Welcome to WorldPopulationHistory.org, an interactive site that lets you explore the peopling of our planet from multiple perspectives – historical, environmental, social and political. It is about the 2,000-year journey of human civilization and the possible paths ahead to the middle of this century.
GrowUp: the future of food - "The new concept of commercial aquaponics, argue Hofman and Webster, has a much-reduced environmental impact. Companion farming fish and crops dates back to the Aztecs, but it took until the 2010s, in Chicago, to move it indoors at any scale. In the UK, only eco-smallholdings have so far attempted it, and the only European aquaponics farms of note use purpose-built greenhouses. GrowUp's model, by contrast, is to fit out empty urban buildings, use no chemicals, employ LED lights, source 100 per cent renewable energy and, crucially, be based within five miles of its customer base in a dense urban area."
The year 2050 is right around the corner, and yet it is hard to imagine the sweeping changes the world will confront by then. In a multimedia series, The Wall Street Journal helps readers envision how we will work, how we will age and how we will live. [more inside]
FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
Overpopulation and overconsumption in pictures (SLGrauniad)
The Ghost Children of China Forty-five years ago, China inaugurated an era of population control, amid fears that too many people would bring catastrophe. In 1980, it officially announced a national one-child policy, forcibly limiting the size of families. But there have been, inevitably, second (and, rarely, third and fourth) children: children who go unrecognized by the government, have no official identity – who are left to live outside the institutions of regulated society. Little Jie is one of them. [more inside]
A corner of Japan where cats rule [SLR.tv]
Reddit user TeaDranks has made a map of the world resizing every country in proportion to its population. The results are fascinating. NPR has a look. As originally seen on Reddit.
New global population predictions published in Science today says that world population stabilisation is unlikely this century, with an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100, greatly exceeding previous consensus figures that settled around 9 billion, and is expected to keep growing next century. More in the Guardian.
A New York Times interactive graphic feature charting how Americans have moved between states since 1900.
Valley of Dolls
Eleven years ago, Ayano Tsukimi returned to her home in Nagoro. Confronted with constant departures, she has populated the village with dolls, each representing a former villager. Around 350 of the giant dolls now reside in and around Nagoro, replacing those that died or abandoned the village years ago.
In a recent documentary titled The Valley Of Dolls, Fritz Schumann explores Tsukimi's world, highlighting the time and artistry that goes into making the figures, and explaining her motivations. In it we're shown around a local school, once filled with children and teachers, that now houses dozens of dolls, sitting statically, waiting for class to begin.
"America is in the midst of two major changes to its population: We are becoming majority non-white at the same time a record share is going gray. Explore these shifts in our new interactive data essay."
4 GIFs showing how the population in 4 different countries has and will age over time. (courtesy of Planet Money)
Alan Weisman's new book argues that we should not only slow population growth, we should decrease the world's population to 2 billion. In the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert considers his argument for the 2 billion person world in the context of a long history of Malthusian and neo-Malthusian arguments over population growth and resource limits. “Before artificial nitrogen fertilizer became widely available, the world’s population was around 2 billion. When we no longer have it—or if we ever decide to stop using it—that may be a number to which our own naturally gravitates.” For more context, see Paul Sabin's new book The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth’s Future. [more inside]
Warning! The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased, entry for the United States of America
For Anting New City, China asked for an idealized theme park of a Teutonic village, but instead they got a modern Bauhaus inspired ghost town. Only about 1,000 people live in this Shanghai mega-suburb that was built to be home to 50,000 residents. (via)
Dustin Cable, a researcher at the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, has created a map of the United States incorporating 2010 US Census data. 308,745,538 colored dots represent every citizen of the United States (as of 2010, anyway.)
Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet's surface beginning as early as 1984. See Vegas grow! Rainforests Shrink! Coastlines expand, and lakes vanish!
Which of these two cities is bigger? The Census bureau has a quiz to see how well you know the relative sizes of the 64 largest metropolitan areas in the US, March Madness style. [more inside]
The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like? (Youtube 56:43)
BBC/NRI reports that women in China are being labeled "sheng nu" or "leftover women" after the age of 27. Beyond the traditional family pressure to get married, the Chinese government is applying pressure on single women to get married, fearful that a growing population of single men could cause civil unrest. [more inside]
Peoplemovin illustrates the migration flow in and out of the countries of the world. Click on a country's name on the left to see its emigrants stream to countries on the right; click on a country on the right to see where its immigrants come from. Click in between the country lists to see information on top migration origins and destinations, and the largest migration corridors.
