Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Earth Hurtles Toward 6.5 Billion

The planet's population is projected to reach 6.5 billion at 7:16 p.m. EST Saturday, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and its World Population Clock.

"Malthus would be astonished not only at the numbers of people, but at the real prosperity of about a fifth of them and the average prosperity of most of them," said demographer Joel Cohen, a professor of populations at Rockefeller and Columbia universities. "He wouldn't be surprised at the abject poverty of the lowest quarter or third."

Cohen estimates that if we want to support individuals indefinitely -- allotting each person 3,500 calories per day from wheat and 247,000 gallons per year of fresh water -- the planet has room for only about 5 billion people.
Greens like to talk about the Precautionary Principle, the idea that if the consequences of an action are unknown, but are judged to have some potential for major or irreversible negative consequences, then it is better to avoid that action. I believe that population growth is the worst offender of this and the most unsustainable activity that humans are undertaking.

I think we are at a stage where we can only do 2 out of the following 3:
1) Iradicate world poverty
2) Protect the enviroment
3) Increase the population of the world

via Wired News

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