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How’s the Population Doing?

How’s the Population Doing? thumbnail

Happy new year everyone! As our global family kicks off a brand new year let’s take a moment to get a snapshot of our big family by asking the big question: How’s the population doing? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.

As humanity ushers in the year 2019 there are currently we have 7.7 billion people living on Earth. A few nations hold a huge chunk of our family. China and India still lead the way with both countries hosting over 1.3 billion people each! The USA, Indonesia, and Brazil complete the remaining countries in the Top 5 populous nations. All of these nations are growing in numbers with the next milestone for our population predicted to be in 2023 as we hit 8 billion humans on Earth.

This is a lot of people and growing. Our impact is of course of great importance here! This means each one of us is adding to the compounding impact of humanity on energy, food, transportation, wastes, and beyond. Nearly half of us live in urban areas. For dense living it just does not get any bigger than a megacity, or an urban area with a population of over 10 million. Just a few years back, in 2014 there were 28 megacities on Earth. Today there are 46 thanks to our rapidly growing human family.

A growing population will mean a greater impact on the environment and a much larger need for precious resources. Last year alone a little over half of our population, which is the amount of consumers on Earth, created over 2 billion tons of waste, much of it directly due to agriculture. Nearly one third of all the food produced all around the world is wasted. This waste would be a result of inefficient production practices, consumption waste, and over consumption. A third of our food adds up a lot quicker than one would imagine. In fact there are well over 2 billion tons of food wasted every single year by humans all around the globe. Not only does this cause an access and resources imbalance for those unable to afford food, but this also passes the food costs over to the consumer. As of now, we waste about a trillion dollars worth of food simply be having it end up in the trash.

Nearly half of all the harvested crops on Earth end up in the garbage. 78% of the over all waste is also associated with the livestock industry. In this study scientists reported that 1.08 billion tons of harvested crops are used to feed the livestock industry alone. This works out to around 840 million tons worth of food loses. Not only is this bad at a humanitarian and economic perspective, but it also has negative impacts in terms of climate change. As all those literal tons of food piles begin to decompose in landfills they release methane. This is a natural gas, but the concentration and release of this much methane is not a part of the natural cycle. This is another incident of humans caused contribution to the release of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere. This is all just for food waste. Industrial, commercial, and other wastes are to be factored in on top of all of this. As the population grows this becomes a larger and larger concern to scientists and urban planners around the globe. As consumers we’re stronger than ever as well. At the rate we’re going we would literally need two Earths to give every human access to the things that we Americans have.

Some experts are predicting that by 2040, just a little over two decades from today, there could be up to 9 billion of us which seems doable considering that 250 humans are born every single minute. But hey, a new year gives us new opportunities to explore these issues and use the common language of science to address our human family’s needs.

Better energy options, using regional crops and productions, lowering food miles, educating and equipping citizens with the necessary tools for jobs, smarter urban planning, family planning, and a greater movement towards mass transportation are all very important to addressing how we will usher in a greater population while lowering our impact on the environment.

Clearly a growing population is going to require a growing number of science headlines. We’re looking forward to covering those science stories with you all year long. From all of us to all of you, Happy New Year!


33 Comments on "How’s the Population Doing?"

  1. Uncle Bill on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 5:03 pm 

    It’s called a J curve and than a L curve

  2. makati1 on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 5:32 pm 

    Another “What if” article that says we have to change people’s habits to survive. Simple. All we have to do is end predatory capitalism everywhere and spread the resources equally. Not what the 1st world wants to hear, but what is actually happening. As trade breaks down, and the global JIT system collapse’, more and more resources will stay at home or be traded for necessities, not wealth.

    The financial system is cracked and about to fail. Trade wars will accelerate the end of globalism. As the US forces countries to become self sufficient,(China/Russia/Iran/Cuba/etc.) they will and they will leave the import hog, America, to decay into a 3rd world level slum. Trade wars don’t, and never will be able to, “Make America Great Again”. At least not at a 1st world level. All the manufacturing is off shore and will remain so.

    It is going to be a very interesting and exciting future. Stay tuned.

