Is the world overpopulated?
That web page has a footnote I thought to quote in the following. I want to show the footnote because of an addition I made to it today on account of something I read that supports the assertions I made in the footnote. I had said that all of the world’s population could fit into a land area the size of Alberta, with a house for each family (of three, on average) and enough land for each house to supply some of the food each family needs.
I know that some people feel that assertions like the ones I made are ridiculous, but, believe it or not, what I read today makes the assertions I made look puny.
Read the footnote and the information I found today.
Is the world overpopulated?
If all of the world’s people were located in the Province of Alberta (just a touch smaller in area than the State of Texas) and each were to have an equal share of all of the land in Alberta, then each of the world’s people would have 98.6m2 of land to live on.
Assuming that the average household consists of three people, a family of three would have enough space (3,184 ft2) for a moderately-sized house and a garden large enough to grow some of the food consumed by the family.
- Alberta land area: 661,565 km2, 255,541 miles2
- World population: 6,706,993,152 (Source: CIA World Factbook, July 2008 est.)
See also: The 1989 Montreal Massacre in the context of mens sacrifices, 2008 12 07, by Professor Jeffrey Asher.
Update 2010 08 26: I don’t know whether anyone ever read the assertions contained in this footnote. If the assertions were read, then everyone having read them must have thought that they were so outrageous and so totally-out-to-lunch that they were not even worth commenting on, because no one ever commented on them. That is odd, given that so many people claim that humanity must be drastically reduced so as to avert ecological catastrophes of epic proportions. However, consider something else, Phytofarm, that is: farming by means of the use of artificial light.
At the current efficiency of PhytoFarm, the entire present population of the world can be supplied from a square area about 140 miles on a side – about the area of Massachusetts and Vermont combined, and less than a tenth of Texas. This represents only about a thousandth as much land as is needed for agriculture at present (give or take a factor of four; for illustrative purposes greater exactitude is unnecessary). And if for some reason that seems like too much space, you can immediately cut the land space by a factor of ten: just build food factories ten stories high, which should present no more problems that a ten-story office building. You could economize even more and build a hundred stories high, like the Empire State Building or the Sears Tower. Then the surface area needed would be no more than the space within the corporate limits of Austin, Texas, to pick the first alphabetically among the many U.S. cities large enough.
PhytoFarm techniques could feed a hundred times the world’s present population – say 500 billion people – with factory buildings a hundred stories high, on one percent of present farmland. [My emphasis WHS] To put it differently, if you raise your bed to triple bunk-bed height, you can grow enough food on the two levels between the floor and your bed to supply your nutritional needs.
The Ultimate Resource II: People, Materials, and Environment (1998), by Julian L. Simon
CHAPTER SIX, WHAT ARE THE LIMITS ON FOOD PRODUCTION?
I know, I know. You must think about where all of the energy to produce the required light will be coming from. Never fear, Julian Simon thought of that. Read the book and you will find out. Come on! If you are sufficiently worried about over-population that you feel driven to stop reproducing and even try to limit other people’s wish to propagate, you must be interested enough to read just one book. No? You mean you have your mind so firmly made up that no facts will confuse you?
Update 2010 09 01: Well, you seem to be ready to accept some facts. Here is an essay that will convince you, if any convincing is necessary, and confirms that the world is not running out of anything and will not run out of anything even if the size of the world population grows to several times its present size:
There Is No Shortage of Stuff
May 8, 2009 by E.M.Smith
Functionally Unlimited Resources Exist
The worry is often put forward that we are going to run out of resources. That as population increases we just MUST run out of stuff. In this article I will be presenting a selection of examples of why this is not so. Please remember that this is far from a complete list. I have left out more resources and technologies than Ive put in the article. These are just a sample sufficient to prove the thesis, the others were left out not due to lack of merit, but due to lack of space….(Full Story)