Can we stop world's population from increasing?

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Saint, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. Saint Valued Senior Member

    It is estimated that by 2050 the world's population will be 90B.
    More problems will hit us when the population has increased beyond the capacity of the Earth to support it.
    So, do we have any idea to stop population from increasing?
    Can we:
    1. reduce aging population (non-productive)
    2. increase young generation population (productive)
    3. at the same time, reduce overall population?

    What is the suggestion?
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Bullshit. The forecast is for the world's population to be about 10 billion by that date:

    Furthermore it is quite likely that the population will stabilise quite naturally at around that level, due to the effects of increasing wealth which, as we can see in industrialised societies, have falling birth rates.
    Boris2 and joepistole like this.
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  5. superstring01 Moderator

    "Could we?" Sure. Any "Could X ...?" question that asks for an answer that isn't against the laws of physics is always, "Yes".

    Is it reasonable to do so? Is it pragmatically feasible? No. There's no scenario where we concoct a global population control system that —in and of itself— doesn't create far greater problems (if not risks) to our species. Every time we engineer civilization from the top down, it fails. That doesn't mean we don't create processes to improve our nation-state. All nations do this. But if we look at the ones that go that far (say, China), we also see a lot of top down tyranny.

    You asked if we can do things like reduce the aging population, increase the young population and reduce overall population. Sure. But the solutions to these problems are most likely going to be resolved by technology in the next generation. We're not even that far off. Japan is the world's leader in developing automated systems to care for the aging since Japan has one of the world's lowest birth rates and one of the fastest aging population. Right now, the advanced countries are just tasting the very beginning of robotic care-givers. That isn't the end of the line, it's the beginning. It's not even at the "Apple 2e" stage yet.

    In the next two generations, the robotic and automated technologies we make will strip humans from roughly 30% of all jobs. That's being incredibly generous. What I do for a living, is sell automation enginneers to companies to help them design those solutions. I spent a year building a new Talent Acquisition system by/with Goodyear, who by 2019 will have a fully automated test-factory built in the US. This factory will be the blueprint for all other factories. That means, even if that factory takes ten years to perfect, (it'll be built and working by 2019), it will be replicated by the rest of the factories by 2040 -- no humans at all on the floor.

    The hospital system my husband works at is testing automated processes that remove humans from a number of jobs from distribution of supplies to sanitizing rooms. Amazon is building fully automated distribution centers. Uber, Tesla and GM are testing fully automated cars (and transport systems). Mining as well will be automated. The problem isn't humans. The problem is that we're going to sweep humans out of most industries very soon. Productivity ceases being a "thing" when you remove humans from every rung in the supply chain.
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  7. akoreamerican Registered Senior Member


    Affordable realistic sex robots = instant population control
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    That's probably a typo - maybe hit an unintended zero?
    It's already done that. The industrial revolution made it inevitable that we would use up the earth a lot faster than it could possibly recover. And starting an industrial revolution without first discarding pastoral and agrarian religions guaranteed that the human population would not conform to the requirements of its economy. Accelerating technology prolonged life and decreased infant mortality, while making no provision for concomitant birth-control.
    Lots of people seem to think it should be done by killing as many as possible of the people who disagree with them - about anything.
    That's not very efficient, but it's dramatic and messy and exciting.
    Speaking for my ageing self, I'm still quite productive - if, by productive you mean doing something that reduces the amount of pain in the world.
    On the other hand, I am not re-productive, so there is no danger of my adding to the drain on resources.
    Who says they're productive?
    They're the biggest consumers of useless fashionable crap that takes an enormous amount of natural resources and energy to produce, while the actual production is done more and more by robots.
    However, they are re-productive - and sometimes alarmingly fecund.
    A higher standard of living and education level tends to result in lower birth-rate. That might be worth trying.

    I've done my bit. Made no self-replicas and raised two accidental progeny of some genetically quite presentable specimens in a relatively high standard of living and education.

    The only policy that would work globally is giving all women, everywhere, control of their own bodies. Educate, emancipate and empower women. That's it.
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

  10. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Mathematically, zero growth will inevitably happen, regardless of what we do about it.