  3. The Road on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 6:51 pm 

    All we have to do is what we’re currently doing and world population will fall by ~95% by 2100:

    Rapid Population Decline or Bust –

  4. JuanP on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 6:52 pm 

    China’s population started contracting in 2018. A total population decline of around 2 million is expected by the Chinese goverment in 2018. This is the beginning of a very significant trend. Chinese per capita statistics will improve even faster now.

  5. LOW IQ on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 6:56 pm 

    LOL “This is the beginning of a very significant trend.”

    nothingburger from the board clown

  6. makati1 on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 7:15 pm 

    JuanP, yes, China’s population is contracting, but at hardly noticeable levels. two million is only 0.14% and could change next year to a positive. Long term trends are what count.

    Take a look at the charts in this article:

    Even with the “slowdown” China’s GDP is still growing at 6+%. The US real growth leveled out in 2009 and the national debt is really 200+% of US GDP.

  7. makati1 on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 7:16 pm 

    I see Davy has some new sock puppets, but they still sound like the Missouri Mule. LOL

  8. makati1 on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 10:32 pm 

    The American Police State is growing:

    “The government failed to protect our lives, liberty and happiness….
    The president became more imperial….
    Police became a power unto themselves….
    911 calls turned deadly….
    Traffic stops took a turn for the worse….
    The courts failed to uphold justice….
    The Surveillance State rendered Americans vulnerable to threats from government spies, police, hackers and power failures….
    Mass shootings claimed more lives….
    The rich got richer, and the poor went to jail….
    The cost of endless wars drove the nation deeper into debt…
    “Show your papers” incidents skyrocketed….
    The plight of the nation’s homeless worsened….
    The government waged war on military veterans….
    Free speech was dealt one knock-out punch after another….
    Police became even more militarized and weaponized….
    The government waged a renewed war on private property….
    Police waged a war on kids….
    The Deep State took over….”

    And some don’t understand why I moved to a safe country where freedom is more than a word in the dictionary and school kids don’t have to carry bulletproof backpacks or worry about being killed at gatherings. “Papers please!” LMAO

  9. Off topic makati1 on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 2:49 am 

    “I see Davy has some new sock puppets, but they still sound like the Missouri Mule. LOL”

    If you hypocritical idiots have not notice…I doubt you have or care…my contributions go way down if you don’t mess with me with identity theft and sock puppeteering. If you do I give it back word for word and a cherry on top.

  10. hypocritical makati1 on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 2:57 am 

    “Even with the “slowdown” China’s GDP is still growing at 6+%. The US real growth leveled out in 2009 and the national debt is really 200+% of US GDP.”

    Well billy, that was sure lame. The other day you were whining about how US inflation was not properly represented and now well Chinese statistics for growth are on target and cheered. What a dumbass, China has some of the most suspect economic reporting of all major powers. Further, they have a huge NPL portfolio with a major amount of banks for the most part insolvent by normal standards. A massive mal investment of a property bubble, excess heavy industrial capacity, and declining economic activity for various reasons both external and internal. If it were not for the implicit and steadily weakening support of their central government the economy would implode.

  11. delusional makati1 on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 3:01 am 

    “And some don’t understand why I moved to a safe country where freedom is more than a word in the dictionary and school kids don’t have to carry bulletproof backpacks or worry about being killed at gatherings. “Papers please!” LMAO”

    China is worse by all measures on big brother dangers and everyone here knows it but go ahead and whine about how bad the US is. At least we discuss our problems. We know why you moved makati1. Your American life was a failure. You ran from the mess that was your life. Deserted your family like a coward.

  12. JuanP on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 1:06 pm 

    Will China end its Two Child Policy soon?
    In 2016 China transitioned from its One Child
    Policy to its Two Child Policy, and experienced
    a short lived baby boom which ended in 2017.
    In 2018 the number of births in China decreased
    by around 15% from 2017. The Two Child Policy
    appears completely unnecessary at this time
    and may be ended soon.

  13. Sissyfuss on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 2:12 pm 

    How’s the population doing? If the stock market was up 83 million every year we’d all be Rothschilds.

  14. makati1 on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 5:29 pm 

    Davy, even if you do not post under your name, you are obvious. A Sinophobe waving the same tattered American flag soaked in the blood of children.

