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Earth's Population To Hit 7 Billion This Year

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the someone-alert-paul-ehrlich dept.

Earth 461

MikeChino writes "The UN Population Division just announced that the world's human population will hit 7 billion by Halloween 2011. The increase of one billion people in the past 12 years is worrying, especially since the global population only reached one billion total in the early 19th century. In the next 20 years, our population growth is predicted to rise to 8 billion people as our demand for food increases by 50 percent, water by 30 percent and energy by 50 percent." Not everyone finds it to be worrying per se.

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461 comments

7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (4, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#36809898)

This only ends one way, and any fool can see it.

But sure, argue both sides. Have as many kids as you want. I couldn't guess their odds of living to 70, but I am willing to bet that this is that "magic" generation, and they will see suffering and mass death unprecedented in all of human history.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36809958)

No other generation in history has ever made that prediction...

What I don't understand is going from 7 to 8 billion people increases food requirements by 50%? I guess they're looking at obesity as a problem spreading to the third world.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810090)

That'll be US consumption alone, no doubt. These people are getting massive, and tend to eat more in one meal than I do all day - both in caloric intake and sheer volume. It's pretty gross.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (2)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810092)

What I don't understand is going from 7 to 8 billion people increases food requirements by 50%? I guess they're looking at obesity as a problem spreading to the third world.

It's obvious. Chewbacca [wikipedia.org] is going to move from Endor to some place in the third world.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36809960)

This only ends one way, and any fool can see it.

With increased energy generation, food production and water purification?

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (3, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810020)

Population control.

We cannot sustain this a constant growing population.

Call me immoral but people should stop having as many kids as they are.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810116)

Population control.

We cannot sustain this a constant growing population.

Call me immoral but people should stop having as many kids as they are.

I hate to say it but I agree. Something has to be done.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810212)

OK ... do something, pull out gun, and remove yourself from the population.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (2, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810386)

OK ... do something, pull out gun, and remove yourself from the population.

Please note the slight difference between not making a child at all, and killing one.
We are discussing the "not making so many children", and you try to kill the discussion by implying murder or suicide is the only option.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810292)

Hitler and Stalin were geniuses ahead of their times.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (2, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810424)

Hitler and Stalin were geniuses ahead of their times.

Please note the slight difference between not making a child at all, and killing one.
We are discussing the "not making so many children", and you try to kill the discussion by implying murder or suicide is the only option.

(Yes, the same response as to the other anonymous coward who suggested pulling a gun).

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810738)

It's far more tractable to end the life of someone who is living than it is to attempt to prevent people from ever living in the first place... breeding is a natural human instinct, and absolutely nothing that anyone can possibly do could ever hope to suppress it at the scale that would be necessary to make any real difference.

If people are simply killed, then the choice to breed is no longer an option, so it is a much more effective way to guarantee population control.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (5, Insightful)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810572)

So this is where I am compelled to insert my rant about population -- there is a very well known, almost fool-proof scheme for reducing the birth rate of any society, but it is at odds with may cultures' traditional values, and it has a generational lag-time, so it requires both courage and vision. For this reason, it is not widely adopted.

The strategy is this: Send girls to school.

If women are empowered culturally, and have expectations of building their own lives and careers, their preferences regarding children change. If they are taught to think independently, they will choose partners with similar preferences, and the birth rate will fall.

Every first-world country has already completed this trajectory, and in many cases, it was wrenching, and the social costs were high, but in the end, these societies attained a very high standard of living with a low birth rate.

The good news is, in most societies in the world, this is already underway. Increasing wealth and the perpetually-rising middle class helps a lot with this. It's likely that, in 100 years, we will be wringing our hands over how to continue to grow the economy in the face of a shrinking global population.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810128)

We don't have to. The fearmongering article/summary left out the part where 8 billion is the peak, then demographics shift, and our population falls to between 6 and 7 billion, and stays there.

