GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH

by BOB IRVINE

With global population numbers due to stabilise in the next 50 years, the human geographical footprint should be our biggest environmental concern. I’m assuming here that every extra square meter of the earth humans need will result eventually in a square meter of natural habitat being compromised in some way.

FIG 1, Annual global population growth.

FIG 1, Annual global population growth.

TABLE 1. POPULATION OF THE WORLD AND REGIONS, 2017, 2030, 2050 AND 2100,

ACCORDING TO THE MEDIUM-VARIANT PROJECTION

FIG 2, Population projections by region.

FIG 2, Population projections by region.

There is a good discussion of Global Population Demographics at;

https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Publications/Files/WPP2017_KeyFindings.pdf

It is important that we look at global population demographics when discussing the big environmental issues. According to the UN, population in nearly all non-African countries will either be steady or shrinking by about 2050. Africa has a young population and will follow this trend sometime early in the 22nd century.

According to Matt Ridley, Kazakhstan is the only country in the world that does not have falling birth rates.

There are many reasons given for this population stabilisation. Greater trade and consequent specialisation have played an enormous part in this transition, largely driven by the internet and cheaper travel. Higher immigration levels lead to more contact between cultures which always leads to more commercial contact and trade. Higher living standards have been driven by trade, free enterprise, responsive democratic government and cheap energy. After an initial jump in population these higher living standards have resulted in lower birth rates and neutral or negative growth in population. Feedbacks, in fact, will have stabilised population at a new level.

Higher living standards and lower population growth rates are now directly linked, particularly in developing countries.

Agricultural technology has advanced to the point where it should be possible to feed the eventual stable human population without expanding our agricultural footprint too much.

The UN apparently cares about habitat loss and human encroachment on wilderness areas yet promotes the use of intermittent energy sources. Not only will these expensive energy sources increase our energy costs, reducing living standards and putting upward pressure on population growth, they will also significantly increase our environmental footprint.

According to Bjorn Lomborg, “to replace a 1-hectare gas fired power plant, society needs 73 hectares of solar panels, 239 hectares of on-shore wind turbines or an unbelievable 6000 hectares of biomass.”. It is lucky for our environment that the take up of these intermittent energy sources will be limited by their cost. Common sense seems to have had little impact to date.

All the indications are that humans, after an enormous 300-year disruption and consequent population increase, will once again be living in a stable ecosystem by the end of this century. This time, however, there will be no continents to discover and cultural differences will likely have been softened by contact.

What will this mean for our society and how we organise ourselves?

Recommended reading; The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley.

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144 thoughts on “GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH

  1. Keep the Yogi Berra Rule in mind: “It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.”

    • Gelsthorpe
      How about just ignoring all predictions — the coming climate change crisis is a 60 year-old prediction, that gets repeated every year … while the planet’s climate keeps getting better and better !

      Lawrence Berra is my favorite philosopher, and was my favorite New York Yankee too:
      “It’s hard to make predictions …” is a quote from long before Berra’s era — the originator of that quote, and many similar quotes, is unknown, but it’s not in the convoluted Yogi style. Someone actually studied the origin of that common quote, meaning they must have had a lot of spare time:
      https://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/never_make_forecasts_especially_about_the_future/
      .
      .
      “I really didn’t say everything I said” … was a title of a good Yogi book, and is in his typical, get right to the point style — it makes sense after a few seconds of thought, but no one else would say it that way:
      The Yogi Book: I really didn’t say everything I said!, Workman Publishing, 1997, ISBN 0761110909, p. 9.

      • My brother got his hand on a Yogi Berra foul ball once when we were kids at a game in Kansas City. He got his hand on it but couldn’t hang onto it and lost it in the crowd of others trying to get it.

        That night Mickey Mantle got up to the plate and blasted his 57th homer of the season over the leftfield fence and then Roger Maris came up to bat right behind him and blasted his 58th home run of the season completely out of the ball park!

        Maris finished with 61 homers that season and Mantle had 60. Babe Ruth’s record was 60. I think all those figures are correct. It’s been a long time. 🙂

        • In 1961 Roger Maris had 61 home runs while Mickey Mantle had 54. Orlando Cepeda, Jim Gentile, and Harmon Killabrew had 46. Rocky Colavito and Norm Cash had 41 while Willie Mays had 40. Those were some nice baseball days.

  2. I’m assuming here that every extra square meter of the earth humans need will result eventually in a square meter of natural habitat being compromised in some way.

    I won’t even give you that.

    As societies become more prosperous, they do a better job of protecting the environment. Global prosperity is rising. link

    The environmentalists assume that rising prosperity will lead to resource depletion and deterioration of the environment. Actually, the places with the worst environmental protection are the poorest. The people are forced to rape the environment just for bare sustenance. example

    • “… I’m assuming here that every extra square meter of the earth humans need will result eventually in a square meter of natural habitat being compromised in some way. …”
      >>

      Except human cities are in fact a natural habitat, on a planet where we are its greatest natural environmental development.

      Science and technology always follow natural laws, and we are following natural laws of survival and adaptation when we use those to improve the environment – totally natural, in every way.

      So if that square meter is made better for humans, then how is the natural environment being compromised in any way? Au contraire! If the “natural environment” is made better for humans, this has implicit improved the Earth’s natural environment!

      The Green ideology’s ‘logic’ is at odds with the fact that humans and their science nd technology and factories, sewage systems and landfills are all natural evolutionary developments of this planet and Cosmos’s natural laws.