    You ASSUME too much and pretend to be “everyone” when you are just you. Everyone does NOT suck up the brainwashing Koolaid like you do. There are many who see the US for what it is, a terrorist police state pretending to be a democracy. Say what you want. It changes nothing. The US is swirling down the drain. The smart people are leaving for better places while the gate is still open. It will soon close. That border wall works BOTH ways.

    You are just jealous because you have a failed life and nowhere to run. Enjoy the chaos and pain that is coming to America. It is well deserved.

    BTW: I got a nice raise in my SS this year. Keep paying those taxes. LOL

  15. shut up makati1 on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 5:58 pm 

    same boring shit another day. not worth a response.

  16. Vasectomy on the brain juan on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 6:01 pm 

    “Will China end its Two Child Policy soon?”

    Juan, tell us about your vasectomy for the umteenth time how special that makes you

  17. Davy on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 6:01 pm 

    Shutup billy LIAR

    I do so have somewhere to run. I’m running to Italy.

  18. Dirty juan noise on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 6:05 pm 

    Davy on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 6:01 pm Shutup billy LIAR I do so have somewhere to run. I’m running to Italy.

  19. Bifurcation of the brain davy on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 6:10 pm 

    Davy, write another one of your 2000 word salad essays telling us all how special you think you are

  20. makati1 on Fri, 4th Jan 2019 6:26 pm 

    “A stagnating economy, corruption, organised crime, political apathy, misogyny, youth unemployment … ”

    “The eurozone’s third-largest nation has plunged into deep political and economic crisis…Italy has been a problematic state for many years. It ranks among the countries with the largest debt—around 2.3 trillion euros—and has a been facing a double-digit unemployment rate since 2012. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stands at a level lower than in 2005….”

    From the pan, into the fire. lol

  21. makati1 on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 12:01 am 

    An article about MOB?

    “A Metaphor For America: 700 Pound Man Plans To Eat And Play Video Games While Naked Until He Dies”

    There’s even a video! EWWWW!

  22. makati1 on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 1:58 am 

    “As of the beginning of 2019, America enters a meltdown….

    What is known, however, is that the deterioration of rule of law in the US has gone on for decades with the scales of justice under the absolute control of the powerful and corrupt….

    Past that, business leaders are also organizing, terrified of runaway policies that have led to even deeper debt, potential civil unrest and, most threatening of all, the collapse of the dollar….

    America was never intended to be a democracy. With a population of immigrants, many incredibly poor and uneducated, any political con man, like perhaps Donald Trump, if the example fits, could hoodwink Americans into political suicide….

    Simply put, even with congress totally restructured, the runaway Supreme Court would require disbanding as well, it is a total failure, a “star chamber” owned by organized crime….

    America’s legal system is among the world’s worse. No one really knows how many Americans are in prison or under lessened freedom due to court findings, as many as 13 million some sources say…

    With a system rigged to fail, corrupt police, jails for profit, fake news, fake history and a government that answers only to itself, the rule of law is less than even a memory.”

    Slip slidin’…

  23. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 5:23 am 

    Holland already has it, Germany is contemplating it: the fundamental right of employees to work from home:

    Take-away point: German study shows that no less than 40% of all jobs could in principle be carried out online from home (or some neighborhood collective office, with everybody his own chair, screen, computer, somewhat shielded of from neighbors).

    In other words, in times of a real energy crisis, enormous savings can be achieved in any developed society or not so developed society. All the office functions can be done via Skype or similar Groupware. And society will soldier on.

    This completely eliminates 40% of commuting traffic and the possibility to abandon expensive private car ownership for a large chunk of the population.

  24. Davy on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 5:34 am 

    Perspective of Germany’s renewable revolution. 30% renewable electricity (solar and wind). 10% renewable primary energy (solar and wind).
    (primary energy graph)

    “Renewables Outpace Coal In Germany In 2018”

    “Germany produced 542 terawatt hours of electricity last year from all sources. Renewables accounted for just over 40% of that total, while coal was responsible for 38%.
    Here’s a breakdown of the number for renewables in 2018:
    Solar — 45.7 TWh produced, up 16%. Installed capacity rose 3.2 GW to 45.5 GW.
    Wind — 111 TWh produced from 60 GW of installed capacity
    Hydro — 17 TWh, just 3.2% of the total. Drought conditions led to a decrease in hydro power last year.
    Biomass — 4.5 TWh, equivalent to 8.3% of the total.

