HUMANS: AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
BY JASON G. BRENT
Copyright by Jason G. Brent
Jan. 1, 2008, Jan.1, 2009, and July 17, 2010
BY JASON G. BRENT
Copyright by Jason G. Brent
Jan. 1, 2008, Jan.1, 2009, and July 17, 2010
- The Book Begins
- Smart Growth, Dumb Option
- Recycling has its limits
- Space Travel Not the Answer
- The Power of Compound Growth
- Declining Growth Rates Mask a Coming YouthQuake
- The Exploding Growth of the Indian Sub-Continent
- Gambling Our Future on Statistical Projections
- There Isn't any Fix for Perpetual Growth
- At Most the Earth Could Support One Billion on an American Life Style
- Doubling the Economic Output of the Planet Just to Stay Even
- The World Will Not Be Big Enough for Both Resource Hogs -- China and the United States of America
- Humanity Cannot Afford to Gamble on Voluntary Population Control
- Terrorists and the Power of Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Religion -- A Potent Force Against Population Stabilization
- Universal Voluntary Birth Control -- A Pipe Dream Humanity Cannot Afford
- The Delusional Expectations of Technological Solutions
- Environmentalism Fails to Address the Root Cause
- Triage Ethics -- Conventional Morality or Human Survival?
- The Exhaustion of Oil -- A Death Sentence for Billions
- Water Shortages
- Easter Island - A Lesson Which Humanity Must Heed
- Destruction of Productive Land and Destruction of Fisheries
- The Compound Effect of Extended Life Expectancies
- There Cannot be Any Procreative “Rights” in an Overpopulated World
- Shocking Proposals
- A Proposal as to How to Determine Who can and Who Cannot Reproduce
- The Leaders of Humanity by their Inaction Will Kill Billions of Humans
In 1942, during World War II, when Japan was about to attack India, India had an estimated population of 390 million. At that time India included what became Pakistan and Bangladesh. According to the best estimate of the US Census Bureau those countries will have a combined population of over 2.3 billion in 2050—India 1.808 billion, Pakistan 295 million, and Bangladesh 234 million for a total of 2.337 billion. If the estimate of population in 1942 is reasonably accurate and if the estimates of the US Census Bureau for the year 2050 prove to be accurate, those numbers represent an increase in population of about two billion people for just one country, in about 108 years. The combined population of those three countries in 2050 will be about six times as large in 2050 as it was in 1950---2,337 divided by 390 equals 5.99. There isn’t any rational basis to believe and there aren’t any facts to support the position that the growth of population on the Indian subcontinent will be reduced to zero after 2050. In fact, it is more than likely that the rate of growth will increase subsequent to 2050 due to the higher proportion of young people who would not have reached or just reached the age of reproduction. For the sake of argument, let us assume that the population growth of the Indian Subcontinent is cut in half—instead of growing by a multiple of six as it is projected to do in the period from 1942 to 2050, we will assume that in the century from 2050 to 2150 the growth rate is reduced to a multiple of three, a reduction of 50%. Based on that assumption, the population of the Indian Subcontinent would reach 7.011 billion people (3 times 2.337= 7.011), an increase of 4.674 billion people (7.011 minus 2.337=4.674).