      But their misanthropy is so blind and deep-seated that they can not grasp their smorgasbord of neo-theological myths and beliefs about being the Sainted protectors of ghia from the ravages of humans, makes no sense at all, on any level.

      We ARE the improvement to the Earth’s ‘natural environment’, it is healthier due to the NET effects, globally, of the things that humans generally do.

    • Protecting the environment? Define the term. Sub-dividing ranches so you can put 50 new houses in where there was once open space? What is open space? How much can you subdivide before it stops being open space? In reality, the turbines take no more land than a subdivision. They do, however, stick up 400 feet in the air and are hideous. They do completely alter the land from ranch/agricultural to industrial. They are far more permanent and far more material intensive. All of those could be considered negatives. The problem is, one person’s definition of “protecting” the environment is not the same as another’s is. Until we can decide what the term actually means, there’s really no way to discuss this.

      I personally consider wind turbines as raping the environment for profit, but that’s a hard sell among the greedy elite.

      I would note that one thing properity does tend to do is send people into cities and thus decreases their use of lands for housing. Yes, then the billionaires buy up the open areas and exploit the environment to their fancy, but for a time at least, the people concentrate in cities.

    • “I won’t even give you that.”

      Tell me Mr. Commie, how many earthworms can live on a square meter of asphalt parking lot?

  3. There was a great bit on SkyChannel’s Outsiders program on Sunday pointing out that if you want to stop plastics input to the oceans, you go to Asia and change the laws and culture there, rather than pretend that it’s the West’s drinking stores and shopping bags that are putting it there.

    Go and look at Asian cities, and at the trash in the rivers and streams that pass through them, and then you can see clearly that any change in the West’s laws and culture will have next to ZERO change on the level of plastics in the ocean, because the West is not where it’s coming from.

    But Greens only condemn Western culture which do the least harm but they’re also the only ones on earth who will allow the Greens to carry on and tell lies so freely, and will even be stupid enough to vote for them, on the basis of said lies and copious faux guilt-trips based on baseless myths.

    Much like any other intolerant fundamentalist religion, I suppose.

    • Ah, but, WXcycles, we in the west have to set an example!!!
      Ask Theresa May. Zero net emissions by 2050 and the Chinese will leap to follow.

      In whose dreams?!

    • “Go and look at Asian cities, and at the trash in the rivers and streams that pass through them, and then you can see clearly that any change in the West’s laws and culture will have next to ZERO change on the level of plastics in the ocean, because the West is not where it’s coming from.”

      err what? Asian?

      ya never been to korea have you son? or japan?

      Its better to be specific rather than malign a whole race of folks, the east dominates, with the notable
      exceptions I list above.

      by the numbers

      https://www.statista.com/chart/12211/the-countries-polluting-the-oceans-the-most/

    • Yes, Mr. Religion Hater, much like your view of any other “intolerant fundamentalist religion” that you personally disagree with. Now hurry up and get that child in for sex reassignment and get ready for the alphabet parade while demanding equal pay for all. You’re so open-minded that…. how did that go?

    • “Much like any other intolerant fundamentalist religion, I suppose.”

      WUWT that were religion haters are welcomed and given a pulpit for their venom, THEIR OWN PERSONAL INTOLERANT RELIGION.

      • It’s called free speech Sheri, and Anthony is about the only sure left that promotes it.

        I appreciate the freedom, even when I disagree with such opinions

      • Ya see Sheri, skeptics kinda prefer and in fact require evidence of things over mere assertions of belief and brainless ‘defense’ of nothings of any substance. Like “climate-change” for instance.

  4. In capitalist countries there are people who have the spare resources to protect the environment. In socialist countries there are no such people, and they wouldn’t be allowed to do it even if they wanted to.

  5. New York City is one of the top ten densest cities in the world. We just consider New York a thriving urban metropolitan environment. In fact we call it the Big Apple and is the most trend setting city in the world. Manila, Mexico City and other huge cities I have seen don’t really emulate New York City, so it isn’t so much sheer population numbers as it is the politics of a nation that drag big cities and even some countries into the gutter.

  6. “This time, however, there will be no continents to discover ”

    I dispute this assertion. The solar system is laid out like stepping stones. We’ve already had explorers make tentative steps into beyond-Earth regions. The Lunar Outpost is beginning construction in 2022 (scheduled), with industrialization of asteroid and Lunar resources expected in the mid-century time frame. With quadrillion$ of resources available in space for exploitation, it is inevitable that our robots and our people will go.

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-lunar-outpost-will-extend-human-presence-in-deep-space
    https://www.engadget.com/2019/05/24/nasa-first-piece-lunar-gateway/

    People who talk like this planet is all there is and there is nothing more, are woefully ignorant of human history of exploration, and sorely lack imagination.

    • Keep on dreaming. You can’t breathe on other planets, it’s worse than settling in Antarctica. Few people prefer to live permanently in Antarctica. Living on other planets is like living in a golden cage.

      • Without clothes, you can’t live anywhere outside the tropics.
        We humans have been using technology to make uninhabitable places habitable for 100,000 years or more.

      • Sure, terraforming a planet can be done, just sprinkle some algae in the Venusian atmosphere. But presently a base on Mars is a oneway ticket to a prison, and Mars is not Australia.

