Episode 5: 7 Billion People: Will Everyone Please Relax?

It's a huge number. But it's not what you think.

You are very confident about the earth’s population leveling off and then falling. How can you prove this? After all, population is still growing.

Population is still technically growing, but according to the United Nation Population Division’s numbers, that growth is slowing dramatically.

The United Nations Population Division (UNPD) is the most reliable source of population statistics in the world, which is why we use their numbers for our videos. And, according to the UNPD, population growth will continue to slow down over the next few decades. In fact, if current trends persist, our growth will halt right around 8 billion by 2045. After that, our numbers will start to fall off, slowly at first, and then faster.

If you find this whole idea counterintuitive, don't worry! You're not alone. At first glance, it really does seem like population is skyrocketing. That’s because we're still adding a billion people every few decades . . . and a billion people is a lot of people. But the way we can tell that population is not ballooning out of control is precisely the fact that we’re only adding a billion people each time. And soon, we won’t even be adding that many.

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You claim that the UN’s predictions are reliable. How reliable have they historically been?

Again, it depends on which variant you use. In our research, we’ve looked at the UN’s predictions and how they have compared with real life--and in every case the “low variant” has been the most accurate. You can run the numbers yourself here

Even if population growth is slowing down, a billion people every 15 years is still a lot of people. Isn’t this still a problem?

It is a lot of people. And of course, greater numbers bring their own challenges and issues. But there isn't any convincing evidence to show that the size of our population is the cause of the world's most pressing issues, like war, famine, disease, and poverty.

Let's put it another way. Since we have more people, our wars are bigger. Our famines may affect more people, and more people will have diseases and be poor. But population growth didn't create these problems--they have have existed since people have existed.

In other words, we can't blame population for problems that have been around forever. The only difference is, since there are more of us now, these problems affect more people.

Why has the global total fertility rate dropped so much?

Scientists are still debating exactly why, but there's no doubt that it is happening. All over the world, birthrates have been dropping quickly, and for nearly 50 years now.

Many demographers think that it is because more and more people are urbanizing (moving into large cities). When families live out in the country on farms, it makes more economic sense to raise larger families, so that they have people to help them and care for them in their old age. It’s also true that cities tend to have better healthcare facilities, which reduce infant mortality. This in turn means that parents end up having fewer children, since more of their existing children are surviving to adulthood.

Demographic expert Philip Longman observes, in his book The Empty Cradle, “As more and more of the human race find itself living under urban conditions in which children no longer provide any economic benefit to their parents, but are rather costly impediments to material success, people who are well adapted to this new environment will tend not to reproduce themselves. And many others who are not so successful will imitate them.” (p.31, available here)

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great article

Right on point. The population is not a problem. The world has always balanced everything out, and in all aspects too.

Why More Over Less?

The entire argument of this website rings hollow if a convincing argument can not be made for more people over less people. We know the hardships and sacrifice that needs to be made for every additional person. There is more refuse, more carbon, more human waste, more social strain, more low level jobs required, more food and therefore phosphorous consumption, and more resource consumption in all other categories. What intrinsic value does 4 billion have over 3 billion, 5 over 4, 6 over 5, or 7 over 6? What's the point exactly, besides pushing ourselves up against a resource and pollution wall that will require increasing levels of pain to back away from for every significant increase?

Like rats, humans are intrinsically psychologically healthier as population density decreases. Why increase population density? What's the point? To make matters worse, the countries with the highest birth rates have the most difficult time feeding themselves and sourcing clean water, and the citizens then when possible proceed to crowd the borders of the countries with already high population densities and lower birthrates ie: Europe. Are you telling us that China, India, Africa, and Europe could all use more people?

First, your extrapolation of potentially slowing population growth, to one that is negative, to negative growth that continues until the population is in the low millions has zero objective basis. To make an accurate prediction, you'd have to look at the independent variables that are causing population to slow and create a model, using those variables as well as other variables, like increased income, that would come into play as population declined to specific levels and then make our prediction for the rate of growth or decline at each new level. Saying that the population growth is slowing and so it will eventually go negative is, first, a scientific error, and then the error continues with a drastic repetition of the same error at each new level until you magically reach the low millions. Why not just take it to 100 people? That makes just as much sense by your logic.

Even if the population were to hypothetically dip to the low millions, it doesn't matter. One billion people is not intrinsically better than 3 million, the people who do not exist will never know nor care that they do not exist, and vast stressors will be removed from the earth's resources and ecosystem.

Could you make an argument for subsidizing the existence of 7 billion black gorillas or 7 billion hyenas? If so, do so, and if not, why not? One argument for "why not" is that 7 billion gorillas or 7 billion hyenas would have trouble feeding themselves without constant assistance from other continents and would cause havoc on the world's resources and ecosystem. Similarly, much the the worlds extraneous population cannot feed themselves and wreak havoc on the world's resources and ecosystem. If people, then why not gorillas? What is the intrinsic value of 7 billion gorillas over 300 million or less? What is the intrinsic value of 7 billion people over 300 million or less?

birth rates slowing

birth rates have been slowing because of things like birth control and abortion. also because of the costs of paying for a child may be to high for parents to pay, so they then dont have kids

Oh Look

Its 2014... We havent suffered a DRASTIC drop in population growth like many were expecting a few years ago... and its not going to happen. Human innovation will not let our population growth halt. We will populate the entire land of the earth, then the seas, then the skies, then space... Population growth will never stop until we suffer a solar apocalypse... this is both a curse and a blessing. The more people we have, the faster this innovation will progress.

