A crisis? The definition of crisis is “a situation that has reached a critical phase“.
The Earth is overpopulated. That does not mean we live in catastrophic times, it does mean a critical phase where return to a sustainable population must be carefully managed to limit damage to this planet, and avoid potential future catastrophe.
There are solutions. While we are not currently starving, we are a a level where feeding ourselves damages the environment, increasing the challenger of feeding ourselves in future. In the same manner as the climate crisis, everything could be ok, but with the wrong decisions, we could also face disaster.
I have a significant number of explorations on this vital topic, most of which provide background to these key fundamental points:
- The population explosion has almost fully tapered off, and getting population growth under control is within our grasp.
- Mass deaths or other drastic measures are neither required, nor would they solve any problems anyway.
- All we really need is to face the problem, and adopt a plan.
Solving the problem will take time and focus, and in the meantime immigration be problematic and it will be difficult to avoid such challenges as racial intolerance, disputes, and even wars occurring. But it is not unsolvable.
- Paradox: What is Ending the Population explosion?
- Population Explosion: What happened to get to 8 Billion people (growth x100)?
- Do we really have too many people? What is the test?
- Overpopulation as a ratio, not a number.
- The Economics of Population and Overpopulation Denial
- Solutions: Population and the Environment
- If the Earth is overpopulated, so what?
- Population growth: The Good News? (The Surprise!)
- Immigration & Population
- to be added
Analysis, background beyond the summary:
The Surprise (footnotes)
When I made my first ever ‘exploration’, and my first surprise, back in 2012. I began the exploration with the belief that population growth was out of control. The first ‘surprise’ discovery, was that population growth had turned the corner. Too late, with already too many people, but that the growth slowing and likely even ending!
The human population of the earth, as a result of the population explosion which reached speed in the 1700s, is clearly now beyond a levels where we currently are able to exist in the environment sustainably: Overpopulation.
This presents humanity with the following alternatives:
- find a way to significantly reduce the population to a level sustainable with the current ‘footprint’ per capita
- find a combination of limiting further population growth while simultaneously reducing environmental footprint per capita
- continue unsustainably until the environment collapses
Yes, surprisingly, humanity now has population growth under control, but even if growth stays under control, we could add another 3 billion people while filling the population pipeline, at the same time more people move from a lower impact 3rd world lifestyle to a higher impact 1st world life. Potential disaster, yet there are calls from a variety of powerful groups to return to uncontrolled population growth.
Provided humanity can retain control of population, there is hope we can reach sustainability by reducing environmental impact per capita. But it is not easy, and may not be reached before environmental collapse.
- Hans Rosling Quotes
- Don’t Panic Video:
- 1:33 The good news is, that the future may not be quite as gloomy as many of you think, and that mankind is already doing better than many of you think.
- 2:45 10,000 bc 10 million people. (0.05 %). 2.1% 43x, 12000 yrs growth in less than two centuries.
- 15:03 Let’s find the reasons behind this historic and continuing shift from large to small families. Almost all girls in Muslim Bangladesh, like 15-year-old Tanjina, go to school today. The government now even pays families money to keep their daughters on at secondary level. At Tanjina’s school boys are now outnumbered by girls. (Lesson shown where big family is short of food). You could hardly miss the point of this lesson. Education is effective and there are also new opportunities for Bangladeshi women. Despite continuing inequalities. there are more jobs and Tanjina is aiming high. “But now we can have big dreams of becoming a doctor or an engineer.”
- 17:10 But one essential transformation underpins the change in Bangladesh. It’s a dramatic improvement in child survival… three of Hanans’s siblings died when they were very young. They died of measles. Back when Hannan’s parents were a young couple, 1 in 5 children in Bangladesh died before they reached 5 years of age. All families lived with a constant fear of losing one or more children. “You would carry on having one child after another, then if one died, you wouldn’t have just one left, that is how it was. We didn’t think we were having too many children, or what their future would be”. In the last few decades Bangladesh has made great progress in basic health, particularly in child survival. Vaccines, treatments of infections and better nutrition and hygiene have all save the lives of millions of children. And as parents have come to see that all their children are not likely to survive, the biggest obstacle to family planning has at last gone. Even in the slums of Dhaka, women how have one average just 2 children.
- 19:21 Why did the world population grow so slowly before 1800? Well throughout history, all historical records show on average, 2 parents got more or less 6 children. But that looks as a very fast population growth. So why didn’t it grow? Because 4 of the children died before growing up to become parents themselves.
- 19:51 People in the past never lived in ecological balance with nature, they died in ecological balance with nature. It was utterly tragic!
- 20:00 But with the industrial revolution this changed. Better wages, more food, tapped water, better sanitation, soap, medical advances…. So from all these advances, why did the population grow? Was it because they got more children? No! In 1963 when I was at school, actually the number of children per woman had decreased a little in the world, to 5. And the reason for the fact population growth was the improved children survival. 4 survived at that time, that was still terrible. It’s only in recent decades that most countries have taken big leaps forward in child survival and family planning. So we are now approaching the new balance: 2 parents on average get 2 children that survive.
- Don’t Panic Video: