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World population

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'yorz
1099535.  Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:58 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
“Global population has risen so fast over the past century that roughly 14 per cent of all the human beings that have ever lived are still alive today – that’s a sobering statistic."


Crikey.


Article

 
tetsabb
1099537.  Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:28 pm Reply with quote

Most of the problems facing our poor little planet can be related to the apparently impossible-to-stop growth rate of the human population -- deforestation, pollution, environmental degradation, global warming.
Stop breeding, people!

 
Troux
1099540.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:46 am Reply with quote

Bangladesh is my biggest worry. More people than Russia in an area the size of Greece gives it a population density only surpassed by island nations and city-states. The worst aspect is that the country is basically one giant delta, making it the largest risk for rising sea levels; besides the immediate threat of displacing its many citizens, the fertile ground means that 45% of the population is employed in agriculture that will be flooded right out of its economy.

 
djgordy
1099543.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:01 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Quote:
“Global population has risen so fast over the past century that roughly 14 per cent of all the human beings that have ever lived are still alive today – that’s a sobering statistic."


Crikey.


Article


The 14% figure is very dodgy. We had a similar discussion, I think, about the oft quoted, but wrong, claim that there are more people alive today than the rest of history (and prehistory) put together.

Estimates of ancient populations are often grossly underestimated and, of course, it depends on when you think human beings started. Do we include Neanderthals?

This article

www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-or-fiction-living-outnumber-dead/

gives the current number of people living today at only 6% of the total. Most other estimates seem to be between 5% and 12% and 14% is very high in comparison.

 
'yorz
1099544.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:21 am Reply with quote

Bodies like the Taliban and church may be able to bring some relief -

Quote:
In 1988, numerous international medical organizations launched a campaign to eradicate polio globally, as had been successfully done for smallpox. By 2003, polio had been eradicated in all but a few countries, among them Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. However, mullahs in northern Nigeria began to oppose the vaccination program, claiming that it was a plot to spread AIDS and sterility, and prevented any vaccination. Polio cases in Nigeria tripled over the next three years.

Environmental scientist Lester Brown speculates that Nigerian Muslims may have spread the disease to Muslims of other polio-free countries during their annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. With these same fears, Saudi Arabian officials imposed polio vaccination requirement on certain visitors.

In Pakistan in 2007, there was violent opposition to vaccinations in the Northwest Frontier Province where a doctor and a health worker in the Polio Eradication Program were killed. Since then, the Taliban has blocked all vaccinations in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan was the only country in 2010 to record an increase in cases of polio, according to the World Health Organization, along with having the highest incidence of polio in the world.


From Wiki's Dr Salk-page. [see today's Google Doodle]

 
Oceans Edge
1099578.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 8:41 am Reply with quote

The increasing population and how to sustain them is a significant issue The FAO figures food production globally will need to rise 70% by 2050.

By 2050 the world’s population will reach 9.1 billion, 34 percent higher than today. Nearlyall of this population increase will occur in developing countries. Urbanization will continue at an accelerated pace, and about 70 percent of the world’s population will be urban(compared to 49 percent today). Income levels will be many multiples of what they are now.In order to feed this larger, more urban and richer population, food production (net of food used for biofuels) must increase by 70 percent. Annual cereal production will need to rise to about 3 billion tonnes from 2.1 billion today and annual meat production will need to rise by over 200 million tonnes to reach 470 million tonnes.

It's one of the reasons I feel that food science is probably one of the most critically important branches of research today. Although I do also think that the human population, like any natural system out grown it's environment will probably experience a major correction event. My personal choice for 'most likely scenario' is another Spanish Flu like event.

 
cornixt
1099596.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:19 am Reply with quote

Given how birth rates in westernised countries are low for everyone who is second generation or more, we just need to westernise the whole world to slow the population growth! Can't be too difficult or unethical...

 
CB27
1099643.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:04 pm Reply with quote

There's nothing westernised about low birth rates, it's a phenomenon that's happening all over the world, and it's to do with power of medicine.

In the past it was useful to have large number of children because so many died in infancy, so population growth was kept down.

The explosion in population growth in the west, and later elsewhere was down to modern medicine allowing more children to survive, and it takes a couple of generations before people start having less children, and they don't even realise it.

