Survivors’ Guide: Population Growth

Money flowing freely throughout growing populations leads to economic growth. Economies boom when there are more demanders than suppliers, always provided work rewards the poor to enable them to buy.  But perpetual economic growth can not be achieved by perpetual population growth, as there are limits to water and food supply.

Malthus wrote his famous treaties on population growth early in the 19th century. The relationship between food supply and population growth is obvious but his conclusions less so. He recognized that poor people were always at the end of the food supply and their undernourishment depressed population growth.

When Malthus was writing the world population was about 1 Billion. It is now (2017) about 7.5 Billion and estimated to reach about 9 Billion by 2050, if humanity survives that long. The rate of growth peaked in 1960 and has rapidly declined since birth control became generally available at that time. But since 1960 life expectancy has increased dramatically.

Public health and healthy life styles (the relationship between smoking and lung cancer was demonstrated in the sixties)  have all but eliminated perinatal deaths, childhood deaths and extended life expectancy in wealthy countries into extreme old age. There’s a lot of us about


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Our basic needs are for water and food. All food plants and animals require water. Water is essential to life. Astronomy, for reasons by no means clear, tasks itself with seeking life elsewhere in the Universe. Water is looked for in the most unlikely places because it indicates the possibility of life. Meanwhile on planet Earth thousands are dying in droughts. Scientific priorities are bizarre.

Most of the water on Earth is undrinkable. The sea is salt. Fresh water supplies are increasingly polluted. In many places even rain water falls as acid rain, contaminated by pollutants in the air as it falls through the atmosphere. There will soon not be enough water to go round. Equitably shared and distributed there is at present. But equality in practice has minimal approval rating, since poor people were disenfranchised. Liberty, Equality and Fraternity has become a series of empty words.












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