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David Hoag

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What do you think the carrying capacity of the Earth is?

I recently read it is a popular belief amongst scientists that the Earth's carrying capacity is between 9 and 10 billion people.
If there is any truth to the idiom 'Necessity is the mother of invention', I'd wager quite a bit higher. Considering some of the factors used to make this estimate (access to freshwater, amount of arable land, etc.), I feel the number should be much higher. Invention and innovation will create more efficient things. I mean, the oceans alone offer a great deal. Growing up, not out. Changing food sources to synthetic varieties could certainly cause one to recalculate the carrying capacity.

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    Oct 14 2011: This could be a question with a scary answer. I read n article in Time magazine that the carrying capacity was around 21 Billion. For what it's worth I did a 2 page report on the problems of population growth and the carrying capacity of the world for World cultures class.I theorized that people would end up spilling out of cities and moving into areas of farmland. You may think "so what, a couple of acres lost isn't THAT big of a deal".Your right, it isn't.But if 10 million people do this to 20 million acres of farmland, than there won't be a sufficiant amount of food for the world.People would then move to places that had food in it. Then those places would got over populated,then THAT farmland would be gone. Until eventually there is nowhere left to grow food, and everyone dies. Kind of eeri but true
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      Oct 14 2011: yeah, nice idea, except the current trend is for people to move into cities, not out of them. time magazine's number is tabloid quality. nothing supports that number, but it can sell some more copies for them.
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        Oct 14 2011: at the time, people will move into cities.But when the populations double or triple. Places of high population will not quite as great to live in. And even though its the trend, there are still some people moving to rural areas

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