Yes, the population bomb is real

Dr. Paul Ehrlich was ridiculed many times over the years for his book, The Population Bomb, in which he argued that the rapidly growing world population is a major threat to our survival. Ehrlich underestimated the amount of people ecosystems can support, but I can’t understand why anyone would argue with his general thesis. From The Raw Story:

Climate change, population growth and environmental destruction could cause a collapse of the ecosystem just a few generations from now, scientists warned on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The paper by 22 top researchers said a “tipping point” by which the biosphere goes into swift and irreversible change, with potentially cataclysmic impacts for humans, could occur as early as this century.

The warning contrasts with a mainstream view among scientists that environmental collapse would be gradual and take centuries…

The factors in today’s equation include a world population that is set to rise from seven billion to around 9.3 billion by mid-century and global warming that will outstrip the UN target of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

The team determined that once 50-90 percent of small-scale ecosystems become altered, the entire eco-web tips over into a new state, characterised especially by species extinctions.

Once the shift happens, it cannot be reversed.

4 Responses to Yes, the population bomb is real

  1. Major Kong June 7, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    This has been happening for missions of years. Only difference this time is that we as a species are aware it’s coming. Well, at least some of us are aware.

  2. Major Kong June 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    millions of years, of course.

  3. Jim June 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Yeah, I had an argument with my roommate last night where he refused to believe that the population bomb was real and that population worldwide was actually decreasing. He is rather paranoid and his defense is you can’t trust the reporting authorities. I was incredulous and had no response to his abject denial.

    I guess the real test of truth will be when I’m ready and he’s not. :/

  4. Tom June 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Thanks Susie for posting this very real problem facing our species, which was pointed out over 30 years ago by Dr. Ehrlich. Yes – he was ridiculed and blasted for his stance, but this just goes to show how he was well ahead of his time. Too bad we’re such an ignorant, self-important species that we couldn’t even heed the warning (it’s our short-term thinking bias that got us into this and many other dilemmas).

    By the way, Jim – no one is “ready” for extinction. Those who are into “prepping” may last a little while longer, but may regret it once the real effects of climate change bite in hard.

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