I reckon we are due a population drop - only question is how

#1
The gist of the argument is this. Over the last 2000 years (selected because it's a nice round figure and nothing more) there have been boom and bust periods of the overall human population. Isolated famines, wars, disease have all played their part in reducing the overall number but recently the population number has only gone up.

I remember an article about the cycle of fox and rabbit populations, which if you plotted out the numbers of each in a certain area would follow an almost sine wave cycle with the two actual populations being slightly out of phase. With a small number of foxes, rabbit numbers grow. With more rabbits to eat fox numbers grow. As more rabbit numbers get eaten their population drops and with less food, well you can guess the last part.

We've had a couple of notable diseases that could have triggered another Spanish flu type epidemic but they never came to much (although if you read the headlines the anti-vaxxers are determined to spread measles far and wide). Natural disasters may be successful but they are pretty localised. We seem to be pushing the boundaries of food production to a point that a bad season will make it a lot more expensive to get your smashed avocado for breakfast but no riots on the streets yet, and for all the bluff and bluster I don't see civil insurrection spreading across borders for a while.

So are we overdue a dip in overall global population, and if so, how?
 
#3
So are we overdue a dip in overall global population, and if so, how?
Those that apparently know best are still preaching Growth Growth Growth. Which of course means continued population growth.

Oblivious to the fact that infinite growth on a finite planet is a recipe for fookin disaster.

I do not know how or when, what I do know is that when it happens, it will be swift and brutal.
 
#4
No because: -
There are huge areas of the planet that are not currently farmed effectively that could be.
The current population is insufficiently well educated to control its own fertility to a stable state.
Disease control is far far better than was in 1918, not least because we don't have major war going on.
 
#5
Those that apparently know best are still preaching Growth Growth Growth. Which of course means continued population growth.

Oblivious to the fact that infinite growth on a finite planet is a recipe for fookin disaster.

I do not know how or when, what I do know is that when it happens, it will be swift and brutal.
While in once sense your answer is obviously correct, it is a finite planet, there are few indicators that we are anywhere near the tipping point. The biggest problem is probably the upsurge in simple minded fundamentalist religious belief, which tends to denigrate science and promote breeding like rabbits, but the evidence from data like the national census shows that once people become educated and for want of a better term 'Westernised' their breeding rate generally drops. The UK for example is currently not replacing it's population by breeding.
 
#7
While in once sense your answer is obviously correct, it is a finite planet, there are few indicators that we are anywhere near the tipping point. The biggest problem is probably the upsurge in simple minded fundamentalist religious belief, which tends to denigrate science and promote breeding like rabbits, but the evidence from data like the national census shows that once people become educated and for want of a better term 'Westernised' their breeding rate generally drops. The UK for example is currently not replacing it's population by breeding.
That is what underpins the open borders policy such as in Germany.

Going so well....
 
#8
I think this guy might have had a good idea where tipping points were at.



Take your pick from whatever source you think is unbiased.
Given the guy was a cosmologist his opinions on human population growth are frankly as good as my [as a biochemist] opinions on cosmology. That the headline talks about leaving the planet amuses me, where are we going to.
 
#11
If the west stopped vaccinating and feeding everyone in third word crap holes, that might go someway towards dropping the population.
Why should the west help those who won't help themselves?

Bleeding heart tossers.
 
#14
I read an article some years ago which put forward the idea that over-population was in part caused by the lack of major and World Wars and the eradication of diseases.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
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#16
I would agree. Joe Haldeman posited it as a long overpopulation control mechanism in the 70s in The Forever War.

But he didn't count on their human rights to adopt or have surrogates.
 
#18
No because: -
There are huge areas of the planet that are not currently farmed effectively that could be.

Food production is something of a red herring and whilst we can grow more food / distribute it better is the constant refrain . (Ignoring the loss of bio diversity arguments surrounding increasing agricultural land)

Parts of Africa will soon be in trouble because they are using far more water than they get - In good years they are at negative water in the aquifers . Improved agricultural techniques and increased farm area aren't going to help with the acute water shortages.


Trump could probably save a fortune on that wall - by reducing water usage to agriculture , cities etc and allowing the Rio Grande to be a big river rather than a small muddy stream for most its length
 
#19
Within 100 years every remaining human will be in an inter-racial, same-sex relationship and sperm counts will have dropped to an unsustainable level. Robots will have developed a monopoly to manufacture humans in petri dishes and will control supply to maintain healthy auction prices. The robots will also have developed a futures market for humans traded alongside the usual commodities platforms.
 
#20
Watch the film Idiocracy to see the future.

A good old war isn't the solution as the truly moronic, fat and feckless wouldn't be on the front line anyway and they'd survive.

Removing safety warnings from everything would help, and licences to have children dependent on IQ and resources to raise successfully.

Cut all aid to the third world and let nature take its course.

Hard answers to a hard question.

Next!
 

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