World Population Close to Peak and Steep Decline — No ‘Population Bomb’ on Horizon

A study commissioned by the Club of Rome and published on Monday found that the world’s population is nearing its peak and will start declining rapidly from the mid-21st century onwards, with longer lifespans, more abundant food and better healthcare , let humanity overwhelm its ability to sustain the Earth.

The “population bomb” theory got its name from a sensational and later completely discredited 1968 book by Stanford University entomologist Paul Ehrlich.Erich’s fantasy book touched It presented a dire scenario of imminent mass starvation and resource scarcity, escaping from the global overpopulation panic, but it never materialized. He was also a pioneer in the junk he science movement. Already used Flimsy research and sensational hypotheses are pushing for change in public policy.

Ehrlich refused to give up his theory. pop up As recently as 2022 there is no mention in the left-wing media of his rough treatment at the hands of objective reality as an “expert” on environmental issues.

Ehrlich rearranged his predictions about the fate of overpopulation several times, arguing that, in principle, the original predictions underestimated technological innovation and the discovery of fresh natural resources, but that the population will eventually It was still right to reach the tipping point. He was just a little off in calculating how high the apocalyptic population numbers would be.

People collect water from a tank on the site of an abandoned building housing internally displaced people near the town of Davti, 10 kilometers from Semera, Ethiopia, on June 7, 2022. (Photo credit: EDUARDO SOTERAS/AFP via Getty Images)

rome club studies It was published Conducted by a consortium of environmental and economic research organizations, Monday could prove to be the final dismantling of the Ehrlich population bomb.

According to the study, previous United Nations predictions that the human population will reach 10 billion in the next century were completely wrong. Instead, the study found that the world’s population peaked in the middle of the century at about 8.8 billion, up from about 7.8 billion today, and then declined rapidly.

Please note that the Club of Rome is not optimistic about the impact of humanity on the planet. The new research is part of an event called “The Limits to Growth + 50” to mark his 50th anniversary of the disastrous population bomb book published by the club in 1972. ” The publication was wildly inaccurate. Instead, it argues that some good policy choices have been made in the last 50 years and that more are urgently needed to minimize human impact on the environment.

In other words, no soul-searching about junk science here.Instead, researchers Said England Guardian On Monday, they used “a new methodology that incorporates social and economic factors proven to affect fertility, such as higher education levels and improved incomes, especially for women,” as the population flattened. I concluded that it is. Save the Earth from Human Viruses:

On a business-as-usual basis, existing policies are projected to be sufficient to keep global population growth below 9 billion in 2046 and then to 7.3 billion in 2100. While not resulting in an overt ecological or global climate collapse, the potential for community collapse is likely to increase by tens of thousands by 2050 as a result of deepening social divisions within and between societies. rises over the years. This risk is particularly acute in the most fragile, poorly governed and ecologically fragile economies. ”

In a more optimistic second scenario, where governments around the world are taxing the wealthy to invest in improving education, social services and equality, the population will reach 8.5 billion by 2040, It is estimated that it may decline for about a year after that. By 2100, it will increase from one-third to about 6 billion people. Under this pathway, they project substantial benefits to human society and the natural environment by the middle of this century.

According to the report, “By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions will be about 90% lower than they were in 2020 and are still declining.” is being increasingly removed through carbon capture and storage: as the century progresses, more carbon will be captured than stored, keeping global temperatures 2°C below pre-industrial levels. “Wildlife is slowly recovering and in many places beginning to thrive again.”

A couple holds their newborn baby while walking in a local park in Beijing, China, May 12, 2021. According to data released by the government from the census, China’s population has grown by 0.53% over the past decade, down from 0.57% a decade ago, bringing the population to her 1.41 billion. rice field. (Photo by Kevin Fryer/Getty Images)

In other words, population bomb hysteria is fading as highly industrialized societies tend to experience sharp declines in fertility rates. totalitarian chinaGovernments thought they could order large families as easily as they once ordered abortions.

The “Limits to Growth +50” report has several times alluded to women’s improving education and career prospects as a factor in this phenomenon. As the population grows, young people start having children when fertility is at its highest and need to support large families. The same industrialized prosperity and technological progress that provoked the population explosion by extending lifespans and providing abundant food turned out to have inherent limiting factors. Young women are less willing to sacrifice their income, educational prospects, lifestyle and career before having children. middle aged.

The report notes that rapid population decline could become a major problem. This is because the workforce is shrinking between generations, and many older people will need to stay in the younger workforce or cover government benefits. This could leave countries with declining populations without the funding to implement the environmental proposals endorsed by the Club of Rome.

“While this gives us evidence to believe that the population bomb will not explode, we still face significant challenges from an environmental perspective. Dealing with the current development paradigm requires a lot of effort. Guardian.

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