    “Brown coal — the subject of environmental activism in 2018 — is still Germany’s leading source of electrical energy at 24.1%. Wind power — both onshore and offshore — is in second place at just over 20%. Hard coal, most of which is imported, accounted for 13.9%. Gas-fired generating stations accounted for 7.4% of the total and nuclear came in a 13.3%. The remained is attributable to oil and the burning of miscellaneous waste products. Germany exported 45.6 TWh of power in 2018, mostly to the Netherlands, while it important significant amounts of electricity from France.”

    “Primary energy consumption, Germany”

    “Primary energy refers to the energy carriers at the beginning of the energy conversion chains. The total primary energy consumption in Germany amounted to 446 million t of coal equivalents in 2014. The consumption is divided up as follows:
    Mineral oils 35.0% Natural gas 20.5% Hard Coal 12.6% Lignite 12.0% Renewables 11.1% Nuclear energy 8.1% Others 1.7%”

  25. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 5:38 am 

    Trump threatens with a shutdown that lasts several years:

    Trump would basically abolish the government.

    That idea caused me to go to libertarian central

    Craig Roberts hopes that the truth about 9/11 (CIA-Mossad inside job) will finally come out. There is some reason for that hope:

    JHK latest, mocking Pelosi:

    Let Nancy Pelosi finish the work that the Democratic Party started with the election of 2016 — its own destruction as a viable political force.

  26. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 5:54 am 

    Perspective of Germany’s renewable revolution. 30% renewable electricity (solar and wind). 10% renewable primary energy (solar and wind). (primary energy graph)

    LOL That’s 2014 data.

    The target for 2020 will be 18%, according to German government data:

    Ein immer größerer Anteil des Endenergieverbrauchs wird in Deutschland durch erneuerbare Energien gedeckt – Ziel der Bundesregierung ist es, den Anteil bis zum Jahr 2020 auf 18 Prozent und bis zum Jahr 2030 auf 30 Prozent zu steigern

    It is very unlikely they will make it, due to strong economic growth over the past few years.

    Die Anteile der verschiedenen Energieträger am nationalen Energiemix haben sich 2018 gegenüber dem Vorjahr weiter verschoben: Bei den fossilen Energien kam es in Summe zu einem Rückgang, sodass die deutsche Energieversorgung ihre Kohlenstoffintensität weiter verringern konnte. Kennzeichnend bleibt aber ein breiter Energiemix. Knapp 58 Prozent des inländischen Energieverbrauchs entfallen auf Öl und Gas. Stein- und Braunkohle deckten zusammen etwas mehr als ein Fünftel des Verbrauchs. Die Erneuerbaren steigern ihren Beitrag auf 14 Prozent.

    According to this source it is currently 14%.

    This source says it was 14.6% in 2016:

  27. Davy on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 6:52 am 

    “According to this source it is currently 14%. This source says it was 14.6% in 2016:”

    wind & solar?

  28. Antius on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 7:31 am 

    I cannot read this page. The text disappears off the edge of the screen.

  29. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 7:36 am 

    Renewable share primary energy from all sources.

    Now in early 2019 it is probably ca. 15%.

    Perhaps 16%, since energy use came down considerably in 2018:

    But they unlikely will achieve 18% in 2020.

  30. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 7:38 am 

    “I cannot read this page. The text disappears off the edge of the screen.”

    That’s because of this post:

    makati1 on Thu, 3rd Jan 2019 10:32 pm

    This Fred Flintstone forum can’t handle long strings without hyphens. Makati posted a link with underscores only and: kadeng!

  31. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 7:39 am 

    Remedy: use tinyurl

    (sometimes I misjudge the length of a link myself, especially when I post from iPad or iPhone and creating a tinyurl is too cumbersone).

  32. Davy on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 7:43 am 

    OK, using your numbers for discussion, wind and solar will be around 13% if you take out hydro and biomass

  33. Cloggie on Sat, 5th Jan 2019 7:45 am 

    From this source:

    Renewables enhanced their contribution to the total energy consumption in 2018 by a
    total of 2.1 percent
    . Wind energy had a plus of 7 percent. Solar energy exhibited a plus of 16 percent. Biomass remained at the previous year’s level and hydro power recorded a minus of 16 percent.

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