Immoral (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810338)

Call me immoral but people should stop having as many kids as they are.

But don't take me wrong. The immorality is probably not where you think it is, but in the double measure you are applying. Most of the families with high number of children are located in 3rd world countries. Today, having more than 3 kids is something pretty uncommon in 1st world countries. I was raised in a country who moved from extremely poverty to great wealth in a couple of generations, and what it was common with my grandgrandparents (7 or more kids per family) now is reduced to 1 or 2 kids in average. The population increase in most European countries is due to immigration.

What I mean is that the number of kids is something that tends to autocontrol itself. Once a certain wealth level is achieved, the number of kids per family is reduced.

So, yes, your message is immoral, because what is needed is not severe population control measures, but wealth balancing measures. Erradicate the so called 3rd world, and you will find that the population will stabilize itself.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810360)

You do realize that the first world tends towards a stable or decreasing population so what you're implying is that we run around Africa and rural Asia sterilizing the "natives", right?

OK, show me how (3, Funny)

Concern (819622) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810120)

The world waits with baited breath for your solutions for increasing energy generation, food production, and water purification.

Oh and all this while we are about to run out of the millions of years of solar energy we just burned up in the form of fossil fuels.

Oh, you expected someone else to figure these things out. I see.

Re:OK, show me how (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810400)

baited breath? eww...

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (4, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810164)

This only ends one way, and any fool can see it.

With increased energy generation, food production and water purification?

Currently, we still experience exponential growth. Even the quickest growth figures of the UN and other institutions do not predict that to continue for much longer. Either we slow it down ourselves to our own people (in peace), or we;ll do it to other people (in war)... or mother nature will to it to us.

Maybe we can double the number again... if we carry on on the exponential curve, that might be already in 50-60 years. Then we would have 14 billion people. That would mean 1000 extra cities the size of New York or LA.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810678)

well at least slashdot crowd is not to blame..

no (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810750)

"Earth that was could no longer sustain our numbers, we were so many. We found a new solar system, dozens of planets and hundreds of moons. Each one terra-formed a process taking decades, to support human life, to be new earths. The Central Planets formed the Alliance. Ruled by an interplanetary parliament, the Alliance was a beacon of civilization. The savage outer planets were not so enlightened and refused Alliance control. The war was devastating, but the Alliance's victory over the Independents insured a safer universe. And now everyone can enjoy the comfort, and enlightenment of your civilization."

Josh Whedon will be proud!!!

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#36809982)

Well considering we reward people who have 8 or more kids with TV show deals I can see how easy it will be to get to 8 million. Personally I believe people should have mandatory sterilization after they produce two offspring but I guess that may come across a bit draconian.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810312)

Yea, just a bit draconian. Not to mention the fact that this would cause a massive drop in global population which would disproportionally affect food production to the point where it'd be a bigger problem than continued population increase.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (1)

todrules (882424) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810454)

If something's not done, then it will come down to something even more draconian - war.

Population decline (5, Informative)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810022)

Given decreases in TFR, it's possible the world will experience a population decline [wikipedia.org] this century.

The total fertility rate [wikipedia.org] is below replacement level for many countries of the world. The main exception is sub-Saharan Africa.

Most of the Anglo- and Eurosphere is in decline. The US is in decline natively, and only growing due to immigration.

Re:Population decline (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810444)

The total fertility rate is below replacement level for many countries of the world. The main exception is sub-Saharan Africa.

And Asia. India, for example, is increasing rapidly. They really need to get a handle on it because it is ultimately keeping people there poor. The tradition is to have as many children as possible, but that only reduces the resources available to each one and pushes up the infant mortality rate.

Europe and the US have been lucky enough to peek early thanks to increasing prosperity, but we never had massive over-population problems.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810100)

This only ends one way, and any fool can see it.

