Friday, September 19, 2014

Stand on ?

Looks like we're going to need a bigger island to stand on:
The world’s population is now odds-on to swell ever-higher for the rest of the century, posing grave challenges for food supplies, healthcare and social cohesion. A ground-breaking analysis released on Thursday shows there is a 70% chance that the number of people on the planet will rise continuously from 7bn today to 11bn in 2100.

The work overturns 20 years of consensus that global population, and the stresses it brings, will peak by 2050 at about 9bn people. “The previous projections said this problem was going to go away so it took the focus off the population issue,” said Prof Adrian Raftery, at the University of Washington, who led the international research team. “There is now a strong argument that population should return to the top of the international agenda. Population is the driver of just about everything else and rapid population growth can exacerbate all kinds of challenges.” Lack of healthcare, poverty, pollution and rising unrest and crime are all problems linked to booming populations, he said.
World population to hit 11bn in 2100 – with 70% chance of continuous rise (The Guardian) New study overturns 20 years of consensus on peak projection of 9bn and gradual decline


  1. "There is now a strong argument that population should return to the top of the international agenda."

    Oh sure. Any day now. I hope he is holding his breath. Something that never was on the agenda cannot return to it. Remember... we need growth?! GROWTH! It's the growth, stupid... Growth at any price, growth growth growth!

    Argh. It's been a long day.

    1. I like Marginal Revolution's comment: "That is good news for those who buy into Julian Simon, bad news for those worried about environmental sustainability."

      Translation - Neoliberal cornucopians who believe in technological fairy dust and the magic of growth/infinite resources fantasy are happy (since we're on top of the food chain), while those who live in the actual real world who are worried about having a habitable planet and billions of deaths might be a tad unhappy about this data.

      Good comments, though. Some right-wing types are actually anti-immigration. I guess they are legitimately concerned about living standards for all Americans rather than just ultra-cheap labor the top ten percent.

      I wonder how much this will be perceived as an African Problem since birthrates are declining in many densely-populated developed countries. Will the real issue devolve to blaming the people having too many black babies while figuring out ways to keep them out?

    2. Looks like Ebola's coming to help with that little problem. ;-(

  2. I think is is really hard to make projections that far out. These days so much of it is religious/cultural. If more people convert to fundamental religions and more religious figures call for having 13 kids- then we have a lot more people.


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