End of story.

It doesn't matter if overpopulation is a myth or if it truly is a problem. We will deal with it like we've dealt with all of the other problems.

Children are People, not "costly impediments"

Demographic expert Philip Longman observes, in his book The Empty Cradle, “As more and more of the human race find itself living under urban conditions in which children no longer provide any economic benefit to their parents, but are rather costly impediments to material success, people who are well adapted to this new environment will tend not to reproduce themselves. And many others who are not so successful will imitate them.”

Wow, you say that like it's a good thing, that people should view their own children--the future of our race--as "costly impediments to material success." That actually makes me feel physically ill. I suppose, though, that in a culture that elevates greed to the highest value, there's no other reason to have children, if they "no longer provide any economic benefit to their parents." Gag.

Realistic modeling, and logic error exposed.

There is a logic error that occurs when growth rate and time frame is ignored and focus is only upon the number 1 Billion.

In 1804 population hit 1 Billion and by 1927 population hit 2 Billion, a 100% increase. Agreed, but then things meander away from logic and math modeling of exponential growth as it is stated that the 3 Billion number was hit in 1960, but that was only a 50% increase of the 2 Billion hit in 1927, which is true, but speciously presented as showing a decline in growth rates, which it was not.

From 1B to 2B was over a period of 123 years, the next Billion was added over a mere 33 years, but time and actual year over year growth is ignored and instead we are given focus to the true, but irrelevant fact that each time you add 1 Billion to your new total the 1 Billion added is a smaller percentage of the total.

For quick understanding of this flaw consider that...
from 1804 to 1927 (123 years) the population doubled (from 1B to 2B).
from 1927 to 1975 (48 years) the population doubled (from 2B to 4B)... That is not a slowing of the growth rate, quite the opposite. The seconded doubling occurring in only 39% of the amount of years it took for the first doubling...quite an increase.

From 1804 to 1927 the population grew exponentially by 0.565% (Each year there were 0.565% more people than the previous year). Continuing at that growth rate; by 1960 there would have only been 2.408 Billion; 1975 would have recorded 2.621 Billion; currently we'd have 3.265 Billion; in 2050 (123 years from 1927, which was 123 years from 1804) we'd finally hit 4 Billion.

Instead we find that from 1927 to 1960 the growth rate increased to 1.236% year over year; 1960 to 2014 the growth rate has increased again to 1.65% resulting in total population by year's end to be 7.26 Billion.

If we had maintained the exponential growth rate of 0.565% we would only have 3.265 Billion by this year's end.
If we had stuck with the 1927 to 1960 growth rate of 1.236% then 2014 would end with a population of 5.823 Billion.
However, since 1960 we have been maintaining the 1.65% growth rate. This growth rate model juxtaposed against the ‘Billion Added’ milestones shows the following:
1988 population 5 Billion (real) vs 4.879 (model)
2000 population 6 Billion (real) vs 5.861 (model)
2012 population 7 Billion (real) vs 7.041 (model)
By the end of this year population will be at 7.26 Billion and the exponential growth rate modeling of 1.65% also shows 7.26 Billion.

Yes, it could be rightfully nit-picked that the GR from 1960 to 1975 was 1.935% and from 1975 to present it has been 1.54%, and thus conclude that there has been a decrease in growth rates. 1960 to 1975 was a post-world war population explosion time, however, making that span anomalous, and yet it is smoothed by the over-all 1.65% GR.

Further scrutiny shows the GR from the year 2000 to 2012 to be 1.38%, which supports the notion that there may have been a peak in the growth of growth rates and that we are in a period of declining growth in growth rates. It is not an immutable fact that this is a trend that will continue simply because it fits a bell curve and one’s ideology. It may also be anomalous and smooth out over time, however, it is valid to consider it a trend that may continue for some time and make models.

If we model it as a trend and we start at year 2000 with 6 Billion population and a GR of 1.4% which is reduced by .01% each year (The GR equals the GR of the previous year multiplied by 0.9999, i.e. 2001 = 1.3899%, 2002 = 1.3797%, etc.). we then see the following milestones:
2012 population 7.043 Billion
2014 population 7.223 Billion
2023 population 8.054 Billion
2033 population 9.005 Billion
2044 population 10.063 Billion
The 13 Billion mark doesn’t get taken out until 2077 and we don’t see the growth trend reverse into decline until the year 2144 after population peaks in 2143 at 15.871 Billion

Another model I made, which might be closest to the mark (and the ‘population growth is a lie’ crowd will appreciate), is from 1927 until 1987 a 0.01% yearly increase in the growth rate (starting at 1.236% and peaking in 1988 at 1.8554%) followed by a 0.04% yearly decrease in the growth rate. The milestones of the past and current are in sync with this model.
Population hits its peak in 2034 at 7.823 Billion at which point it slides in decline. 2044 population is down to 7.682 Billion; in 2077 it’s only 5.446 Billion; by 2100 only 3.312 Billion.
One hundred years from now only 2.2 Billion people walk the earth. By the year 2136 the population slides below 1 Billion for the first time since 1804.

Of course that trend of decline isn’t likely to persist, but if it did the year 2247 would be the year that less than 1 million people roam the big blue ball...and only 1,000 people would usher in the new year in 2316.