        • You don’t have to terraform to make Mars habitable, but it helps. It’s just a different spot on the technology spectrum.
          It’s not impossible as you are so desperate to believe.

      • “Living on other planets is like living in a golden cage.”

        No- that would be the European Union.

        [The mods point out that “Living on other planets requires living in a gilded pressure vessel. .mod]

    • I’m sure that people will do lots of impractical things for the sake of exploration and being the first to do something. The fact that we are about to observe the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first human step on the moon should give you pause to question the idea that there are any exploitable resources in space. If there were, why did we have four and a half decades with almost no activity?

      I refer to commercially-exploitable resources of course, which is a question of relative costs. Just as we could produce all of our gasoline from synthesis gas derived from coal but it is far cheaper to refine from crude oil, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where it could be cheaper to return raw materials to earth than to mine them on earth or recover them from our waste streams.

      You may conjure up solar power arrays beaming power from space, but I’d wager even in that case, it will likely be far cheaper to get our energy from coal and nuclear.

      The Greens are correct that there’s no Plan(et) B. We do need to be good stewards of earth to avoid a scenario where we have no place to live. It’s just that they are wrong about the impacts we are having. As a child in the 1960s and 70s, I never saw an eagle, or a hawk, or a great heron, but now they have become almost commonplace to see. We are overrun with deer. Our footprint certainly has not gotten smaller in that timeframe. As we have gotten wealthier, we have taken better care of our environment.

      • “The fact that we are about to observe the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first human step on the moon should give you pause to question the idea that there are any exploitable resources in space. If there were, why did we have four and a half decades with almost no activity?”

        The basic problem with humans moving into the solar system and exploiting its resources is the high cost of moving humans and cargo from Earth to low-Earth orbit.

        Once that problem is solved, the human race will be off to the races in outer space.

        • “The fact that we are about to observe the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first human step on the moon should give you pause to question the idea that there are any exploitable resources in space. If there were, why did we have four and a half decades with almost no activity?”

          Because, for four and half decades of space flight, we had governments in charge of financing space flight.

          Change only happened when private companies, led by far-seeing individuals, began financing spaceflight.

          The money in space is in the asteroid belt, not on the moon’s dusty surface and light-weight rock.

  7. @ commieBob:
    Yes, I was going to blast him for that quote, as well.
    You beat me to it quoting that incredibly dumb opening statement, so you saved me the trouble.

    So I will go with this:

    cultural differences will likely have been softened by contact.

    Well gee, that does not fly in the face of history at all, does it?
    I have one word for all those wondering how cultural interactions will go in the 21st century.
    One word, ready?

    Islam.

    Yes, we are going to get along just fine.
    Data Point 1, history:
    The Battle At The Gates of Vienna, 1683. Sept 11, 1683. Date:911(!) The Twin Towers in New York city were attacked and destroyed on the anniversary of that defeat. The attack was retribution.
    Note that the 1683 attack was a second major attempt at the conquest of all of Europe. They had tried earlier in the 1530s.
    Data Point 2, modern history:
    Lebanon, a christian majority country ripped apart by Palestinian muslim immigrants following the Arab-Israeli war in 1967. Previously, Lebanon was known as “The Riviera Of The Eastern Med”, as it was a destination for the international “Jet Set” crowd. Now it is just another third-world hellhole.

    Sure, we all are going to get along just fine:
    WW III anybody?

  8. Global population has been doubling every 38 years for the past several cycles and shows no signs of slowing down (poopuation is rising exponentially). Fall off a cliff and noting that the rate of velocity increase is slowing down when you reach terminal velocity doesn’t mean that you will be OK. The world population reached 6 billion in 2000 so if the population doubles as usual, the population will be 12 billion by 2040 and will be approaching critical mass (that’s when the exponential equation explodes).

    Something is crazy wrong with your Table 1. It shows a population increase of only 1 million from 2017 to 2030 (and only 2.2 million from 1917 to 2050! ) That’s essentially only one year’s increase! And if you apply 1% growth rate to 2050, you get 27.8 million, not 9.7 million.

    Perhaps you should redo your math!

    • Well, I think your concern about poopuation is a bit excessive. Everyone poops, so as the population increases, so does the poopuation. The bottom (heh heh) line is that the amount of sh*t per person remains the same.

    • “Global population has been doubling every 38 years for the past several cycles and shows no signs of slowing down (poopuation is rising exponentially). ”
      Simply untrue. Check your facts. You could start with Hans Rosling on gapminder.org. Population growth has plummeted and is expected to stabilise around 11 billion. Still high but not exponential growth.

      • I see no reason why we should assume that the population would stabilize. There are many countries whose birth rates are already below replacement level.
        To date, no country with falling birth rates has had that rate stabilize at replacement.

        • “o date, no country with falling birth rates has had that rate stabilize at replacement.”

          Good point, MarkW. There is a possiblity the population numbers will decline.

          • Not just a possibility, but pretty close to a certainty.
            By the end of the century we will be worrying about how to handle the problem of an aging population with total numbers falling fast.

    • That the rate of growth in the population has been decreasing for the last 100 years is well documented.
      The only argument left is when do we reach max human and have the population start falling.
      The UN says somewhere around 2050, I think it will be a lot closer, more like 2030.

    • Why do you think the WHO (subsidiary of the UN) wants us all on a “plant-based diet,” allowed “1/5 of an egg per week?” Plants contain natural pesticides and nutrient and mineral absorption blockers, and are well known to be lacking in a number of very important amino acids and vitamins absolutely necessary for healthy human life and, particularly, fecundity.

