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Seven Billion People

We're slated to hit 7,000,000,000 in 2012.
We hit 6 billion in 1999.
Thirteen years to add a billion.
We hit 1 billion in 1800.
In 1930, 130 years later, we made 2 billion.
(data from the AP)
So between 1930 and 1999 we added 4 billion in 69 years.


Jul. 8th, 2008 08:09 pm (UTC)
I'll probably still be alive when there's 9 billion people (even without life extension or health technology improving). But it's weird that there's such a huge gap between when we are expected to reach 9 and 10 billion -- predictions are that 9 billion will be reached around 2045, and 10 billion only around 2170 or so, over a hundred years later.
Jul. 8th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
Whose predictions are those? I wonder if they are beginning to take into account that the end of the oil era will cause a reduction in food production ability and lead to famine? Or to consider that huge numbers of people may die in WWIII or from disease or both? What do you think?

People who live where food cannot be grown will be in trouble....already are in trouble.....but it will get worse. This is why I call my journal "interesting times".....there is the possibility that human population on this planet may begin to decrease within the next century.
Jul. 8th, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Such pessimism today! I don't expect any decrease in food production, any increase in wars or any famine or disease.

Human population will likely decrease in the next century. I have seen the data charts with plateaus around 2050, where it remains either constant or declines. Not from lack of food or health care, but simply improved education. Civilized people know having kids is immoral and unpractical.
Jul. 8th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
What you expect may not be how it turns out. Then will you still think me a pessimist, or yourself an optimist? I find the whole thing rather humorous.

But really, you think that people will cease and desist from reproduction because they believe it is the moral thing to do? What fraction of the world population do you think are "civilized" in this way?
Jul. 9th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
I think generally you're a pessimist, but today seems more so. I hardly consider myself an optimist.

I freely admit what I expect may not be how it turns out. It would be foolish to think otherwise. But I don't see any connection between oil and food production, so I wouldn't make any claim in that regard.

I absolutely believe people will stop having children because it's the moral thing to do. We've already seen that in Europe and Japan, and the United States is having its birth rate lowered each year. I think all the world is civilized, although the motives aren't all for "moral" reasons yet. People are figuring out kids = time/money, so they have less. More divorce and single motherhood also helps. Acceptance of alternative lifestyles helps.

Many of the things religion or conservatives think are "bad" are actually quite good, from my point of view, if for no other reason than the eradication of the human race.
Jul. 9th, 2008 06:22 am (UTC)
There is an incredibly tight connection between fossil fuel availability and food production in the modern world. I am surprised to hear you say this. Transport, planting, harvesting, irrigation, the manufacture and dissemination of fertilizer....oh that's only part of the list of areas in which modern corporate farming is dependent on fossil fuels. Then there is the whole (utterly bogus) federal effort to encourage "biofuels" by subsidizing corn crops and taking food crops right out of the food market. Anyway, you're ultra informed about a lot of what is going on in the world, and I wouldn't be surprised if you might start digging into this topic--it is going to get lots more interesting.

OK, so we agree that the motivating factors in declining birth rates are not necessarily people trying to "do good" but more about scarcity and self preservation.

I'm curious about your final statement. What religious or conservative "bad" things are good in your book, and do they contribute to the eradication of the human race? ...I can't argue against the idea that fewer (or zero) humans would be beneficial to many of the species currently on the planet. We're outcompeting them in a big way....for now.
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
I understand a connection between oil and food. I was actually reading an article on that today, coincidentally, from Naomi Klein. But I don't think a reduction in oil means a reduction in food. If we're capable of changing the way we harness energy, the food issue should be minor.

As I understand it, the corn-based ethanol is not connected to the rise in food prices. At least not directly. But I do agree that it's bogus since it a) doesn't reduce pollution and b) only further stretches the idea that we can maintain an oil-driven lifestyle.

