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How many people can Planet Earth support?

Poverty comes from an unfair sharing of resources. Bono's naive idea to eliminate poverty to the benefit of mankind flies in the face of the fact that we live on a finite planet. Historically the world has been able to support around 1.5 to 2 billion people, The age of oil changed that 150 years ago and we now have nearly 4 times that. The resources to support 7-9 billion people will have to continue to impact on nature to the detriment and eventual extinction of both.


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  • Dan F 50+

    • +1
    Mar 20 2013: How many people can Planet Earth support?

    Why would we want to find out? We are experiencing first hand monumental population growth rates that will take us there. In fact, it is clear we are experiencing this problem now. It does seem to me that those of reasonable judgement should be concerned.

    As we approach that population limit perhaps included in the weather report will be a "miserably index" as we discover what we already know. There are factors (such as drinkable water) that will come more and more into play as the sheer numbers of our fellow human beings makes it more and more difficult not just to be happy, and not just achieve our wants, but meet our basic human needs for survival.

    David Attenborough's production, "How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth (FULL)," and thoughts on this topic reflect an intelligent perspective. He is one of several individuals that rank at the top of my admiration list as a naturalist. He would be an excellent person to provide a TED TALK on this subject.
    • Mar 21 2013: Thanks Dan F - that was my initial proposition - We need Attenborough to speak at TED because it appears to me that many scientists and speakers live in silos. None address all the imperatives of water resources, air quality, species extinction through habitat destruction (land and sea) and energy. His finding is that there is a limit to the numbers of people who can live on planet earth. However there is a knee-jerk reaction to exploring the impact of population. Even to discuss suggest a 'hidden agenda' and an intention to limit it by force (see Random Chance's comments) Nathan Cook's response is succinct. So let's push TED for a talk from Attenborough himself - it a deeply researched, penetrating and balanced - TED viewers deserve nothing less..

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