But sure, argue both sides. Have as many kids as you want. I couldn't guess their odds of living to 70, but I am willing to bet that this is that "magic" generation, and they will see suffering and mass death unprecedented in all of human history.

Doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!!!!

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (5, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810162)

This only ends one way, and any fool can see it.

Indeed. Considering the lack of imagination and thinking skills required to only see one possibility, it's unsurprising that any fool sees it that way. Intelligent people, on the other hand, see many possibilities, because they keep thinking even after seeing the first one.

But sure, argue both sides. Have as many kids as you want. I couldn't guess their odds of living to 70, but I am willing to bet that this is that "magic" generation, and they will see suffering and mass death unprecedented in all of human history.

Welcome to the vast club of people who've made this same determination over the millennia.

And... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810320)

Welcome to the vast club of people who've had their head in the sand since the dawn of humanity.

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810322)

"No true Scotsman...."

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (5, Insightful)

RsG (809189) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810204)

Actually, from an article on energy production I read a while back, the current projection is for the population to stabilize at 9 billion by midcentury.

(Source) [straightdope.com] It's mostly about energy sources, but it cites population projection figures in the third paragraph.

The reason given is rising standard of living. People living in abject poverty (and I don't mean first world slums, I mean abject poverty which is something most slashdotters have never seen firsthand) have lots of kids. Raise them out of poverty to a standard of living that includes such luxuries as medicine, clean water, adequate food and shelter and they have fewer kids. This is human nature, and it's as true for the western world as it is elsewhere. Our population growth didn't slow until our conditions improved, so why should we expect otherwise elsewhere?

Further to this, it is not necessary for the first world to elevate the developing world in order to accomplish this. They're doing that by themselves. We tend to have a very nineteenth century attitude to the rest of the planet, believing that it is only through our guidance that they can rise above savagery, but the reality is that with the exception of countries held in poverty by war, corruption or constant disaster, most of the developing world is quite capable of elevating themselves, and are doing exactly that. Note the qualifier about "war, corruption or disaster" preventing this; the Congo remains a bloody mess as do many of it's neighbours, but they aren't the only type of developing nation.

So we will eventually hit population stability. Now the catch is that the global demand for energy will more than double in the process. Given that many of our energy sources are either environmentally disastrous or finite, this is going to become a problem, as is competition for other natural resources. So we're not out of the woods, but Malthusian predictions about population growth are as wrong now as they were when they were new.

Review your math.... (5, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810218)

The second derivative of the world population has been negative for a while now. In other words, this will end with the population stabilizing at some level. Quite possibly (but, of course, not certainly) without any catastrophic natural or human-made disaster.

Probably not what you were thinking?

Re:7 billion? No wait, 8? 9? (3, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810534)

Suffering and mass death has a lot of precedent in human history. Why do you think it took so long to reach the first billion?

and still no one loves me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36809916)

:(

GOOD MORNING VIETNAAAAAM! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36809932)

Shouda nuked 'em when westmoreland was in charge!

please donate now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36809950)

The Voluntary Human Extinction movement needs all the help it can get.

Unsustainable growth (3, Insightful)

improfane (855034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36809986)

I must be old and grumpy and cynical.

Humans consistently underestimate exponential growth. If you have a bigger population, it will grow faster.

Who honestly thinks humans are immune from population cycles of the animal kingdom? of overpopulation killoff? We're due for a war soon. War is just human's way of normalizing the population for resources.

I don't want kids and it annoys me when I see massive families. What does that make me? A dead end in genetic material or "Idiocracy" in the making?

Re:Unsustainable growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810052)

I don't know. War rarely kills off that many people, especially these days. More likely, disease will be the major killer that wipes out a good fraction of the Earth's population. Flu is a pretty likely suspect, for example (even with our best medicine, the wrong mutation in a novel flu strain will easily kill 10-20% or more of the world's population).

Although I suppose war also does tend to bring along with it lots of disease.

Re:Unsustainable growth (2)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810056)

What does that make me?

