Global Population Growth Will Rail Up Against World's Resources to Sustain Life

The United Nations is projecting the globe's population to be between 8 and 10.5 billion people by 2050. AFP:

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.

People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said.

There are more dire predictions, outlined by the Village Voice, including pollution so bad one won't be able to study the stars from Earth and all the fish will have been eaten.

Currently the world population is 6.9 billion.

Zlotnik said that overall population growth "is inevitable." As a result, natural resources such as fossil fuels, timber, minerals, and water will likely be severely depleted in many regions. Population growth also compounds global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss.

Feeding the world's expanding population will increase water demand 70 to 90 percent by 2050 without improved agricultural methods, according to the U.N. World Water Development Report.

Daily Mail has more.

Population growth is expected to be highest in African and South Asian states, while incomes are also expected to rise in these countries by up to four times.

The globe's population will use and compete for fewer and fewer resources. Yet, those with philosophies & political agendas say we cannot fund global family planning. May they all be alive in 2050, fighting for a drink of clean water.

The United Nations, World Wildlife Fund and the AAAS must never heard of the job called web developer and considered hiring a few. All of them have the worse websites, for one cannot find the original press release or an updated report on global population estimates and their effects on global resources (food, water, air) or even a video of this conference. Regardless, there are plenty of statistics, data and projections to validate the claims of these Scientists that the globe will simply have too many people for it to sustain, given current resources and supplies.

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Does not anyone see a slight problem with this. Specifically, that the world's population will not hit this figure - people will not become affluent as predicted as there will not be the resources to become affluent with - 'things' are finite.

On the contrary it is more likely that excess population growth and a scramble for resources (and water) would eventually provoke a collapse in food production, the dislocation of multiple supply chains and rapidly rising commodity prices (oil and foodstuffs for instance) that will result in mass hunger and starvation.

If we cannot curtail our 'growth' in numbers and adopt a sustainable approach to economic well-being, improve resource distribution, etc, then the finite world that we live in will.

The problem with humans is that we do not live very long and rarely see problems as multi generational - hence the 'I'm alright jack' approach and grabbing what you can while you can. Also our economic system is based on a continual growth model underpinned by debt (this is infinite) and none of this takes into account the rise in costs of resource depletion, pollution, etc. Even the measures we use gauge growth - GDP send the wrong signals.

more affluent

I don't know where they get that, I guess from these mythical middle classes that "free trade" will create in India and China.

But yeah, the globe already has too many people and this topic has been taken over by political and philosophical forces, when population is the base number upon which so much else is based.

Economic "growth", should (although lately it's economic wealth shift) and is required to keep up with population.

But that's just too many people and the entire globe will not deal with this. I hate to say it but the only country who has really taken it on is China. Like it, or hate their 1 child policy, that is the reason for it.

The GOP just tried to defund planned parenthood and has successfully blocked any information family planning around the globe. We're not talking abortion, but any form of birth control.