      “Soy-boy” isn’t just a flip expression. Effeminate men with non-viable sperm seems to be a feature of the plan, not a bug.

  9. IMO not looking good for whites.
    Trying to get a grasp of the racial mix 2100:
    My estimates:
    Africa 3.5 Bil 100% black….. 0.80 bil mixed 0.16bil white
    Asia….2.3 bil “Chinese” asian….. 2.0 “india” asian…0.2 mixed….0.3 bil “white”
    Europe…0.2 bil white………0.2 bil black or mixed…..0.2 bil “muslim”
    latin America……0.15 bil white….0.3 mixed black/white/”injun”….0.2 black
    North America….-0.2 bil white…..0.1 bil black …0.2 bil Hispanic or mixed
    Summary:
    1.01 bil whites (including mixed)……….4.5 bil black…..4.5 bil “asian” ……1.2 bil “other”
    However, whites by then will be demographically and politically marginalized and IMO will be in great danger of being very abused, with little power anywhere allowing a defensive cohesion.
    THUS the numbers could be worse than above, and probably downhill from there.

    • Not looking good for “whites”? Only if it’s somehow bad for people of different races to live together. Could whites face a backlash of oppression? Sure, especially if their public attitude is that hostile inferior races are threatening to destroy our rightful place atop the world order.

      • No Rich, whites have literally birthed freedom for humanity. Non whites know only destruction and violence. Look around the globe.
        Look around the world and history.
        Almost every modern invention is due to whites. The most peaceful and secure Nations are Western and white, and in the areas that are not white within America, we have non whites skewing the violent crime statistics. Look at fatherless homes in non whites vs whites.
        2% of all US counties are responsible for over 50% of violent crime and theft. Illegals commit upwards of 170% crime compared to natives.

        No go zones in France are Muslim, not white. Same for Sweden.

        Maybe it’s because white people have built everything and we’re concerned about seeing our children suffer at the hands of resentful monsters who know only hate, because they have been trained to do so by a certain internationalist cabal.

        Oppression eh? South Africa. Libya. Iran. Venezuela. Nearly all of Africa actually.

        I’m of Slovak heritage. You know, where the term slave originates.
        My family is third generation and my grandfather worked in the coal mines.
        Whites don’t oppress, it’s the elites that do it. Always have been. Ever hear of the Muslim slave trade or the crusades?

        Whites are the most peaceful and accommodating, tolerant race…. To our detriment. No. Diversity is not a strength!

        But, your misguided self hatred will be responsible for the destruction of the world too the benefit of the global elite.
        I wish only people that thought like you suffered the consequences of selfish racial self suicide.

        • So much ignorance and bigotry it’s hard to know where to begin.
          Muslim is a religion not a race.
          There are many violent whites. The problem is poverty and ignorance, as you so well show.

          Anyone who doesn’t believe that whites are genetically superior beings with a duty to rule over the other races, if not eliminate them completely is guilty of self hatred.

          [Mods, do we really need to leave this type of bigotry here?]

          • oh, Mr. free market MarkW calling for mods when someone challenges his personal biases.
            Amazing, how quickly you call on the authorities rather than challenge my assertions.
            nothing I have said is false.

            BTW, I never said whites were superior. In fact, when you look at unity, whites are far from superior because they are the only race that has a portion that hates itself. Whites vote approximately 50% split between Democrat/Republican in America.
            HIspanics approximately 70% Democrat
            Blacks approximately 90-95% historically

            Those are facts. you can hate facts but that doesn’t change the fact of a changing dynamic in this country, geared towards people that historically vote for socialist policies and have issues with violence within their own communities.

            Look up the FBI Crime statistics from 2016, the most recent available regarding these issues. You are a bigot in your own fashion MarkW, one of the most notorious instigators here against people who disagree, with many ad hominem and direct personal insults over the years. You haven’t a leg to stand on.

          • Islam is not a religion, it is a political system. A muslim is an adherent to the political system of Islam.

            Yes, there are many violent white people. I never claimed there was not. I’m talking about history, statistics, and the aggregate. I’m not going to cow tow to lame, sadistic weirdos that think white people are bad. I’m going to stand up and be proud to be what I am, just like every other non white person is permitted to do, and actually encouraged to do.

            You hold a very perverted perspective of reality. I can’t think of anyone that is white, who is trying to maintain the safety and security of our people, who simultaneously advocates for harming or ruling over other races. In fact, people like me are continuously disgusted that blacks are taken advantage of by democrats for their own gain, and to the eventual detriment of this nation.

            The real bigotry is people like you, masquerading as intellectuals and virtue signalling without fully investing in a real conversation about the importance of saving western society. A society that is historically white. Literally every other society is encouraged to be proud of themselves and put down whites, and you are clearly in the category of self-flagellation (that is if you are also white). Otherwise, it is clear you are weak and hateful, wishing to run to mods to censor an honest discussion from an opposing viewpoint, by someone who has not called for violence against anyone.

            30 separate attacks by black nationalists against orthodox jews in NYC within the last month or so
            rolling gangs of blacks attacking whites based on race, on memorial day, in Baltimore
            4 black late teens who kidnapped a mentally retarded white kid and tortured him, live streaming, while claiming F Trump F white people… and there are literally 1000’s of other examples of this with ZERO coverage of MSM. ITS A DOUBLE STANDARD. You are clearly too dense to recognize that all lives matter and those who wish to protect ourselves and our children aren’t necessarily racist, but rather self interested in continuing this wonderfully safe and prosperous society.