Brad ZimLaw

Overpopulation

It is sad to see how human beings are still trying to make things look better than they are. This world is too small for 7 billion, way too small. A population of moderately living 500 million to 1 billion is sustainable IF we turn from non renewal le resources. However, in just 300 hundred years we hav quadrupled our population and still keep growing and each of us is using more than this planet can give...with plenty of more billions of people waiting to increase their loving standard. How can you not see this? Alone the idea of trying to find excused for a high population is insane at best. The way we live, the way this so called civilization has developed over a few hundred years is a clear dead end - unfortunately, there are almost 7 billion people like you too blind to see it, to afraid to acknowledge it and to dumb to fix it...

Been around forever

"In other words, we can't blame population for problems that have been around forever."
Fair enough. I agree.

But you can blame it for problems that have NOT been around forever, like our skyrocketing CO2 concentration, mass deforestation and desertification, habitat loss due to human sprawl, pollutants like small plastic particles spread throughout the oceans, and lots of other problems that have brought countless species to extinction and threaten the existence of our own.

You could blame those problems instead on our industrial/economic practices and our attitude toward the environment, and you wouldn't be wrong, but does not our ever-increasing population create ever-increasing demands on production in order to sustain it? And do you really have hope that our current system is going to change dramatically?

it only goes along the whole

it only goes along the whole population thing. even if we do go up more than we can handle, eventually the consequences will force us into smaller numbers. i would still want to control the population numbers because it does make it harder to live due to human/ corporate greed. also it would prevent the suffering invoved in going back down by force. he just said that each time we grow we take more to double but we have been able to make that graph an exponential one, which he said isnt what it looks liek. IMO it is somewhat exponentialbut nonetheless, it's not like that will be fixed anytime soon. so while i wouldnt go ahead and say "the end is nigh!" i would tell people to start considering control.

Logic math error with presentation

There is a logic error that occurs when growth rate/timeframe is ignored and focus is only upon the number 1 Billion.
!804 population hit 1 Billion and by 1927 population hit 2 Billion, a 100% increase. Agreed, but then things meander away from logic and math modeling of exponential growth as it is stated that the 3 Billion number was hit in 1960, but that was only a 50% increase of the 2 Billion hit in 1927, which is true but then speciously presented as showing a decline in growth rates.

From 1B to 2B was over a period of 123 years, the next Billion was added over a mere 33 years, but time and actual year over year growth is ignored and instead we are given focus to the true, but irrelevant fact that each time you add 1 Billion to your new total the 1 Billion is a smaller growth.

For quick understanding of this flaw consider that...
from 1804 to 1927 (123 years) the population doubled (from 1B to 2B).
from 1927 to 1975 (48 years) the population doubled (from 2B to 4B)... That is not a slowing of the growth rate, quite the opposite.

From 1804 to 1927 the population grew exponentially by 0.565% (Each year there were 0.565% more people than the previous year). Continuing at that growth rate; by 1960 there would have only been 2.408 Billion; 1975 would have recorded 2.621 Billion; currently we'd have 3.265 Billion; in 2050 (123 years from 1927, which was 123 years from 1804) we'd finally hit 4 Billion.

Instead we find that from 1927 to 1960 the growth rate increased to 1.236% year over year; 1960 to 2014 the growth rate has increased again to 1.65% resulting in total population by year's end to be 7.26 Billion.

If we had maintained the exponential growth rate of 0.565% we would only have 3.265 Billion by year's end. If we had stuck with the 1927 to 1960 growth rate of 1.236% then 2014 would end with a population of 5.823 Billion,
However, we are maintaining the 1.65% growth rate, which, if unabated, will put global population in the year 2050 at 13.085 Billion.

You guys need a logic tester and fact checker?... ( I am thinking "YES you do!")... I am available for hire.

Fertility rate low??

I believe it is due to vaccinations. Government and other sources have told us that we constantly need the flu vaccine every year or more other vaccines so that we would live healthier lives. However, many studies [don't have sources available] have shown that these vaccines can be detrimental to one's health. For example, I read an article that the H1N1 vaccine was not necessary to take, and in fact, the developers themselves wouldn't take them because of the traces of mercury in them. [also do not have the sources available]. I believe this and other medical reasons are to blame. This is entirely my opinion though.

Don't take my word for it; I encourage everyone to conduct their own investigation.

Jungles

There's so much error in this comment it's not worth hitting all the topics, but let's stick with jungle. Because so much low-level subsistence farming is being abandoned, jungle is actually growing back at 50X the rate at which jungle is being cut down. The world's jungles are surging. Oops!

Just as a side note, structures have been discovered in the Amazon which reveal most of it was cleared for farming by pre-Columbus societies, which collapsed when South America was invaded by the Spanish and Portuguese, master killers. So the jungle is relatively recent there.

Incorrect

Hey there,

Sorry, your information is simplistic and incorrect.

First let me say that "most" of the Amazon was not cut down or used for farming. It is very easily to tell the difference between original rain-forest, and second growth. This is simply not the case. If you can find me a peer reviewed scientific paper, or even a credible news article saying this, I'll send you $100 and an apology.

