|Selfie fail in 3... 2... 1...|
Net Population Growth
Now that we would have the ability to live for the same amount of time as all current written history I am thinking the world might begin to get a little crowded. At current rates, every year there are 131 million births and 55 million deaths, on Earth, for a net population growth of 76 million people per year. What if (and now I am making up a number) one quarter of the people who die each year would die no matter what you do? This would include car crashes and other accidents, murders, drug overdoses, a typical day of hang gliding, eating at Applebee's, a selfie fail, etc. That would add another 41 million people to the net population growth for a total of 117 million new people added to the planet each year.
As children grow and leave the house, healthy and youthful parents may consider having a second litter of children - not right away. Most parents I know find the departure of their children to be bitter-sweet. You are sad to see them go but also glad to have more time to yourself. If you could live for, say 5000 years, after doing the Alaska Cruise a few times, playing a few thousand hands of Bridge, and hitting every Early Bird Special in the Tri-State Area, you might get a little bored and begin to toy with the idea of having another baby. Then he or she would be lonely so they would need a little brother or sister. Then there is the oopsie kid who would come along every five years, or so.
The population would grow exponentially and in only a few decades we could have 30 billion people, or more. Could our planet sustain all these people? Can we produce enough food to feed them? Do we have enough natural resources to clothe them, heat and cool them, transport them from place to place? What would we do if it started to get really crowded on Earth?
The Chinese came up with a solution to their population issue: one child per family. For 35 years the policy did succeed in reducing the rate of population growth but there were all sorts of unintended consequences. The policy was amended to two children per family in late 2015. Would this policy work, worldwide? If a communist dictatorship had difficulty enforcing it, how could a democratic world of independent nations enforce compliance?
What would we do about our expansive population, post alien contact? Perhaps aliens could help. More on this tomorrow.
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