 rather than 2006.

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Apparently there are also 1.3 billion cows, 1.75 billion sheep and goats, and 24 billion chickens. Talk about evolutionary success stories.

It seems there is plenty of forest which can be cut down and turned over to agriculture. I am sure it is all perfectly sustainable. :blink:

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I thought we'd got rid of the neo-Malthusians a few weeks ago?

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/08/i-am-so-tired-of-malthus/

Not only are there more mouths to feed, but they are also getting better fed on all continents.

per_capita_consumption_global_ldc.jpg?w=591&h=576

Today, at least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages. By the year 2050, this number will grow to approximately two billion.

We are already using half of the planets products of photosynthesis and over half of all accessible fresh water. Long before human population and demand doubles again, the limits of the ecosystem’s ability to support people will become dramatically evident.

You cannot have infinite growth in a finite environment. Period. You can gnash your teeth, wail and call people Malthusian but this is maths.

If you understood exponents and compound growth you would get this.

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Today, at least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages. By the year 2050, this number will grow to approximately two billion.

We are already using half of the planets products of photosynthesis and over half of all accessible fresh water. Long before human population and demand doubles again, the limits of the ecosystem’s ability to support people will become dramatically evident.

You cannot have infinite growth in a finite environment. Period. You can gnash your teeth, wail and call people Malthusian but this is maths.

If you understood exponents and compound growth you would get this.

The human population will continue to expand for as long as there is surplus. The whole world is eating more on average than it did at a time of lower population. Seems the earth is handling us very well indeed. :)

The neo-Mathusians have been consistently wrong for decades and refuse to change.

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I was surprised to see World Population now at about 6.9 Billion People !! We were only looking at 5 Billion 20 years ago !!

What are your toughts on 'Carrying Capacity' of the planet ? Any cause & effect (re population growth) for increasing prices in commodities over say next 10 years or can we continue increasing production to cater for these 7 - 10 Billion people and keep staple food prices / water/ energy / etc / at low levels ??

world%20population%20growth1.gif

Have also attached a youtube video which shows population growth over last 2000 years + extrapolated a few years into future.

looks like NASDAQ.

one has to wonder where the population bubble actually comes from.

it ain't the west....our illustrious leaders have seen to it that western folks are either bent as a nine-bob note or mired in irreversible debt,so cannot/will not reproduce.

does this work on the same metric?...ie low quality tech stocks get beaten to a pulp during the downturn,so do low quality cannon fodder/proles etc.

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Today, at least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages. By the year 2050, this number will grow to approximately two billion.

We are already using half of the planets products of photosynthesis and over half of all accessible fresh water. Long before human population and demand doubles again, the limits of the ecosystem's ability to support people will become dramatically evident.

You cannot have infinite growth in a finite environment. Period. You can gnash your teeth, wail and call people Malthusian but this is maths.

If you understood exponents and compound growth you would get this.

OK, lets assume line 1 is true...there is a water shortage for 400million.

question...if life cant be sustained there, how can the population continue to increase?..answer...it cant, so the line 1 cant be true.

what line 1 really means, is that life is more difficult than in Ilford in the water department. but just because a person has a mile or 10 to go to get water, doesnt mean there isnt enough.

not enough means there isnt enough...it doesnt mean there is enough for population to grow.

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The human population will continue to expand for as long as there is surplus. The whole world is eating more on average than it did at a time of lower population. Seems the earth is handling us very well indeed. :)

The neo-Mathusians have been consistently wrong for decades and refuse to change.

Ah. I understand now. You are a Monsanto or Nestle shareholder!

Yes, we are producing more food than ever, and yes we technically have a surplus at the moment. HOWEVER this surplus is specific to certain parts of the world and is being created through fossil fuel driven mass agriculture (fertilisers, hothouses, battery meat, and deep sea trawlers). As oil becomes more scarce, food production costs will increase dramatically. We are being forced to grow crops in less and less hospitable conditions and the likelihood of major disruptions of food security is increasing (just like we have with energy security).

