Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A real doom and gloom report on population growth

The Green Revolution of the 1960s started by Dr. Norman Bourlag stopped any talk of population growth. But the prospect of climate change has many scholars thinking about population again.

A conference of experts conclude that the world's population could grow to 11 billion by 2050, and that would make life unsustainable on Earth. The conference warns that it could doom entire nations to poverty, and there would be no way to feed everyone. The experts say that family planning and contraceptive programs need to be put in place.

From Yahoo News, this AFP story from Marlowe Hood gives us more on what is contained in the report.

The researchers said that with one and a half million more humans climbing aboard the planet every week, a recipe is looming for ecological overload, famine and broken states.

"Continued rapid population growth in many of the least developed countries could lead to hunger, a failure of education and conflict," said Malcolm Potts at the University of California in Berkeley, which hosted the conference in February.

The papers, authored by 42 specialists in environmental science, economics and demography, are published by the Royal Society, Britain's de-facto academy of sciences.

"There is no doubt that the current rate of human population growth is unsustainable," summarised Roger Short, a professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

"The inexorable increase in human numbers is exhausting conventional energy supplies, accelerating environmental pollution and global warming and providing an increasing number of failed states where civil unrest prevails."

Ninety-eight percent of the expected population growth will occur in developing countries, especially in Africa, where numbers are set to double to almost two billion by 2050.

"How Niger is going to feed a population growing from 11 million today to 50 million in 2050 in a semi-arid country that may be facing adverse climate (change) is unclear," said Adair Turner, a member of Britain's House of Lords.

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