          • Calling for the moderators to remove racist trash.

            BTW, how is a private concern, maintaining it’s own web site, anti-free market?

    • Interesting how you assume that having too many non-white people is automatically a bad thing.
      How many Klan meetings did you attend last year?

      • Apparently you aren’t familiar with world history, United States crime statistics, Hispanic and black voting records, SIPP self reported census where over 70% of illegals admit to being on at least one form of welfare, Hispanic child abuse statistics relative to whites, Asians, and Jews; black single mothers notorious violence against their children, fatherhood rates amongst the races, IQ rates amongst the races, black and Hispanic polling regarding the 1st and second amendment.

        BTW, less than 5% of whites in America owned slaves, slaves which were captured and sold by other blacks, less than 1% owned more than one, and when blacks were free there were certain cities with up to 40% free blacks owning other blacks.

        Here markW chimes in again to alleviate any doubt regarding his monumental ignorance on most matters. I’ve read the responses over the years after you make blanket comments completely detached from reality, wherein your fact free assertions have been dismantled repeatedly. You aren’t as knowledgeable as your ego assumes.

        Wanting to protect Western society from those who do not share the same values is now racist eh? So every single other ethnicity, culture, “oppressed” group, etc is opened to have pride but not whites? Unity is acceptable for all groups except whites eh? You should really check your privilege. You sound like all those leftists that praise diversity whilst loving in the whitest areas, like Boulder.

        I’m concerned about the coming purges my white children will suffer at the hands of non whites when they are my age. Look how they act now in America with the instigation of the main stream press, and they aren’t the majority yet.

        Denver city council district 9 newly elected council member, Dbaca (sp) ” I’ll usher in communism by any means necessary”.
        This is only the beginning, Mr. Anti white racist.

        Anyone who doesn’t share that concern is as ignorant as you to history and current affairs.

        • “I’m concerned about the coming purges my white children will suffer…”

          Encourage them to marry non-whites; then the problem just fades away.

          (I agree with MarkW on this)

          • excuse me?

            Think about this upon yourself:

            “encourage your (insert non-white personnage) children to marry whites”
            oh boy would you be thrown into the coals.

            and further, how dare you speak to me in such a manner, suggesting I raise my children in any matter according to your worldview. Good, agree with Mark. He’s wrong about 75% of the time on here anyway (just go back and look how many people have responded to his nonsense with factual evidence to the contrary), and just proved his hypocrisy by crying for the mods to censor my non-violent, accurate speech because it disagreed with his delicate sensibilities. He is the the typical weak beta male who talks a big game about freedom and the ails of government but when rubber meets the road he shows his true colors.

        • oh and one last remark, for Mark who loves to throw out pejoratives to shut down debate:

          when you look at race and IQ as it relates to stability, safety, and success throughout the world..
          Ashkenazi Jews and East Asians are superior to whites in literally every single metric, albeit slightly. I accept this. I also don’t think whites are superior. I simply don’t want to see whites self-suicide because of a misplaced self-loathing. It is self-preservation 101.

          Tell me again how I’m a white supremecist. I’m quite interested how someone who frequents a site based on using evidence simultaneously refuses to dispute the facts, and then also claims a person making arguments based on factual evidence is a white supremecist. If I didn’t know better I’d think you are quite familiar with modern leftist tactics.

          BTW… I POST MY REAL NAME. ONLINE. Can’t say the same for you Mr. W

  10. Global population has been doubling every 38 years for the past several cycles and shows no signs of slowing down (poopuation is rising exponentially). Fall off a cliff and noting that the rate of velocity increase is slowing down when you reach terminal velocity doesn’t mean that you will be OK. The world population reached 6 billion in 2000 so if the population doubles as usual, the population will be 12 billion by 2040 and will be approaching critical mass (that’s when the exponential equation explodes).

    Something is crazy wrong with your Table 1. It shows a population increase of only 1 million from 2017 to 2030 (and only 2.2 million from 1917 to 2030! ) That’s essentially one year’s increase, not 13 years! And if you apply 1% growth rate for 13 years, you get 27.8 million, not 9.7 million.

    • Don,
      What are you looking at?
      Table 1, for the World has 8551 – 7550 = 1,001 (millions)

      Thus: 1,001,000,000

      For 2100, the total of 11,184 million seems high, but is based on assumptions about Africa that are questionable. 81 years is beyond my horizon.

      Where does your 1917 to 2030! come from?

    • The claim that global population is still growing exponentially is refuted by real world data.

    • PS: You really need to read graphs a bit more carefully. Specifically the title of the graph where is specifies that the numbers are percentage, not in millions.

  11. “Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline” (2019) by by Darrell Bricker & John Ibbitson
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1984823213/

    “For half a century, statisticians, pundits, and politicians have warned that a burgeoning population will soon overwhelm the earth’s resources. But a growing number of experts are sounding a different alarm. Rather than continuing to increase exponentially, they argue, the global population is headed for a steep decline—and in many countries, that decline has already begun.

    “In Empty Planet, John Ibbitson and Darrell Bricker find that a smaller global population will bring with it many benefits: fewer workers will command higher wages; the environment will improve; the risk of famine will wane; and falling birthrates in the developing world will bring greater affluence and autonomy for women.”