You are right on one thing though, population growth is entirely based on surplus - just like every living organism. However unlike bacteria dying off in a petri dish, our slip from surplus to deficit will be truly frightening.

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one has to wonder where the population bubble actually comes from.

Modern medicine run by do-gooders, and the likes of Saint Geldof.

Geldof's big efforts may have, as Gordon said of the economy, abolished tory boom and bust. We're still in The Big Boom.

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OK, lets assume line 1 is true...there is a water shortage for 400million.

question...if life cant be sustained there, how can the population continue to increase?..answer...it cant, so the line 1 cant be true.

what line 1 really means, is that life is more difficult than in Ilford in the water department. but just because a person has a mile or 10 to go to get water, doesnt mean there isnt enough.

not enough means there isnt enough...it doesnt mean there is enough for population to grow.

Fair question, however the Earth has a finite carry capacity of potable water. If we had a perfect global water distribution system then of course it would sustain the maximum population.We don't, far from it.

Growth is continuing, however if you think that we are going to gradually hit the water/food/energy ceiling limit and softly plateau then I fear you haven't read enough history.

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Fair question, however the Earth has a finite carry capacity of potable water. If we had a perfect global water distribution system then of course it would sustain the maximum population.We don't, far from it.

Growth is continuing, however if you think that we are going to gradually hit the water/food/energy ceiling limit and softly plateau then I fear you haven't read enough history.

I dont think anything of it...its just not logical for populations to be ABLE to grow beyond the supply of resources....indeed, what will happen is that the resources will be spread more thinly amongst the populace...the result....death and no growth.

cant be otherwise...course, the AID could sustain the unsustainable for a long time....till that dries up, and then, the disaster becomes INSTANT and very SEVERE.

like a plane out of range of base...kept flying by refuelling mid air....one missed RV and the plane is dead.

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Today, at least 400 million people live in regions with severe water shortages. By the year 2050, this number will grow to approximately two billion.

We are already using half of the planets products of photosynthesis and over half of all accessible fresh water. Long before human population and demand doubles again, the limits of the ecosystem’s ability to support people will become dramatically evident.

You cannot have infinite growth in a finite environment. Period. You can gnash your teeth, wail and call people Malthusian but this is maths.

If you understood exponents and compound growth you would get this.

Actually to avoid the evils of water and resource shortages countries that suffer from poverty need growth. This may mean an extra demand for labour or a realocation of resources to get them to where they're needed, but the one thing poor countries should avoid is an artificial restriction on total population. Imagine if we reduced the number of Chinese people by half overnight, would you then expect global GDP to either increase or decrease?

If you're right then mankind will reach a natural sustainable limit anyway, but history has proven the malthusians wrong again and again yet they still insist that one day their time will come.

Edited by Chef

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Actually to avoid the evils of water and resource shortages countries that suffer from poverty need growth. This may mean an extra demand for labour or a realocation of resources to get them to where they're needed, but the one thing poor countries should avoid is an artificial restriction on total population. Imagine if we reduced the number of Chinese people by half overnight, would you then expect global GDP to either increase or decrease?

If you're right then mankind will reach a natural sustainable limit anyway, but history has proven the malthusians wrong again and again yet they still insist that one day their time will come.

Imagine if we reduced the number of Chinese people by half overnight, would you then expect global GDP to either increase or decrease?

The corollary of this is that Growth = prosperity or Ponzi demographics. The implicit assumption is that population growth automatically means increased demands for goods and services, more material consumption, more borrowing, more on credit and of course more corporate profits. Everything seems fantastic for a while - but Ponzi demography is unsustainable.

Why? Because it relies on effectively infinite, cheap energy.

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Actually to avoid the evils of water and resource shortages countries that suffer from poverty need growth. This may mean an extra demand for labour or a realocation of resources to get them to where they're needed, but the one thing poor countries should avoid is an artificial restriction on total population. Imagine if we reduced the number of Chinese people by half overnight, would you then expect global GDP to either increase or decrease?

