Essential questions I have, can you assist me?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by jsv416, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. jsv416


    I am interested in others take on questions I have:

    1) Has the carrying capacity of the earth in regards to human population already been reached? ( I know there is no certain way to answer this, but I am interested in others views) If not, when will it be reached. Earth is a closed system, how many more people can it hold before resources available cannot keep up (food, water,energy) and the only possible solution is 1) mass depopulation or 2) mass economic destruction to reverse growth.

    2)Have the limits of economic growth been reached under our current economic reliability on oil. This is not a question of peak oil but a question of peak economic growth in relation to how much energy is available currently and within the forseeable future. Is this a possibility for the underlying reason for the large sell-off of most markets in the recent past?

    Obviously not cheery subjects, but they are a reality nonetheless. I am curious on others take on these issues. I am not here to argue others points, only to realize what other possibilities there are.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  2. 1) Definitely no - there is still a huge potential for more food production, especially for Argentina, Brazil and Russia. Then there are technologies and progress which make deserts possible to retain nutrients and make agriculture possible to reverse the increasing desert-formation problem - this is especially interesting for Africa - but mostly on a humanitarian footing. Although, especially for Europe it is also of economic importance. However, peace and stability is most important.

    2) No - growth for humanity and economies is limitless. Alternative energies and other commoditizations are possible to further excel growth. Expansion into space will be a necessity in some decades or certainly 200-300 years... In 2050 the Earth's population is projected at 10 billion, but crisis might accelerate this - since hardships make poor populations breed more to offset diminished survival chances.

    Like Stephen Hawking points out, catastrophic events occur on Earth from time to time, and right now a large percent of the Earth's mammals are endangered of becoming extinct - so the Earth's resources are certainly becoming stretched by the growth of humanity. That is of course changing the balance of nature - and accelerating changes - e.g climate.
  3. btud


    1/ Absolutely no. I have read somewhere that the earth has the potential to feed about 100 billion people, with current technology.

    2/ Oil is certainly in decline. As the prices climb (and they will climb towards 300 probably in the next few years), and as technology for alternative energy advances we will soon reach a point where the costs for alternative will become comparable with oil. At that point we will see a boom of non-oil based products and the end of fossil fuel age. Estimated horizon for this - around 20 years from now.
  4. btud,

    with our current understanding of ecology - 100 billion people will surely tax the Earth so much - leverage humanity if you will - that it will only be possible for a very short time, before everything comes crashing down... I think that would happen well before 100 billion population as well, and remember the population of the Earth are not exactly sub-Saharan nomads, but a rather disparate mix of people with different perspectives.

    As already 70% of the fish populations are over-fished and diminishing today - I doubt a future of anything above 20 billion will be very nice. It will be a world of very strong conflicts over the world's resources... therefore it is in everyone's interest that we have a more sustainable growth - and that the poor nations do not explode in populations, but have a more moderate population growth with peace and economic stability. That will ensure that we get technological progress and science in place to support further growth and human expansion. Permanent Lunar structures were planned for around 2020-2025 and after that Mars will certainly be a goal, but that will take a long time and many years of exploration and experimentation.
    Therefore we need peace and stability - less Darwinism of the world as well as an end to elitism - to be able to pull that off together. After that - there will be virtually no limits for a loooong time.
  5. yes short now and join these pros.
  6. while the potential limits have not been reached what need is there to grow the human race beyond this level? other than greed i cant see any reason that the earth needs more people.
  7. :cool:
  8. jsv416


    Thanks for that compulsive. Interesting..

    Those are the kinds of numbers that concern me. At what point will world population be to large for you and me to carry on the lifestyle we enjoy here in America. Or is it already to large and we are entering an age of greatly increased political and economic turmoil.

    IMO the key is sustainability --> Economic, social, and environmental. I dont think we have any of the three at this stage.
  9. Then you need strong Darwinism to "cull population growths." That is not a pretty picture - and involves a perpetual war.
    There will then be large and small cycles where humanity will sometimes tax earth and other times be on the verge of extinction.
    Factions would scheme and fight to rise to the top of the pyramid, dominate and suppress the others.

    That is not how most people run their families - but some do - especially those where the stakes and greed are highest.
    Social structures, psychology and philosophy need to be understood along economy to "see the big picture."

    The alternative is evolution and sustainable development - a balance with a growing economy and expanding humanity.
    The underlying expansion of knowledge - evolution and technology supports this continued type of progress.
    DNA/genetics and inheritance also work along this path.
  10. whats wrong with education about sustainable family sizes? an educated populace has smaller families.
    #10     Oct 14, 2008