Degraded rain forests are not equal to pristine native rain-forest environments. They lack the bio diversity, canopy coverage, and complexity that is necessary to support some species. In any biome you will find hardy and resilient species of plant and animal life, however, you will also find many fragile varieties. These fragile varieties are some of the species that are contributing to current extinction rates that are 1000, to 10,000 times higher than "normal". (http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/biodiversity/biodiversity/)

You are true in suggesting that there is study and debate currently going on as to whether or not these 'new forests' are capable of sustaining the global carbon regulation, bio diversity, et cetera of their counter parts, HOWEVER, the consensus is that destruction of the rainforest must be limited and controlled. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/30/science/earth/30forest.html?pagewanted...)

What you are saying is similar to the analogy of killing 150 Chinese people, but not shedding a tear because for every one killed 50 East Indian children are born. They are both human beings, but their cultures, arts, feelings, beliefs, and many other things are completely different. You cannot simply just replace them with another culture. Its a bit of a morbid example but such are the same for rain-forests. On the surface they appear to be similar, but the intricate details, knowledge, medicines, arts, and history's are lost forever.

This Earth is a living, breathing thing. If we continue to treat it badly, as we do, it will collapse. This is not a conspiracy, or a scare tactic from nerds all over the world; its simply just the truth. Currently marine ecosystems all over the world are showing signs of imminent collapse, and unfortunately for us, where marine ecosystems fail, so do their terrestrial counterparts.(http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/blue_planet/problems/problems_fishing/)

Thanks.

Overpopulation 2

Erwin Anders erwin.anders@gmail.com
Let's say we have eliminated our jungles by 2110. Do we know how much faster global-warming is going to speed-up? If so, how much land is going to be under water? How many European countries are going to be under water. By reducing fields of agriculture, is the world going to be able to feed its people? We talk and talk about the knee and its meniscus, but we forget the body. Overpopulation is not about 8-billion people or ten-billion. It is about the outcome, the result of it.
Some scientist claim that by the year cero, the planet had between 100 and 250-MILLION people, noy BILLION. By 1950 we had about 2.3 billion people. The population watch says that the LOW estimate is 7-billion. In 1995, while I was living in the USA, some scientist said that we had already 8.5-BILLION people. Does anyone know what he is talking about? One million elite economists, and nobody could predict the crisis? Scientists in the seventies predicting that by 1990 we would have no more oil. I lived in the USA while they were pushing for gun sales. Today, they wish to take arms away from people. It is as ridiculous as having a wife, but her breasts are seven inches long one day, the next only 2 inches. The next 12 inches, the next CERO inches.
We don't even know or understand "economy", but everyone continues talking like an expert.
Here David Suzuki (not the most stupid man on earth) about "economy".

<"Economists say, if you clearcut the forests and put [the money] in the bank, you could make 6 or 7 percent. If you cut down the forests and put it into Malaysia or Papua New Guinea, you could make 30 or 40 percent. So, who cares whether you keep the forest, cut it down [and] put the money somewhere else! When those forests are gone, put it in fish; when the fish are gone, put it in computers. Money doesn't stand for anything, and money now grows faster than the real world.

Economics is so fundamentally disconnected from the real world, it is destructive. If you take an introductory course in economics, the professor—in the first lecture—will show a slide of the economy, and it looks very impressive. They try and impress you, because they know damn well that economics is not a science, but they're trying to fool us into thinking that it's a real science; it's not.

Economics is [just] a set of values, and [they] use mathematical equations and pretend that it's a science. But, if you ask the economist, 'in that equation, where do you put the ozone layer? Where do you put the deep, underground aquifers? Where do you put top soil or biodiversity?', their answer is 'oh, those are externalities.' Well, then you might as well be on Mars! That economy's not based [on] anything like the real world. It's life, the web of life, that filters water, it's microorganisms in the soil that create the soil we can grow our food in…insects fertilize all of the flowering plants…nature performs all kinds of services…these services are vital to the health of the planet. Economists call these externalities; that's NUTS.">

—David Suzuki

What about that, my dear super-experts?

overpopulation

Economics aside !! There is no minamem population to this planet!
But there is a maximem ! Stop breeding like rats !

RE: "Let's say we have eliminated our jungles by 2110"

If this occurred, it would no longer matter. There would be no people left to care. This is where our oxygen supply comes from.

Overpopulation

Erwin Anders, erwin.anders@gmail.com
Overpopulation cannot be meassured just by number of people. Peru is almost three times larger than Germany, but only 3% of its land is good for agriculture. Since "jobs" are not created, people from the Andes arrive to upper jungle regions, and clear every inch of woodland they find. They also start price-speculation with land. A "state" in Peru called "San Martin", used to have 5 million hectares of the most luxurious bio-diversity. Today remain 1.3-million Has.
It is the "Pacman effect". Every "dot" (tree) vanishes. Left Peru in 1970 with 12-million people. Returned in January of 1998 with 25 million. Today: 32 million. Under-developed countries double its population every 30 years. Can you imagine Peru by 2110 with 100 to 120-million people, only 20% of today's water-supply, and not ONE single tree all the way to the Atlantic? Our planet used to be covered by 14% of rainforests. Today only 6%.
And we think people (and overpopulation) have nothing to do with it? Humanity was discovering every day a new tribe in the jungles during the 1950's and 60's. Today: "nature has to hide from humanity". Ask the fish in oceans and rivers. If you put all the plastic bottles in the Pacific ocean in the center, and take a picture from one of our satellites, it is the size of France. With a 10-billion population, plastic bottles will take the surface of twice or three times the size of France. Why do we like to live in small cans when each one of us could have an hectare to live comfortably? Even our brains would have some air.