If you're right then mankind will reach a natural sustainable limit anyway, but history has proven the malthusians wrong again and again yet they still insist that one day their time will come.

Exactly.

Some very good news here. Perhaps the best news of the century: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=150210&view=findpost&p=2691720

Teaser: Brazilian scientists, after decades of investments in agriculture research, developing varieties that can cope with dry soils in hot weather (apparently they have lots of it down there, an area the size of Western Europe), are being able to tranasfor areas such as this, below, into that (2nd photo below). We must stop being so Ludites and negative here.

655px-Sertao.jpg

201035bbp000.jpg

Edited by Tired of Waiting

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Exactly.

Some very good news here. Perhaps the best news of the century: http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=150210&view=findpost&p=2691720

ToW I admire your optimism in the face of the facts.

Your earlier video was very interesting. Hans Rosling effectively describes how the planet could theoretically carry 9-10 billion people (which he himself describes as the effective maximum).

Hans does, however, gloss over one very important point. He bases his predictions for 2050 on a paradigm of "very cheap green energy". This is the Achilles heel of his argument. He also fails to mention that those 4 billion extra electric cars will require tons of rare earth metals which are already in short supply. He also fails to describe how we will upgrade and expand our existing grid to one that can handle the electric vehicles.

You make my point perfectly here:

201035bbp000.jpg

So, in a theoretical way he is right, however he seems to have omitted some fairly basic facts and calculations.

Edited by JimDiGritz

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ToW I admire your optimism in the face of the facts.

Your earlier video was very interesting. Hans Rosling effectively describes how the planet could theoretically carry 9-10 billion people (which he himself describes as the effective maximum).

Hans does, however, gloss over one very important point. He bases his predictions for 2050 on a paradigm of "very cheap green energy". This is the Achilles heel of his argument. He also fails to mention that those 4 billion extra electric cars will require tons of rare earth metals which are already in short supply. He also fails to describe how we will upgrade and expand our existing grid to one that can handle the electric vehicles.

So, in a theoretical way he is right, however he seems to have omitted some fairly basic facts and calculations.

JimDiGritz, of course it will depend on technological advancements. He (and I) didn't mention much of it because this is obvious. As it is obvious that the tech. developments in the next 40 years will be much, much, much greater than those in the past 40 years. Pop will not keep growing exponentially, but science will, obviously.

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I was surprised to see World Population now at about 6.9 Billion People !! We were only looking at 5 Billion 20 years ago !!

It's predicted to be 9B by 2050.

Personally, unless whe stop India thinking that it's a good thing for their population to be exploding, I think it will be nearer 12B.

Unfortunately, it's apparently racist to tell countries that their population increase is bad for the planet.

Not that it's going to be my problem.

tim

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It's predicted to be 9B by 2050.

snip

thats enough about Nulabs predictions for the UK.....

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It's predicted to be 9B by 2050.

Personally, unless whe stop India thinking that it's a good thing for their population to be exploding, I think it will be nearer 12B.

Unfortunately, it's apparently racist to tell countries that their population increase is bad for the planet.

Not that it's going to be my problem.

tim

"Bad for the planet"? Humans are the best thing ever to have happened to this planet. :)

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JimDiGritz, of course it will depend on technological advancements. He (and I) didn't mention much of it because this is obvious. As it is obvious that the tech. developments in the next 40 years will be much, much, much greater than those in the past 40 years. Pop will not keep growing exponentially, but science will, obviously.

Technology requires energy. Technological progress requires cheap energy. The past 140 years have seen us use our energy inheritance. We are now heading for a long period of energy scarcity. I'm much less confident that we can innovate our way out.

This is made much worse thanks to a large proportion of the world being anti-rational, anti-science and clinging onto divisive, violent bronze age myths.

It isn't going to end well.

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