A look at any graph of human population shows almost flat line … almost flat line .. almost flat line and then WHAM, population takes off soon after the year 1700, or around the start of the industrial revolution. From year 1 to the start of the industrial revolution over 17 centuries the population merely doubled. Then in less than 300 years it multiplied 14 times. Surprisingly, the graph has already started to return to the normal, almost flat line. With all our economic systems tuned to the rapid growth, the impact of the return to normal will severely disrupt how we live. The impact of the disruption is being felt already. The GFC is only one early result. This change is part of humanity entering a new age.
We do have a lot of people! We live in a world where clearly we do not know how to avoid irrevocable damage to our planet, even with the current number of inhabitants. So the slowing of growth seems very welcome, even though it will not alone solve ecological problems. Despite and need for reduction of growth, the reduction in population growth is not the result of planning.
The fact is, the engine of population growth has already been switched off. A quick look at family sizes now compared to 50 years ago reveals the change. Already the highest projections for this century are radically lower than population growth during the 20th century. Sufficiently lower to fundamentally change the economic picture, but the actual result can still be influenced. Will growth slow or even pause? Or will governments, economists and religions fight to avoid a slowing of growth?
The pages listed in this section look at how changes in population growth are about to change our society beyond what you would imagine until you examine this issue. This is happening in conjunction with technology driven change and other social change and the result is profound.
A perspective that will be put in these posts is that our current economic system is based on what is basically a ‘Ponzi’ scheme, that like all Ponzi schemes, collapses the moment the exponential growth stops. The growth to drive the scheme has already stopped and the GFC was just a sign of the start of unravelling that scheme. I suggest managing what will, and should, happen with respect to populations is the biggest challenge currently facing humanity. Climate change, for example, cannot be changed without addressing this issue and the economic consequences.
The topic has dramatic implications for economics, government, ethics, and technology.
There are such opposing views: is an ever increasing population the only path to prosperity, or is ever increasing population destroying the planet and a path to economic and social collapse?
I started looking at this issue and found many surprises with my views evolving more the further I looked. These findings will be discussed in this blog.
Introduction: Brace, surprisingly the pause button has been pressed!.
Perspectives on Future population.
So where is the halt to population growth?
The Population ‘Catch 22’.
Why more than the current change is required.
Environmental Footprint and Maximum population.
The global economy Ponzi scheme.