By far the Earth’s biggest problem (con’t)
The good news is that the rate of growth has slowed to 1.1% a year and it should continue to decelerate. The really bad news is that we most likely have already exceed the amount of population that can be supported by the earth’s available resources. Economists have calculated that the ideal world population is somewhere is the area of 4 billion. This would allow us to utilize and share available resources for the foreseeable future. What this means is that we are on track to deplete Earth’s resources. While this will not occur during my lifetime it will definitely have a significant negative impact on our grandchildren and their prodigy. As with our growing national debt, we are mortgaging the future in order that we can maintain out living standards in the very short term.
Currently 80% of the world’s population attempts to survive on under $10 per day!
See details at: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats
While some of this inequity could be resolved by redistribution that is unlikely to occur. Even if it were possible it would require the 20% to severely reduce their living standards. Keep in mind that the next group (say the next 15%) are not living anywhere near a “middle class” existence. I venture that all reading this post are in the top 5% and many are in the top 1% of the world’s income. Since we reside in an affluent country it is difficult to understand what is going on elsewhere, even though 13% in our country exist below poverty level guidelines.
What is the solution you ask? The best approach would be to limit families to no more than one child. Over time, this would cause the world population to decline. At the point that the population reaches a sustainable number, then the allowance could be raised to 2 or 3 which would maintain a fairly stable level. Of course, this only a fantasy, and it would only work if all countries agreed. That is not in the cards. Some speculate that the Earth will eventually strike back and take care of the problem via a massive pandemic. Estimates are that the Black Plague eliminated 50% or more of Europe’s population in the 14th Century. If this were in our future I wonder which solution we would prefer? Others insist that solution is to colonize other planets. While this may have some extremely long-term merit, it could not come about soon enough to provide the solution.