Everyone is on a different page here.

Population growth and total population are two completely different things. It is possible for the growth rate to slow down dramatically every year and the total population still grow. As long as the growth rate is above 0 and not negative then the population will still grow. What I got from the video was that the population is not ballooning out of control due to simple math. Why people immediately started talking about Bangladesh and water bottles is beyond me. I get their point but was not what the video was trying to show. I have not seen enough facts to show me that the population will actually decline but in the US I know it will slow down a lot because the baby boomers are getting old. So that boom of growth will be a boom in decline at some point especially since people are not having babies like they used to for what ever reason you want to believe. When my parents were my age they had three kids in high school. Only one of us has a kid now and the other two are waiting for the right time AKA enough money to have kids. I am sure if I lived on a farm and didn't believe on contraception and didn't have access to so much medical care like my grandparents, all 3 of us brothers would have a whole litter of kids by now. Hell, we didn't get married until we were 30. So that in itself leads me to believe that the population will reach some sort of maximum amount. Everything in life reaches a maximum. That is how nature works. Are their too many of any species on earth? Not an opinion. I mean has in the history of the world has something taken completely over? Not that I know of. I have only heard of species dying off. Nature evens things out, always.

The Environment will be a casualty.

We already encroach on every wild habitat. The population growth may be slowing. It may not. But the size of the population is growing. We have on schedule added a billion people every fifteen years, now every twelve years. War and famine are not our only concern. I do not wish for the Earth to be one big farm used up just to sustain the insanely huge human population. Every year we lose a mile of rain forest. Why? To make room for farming. Growing crops and raising cattle takes a huge amount of space. You really think that its OK to have wall to awl people, no room for any other species except those that provide us with sustenance? I am really sorry for you. Also, the predicted population drop hasn't stopped the fact that we gain more people in a shorter period of time now then ever before. Stop lying to yourself.

Declining once 8 million

In this site you claim that overpopulation is a myth. This is because, acoording to you, the population stops growing rapidly and in fact it will decline once we reach 8 million. I wonder how you get this number and why you think this.

In your site you say your numbers are in according with UN predictions, however if you follow the link it clearly says that the world population will CONTINUE to grow to at least 10 billion by 2100 (after that it doesn't say). this is in controdiction with your claim stating the growht of people will decrease after 8 million, so please explain how you get this information and if there is any other evidence around it

How do we get this info?

Read above in our science behind the video:

"it depends on which variant you use. In our research, we’ve looked at the UN’s predictions and how they have compared with real life--and in every case the “low variant” has been the most accurate."

It is the low-variant which yields the 8 billion number, while the high variant suggests 10 billion. We went for the more accurate prediction.

This is not science

You say that the trend toward urbanization will lead to a decline in population. With an increase in standard of living they will also have increased access to contraception, an education about how to use, and an increased desire to use it. People will have sex no matter what, and unless they use contraception, they will have babies. This is not magic that happens when people move to cities--there are real reasons why they have fewer children. I wish you would mention this because you make it seem like urbanization automatically will cause population decline.

With that trend toward urbanization comes an increase in standard of living, resource consumption, and impact on the planet of those moving to the city. So in terms of resource consumption, each American today has the equivalent impact on the planet of 55 Bangladeshis. So that means the US population is the equivalent of 17 billion Bangladeshis in terms of impact on the planet. In other words, if we had a planet of 17 billion people who only consumed as much as the average Bangladeshi, they would have as much impact as the US population. If we all become urbanized, our populations might decline, but our impact on the planet will increase, so the decline in population will not matter. From these statistics we can see that it is the affluent (Americans as 5% of the world's population consuming 30% of the world's resources)who are overpopulated.

Another thing you seem to gloss over is the meaning of population growth rate decline. A negative population growth rate can only be achieved if the death rate surpasses the birth rate. Losing a total of a billion people every twenty years is a scary amount of death. Do you realize this? This number is not just 1 billion people dying every 20 years, it is the number of people being born in a 20 twenty year period (because in order for population to decline at all the deaths have to first offset the births) plus 1 billion dying in just 20 years. How will this happen without some catestrophic death event? It can't happen just from people not having as many kids. This is why overpopulation is a problem. Wake up! Your own statistics show it!

losing a billion a year

There were, as of 2008, 506 million people over the age of 65. It is not inconceivable that a few million of those will die off. With abortion numbering, annually, over a million in the US and possibly 13 million in China alone, it is possible that a billion humans can be eliminated that way. Sex-preference abortions eliminates the child bearers, so that takes care of future population. In fact, one abortion eliminates a male or female child and all its potential progeny. Thus the future is already depopulated.
The consequences of abortion: inability to subsequently get pregnant or to maintain a pregnancy; premature deaths of babies from premature births; breast cancer and suicide (particularly in China, which has the highest female suicide rate in the world) will wipe out a lot more people.
Estrogenic contraception has caused a lot of strokes, malignant hypertension, pulmonary emboli and breast cancer (it is listed by the WHO, along with asbestos and nicotine, as a Class 1 carcinogenic). The byproducts of this steroid, excreted into the world's water supply for five decades, is implicated in the increase of human prostate cancer. Progesterone containing contraceptives, have been shown to markedly increase HPV (and its potential for cervical cancer) in third world women, on whom it was, exploitively, first tested. It also has increased the numbers of women with HIV. Progesterone, also a steroid, changes the vaginal and cervical mucosa, making the user susceptible to local infections. It lowers immunity also, increasing the potential for disease to become systemic. In its most concentrated forms (Ella and RU486) progesterone has caused women to die from the fatal infection C. Sordelli.
It has been observed, for hundreds of years, that women who never have babies are at increased risk of breast cancer. Elective and mandatory sterilizations will open a woman up to this.
It is a sociopathic sisterhood and culture, that believes in 'Choice' without massive public education about the consequences of the choices made and without a nod in the direction of the third world sisters who are dying as a result of the eugenic mindset of the first world.

