Ideal number of humans

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Syzygys, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,671
    The way how we are wasting resources tells me that we have either too many people or too many idiots. Probably both. I think 7 billion humans is pushing it. Poor Earth...

    My estimate for a decent carrying capacity is 4 billions people. That could be sustained without energy wars, food shortages or lack of drinking water.

    What is your estimate?
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,410
    I think 1 per person is sufficient.
    Any more and it's just greedy!
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,989
    There is plently of water and food to go around. That is about all that is needed to live. Energy is a luxury. Yes, energy greatly improves the quality of life. However, not everyone can have it at this point in time. Sorry.

    What we need to work on is increasing food production in other parts of the world. For water... we could work on getting water to landlocked countries.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,671
    If you want to live like the Amish, that is your personal preference. Nevertheless most people don't.Not to mention you might want to give up your computer.

    About food: Sure we could have more food and better distribution, which would lead us to >>> more humans. This could go on and on for a while, nevertheless we still would reach a point where we have to draw the line as too many humans...
     
  8. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,793
    Short of culling humans down to more Earth sustainable numbers, the world's population is set to double within 50 years.

    The most important research that governments worldwide ought to be funding and promoting are renewable energy, atmospheric pollution reversal and climate technology
     
  9. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,671
    I thought the latest prediction tops around 10-11 billions. After that it starts to drop (supposed no big diseases or wars). Well, my OP asks about the ideal and not the sustainable number.
    On the matter see this book:
    How Many People Can the Earth Support?
     
  10. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,989
    I never suggested that we live like the Amish. All I am pointing out is that we have everything in thr world we need to surive... it's all provided by nature. Everything else is a luxury and if you have that stuff, good for you. If you do not, well you will not die.

    Natural selection will take care of over population. We are in such a hurry to save every single life that we ignore the basic needs of the human race years from now.

    I cannot wait for superviruses. That will be quite fun.
     
  11. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,023
    Why do we need humans at all?

    Make the case for that.
     
  12. Nickelodeon Banned Banned

    Messages:
    10,581
    So that God has someone to worship him.
     
  13. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,467
    Two billion men and women worldwise sounds about right to me. Two thirds of every continent should be left completely untouched by man. The remaining third should be split between agricultural use and cities.

    In my opinion, the carrying capacity of the planet isn't really the issue. We could support ten billion or more without too much of a problem. The issue is that, with such a load, the entirety of the planet would be devoted purely to keeping us alive. The wild would be dead. On top of that, every time you double the population you halve the wealth available to each person.
     
  14. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,023
    Actually wealth is only generated due to population increases. If theres no one to do all the work, how exactly do you have wealth?

    Second, why even a billion? 2 billion? why any humans? you have to tell me how you come up with a firm number, otherwise it's not so obvious, It's obvious that 10 billion may be too many, it's not so obvious that 2 billion wont be too many also.

    Anyway the link I found advocates around 3 billion, thats half the current population.
    http://www.npg.org/faq.html#anchor2
    http://dieoff.org/
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  15. P. BOOM! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    122
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2006
  16. Roman Banned Banned

    Messages:
    11,560
    The world only needs Americans. All other people are superfluous.
     
  17. Clockwood You Forgot Poland Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,467
    TimeTraveler: What is wealth? Its the distribution of resources throughout the population. Now the catchy part is that there is only so much natural resources on the world and even renewable ones are only renewed at a cost. This cost may be human effort, time, the fact that you can't really use a plot of woodland for anything else while you wait for the trees to grow, anything. Past a certain point... things get streached pretty thin. Any resource you use has to come from somewhere. Either out of another man's pocket or from nature itself.

    Now lets say we make the world into the habitat that can sustain the most people possible. Every piece of even halfway arable land is farmed, every square mile of sea or river is fished, every river has a series of hydroelectric plants jammed on it from watershed to delta. Every species that can not be farmed or domesticated is driven into extinction. The whole world is an engine designed purely to maintain the human species.

    Picture that if you would.
     
  18. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,959
    there can't be an "deal" number, it is a subjective thing. its like engineering, there are trade-offs in everything, there is no "perfect" design.

    to tell what a good number of humans is, we would have to give value to certain things. for example, the ability to do work is generally improved by having more humans,however, high populations have problems.

    the best we can do is say that we should stay below the long term carrying capacity of the earth. however, there is no exact science for figuring out where that is.
     
  19. draqon Banned Banned

    Messages:
    35,006
    ideal number of people is infinite. As people are biological machines in evolution or process of improving the machine efficiency, it is a goal to create as many people as possible. Thus ideal number of people is infinite.
     
  20. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,671
    I will be responding to afew posters:

    First, nobody said there SHOUL BE any humans. But supposed we want a few, I think right now we have too many already and the consensus seems to agree with me and settle on 3-4 billions.

    Second, the number also depends on the level of technicality. If you want to leave like the Dutch, you need 15 times more land than the people occupying the land there. Thus obviously the current 7 billion people can't have that level of civilization.

    The ideal number of people is not infinite. It is an subjective number for sure (Thus the original post) but this would be a number where most people gets the best lifes.

    If we look at peak oil per person, it already happened back in 1979. Isn't that scary a bit?
    Natural selection doesn't take care of the population, at least not anymore. Wars do...

    We have the most deadly disease in history HIV, and the Earth's population doesn't even flick, it keeps going higher.

    Anyway, a little food for thought...
     
  21. draqon Banned Banned

    Messages:
    35,006
    Syzygys natural selection goal is to find the ideal organism and produce it as much as possible. Currently an ideal organism is HUMAN and BACTERIA, these are the most adaptive organisms because the total mass of each tops that of any other organisms.
     
  22. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Messages:
    24,066
    I agree. You could call it one of the laws of life, except that life doesn't like laws. Well, it likes braking them.


    Bacteria is of course not one species like humans. They are many species. Countless ones.

    One has to remember that even the slowest breeders in nature grow exponentially. Elephants will be stacked high enough to reach the sun after a short time if the conditions would be right. Needless to say elephants can't survive being stacked on top of each other.

    And humans couldn't either without technology. And now we do live stacked on top of each other.

    What is the limit? Well, there is a limited amount of mass and energy in the universe. That will surely stop us.
     
  23. TimeTraveler Immortalist Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,023
    There is no limit of energy, or even mass, the limit is space. Earth is the only planet we are on right now.
     

Share This Page