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(Slate)   World's population may soon start declining; feel free to start screwing like rabbits   (slate.com) divider line 42
    More: Interesting, incentive programs, Stony Brook University, demographic trends, Census Bureau  
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9536 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jan 2013 at 7:27 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2013-01-09 05:31:51 PM
6 votes:
World's population may soon start declining

i3.kym-cdn.com
2013-01-09 06:34:37 PM
5 votes:
The problem with this analysis, however, is that the author is making the same mistake he accuses Malthus of making: namely, making straight-line projections hundreds of years into the future regarding population growth.  At least the suggestion that human population could go to zero.  That part was pretty unbelievable.
2013-01-09 05:59:17 PM
4 votes:
This is a pretty easy fix, so how about we don't do anything to encourage the decline to stop.  Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.  The world's population is too high given our current rates of resource usage.
2013-01-09 07:59:43 PM
3 votes:

mbillips: All the low-hanging resource fruit is gone.


People say that, and it's true, we don't have easy deposits of naturally-occurring primary ores any more. However, we have something even better than that: landfill. Thousands and thousands of cubic meters of landfill.

If this world system collapses, the next renaissance will be built on our garbage.
2013-01-09 07:36:36 PM
3 votes:
You realize, if productivity goes up, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of work, so the population can shrink for quite some time without adversely affecting anyone's quality of life. Also, with fewer people chasing after the same resources, prices will go down.
2013-01-09 07:33:55 PM
3 votes:
"World's population may soon start declining"

i1126.photobucket.com
2013-01-09 08:23:35 PM
2 votes:
Some good news for a change. The world needs less people. A lot less people.
2013-01-09 08:09:30 PM
2 votes:

cold_war_relic: No one?


I think that Alfonso Cuarón did an excellent job of filming that scene and the scenes prior to it. His take on urban warfare was nasty, loud, confused and pointless. No war porn or soldier glamor shots. Just the basic depiction of organized bloodshed done with machines.
2013-01-09 08:02:50 PM
2 votes:
I'd say let it decline. It might be rough for a generation or two on the way down, but a world population of 1-2 billion could likely exist on Earth with minimal conflict almost indefinitely, especially when you consider widespread use of modern and very foreseeable technologies. We would be talking about a golden age of unprecedented length and scale.


Then just let the people of the 23rd century worry about how to get birth rates back up to a more stable level.
2013-01-09 08:02:47 PM
2 votes:

dericwater: birdboy2000: Good. More people isn't always a higher quality of life, especially with 7 billion and finite resources.

How do you know resources are finite, or even effectively finite?


Well, because the universe began with an absolute amount of energy, and eventually it will all be evenly distributed as useless, low grade background radiation, sterile rocks, and lukewarm heat. All the resources will still, you know, technically, kinda be there. They'll just be in a worthless form.
2013-01-09 07:59:57 PM
2 votes:
I've had a vasectomy so I'm getting a kick out of this.
2013-01-09 07:55:52 PM
2 votes:

Xythero: Dinjiin: GAT_00: Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.

Figuring out how to extend lifespans to 150+ years or more while keeping our bodies young is going to be one of those paradigm shifts in society that nobody living today is going to accurately be able to predict.


It's an aweful idea that I guess is inevitable. People need to dye so that new ways of thinking can emerge. What if the generation of the Salem witch trials just kept on living? Or the slave masters? Or if we were stuck with the Baby Boomers FOREVER.


I have this really bizarre feeling that if death wasn't an advantage to the overall survival of our species, we probably already wouldn't die.
2013-01-09 07:38:34 PM
2 votes:

dericwater: That 1.6 billion people will drop precipitously in the next 20 years. It will be smaller than India's population in about 30 years.


They'd better hope so, in order to keep their environment halfway stable. Thing is, they're gonna be in for a wild ride when the 100 million surplus boys become bachelors. If there's not a bloody revolution in China in 20 years I'll be very surprised.
2013-01-09 07:35:08 PM
2 votes:
About farking time. Too bad this didn't happen about 3 billion snowflakes ago.
2013-01-10 12:50:54 PM
1 votes:
The "oh no, the earth will run out of people" claims are always amusing. There are 7 billion humans on earth. About the only species we currently don't outnumber are chickens and ants. And various one-celled organisms, I guess.

Our activities have already cost many species most of their natural habitats. I think it'd be pretty goddam selfish to assume we're entitled to the rest of it to feed, clothe and house an ever-increasing number of humans.

