The Empty Cradle
. Our everyday personal experiences with traffic, sprawl and other irritants of modern life tell us there are too many people in the world and the problem is getting worse. However in truth world population growth peaked 40 years ago in 1963
and has been trending downward since. Demographers predict that absolute human population will peak at 9 billion by 2070
and then contract. Long before then, many nations will shrink
in absolute size and the average age
of the world's citizens will shoot up dramatically
, including the fastest aging part of the world: developing countries
, where for example Iraq is aging 2.5 times faster than the USA and Mexico 5 times as fast. Having averted the danger of overpopulation, the world now faces the opposite problem: an aging and declining population.
posted by stbalbach
on Jun 6, 2004 -
Boom! A master planned community. Boom! A big-box mall! Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia.
This article, by New York Times columnist David Brooks, takes a look at exploding suburbs and exurban migration.
This migration is nothing new, author Joel Garreau wrote extensively about it in his 1991 book Edge Cities.
The phenomonon really took off after World War II, during the period of post war prosperity, and is best represented by this famous postwar American suburb.
A veritable army of "suburban sprawl critics" has emerged over the years including Jane Jacobs
and James Howard Knunstler
plus many others
including some who are predicting the immenent demise of suburbs
because of oil depletion.
For Brooks the critics of suburbs "just regurgitate the same critiques decade after decade, regardless of the suburban reality flowering around them" but you can't dismiss what the architect Paolo Soleri says about American society that
"we have a society that is moving very rapidly to the super-, super-, super-consumptive."
posted by thedailygrowl
on Apr 30, 2004 -
Garret Hardin and his wife Jane were found dead last Thursday in their house of Santa Barbara (California), presumably a double suicide. His 1968 essay Tragedy of the Commons
(a critique of both communism and laissez-faire
capitalism in the light of natural resources constrains) was one of the most widely known works of this expert in population and ecology. Garret was 88 and Jane was 81 and both were in poor health. Last week celebrated their 62nd anniversary.
They were members of the Hemlock Society (now know as End-of-Life Choices
posted by samelborp
on Sep 20, 2003 -
An undeclared war on latex
is apparently being waged by the Bush administration, which is taking all sorts of steps to avoid condoning their use. This is a patently ridiculous stance to take in the face of a global AIDS epidemic, but this interesting essay also raised my eyebrows:
According to figures in a report on condoms by Population Action International, the average man in Botswana gets less than one condom per year from international donors.
Uhhh...doesn't the idea of condoms as a staple of international relief seem a bit strange? Haven't governments around the world devoted any resources to their own public health? Surely donor-nations can't keep everyon else's penises safely sheathed forever.
posted by subpixel
on Jan 10, 2003 -
Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US
population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
posted by Beholder
on Jan 1, 2003 -
... Sure, you may have already seen something like this before... but as we're about to turn the calendar over for another year, it's as good a time as any to thoughtfully reconsider the world we live in. Miniature Earth is a flash presentation that compresses the world's population down to a community of 100 people, and gives statistical proportions. Work with passion; Love without needing to be loved; appreciate what you have; and do your best to make a better world.
posted by crunchland
on Dec 23, 2002 -
Half a billion Americans?
The Economist crunches census data from both sides of the Atlantic and figures that the US will hit the 500 million mark sometime in the next few decades, surpassing the combined population of even the expanded EU. In typical style, the Economist looks at the economic and political reprecussions of this, but skips another interesting question: how will a doubling of the population change America itself? will it make the US more environmentally friendly? reduce urban sprawl? will the shifting population balance change the culture itself?
posted by costas
on Aug 23, 2002 -
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
"Phasing out the human race by voluntarily ceasing to breed will allow Earth's biosphere to return to good health. Crowded conditions and resource shortages will improve as we become less dense." More inside...
posted by Irontom
on May 30, 2002 -
From America to Europe to Russia, birthrates are declining -- and eventually, so will population. What are the implications? Guess who has some answers.
posted by dhartung
on Jan 10, 2002 -
I'm just one in a billion!
With the birth of a baby girl named Asha - 'Faith' in Hindi - India's population officially hit 1 billion today, an event marked with fanfare and concern over the nation's too-rapid growth. Astha was born to Anjana and Ashok Arora at 5:05 a.m. this morning, putting India in an exclusive club with China as the only nations with populations exceeding 1 billion.
Now if any country messes with us, all we have to do is jump at the same time to wipe out the enemy. :)
posted by riffola
on May 11, 2000 -
If you were to draw one stick person
every second 24 hours a day, it would take you 200 years to make 6 billion drawings. The YouDraw exhibition will show 6 billion drawings of the world's people together for the first time ever. 500,000 drawings of people will be collected from the internet. These 500,000 drawings will be compiled in a book of which 12,000 copies will be produced. 12,000 books will represent a total of 6 billion drawings and will be in shown in an installation, to be exhibited internationally.
posted by TuxHeDoh
on Feb 25, 2000 -