    • A smaller population means fewer workers. It also means fewer consumers, therefor falling demand.
      The fact that the author completely missed the second half of that equation gives me no confidence that anything he writes is worth reading.

    • Without worldwide education it´s going to be men´s world, literally. Falling birthrates favor boys. And later there would not be women to enjoy autonomy.

      • That’s only true when the falling birthrate is imposed by the government and their is strong societal imperative to have at least one boy.

    • Darrell Bricker [@darrellbricker] just tweeted this about 1 hour ago:

      Replying to @PopnMatters @UNDESA

      These numbers, while down, still don’t reflect the extent of global fertility decline. The more likely scenario is closer to the low variant than the medium variant.

      “We will end the century with a global population close to the current number.”

      Check out Empty Planet to see why.

  12. Manufacture uncounted wind turbines for the world’s billions yet to be born or manufacture contraception for today’s billions.

    It is an easy call for me.

  13. This population growth forecast seems like nonsense. What is the justification for the rate flattening out between 2040-2045, then continuing downward? There is none. It’s a flawed model.
    I would expect growth rates to slowly trend down to zero, possibly go below zero and bounce around depending on climate, economics, and technology. However, the date at which this would occur is pure speculation. Warmer climates support more people. Better technology supports more people, but more advanced economies have lower birthrates, so the resulting birthrate is a combination of these factors that are impossible to predict. Sure you can draw a line based on recent trends, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

    In addition, keep in mind that the vast majority of population growth is occurring in cities, so it’s not like we are running out of real estate. With continued improvement of farm efficiency (despite the best efforts of organic farmers), we aren’t running out of food either. In the end it’s self correcting. When people can’t afford to have kids, they either don’t have kids, or the kids die. Just like any other species.

    • It’s based on a study of countries with falling birth rates.
      Your assumption that birth rates will stabilize around the replacement level (growth rate of zero) is not supported by the data. No country with falling birth rates has stabilized at the replacement level. In fact, there is no country, where birth rates have stabilized at all. Those countries with falling birth rates, the birth rates continue to fall.

  14. The growth curve will show much more deceleration with time. Under the thesis presented, prosperity growth is an exponential function. The larger population forecast by the UN seves its Marxian purposes. Population may overshoot to 10B but with completion of spread of world prosperity, we are likely to see a moderate decline to ~9.5B.

    One of the things you have right Bob, is if the left impede’s the spread of prosperity with its Malthusian climate idiocies and policies it is pushing for, then we will push population higher. If we do everything we reasonably can to facilitate the growth in prosperity, the peak will be earlier and lower.

    Let’s start by massive reform of the left’s dumbing down, politicized education and the facilitation of cheap reliable energy for the Third World .

  15. If anyone is interested in this topic, there is a thought provoking book out by Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson called “Empty Plant” The Shock of Global Population Decline”. (Feb 2019) Bricker and Ibbitson make the case that the UN Population projections are much too high ( I know, WUWT readers are shocked 😉 ) and the expert opinion of other demographers is that the world population will begin to decline some time between 2040 and 2060. Trade, Urbanization, Globalization, Education, among other factors are leading to plummeting birth rates in most countries, even in Africa. And in a lot of places, they are moving closer to 1.0 than 2.1. https://www.amazon.ca/Empty-Planet-Global-Population-Decline/dp/0771050887/ref=sr_1_1

  16. “The UN apparently cares about habitat loss and human encroachment on wilderness areas … ”
    There is a saying “wilderness is the space between a greenie’s ears.” In Australia at least, keeping people out of wilderness areas is manifestly counter-productive. The fuel load builds up to catastrophic levels, invasive species, including human wrong-doers, take up residence and thrive. It used to be carefully managed. now it isn’t.
    Those population projections do look suspect. Maybe they are all going up because the intent of the UN and those with influence is bent on reducing the prosperity of human kind. They are trying to create the boom and bust that Erlich was claiming that failed to materialise. Could be. after all, global warming did not persist so has had to be manufactured by adjustments. Why not do the same with population?
    The only figure that counts is the ratio between the birth rate and the long-term replacement rate.

  17. Just to put a little meat on them bones 🙂 …
    Average human weighs 66kg (about 145lbs).
    Population increase is 7 billion individuals since the early 1800 to now.
    That is 462x 10^9 kgs (1015x 10^9 lbs) increase in humans mass.

    Just by the human numbers alone the Kiehl and Trenberth’s ridiculous ideas that solar energy in = energy out soon fails. The totality of energy requirements for life on the planet is a variable not a constant as K&T suppose. Life acting as it does stores solar energy!

    • “Life acting as it does stores solar energy!”.

      Isn’t. We’re eating and breathing to gain energy for work + gaining some body mass.

      With falling blood sugar levels, we cool off: and need replenishment.

      Am Ende geben wir alles der Erde zurueck –

      return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

      Dust. The natural elements, such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, etc. then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. … …return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.17.02.2018

      https://www.quora.com › What-is-the-me…
      “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return”? – Quora

      https://www.google.com/search?client=ms-android-huawei&ei=u74HXbr6JMjKrgTy1IGgBA&q=falling+blood+glucose+levels&oq=falling+blood+sugar+level&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.