Declining population isn't a problem. We don't need more people to buy stuff or take care of old people.
2013-01-09 11:35:26 PM
1 votes:

Betep: There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many
There's so many
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many
There's so many
There's so many of us
There's so many of us
There's so many

/Lee Ving knows


=================

Let's have a war.
2013-01-09 11:09:30 PM
1 votes:
Sustain. It needs to be the primary goal of the future.
2013-01-09 09:53:00 PM
1 votes:

Godscrack: [www.truehealthfacts.com image 350x231]


Thanks, Godscrack. I'm glad someone understands. Totally ruins the desert scenery of formerly clear blue skies to have to see that intentional pollution.
2013-01-09 09:25:29 PM
1 votes:
self correcting problem. Fewer people = Remaining people are richer = Can afford to raise more kids. Works in reverse too. Population will always hover around an equilibrium level as determined by the food supply.
2013-01-09 09:06:01 PM
1 votes:
The author notes the desire of women seeking a career as the determining factor causing the population decline in West but he misses the another important reason: Lack of jobs that pay a living wage. In the 50s and 60 it was possible for a single, male, high school grad to support a stay at home wife and at least a couple of kids. Try that today.
2013-01-09 08:20:36 PM
1 votes:

Omahawg: any farkettes want a cute, smart, slightly crazy and stubborn offspring just hit me up

i got gold in dem genes. and jeans. giggity.


*ewww*
2013-01-09 08:16:06 PM
1 votes:

Quantum Apostrophe:
Um, the Nobel Prize laureates and PhDs right here on Fark have told me (when they took a break from 3D printing trinkets and masturbating over pictures of Mars) that we don't live longer than before.


i.imgur.com
2013-01-09 08:10:05 PM
1 votes:
It seriously annoys me how every time people talk about birthrates, they get stuck on irrelevant shorterm problems.

The real question is: What is the ideal population of Earth?

It shouldn't be to small, so that pandemics or inbreeding becomes a serious risk. On the other hand it should leave plenty of space for natural resourses like rainforrests. I think 100-500 millions would be a good number.
2013-01-09 08:00:27 PM
1 votes:

StopLurkListen: theorellior: You realize, if productivity goes up, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of work, so the population can shrink for quite some time without adversely affecting anyone's quality of life. Also, with fewer people chasing after the same resources, prices will go down.

Yup. And it's not the total number of humans that are stressing the planet's resources, it's the few hundred million wealthy ones consuming the vast majority of resources. If every human consumed like the average American, well, it just wouldn't be possible, but if they did there'd be massive ecological destruction. But good luck asking Americans to do with less, since our definition of wealth is tied closely with the amount you consume. And good luck asking the Chinese or Indians to do without, as they become wealthy and want to live like the rest of the modern world.


That's not completely true. Bangladesh is an ecological hellhole, because WAY too many people live there. They've cut down most of the forest for farking FIREWOOD. This is a problem in China, India and much of Africa, too. People living a subsistance lifestyle become a plague when they get modern medicine combined with their high birth rates.
2013-01-09 07:57:05 PM
1 votes:

dericwater: But we need people as consumers to buy the stuff we make.


In the present consumer-oriented, planned-obsolescence, marketing-driven economy, sure. There's no reason it has to stay that way, though.
2013-01-09 07:56:22 PM
1 votes:
Thomas Malthus chuckles somewhere
2013-01-09 07:55:06 PM
1 votes:
Good. More people isn't always a higher quality of life, especially with 7 billion and finite resources.
2013-01-09 07:53:59 PM
1 votes:

EnglishMajor: Ok, single professional, middle-aged woman seeks blue state rabbit.

How You Doin'?

2013-01-09 07:52:58 PM
1 votes:

Dinjiin: GAT_00: Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.

Figuring out how to extend lifespans to 150+ years or more while keeping our bodies young is going to be one of those paradigm shifts in society that nobody living today is going to accurately be able to predict.


It's an aweful idea that I guess is inevitable. People need to dye so that new ways of thinking can emerge. What if the generation of the Salem witch trials just kept on living? Or the slave masters? Or if we were stuck with the Baby Boomers FOREVER.
2013-01-09 07:52:08 PM
1 votes:
If it wasn't for Latin America, Catholicism and immigration would be non-existent in the United States

/a quote from my very Catholic grandmother
2013-01-09 07:50:30 PM
1 votes:

whidbey: World's population may soon start declining

They touched on India, but didn't really address the rapid birthrates in SE Asia or most of Africa.

Kind of a WTF attempt at touchy-feeling goodness I guess. I don't get it.


