Friday, June 10, 2016

Population Growth in the Amazon Rain Forest

I recently had the incredible good luck to take a tour deep into the Amazon basin. It was everything, and more, than expected: overwhelming, an amazing diversity of exotic animals and plants, vast, isolated, and ruggedly beautiful. But, sadly, the indigenous people there live in poverty eking out a subsistence existence based mostly on fishing. We visited two small villages and it was obvious that in spite of the primitive conditions, making babies is no problem. We were greeted by children, many of them. And they appeared healthy and happy. Perhaps here in the isolated, resource-rich Amazon, there is room for additional people. But with total human population now predicted to top 11 billion, I worry about the rest of the world.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review of The Message by Yan Vana

Falcondale Press, England, 2015, 198 pages.

This book by Vana tackles the very serious problem of human population. But it is most unusual and interesting, because it does so as a science-fiction novel. Various aliens, superior to Earthlings, are having an inquiry to decide what to do about a myriad of grim difficulties that have arisen on a nature reserve called Retha (Earth in actuality). The inquiry shows conclusively that these problems are extremely serious and are, in fact, destroying the planet. The cause is humans and specifically their out-of-control population growth.

The author is to be commended for penning this book and, especially, for taking such a fresh and bold approach. The topic of human overpopulation needs to be addressed; it’s astonishing how it is largely ignored.

However, The Message falls short of being a good read. It needs a proper title and subtitle that give some idea of what’s inside; the characters are not developed in enough detail to make the story interesting; the environmental and resource problems arising on Retha are named but little discussion or definition; and the love story is shallow and clumsy. Most bizarre is that no information is provided about the author either in the book, on the website, or when you Google the name. It’s not clear who the author is, or even whether male or female.

A bold effort, indeed, on a crucially important topic. With some solid upgrading, it could be an outstanding book.

Monday, March 28, 2016

More on the False Population Myth

In my last post (some time ago), I railed against the false myth that population growth is slowing down. For decades it’s been erroneously thought that human numbers will peak at about 9.5 billion in 2050 and then decrease, and, thus, the overpopulation problem will go away.

My post showed this is a total misconception, based on incorrectly interpreting data using percentages rather than actual numbers. Well, now my blog post has received authoritative confirmation. A major United Nations study in 2014 involving scientists, statisticians and demographers predicts that global population will continue to increase reaching a total of about 11 billion by 2100. Furthermore, it will continue to grow slowly beyond that. This is dynamite news! The current global population already far exceeds the world’s bearing capacity. At 11 billion, the situation will be much worse.

Human population impacts virtually everything from resources, to environment to terrorism. Why do we go on ignoring it?

Gerland, P., et al., World population stabilization unlikely this century, Science, 10 October 2014:
Vol. 346 no. 6206 pp. 234-237.