In reply

The point still holds that those in the city, given the different lifestyle, view having children differently. On a farm, for example, an extra hand is desirable. In a city, raising a child can come across as a huge expense, thus making the thought less desirable.

Can you offer some statistical support to your claims about Americans vs. Bangladeshis? (Also, perhaps it is the American diet that ought to change.)

People not having kids will indeed allow the deaths to offset the births. If children are not replacing their parents, the older generations, larger than the newer ones, cannot be replaced as they die. (Imagine an upside down pyramid. As each top layer is removed, the pyramid shrinks in size.)

This is science?

Why don't you tell us how population will eventually decline slowly at first, then faster? How will that happen unless people stop having children entirely--something unlikely to happen--or reach the carrying capacity of the earth, run out of resources and food because they've destroyed the planet through consumption and overpopulation, or just kill each other through war. Another possibility is a pandemic disease. Something has to change in order for population to decline rapidly, and this is why we say we are overpopulated and need to stop having children and consuming so much. We would rather get to the point of population decline without destroying our planet, having a massive destructive war, or through a pandemic. I suppose we could be just like you and not worry about it, and then we will all suffer horrible consequences. Or maybe you think this decline is just going to magically happen without humans changing anything about the way we live or without any kind of change in resource availability. If you give mice food, they will continue to reproduce infinitely. Humans are no different.

Population vs. consumption style

I will skip the mathematics of diminishing returns and go right to the point of consumption. You are correct in pointing out consumption. Food consumption is not the problem. I am affiliated with the Surfrider Foundation, which focuses on actively picking up litter and educating the public about responsible use. The plastic and polystyrene debris that has accumulated over the last 40 years alone has reached a point that no matter what part of the ocean you go to, or what beach you walk along, you will find plastic and or Styrofoam pellets. That is a separate issue to the number of people on the planet and getting food to consumers. Food does not require plastic packaging. The rising ocean waters can be desalinated to produce water for agriculture, industry, and entertainment. Polluted water can be filtered to consume. The sad fact that this page is dedicated to is that large investors and governments are not building sustainable infrastructure, such as wave generators and windmills at sea to power desalinization plants. I don't know why the US isn't on board with this. Here is a link that is quite informative on how to help fix the resource demand. If you volunteer and pick up the mess that our recent ancestors (and us) made, that will help too. We can't be complacent, but we would be suicidal to give up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination

How is food consumption not an issue???

I'm sorry... but your inability to define food consumption as an issue really shows how little science your site (and those who edit it) use.

1. currently food production and consumption generates more green house gas emissions than anything else (including all forms or industry put together). With the increasing trend in meat consumption this WILL increase per person... with an increasing population, even more so.

2. deforestation for agriculture. NO. forest is not being replaced at a faster rate. How do you define foret? technically canopy cover of over 10$ is forest... this can be achieved in a paddock. dense forest (that actually captures carbon) is being torn down every day to meet the needs of the increasing population and their consumption.

3. Transport issues

4. As stated, the most rapid population increase will be in developing nations. These regions provide food for those countries whose population in not increasing AS rapidly. Where the hell are you going to get your food from??

5. there are SO many other considerations... global sea water rise, climate change refugees. Even you admit that there will be more famine and war and disease... Apparently this is something that you are advocating for?!

In summary: Please stop spread propaganda that gives people more excuse to live beyond the Earth's capacity. Stop saying you'll skip the 'mathematics' about things you don't want to provide the facts for. People NEED and want to know the facts... even if the truth is is complicated.

Problem with overpopulayion is different..

Most ppl don't understand problem with overpopulation. It's not mainly problem with growing population. It's problem with limited earth resources. Already if every single person would live american lifestyle. Earth should be 4 times bigger than it is now. And it's already huge problem with 7 bilion ppl. What will happen when it will be 9 or 10? If developing and underdeveloped countries will continoue to increase their consumption what is their right, like americans do. Nowadays 75% world population comes from poor regions. And they want live better like rest of western world. Mother Earth simlpy can't handle this. It's not s-f. It's well known fact. American lifestyle and developing urge will literally kill our planet. We dont have much time to solve this problem. Otherwise our children will live in world of war for water, oil, and food. Best example is Rwanda Genocide. When neighbors were killing each other for their land, home or place to work. Im not pessimistic person, rather realistic. This movie shows only numbers. Nothing more nothing less. It don't shows real problem with overpopulation.

There is enough for human need but not for human greed

I went through most of the comments. Felt extremely sad that children have to be aborted because there is not enough for the living if they want to live the lifestyle of America! I wonder whether the world has not survived without the present American lifestyle! In the bargain of American lifestyle and large amount of wastage, be it food, clothing or otherwise, should the unborn child be penalised and pay the cost? Where are we going? Why can't the taxpayers amount be spent towards the propaganda against unwanted luxury than towards abortion and contraceptives? Are those great personalities who support abortion and contraceptives to help the poor, ready to shed all the extravaganza and release the funds for the education, hygiene, betterment of the poor? I am sure they already give a lot towards charity. But what if only what is humanly required is kept for self and the rest shared? Let our propaganda be pro simplicity.