Birth rates in Africa have been declining for the past 50+ years. It used to be around 7 kids per family, and now it's down to around 3. Yes, 3 is greater than the 2.2 replacement rate, but it's much smaller. That's balanced with lower child mortality and longevity.
2013-01-09 07:46:26 PM
1 votes:

theorellior: You realize, if productivity goes up, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of work, so the population can shrink for quite some time without adversely affecting anyone's quality of life. Also, with fewer people chasing after the same resources, prices will go down.


Yup. And it's not the total number of humans that are stressing the planet's resources, it's the few hundred million wealthy ones consuming the vast majority of resources. If every human consumed like the average American, well, it just wouldn't be possible, but if they did there'd be massive ecological destruction. But good luck asking Americans to do with less, since our definition of wealth is tied closely with the amount you consume. And good luck asking the Chinese or Indians to do without, as they become wealthy and want to live like the rest of the modern world.
2013-01-09 07:45:59 PM
1 votes:
No one?

www.blogcdn.com
2013-01-09 07:44:20 PM
1 votes:

dericwater: We've never had a population explosion. We had a death implosion. Lifespans have increased from 50 years in the early 1900s to 78 or higher at the end of that century. We didn't have more babies than previous generations. We just didn't die as quickly as previous generations.

And with the draconian birth control methods of China, we will see a government inducement for citizens of other countries to set up shop in China in about 20 years. That 1.6 billion people will drop precipitously in the next 20 years. It will be smaller than India's population in about 30 years.


I don't think you understand how geometric progressions work. Yeah, modern medicine increased survival rates, but of CHILDREN. Life expectancy didn't go up so much because adults live longer; it went up because children don't die like flies any more. And regardless, when you start with 2 billion people, it's really easy to get to 7 billion.
2013-01-09 07:41:19 PM
1 votes:
I would bet that we'll have a worldwide pandemic of something seriously antibiotic resistant within 20 years or so.  It'll knock off around 1-2 billion of the world's population, mostly clustered in the areas like Mumbai, or Bayonne, or anywhere else they routinely chuck corpses into the river to dispose of 'em.  Panic and social disorder will account for a few tens of millions of those deaths.
That should relieve population pressures for a while.  Of course, it will be used as a vehicle to enact stupid, evil, or religiously-based laws.  But I repeat myself.  Anyway, it will entirely be the fault of Westerners insistence on a cheap-all-meat diet, combined with helicoptery parents who demand an antibiotic every time their child gets a sniffle or an owie.  Oh, and the lawyers.  Yes, it'll be their fault, too.  Hopefully the bacteria will be selectively lethal towards members of bar associations.  One can dream.

What were we talking about again?  Schtupping?  Good Lord, I hope when the pandemic comes, it isn't an STD.  Countries be bannin' sex if that happens.
2013-01-09 07:38:38 PM
1 votes:

theorellior: You realize, if productivity goes up, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of work, so the population can shrink for quite some time without adversely affecting anyone's quality of life. Also, with fewer people chasing after the same resources, prices will go down.


Productivity can't go up, and you know it.

We were maxed out long ago.

Good luck with that.

*)
2013-01-09 07:36:06 PM
1 votes:
We've never had a population explosion. We had a death implosion. Lifespans have increased from 50 years in the early 1900s to 78 or higher at the end of that century. We didn't have more babies than previous generations. We just didn't die as quickly as previous generations.

And with the draconian birth control methods of China, we will see a government inducement for citizens of other countries to set up shop in China in about 20 years. That 1.6 billion people will drop precipitously in the next 20 years. It will be smaller than India's population in about 30 years.
2013-01-09 07:33:31 PM
1 votes:
www.capitalnewyork.com

"There will be much time and little to do!"
2013-01-09 07:31:58 PM
1 votes:
Good.
2013-01-09 07:30:52 PM
1 votes:
Enough!~
2013-01-09 07:14:36 PM
1 votes:

GAT_00: Besides, who knows what kind of technology is around the corner that could extend lifespans.


Figuring out how to extend lifespans to 150+ years or more while keeping our bodies young is going to be one of those paradigm shifts in society that nobody living today is going to accurately be able to predict.

Are we going to have a dystopian future as depicted in Logan's Run where you surrender your life at some fixed point, say 250 years? Do we add a plutocracy twist where the rich can essentially live forever by purchasing life credits as depicted in In Time? Maybe wars regarding finite resources will lead to periodic cullings that keep the population in check.  Regardless, it will mean huge changes (or lack of change) in culture and work.
2013-01-09 06:10:08 PM
1 votes:
You're welcome, world.
 
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