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I often encounter estimates of world population reaching 9 billion by… - 神話蝶 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Mar. 12th, 2010|12:39 am]
I often encounter estimates of world population reaching 9 billion by 2050, but in my sociology book I saw a quote of world population reaching 40 billion within 150 years. O_o

It mentions the overall growth rate as slowing (most clearly in developed Westernized nations), despite such factors like the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

[User Picture]From: comatosedreamer
2010-03-12 07:48 am (UTC)
I can't imagine 40 billion people being attainable, let alone sustainable - even if we were to scale back our habits immensely. The fact of the matter is that we use the incredibly prevalent energy from fossil fuels to allow us to achieve vast amounts of labor (in raw material production and in manufacturing). By substituting machines for human labor, we have multiplied our ability to produce food by huge amounts.

Those models of economy can only last as long as we have the ability to quickly and easily produce massive amounts of goods and move them to population centers with the help of non-human labor. While solar power is making a good number of inroads, I shudder to think what will happen if we lower the Earth's albedo with enough black surface to make it a large enough source of energy to contend with coal and natural gas.
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[User Picture]From: shinwachou
2010-03-14 10:00 am (UTC)
True, the author acknowledged the 40 billion quote is if the rate of "progress" (lack of better term at moment) keeps going the way it stands now.

Not going to delve into it all now, but technically 40 billion is definitely attainable (looking at various world geographic regions), but like you said... not sustainable at all. That was the original point in that section in the text.

If you're at all interested, I'm more than happy to type up the not-too-large section I take this all from. Better... ah, well, anyway... It ties it all together with my main post here and expounds on it, as it were. Too damn fascinated in population issues and such lol
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