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Is the World Really Overpopulated?

Two hundred years ago, Thomas Malthus worried about overpopulation, when the world had a billion people. A hundred years ago, that had doubled to two billion people. Now we have seven billion. Is the world overpopulated? That question was posed to a variety of scientists, economists, and ethnographers. Each one had to clarify the meaning of the question, and explained how societies and technology have managed to expand our available resources to accommodate more people than Malthius could imagine. Raywat Deonandan, a Health Sciences professor at the University of Ottawa, says, in part.

When we talk about “overpopulation” we’re really talking mostly about food, since that’s the rate-limiting step. Insufficient food would be a crisis clearly noticeable well before ecological collapse manifests, I would think. When fears of global overpopulation were at a fevered pitch back in the 1970s, the prediction was that we would be beset by constant famines by now. Instead, even in the poorest areas of the planet, the food supply typically exceeds the recommended 2000 calories per day. This is mostly due to improvements in food production practices and technology. In fact, the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN) estimates that 1.3 billion tonnes of food produced for human consumption goes wasted each year. This is approximately 1/3 of all food produced. Most of the loss is caused by improper storage and transportation. This means that we actually have a huge calorie buffer for greater population growth, assuming that food management can be made more efficient.

However, many of them mentioned the human impact on the environment. Read what the experts say about overpopulation at Gizmodo.

(Image credit: Monocletophat123)


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Yeah... get a seat on the subway at the peak of rush hour, then decide if there's maybe just too many people around. Or maybe we're just not good at applying our activity in an efficient fashion?Naw - it's just too many bodies
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"When we talk about “overpopulation” we’re really talking mostly about food, since that’s the rate-limiting step."
1000% Untrue. When I talk about overpopulation, I talk about how there used to be 100,000 people, then it was 1 billion, then it was 3 billion, and now 7.5 billion. Rich people have always subjugated 99% of people and always will. The money and resources will never be equally distributed, so it doesn't matter how much actual land the earth has. It will never be re-distributed because that isn't the nature of human beings. It takes a village to raise a child, and most children are not Bill Gates or Michael Jordan. Everything is about scale. If there was 7.5 billion tigers roaming the earth, everyone would agree that's overpopulation. But humans have more of a impact on the environment than tigers. We build factories and we suck all the resources out of the ground and we destroy the skies and we throw space junk into space and never retrieve it. We are like tigers except 1000% more harmful. So when I talk about overpopulation, that's what I'm talking about. Not "food".
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When I was born the world's population is what the combined population of India and China is now. Picture that, India and China as populated as they are now and the rest of the world unpopulated.
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