See the big picture of how suburban developments are changing the country's landscape, with aerial photos and an architect's commentary
Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
In Praise of Leisure - "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via) [more inside]
"The world now has a very clear choice. We can choose to address the twin issues of population and consumption... Or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward vortex of economic, socio-political and environmental ills, leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future." Sir John Sulston, Royal Society Fellow on the Society's recent report "People and the planet". [more inside]
Welcome to the Anthropocene: A 3-minute journey through the last 250 years of our history, from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the Rio+20 Summit. The film charts the growth of humanity into a global force on an equivalent scale to major geological processes. [more inside]
The world's Internet population has doubled in the last 5 years, reaching 2.27 billion. A recently published ebook Geographies of the World's Knowledge shows that despite its growing availability knowledge is not necessarily "more accessible." "Many commentators speculated that [the Internet] would allow people outside of industrialised nations to gain access to all networked and codified knowledge, thus mitigating the traditionally concentrated nature of information production and consumption." "These early expectations remain largely unrealised." It was found that not only academic knowledge but also user generated content predominantly originates in "rich countries, especially the United States."
The New York Times brings us the top 100 massacres, wars, and various kinds of oppression in a handy infographic. Via Crooked Timber
"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, maybe we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment." Sir David Attenborough
Population to Reach 7 Billion This Week. As experts wait for the human population to reach 7 billion this week, some estimates claim even larger growth by the end of the century. One forthcoming United Nations report estimates that the number of humans on the planet may reach 15 billion -- more than double current levels, according to The Observer.
Which countries match the GDP and population of ● Brazil's States? ● China's Provinces? ● India's States and Territories? [more inside]
Commodity Prices and Paradigm Shifts - "The real paradigm shift, or more like a paradigm drift, because it is slowly enveloping us, is that we are moving toward preferences and lifestyle where we will simply consume less. A lot less... [more inside]
How to feed 9 billion people: The global food supply is starting to get tight, with increasing sensitivity to droughts and floods causing price spikes and food shortages. The UK commissioned a report to examine how to feed a planet with a population that is set to increase to 9 billion by 2050. [more inside]
Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments - With protests spreading in the Middle East (now Yemen - not on the list) I thought this article and blog on a forecast model predicting "which countries will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence [within the next five years]" was rather interesting. [more inside]
The Price of Altruism - George Price, a (troubled) father of group selection thru his discovery of the eponymous Price Equation, has a rather interesting biography... [more inside]
Population 7 Billion By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain?
Hans Rosling, who helped usher in TED talks way back when using stunning visuals, envisions how the world will look in 50 years as global population grows to 9 billion. To check further population growth, which might have disastrous consequences, he exhorts us to raise the living standards of the poorest. [more inside]
19.20.21. is a planned five-year project to understand the effects of the rising global population of humanity becoming increasingly urbanized: 19 cities in the world with 20 million people in the 21st century. The Flash-based introduction includes historical trends and geographic factors.
Due to population decline, Detroit plans on bulldozing roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city into semi-rural farmland. It is a worst case scenario in America, but pales to the problem of Eastern Germany, where demographic collapse in some towns is so severe, urban-wolves and neo-Nazis are the new order of the day. The mayor of one town says: "You can't go into the forest without a knife anymore." [more inside]
Governments around the globe are opening up their data vaults allowing us to check out the numbers for ourselves. This is the Guardian’s gateway to that information. Search for government data here from the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand — and look out for new countries and places as they are added. Read more about this on the Datablog. [more inside]
In Lester R. Brown's new book Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization (2008, full-text)) - an update to Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble (2006, full-text) - he calls for a war-time mobilization (ch.13) to save global civilization (already showing Early Signs of Decline (ch.6)) from Deteriorating Oil and Food Security (ch.2), Rising Temperatures and Rising Seas (ch.3), Emerging Water Shortages (ch.4), and Natural Systems Under Stress (ch.5)
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