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Herman Melville

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« on: 04/06/2009 12:21:51 »
We all know Earth is overpopulated. What would be the ideal number of people on the planet to ensure that humans don't die out and also that the species can live in genuine harmony with nature, in an ongoing, fully sustainable way?


 

Offline dentstudent

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #1 on: 04/06/2009 12:26:21 »
We all know Earth is overpopulated.

Do we?
 

Herman Melville

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #2 on: 04/06/2009 12:32:17 »
We all know Earth is overpopulated.

Do we?

Yes, because to sustain ourselves we have had to use resources and harm ecosystems in ways that are not sustainable.
 

Offline dentstudent

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #3 on: 04/06/2009 12:54:49 »
That's not because of over population. That's just incompetence at work. It cannot be stated that over population is the only reason why ecosystem are harmed and resources used in an unsustainable way. It only takes a single person to harm an ecosystem.
 

Offline dentstudent

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #4 on: 04/06/2009 12:56:51 »
What you are stating is "because ecosystems are harmed, and resources used unsustainably, the earth must therefore be over-populated". This is not a sound basic argument. It is actually a false premise.
 

Offline Don_1

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #5 on: 04/06/2009 13:40:47 »
Although I too think we could do with a few less people on this planet (suggested surplus to requirements would include Gordon Brown, Alister Darling and at least half the UK House of Commons, 99.9% of 'celebrities', Garry Glitter etc.), it is more a case of poor distribution of the populous which is the problem. Too many people crammed into cities.
 

Herman Melville

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #6 on: 04/06/2009 14:17:44 »
What you are stating is "because ecosystems are harmed, and resources used unsustainably, the earth must therefore be over-populated". This is not a sound basic argument. It is actually a false premise.
Maybe, but how could this many people exist, eat, make homes, travel, etc without trampling on other lifeforms? All our food is grown. That alone represents a huge impact on how land is used by humanity.
 

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #7 on: 04/06/2009 14:29:06 »
All our food is grown.

In the UK 20% of food is wasted. Cut that out and see what a difference it makes.
 

Offline dentstudent

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #8 on: 04/06/2009 14:36:36 »
I don't think that there is an answer to your original question. Even if the human population was 2 to ensure that it didn't die out, there could still be unsustainable use of resources and harming of ecosystems. There would also be "trampling of other lifeforms" too, irrespective of whether those humans were vegetarian or not. Land would still have to be farmed, which alters pristine ecosystems. It's really a question of what is judged to be "harm" and "unsustainable", and is therefore a very subjective issue.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #9 on: 04/06/2009 19:52:11 »
Just me and all the women
 

Offline dentstudent

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #10 on: 04/06/2009 20:07:48 »
Just me and all the women
Then you've got some serious shelves to put up...
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #11 on: 05/06/2009 07:39:55 »
Just me and all the women
Then you've got some serious shelves to put up...

Good grief, you'll be nagged to death.....

.....No, you can't FOG me, I didn't spell that wrong, NAGGED I wrote, nagged I meant!
 

Offline chris

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #12 on: 05/06/2009 07:54:53 »
Cynics would say that the ideal human population for Earth would be zero, taking into account the negative impacts that we have had, planet-wide, in the space of a few thousand years. Worse still, most of those impacts have occurred within just the last hundred years.

Chris
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #13 on: 05/06/2009 12:18:43 »
Hahah, and i'd have a hell of a lot of cars to fix too :p
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #14 on: 05/06/2009 23:26:13 »
So far people above are stupidly taking on extreme views in answering this very important question.  It is very important because the majority of the population will have to know and accept this number at some time in the future.

Let us stand back and consider the problem rationally.

There must be some limit of human population that is unsustainable given a certain degree of technology.  And the greater this number is the more impact human beings will have on the planet and the more carefully it will be necessary to plan and recycle resources.  If the human population was about ten percent of what it is now we could almost live as we liked without any problems or serious impact on the global ecosystem.  At the current level of population to reach a sustainable impact we will have to be very careful and limit our personal use of resources very considerably.  If the population was ten times what it is now the problem would be almost impossible to solve without extreme reduction in personal resource usage.

That is why I feel that it is important not just to consider yow mankind can achieve a stable population but how it can achieve a controlled population reduction!

This will require a completely new approach to economics and politics.  However I do believe that it is achievable provided the majority of the population understand and accept the solution.
 

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #15 on: 06/06/2009 12:10:54 »
We will never achieve a controlled population reduction. No nation or individual would willingly accept such a notion.

Just look at China, the one child laws are flouted and are described by the rest of the world as being in breach of human rights.

Population control would have to be enforced, therefore, it would not be under control.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #16 on: 07/06/2009 00:19:14 »
You are wrong. it is only when most of the earth's population understand and accept the need to control population above all things that population will be controlled.

