Saturday, 11 December 2010

The myth of over-population

We are not over-populated; do the maths.


Anonymous said...

Well I do think the world isn't over populated and wont be for quite some time.

But that youtube clip was non-sense.
He says we are not over populated because the whole world can fit with a house and garden in an area the size of Texas.

Not the issue.
The issue is, is there enough farmland capable of producing enough food to feed the current world population.

Its often stated that an average family with 2-3 children need 3 acres to be self sufficient, but that is prime agricultural land. If you lived in an area not as good for growing, half way up a mountain for example you would need a lot more land to survive on.

Modern agriculture is based on oil,
fuel for tractors, some derived fertilizers.
If we really are reaching peak oil (personally I doubt it) we do have a big problem.

Britain is already over populated.
We can only produce enough food for 45 to 50 million people at best.
Currently we don't produce that much, and instead import a large proportion of food.

Nat said...

As stated in the previous comment, the video is very misleading. We live on a finite planet and there are many signs that we are pushing ecosystems hard, too hard to secure a decent future for 7 billion individuals or more. As stated in the previous comment, we need prime farmland which increasingly scarce due to high rates of soil erosion, but also a stable climate, enough fresh water, healthy oceans (currently under threat from overfishing, acidification, excess pollution, and rapid warming). We've also built a society on cheap fossil fuel and apparently the age of cheap oil is over (look it up on the ASPO site or the Oil Drum site). To say we have challenges is a gross understatement and I wish people really did the maths of how much we are consuming and expect to consume in the future along with the aspirations of the BRIC countries.