Someone with a brain that actually uses it.

Humanity has to limit the explosive population growth and the raping of the planet's finite resources -- if it wants to survive past the end of this century.

Re:Unsustainable growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810656)

Nah, just colonize the moon, mars, and orbit for more space. Think about the surface area of solar emissions at 1AU. The Earth receives about 0.001356% of that (186 million mile circumference and 7926 mile diameter of earth). Space stations could be built and launched periodically in a Horseshoe orbit [wikipedia.org] until we've created a Dyson ring [wikipedia.org] . If the sun's energy is enough for Earth, there is enough solar energy at 1AU to support 5 trillion people in the same orbit.

Re:Unsustainable growth (2)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810082)

I must be old and grumpy and cynical.

Humans consistently underestimate exponential growth. If you have a bigger population, it will grow faster.

Who honestly thinks humans are immune from population cycles of the animal kingdom? of overpopulation killoff? We're due for a war soon. War is just human's way of normalizing the population for resources.

I don't want kids and it annoys me when I see massive families. What does that make me? A dead end in genetic material or "Idiocracy" in the making?

This annoys the everloving hell out of me.

We are genuinely looking at exponential growth. More people = more mating pairs = faster population growth. And it is only going to get worse.

I'm not yet at the point where I'd advocate mandatory sterilization or zero population growth policies...

But, at the same time, I think it's downright asinine that we're still encouraging people to be fruitful and multiply. Assorted churches are still against birth control. Assorted fundamentalist groups are trying to outlaw abortion and eliminate sexual education and shut down groups like Planned Parenthood. We've got plenty of television shows that celebrate irresponsible parenting.

Re:Unsustainable growth (2)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810184)

My God there's a lot of death worship going on around here.

If you read between the lines, you would see that 8 billion is predicted to be the PEAK. Humans aren't dumb animals. We don't breed when resources are rare. Further, we aren't even going to be resource limited. We also cut back on breeding when children cost to much, as is the case in advanced nations. More nations are becoming that way, shifting from rural subsistence agriculture (which requires a lot of children), to urban division of labor.

People with a lot of kids make the news because they are so RARE, not because they are common. Christ, get a grip, people.

Re:Unsustainable growth (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810306)

We are way past sustainable resource usage due to our population already. Of course we breed when resources are rare. We have been doing it for decades.

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810438)

We are way past sustainable resource usage due to our population already. Of course we breed when resources are rare. We have been doing it for decades.

What resources are rare? We throw away more food than we eat. We have energy so cheaply we take joy rides for fun. Aside from a few very densely populated areas, the majority of the planet is largely uninhabited. People have been worrying about a scarcity of resources for decades, but none have actually become scarce yet, much less actually been rare for decades.

Re:Unsustainable growth (3, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810542)

Who is "we"? The winners of the Great Resource Grab of the last century? What percentage of the world population is "taking joyrides for fun"? What percentage is throwing away more food than they eat? Seen the oil prices lately? They are gonna stay there - and go up further. Production has been on a plateau for years and that is not because demand has gone down - as shown by the price trend. You are aware of the declining availability of fresh water in large areas of the world? You are aware that fisheries are collapsing all over the place?

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810308)

Excellent point.

All these doomsayers always point to their exponential growth charts which have all but been debunked, when you look at how humans adapt in the face of adversity. We stop or severely curtail our growth when resources are rare, and/or more expensive. The other thing we do, is invent our way out of the situation. In spite of all this...in spite of the fact that the earth's population is getting older (which while a good thing for longevity; it's bad for reproductive means), every other day we have a new doomsayer claiming that we'll be eating each other in 20 years.

"Economic Protectionist" is a fancy way of saying Eugenics and Communism. The easy at which people except the false choice of Eugenics or eating each other, is truly frightening.

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810402)

If you read between their lines, you will see that these people are worried that all Hell will break loose before they have finished getting their pleasure. They are just selfish assholes and nothing more.

