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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.


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 15 2014: Hi, Renee-

    Population growth is the most critical issue by far. It is at the very root of all our troubles - I'm pushing 60 years and cannot think of a present human problem unrelated to it. My studies have indicated that a truly sustainable population is probably about 3 billion people, so for me, talk of 10 billion plus is sheer insanity.

    Yes, we should start a campaign of population awareness immediately. When I was young, if you wanted to really learn about something in school, you got on a bus and went there to see it and experience it first hand, whenever possible. Today's school children who only know of overpopulation in abstract terms should be taken to visit the world's most populated and polluted cities (so often one and the same) to experience overpopulation first hand. The trick, of course, is to visit the slums as well, not just the downtown areas in post card photos, because the poor and soon-to-be-poor always bear the main burden of society's ills.

    Shanghai. Mexico City. Lagos... Here is a Wikipedia list of the cities with the largest populations.

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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: Well, at a big feminist rally Gloria Steinem passed on this little gem she heard from another woman: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament!"

        And they were absolutely correct, of course! So the answer, of course, is to make us men - the inseminators - equally - stress on equally - responsible for a child from the moment of conception onward.

        Many ways of doing that: There are economic formulas that put monetary values on the crucial work of housekeeping and child rearing that is most often done by women. Easy to come up with a similar monetary value for carrying a child full term and splitting the costs and work with Dad.

        We Merkins do love to make new laws, right? I read more than 20 years ago that there are more than 4 times as many laws here as there were at the end of World War Two, Mike. I haven't researched it, but wanna bet that by now there are nearly ten times as many laws here now?

        The problem, as any women on Earth knows, is that men make the laws. But if we would take full responsibility for our actions re reproduction, an amazing thing would happen, I assure you: Population control would become Job #1.
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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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