Based on that explosive growth for the Indian Subcontinent ( going from about 390 million in 1942 to about 2.337 billion in 2050) , anyone who believes that humanity will voluntarily reduce population growth to zero or make it negative so that humanity can survive on this planet for any length of time has an almost impossible position to defend. In fact, the position of anyone who believes that humanity will voluntarily reduce population growth to zero or make it negative has taken a position that cannot be defended at all and has taken a position that is guaranteed to cause the destruction of humanity. (See below for a detailed analysis as to why voluntary population control will not work)GAMBLING OUR FUTURE ON STATISTICAL PROJECTIONS
The US Census Bureau’s estimate of future population growth (Exhibit 1) predicts that world wide population will grow at the rate of 1.15 percent (0.0115) in 2008 with a generally decreasing rate of growth until 2049 when it will reach 0.51 percent (0.0051). In absolute terms, the US Census Bureau predicts that world wide population will grow by in excess of 77 million (77,530,496) in 2008 with a generally reducing trend to in excess of 48 million in 2049 (48,672,925). Humanity is gambling its future on the estimates of the census bureau being generally correct—on a continual reduction in the rate of growth and a continual reduction in absolute numbers. Is that a gamble that humanity should make? To put the question slightly differently, what would happen to all of humanity if the numbers went in the opposite direction---if instead of a decreasing rate of growth, the rate of growth increased and if in absolute numbers the increase in population went from in excess of 77 million per year to in excess of 85 million per year and remained at that number until 2050? If in absolute numbers population were to increase from 2008 to 2050 at the rate of 85 million people per year there would be in excess of 10.2 billion people alive in 2050. . If population were to continue to increase at the same percentage rate for the period from 2008 to 2050 as existed in 2008 (1.15%), population would exceed 12 billion human beings in 2050. Should all of humanity gamble its very existence on a decreasing growth rate and a decrease in the absolute number of people added to the population each year? If the estimates are wrong and population increased instead of decreasing, a large portion of humanity will probably die in resource wars between now and 2050
At this point I will attempt to put the problem of exploding population into perspective. It took from the time our species evolved from the ape, say one or two million years ago, until 1950 for population to reach 2.5 billion. It will take just 100 years, from 1950 to 2050, for population to reach an estimated 9.539 billion. If those numbers are correct, population will increase by a factor of 3.81 (9.539 divided by 2.5) in just one century. That level of human growth never occurred in the past. That level of growth is completely unprecedented. If that level of growth were to continue for just one century subsequent to 2050, population would reach over 36.3 billion by 2150 (9.539 X 3.81 = 36.34) Anyone who believes the earth could support in excess of 36 billion human beings by 2150 is just plain wrong. Before that level of population was reached there would be war and war and more war resulting in the deaths of billions and the deaths would be of living breathing human beings and not embryos or fetuses.
At the time Columbus sailed in 1492 neither he nor anyone else in Europe even considered the possibility that the continents of North and South America existed. How would humanity function in the 21st century, if his belief were correct? Could the planet support the current 6.7 billion human beings without the food and other resources of the Americas? Could the present 6.7 billion people exist without the grain from Argentina and the USA? Could the earth support 6.7 billion people without all of the plant foods from the Americas which are used today around the entire planet? How would all of humanity function today without the oil, iron ore and other minerals which come from the Americas which are used by all of humanity? The answer is very simple and very clear—the planet could not support the 6.7 billion of us without the food and other resources of the Americas. If, as Columbus and every other European believed, the continents of North and South America did not exist, humanity would have had a catastrophic reduction in population before it reached 6.7 billion human beings because of the lack of resources. As there are no new worlds to discover, there are no new worlds to provide resources for the benefit of humankind. We are stuck on the planet earth with a finite amount of resources that will be used up. The question is—how long until humanity destroys itself? I ask anyone who believes that population growth can continue, to set forth how the present 6.7 billion human beings could survive on this planet without the resources of North and South America. While at this time I do not have evidence to support the following statement, it is very likely that humanity has used more of the earth’s irreplaceable resources in the last 50, or less years, than humanity has used since humankind evolved from the apes.THERE ISN’T ANY FIX FOR PERPETUAL GROWTH
No argument can change the fact that the earth is finite and, therefore, resources are not infinite—they are limited and will be exhausted at some time in the future. Humanity must understand, if it wants to exist on this planet for even a short period of time, that it must treat the resources the earth can provide as a person would treat a bank account. If a bank account pays 4% interest per year and the owner withdraws 5% per year eventually the bank account balance will be reduced to zero. If a person wants his/her money in the bank to last, he/she cannot withdraw each year more than the interest paid by the bank. If humanity wants the resources of the earth to last, for even a short period of time, humanity cannot use (withdraw) more resources than the earth can replenish each year. No new technology or environmental act can change that fact. New technologies can increase the amount of resources the earth can provide annually to support humankind, but only by a limited amount. New technologies can reduce the amount of a resource needed for a unit of production, but only up to a limited point. New technologies will never increase the amount of resources the earth can provide to infinity and new technologies cannot reduce the amount of resources needed for a unit of economic production to zero. Increasing population will always overwhelm new technology. If new technologies permitted the earth to support 20 billion human beings, population growth would have to cease at that point because if it did not cease and population continued to grow to 30 billion human beings there would be resource wars due to the lack of resources. If new technologies were then developed which permitted the earth to support 30 billion human beings, at that point population growth would have to be reduced to zero because if population continued to grow above 30 billion people resource wars would become inevitable.AT MOST THE EARTH COULD SUPPORT ONE BILLION ON AN AMERICAN LIFE STYLE
