By Jason G. Brent | 1 June 2020
The resources the earth can provide to humanity are finite and limited. The more resources that are used today, the less resources that will be available for use tomorrow, and the less resources that are available for use tomorrow, the sooner industrialized civilization will collapse.
Nonrenewable resources by definition are finite and limited.
Theoretically renewable resources are being used by humanity faster than nature can replenish them and, therefore, for the purposes of this document are finite and limited.
Since the resources the earth can provide to humanity are finite and limited, economic and population growth must cease sometime in the future. No action taken by humanity and no new technologies will convert the finite resources the earth provides humanity to infinite resources.
All actions taken by humanity, for example recycling, new technologies, substitution of one resource for another resource, and extracting additional resources from the earth will only delay the cessation of growth.
The only questions are—when and how will the cessation of both population and economic growth happen?
The economy of the planet, the economies of nations and the human population grow in a compound manner and compound growth is the most powerful force in the universe.
At an annual growth rate of 5% it would take 42 years to achieve a growth factor of 8 and 84 years to achieve a growth factor of 64. At an annual growth of 4% it would take 52.5 years to achieve a growth factor 8 and 105 years to achieve a growth factor of 64. At 3 % the years would be 70 to achieve a growth factor of 8 and 140 years to achieve growth factor of 64. And at 2% the years would be 105 for a growth factor of 8 and 210 for a growth factor of 64.
Anyone who believes that the earth can support and provide the resources necessary for the economy of the planet to be 64 times (or even 8 times) as large as the current economy must be placed into a mental institution, as that level of economic growth is impossible and will not happen.
All economists, with very few exceptions, should be viewed as fools for their arrogance, stupidity and crimes against humanity for failing to advise the leaders of humanity that economic growth must and will cease in the very near future. Any attempt to maintain economic or population growth for even a short period of time will lead to the collapse of civilization, the deaths of billion and the possibility/probability of the extinction of the human species.
Economic and population growth are joined together. If one of them increases the other must increase and if one of them declines the other must decline. They are the opposite sides of the same coin.
The present ( May 27, 2020) population is between 7.65 and 7.80 billion (two different organizations—7.652 or 7.987 billion). The UN’s latest prediction/projection/estimate for 2100 is 10.9 billion. While the actual population could be lower or higher than 10.9 billion in 2100, I will use 10.9 billion in this document. The increase of 3.1 billion (10.9 minus 7.8=3.1) represents a growth of about 40% (3.1 divided by 7.8= 39.7%) in just 80 years.
It can be stated with absolute certainty (not merely 99.99% certainty) that at some point in the near future the economic level of the planet (all the nations combined) will reach a peak and sometime after the peak is reached the economy of the planet will start to decline. That statement cannot be challenged—economic growth cannot continue forever on the finite planet and, therefore, must reach a peak and the economy must decline thereafter as humanity will be using the finite resources of the planet and at some time in the future one or more of the essential resources will no longer be available to humanity. When the economy of the planet declines, the human population will decline and no action taken by humanity will prevent that from happening.
The reduction in population that must and will occur in the very near future will be achieved in only one of two ways—the intelligence or stupidity of humanity. The stupidity of humanity will be by continual wars without weapons of mass destruction (or one or very few wars with weapons of mass destruction) over the lack of resources to support the then level of population. The intelligence of humanity requires an immediate reduction in population and an immediate reduction in the per capita usage of resources of those residing in the industrialized nations.
Humanity is in overshoot, according to the Global Footprint Network, using the resources of 1.7 earths and any species that remains in overshoot must suffer a substantial, uncontrolled, violent and horrible decline in population to the level that can be supported by the environment occupied by the species. And the environment occupied by humanity is the entire planet. That law has applied to all of the billions of species, without a single exception, that have existed on this planet since life started about 3.5 billion years ago and humanity is not exempt from that law. Anyone who takes the position that humanity can remain in overshoot, even for a short period of time, without suffering a violent decline in population is not only an arrogant fool, that person is also a mass murderer. To the best of my knowledge, no organization or any person has shown the analysis made by the Global Footprint Network to be incorrect.
— Church and State (@ChurchAndStateN) July 3, 2020
Jane Goodall @ Population Matters Conference 2019
Sir David Attenborough on Overpopulation
The Threat of Overpopulation
How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map
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