the friend online
05 June 2009


Overpopulation - preview
I am glad that the subject of overpopulation has been raised in the Friend
  • John Ward (15 May) is undoubtedly right, and population and exhaustion of resources has been implicated in the fall of several civilizations in the past
  • Jared Diamond in his book Collapse gives several examples
  • There is no reason to suppose that ours will be an exception

  • World population has grown exponentially in the last century, doubling every forty years
  • It has trebled in my lifetime, and is currently growing at nearly a quarter of a million a day
  • The often quoted United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) prediction of 9
  • 2 billion for 2050 (from 6
  • 8bn today) is only the middle of three projections, the lowest and highest being 7
  • 4bn and 11bn
  • We are starting to see major strains in supply of resources and the ability of the natural world to cope with our profligacy
  • Sea levels are now rising at about 3mm annually, which puts the great deltas with their dense population and productive agriculture at risk, not to mention many great cities, London among them
  • Desertification will displace many others
  • Where will they go?

    Roger Plenty

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