The USA has about 4.6% of the world’s population (306 million divided by 6.7 billion) and uses about one-third of the resources of the planet. (Some experts take the position that the Americans only use between 25% and 30% of the earth’s resources. While there may be a small disagreement about the usage of resources by the Americans, the principle remains the same.) If everyone on the planet used resources (assuming no additional resources were used) in the same manner as the population of the USA, the earth could support only three times the population of the USA or only 918 million people. It is highly unlikely that additional resources could be used on an annual basis without destroying the ability of the planet to support human life for even a very short period of time. Therefore, we have to assume that no additional resources can be used on an annual basis and that the maximum population which the earth can support at the American standard of living is 918 million human beings. For the sake of argument, assume that the standard of living is reduced and the efficiency of usage is increased by a combined factor of four, that assumption would mean that the earth could support a maximum of 3.67 billion people, far below the current population of 6.7 billion people. The only way for the planet to support the current level of 6.7 billion is for a reduction in the standard of living and an increase in the efficiency of usage to reach a combined factor greater than 7. There cannot be any dispute that a substantial portion of the rest of humanity would like to achieve the American standard of living—use the resources of the planet at the same level as those resources are used by Americans. Based on the facts, math and concepts set forth in this paragraph, a strong argument can be made that a population level greater than 918 million will result in resource wars. Therefore, a strong argument can be made that humanity must take immediate steps to reduce the population of humanity to 918 million or below.DOUBLING THE ECONOMIC OUTPUT OF THE PLANET JUST TO STAY EVEN
According to the estimate of the US Census Bureau the human population of the world is estimated to increase by over 42% by the year 2050---to go from the current 6.707 billion to 9.539 billion. That means that just to stay even there would need to be an increase in the number of autos, trucks, trains, airplanes, farm tractors, pants, dresses, drugs, hospitals, x-ray equipment, houses, roads, bridges, TVs, radios, phones, computers, fertilizer, clean water, food, electrical generation, oil pipelines, gas pipelines, sewerage treatment plants, etc., of 42% by the year 2050, if the ratio between these items and people remains consistent. If we take into account the number of vehicles that will wear out one or more times between now and the year 2050, the number of those vehicles which will have to be produced is beyond imagination. Assuming international trade remains at the same level in relation to the increase in population, the number of ocean going vessels would have to increase by 42%. Again, taking into account the number of vessels which will wear out and have to be replaced one or more times between now and 2050, the number of new vessels which will have to be produced becomes exceedingly large. Even with recycling, the question arises---will there be enough iron ore and other resources to permit the necessary level of manufacturing to provide the replacements? The number of dwelling units will have to be increased by 42%. and the things that go into dwelling units will have to be increased by 42%. In simple terms, just to stay even everything used or produced by humanity would have to be increased by 42%. And none of these numbers include the increase in standard of living of China, India, America and the rest of humanity.
It is highly unlikely that the United States will be able to increase production by any amount, let alone the amount needed to satisfy the needs of the growing US population. According to the analysis done by Chris Clugston, architect of the “Societal Over-Extension Analysis” the production of 87% of the minerals and metals essential to the functioning of America’s industrial economy have peaked and it will be difficult, if not impossible, to increase their production in the future. The inability to increase production is not due to finances or ineptitude, but rather due to the fact that nature has limitations—resources are finite and the US and all nations of the world have already used the resources which are easiest to obtain.
The estimated growth in population from 2008 to 2050 is over 2.8 billion human beings (9.539 minus 6.707=2.832). Since the human population was only about 2.5 billion in 1950, the projected increase in population of 2.8 billion means that in just 42 years humanity will have to construct more homes than were in existence on the entire planet in 1950; increase the electrical power output in just 42 years by an amount greater than the world’s entire electrical output that existed in 1950; build more roads and bridges than existed on the entire planet in 1950; increase public transportation by an amount greater than all the public transportation that existed in1950; in just 42 years build more airports than were on the entire planet in 1950; more than double the amount of food the entire planet produced in 1950; in just 42 years more than double the amount of clean drinking water that is available to all of humanity no matter the location of every person; etc. I could go on listing, at a minimum, hundreds of different things that humanity would be required to do just to stay even. Hopefully, you get the idea! And nothing in this paragraph takes into account the growing demands of China, India and the rest of the nations on the planet due to an increased standard of living. A very strong argument can be made that the increased demands placed on the resources of the planet by the increasing standard of living of humanity combined with the projected increase in population, humanity will destroy itself prior to 2050. We are betting the survival of humanity that in just 42 short years humanity will be able to more than double everything that existed on the earth in 1950 and that the earth can provide the necessary resources for that doubling. Nothing in this paragraph takes into account the resources which were used between 1950 and 2008.
