Earth has nearly 6.5 billion inhabitants - study Thu Jun 23,11:51 AM ET - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-24-2005, 11:41 AM
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I don't know where to put this, but it amazes me that more than half of the earth's human population lives in just SIX countries (the US being one of them)!!!





PARIS (AFP) - Earth contains nearly 6.5 billion inhabitants, more than half of them living in just six countries, according to a report from the French Institute for Demographic Studies (IFED).



Of every 100 people in the world, 61 live in Asia, 14 in Africa, 11 in Europe, nine in Latin America, five in North America and less than one in Oceania, according to the IFED, which hosts an international conference on world demography in the French city of Tours next month.



Out of every 100 babies born today, 57 are born in Asia, 26 in Africa, nine in Latin America, five in Europe, three in North America and less than one in Oceania.



"Right now there are 6.477 billion human beings. The 6.5 billionth will be born in Asia some time in December," said Catherine Rollet who is organising the conference.



The six most populous countries -- China, India, the US, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan -- contain between them 3.3 billion inhabitants.



Life expectancy is longest in Japan at 82 years, followed by Iceland and Switzerland at 80. But people can expect to live just 36 years in Zimbabwe, 38 in Zambia and 40 in Malawi -- mainly as a result of the AIDS epidemic in those southern African states.



Population growth has slowed down since the 1960s but the number of humans will probably increase to between nine and 10 billion by 2050, Rollet said.



"Three billion more is a lot but it is manageable. The increase will be biggest in some Asian countries and above all Africa.



"Agronomists say the earth has the potential to support many more inhabitants -- up to 15 billion. The question is how to share out the resources rather than whether we can produce enough," she said.
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#2 Old 06-24-2005, 11:53 AM
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"Agronomists say the earth has the potential to support many more inhabitants -- up to 15 billion. The question is how to share out the resources rather than whether we can produce enough,"



Agronomists are not running on all cylinders, apparently. There are already severe problems worldwide with water shortages, topsoil loss, polluted runoff from farms and feedlots,etc. We are rapidly transforming the earth's biomass into human mass. How long can we do this before we destroy some vital component to the system which supports us?
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#3 Old 06-24-2005, 12:26 PM
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If there are 15 billion people ..... there will not be animals for food at the same level as today for the wealhty countires. I am positive the world just cound not sustain it (due to fresh water , energy use, top soil quality , pollution etc)
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#4 Old 06-24-2005, 12:36 PM
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populations have historically expanded to challenge resources. no doubt we're having a major impact on the planet's ecosystem. i doubt it will break all at once. if something major happens, there will be massive starvation in poor countries. i don't see another possibility unless the population explosion is brought under control through voluntary means.



i suppose all this could change with new technologies that expand resources. it seems we're light years away.
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#5 Old 06-24-2005, 12:51 PM
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"unless the population explosion is brought under control through voluntary means."

-----------------------





Yes and I see various peoples' "belief systems" about contraceptives as being a major problem to this world
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#6 Old 06-24-2005, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dk_art View Post

"unless the population explosion is brought under control through voluntary means."

-----------------------





Yes and I see various peoples' "belief systems" about contraceptives as being a major problem to this world

counterpoint to that being AIDS, cheer up!

there's also the threat of biological warefare and the mysterious prion threat



http://www.cix.co.uk/~sjbradshaw/bax...eepfuture.html

http://www.eco-action.org/dod/no10/paradise.htm

http://www.theglobalist.com/photo/Ch...olidori.shtml#

http://www.kiddofspeed.com/chernobyl-revisited/

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#7 Old 06-25-2005, 04:38 AM
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In spite of that, the human population is still growing, though birthrates have dropped.
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#8 Old 06-25-2005, 05:15 AM
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subject line made me laugh... late-breaking up-to-the-minute estimate, rounded to the nearest billion.
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#9 Old 06-25-2005, 09:31 AM
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First people were starving, then new ways were found to increase food production -- but instead of enabling the end of starvation, the new food allowed for an increase in the number of people! How disorganized can the earth's human inhabitants be? We must get voluntary control over population.



See http://hollandimac.chem.rochester.edu/n2cycle.pdf



I believe you should also read http://www.materials.addr.com/nitrogen.shtml
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#10 Old 06-25-2005, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by soilman View Post

First people were starving, then new ways were found to increase food production -- but instead of enabling the end of starvation, the new food allowed for an increase in the number of people! How disorganized can the earth's human inhabitants be? We must get voluntary control over population.



Heck yeah.
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#11 Old 06-25-2005, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by soilman View Post

First people were starving, then new ways were found to increase food production -- but instead of enabling the end of starvation, the new food allowed for an increase in the number of people! How disorganized can the earth's human inhabitants be? We must get voluntary control over population.



See http://hollandimac.chem.rochester.edu/n2cycle.pdf



I believe you should also read http://www.materials.addr.com/nitrogen.shtml

there should be a cool biopic similar to A Beautiful Mind about Fritz Haber, the guy had a really interesting life.

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#12 Old 06-25-2005, 09:53 AM
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Well... I won't be having any children, so I'm helping.



I do think that we need a Pope who will say contraception is a good thing, though. It's a much bigger issue than just that, but every little bit is needed at this point.
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#13 Old 06-25-2005, 09:54 AM
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Already, 1/3 of the protein of humanity's diet, and thus, of the average human being, comes from industrially produced nitrgoen, made from air and natural gas or air and light petroleum fractions. Thus, we are dependent on fossil fuels, not only for energy to operate our machines, but to produce the very material of our bodies. See the Valclav Smil article i linked to, above.
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#14 Old 06-25-2005, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by soilman View Post

First people were starving, then new ways were found to increase food production -- but instead of enabling the end of starvation, the new food allowed for an increase in the number of people! How disorganized can the earth's human inhabitants be? We must get voluntary control over population.





