Monthly Archives: August 2013

Responding to Prompt 2 (Malthus)

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I think we have surpassed our carrying capacity by far. Although we continue to survive with over 7 billion people on this planet, it is only due to impermanent advances in technology. While they work for now, there is no guarantee that they will work 10, 20, even 100 years from now. According to the law of conservation of matter, matter cannot be created or destroyed; this tells us that there is a finite amount of resources. While we have the technology to expand the little we have, we will never have the technology to spontaneously produce resources. In addition, as implied before, technology is unstable. The only way to ensure our survival is to live sustainably, or within the means of the Earth, without unnatural aid. As for the question of our extinction, I do not believe humans will be extinct 100 years from now. There may be a crash in population if our technology fails us, but I believe even in the worst-case scenario some humans will survive. For example, say our population reaches about 10 billion by 2050 (which some sources predict). Currently, with over 7 billion people, we have billions in third world countries who are starving to death. How will that number increase as our population increases? If the planet cannot sustain what we have now, how do we expect it to sustain 3 billion more?! However, let’s assume the planet is somehow sustaining 10 billion humans. CO2 levels have risen, raising global temperatures and increasing strength of natural disasters. Tsunamis, earthquakes, sinkholes, and rising sea levels inundate the world in 2050. The few humans left will inhabit the small remaining land above sea level. They will, in my opinion, adapt to the situation, outliving extinction. Of course, even in my idea of the worst-case scenario, this is less than ideal! We need to stop population growth now before it is too late, if it isn’t already. Think about this: is it ethical to throw our scraps to a population that cannot sustain itself? Would it be more ethical to leave them to stay at their carrying capacity? Or should we continue to give our limited amounts of food to those who will simply need more and more? What happens when we run out?

Brief sources: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=45165#.UiDW8WSDTFY http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/08/21/un-population-projection-map/2682459/