Matthew Healey

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Matthew Healey
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why is everybody concerned about "how to solve the problems of 10 billion humans" instead of "how NOT TO REACH that amount of people"?
An interesting idea, given that the 10 billion figure is largely based on projections of current growth it almost appears to have become fact, rather than a potential future (some of the climate change projects make assumptions that the earths population will plateau and then decrease in the late 2080s). The key i think would be to think about what it is that causes population growth. For example: A woman and a man have a single child, the child grows up, the parents pass away, we are now net -1 person on the planet. Add a second child and we break even, add a 3rd and we are net +1 person, and so on (I'm excluding the people who do not have children for whatever reason). I recall reading somewhere that based on statistics those from lower income backgrounds are more likely to have more children. An example given was a farming family, whereby having more children meant there was more free labour (also linked to low education levels). You would also have to look at maternal and infant health issues, religious beliefs etc.
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Matthew Healey
Posted almost 3 years ago
Why is everybody concerned about "how to solve the problems of 10 billion humans" instead of "how NOT TO REACH that amount of people"?
Presently it's not about the world not being able to feed enough people, at present food production is actually in surplus, it's more about the distribution of food rather than production. The same applies to most natural resources (including water), distribution is the issue. That said, distribution is only the culprit at present. If humanities population continues to grow I believe we will eventually hit a ceiling whereby we start to cause extinction on a more noticeable scale (not only the cute animals but also essential habitats too). As well an inability to produce enough food for the population due to these decreasing biodiversity levels, soil quality, and not to mention that old foe, climate change. Areas that currently act as breadbaskets (e.g. the USA, which produces about 40% of the worlds maize) are suffering from increasing levels of desertification, which in turn decreases agriculture yield = less food. All problems that would be exacerbated if you imagine another 3 billion people.