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CHAT: population pressures [was Re: Interesting concultural ideas]

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, December 9, 2001, 6:16
Quoting Joe Hill <joe@...>:
> Why would they need that much energy? > in 35 years, the world population will be 10,000,000,000 people, with > the population going up about 100,000,00 per year. > > In 1971, the world population was only 4,000,000,000 people, with the > population going up only 50,000,000 people a year. This means that in > 65 years, the population increase doubles. > > in 650 years, the population increase will be 51 billion people a > year, maybe more. If we take this, then in 650 years, the world population > will be 6660 billion people, witha population growth rate of 51 billion > people every year. > > Think how it would be in several thousand years.
All of that assumes that the rate of increase of live births stays constant, but in fact, there is a great fear of a population *crash* in the next century. Just look at Europe: in almost all the European countries, the fertility rate of women is *way* below the normally accepted replacement rate of about 2.09 children per woman. This is widely expected to become a worldwide phenomenon in the next 100 years. If that assumption is valid, it will mean that the world population will likely stop increasing around 8 or 9 billion people, and will from then on start a steady *decline*. But the reality is that it's nearly impossible to make predictions about what kind of population pressures there will be even a relatively short time into the future, because there are simply way too many variables that need to be accounted for. A minute change in any of the variables from the one used by the model could totally alter both the locus and the time of change in population. As proof, look again to Europe. Europe had a similar malaise starting right around WWI, and the birthrate continued to drop through the 1930s, which is why the governments tried all sorts of natalist policies to get people to have more children. Then came the WWII, which killed lots of people, but was also followed by a massive increase in the birthrate for about a decade or so. It is unlikely that anyone in 1900 could have forseen a cataclysmic war like WWI, but probably impossible for them to have forseen WWII that resulted from WWI, and then the birthrate increase thereafter. ===================================================================== Thomas Wier <trwier@...> <> "...koruphàs hetéras hetére:isi prosápto:n / Dept. of Linguistics mú:tho:n mè: teléein atrapòn mían..." University of Chicago "To join together diverse peaks of thought / 1010 E. 59th Street and not complete one road that has no turn" Chicago, IL 60637 Empedocles, _On Nature_, on speculative thinkers