This is a sad truth a lot of people don't seem to be able to see, the link between food production and human population. Ironically, as you point out, there are even more people starving now, with more food being produced.





Quote:
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Already, 1/3 of the protein of humanity's diet, and thus, of the average human being, comes from industrially produced nitrgoen, made from air and natural gas or air and light petroleum fractions. Thus, we are dependent on fossil fuels, not only for energy to operate our machines, but to produce the very material of our bodies.



This is a terrifically dangerous situation we've gotten ourselves into. Most of the world's population is now dependent in some way on modern industrial agriculture, which is dependent on oil, a finite resource.
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#15 Old 06-25-2005, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Ludi View Post

This is a sad truth a lot of people don't seem to be able to see, the link between food production and human population. Ironically, as you point out, there are even more people starving now, with more food being produced.

Robert Mugabe and Kim Jong Il are the causes of the people starving now, it's not that complicated.

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#16 Old 06-25-2005, 11:21 AM
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here is the kicker, from the Valclav Smil article:



Quote:
If all farmers attempted to return to purely organic farming, they

would quickly find that traditional practices could not feed today?s population. There is simply not enough recyclable nitrogen to produce food for six billion people.



and
Quote:

Barring some surprising advances in bioengineering, virtually all the protein needed for the growth of another two billion people to be born during the next two generations will come from the same source?the Haber-Bosch synthesis of ammonia. In just one lifetime, humanity has indeed developed a profound chemical dependence.

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#17 Old 06-25-2005, 01:22 PM
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simply not enough recyclable nitrogen to produce food for six billion people.

simply not true, the air is 78% nitrogen and naturally occuring nitrogen comes from lightning and bacteria. forget doomsayers, it's easy umkay!

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#18 Old 06-25-2005, 01:52 PM
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counterpoint to that being AIDS, cheer up!

Heh... that's sick, yet funny in a warped way. Even better, AIDS kills the most in the areas with the biggest population growth.



Surgical sterilization is looking more reasonable every day

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#19 Old 06-25-2005, 01:58 PM
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People starve in countries like India, which produces a surplus of food. The problem is now, and has been for most of recorded history, the distribution of food and not the population or the production of food.



It would be quite easy to produce enough food to food all of the earth's inhabitants, in fact we produce much more food than is necessary to do so today.
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#20 Old 06-25-2005, 01:59 PM
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There is simply not enough recyclable nitrogen to produce food for six billion people.



I don't believe that either. However, currently the way we raise food is very detrimental to ecosystems.
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#21 Old 06-25-2005, 02:00 PM
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Food for though, throughout history everytime someone has made a prediction of a firm upper limit on the population that earth can sustain they have been wrong. Each time they have been wrong precisely because they underestimated or did not account for improvements in technology.
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#22 Old 06-25-2005, 02:03 PM
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People starve in countries like India, which produces a surplus of food. The problem is now, and has been for most of recorded history, the distribution of food and not the population or the production of food.



Yes, it's an issue of power and control. People are nto in control of their own food supply, and food is used as a weapon (food for oil program, food aid withheld for political reasons, etc).



Quote:
It would be quite easy to produce enough food to food all of the earth's inhabitants, in fact we produce much more food than is necessary to do so today.





How might it be "quite easy" to produce enough food for all the earth's inhabitants? Do you mean "easy" if we don't concern ourselves with the non-human inhabitants, or do you mean "easy" with some other method than what we currently use?
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#23 Old 06-25-2005, 02:05 PM
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Food for though, throughout history everytime someone has made a prediction of a firm upper limit on the population that earth can sustain they have been wrong. Each time they have been wrong precisely because they underestimated or did not account for improvements in technology.



So you think improvements in technology will save Earth's collapsing ecosystems?





When will this occur?
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#24 Old 06-25-2005, 02:07 PM
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How might it be "quite easy" to produce enough food for all the earth's inhabitants? Do you mean "easy" if we don't concern ourselves with the non-human inhabitants, or do you mean "easy" with some other method than what we currently use?



Currently, significantly more food is produced in the world than is needed to feed it's inhabitants.
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#25 Old 06-25-2005, 02:08 PM
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So you think improvements in technology will save Earth's collapsing ecosystems?





When will this occur?



I think improvements in technology will continue to sustain increasing levels of human population on earth indefinately.
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#26 Old 06-25-2005, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by remilard View Post

Currently, significantly more food is produced in the world than is needed to feed it's inhabitants.





Currently, there is an enormous amount of damage being done to the earth's ecosystems in part due to the production of food. In what way, I'm asking you, is this "easy?" Easy on whom? The farmers? The starving people? The earth's non-human inhabitants?
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#27 Old 06-25-2005, 02:11 PM
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I think improvements in technology will continue to sustain increasing levels of human population on earth indefinately.



Without regard for the earth's life systems which sustain us?
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#28 Old 06-25-2005, 02:27 PM
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Without regard for the earth's life systems which sustain us?



My belief is that due regard for such systems will be given before it is "too late". Damage <> Destruction.
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#29 Old 06-25-2005, 02:42 PM
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My belief is that due regard for such systems will be given before it is "too late". Damage <> Destruction.





I wish I had your faith! Unfortunately, I see no trend in that direction, in spite of all the evidence that we need to change the way we're doing things....



Can you explain how you derive your belief? Is it based on anything specific, or is it more of a hope?
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#30 Old 06-25-2005, 02:46 PM
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I have to throw in with ludi here....unfortunately (for the planet I mean).
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