Let us look at some economic numbers and consider what those numbers are telling humanity about its future. In constant inflation adjusted 2004 dollars, Gross World Wide Product (GWWP) went from 7.1 trillion in 1950 to 55.9 trillion in 2004, an increase of almost 7.87 times. GWWP is roughly equivalent to Gross Domestic Product, but for the entire world. It should be noted that it took from the time civilization started, say 10,000-20,000 years ago, to 1950 for GWWP to reach 7.1 trillion and it took only 54 years to increase to 55.9 trillion. Since GWWP is closely correlated with the usage of resources, we can assume that resource usage increased dramatically after 1950.
While an increase in GWWP provides greater food and other items for all of humanity, it also indicates that humanity is using the resources of the planet at a rate that cannot be sustained even for a relatively short period of time. Since world wide population grew only 2.56 times from 2.5 billion in 1950 to 6.4 billion in 2004, and since during the same period the GWWP increased by a factor of 7.87 it can be seen that the per capita usage of resources has increased dramatically. If GWWP represents usage of resources ( and it does represent usage of resources), it can be argued that the average per capita increase in the usage of resources was 307% in the 54 years form 1950 to 2004 (7.87divided by 2.56 =3.07). Humanity must consider the effect on its future when both total and per capita resource usage has increased so dramatically in such a short period of time. While I do not have numbers after 2004, it is likely that the trend continued for both total and per capita usage. No, that is not correct. It is almost absolutely certain that both total and per capita usage dramatically increased subsequent to 2004 due to the explosive economic growth of China and India.
In the previous paragraph I presented a calculation which made the argument that the per capita usage of resources for all the humans on the earth increased by 3.07 times (307%) from 1950 to 2004. For the purpose of this calculation, I will make the reasonable assumption that the per capita usage of resources continues to increase for the period 2004 to 2050. If we assume that the per capita usage of resources for the period 1950 to 2050 was only 5.5 times (550%) (a very reasonable assumption since it increased by 307% in the period from 1950 to 2004) and if we combine that number with the projected/predicted/estimated increase in population of 3.81 times (381%) we can get an estimate of the additional burden placed on the earth by humanity from 1950 to 2050, a very, very short 100 years. Multiplying those two numbers, an argument can be made that the additional burden humanity will place on the resources of the earth over that very short period of time would be almost 21 times (5.50 times 3.81=20.96). If the assumptions and projections are reasonable, it would mean for every unit of resources used in 1950, almost 21 units of resources would be used in 2050 due to the combined effect of the increase in population and the increase in per capita usage of resources. Humanity is destroying the planet at a rate that will lead to the destruction of the human species in a very, very short period of time.THE WORLD WILL NOT BE BIG ENOUGH FOR BOTH RESOURCE HOGS---CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Nightline (2000): CIA & Pentagon: Overpopulation 1/2
Nightline (2000): CIA & Pentagon: Resource Wars 2/2
China’s economy has grown for the last 26 years at the annual rate of 9.5% and is very likely to continue to grow at an extremely high rate. China’s economy has probably been the fastest going large economy in the world, on a consistent basis, for the last decade or more. According to a report issued in July 2008 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, China’s total economy will surpass the total economy of the United States by 2035 and will be twice its size by the middle of the century (2050). Since the US uses about one-third of the planet’s resources, if China’s economy were to equal that of the US on a total basis and if the Chinese were to use resources at the same rate as the US, between them they would use two-thirds of the planet’s resources. To put it very bluntly in a manner that everyone and anyone will understand, that will not and cannot happen. The rest of humanity will not permit those two countries to use two thirds of the resources of the planet. Anyone who believes that humanity can increase the usage of the planet’s resources on an annual basis to satisfy the demands of China, the USA and the rest of the world without leading to the destruction of humanity has no understanding of our planet and the resources it can provide.
