The Population Problem Problem

So while as individuals, as consumers, as parents or as non-parents, we agonize and sermonize over our own and others’ lifestyle choices, the oil companies will keep lobbying, and the GDP and emissions lines will keep tracking upwards until we reach a point of reckoning when the size of the human population or how many children anyone has will be the last of our concerns.

The Elephant in the Room

Discussion about climate disruption and mass extinction rarely mention human population as a significant factor in exacerbating those problems.  In the last ~100 years, the human population has increased dramatically as shown in Figures 1 and 2.  The global human population, as of 2019, was 7.7 billion and climbing.  At this point, experts are estimating a global human population of ~10 billion by 2050.

Shepherding in a New Reality: The Context for a Shift in Values

As resources become scarce, A New Reality uses a pattern seen in nature – decelerating growth in the second part of the Sigmoid Curve – to display a shift that must happen in order for human kind to survive, referred to as Epoch B. In Epoch B, people recognize the limited nature of resources and human values adjust toward equilibrium, balance and consensus – interdependence.

The Broken Glass: Some Thoughts on ‘Population 10 Billion’

Anyway, I have now read Dorling’s book and I want to share a few thoughts about it. They’re not in the form of a comprehensive warts-and-all review – rather, I want to highlight five themes of interest to me that anticipate some future posts, on which I think Dorling has thought-provoking things to say.

Overpopulation is a Problem, but Capitalist Overdevelopment is a Bigger Problem

So overpopulation is a real problem. But if we don’t overthrow capitalism, Mother Nature is going to solve the overpopulation problem in a hurry, but in a most unpleasant manner. That’s why I don’t concern myself much with the population problem. I don’t mean to ignore it. But I think its very much a secondary driver compared to capitalism.