Regarding the Environment

Actually, there are plenty of resources on this earth. Jacqueline Kasun presents the information well in this article.

So we´ll reach 8 billion and then fall.........

But if overpopulation is a myth, why stopping at 8 billion? Couldn´t the Earth carry say 15 billion? Or more? Whenever if starts to fall, that´s the sign overpopulation was a problem...
It is not "the only problem", and won´t solve all the other problems, but if we don´t solve overpopulation, nature will........

Answer

It depends. If the population started to decline because we had too many people and we sparked a worldwide famine, then yes, overpopulation would be the problem.

But the main problem is that people are using contraception too much and are no longer reproducing enough to replace themselves. Our low birth rate is what is causing this.

This makes sense to me but,

This makes sense to me but, do you really believe that we are going to loose so much of our futures population.
And what do you think will happen to make every just stop their population growth.

Population Shrinking

Population growth has, in a sense, already stopped in many countries. Their birth rates are below replacement level. A population cannot truly grow if it is under-producing. Population numbers appear to be growing because people are living longer. This hides the fact that they are not replacing themselves. As each older generation dies, the population will decline because the following generations keep shrinking.

Amazing

For a long time the UN has said we will peak at 9 billion. Well, at first it was 11 billion, but with the current birth dearth crisis, it appears it will never see that day. 8 billion is a lot, but considering that the population is also aging at an unprecendented rate, we will lose a greater portion of our population. That is the only "overpopulation" in this case - too many old, not enough young. Perhaps we will not even reach 8 billion with these issues.

But when I hear of students and countless others quote that overpopulation is killing our planet, it sickens me. Their fear and hysteria has provided the funding for environmental groups and has shown the true hypocrisy of the UN. To me, the only useful thing about the UN is their population statistics, and even that is quickly changing.

Thank you for standing up against environmentalism and this myth of overpopulation. For great justice.

What?

And what is wrong with environmentalism? Ok perhaps it is okay that we are 7 billion people in the earth, but we are really ignorant and we are destroying the planet, every day we take down 10 million trees each day, we fill the oceans with plastic bottles!

There is an encyclopedia

There is an encyclopedia collections worth of examples of humans' negative impact on the earth's other living things. Species extinctions, polution, scientifically proven human caused global warming. Look at the last 2 rhinocerouses of a certain species, slaughtered for their horns, for use as an aphrodisiac. As if people need to have more sex. the last 2 giant soft shelled turtles in china under armed guard at far removed zoos. Our thorough spread of every possible invasive species to unevolved ecosystems that can't handle them. Smog over every major city. Even our outer space is cluttered with our trash. Cities fighting with states over ground and river water usage. The Rio Grande no longer reaches the ocean because it is sucked up by people to grow crops in deserts that evaporate away. Overpopulation is real and it is coming whether we acknowledge it or not. Human nature will not allow a planned, eased, peaceful solution to this problem. It will be war, disease, and most of all, lack of food and clean water that will cull this herd of selfish organisms. But before this happens all of mother nature will be raped and murdered. The agent Smith of the Matrix movies had it right. We are a virus that spreads and overwhelms it's host. The earth without life is just a big rock. Every living thing on it took the hisory of the solar system to create, every extinction caused by human beings ends that line of that process forever.

But still ... is it the overpopulation?

I still think that the main question is not wether there is too much of us. Questions that we really should be asking is ... How are we managing our resources and what kind of living standards do we want on this planet. I believe there is enough food, water, discovered and undiscovered energy resources and I'm not talking about new sources of oil to sustain much more of us. The only problem that we really have is our infantile, egotistic and frightened view of life. For example. Do you really think, that we don't have enough food available to feed every and each one on this planet? But do we really want to? If we really would want to do it, don't you think we could find the way? As long as we believe that there is not enough, as long as there are people who profit from those fears, as long as there are those who can manipulate availability of the resources, we WILL have problems with overpopulation. Overpopulation of those who try to control, those who try to manipulate, those who create wars, stock crashes, debt, famine, misery, suffering ... Planet is fine. Planet can and will survive without us. The question we have to ask ourselves is: Do we want to live nicely and comfortably on this planet, or do we want something else. I don't believe that there is a global solution to our problems. Solution is individual and individual only. When enough individuals starts demanding change, change will happen.

Population growth will kill off the environment, correct?

Or do you figure that the rain forest will move into an apartment? We are already losing about a mile of the rain forest every year to help feed the growing population. So far we are still gaining a billion people every 13 years on the dot. How can you say this isn't a problem? Sure there are more people to help pay for social security. But thats nothing compared to the facts of a limited amount of fresh water, a limited amount of areas in which to grow food and to live. You honestly think a world with no grass, no forests, no wildlife, just people everywhere is worth living? We are not the only species on the Earth, buddy.

Overpopulation? What are you saying? Who lied to you?

A wise man once said, "Those who think there are too many people should offer themselves to be shot!" He also said, "If you have too many guests for dinner you don't shoot some of them, you bake more bread and we have the technology to do that!" John Lennon, after being asked about overpopulation said something to the effect, "and who do we ("developed" countries) think we are to dictate to other people that they (3rd world) are overpopulating and we will tell them how many children to have?" (look it up on YouTube).

