Posted by: twotrees | November 9, 2010

When is enough, enough?

Human population on earth 1960 - 2008

Since 1960, the earth’s population of humans has more than doubled.  From an estimated 3.3 billion when president Kennedy was in office to the present estimate of 6.8 billion, we’re adding more than 81 million to the count each year.  Reasonable people can agree that if this continues, at some point, there will be too many humans on this planet.  While some make a point of saying that we’re far off from that tipping point number, who really knows?  Another way of looking at it is at what point do YOU want to live in an ant farm, a bee hive or any other high density environment?   Of course this won’t happen in our lifetime but one day, there will a crushing amount of humanity to deal with. 
I grew up in Manhattan, which is America’s closest thing to high density.  Not quite Mexico City, Seoul or Karachi, but large enough to get the idea.  While it’s a livable city, it is defined by a relatively small 22 square miles, with forests to be found in three directions just ten miles away.  But imagine Manhattan spreading across a state, let alone a larger area.  Now we’re talking about oppressive density, which would have incredible needs and incredible amounts of waste.  All these things can’t be good for the environment.
This topic is one that we must discuss, analyse and strategize upon.   It’s not too late – the earth is a resilient ecosystem. But at some point, we will poison it to a degree that will render it inhospitable for man or beast, at least for a certain duration.  Read more on the topic here:
    This site talks about how overpopulation is the cause of many environmental problems here on earth and how the human population cannot take care of the environment. It also gives links to many other cool sites where you can get interesting statistics.
  • Negative Population Growth
    This site is updated daily and gives a running count of the U.S. population and world population. According to the website, NPG “is a national membership organization founded in 1972 to educate the American public and political leaders about the detrimental effects of overpopulation on our environment, resources and quality of life.”

  • The Population Connection
    Population Connection (formerly ZPG) is a 35-year-old national nonprofit organization working to slow population growth and achieve a sustainable balance between the Earth’s people and its resources. We seek to protect the environment and ensure a high quality of life for present and future generations.

  • Overpopulation
    This is a private site run by Brian Carnell with more than 1,000 pages related to overpopulation. The site has archives going back to 1997.

  • Environmental Stewardship: Population and the Environment
    In this 1997 article by Ben Wattenberg of the New York Times Magazine, called “The Population Explosion is Over”, the author refutes the “alarmist” views of people such as Paul Ehrlich citing the United Nations Population Division’s study that concluded that the population explosion has fizzled.

  • Energetic Limits to Growth
    This article by Jay Hanson, owner of, first appeared in “ENERGY Magazine” in the spring of 1999. It discusses limits to world population growth from the viewpoint of energy production and consumption. His site also contains many other articles related to limits to growth.


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