Re:Unsustainable growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810488)

Humans aren't dumb animals. We don't breed when resources are rare.

Have you ever been to Africa ? Humans are just as dumb as every other animal species regarding the survival of the whole mankind (and not only the survival of their own lives).

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810668)

Humans aren't dumb animals. We don't breed when resources are rare.

You really believe that?

Further, we aren't even going to be resource limited.

Yes we are. Maybe not at 8 billion... But eventually we will be.

For the time being, we're pretty much limited to the resources on this planet. And they are finite. Give it a little more time and a little more technology, and maybe we can gather resources from the rest of the solar system - but they're also finite. Breed enough people, and you will hit those limits. It's just a matter of timing.

We also cut back on breeding when children cost to much, as is the case in advanced nations.

I must not live in an advanced nation then...

People with a lot of kids make the news because they are so RARE, not because they are common.

I did not single out people with a lot of kids. I specifically said "irresponsible parenting". It isn't just the Octomom, and all those other big families - but also folks who show up on shows like 16 and Pregnant [wikipedia.org] or Teen Mom [wikipedia.org] .

I don't worship death. And I'm not even advocating for any drastic policies at this point. But I'm not naive enough to think that we're going to automatically limit ourselves to whatever is sustainable.

We may very well limit ourselves, and it may all turn out just fine... But it won't happen because some herd mentality kicks in and we all stop procreating because we're putting too much of a strain on the environment, nor will it happen because we all become rational and realize that we can't afford these kids... It'll happen because of studies like this, and the discussions they spur, and the policies that are eventually created in response to them.

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810112)

It makes you into example as to how evolution eliminates those that aren't fit. And you are helping it by yourself. Kudos to you.
I also see that there is a lot more people than it was 100 years ago, but there is still plenty of food that is thrown away, just to not over-saturate market; or limits in how much you can produce, fined if you fail to comply. At least here in EU. There are places that don't use any modern technology in crop cultivation, so there is room for improvement too. We don't know what future technology will bring either. Maybe we will go into space and start living in domes on Mars? Or maybe we die... but you can't be sure and if people would just let it go if any doubt would arise, then we would be still using rocks for hunting.

Modern humans are immune from population cycles (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810190)

We created anti-biotics, pesticides, irrigation, the agricultural revolution. We have the ability to completely transform any habitat to suit our own. We chop down the rainforest (the earth's lungs) to plant millions of acres of soy, sugar, and other cash crops. We divert the mightiest of rivers and dam them, laying waste to natural cycles that held true for thousands of years. When all environments are covered with humanity, we will move to the oceans to harvest what is left of their bounty. Even if we have massive famines, there will still be billions of humans. Diseases such as plague, flu, virulent TB, ebola ect... are able to be defeated through modern methods of intervention. No...the population will continue to rise, and the planet is set to become much more crowded. Your choice to forgo your evolutionary birthright will be but a blip among the billions of humanity.

Re:Modern humans are immune from population cycles (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810270)

And every single thing you listed is fueled by oil. Seen the prices for that lately? Seen the effect of that on the economy, on food prices? And they ain't gonna go down. Oil has peaked, production is on an undulating plateau for a couple of years now, with the major producers being in decline. Oil fueled our decoupling from natural population cycles, with the cheap oil being depleted, we'll be back where we started pretty damn soon.

Oil, who needs oil? (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810348)

The next frontier will be natural gas. There is plenty of natural gas in the middle east (and else where). After that there is coal. Electric cars will proliferate over the next 20 years. Even Solar power plants are picking up steam. Don't forget about nuclear. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and others are in the advanced stages to build dozens of nuclear power plants. Some people might get hungrier, but they won't breed any less.

Re:Oil, who needs oil? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810576)

Well, in non-human biological systems, populations rarely crash because fertility goes down, but rather because mortality skyrockets. And that's what is going to get us - what part of the world population can actually afford to transition away from a completely oil-addicted system?

