TED Conversations

Renee Chambers

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How will the planet cope with 9.6 billion people by 2050?

With the world's population due to peak at 9.6 billion by 2050, our planet is becoming a very crowded place. Global population growth brings with it a range of complex issues around sustainability and the environment so what does 9.6 billion people mean in terms of international economic and social co-operation and development?

Should there be a future campaign to create awareness and should we encourage a slow down on population growth?

Your thoughts, opinions and ideas on how to deal with the future growth would be appreciated.

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Closing Statement from Renee Chambers

Interesting thoughts and opinions from the TED community and I enjoyed reading your comments.
My personal feeling is that there should be a slow down on population growth and we need some type of global campaign to get this message across.

Thanks for contributing to the conversation : )

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    May 16 2014: Our earth can only sustain and support so many humans. So, if we humans cannot solve the over-population problem, nature will. It's just a matter of time.
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    May 19 2014: Then again.... there is worldwide sterilization.
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    R H 30+

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    May 19 2014: "What?! Slow down population growth?! But we need to increase the size of our markets! We need more customers! As we hoard our resources, more people wanting what we have means higher prices and ROI for our investors! We'll sell more guns and ammo as they fight over supplies! Wages will (finally!) decline as our "supply of human resources" far exceed the demand! More people means we can reduce taxes and get re-elected because we can take a little less from so many more people and provide more 'services' that our friends can run so ineptly while making higher political contributions - which go back to them in fees anyway! With so many people, few will be able to 'afford' real wealth for security reasons, so they'll be constantly trading and upgrading and losses will be astronomical and we'll clean up! So go ahead. Screw like banshees. Get those little mouths to feed and we'll award you with a nice plaque for good citizenship."
  • May 18 2014: Maybe we should all promote cannibalism? Gen 9:3 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” (Every moving thing) Humans are moving things.
    I got to say "Religions" are certainly doing it's part to curb the population! America? We have done more than our share of population control. All the major powers in the world have contributed in one way or another. Today more than ever we have killing machines all over the planet ready to go to work, so what is the problem? I would like to say this is sarcasm but unfortunately it is just reality. It is the Elephant in the living room that everyone knows is there but simply ignores.
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      May 18 2014: Old idea... I saw the movie.... Solient Green....
      • May 18 2014: Maybe you also saw: "Silence of the Lambs", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Cannibal: Let's build a snowman", "The Book of Mormon", "Hannibal", "Ravenous", "We're Going eat you", "Parents", "The Day", "Alive", "Delicatessen" or "Cannibal Holocaust". Hollywood loves the idea and why? Because the audience loves the idea. Silence of the Lambs got several Academy awards. And where does Hollywood get these ideas? Lots of these movies ideas came from real events that happened. There have always been and still are cannibal tribes on the earth today. Not mention the renegade individuals who sometimes get caught all over the world and right here in America. They do not leave witnesses and they eat the evidence, they are not easy to catch. In this world with so many people homeless, displaced and undocumented people disappearing is common place. Look at how common slavery and prostitution is everywhere, forgotten people living in plain sight.
        Old idea? I think not, just an idea we "so called civilized" people ignore, but we flock to the movie to see it. To some people meat is meat, they don't care where it comes from. In Hawaii after the hurricane a resort was selling huge beautiful "Clydesdales" for $50 until they started finding them dead and hanging in the Filipinos garages carved up for meat. Black dog adobo is a favorite in the Philippines.
  • May 15 2014: Planet won't care. Planet will just keep spinning along in its orbit.
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      May 15 2014: Good points,
      But, how do we get the little human rabbits to stop? There is a local group, very vocal about... unwanted pregnancies.... who petition abstinence. They are ridiculed. The best way we currently have is abortion.... a legal solution some have noted is genocide.
      So, there's the problem.... how to stop it. We can take children to over crowded cities and may scare the bejeebies out of a few .. but as soon as those hormones come to a boiling point.....
      Reproduction is a instinct right up there with eating and breathing... and as I remember.... a lot of fun.
      So, this is a problem we add to the list.
      Too many people using fuel for power and transportation.... Global Warming
      Too many people using food for.... food..... limited ground for farming.... Mass Starvation
      Too many people using.....
      It seems too many people is the common denominator.... Then you examine the situation and find man is working hard on species limiting effects: curing plagues, containing pestilence, the rest of the four horsemen of the apocalypse...
      now what ?
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          May 15 2014: There are a lot of pearls out there Brendan,

          My favorite.... if men went through at conception what women go through at gestation, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

          In most "mature nations" (read G-7 type countries) birth rates are down, abortions are up, big families rate reality TV shows... not a problem. Young countries on the other hand are reproducing at record rates and I would bet my SS check they could care less if America is suffering from ED while voting on laws that are more then meaningless.
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    May 14 2014: I had read that a species will be self regulating as it fills it's environment. I have also read that 10 billion people is about the point when man will fill his environment. It seems the desire to reproduce falls as the environment gets crowded. Population growth in Japan and Italy is falling and may become negative if not so already.
    Barring some world wide calamity, such as the explosion of one of the super volcanos or a major asteroid strike, we will probably see world population tapering off by 2050.
  • May 13 2014: I believe the planet has some contingency plans up its sleeve to deal with this challenge....to deal with us.
  • May 13 2014: The good life is not about survival for many of us. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty damn spoiled. Its not about money, but independence and quality of life that makes me tick. I have hiked into the middle of nowhere in the forrest, desert, etc, and savored the experience by getting a glimpse of the natural wonders of world.

    Barring a world wide catastrophe, it would not surprise me that we exceed the 9.6 billion people projected by 2050. Despite the miserably index of those in poverty, they will continue to procreate since its about the only way left that they can express themselves.

    As a species we will reach a limit regarding population growth, and it will occur at a point when negative physical factors begin to significantly impact more of us currently less affected.

    Many societies may feel immune from the blight of things going amuck, but that will not necessarily remain true. It would not surprise me if a wake up call occurred in the relatively near future. We are all aboard the same spaceship earth.
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    May 12 2014: Just by reversing Desertification there would easily be enough food and livable land for over 12 billion.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change

    Sadly those in power don’t actually want a self-founding solution that will work, and they are doing everything in their power to stop anything that would actually work.