      • You are wrong, and appear to believe that biological life does not require sunlight — solar energy to be stored in the chemical bonds formed by the plants.
        Those “blood sugar levels” are initially made by plants. Plants that take mostly inert chemicals (CO2, Water and some minerals) and by transforming solar energy to chemical bonds, make energy rich sugars and starches. They lock solar energy into new chemical bonds!
        That trick of photosynthesis, the making of new HIGHER energy molecules by transforming solar energy to chemical energy, and making new biological chemicals from basic inert molecules.
        Get it ? Plants make HIGHER energy molecules from lower energy CO2, water etc., by using sunlight, solar energy, that it stores within the newly made sugars, starches cellulosic structural chemicals, etc. We and all animals eat and reuse those HIGH energy chemicals.

        The population since 1800 to the present has (approximately) doubled 3 times to reach our present level. All during that time humans have been consuming food. Food that holds solar energy (solar energy + CO2 + water + some minerals converted to useful biological chemicals by plants). In essence we, like the plants and animals we cultivate, are storehouses of solar energy — solar energy that is stored in the chemical bonds of biological molecules.

        • Basically take all the people that have lived since 1800, render them all down to their basic original elements (that they were before plants start them on the process.) Measure all that energy from them, subtract the energy to keep the environment at the temperature it was at (from 1800 to now), and what is left is the 200 years of mostly solar energy it take to get the population to expand from 1 billion to 8 billion.

  18. There was an interest in article on the BBC a few days ago.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-47643456


    hat same year, 1968, Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich and his wife Anne (who is uncredited) published an explosive book.

    In The Population Bomb, they noted that in poor countries such as India and Pakistan, populations were growing more quickly than food supplies.

    In the 1970s, they predicted: “Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death”.
    Thankfully, Ehrlich was wrong, because he didn’t know what Norman Borlaug had been doing.

    Borlaug would later be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the years he had spent shuttling between Mexico City and the Yaqui Valley, growing thousands upon thousands of kinds of wheat, and carefully noting their traits: this kind resisted one type of stem rust, but not another; this kind produced good yields, but made bad bread; and so on.

    He couldn’t sequence the wheat’s DNA to figure out which genes caused which traits, because that technology was decades away.

    But he could cross the varieties which had some good traits, and hope that one of the cross-breeds would happen to have all the good traits and none of the bad.

    A lesson to all predicting doom, gloom and approaching disaster.

    • Ben, a perfect example that human ingenuity IS the resources, not the stuff in and on the ground.

  19. “Higher living standards and lower population growth rates are now directly linked, particularly in developing countries.” This fact is very well known in demography and geography of population since many decades. It’s called “demographic transition”. This transition begins when infantile mortality decreases due to technical progresses, but birthrate continues and then decreases after many years. This period is called “demographic transition”. When birthrate and mortality meets, the low equilibrium is achieved. It’s the case in Europe and Japan. This transition appears firstly in England at the end of XVIIIth century, and now it’s reaching all the world. So, population growth is stabilising iself around 2100/2150 before declining.
    This trend is true for all nations, at diverse speeds, whatever are colors of skins, religions, nationalities… Simply, the Industrial revolution which started in England two centuries ago, is coming in Africa and others “underdevelopped” countries.

  20. Check out Hans Rowling on Utube. Or TED talks Population plateau about 12 billion. Plus other videos.

  21. “Common sense seems to have had little impact to date.”
    What a reserved understatement!

    Strange that many and ever more accessible opportunities for birth control are not mentioned among factors of population stabilization.

  22. not sure how much to put into this report, they pretty much have all of the growth happening in Africa, seems unlikely to me. Africa has serious resource issues. This seems like guess work to me and not a lot of actual investigation.

  23. Apparently we cannot predict climate but we CAN predict population growth with 100% certainty and there are at least a dozen versions of “certainty” here. Skepticism and reality belong only to that one does not choose to believe, never to their chosen “fundamental religious beliefs” nor their totally accurate predictions in areas they want to be true. How can one be a skeptic stating we cannot predict climate and then state we can somehow predict population? Only with fantasy and denial….

    • Or maybe we know much more about humans than climate. Climate is chaotic and nonlinear system, and human is not. You know, when a boy meets girl…

      I´m not saying this prediction of population is somehow more accurate than any other. To me it´s “lets see”.

      We can predict weather few days, with good luck. We can not predict weather (climate) hundreds of years. Models are only tools, and only one of them is almost close. Other, hundreds, are off the scale, high.

      So, calling this “fantasy and denial”, is proof of your lack of braincapacity to compaire these, totally different issues as they are at same equal level. They are not.

      These things are not just YES or NO. Propability to this population prediction to be true, or close, is much higher than climatemodels – 1 vision to be anywhere on this planet. So, shame on you!

  24. “I’m assuming here that every extra square meter of the earth humans need will result eventually in a square meter of natural habitat being compromised in some way.”

    Planar thinking.
    Humans affect large areas vertically and horizontally.
    Where humans are unable to spread out, they build vertically. Humans drain swamps, fill bays, inlets and ocean shallows, fill valleys with reservoirs, aquaculture, build wind farms, etc. etc.

    Make that cubic meter and I’m more inclined to agree.

  25. Fail-safe recipe for population control.

    1) raise living standards
    2) increase access to education for women.

    All else follows from those two.

    • End of story. Wealth (energy aviailability) is directly correlated to smaller families. Ten years ago when I moved to Panama, 4-9 children was normal. Some families had up to 16. Ten years later, 2-3 kids max. What happened? Consumer credit, new cars, big screens, travel, education costs. Try piling 9 kids in a car for a weekend outing. Not to mention the hotel and restaurant bills.

