Population

Today, 11th July, is the UN World Population Day. There are now nearly 7.6 billion of us, and the predictions are that by 2050 there will be 9.5 billion, and 11.2 billion by 2100. Global fertility rates are falling, but still we have an extra 83 million people to feed, house and cloth each year. Africa has the fastest rate of growth and Europe the slowest.

There have been many predictions of imminent famine and collapse due to overpopulation, as global food production would fail to keep pace with population growth. Also as the world’s poor aspired to rich world lifestyles the total ecological footprint of humanity would become catastrophic. Pollution would become more extreme and resources ever more scarce and the reason for endless wars.

However there is another possibility. Through peaceful cooperation humanity can collectively pioneer a new kind of global economy that rapidly eliminates the hunger and poverty of the world’s poorest people and the excess and waste of the world’s richest people. Together we as a species have the opportunity to work out sustainable solutions to all our problems, to restore biodiversity while feeding clothing and housing our growing population in ways that are socially just and ecologically sustainable. I’m sure it can be done, at least theoretically. To make it a reality will require the almost infinite creativity and capacity to cooperate that our species is capable of. I meet a growing number of people who are keen to play their part in this great transformation of the global economy. As Buckminster Fuller said back in the 1960’s ‘We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims’.

“Can we feed 9 billion people, sustainably?” is the title of a talk I’m giving tomorrow evening at De Koffie Pot, and was the theme of last week’s blog.

2 thoughts on “Population

  1. Susanna Perkins

    As a new subscriber to your blog, I’m so glad to hear that some people are brave enough to debate this tricky issue. Politicians are reluctant to pick up the baton, presumably for fear of losing votes from a population with a genetically-driven vision of recreating more of themselves. I would like to contribute to airing this issue more widely, and making people more confident to discuss it without fear of ridicule. Where should I start?

    Reply
    1. Richard Post author

      Hi Susanna
      Thanks for subscribing to the blog. I’ll be doing my ‘Can we sustainably feed 9+ billion people’ talk in Leominster on 22 September. If you’re local do come along and introduce yourself

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *