Skip to main content  
  Helping the environment one joke at a time, Grinning Planet. Click to go to home page. flying letter; click to go to signup page for free email version
Get GP free
via email !
 
   
       
 

World Population Growth

This article is populated with solutions to world population growth and overpopulation.

Eco-Logical cartoon graphic of cube-shaped globe

CARL SAGAN HAD IT RIGHT —
BILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND BILLIONS
Putting World Population Growth Statistics in Context — and Finding Solutions to the Problem

When we talk about world population growth statistics, we get into very large numbers with many confusing zeroes at the end. While lots of 0's may bring back fond memories of our days of test scores and playing hooky from school, they do nothing to help us understand a factual sentence like: "The earth's population is projected to rise from 6,400,000,000 in 2004 to 8,900,000,000 in 2050." graphic of many faces

That means we will likely increase world population by 2.5 billion people in the next half-century, but how do we put such a large number in context to make it easier to grasp? Does population growth just mean a few more people at the next block party, or will the teeming masses start falling off the edge of whatever cliff they're closest to?

In this article, we'll try to make sense of world population growth statistics, and then we'll discuss why this increase in global population is significant.

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH —
THE STATISTICS AND TRENDS IN CONTEXT

For simplicity's sake, we'll assume the population increase between now and 2050 will be linear. (Experts predicts that population growth will be faster in the early part of the period than in the later part, but for our purposes, working with an average increase will be fine.) Remember, we're talking about the NET population growth—the number of new people born minus the number who die.

If we convert the total population growth of 2.5 billion for the first half of the 21st century to an annual rate of growth, we can expect 54 million additional people per year to occupy the planet. That large a number still seems pretty hard to relate to, though, so if we take it down to a per-day figure—which would be 149,000 net additional people per day—it's

more understandable because we can compare it to figures we're familiar with. For instance, 149,000 is two or three football stadiums worth of people (depending on the stadium capacity). Maybe that doesn't seem like so many people at first, but remember how shocked we were when we were told about the death toll from the December 2004 Asian tsunami—several hundred thousand people died. Yet today we're adding that many new people to the planet's population every two days.

CURRENT WORLD POPULATION GROWTH

In 2005, the actual global population growth rate is estimated to be 76 million additional people per year.

SOURCE:
Earth Policy Institute

So, should we be cold, calculating statisticians who see that a high number of deaths from a natural disaster or, say, the one million people who die each year from malaria don't matter because we've got so many new humans coming down the population-growth conveyor belt anyway? No, of course not. One of our top goals as a society should be to reduce and eliminate suffering wherever and whenever possible.

Does this leave us with the seemingly conflicting goals of keeping humanity's numbers at a reasonable (sustainable) level vs. not wanting people to suffer and die?

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH — THE PROBLEM

Before we discuss how we can support reducing world population growth and still be humanitarians, let's recount why population growth is a problem in the first place.

The earth is a "closed system," meaning that we have to recycle or store all of the wastes we produce, and until we establish the Mars Alfalfa and Mining Colony, we only have one planet's worth of land and water to provide resources for agriculture, energy, and other needs. How well we do at these two factors—resource use and pollution management—basically depends on two factors:

  • the number of people on the planet; and
  • the average amount of resources available (per person) and the average amount of pollution produced.

In basic terms, the average global standard of living is directly related to the resources available. The health of the planet (in terms of pollution) is related to how much stuff, on average, each person uses. The total impact we have on the planet, therefore, is roughly the total number of people times the average standard of living. (This basic concept is sometimes called "ecological footprint.")

THE GOOD, THE BAD,
AND THE TECHNOLOGY

Technological improvements factor into how efficiently and effectively we use our resources and manage our pollution, but overall, technology tends to cause just as many problems as it solves.

The world's current population is already estimated to be unsustainable at today's rates of consumption and pollution, and another 2.5 billion people over the next half-century—all rightly striving to raise their standards of living—will only exacerbate the problem.