    The exponential function forbids continued growth of anything in a limited space.
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We could try establishing dense populations of people everywhere, base their food, shelter, and water supply on technological and resource inputs from long distance, make sure those resources along with their medical care and political governance depend on their access to modern banking, put these dense populations in quick physical contact with each other based on the preferences and advantages of mobile elites among them, somehow separate the interests and communication networks of the larger population from the elites who control all this stuff (income inequality works well),

    and wait. Some waves of the Black Plague in Europe took out half the population of the continent in a couple of years - and those were people who could, under duress, survive without importing anything from more than 100k, or keeping a single machine running.
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    What do you think is going on as we speak? Natural selection is hard at work, and in various ways. When thinning of the human population occurs we just call them natural disasters.
    Isn't that ironic.
  13. river

    I knew that population control would come sooner or later , this Planet's resourses can only support so many people . Of course recycling is a big deal , it matters , really it does .

    Now how to control the population is by birth .
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I totally agree.
    . Or death!
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  15. river

    Or death , what do you mean ?
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Two ways to control population
    a) low birth rate
    b) high death rate.

    Either way, nature doesn't care how, it's all natural.
  17. river

    I perfer low birth rate .
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    So do I, but as long as we even have but 1 % steady growth, the earth's population will double every 70 years.
    This clip is a must see for every one concerned with growth of anything.
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Ah OK now I understand what you meant.

    I did not realise that the Chinese, like the Indians, have a word for 10⁵ rather than the "million" for 10⁶ that the European languages use.

    In India they have "lakh" for 10⁵ and "crore" for 10⁷. I used to find this very confusing when I was in Dubai and had a lot of Indian colleagues.
    ajanta likes this.
  20. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    People already alive would of course prefer a low birth rate rather than higher death rate, as death is the one that impacts them more directly.

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    From an economic standpoint, a low birth rate will not be good in that you will gradually end up with a higher proportion of elderly people, which becomes a burden on the younger people - higher taxes etc. It is a similar issue to increasing life expectancy. Both put burdens on the younger generations to support increasing proportion of elderly. It is why the UK's notion of trying to limit immigration to the 10's of thousands per year will likely be detrimental to the economy... because at the moment it simply doesn't have the young population required to support the older. Hence the reduction in immigration might well need to be accompanied by the eventual abolishment of any state pension entitlement, with government support on a means-tested basis. And that might just be the start. Or they continue to accept current levels of immigration (or more).

    Furthermore, with a low birth rate you reduce the chances of innovation from new minds that might not otherwise have been born, innovations that might resolve the resource issues in the longer term.

    Physical natural disaster would also unlikely to ever solve population issues: the 2004 tsunami that killed c.300,000 people: the world's population level recovered in just about 2 days.
    So to put any significant dent in the population would require something quite extraordinary, which might also result in the resources becoming unavailable and so not resolving the issue at all.

    Pathogens, disease, famine, they all might result in the population being cut, possibly massively, but even the latest Ebola outbreak only resulted in 11,000 deaths. Perhaps we are now too good at identifying and reacting to such outbreaks to allow the threat to become too bad.
    Maybe it will be something pretty common that has simply become resistant to antibiotics that achieves it.

    But with a 1% population growth, "natural disasters" would need to kill 75 million people a year, just to keep the population level steady. That's like the population of the U.K. + Sweden disappearing each year. Or 1 in 4 Americans.
    And this is above the usual death rate.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    We aren't. We are simply lucky that Ebola is difficult to spread.

    Ebola cannot - yet - spread like the flu; influenza cannot - yet - kill like Ebola. If either of those circumstances change, the world human population will drop by one third within three years. Climate change and resource depletion's effects and growing population densities make such changes in the circumstances of various diseases (rabies, bubonic plague, various "fevers" currently labeled by the locations they have until now been restricted to) more likely.

    We're rolling the dice - we will roll snake eyes, sooner or later.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    And that is inevitable. Seriously. Unless we do it ourselves, some "natural" factor will do it for us.

    The latest calculations indicate that - by the most likely projections - within the current generation approximately 4% of the current population of Asia will experience more than ten hours of a wet bulb temperature above 35C at some time during a normal year, without adequate shelter. That's more than 80 million people right there.

    That's one. And it's not even a long shot - it's the conservative best guess.

    So there's plenty of possibilities for the "natural" disasters required.
  23. mathman Valued Senior Member

    One way to solve the population problem (I am not advocating it) is to have a nuclear war.

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