      So, to slow population growth, get them as much cheap energy as fast as possible. Once wealth reaches the “no more kids” point, population stops growing. A smaller population uses less energy forever.

  26. History has taught us a simple lesson. More wealth brings better health and better health brings smaller families.
    It is that simple.
    Now the kicker for those Green thinkers, more wealth always requires more reliable cheap energy. If the COGS really do want to improve the condition of the environment in which “real people” live they need to get on board either the nuclear electricity revolution, or back the fossil fuel known technologies, both work really well unlike wind turbines and solar power which works some of the time only.

  27. If the world has limited to non-Africa there would be no problem.

    Africa is the problem. There are currently 1.2 billion people in Africa of which 600 million do not have access to electricity. There is predicted to be 2.5 billion people living in Africa in 2050.

    Throwing aid at the African problem has not worked.

    https://www.populationconnection.org/africa-globaldev/

    So how and why do fertility rates vary across the globe? Currently, many regions throughout the world maintain total fertility rates at or below replacement level, or 2.0.

    The U.S., for example, has a fertility rate of about 1.76, which implies that the average woman will have that many children. Canada’s fertility rate is 1.6, Spain’s is 1.5, South Korea’s is 1.24, Japan’s is 1.46, Chile’s is 1.75.

    In contrast, Malawi’s fertility rate is 5.05 births per woman, Tanzania’s is estimated to be 4.9, Niger’s is 6.62, Burundi’s is 6.04, Mali’s is 5.96. Africa’s overall population is set to reach three times that of Europe by 2050. And, if UN forecasts remain true, sub-Saharan Africa will have four billion people in 2100.

    https://qz.com/africa/1016790/more-than-half-of-the-worlds-population-growth-will-be-in-africa-by-2050/

    More than half of the world’s population growth will be in Africa by 2050

    Africa will account for the highest population spurt with an additional 1.3 billion people on the continent, a new UN population report shows.

    Much of Africa’s population boom will come from Nigeria, currently the world’s 7th most populous country. By 2050, the report predicts, Nigeria will become the world’s third largest country by population, becoming one of the six nations projected to have a population of over 300 million.

    Arithmetic Population and Energy – FULL LENGTH

  28. Africa will never reach 4 billion people unless it stabilizes and modernizes. As long as it continues to be ruled by warlords, they will just keep killing each other. One would think that countries would over time stabilize, but then look at Iran and North Korea – they seem to be able to continue to exist no matter how brutal the governments are to their own people.

    South America is another example of progress that keeps reversing itself – but they at least seem to be making progress in some areas. In 80 more years maybe they will finally achieve more stability.

    Highly developed western societies would actually be shrinking in population if it were not for wholesale immigration (legal and otherwise). These societies appear to be reaching a decline in culture as they disintegrate from within (political correctness is a symptom of this). As they tilt towards socialism, they will lose their influence and eventually ability to generate a high GNP.

  29. The population prediction from 2050 to 2100 seems very suspect, with the population of Africa increasing by 1.94 billion people (nearly 77%) in 50 years, while that of the rest of the world decreases by 528 million people.

    Such a massive population increase in Africa would put tremendous strain on that continent’s resources, particularly since most of the northern half of Africa is uninhabitable desert (the Sahara). If Africa’s population actually increased that fast, most Africans would live in poverty, and this would encourage emigration from Africa to less densely populated areas, particularly Europe and the Americas.

  30. Most AI researchers are predicting human level artificial general intelligence within 10-20 years, with superintelligence to follow soon after. All predictions about trends, environmental, economic and social problems fail at that point as the resultant changes and development in tech will be so vast. Given that short time line the only big issue the human race should be worrying about is if we can survive the rise of AI.

  31. “With global population numbers due to stabilise in the next 50 years” ?

    Going from 7.5B to 11.2B (50% increase) in 80 years is hardly “stable.”

    If I read one more Op Ed writer opining on the need for higher birth rates in order to (a) pay for retirement for people my age (Baby Boomer), or (b) grow the economy, I shall write a strongly-worded Letter to the Editor! Where will we get the fresh water? and more to the point, who will pay for the retirement of all those new souls?

    Both sides (every side?) of the climate debate should be firmly in favor of negative population growth. I’ll be dead by 2,050 (I plan to buy a motorcycle if I live to 85), but I morn for my grand children.

    • >> (50% increase) in 80 years is hardly “stable.”

      Much of that increase comes from improved longevity. Extra old people don’t add to the birthrate. Thus, the population can be stabilizing and increasing at the same time.

  32. “I’m assuming here that every extra square meter of the earth humans need will result eventually in a square meter of natural habitat being compromised in some way.” So that we move from occupying 3% of the earth to 4.5 % and somehow you see that as a problem. Get or of you arm chair and or city and drive around a bit start on the lowest southern most point of the US and drive as far north as you can get in Alaska, then tell me how we are filling up the earth. Better yet ride a bike, that will give you a real feel how vast the world really is. If you really want a challenge get a boat and sail around the at the south 40s. That really empty and deadly.

  33. I am suppose to be concerned that presently human occupy 3% percent of the earth surface and somehow we are a threat to the earth and all thing on it if we occupy 4.5 %. Juat maybe when we get to 11 billion people we will have a larger biomass than ants.

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