Denis Pombriant
Jun 20 · 2 min read

Earth’s carrying capacity is about 10 billion people. We’re at roughly 7.7 billion and projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Read “Limits to Growth, The 30-year Update.

Food production since WWII has been great thanks to the green revolution in which we optimized green plants by providing ample fertilizer, water, weed killers etc. We are reaching the limits of the green revolution because we’re out of farmland and irrigating desert will be expensive.

More typically in human history, food was in short supply barely keeping ahead of population growth. Malthus observed that and Darwin used it as a basis for understanding evolution. Thomas Hobbes described the life of man as, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” and he knew of what he spoke.

This piece is short on science and solutions. It engages the trio of conservative boogymen, waste, fraud, and abuse. There is no doubt that they are all present and ought to be eliminated and perhaps computer automation will help. But as practical matters they will always be with us.

Rane doesn’t offer many solutions other than the progressive boogiemen of making a more just society, which is a good idea, but how? And of empowering women but what she seems to mean is women in the third world because women in the first world might not have it knocked but they’re doing okay with a live birth metric of 2.1 children per woman. Otherwise she kicks the can down the road asking for donations to “a scientific organization of your choice”. That ain’t how things get fixed.

You need a plan with goals and reducing population is a good place to start. Because over population really is a problem, peak oil is too and so is climate change caused by over population. And earth’s carrying capacity really is right around 10 billion. If you don’t like the sociopolitical environment now, wait until 2 billion more people have AK47s and want food.

Denis Pombriant

Written by

Researcher, author of multiple books including “The Age of Sustainability” about solutions for climate change. Technology, business, economics.

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