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On global population...

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7 billion people! This is a big number, the number of people living on Earth. Projections point to more than 9bn by 2050. One question comes up: Are we too many? How many should we be? It is not easy to give an unequivocal answer. But… some considerations can help us better understand whether we are too many and if we can reduce the footprint of over-population.

 
 
 
" The first question we should all ask to ourselves is: are we too many?
 
 
The answer is "YES!" ... Yes, based on the average current lifestyle and the oil-driven economic model. "
 
 
Global population from 2015 to 2100
Source: LTEconomy elaboration on United Nations data
 
 
Population growth from 2015 to 2100

 

Popolazione al 2100

 

Incremento rispetto al 2015

 

milioni

Incidenza %

 

milioni

Incidenza %

India

1,517

13.4

Nigeria

613

15.9

China

1,021

9.0

Democratic Republic of the Congo

303

7.9

Nigeria

794

7.0

United Republic of Tanzania

250

6.5

United States of America

447

3.9

India

208

5.4

Democratic Republic of the Congo

379

3.3

Uganda

174

4.5

Pakistan

352

3.1

Niger

172

4.5

Indonesia

306

2.7

Pakistan

163

4.2

United Republic of Tanzania

304

2.7

Ethiopia

150

3.9

Ethiopia

250

2.2

Angola

145

3.8

Uganda

214

1.9

United States of America

128

3.3

Egypt

199

1.8

Iraq

119

3.1

Niger

192

1.7

Mozambique

107

2.8

Brazil

190

1.7

Egypt

105

2.7

Bangladesh

174

1.5

Sudan

100

2.6

Philippines

173

1.5

Kenya

95

2.5

Source: LTEconomy elaboration on United Nations data
 
 
The Ecological Footprint
 
The first question we must ask to ourselves is: are we too many? The answer is “YES!" Yes, based on the average current lifestyle and the oil-driven economic model. According to the Global Footprint Network, given our current lifestyle, if we wanted to be sustainable, we would have to live on a larger planet, 1.7 times planet Earth. Our excesses are gradually damaging our planet’s stock of resources.
 
 
The Ecological Footprint: quantity of planets needed to support our current lifestyle
 
Source: Global Footprint Network
 
 
 
“Short-term economic stability is irrelevant
 
if in the long run it is unattainable.”
 
 
How to reduce the Ecological Footprint
 
So it’s true we are unsustainable? How can we solve this problem? The first radical solution lies on reducing the population by at least a couple of billions of people. That means a global war or a serious epidemic! The other solution? Reducing the average Ecological Footprint. But is it possible? Yes it is! Waste today is enormous. Renewable sources, circular economy and a long-term culture could strongly reduce our individual Ecological Footprint without a negative impact on social and economic stability of countries: on the other hand, short-term economic stability is irrelevant if in the long run it is unattainable.
 
 
Conclusions
 
It is clear (and this is largely proved by the studies on the Ecological Footprint) that the “current” 7 billion people are not sustainable, owing to our lifestyle and the fuel-driven economic model. We are putting so much stress on our planet that we need a planet almost two times the size of planet earth to be sustainable. So what should we do? It’s obvious we cannot act on the population variable in the short-term (unless it is Earth itself to do it). So we should act on the other variables: lifestyle and economic model. As far as it concerns the population variable, we can however do something in a long-term perspective with action on the educational field. In a shorter term, turning towards renewable energies and circular economy as well as a more sober lifestyle and a more logically conceived global system, are a must and perhaps the last resort for our civilization to take the path of sustainability.
 
 
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Dario Ruggiero,
LTEconomy, 27 June 2018
    
 
Other articles 
 
Dario Ruggiero, (febbraio 2018), "CO2 CONCENTRATION IN THE ATMOSPHERE: will we reach the point of no return by 2070?"
 
Dario Ruggiero, (february 2018),"GLOBAL TEMPERATURE: anomalies go on - December 2017, the third highest December temperature in the 138-year record"
http://www.lteconomy.it/en/news-en/notizie-della-settimana/global-temperature-anomalies-go-on-december-2017-the-third-highest-december-temperature-in-the-138-year-record 
 
Dario Ruggiero, (february 2018), "ARCTIC MELTING: in December, Arctic sea ice extent 1,000,000 square kilometres below the 1981-2010 average"
 
Dario Ruggiero, (february 2018), "Global Risk Report 2018: environmental and technological risks on the lead"
 
Dario Ruggiero, (05 settembre 2017), "Let’s struggle for a new system: the social platform www.ltemovement.org is to be born"
 
Emanuele Bompan, (agosto 2017), Interview  with Kate Raworth: Doughnut Economy
 
Dario Ruggiero, (June2017), "An untroduction to Doughnut Economics, Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist", 
 
"What Is Long Term Economy", LTEconomy
 
Dario Ruggiero (curated by), (01 September 2017), Interview with David Lin (Research Director at the Global Footprint Network), "How to move back the Overshoot Day",

 

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