Since I can remember, almost every "nature" documentary ended with the same quip, "such and such may have a chance as long as man/mankind does not destroy it". I say that is a very bigoted statement, lumping all people into one. As stated, corruption (lying, stealing), hoarding (greed, avarice), wars (pride, anger, envy) and even laziness (sloth) create the problems of mankind and the environment. Individuals, however, carry these acts out on a choice by choice basis and it starts with "average" people. A child starts with an innate desire to love and be loved and of course with selfishness and a propensity for all the bad things listed above. We all make choices everyday that affect the future dramatically (will we learn and teach to love and be loved or learn and teach death).

We, people, have enormous potential for creativity to solve problems if the love path is chosen. However, the highly commercialized mainstream media currently promotes the opposite. It thrives on death, division, disease and destruction as these generate fear which is used for selling commercial products. While "the media" maybe did not intend, it also produced a breaking down of love as the entertainment, like a drug, had to get stronger and stronger to keep the watchers tuned in. Instead of reaching for perfection of love it turned to the easier road of base emotions which people have a (un)natural tendency towards (our reason tells us we are meant for higher things but our senses sometimes win out).

OK, I guess I'm getting off the point to explain we must first look in the mirror to fix things and then check ourselves if love is our motivation or something else is. And don't listen to the "siren songs" of the media that cause fear, anger, etc.
As for humankind, the "nature" show that implies we are alien and a "problem" need to be rejected. We, whether we like it or not, our caretakers of this planet; we are NOT, however, beneath it or alien to it. And unless we set ourselves up, individually, as supreme judges of life and death, none of us can make the decision for a man and woman to decide how many children (and children have a right to be conceived in love and in a natural way), to bring forth into this world, be they from the USA or Bangladesh. We have new technologies and creativity (and probably resources) now and as yet unknown that can provide for our needs now and in the future.

mbv e

leij s gh oi rhogö aöh vklrkoe o bhaoi oirh aoij bnkb

population growth

Being a self centered ignorant Blind live stock, focusing your entire life on YOUR happiness and what YOU desire and being told to bang out 4 useless kids to a world you didn't care about is now the social norm across the world, And it's not going to change PERIOD lets just hope that when the stuff hits the fan it's within OUR generation So we can enjoy watching the self centered spoilt, mindless drones of our generation realize that 'No it wasn't ALL ABOUT ME' Oh it's going to be sweet when they come off from the high of their illusion and realize that the golden years have passed and aren't coming back around for a LONG LONG time, it's inevitable but i've always been raised to look on the bright side of things, and this will be a sight to behold, something not to dread, but to look forward to, it's over, you tried now just enjoy the show and applaud when they're at their worst, And tell them 'Well Done, Was It Worth It?'

Petiton

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

Do you want to contribute something to solve the biggest problem of humankind? Then sign our petition under the world's largest platform change.org:
http://www.change.org/de/Petitionen/weltweite-geburtenregelungen-verbind...

Would you like to spread these informations on your homepage, on TV and radio stations, in social medias etc und support this campaign., if possible?

The German physicist, aerospace physician, writer and television presenter Heinz Haber wrote in 1973 that a planet the size of our Earth should not be populated with more than 500 million human beings in order to maintain a harmonious balance between human beings and nature. Today (June 2013 ) we have, with (officially listed ) 7.2 billion human beings, reached more than 14 times this guideline value, and an end of this population growth is not in sight! A huge mass of unemployment and the collapse of our prosperity will be further consequences. A worldwide, mandatory birth control for all countries of Earth is urgent, if we want the impending climate catastrophe to weaken somewhat.
Even the UN IPCC has recognised the danger in its fifth World Climate Report, but played it down by only predicting a higher sea level rise than previously prognosticated. The world however is in store for an unprecedented climate catastrophe which will bring us human beings - even in Europe! - primeval conditions. According to a current campaign at the world's largest petition platform "change.org", the reasons for this are obvious, but are ignored and tabooed as a result of ignorance, cowardice and lust for might.

Quote from a proponent of the petition:
"The overpopulation of Earth is a huge disaster and shows the picture of an egoistical thinking human being who doesn't care the slightest bit about his/her environment and who has raised the fulfilment of his/her desires to be the supreme principle of his/her life. The quality of the future life of all human beings is inseparably connected with the state of nature. The unrestrained plundering, exploitation and the therewith accompanying destruction, devastation and poisoning of the soil, air and water, caused by the huge demand for foodstuffs and goods of all kind of a still explosively growing population, presents the human beings with unsolvable problems. Overpopulation is not a taboo word, rather the exact term for an excessive number of human beings brought about by an irrational and irresponsible procreation of children, and which nature can no longer cope with. There should only be as many human beings living in a country as it can also sustain from its own resources. In addition the fauna and flora must also have enough space to expand in order to fulfil their vital functions in a good functioning ecosystem. This shows that all countries of Earth are overpopulated and need to do something about it. The control of the overpopulation does not mean that human beings have to leave, and it also has nothing to do with racism, but rather it demands of the human being, regardless of his/her colour, that a reasonable birth regulation must be strongly striven for and carried out for the benefit of all human beings and all life on our planet."

With best regards from Germany
Achim Wolf