Author Topic: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED  (Read 1072 times)

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Online brilligtove

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The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« on: February 05, 2019, 12:59:02 PM »
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https://www.wired.com/story/the-world-might-actually-run-out-of-people/

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YOU KNOW THE story. Despite technologies, regulations, and policies to make humanity less of a strain on the earth, people just won’t stop reproducing. By 2050 there will be 9 billion carbon-burning, plastic-polluting, calorie-consuming people on the planet. By 2100, that number will balloon to 11 billion, pushing society into a Soylent Green scenario. Such dire population predictions aren’t the stuff of sci-fi; those numbers come from one of the most trusted world authorities, the United Nations.

But what if they’re wrong? Not like, off by a rounding error, but like totally, completely goofed?

That’s the conclusion Canadian journalist John Ibbitson and political scientist Darrell Bricker come to in their newest book, Empty Planet, due out February 5th. After painstakingly breaking down the numbers for themselves, the pair arrived at a drastically different prediction for the future of the human species. “In roughly three decades, the global population will begin to decline,” they write. “Once that decline begins, it will never end.”

One of the biggest factors in this conclusion is the huge effect of female education via portable internet access.
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 01:40:31 PM »
Here's hoping. Everything about sustainability gets easier with a smaller population.

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The external forces that used to dictate people having bigger families are disappearing everywhere.

This. Improving lives cuts growth.  I frequently see the assumption of moral turpitude here but some growth is bad.

Iirc, the developed world's drivers of reduced growth are:
  • Feminism (e.g. improves female autonomy, women can say no)
  • Healthcare (e.g. improves child mortality, parents can expect their children to live)
  • Modern jobs (e.g. abandonment of subsistence agriculture, kids are no longer farm-hands)
If those alone are enough to push growth into the negative, great! 
If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 02:03:09 PM »
"So long and thanks for all the Big Macs."
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Online brilligtove

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 03:45:32 PM »
My parents' generation (1940s) often had very large families. My mom was 1 of 3 which was a smaller household compared to her cousins in Ontario. My dad was 1 of 8 (in Trinidad) and many of his contemporaries were families of 4 or 5. What was different about their generation is that most of the children lived. The boomers were not just boomers because of WWII and such. They were boomers because bearing 4 kids likely meant raising 4 kids to adulthood.

I know of very few people who want more than 2 children - at least, who want more than 2 enough to actually have more than 2. My anecdotal experience is borne out in the demographic data: birth rates are going to drop dramatically when SoF's factors come into play, especially feminism and healthcare.
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Offline Paul Blevins Jr.

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 07:19:50 PM »
I can think of one poster on these boards who will be thrilled at this prospect......

Offline Bill K

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 01:41:31 AM »
One of the biggest factors in this conclusion is the huge effect of female education via portable internet access.

Learning about things like birth control? It feels like they're ignoring biological facts, like the powerful and intrinsic instinct and consequent desire to have children, namely found in women.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 01:43:59 AM by Bill K »
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Online brilligtove

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 09:13:55 AM »
One of the biggest factors in this conclusion is the huge effect of female education via portable internet access.

Learning about things like birth control? It feels like they're ignoring biological facts, like the powerful and intrinsic instinct and consequent desire to have children, namely found in women.

Mysogynist much?
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Offline 2397

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 09:18:26 AM »
>100 million children were born last year, probably at least 100 million will survive to adulthood. If everyone stopped breeding for 20 years, there could still be billions of fertile people in the world. And far more people could be able to reproduce with artificial assistance. If the decline doesn't even start for another 30 years, I certainly wouldn't push for more births to happen now.

There's far too much consumption and pollution, and we have yet to actually mitigate the problem. We've only managed to sustain more people while continuing to do as much or more damage as we were doing before. Let's see if we can achieve a sustainable existence first, and then worry about whether we're breeding enough. If we haven't achieved sustainability after having reduced our numbers by 5-10 billion, we must've screwed up so much that it's pointless to continue anyway.

There were fewer than half a billion people in the world before the Black Death hit, and it improved conditions for those who survived it, because it freed up land and resources. How many people choose not to have children today because of a personal lack of resources, or because of environmental solidarity? I don't see the people who don't want to have children in any circumstance being the only ones left alive at the point where others might have had more reasons to breed.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 09:20:55 AM »
We won't run out of people. At some point the population will be too small to maintain our current levels of society. When that happens things will regress to earlier modes
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline Guillermo

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2019, 09:35:24 AM »
I can see the population declining. But I do not foresee it going down to zero just from cultural improvements. If we don't expand outside the world and do not kill ourselves with nukes or other unforeseen nastys, The population would fluctuate above and below a balance size.

The article doesn't seem to consider that humans would tend to change their current trends when the environmental and social factors around them change. Just as we stopped having more babies because of the factores already mentioned here, once the decline is big enough, it would come with excess resources and larger income for the populace, which would incentive larger families. And add to all that that we don't even know if Capitalism would be around in a century or so.
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Offline Bill K

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2019, 09:51:14 AM »
One of the biggest factors in this conclusion is the huge effect of female education via portable internet access.

Learning about things like birth control? It feels like they're ignoring biological facts, like the powerful and intrinsic instinct and consequent desire to have children, namely found in women.

Mysogynist much?
How so?

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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2019, 11:26:38 AM »
The article doesn't seem to consider . . .
It was published in Wired, which has a track record of yellow journalism.


Offline Guillermo

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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 07:54:19 AM »
I remembered when Wired use to publish things about emerging Technologies. Oh those were the days reading Wired in the dentist office.
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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 12:01:00 AM »
One of the biggest factors in this conclusion is the huge effect of female education via portable internet access.

Learning about things like birth control? It feels like they're ignoring biological facts, like the powerful and intrinsic instinct and consequent desire to have children, namely found in women.

Mysogynist much?
How so?

Because it's false, misleading and insulting?
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Re: The World Might Actually Run Out Of People - WIRED
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 12:24:44 AM »
The reason for decreasing fecundity with increasing education in women is a little more complex than knowledge of effective contraception.

https://wol.iza.org/uploads/articles/228/pdfs/female-education-and-its-impact-on-fertility.pdf

I notice ‘Empty Planet’ has already earned a 1 star review on Amazon.com, the reviewer of course not having read it.

I started reading the sample Amazon provides, and I found the thesis an intriguing one.  The argument is that having one or two children might come to be the new normal, below the replacement level of 2.1.  And then as population decreases, there will be an increasing proportion of the non-working elderly to be supported by the working young, who will be faced with a double whammy of having to pay for both the care of the elderly and possibly birth incentives (which according to the authors are very expensive and don’t actually work).

Australia has a very successful policy of a war of the elderly on the young.  This seems to be continuing.  Immigration, to provide new workers, seems to be very unpopular.

I’ve bought the book.  I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading it.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:13:02 AM by bachfiend »
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