T Nation

Overcrowding of Earth?


This has been crossing my mind lately. With advances in technology and medicine, it seems we would be coming very close to total overpopulation. If or when that happens,(which Im not saying is anytime soon), what will the consequence be?


I read a really intresting article about how they've been able to actually reverse the age of mice. This had never been done before. Yeah, I agree if the average lifespan is actually going to hit it's potential, which scientists say is 120 years that means we have some serious overcrowding issues.


Look for more rapid spread of increasingly powerful and virulent diseases.

Also, whether you believe in climate change or not, empirically, for a plethora of reasons, the total area of arable land decreases every year.

A combination of these two should effectively curtail population growth at some point in the future.


Soylent Green



Remember that it's the 3rd world countries facing overpopulation issues. The problem that the 1st world countries have is the high consumption per capita.


Giant Broom.


I think we are already suffering some of the effects , some of them could be fixed by addressing them though


I read somewhere that everyone on Earth could fit inside of Texas with room to move around. I don't think we'll ever have a global overpopulation problem. People just think so because the cities are crowded.

I forgot the name, but there's a group that advocates the eradication of the human race to address these whacked-out theories of global overpopulation. Seems kind of hypocritical to me because if you are in favor of that then you would have to kill yourself first to set the example and tone of your organization.


Kansas.... drive across it then tell me there is overcrowding....

I have driving across the US (multiple times), Canada twice and in just that I can assure you, overcrowding will not be an issue in the next 100 years for either of those countries....


In the 1970's, overpopulation was supposedly going to have killed us by now. It didn't happen. Why? Green revolution (more efficient agriculture) and demographic transition (as countries get richer, people choose to have fewer kids and invest more care/education in each kid.) The demographic transition is still happening as countries develop, particularly China.

Small scale overpopulation IS a problem when we're talking about cities. The developing world is getting more urbanized (think Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Bombay) and cities don't often have the infrastructure to support all the new people who move from the countryside to get a better life. There are housing and sanitation problems (just as there were in NYC in the early 20th century.)


It won't happen. If it gets to the point of "over population," technology will advance and all of a sudden we won't be over populated anymore. What people don't realise is that people are "over populated" in the cities, or close to it. Cities make up a small percentage of the world, and folks can live comfortably else where besides the city.


Jim Jones...the kids drink first.


That's a pretty simplistic take on overpopulation isn't it? Of course there are plenty of spaces in the world that haven't been urbanized, but how many resources do we really have left to deal with growing food and water shortages? Not trying to be a douche, but the overpopulation issue isn't really so much about space as it is quality of life around the world and right now it's not so good.


That's why I said technology will advance. We already have tons of ways to purify water, and there is always alcohol. And back in the 40s, no way with the technology back then could we have supported the people we have now, but guess what? Technology advanced.


Overpopulation is a myth/scare tactic.
If we needed more food, agriculture will expand, food waste recycling(I saw this in the UK for mulch/compost/fertilizer).
Floating gardens, greenhouses, parking garage/multi level cattle ranches. I saw this other thing where this guy was sprouting 1500 lbs of various beans in the desert in a 9x9x9 hole.
Focusing on nutrition based food vs empty calories(McDonalds etc).
Keep in mind this is just random stuff that I've come across on the internet, it's not even being implemented on a large scale.


For anyone who thinks 'we' should 'do something' about planetary overcrowding.


This! Imagine how much food could be produced just by putting a greenhouse on top of every appartment building. At that point vertical systems of agriculture will become commonplace.

Necessity drives change. When food gets too scarce or prices get too high, we will implement some of the above practices. Before we even get to that point, it may even make sense to reclaim developed areas and turn it back into arable land.


Also, there are bound to be at least one major war, a few new diseases and the occasional natural disaster over the next little while.


overpopulation may be not a food problem. it doesn't means it's not a problem.

among other problems, this one :

is too often overlooked.


I think one of the best ways to reduce overpopulation in 3rd world countries is through education in general and knowledge of contraceptives. More generally, the countries just need to become more developed. Last I heard, some of the Latin American countries had the highest population growth.