What is the maximum number of people that can co-exist on this planet?

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by AceK, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. AceK

    AceK Scientia Potentia Est

    I was just recently thinking, there has to be a maximum number of people that the planet can support. Hundreds or even thousands of years ago there were far less people than there are now and the more people there are the faster the population grows. Back then there was plenty for everyone.

    At what point do you think the situation comes that there is not enough to go around for each person, work, food, money, the resources to produce and supply the needs of every person on the planet?

    Apparently the global population is estimated to be just slightly more than 7 Billion.
  2. kokujin

    kokujin Senior Member

    people co-exist? maybe 2. maybe 3.
  3. AceK

    AceK Scientia Potentia Est

    I mean a maximum number of bodies the planet can support before the rate of death becomes equal to the rate of population growth. I believe at that point there would be only a few people that were really well off enough to not be completely miserable because the tiny upper class would hog everything for themselves. They might even throw the lower class in extremely high density housing, much like a jail and force them to do labor, in exchange for housing, and work they don't have to die!!
  4. MamaPeace

    MamaPeace Senior Member

    Kinda sounds like we've already crossed that line.
  5. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Depends on how many drones the elite will need to serve them. Check out that most precient of movies--THX1138. Once the population is reduced to a manageable amount--say--in the millions, then I guess the "lucky ones" will be the suck-asses to the rich. Plenty around--you see a few of 'em in here.
  6. thedope

    thedope glad attention Lifetime Supporter

    There has been no comprehensive biological assay of the earth but at the moment carrying capacity is not putting pressure on development, unequal distribution is the problem.
  7. themnax

    themnax Senior Member

    it would be hard to pin down an absolute number. we probably won't be able to know for sure less then a decade after we exceed it. but the number of people who can live the way the dominant culture is persuading them too, might very well have already been exceeded.
  8. A few misconceptions:

    1. 'The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer' - that isnt actually true, there are both a higher number and percentage of people above the poverty line than there has ever been

    2. The atoms that make up your body didnt come out of thin air

    Surface area of the earth is 510 million sq km.

    Density of soil is around 1220 kgs per cubic meter, water 1000kgs, we are mostly water

    7 Billion people at say 80kg each = 560 billion kgs = 1.098 kgs per sq metre

    I'll spare you the math, but basically (and roughly) means 7 billion people has cost us less than 0.1 cm deep of the worlds crust
  9. thedope

    thedope glad attention Lifetime Supporter

    Interesting calculations, however nothing to do with biological carrying capacity. Further what baseline do you use to calculate the figures, before human and after the advent of humans? The number seven billion is not the number responsible for any depreciation of earth crust depth, if in fact there is any, as there have been many more persons using the system than that over time and there is significantly more biomass in the troposphere than number of humans. We do not live in the earths crust but within the troposphere. The number of persons that the earth can support has shown to be and continues to be, indefinite. The more pertinent question is how much more can we or are we willing to pollute. Water and air quality are far more of an issue than number of persons and are a direct threat to other creatures. Then again in our transcendent estate of being able to occupy all of the earths eco-zones by creating micro climes for ourselves these things may be less a threat to our personal biology than we might imagine as we don space suits, wear aqua lungs, and breath through respirators.
  10. Joshua Tree

    Joshua Tree Remain In Light

    Once the oil runs out we'll be fucked. I reckon there'll be a huge population crash.
  11. Fairlight

    Fairlight Banned

    I think things could get a little crowded after about 60 billion.But it depends upon the kind of lifestyles we will be leading,and the distribution of resources.Also redefinition of what constitutes "Quality of life."
  12. thedope

    thedope glad attention Lifetime Supporter

    It's funny the question posed here is exactly the same as how many angels can you fit on the head of a pin. In looking at all things earthly though, we can safely assume our species will not be here forever regardless, the meek inheriting the earth, those are the low growing simpler life forms which then regenerate a new proliferation.
  13. Fairlight

    Fairlight Banned

    Current thinking tends to lean towards the belief that civilisation as we know it today will continue without interruption,progressing technologically and advancing along some loosely organised "program".This is the much vaunted "End of history".It is sobering to think however that epic catastrophe could take place,changing the variables and structure of the system entirely.I don't quite know which scenario is preferable for both humanity and the planet - That is to say,continual "progress" or catastrophic upheaval.
  14. hotwater

    hotwater Senior Member

    Over the course of my lifetime I noticed a marked difference in population density over the last 20 years walking the mean streets of Portland, Boston, and Providence.

    Most recently I’ve probably bumped into or brushed past more people than I can ever remember (and no, they were not carrying hand-held electronic devices)

  15. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    It depends on how the Earth and it's inhabitants are treated.

  16. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    If "you can do everything with nothing"---where does that leave a working middle class?? Love Fuller by the way.

    I know--it's hyperbole.
  17. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Bucky would say.......

  18. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    That is a good one. If( and I have mentioned this) the world was run correctly,IMO, the emphasis would be on improving the lot of all humans in every way possible and people would only work for a very limited amount of time in order to guarantee ALL were fed, housed and educated. Emphasis would/could be on the study of the human brain, longevity, ecology, the universe and how to start getting out there, and anything else that would help humanity as a whole. Not just the few. (I know--NEVER HAPPEN. )
  19. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Banned

    What is ironic about our overpopulated planet is that there are more empty houses/buildings than homeless individuals.
  20. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Banned


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