Re:Modern humans are immune from population cycles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810490)

They will invent something new instead of oil

Re:Modern humans are immune from population cycles (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810554)

And every single thing you listed is fueled by oil.

Currently fueled by oil. None of them need to be, indeed most of them haven't been for most of their history. They're currently fueled by oil because it's currently the cheapest way to do it, but as you yourself point out, that won't last forever. For a completely unexplained reason, however, you assume "we'll be back where we started" afterwards, as if going back is the only option. We can't stay where we are now, but I think most people would rather we go forward instead of going back.

Re:Modern humans are immune from population cycles (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810604)

You assume that there is anything to go forward to, anything that gives the same EROI that cheap oil used to give us when we built the whole system. You also assume that the transition comes with no significant cost - what percentage of the world population will be able to afford it at all? Those who can't will be back where we started. Maybe not all of us.

Re:Modern humans are immune from population cycles (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810724)

Oil isn't particularly expensive. 50 years ago, westerners spent far more of their income/productivity on energy than they do today.

Compared to gold, oil is about the average of what it has historically been (current prices for oil put it at about 0.07 ounces of gold per barrel):

http://www.globalfinance.net/2009/charts/oil-and-gold-chart-1900-2009/ [globalfinance.net]

Of course gold is not money, but given that you are panicking about things driven largely by lag in our accounting system (cash), it provides some counterpoint.

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810376)

It makes you a moron. If you don't have kids, why the fuck do you care about population growth? It's not going to affect you, and you don't have any progeny, so let the world blow itself up in a 100 years. Why does it bother you at all?

Or it's possible that you're just extremely selfish and want the world to last just long enough for you to pleasure yourself. Either way, make it simple and kill yourself off.

Re:Unsustainable growth (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810672)

Congratulations. A hypocrit, on the internet.

I think ahead, long term, not just about myself. You might only think about your life and not the impacts of your actions on the future, I do. That makes me selfless.

It's not feasible for me to have children. You should start thinking about the consequences of your actions. The more people like you, the more Idiocracy comes true.

Re:Unsustainable growth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810392)

The latter. People who are smart enough to know better should be the ones having the kids. Every intellectual needs to stop cutting their balls off and start using them.

Re:Unsustainable growth (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810404)

OK, the same group who made this statement, also, predicts that human population will peak at 9 billion and then start to decline. This prediction is based on current demographic trends. That is, currently, the number of children that adults have is declining in almost all parts of the world. In developed countries, the number of children born is not enough to replace the existing population, so populations are declining (unless this is being made up for via immigration). Even in the majority of developing countries the number of children being born relative to the existing population is declining (and has been for several generations).
Finally, the average daily caloric intake in developing countries has been increasing for quite some time. In the 1960s, the average daily caloric intake in developing countries was below the minimum to avoid stravation (by a lot). The last report I saw on this subject indicates that the average daily caloric intake in developing countries is now at the level considered necessary for survival or marginally above it. My recollection is that in the 60s the average daily caloric intake in developing countries was somewhere aroung 500 calories, while today it is somewhere around 2800 calories. I don't remember exactly, but those numbers are in the ballpark of the real numbers.

divine retribution! (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#36809992)

Well, since humanity's `welfare infrastructure` insists on curing and feeding the idiot's and the sick I think that this is a consequence we have to live with...

Re:divine retribution! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810054)

> idiot's

No more medicine or food for you.

Re:divine retribution! (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810232)

No more *FREE* medicine for him I think is what you mean. In which case you should stop charging him that portion of taxes. Which will be to his direct benefit, because he can then go get a cheaper rate for medical services by paying cash, and not have to pay for some bureaucrats salary in addition to the medicine he needs.

Socialized medicine is like trying to fill up the shallow end of the pool by taking water from the deep end with a leaky bucket.

