https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/d35n ... s-is-wrongVICE: Let's start off with a simple one: Are there too many people in the world right now?
Lyman Stone ("Lyman Stone, an economics researcher specialising in population issues "): No. When people talk about overpopulation you have to ask, "Why? What is the problem with the number of people that we have?" You get a couple answers. Sometimes people say we can’t feed them all. That’s not true. The caloric output of current agriculture is more than enough to feed everyone, and most of the world is nowhere near maximum theoretical yields with even current technology.
Maybe people think we don’t have enough water. Water stress is a big deal in many parts of the world—but water is renewable. You can desalinate it, you can collect it from the atmosphere, it literally falls from the sky. But then you get to the problem with desalinating water for everyone, which is energy. That is the fundamental population problem—not food, not crowding, the only real issue is energy. Then the question is, why do we not have enough energy? That gets to fossil fuels, global warming—but at the end of the day, there is a vast amount of energy available using fairly simple technologies like wind, hydro energy, and biomass, which is renewable since the sun is pumping energy onto us. Energy is a place where we’re making massive strides, and the potential for renewables are enormous.
All over the web, and in academia, this insane myth that the world does not have too many humans is being propagated. I am confused as to how people can ignore:
- climate change - increased wildfires, loss of sea ice and sea level rise, more intense storms, more extreme heatwaves, rapid loss of coral reef ecosystems
- "According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), more than 80 percent of the Earth's natural forests already have been destroyed at the rate of 20,000 hectares per day"
- "Scientists estimate we're now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day"
- "The world’s 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds"
- 60 million+ refugees
- growing homelessness and terrible accommodation, eg. Hong Kong's people cages, many people living in one room
- properties becoming too expensive for normal people to buy
- gridlocks, heavy traffic jams and parking shortages in all major cities
- ever more highrise hominid holders to fit in our bursting numbers.
It is utter insanity to claim that the world is not overpopulated, that what we are doing is sustainable, and yet this view is being taught by the most respected demographers and population experts.
The claim is always the same. It's not that our numbers are too high but we consume too much. Does anyone else find this complete lack of understanding of human nature hard to understand? You would think that, noticing the sweep of history, so-called experts would notice that there are zero examples in all of human history of people proactively reducing consumption over long periods.
Rather, our growing consumption has lead to high powered brains raised by plentiful calories and high powered civilisations of ever greater technical attainment. It is no coincidence that the only nations with low consumption are those struggling economically with corrupt leaders taking most wealth for themselves.
No, but wait, say the "experts"! What if we change our economic systems so that the rich are forced to share more? What if we change human nature to make it less avaricious? You might as well talk about getting cows to jump over the Moon.
Massage to the experts: Please stop spreading this misinformation, as if the world had far more carrying capacity. It's not just about feeding everyone - it's about sustainability, ecosystems, extinctions, climate change and the realities of human nature. How can expert opinion, based on decades, centuries, even millennia of learning and cultural transmission, be so profoundly and damagingly wrong? Is it just a simple matter of silos, where the economist ignores the biology and the biologist ignores the economy? Anthropocentrism?
Could it be that deluded demographers who keep repeat this truly insane claim that overpopulation is a myth are the ones most likely to gain employment, sponsored by corporations seeking to expand the customer base?
Contribute as you will. I just needed to get this off my chest.