The Science of Overpopulation – Issues of the rising global population.
There are about seven billion people on the Earth right now, and they keep getting born, all the time.
In fact, for every 2 people who die, about 4 are born. Every second, there are about four babies introducing themselves to this world, there are less than two people saying goodbye to it. So, easy math here, our world's population is growing by about 2.5 people per second.
Do we have enough space for 7 Billion People
So 7 billion people, it’s hard to actually get your mind around how many people that is, maybe if you were to just like sit down and count to 7 billion, it would take you like 200 years or something. On the other hand, there is plenty of space for them. If you took 7 billion people and stood us shoulder to shoulder like we were at a sting concert, those 7 billion people can fit in an area the size of Los Angeles. We can fit on the Earth. There’s space for us all. So as long as there’s space for us all, what’s the big deal about having 7 billion people?
Rise in Population Since 1800
Since around 1800, when the world first clocked 1 billion people. I know what you’re thinking, you’re like 1 billion, that’s nothing, haha. Well at that time all the economies in the world were based on agriculture. How much stuff we could grow with human hands, farm animals, maybe a scythe and a wooden plow or something.
The principal of Human Population by Thoams Malthus
Thomas Malthus was a British economist. He calculated that human populations tend to grow exponentially, while the ability of humans to feed each other tends to grow more linearly. Therefore, our growth as a species tends to outstrip our ability to feed everyone. And when that happens, you get the famine and the starvation. And for the people who are left over who don’t die of those things, they can get taken care of by disease and war. Basically, Malthus thought that humanities natural state was to be cruel, miserable, pathetic and sniveling in a pile of dirty underpants.
Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus
In his essay on the principle of population, Malthus observed:- “The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation. They are the precursors in the great army of destruction and often finish the dreadful work themselves. But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array, and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should their success be still incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow levels the population with the food of the world.”
When you and your family’s lives are threatened by starvation there’s a lot of things that you will do for food, including go to war.Economist Thomas Malthus
Population Growth Throughout History
It took humanity fifty thousand years to go from zero to one billion people, and then to get from one billion to seven billion, about two hundred.
Industrial Revolution allowed the production of much more food with far fewer laborers. So wow, Industrial Revolution, thank you for allowing us to grow more food using machines, and for the fast and efficient transportation that it takes to move all that food around to the people who needed it, and thanks for the medical advances too, which help us understand things like the importance of soap and the way that diseases worked, and as a result, human now live about four decades longer than the average guy in the eighteenth century.
Current Scenario of Rising Population
So now, the world’s population is growing at about 1.1% per year, which is a tiny bit better than the 1.3% per year that got us here. If this current rate continues by 2050, we should have about 9.3 billion people on the planet.
So the question is: at what point are these numbers going to outstrip our ability to feed all of the people on the planet? It turns out actually that the question isn’t how many people can the Earth accommodate, it’s more like: how many rich people can the Earth accommodate?
Rich People, Farmers, and Water
People, in general, need stuff like oxygen, water, and food for survival. But rich people have different expectations. For example, In America, people have a lot of agricultural crops, and they have to use a lot of fresh water to water those agricultural crops. But the irony is this –
It takes more water to create lawns than it does grow all of the corn in America. They’re using it like crazy, though it is a pretty scarce resource, we can use less than one percent of the water on our planet. Most of it is salt water that we cannot use to drink or irrigate crops, and 70 percent of our freshwater is frozen in glaciers. So clean freshwater, non-negotiable and scarce.
The world’s combined food output could feed around 11 billion people, and yet, there are 1 billion people who need food. So yeah that’s one of the most pathetic and infuriating things about our planet. So if there’s enough food for 11 billion people, and there are 7 billion people and a billion of them are hungry, who is eating all of our food? A huge amount of the food that people grow in America gets uh, in turn, eaten by livestock. It’s so hard to say the truth, which is that, but, rich people can do what they want. Now when I write ‘rich’ it’s important to note that I’m not talking about like, the 99% versus the 1% rich.
I’m talking about if you have running water, the electricity that comes into your home, a computer that you can watch YouTube videos on, and regularly can afford to eat a meal – you are a rich person on the Earth, There’s a lot of people in the world who don’t get that.
Developing Vs Developed Nation
If you live in a developed country in Europe, or you live in America or Japan, you consume on average as much stuff as 32 Kenyans. And now the number of well-off people in the world is starting to increase dramatically and quickly, and this is what we’ve always wanted for the world. So now we have all these moderately well-off people walking around all over the planet, and it’s great!
Except that they require more food and Natural Resources
Birth Rate is higher in Developing Nations
In the meantime though, a huge percentage of all of the babies being born right now aren’t being born to these rich people in the developed world. They’re being born in developing nations, and so the population isn’t just growing. It’s growing in this weird, sort of scary, lopsided way. Fact is, people in a lot of developed countries have kinda stopped having babies.
Japanese people are having about one baby per household. They're not even replacing themselves, compared to two or three babies in America or like, five or six in most of Sub-Saharan Africa.
So developing nations are having a baby boom when you get, vaccines, antibiotics, safe water, and better sanitation. You get fewer babies dying, and we are all completely and totally in favor of fewer babies dying I hope. But it also means that there are going to be a lot of new Sub-Saharan Africans in the next 50 years or so, and that is where a lot of the billion currently hungry people are already living. So while those of people in the developed world are not having any babies at all and yet consuming enough food for like, four truckloads of babies, the government in developing countries are struggling with where to put all of these new people and how to feed them all.
‘Youth Bulge’ – A lot of developing nations are currently seeing a huge explosion in people between the age of 15 and like 29. And all of those youth are out there, looking for the same jobs, all at the same time, feeling generally hormonal as youth do, and being pretty unhappy with their lot in life. Some social scientists conjecture that youth bulges like this have been responsible for nearly every insurrection in history, from the English revolution in 1640 to the more recent Arab Spring. And neither of those things were bad things, but we should be aware that there may be more of it coming.
Coexistence of Humans and Natural Habitat
What happens when humanity gets together and takes over the whole frickin’ world? Seriously, because it turns out that there are actually supposed to be some other things living on this planet with us.
Though our desire for more space and more stuff, we’re putting pressure on pretty much every habitat on Earth. So much so that worldwide, 52 species of mammal, amphibian and bird move one category closer to extinction every single year.
So Happy Birthday new people, Welcome to Earth.
I’ll not try to screw it up too much for you. If you are not interested in more things to do with the global population, please check out about me and my website.
I’m Kaushal Jaiswal Founder of Cameo Dreams. The best Educational and Professional Website Because It “Connects Million’s Of Community To Best Things Available On The Internet”. http://www.cameodreams.com
Thank You. Keep Learning….