But of course, the fascist medical system we have now isn't good either: http://mises.org/daily/4276 [mises.org]

Re:divine retribution! (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810476)

Which will be to his direct benefit, because he can then go get a cheaper rate for medical services by paying cash.

I wouldn't be so sure. Private insurance is even cheaper in Spain, where it coexists alongside a public system available to anyone, than in the US, which lacks has little public healthcare to speak of. When there is a public system and the private sector has to compete with it, that can push prices down.

Re:divine retribution! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810548)

Socialized medicine actually can do wonders so long as it isn't underfunded despite being overtaxed. Unfortunately, this is what happens most of the time.

Re:divine retribution! (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810658)

No more *FREE* medicine for him I think is what you mean. In which case you should stop charging him that portion of taxes. Which will be to his direct benefit, because he can then go get a cheaper rate for medical services by paying cash, and not have to pay for some bureaucrats salary in addition to the medicine he needs.

I think you meant "more expensive rate". Or are you living in that fantasy world where the nation that mostly runs this way doesn't have the most expensive medicine in the world (and by a huge margin at that)?

You always have to pay some bureaucrats' salaries. Whether these bureaucrats works for a government or a for-profit corporation does not alter that basic fact.

Hey I'm in Egypt (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810104)

They add about 2 million to the population here every year. Africa's population is set to double in 30 years. My advice, buy land. Food will be worth more than gold.

Re:Hey I'm in Egypt (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810174)

And land will not give you any sufficient food, as we are already deep in overshoot regarding a sustainable food production - to keep up our production rates, we deplete fossil aquifers, we burn 9 kJ of our declining fossil fuel reserves for 1 kJ of food produced and we deplete our soils, leading to an increasing need for limited resources (cv. phosphate depot depletion) to keep the soil chemistry going. To top it off, fisheries are in massive decline, with many local collapses already having happened. Fun times ahead.

Re:Hey I'm in Egypt (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810314)

The thing that analysis leaves out is the fact that we don't need to do all those things. Like most of the things we do, we do it that way because it's the cheapest way to do it, not out of necessity. If we can't continue to do things stupidly, inefficiently, and destructively, then we won't. (But as long as we can, and there's economic incentive to do so, we will -- point being, you can't project future behavior under different conditions by simply projecting the present behavior under present conditions as if nothing will change other than scale.)

Re:Hey I'm in Egypt (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810472)

The whole "green revolution" is fueled by these things. We didn't need to do it back then, but now that our population exploded because we chose to do so, we are pretty much trapped in it. I see at least a quite unpleasant transition period coming while we try to extricate ourselves from this trap.

Are You Listening Pope Benedict? (1)

Ganty (1223066) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810114)

Seven Billion is about two Billion too much, a fact that Pope Benedict should bear in mind the next time he speaks against contraception. Still, I don't suppose he will ever go hungry or thirsty.

Ganty

Re:Are You Listening Pope Benedict? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810446)

To be fair, it's really, really hard to get little boys pregnant, and he did run on a pro-diddling platform.

And that 7 billionth person... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810136)

...is going to be brown like mud and probably a goat herding mudslime.

On the bright side they may not live to adulthood nor breed.

The Answer is Obvious (1)

Barrinmw (1791848) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810196)

Start colonizing other worlds, encourage more and more birth rates, turn the Earth into a Hive World and then spread across the galaxy, we have to do something otherwise the Orks, Eldar, Tyranids, Tau and all the others will wipe us out.

Re:The Answer is Obvious (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810378)

That's a good idea for its own reasons, but is in no way an answer to population issues. We don't have the amount of metal or energy resources to build and power a massive fleet of spaceships capable of removing people from the planet even a thousandth as fast as they're being born.

Carbon Tax = Consumption Tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810214)

Easiest solution short of genocide or mass sterilization:

-- Make everything artificially more expensive, and don't subsidize children. Literately make the cost of having more than 2 children prohibitive so we stop getting welfare whores popping out babies so they don't have to work. --

More specifically, make it expensive from the consumption side. Having 8 children probably means you have to buy huge land yachts for automobiles, and go through thousands of dollars in food per month.

In theory (just like communisim) it could work, but in practice what will more likely happen is that governments won't have the balls to eliminate to cut entitlements on child tax credits.

In countries like China and India, they have to get over "must have a boy", I actually think the problem will over there will resolve itself if we do nothing, the excess men will adopt all the children that the breeders produce. In North America and Europe this won't happen.

What gives? (2)

hansraj (458504) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810220)

The US census bureau projects March next year to be the time when world population hits 7 billion [census.gov] .

Re:What gives? (2)

Alomex (148003) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810332)

The UN Population Division predictions are usually overly pessimistic. This allows them to meet regularly in posh places to issue a (downward) revision. They have been doing this for nearly twenty years.

Let's play the Who's Gay Today Game! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810346)

Buttsex... solves the entire problem.

Hey, boys, kiss your local trap. she'll love it.

Bad summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810426)

"In the next 20 years, our population growth is predicted to rise to 8 billion people as our demand for food increases by 50 percent, water by 30 percent and energy by 50 percent.""

That seems to imply that the INCREASE in population over the next 20 years, ie more than double.

The obvious solution is to ban sex (between men and women) and encourage homosexuality.

Earth self-regulates (3, Interesting)

AlexiaDeath (1616055) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810436)

We wont even need a war that becomes inevitable once resources get scarce. No, nature will take care of it first. The more there are people, the more densely populated the world, the more likely is a proper pandemic. People go every day from one end of the world to another. All you need is a germ that is highly contagious, lethal and has a 3 day latency period and most of that 7 billion will drop dead and it wont even take very long. This is bound to occur within this century. All the highly sterile environments we insist on keeping are perfect breeding grounds for such a disease.

Becker/Posner are for growth, with caveats (3, Interesting)

coldsalmon (946941) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810466)

If you want some arguments for growth, Becker and Posner discussed this a while ago. Becker came out more strongly for population growth.

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/05/does-the-earth-have-room-for-10-billion-people-posner.html [becker-posner-blog.com]
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/05/yes-the-earth-will-have-ample-resources-for-10-billion-people-becker.html [becker-posner-blog.com]

Old story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810538)

People have been using this to justify power grabs for centuries.

This summary is absurd on its face: the 7->8 billion person increase of 14% will increase water demand by 30% and food demand by 50%? Bullshit. We currently overproduce food, and we pay farmers not to produce. Moreover, future generations will work with what's available, innovate, and find ways to provide for themselves. Humans have for thousands of years. Nothing will change.

God's Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810564)

Nothing to worry about. God wants us to use up everything and trash the fucking planet. Then Jebus can come back!

Complex issue: TFR, Life expectancy and Pooverty, (1)

marjancek (1215230) | more than 2 years ago | (#36810574)

The population growth is a really worrying issue I think we failed to nail in the last decades.
With a world average of 2.58 children per woman it doesn't sound too bad, but add to it the increase of life expectancy and it's then no surprise that we are still growing so fast.

We need to bring family planning to the poorest countries which hold the greatest birth rates as soon as possible. That will solve two problems with one shot: reduce population growth and poverty. Since giving them the opportunity to achieve economic stability before having children, and having less children to feed would give those families a lot more possibilities.

Second step would be education, to give them the chance of economic growth.

The solution is easy. Nuke China down to bedrock. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36810620)

That'll free up about 1.5 billion from the surplus population.

If you can get India and Pakistan in there too, you'll cull another 1.4 billion.

Taking 41% out should alleviate the population pressure problem quite nicely.

And it's a lot more humane then invading those countries, killing all the babies, disemboweling the women and cutting off all the mens' penises.

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