Humanity cannot wait until 2035 to take action regarding China’s increasing demand for the resources of the planet. Every second China’s demand increases! That demand will not stop and any action taken by the United States or anyone else will not make it stop or even slow it down. If the projections set forth in the report issued by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace prove to be correct and if the economy of China is twice the size of the economy of the United States in 2050, just 42 very short years from now, those two countries will consume all of the resources which the earth can produce on an annual basis leaving nothing for India, Europe and the rest of the world. War must occur prior to 2050 as China and the USA will not be permitted by the rest of humanity to consume all of the resources of the earth.
If that probability does not frighten you, let us examine the situation from a different point of view. If China’s economy were to equal the economy of the US on a per capita basis and if China were to have a population of only 1.424 billion, the US Census Bureau’s estimate, let us review China’s consumption of resources---- China would consume 1.352 billion tons of grain equal to 66% of the total grain harvest of the entire world in 2004 of 2.0 billion tons; China would consume 181 million tons of meat equal to 75% of the current meat production of 239 million tons; China would use 90 million barrels of oil per day exceeding the world’s current output of 82 million barrels; China would use 2.8 billion tons of coal exceeding the earth’s current production of 2.5 billion tons; China would use 511 million tons of steel which is more than the current consumption of the entire Western world; China would use 303 million tons of paper almost double the earth’s current output of 157 million tons; and lastly China would have 1.1 billion automobiles. Nothing short of war will prevent China’s economy from equaling the economy of the USA in the very near future.
The rest of the nations of the world will not permit the United States and China to use all, or almost all, of the resources that our planet can produce on an annual basis. What are the alternatives? Can America and the rest of the world stop China’s economic growth? Can America and the rest of the world say to the Chinese people you cannot consume resources at the same level as the American people—you are second class citizens of the world and the Americans have a God given right to the world’s resources and there isn’t anything you can do about it? Remember that the Chinese have weapons of mass destruction and the ability to deliver them any place on the planet. The answers to these questions are self evident and don’t need any discussion.
A number of additional questions must be asked and answered. Will our planet be able to supply the resources which China will need on an annual basis? If the planet could supply the resources China must have on an annual basis, how long would the earth be able to continue that supply—how long before the earth’s resources are exhausted?
Again remember I am only discussing China and the Chinese people. I am not considering India and the rest of the world. What would happen to the environment if the demands were satisfied? Would there be enough fresh water to produce the grain required by the expanded production? What about the rest of humanity? How long could the soil of the world support the production of food and the number of grazing animals necessary for the meat production? I could list 50 or more questions which will need to be answered. However, the questions set forth above should give any thinking individual a shock.
Something to consider about the future of China—in the first three months of 2009 China purchased more new cars than the USA and there is every indication that in the future China will continue to purchase more new cars than the USA or any other country on the planet.HUMANITY CANNOT AFFORD TO GAMBLE ON VOLUNTARY POPULATION CONTROL
There are two and only two questions which need concern us--- when will population and/or economic growth cease or become negative and how will the cessation of growth happen? There are two and only two ways population growth will cease or become negative, violently or non-violently. There are no other possibilities. Non-violently as used above means that population growth will cease by the intelligent actions of humanity before the cessation of growth by violence. Non-violently can be divided into two sub-categories--- a) by all of humanity voluntarily agreeing to stabilize and/or reduce population or b) by having society impose a limit on population growth, such limit being enforced by sanctions---coercive population control.
A number of experts believe that population growth will be stabilized not by violence, but by apathy—starvation, disease or other similar factors leading to apathy. I disagree with those experts. If massive starvation were to happen in a country the leaders of that country would be forced to lash out irrationally (start a war) to obtain the food necessary to prevent massive starvation and the collapse of the social order. If a government did not act to prevent massive starvation and the death it caused, the people would revolt and the social order would collapse. Apathy works for animals which curl up and die. While some humans would become apathetic, many would not and those who would not become apathetic would cause the destruction of the social order with their demands. While starting a war may not obtain the resources a country needs to survive, the leadership of that country would have no choice as the citizens would demand action of some type. I have been asked, what would happen if a country in the middle of Africa and all of its neighbors were facing massive starvation—how would that situation cause a world –wide catastrophe? While I cannot provide a specific answer to that question, I know the situation would be very unstable and something would happen which would have world-wide consequences.
