04-23-2007, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Rafael, CA
Funny, I was just reading up on population growth and sustainability this week.
Its ironic the same technologies that give us the ability to leave our home planet also granted us the capacity destroy it.
Pimentel and Nielsen, working independently, found that the human population has passed the numerical point where all can live in comfort, and that we have entered a stage where many of the world's citizens and future generations are trapped in misery . There is evidence that a catastrophe is underway as of at least the 1990s; for example, by the year 2000, children in developing countries were dying at the rate of approximately 11,000,000 per annum from strictly preventable diseases.   This data suggests that by the standard of misery, the catastrophe is underway. The term 'misery' can generally be construed as: high infant mortality, low standards of sanitation, malnutrition, inadequate drinking water, new and widespread diseases (e.g. HIV), war, political unrest. |
Regarding famines, data demonstrates the world's food production has peaked in some of the very regions where food is needed the most. For example in South Asia, approximately half of the land has been degraded such that it no longer has the capacity for food production.  In China there has been a 27% irreversible loss of land for agriculture, and continues to lose arable land at the rate of 2,500 square kilometres per year.  In Madagascar, at least 30% of the land previously regarded as arable is irreversibly barren. On the other hand, recent data shows the number of overweight people in the world now outnumbers the number of malnourished, and the rising tide of obesity continues to expand in both rich and poor countries.
Sorry, I know this isn't a real upbeat post. Population growth is a rough issue.