How many people is too many people ?
When I read the articles by Eleanor Cummins in Popular Science, I wanted to share the article with my notes. Below is the summary of the thoughts about the “World Population Boom”, “Carbon Footprints”, “Fertility Rates” and “AI Triggers”.
In 1798, English Clergyman Thomas Malthus published a slim but provocative volume titled An Essay on the Principle of Population. The book went viral (by 18th -century standards) for its stunning conclusion that “the power of population is indefinitely greater that the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.” If people kept procreating, Malthus argued, we’d run out of planet. Two centuries later, scientists are still grappling with that possibility.
In 1968 book The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich predicted that by 1980, 4.4 billion humans would start to starve en masse. Yet we continued to skirt catastrophe.
There are now nearly 7.6 billion earthlings. By the 2050s, there will be 10 billion. How will we eat? What will we drink? Where will we live?
Turning the world into one giant slab of suburbia would require the wholesale destruction of existing ecosystems, with tract homes in the Amazon. Mimicking the densities of more-crowded cities like Istanbul could cram billions more onto this spinning rock, but all other species would have to go.
Then there’s water: Our world is wet, but just 3 percent of Earth’s H2O is the fresh kind, and only a third of that is easy to get. If we captured and hoarded every single drop, the precipitation that falls over land each year could keep tens of billions hydrated and clean. In real life, of course, we can’t hog all the rain and snow- and even if we could, we ‘d use 95 percent of it for stuff other than drinking and scrubbing down.
Right now, we use 86 percent of earth’s fresh water for food alone.
Agriculture also presents a geographic challenge. Right now, the average diet eats up 1.5acres annually. If we farmed all of Earth’s 37 million acres- including every mountain and desert-we’d make enough food for 25 billion people. But there wouldn’t be any room left for us to live here, and we’d run out of ground water long before turning Mount Everest into cornfield.
We are not in a position to run out of oxygen-the algae that first flooded Earth’s atmosphere with it are actually growing faster in warming oceans, to detriment of many marine species. But we might not breathe easy after a population boom. In 2018, World Health organization reported that nine out of ten people already live with polluted air.
Marco Springmann, a researcher with Oxford’s future of Food Program, finds climate change “tipping point” could arrive by 2040. Rising temperature will change what we can grow, trigger mass migration away from the tropics, deplete water.
In 2019 study in Lancet, Springmann and colleagues described a planet -friendly diet rich in whole grains and nuts that’s almost meat-free. If everyone adopted it, he says we could double our population without increasing food-related emissions. The question isn’t how many people we’ll have, but how many carbon footprints we’ll make. -One American’s carbon footprint equals those of five average humans. –
Fertility rate of world is about 2.4 but some countries and geographies the rate is doubled. The rate is triggering the carbon emission. In some countries governments has still encourage the higher fertility rate for economic growth but this has to be taken under control.
Nowadays we are talking about AI and power of AI’s in different industries. It is obvious AI will increase our life quality, it will make all process faster and it will take some jobs from human beings-I don’t mean AI will cause the job loss, it is a different topic-. We will not need too many human powers to serve all needs of world.
Greenhouse gases helped inflate our ballooning population, and now the whole thing is set to burst. Global average temperatures are on track to reach levels not seen in 56 million years, when alligators roamed the Arctic.
So, we have to control our carbon footprints and/or our fertility rate. There is little doubt Earth will host to 10 billion souls by midcentury.
All the best