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Ben Maudlin

Registered Nurse, Prince of Wales Hospital

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Should governments globally be implementing population control measures?

The UN report issued in 2004 on the projected population growth predicted that world population growth would reach 12 billion by 2050. This is also the predicted capacity for the worlds resources and liveable land area.

What do we do after this point?

If we continue at the current growth rate of 2.05 children per woman then by 2300 there will be an unimaginable 134 trillion on this planet.

What's the solution?

With healthcare developing and people living longer where do we draw the line?


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    Dec 1 2011: By 2300, there might be 134 trillion people with more wealth than we could ever dream of.

    The year 2300 is in 289 years. Your prophecies are worthless, unless you take scientific solutions into account.
    289 years ago that's 1722 !!!

    You could've said in 1722 that 7 billion people could not survive on our planet's limited ressource. The land for farming was insufficient, the forests were insufficient for providing fuel, or the population density would favour an ultimate pandemic.

    Not only do I believe that our planet can hold 134 trillion people, with the right amount of knowledge, but I also believe that we unlimited ressources from our vast universe and that the future of people is not limited to Earth.

    What's the solution? you ask.
    • Dec 2 2011: Ben had used statistics to formulate his prediction of the population in future years (whether he is correct, I do not know. I'm neither an expert nor have I done the appropriate research). However, it almost seems as if you're saying "at our current rate of scientific progression we will be able to tap into the limitless resources of the universe". I don't believe thats a fair statement as scientific progression is not constant nor is it even somewhat predictable. There is no schedule to when scientific discoveries occur.
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        Dec 2 2011: You're right. Predictions are fallible. But if you care to make predictions anyway, you can see that scientific knowledge grows exponentially.

        Scientific progress is constant in societies that allow it to happen. But this is a brand new feature for humanity, so it's only been going on steadily since a few centuries ago.

        I don't know if we'll have solved every important issue by the year 2300, but saying that we won't is a weird statement that requires an explanation.
        • Dec 2 2011: I don't think its possible to quantify our current progress of scientific progression. There are countless variables that would have to be accessed. We have no idea where we stand in terms of progression. 50%? 60%? 0.0000000000001%? We could solve our fossil fuel problems tomorrow, or we might never solve them at all. Our scientific knowledge could very well be growing exponentially but we still have no idea of the scale or magnitude of the scientific knowledge required to accomplish such a feat.
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        Dec 2 2011: I agree that we don't know the magnitude of non-existing knowledge required to solve unsolved problems.
        I also agree that it's not easy to put a figure on scientific progression. But still, one can mesure growth of knowledge through technology. Computers and phones are easy examples of exponencial growth in functionality.
        • Dec 6 2011: @Jonathan Chu: There are people who have come up with technologies that would turn the world in the right direction in much less than 50 years. Tesla had designed technologies that would have had us on the right track a long time ago. But, sadly, fossil fuel companies have fought very hard to MAKE SURE that we do not solve the current crisis, for their own financial and schizophrenic gain. So when you say "we could solve our fossil fuel problems tomorrow" you are absolutely right. It comes down to the individual taking a stand, hence the occupy movement.

          I agree with you Gerald, though when you say wealth, I hope you don't mean financial wealth..

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