Look at the way social attitudes to smoking have changed in the last fifty years. when families with more than one or at most two children are seen as socially greedy and disliked people will eventually change their habits.

If we fail with this nature will ensure that the balance is restored in the nastiest possible way. mass starvation and conflict.
 

Herman Melville

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #17 on: 08/06/2009 16:12:54 »
You are wrong. it is only when most of the earth's population understand and accept the need to control population above all things that population will be controlled.

Look at the way social attitudes to smoking have changed in the last fifty years. when families with more than one or at most two children are seen as socially greedy and disliked people will eventually change their habits.

If we fail with this nature will ensure that the balance is restored in the nastiest possible way. mass starvation and conflict.

If we took that social responsibility to its extreme, humans would have to agree not to reproduce at all. Within 120 years, the planet would be given back to the pigeons.
 

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #18 on: 08/06/2009 23:52:54 »
There is no need to take it to its extreme and no point in suggesting it.
 

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« Reply #19 on: 09/06/2009 07:52:01 »
Soul Surfer - Do you really think that humans will voluntarily give up their right to have children? In the west, we restrict our family size due to financial constraints, not for the sake of the planet. Elsewhere, large families are seen as an insurance for ageing parents.

In truth, in the west, financial constraints have led us to be the least productive animals, insofar as reproduction is concerned. Look at the rest of the animal (and indeed plant) kingdom, where instinct/nature drives reproduction.

As I wrote before, look at China, where permission is required to have a single child. Can you imagine such laws being passed in the USA, UK & Europe, Canada, Australia, NZ and India??? I can see the riots now, when Lord Ponsenby-Smallpiece and Company Chief Executive Harry Leibowitz use they money and status to get around the law. Or when the Brown's are approved for children but the Green's are not. I can hear the cry of 'Fourth Reich' even now.
 

Herman Melville

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #20 on: 09/06/2009 09:48:26 »
There is no need to take it to its extreme and no point in suggesting it.

I disagree: it's only when arguments are taken to their extreme that you can see whether they really work or not. I'm prepared to admit that I'm wrong about a lot of things, probably most things, but I'd never tell someone there's 'no point in suggesting' something.
 

lyner

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #21 on: 09/06/2009 14:12:23 »
Maltheus took things to the extreme and forecast disaster. We're still here.
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #22 on: 09/06/2009 19:42:50 »
If we were still using the technologies in Maltheus' time we would be starving by now.  I honestly do believe that humans can effectively restrict their birthrate to the replacement level but there are quite a lot of social changes that will be necessary before they will do this happily.
« Last Edit: 09/06/2009 22:41:58 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline Knightmare

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #23 on: 16/09/2010 14:14:10 »
On the Earth approximatly 25% of the land is Land Surface. Of that half is unsuitable or inhosptable for farming. 3/4 of that is soils too poor or Urbanized (Non-Green Buildings, Roads,...Ect) to grow food. That leaves us with 1/32 of the Earths Surface to grow food.[1]

That means at 510M Sq/Km (373,129,126,020 Acres)[2] only 15,937,500 Sq/Km (3,938,242,017.1 Acres) is Arable. As under perfect condidtions the Arable land can sustain 66 people per Acre[3]. With low side  average of 4 months growing time and only 12 hours a day. That leaves us with 11 people fed per acre. We also have to consider acts of God and on a catastrophic calculation we will calculate 50% of crop failure. This means the number of peoplen that can be feed on the Earth is 5.5 per Acre. We calculate the number of Acres and multiply it by the average Population that can be fed. 3,938,242,017.1 x 5.5 = 21,660,331,094.05. This number calculates that at current standing the Earth can support 21.6 Billion People. At the current population of 6 Billion we can feed 3.5 time tha number of people that currently live on Earth.

In closing I would like to say to all those who are worried about over population and the ecology we are not a huge threat if we stay in our areas and continue to find better ways to feed the people. No Child of Earth should ever go hungry. It is only through one being selfish and not looking for the greater purpose that we are left emotionally empty and always trying to take more than we need and leaving others to suffer. In improving the way we farm the land and the way we share the avalibility of food and resources every Man, Woman and Child. Should have food, Clothing, Shelter and Safety for life with out straining the resources of our world. We are the Care Takers of this world and each other. We are not the masters of the world.


[1] Farmland.org
[2] Universetoday.com
[3] Nasa.gov (Growing food in space)
 

Offline tommya300

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
« Reply #24 on: 16/09/2010 14:42:17 »
I thought "Over Population" was determined by just less than or close to, standing room only.
Or by supply and demand of realestate and not enough to go around, stacking the living like sardines.
« Last Edit: 16/09/2010 14:46:01 by tommya300 »
 

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What is Earth's ideal human population?
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