rethinking the "population bomb"

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TOS
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it's an old view, one that's been around for centuries, first popularized by malthus more than 200 years ago: humans breed out of control, and eventually the planet will just fill up with billions until the ecosystem collapses and we all die

new research, however, is painting a very, very different picture

an awareness has been growing that birth rates are falling worldwide, but new research suggests that even the united nation's numbers are way too generous, with the vast majority of nations reproducing below replacement rate

in fact, while population is still growing, it's mostly growing by aging -- people are living longer than ever before

example: japan, which has been struggling economically for a quarter century due to a rapidly aging population ... last year they lost almost half a million people

example: china, which, thanks to the one-child policy and a grotesque gender imbalance due to cultural issues, may peak soon at around 1.7 billion people but by the end of the century could be down to 600 million

the countries that are growing, such as the us and canada, are doing so thanks to immigration, which most countries dislike and reject to the point of accepting demographic disaster

example: canada currently has around 30 million people, but by the end of the century could be up to 50 million, making us more populous than italy or spain, while the us could grow from its present 325 million to 500 million by the end of the century, putting it just 100 million behind china (how insane would that be?)

the previous un forecast had the world population peaking from its current just-under-8-billion to around 11 billion by the end of the century at which point it will level off -- however new forecasts suggest the population will actually peak at around nine billion in the next quarter century or so before it starts a steady decline

i'm getting this from a really interesting new book called "empty planet: the shock of global population Decline"

from what i'm reading so far, it seems the driving factor in how many kids people have isn't really poverty so much as urbanization; the more urban a society becomes, the better educated, plus kids, which are an asset in a rural setting (extra farmhands) become an economic expense in a city

it doesn't mean everything is going to be super happy funtime, but it's a very interesting change of perspective, don't you think?
maurvir Steamed meat popsicle
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Population growth is pretty directly correlated with the wealth/lifestyle. Industrialized nations almost invariably see a tremendous drop in birth rates once income and education levels rise. Interestingly, they almost invariably drop to below replacement, which does present a bit of a conundrum.

However, I don't really believe that the global population will drop enough to cause a catastrophe. Largely because at a certain point the cycle will reverse if population density drops to the point where mass production is no longer feasible.

Either way, we have a long way to go before it becomes a serious concern.
macnuke Afar
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just need to start eating the kids.

problem solved.
macnuke posted:
just need to start eating the kids.

problem solved.

Huh, that sounds like an interesting idea. A modest proposal, even!
macnuke Afar
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Pariah Know Your Enemy
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The end of capitalism as we know it, that's for sure. Our relatively brief experiment with capitalism occurred during a period of unprecedented population growth and the entire capitalist construct is predicated of a future of endless growth.
When presented with a stable or contracting market capitalism is completely lost.
macnuke posted:

A Modest Proposal is an essay by Jonathon Swift, which proposed that the poor of Irish could sell their babies as food for the wealthy English. So those trumpanzees were lifting it from a man who understood what cutting satire really is.
macnuke Afar
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and they don't
Metacell Chocolate Brahma
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When the rents go down people will be horny again.
ukimalefu dysfunctional
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don't worry, humankind won't exist past the 22th century

climate change / pollution
anti-vaxxers
wars

we better develop a warp drive
Robert B. Dandy Highwayman
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Sounds like an interesting book.
Vulture 420
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I live in an urban environment lousy with kids.
obvs My password is "contraseƱa"
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I used to be really sure I didn't want kids, but I changed my mind.
Vulture 420
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obvs posted:
I used to be really sure I didn't want kids, but I changed my mind.

When you say it like that, it usually means you've thought long and hard about the hows and whys of having kids, which most people with kids don't do. Most kids end up screwed up in some way, which is fine still because part of life is learning about how you're screwed up and moving forward despite all that. A lot of parents have the kids while they're figuring themselves out so the kids get a kind of carbon copy imprint of their parents' screwed up lives on the subconscious and need therapy to unravel it all. I would imagine the hardest part is still having the kids with another person who shares the same ideas about having kids. And even all that is laughably simplistic, but you probably get it.

It's toughest on women psychologically who want kids but have a very short window of prime fertility and can get caught up with personal feelings of regret and disappointment when it's too late to go the traditional uterine gestational route. A long time ago I decided I don't care either way, there are so many children out there that I'm better off just thinking of all the children in the world as my children when I get to spend time with them, but they have parents so I get to just leave when I've had enough. Many children need guidance and inspiration and mentorship outside the home, it takes a village.
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rethinking the "population bomb"