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Would a population boom now taking us to 9 billion people destroy the world as we know it ?

There is around 7 billion people on the planet, is that too much? with the standard of life between countries in Africa and the west varying so much would the boom in population cause a larger variation in standard of living?
how long with this population do you think we could last?
what technology could save us from our huge population?
what rate would we consume resources and deplete the fresh water we have ?
how long would we have ?
should precautions be taken now before it's too late?
could we sustain that much life on our tiny planet?
what kind of quality of life could we ensure for that many people?

Topics: population
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    Apr 9 2012: I assume a finite world can not sustain an infinite human population.
    Whether it be food, resources, water, living space, pollution.

    The problem is our current economic models rely on the growth imperative.

    In parallel with this is growing per capita consumption.

    Also growth is exponential - accelerating.

    Also the growth is distorted to the poorer areas. Our goverment gives baby bonuses to encourage a higher rate of birth to help offset an aging population of baby boomers as well as imnigration. Stop having more than 2 kids. Problem solved.

    Technology will help to some extent. However, I expect to see growing pains gradually develop over time. Whether it be lack of infrastructure or pollution in cities. Running out of easy oil etc.

    The funny thing is if someone had said in 1900 when the population was 1 Billion, can we sustain 7 billion, many people would say no. I think we tend to over estimate slow motion disasters like this. Maybe we could double the population again.To estimate the crunch points you need someone to make assumptions, get data and crunch the numbers.

    At some point it will be self correcting if we don't manage this, and result in misery for millions.
    • Apr 9 2012: i agree completely but do you think it would be fair to ask of such a population- you can only have two kids now (it would be hard to impeach this and could probably cause a revolt /civil unrest). It would definitely even out the quality of life eventually if those very rich and very poor collaborated.
      do you think it would be wise to put a population cap on ? so we can find out how to deal with such a population and until we know how too, allow the population to build.
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        Apr 9 2012: China put a one child policy in place although they are a one party state.
        I guess it is up to individual countries.
        I have a natural antipathy with governments restricting reproductive freedoms (although I sometimes wonder if we should pass a test before venturing into one of the most important human endeavours - parenthood)

        Perhaps education and ignoring the Catholic church might help.

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