Since none of us is clamoring for a decreased standard of living, we must assume that the other side of the equation, population, is where we can most realistically expect to act to keep our Closed-System Earth in balance.

WORLD POPULATION GROWTH — SOLUTIONS

STAY CURRENT WITH THE LATEST AUDIO DOWNLOADS

CATEGORY:  ENVIRONMENT, SPECIES — 09.JUN.2014

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

A Wilderness Too Tame — When was the last time you were really in the wilderness? Or, maybe you’re like the millions of Americans who’ve never even been in the wild before. Jason Mark, editor of Earth Island Journal, shares his misgivings about what he views to be a technological threat to some of nature's most mysterious spots. He says much of what we currently consider wild is actually pretty tame. Also discussed are conservation policy and the surprising number of bipartisan conservation bills that (unsurprisingly) have not yet been passed by Congress.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  I suspect most of us would find true wilderness highly inconvenient, if not incredibly daunting.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.May.2014

CATEGORY:  ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE — 20.MAY.2014

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Moyers and Company

David Suzuki on Corp-Gov Anti- Environmentalism — We live in an upside-down world where the people who would protect the natural systems that sustain us (environmentalists) are openly declared enemies of the state, where corporations fund a big-media propaganda machine dedicated to false statements about global warming and other environmental issues. David Suzuki says the "kill the messenger" strategy is ripped straight from big tobacco's old playbook. While he is concerned that humans are setting themselves up for a fall, he is more optimistic about the chances for "the planet"—it's highly resilient (though we are not).
Watch  |  Download/listen   24:27

GP comment:  Suzuki is clear and cogent, as always.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014

CATEGORY:  ENVIRONMENT — 09.MAY.2014

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Kevin Danaher on the Green Future — Kevin Danaher says people often react to the proposal of good grand projects with the attitude, "sure, that will be great for the future." But "the future is now" in terms of implementing projects that will correct current problems and pay dividends for the era of our grandchildren. He talks about this year's green festival and green goals in general.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   21:00

GP comment:  Danaher's pitch is appropriate and enthusiastic. But if I have to pick between people being greener consumers and people knocking the wheels off the bankster-industrial complex, I'll take the latter. If you pay for your green purchases with bankster credit cards, what's the point?

Original Show Pub Date: 07.May.2014

MORE

Get more audio clips on environmental issues and many more topics in Grinning Planet's biweekly downloadable audio news feed.

Once we recognize the fact that overpopulation is a problem and that increasing standards of living around the world will add to our resource-use and pollution-management challenges, it's tempting to start thinking that disease, poverty, and premature death are unfortunate but necessary (as long as they happen to someone else, of course). We must resist any such temptation and work toward better solutions.

We should:

  • continue to strive to reduce suffering by combating disease and poverty around the world;
  • continue to improve resource efficiency and pollution control so that standards of living can rise without negative impact; and
  • keep human population to numbers that are sustainable.

On the population front, that means:

  • making sure people around the world have access to family planning services;
  • empowering women in developing countries economically, socially, and legally in a manner that results in them having an equal say (with their husbands) in reproductive decisions;
  • modifying school curricula to include information on population levels and implications for the future;
  • reforming tax laws in a way that encourages couples to have no more than two children. (They would still be able to have as many kids as they want, but the tax code would no longer subsidize more than two.)

People are a good thing, but population growth without limit is not. The US and all developed countries should reinvigorate their international efforts to slow population growth. The future of the world depends on it!

Know someone who's feeling crowded by overpopulation?
Send this World Population Growth article.

Publish date: 05-JUL-2005

Resources:

Related articles:

ONE BILLION FOR THE ROAD
The Connection Between Population Growth, Sprawl, and Traffic Congestion

More articles and resources on....

