Most everybody recognizes overpopulation as a major issue of our time. Is population growth out of control? Jerry Beller places it in historical context and confronts the realities. In the included BBC documentary, Hans Rosling challenges many conclusions people have formed about overpopulation.
OVERPOPULATION – ARE WE DOOMED?
At the beginning of the farming age, the human population was only ten million people in 10,000 BC. In the short time since, the population reached 7.3 billion people in 2015.
GREAT EMPIRES FORMED
From 10,000 BC, the human population began growing with the development of farming. It allowed people to produce more food, and the stability led to modest growth in the population. It resulted in great empires:
SLOW HUMAN GROWTH UNTIL 1800
Human overpopulation was the last thing on anybody’s mind leading up to 1800. With plagues and all the wild, undiscovered parts of the world, people worried more then if the human population would survive at all.
HUMAN POPULATION REACHES ONE BILLION
It took the entire existence of human history for the world population to reach one billion in 1800.
THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION CHANGED EVERYTHING
Whereas the human population grew at a modest rate up to 1900, it exploded with the industrial revolution. The development of farming provided the fuel for the first great empires, but it paled in comparison to the rise of the Industrial Revolution.
IN ONE HUNDRED SHORT YEARS
With the rise of the Industrial Revolution, the world’s population doubled in one hundred short years, reaching two billion people by 1900.
THEN IT GOT WORSE
If you look at a graph of population growth, it is almost a straight line until the nineteenth century. Before 1800, the line of human growth was straight, even dipping at times. As you see, however, it began to rise in 1800.
Graph info: “World-Population-1800-2100” by Tga.D.
THE EXPLODING POPULATION CONTINUES
First inspired by the Industrial Revolution, and then fueled by the rise of the modern communication and transportation systems, overpopulation became a real problem in the later half of the twentieth century. The problem only got worse when we reached the 21st century, and the full effects of the computer age took effect.
WHERE IS THE POPULATION GROWTH THE WORSE?
In Asia. Everybody who has paid attention understands Asia’s population growth has been on steroids for some time.
HOW TO COMBAT OVERPOPULATION
Combating overpopulation is difficult, made even more so because of various customs. I concluded years ago in my research that the only way to fight overpopulation is to eliminate poverty. Professor Rosling reached the same conclusion.
I am interested in plans that reduce the number of children families are having to two. Culture after culture suggests couples naturally do this once they rise out of poverty.
NATURAL TWO CHILDREN SOLUTION
In the video, Hans Rosling argues the best way to control population growth is to eliminate poverty. His study suggests cultures who have many children have high poverty rates. Consequently, they experience much greater deaths in childbirth. The odds of any of them surviving to and from their teen years is much lower. They make up for it by having many more children.
No surprise there, as all our ancestors once did the same thing. Hans Rosling’s study confirms that as people in Asia move out of poverty, they adapt towards the two children trend that has become the new norm.
The world population has increased one billion since 2003, and two billion since 1990. It’s tripled the past sixty years.
A UN report suggests the population will reach:
- 9.7 billion in 2050.
- 11 billion in 2100.
It is more vital than ever that we combat climate change, which is a leading cause of poverty today. We must focus on those two things if we hope to control the “population explosion” that will only worsen if we fail to defeat poverty.
OVERPOPULATION – ARE WE DOOMED?
Jerry Beller is an author. Look for his book on overpopulation in 2017, and several blogs on the subject between now and then.
DON’T PANIC: The Truth About Population with Professor Hans Rosling
“World-Population-1800-2100” by Tga.D based on Aetheling’s work – based on file:World-Population-1800-2100.png, but converted to SVG using original data from U.N. 2010 projections and US Census Bureau historical estimates. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World-Population-1800-2100.svg#/media/File:World-Population-1800-2100.svg
Overpopulation – Are we doomed by Jerry Beller