I don't know if I'm "ultra informed about a lot of what is going on in the world" and I don't take compliments well, but thank you.

I may have worded the final part vaguely. I meant to say that conservatives and traditional religious people are opposed to things such as abortion, homosexuality, family planning (to some degree), etc. Whereas I support the reduction of the population and hopefully the end of the human race. I think it may have sounded like I was saying THEY were pushing for the end of the human race, which was not my intent.
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:13 am (UTC)
"I support the reduction of the population and hopefully the end of the human race."

Can you say some more about this? How can you support the end of the human race, being a human?

And as for being informed, you are, more than most people I interact with out here. I think it is a shame that you have to spend so much of your time taking in B movies instead of applying yourself onto more relevant topics. I hope you get something out of the whole movie project.

It is often reported that the diversion of corn to ethanol production has driven up the price of corn, and reduced the availability of it for export. I first heard about it maybe a year ago when there was some reporting about the price of corn tortillas in some village in central Mexico....the increase in price of product and transport is going to cause hunger for lots of people, not because there is not enough food for everybody....but because it just won't get to them. You make more money filling American gas tanks than feeding people who are destitute.

I know I'm a cynic. I read recently that Bertrand Russell said "Scratch a cynic and you'll find a disappointed idealist"....and he had me pegged.

(no subject) - gavin6942 - Jul. 13th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - liveonearth - Jul. 14th, 2008 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gavin6942 - Jul. 15th, 2008 12:18 am (UTC) - Expand
speciesist - liveonearth - Jul. 15th, 2008 02:34 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - gavin6942 - Jul. 17th, 2008 06:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - liveonearth - Jul. 17th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - gavin6942 - Jul. 19th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - liveonearth - Jul. 20th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - gavin6942 - Jul. 20th, 2008 02:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: speciesist - liveonearth - Jul. 20th, 2008 03:36 am (UTC) - Expand
not Bertrand Russell - liveonearth - Jul. 14th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - gavin6942 - Jul. 15th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - liveonearth - Jul. 15th, 2008 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - gavin6942 - Jul. 15th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - liveonearth - Jul. 15th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - gavin6942 - Jul. 17th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - liveonearth - Jul. 17th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: not Bertrand Russell - gavin6942 - Jul. 17th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 8th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Different predictions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_estimates

But I agree with gavin6942 that your scenario is way too pessimistic. There will be more famines and more wars, but I don't think we'll see anything like the famines or wars of the 20th century in the 21st.

I could go into more detail but LJ comments are limited in length, so I'll make an entry about it later.
Jul. 8th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC)
I look forward to that post! I do not consider myself a pessimist, more of a realist.....I have been studying on this question for years now and what I notice is that Americans especially do not want to admit that people around the world could starve or die in wars (due to actions of our government!) while we are comfy and fat in front of our large screen televisions.......so if you can dissaude me I am eager to hear your arguments.
Jul. 9th, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
Done: http://rinku.livejournal.com/1474929.html

Let me know if there's anything I'm wrong about there of course, it's just preliminary.
Jul. 9th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
Excellent find on the chart. It actually makes me wonder -- how do we know what the world population is right now?
Jul. 9th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
Most countries have some form of census. Those that don't probably don't make much of a difference either way, because all the most populous countries have one. So it's not exact but it's probably accurate to within 50 million or so.
Jul. 10th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
I understand. It was just an odd thought. America has allegedly hit 300 million people, but also claims to have 12-20 million undocumented workers. That's a pretty big gap of uncertainty, in one country alone.

Europe, for the most part, has open borders. So their census is hard to judge.

Parts of Africa are still "wild" in some sense.

I wasn't questioning you, but more the establishment. It's interesting how they can pinpoint with such certainty when we hit milestones, when it seems to me they could be days, months or even a year off.
Jul. 9th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
Well....we don't, exactly.....but we have a general idea, within a few million. That is an interesting comparison. Wikipedia rocks!



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