Get Grinning Planet free via email

 
 
Songs for a Better Planet

All the people I see in the world,
They're growing like pearls . . .
All the people I see in the world
Are paying for playing their parts in this world;
But ask them to leave,
Would you believe
That they would ask you for more . . .   more (at Dyniss site)

Song: "All the People"

Artist: Dyniss

Album: The Green Anthem

Category: Modern Rock

ALBUM REVIEW

album cover for Dyniss, The Green Anthem Dyniss' own description of his music goes something like this: "quirky power-folk music—sometimes political, sometimes dreamy, sometimes weird." That's fairly apt, but lest you think those three adjectives—political, dreamy, weird—mean this is some sort of sappy hippie music, rest assured that it is not. It's excellent Modern Rock/Indie Pop that throws in the occasional quirk to make sure we're paying attention. The style is reminiscent at times of bands like The Chills, The Connells, The Posies, and The La's—but Dyniss brings his own fresh, unique spin into the mix. The CD opens with the shimmering "All the People," a hauntingly cool song. "Less than Me (v.2.0)," with its soaring, harmonized vocals could easily be a hit in today's modern musical world (if that world had any sense beyond pre-packaged plastic personalities). "Arms Around Me" and "Paper Page" are bouncy bits of pop music that just feel good to listen to. The title track to "The Green Anthem" fits into both the political and dreamy categories, an excellent presentation of how things could be good in the future. (The song is so good, in fact, that it was Canada's official Y2K Green Party song.) On "Dear Dog," Dyniss offers a clever send-up of XTC's "Dear God." In XTC's masterpiece, the failings of religion are the target, but here the song is more about seeing grace, goodness, and godliness in all things—in particular, the dog. "Naturus Interruptus" makes it's point amusically—can you figure out the message? The Green Anthem presents an excellent blend of message and melody, of pique and pop. It's ironic that justice in the world is one of Dyniss' themes, because the fact that this talented musician is not a big star makes it obvious that the Universe prefers irony to justice. You, however, can pass on the cosmic irony, sit back, and enjoy the excellence of The Green Anthem.

To hear clips, see more lyrics, or get purchase information, see the Dyniss web site


Or see more Songs for a Better Planet

Search Amazon.com for more...

 

Back to joke page

 

FREE AUDIO CLIPS

free audio news clips link; image of zombie kid - DON'T BE A MAINSTREAM MEDIA DRONE! - Free MP3 news download at Grinning Planet
 

Hey, we don't pick
the Google ads!   – GP

 
CLICKS ON OUR ADS AND PURCHASES VIA OUR AMAZON LINKS HELP SUPPORT THIS FREE SITE... THANKS!

 

 


"We have been God-like in our planned breeding of our domesticated plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like in our unplanned breeding of ourselves."

— Arnold Joseph Toynbee


 

       
   >              
   > document gif Sign up to get Grinning Planet free by email, or get more info about it Email a link to this page to someone  
   > Issue Number 135
Copyright 2005 © Mark Jeantheau — All rights reserved.   More info
 
   
   
 
 
NEWS, ARTICLES, INFO

MP3 News Download
Video/Audio News Sites
Environmental News Sites
Investigative Journalism Sites

Environment/Energy/Economy
    - Articles/Resources By Topic
    - Articles By Date

Environmental Quotes
    - Funny Environmental Quotes
    - Peak Oil Quotes

Environmental Cartoons/Jokes
    - Environmental Videos/Animations

Environmental Products
Eco/Nature Greeting Cards

Grinning Planet Farm

FUNNY STUFF

Funny Jokes/Cartoons
    - Environmental Cartoons

Funny Animations/Videos
    - Environmental Animations/Videos

Funny Quotes
    - Environmental Funny Quotes

BOOKS

Environmental Books
Global Warming Books
Energy Books
Solar Energy Books
Peak Oil Books
Food-Gardening Books
Media Books

 
MUSIC & MOVIES

Environmental Movies
Environmental Songs
Environmental Music Videos

Album Reviews
Fun With Lyrics

ADMIN

Home Page
Search
Site Map
About Us
FAQs
Contact
Free Subscriptions
Unsubscribe
Privacy Policy