Some of the people who claim that voluntary population control will solve the population problem point to something known as the “demographic transition”. Some years ago a study was done about how the populations of nations evolve. That study claimed that the population of nations evolved in four stages.
- First stage—high death rate and a high birth rate such that the population remains stable at a relatively low level.
- Second stage—the death rate substantially falls, but the birth rare remains high---population rapidly grows.
- Third stage---the birth rates substantially falls bringing the two rates into relative balance.
- Fourth stage—due to the assumed fact that both rates are generally in balance, the population stabilizes at a much higher level than in first stage.
Humanity must not rely on the concept of demographic transition for the following reasons:
- The fourth stage does not guarantee that population will stabilize at zero or negative growth. If the forth stage merely stabilized at a very low level of growth, that would not solve the population problem. Rather it would merely delay the requirement that humanity solve the population for a few years. Since population grows in a compound manner and since compound growth is the most powerful force in the universe, any level of growth will lead to the near term destruction of humanity. As set forth herein, if the population growth rate were reduced to one-tenth of one percent (0.0010) population would double in about 700 years. If that rate of growth continued for just 7,000 years there would be ten doubling and population would increase by a factor of 1,024. Instead of having of current population of 6.7 billion, the population of humanity would exceed 6.7 trillion. Now to be more realistic! The earth could never support a doubling of the human population and that doubling would occur in about 700 years, if population growth were reduced to the miniscule amount of one-tenth of one percent. In about 2,100 years, about the same length of time from the birth of Jesus to the present, there would be eight doubling and the population would exceed 53 billion of our species (8 X 6.7 =53.6). Only an insane person would assume that the earth could support in excess of 53 billion human beings. NO PERSON ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH CAN GUARANTEE THAT THE “DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION” WILL REDUCE POPULATION GROWTH BELOW ONE-TENTH OF ONE PERCENT AND KEEP IT BELOW THAT LEVEL FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.
- There isn’t any guarantee that the stabilization will remain in existence for any length of time.
- A number of recent studies indicate that upon a society reaching a certain level of affluence the population again starts to increase
- As shown herein, the earliest humanity could reach the replacement of fertility (stage four) would be 2050 and that would result in the population not stabilizing until 2120 at a level that could not be supported for any length of time.
- A number of studies have shown that the concept of demographic transition is a fallacy---it does not seem to be presently working in the middle east.TERRORISTS AND THE POWER OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
Weapons of mass destruction are now available to about 8-10 nations. It is highly likely that such weapons will become available, in the near future, to many additional nations, non-national groups, religious fanatics and terrorists. Humanity cannot afford the gamble that weapons of mass destruction will be used when the social order collapses due to population and/or economic growth that the earth cannot support.
Few people realize the power of H-bombs. The A-bombs which were dropped on Japan had the equivalent of about 20,000 tons of TNT. Modern H-bombs have the equivalent of 12-15 million tons of TNT, an increase of between 600 and 750 times. According to one report, Russia exploded an H-Bomb with the equivalent of 50 million tons of TNT. While I am not an expert on the destructive power of H-bombs, I believe that one modern H-bomb would kill everyone within 5,000 square miles and would destroy all property within the same area. One properly placed H-bomb would kill everyone in New York City and reduce to complete rubble all, or almost all, of the buildings in New York City. The fallout would probably kill millions of people on Long Island.
Based on the fact that a number of industrialized nations have reduced their population growth to zero or even to a negative number and based upon other concepts, some demographers have predicted that world wide population will stabilize at around eight billion before the year 2100. On the face of it there are two major problems with that position. First problem—there isn’t any research which supports the proposition that if population stabilized at eight billion the earth could support that number of human beings for a reasonable length of time at a standard of living which would not cause wars. Or to put the problem more simply—eight billion too high for humanity to survive for any reasonable length of time at a standard of living which will prevent wars? Second problem---Humanity is betting its survival on the prediction being accurate. If population did not stabilize at eight billion and forever remain at eight billion or lower but continued to grow, humanity would be destroyed. I don’t believe it is in the best interest of humanity to bet its survival on the prediction that population will stabilize at eight billion. For humanity to bet its survival that the planet could support eight billion would be very unwise as other experts believe that the planet cannot support a population greater than one or two billion human beings for a reasonable length of time. In fact, some experts believe the sustainable number of human beings is far lower, in the area of less than 500 million. No one knows which group of experts will be right, or even if either group will be right. However, we are discussing the survival of humanity and if humanity makes the wrong choice our entire species will be destroyed. One and only one war with weapons of mass destruction will destroy humanity or at least destroy civilization as we know it. Humanity cannot afford to make a wrong choice. Humanity must take the course of action least likely to result in a war with weapons of mass destruction.