You can now see this in countries that are catching up in terms of development. If you take Bangladesh as a famous example, as recently as the 1960s, when medicine became more widely available, their birth rates were more than 6.8 borths per woman, and this peaked in 1969 with a rate of 6.94.

Then, as people got used to the idea of children surviving into adulthood, this rate started dropping consistantly. In 1980 the rate fell to 6.37. In 1990 it was 4.54. In 2000 it was 3.12, and in 2012 it was 2.21.

In different countries around the world you can see a distinct drop in the number of births per woman over the years, though some have earlier or later peaks depending on their circumstances, and also different rates of how the rate is dropping.

 
Janet H
1099645.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:17 pm Reply with quote

I understand (but can't be arsed to find the evidence) that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of energy (as KiloWatts) and number of births.

trots off to find evidence..............


Here it ishttp://web.mit.edu/D-Lab/Readings/energy2.pdf

Graphs on page 4

 
Troux
1099657.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:21 pm Reply with quote

Oceans Edge wrote:

It's one of the reasons I feel that food science is probably one of the most critically important branches of research today.

Unfortunately, "food science" has become a bad word these days among a growing camp of 'all-natural' enthusiasts that don't recognize the next step in agricultural prowess.

 
CharliesDragon
1099658.  Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:29 pm Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Bodies like the Taliban and church may be able to bring some relief -

Quote:
In 1988, numerous international medical organizations launched a campaign to eradicate polio globally, as had been successfully done for smallpox. By 2003, polio had been eradicated in all but a few countries, among them Afghanistan, India, Nigeria, and Pakistan. However, mullahs in northern Nigeria began to oppose the vaccination program, claiming that it was a plot to spread AIDS and sterility, and prevented any vaccination. Polio cases in Nigeria tripled over the next three years.

Environmental scientist Lester Brown speculates that Nigerian Muslims may have spread the disease to Muslims of other polio-free countries during their annual pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. With these same fears, Saudi Arabian officials imposed polio vaccination requirement on certain visitors.

In Pakistan in 2007, there was violent opposition to vaccinations in the Northwest Frontier Province where a doctor and a health worker in the Polio Eradication Program were killed. Since then, the Taliban has blocked all vaccinations in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. As a result, Pakistan was the only country in 2010 to record an increase in cases of polio, according to the World Health Organization, along with having the highest incidence of polio in the world.


From Wiki's Dr Salk-page. [see today's Google Doodle]


I ended up reading about polio, indirectly inspired by the Google doodle, and discovered that the high rate of people paralysed by polio in the first half of the 20th century was due to better sanitation, which we generally asssosiate with less illness.
When sanitation was worse, kids were subjected to polio usually before the age of four, and as long as they survived didn't suffer any ill effects, from what I understood it would be much like a case of the flu, and would be left immune for the rest of their lives. When the common age of contracting polio jumped up to 7-9 years of age, the risk of paralysis and long-term effects are much greater, and wasn't helped by the treatment of the time being to immobilise affected limbs or the whole body, leading to weakening all the muscles due to disuse.

As for population control, I convinced myself I had the perfect solution (if I could get hold of a time machine), but I've gone and forgotten it completely... The solution might have been along the lines of the time I figured out how to divide by zero on the brink of sleep (that is, not rooted in reality).

 
Oceans Edge
1099687.  Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:59 am Reply with quote

Troux wrote:
Oceans Edge wrote:

It's one of the reasons I feel that food science is probably one of the most critically important branches of research today.

Unfortunately, "food science" has become a bad word these days among a growing camp of 'all-natural' enthusiasts that don't recognize the next step in agricultural prowess.


aye, I know.

it's been a bit frustrating at times, and it's hard for people to see that just because a large percentage of people believe a thing/science/fact isn't true - doesn't make it so. (flat earth and all that), and just because a science is new; a technology goes beyond our current level of understanding (individually); doesn't make it bad.

But that tends to drag me into a lot of arguments with folks that I'd rather not have.

 
crissdee
1099734.  Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:06 pm Reply with quote

CharliesDragon wrote:
........The solution might have been along the lines of the time I figured out how to divide by zero on the brink of sleep (that is, not rooted in reality).


I get ideas like that all the time. I wake up and think "wtf am I talking about? That couldn't possibly work!"

 

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