How do people, businesses and governments determine a course of conduct? First, they determine the chance of a future event happening and then they determine the harm or benefit which would accrue if that event occurred. Since humanity will be destroyed if the wrong decisions are made, humankind must err on the very conservative side. Humankind cannot afford to make the wrong decisions—nations, fanatics and others have or will have in the very near future weapons of mass destruction which could wipe humanity off the face of the earth. Anyone who doubts that humanity is at a crossroad and that the future destruction of our species is close at hand should just read the daily newspaper or listen to the daily news media. If a course of conduct taken by humanity has even a one, two or three percent chance of being wrong, humanity cannot afford that course of conduct—if a wrong decision is made our species is doomed. Any course of future conduct taken by humanity must reduce the risk of the destruction of our species to as close to absolute zero as possible. To gamble that humanity will voluntarily control population and economic growth for any period of time is too high a risk.
The only future course of conduct that reduces the chance of the destruction of humanity to as close to zero as possible is to immediately undertake a course of conduct that reduces population—negative population growth As shown herein a voluntary reduction in population growth to zero or to a negative number will not be achieved in time to prevent the destruction of humanity and would probably never be achieved. Imposed or coercive population control is the only way population growth will be reduced to zero or made negative in time to prevent the destruction of humanity. Almost, without exception, every intelligent/rational person on the face of the earth understands that for humanity to survive population growth must be reduced to zero. I do not know of one single rational person who believes that the earth can support 500 billion human beings. Population growth must be stopped at some point in time if humanity desires to survive on this planet. However, there is a disagreement as to the method of stoppage—voluntary or imposed/coercive population control and there is a disagreement as to whether population growth has to be made negative or will zero growth suffice and there are many disagreements as to when zero or negative growth must be achieved to prevent the destruction of our species.
We must now consider facts that cannot be challenged, which facts bring into question the prediction of some demographers that humanity will voluntarily stabilize worldwide population at eight billion or lower by 2100. The facts set forth below show that humanity will never voluntarily reduce its population growth level to zero on a world-wide basis or even if humanity were able to voluntarily reduce population growth to zero, humanity would never voluntarily maintain that zero growth level as long as humanity existed on the planet. Every living thing, including humanity, has always produced, on average, more individuals than the environment could support causing a struggle for existence. In order for the experts who believe that humanity is going to voluntarily stabilize population at eight billion to be correct, all of humanity would have to voluntarily reduce the level of reproduction to zero growth and it would have to remain at that level for as long as humanity existed on the planet. The important words are”as long as humanity existed on the planet.” At no time in the future could population increase as that would void the prediction of a stabilized population. In order for population to be voluntarily stabilized or reduced every group, nation, religion and even every family and individual would have limit their reproductive ability. Reproduction is skewed in favor of population growth. A male can father almost an infinite number of children; a woman can have 10 or more children. Within the last few months a woman in the US had her 19th child. A woman cannot have minus children to bring the average number of children down to two. If a woman had 10 children, it would require that four other women have zero children to bring the average down to two children per woman. If a woman had eleven children, that would require nine other women to have only one child to bring the average down to two children per female. Since compound/geometric/exponential growth is so powerful and over whelming, a single very small group which did not control its growth would destroy the delicate balance between groups resulting in population exploding and destroying all of humanity. For example—if a group of just 10 million (less than two tenths of one percent of the current population) were to grow at the compound rate of one percent a year, its population would exceed the current population of the world in about 750 years. Two side comments—to the best of my knowledge between them Osama Bin Laden and his father had over 60 offspring---in February 2010 an orthodox Jewish woman died at the age of 93 leaving about 2,000 ( that number again 2,000) living descendants, according to an article in the New York Times.
[Continued: Religion - A Potent Force Against Population Stabilization]