Human overpopulation

overpopulationexpanding human populationoverpopulatedover-populationpopulation explosionpopulation pressuressurplus populationan expanding human populationdemographic explosionexpanding population
Human overpopulation (or population overshoot) is when there are too many people for the environment to sustain (with food, drinkable water, breathable air, etc.).wikipedia
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Societal collapse

collapse of societycollapsebarbarism
In more scientific terms, there is overshoot when the ecological footprint of a human population in a geographical area exceeds that place's carrying capacity, damaging the environment faster than nature can repair it, potentially leading to an ecological and societal collapse.
Other factors such as a Malthusian catastrophe, overpopulation or resource depletion might be the proximate cause of collapse.

Human impact on the environment

anthropogenichuman activityhuman impacts
Scientists suggest that the overall human impact on the environment, due to overpopulation, overconsumption, pollution, and proliferation of technology, has pushed the planet into a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene.
Modifying the environment to fit the needs of society is causing severe effects, which become worse as the problem of human overpopulation continues.

Human extinction

extinctionextinction of the human raceOmnicide
Advocates of population moderation cite issues like exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity, global warming, potential or imminent ecological collapse, impact on quality of life, and risk of mass starvation or even extinction as a basis to argue for population decline.
However many possible scenarios of anthropogenic extinction have been proposed; such as human global nuclear annihilation, biological warfare or the release of a pandemic-causing agent, overpopulation, ecological collapse, and climate change.

Paul R. Ehrlich

Paul EhrlichDr. Paul R. EhrlichPaul and Anne Ehrlich
A more controversial definition of overpopulation, as advocated by Paul Ehrlich, is a situation where a population is in the process of depleting non-renewable resources.
Among the solutions he suggested in that book was population control, including "various forms of coercion" such as eliminating “tax benefits for having additional children," to be used if voluntary methods were to fail. Ehrlich has been criticized for his opinions; for example, Ronald Bailey termed Ehrlich an "irrepressible doomster". Ehrlich has acknowledged that some of what he predicted has not occurred, but maintains that his predictions about disease and climate change were essentially correct and that human overpopulation is a major problem.

Population decline

depopulationdepopulatedpopulation loss
Advocates of population moderation cite issues like exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity, global warming, potential or imminent ecological collapse, impact on quality of life, and risk of mass starvation or even extinction as a basis to argue for population decline.
It does not refer to carrying capacity, and is not a term in opposition to overpopulation, which deals with the total possible population that can be sustained by available food, water, sanitation and other infrastructure.

Overconsumption

Over-consumptionprofligate consumptionconsumer madness
Scientists suggest that the overall human impact on the environment, due to overpopulation, overconsumption, pollution, and proliferation of technology, has pushed the planet into a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene.
Generally, the discussion of overconsumption parallels that of human overpopulation; that is the more people, the more consumption of raw materials takes place to sustain their lives.

Anthropocene

anthropogenicThe AnthropoceneAnthropocene Extinction
Scientists suggest that the overall human impact on the environment, due to overpopulation, overconsumption, pollution, and proliferation of technology, has pushed the planet into a new geological epoch known as the Anthropocene.
Evidence of relative human impact – such as the growing human influence on land use, ecosystems, biodiversity, and species extinction – is substantial; scientists think that human impact has significantly changed (or halted) the growth of biodiversity.

Garrett Hardin

HardinGarret HardinGarrett Hardin’s
Thinkers from a wide range of academic fields and political backgrounds—including agricultural scientist David Pimentel, behavioral scientist Russell Hopfenberg, right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernethy, ecologist Garrett Hardin, ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farb, journalist Richard Manning, environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn, and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan, —propose that, like all other animal populations, human populations predictably grow and shrink according to their available food supply, growing during an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity.
Garrett James Hardin (April 21, 1915 – September 14, 2003) was an American ecologist who warned of the dangers of human overpopulation.

Carrying capacity

capacityCarrying capacitiescarrying-capacity
In more scientific terms, there is overshoot when the ecological footprint of a human population in a geographical area exceeds that place's carrying capacity, damaging the environment faster than nature can repair it, potentially leading to an ecological and societal collapse. Advocates of population moderation cite issues like exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity, global warming, potential or imminent ecological collapse, impact on quality of life, and risk of mass starvation or even extinction as a basis to argue for population decline.
Waste and over-consumption, especially by wealthy and near-wealthy people and nations, are also putting significant strain on the environment together with human overpopulation.

Anarcho-primitivism

anarcho-primitivistanarcho-primitivistsprimitivist
Thinkers from a wide range of academic fields and political backgrounds—including agricultural scientist David Pimentel, behavioral scientist Russell Hopfenberg, right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernethy, ecologist Garrett Hardin, ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farb, journalist Richard Manning, environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn, and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan, —propose that, like all other animal populations, human populations predictably grow and shrink according to their available food supply, growing during an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity.
According to anarcho-primitivism, the shift from hunter-gatherer to agricultural subsistence gave rise to social stratification, coercion, alienation, and overpopulation.

Environmental degradation

environmental damagedegradationenvironmental impact
In 2017, more than a third of 50 Nobel prize-winning scientists surveyed by the Times Higher Education at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings said that human overpopulation and environmental degradation are the two greatest threats facing humankind.
The loss of biodiversity has been attributed in particular to human overpopulation, continued human population growth and overconsumption of natural resources by the world's wealthy.

World population estimates

world population5% of the world populationWorld
The population is expected to reach between 8 and 10.5 billion between the years 2040 and 2050.
The more dramatic phrasing of "the living outnumber the dead" also dates to the 1970s, a time of population explosion and growing fears of human overpopulation in the wake of decolonization and before the adoption of China's one-child policy.

Soylent Green

1973 moviemovie of the same nameSoylent
Many of the problems associated with overpopulation are explored in the dystopic science fiction film Soylent Green, where an overpopulated Earth suffers from food shortages, depleted resources and poverty and in the documentary "Aftermath: Population Overload".
Loosely based on the 1966 science fiction novel Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison, it combines both police procedural and science fiction genres: the investigation into the murder of a wealthy businessman; and a dystopian future of dying oceans and year-round humidity due to the greenhouse effect, resulting in suffering from pollution, poverty, overpopulation, euthanasia and depleted resources.

Daniel Quinn

Thinkers from a wide range of academic fields and political backgrounds—including agricultural scientist David Pimentel, behavioral scientist Russell Hopfenberg, right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernethy, ecologist Garrett Hardin, ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farb, journalist Richard Manning, environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn, and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan, —propose that, like all other animal populations, human populations predictably grow and shrink according to their available food supply, growing during an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity.
While response to Ishmael was mostly very positive, Quinn's ideas have inspired the most controversy with a claim mentioned in Ishmael but made much more forcefully in The Story of B's Appendix that the total human population grows and shrinks according to food availability and with the catastrophic real-world conclusions he draws from this.

Pentti Linkola

Some deep ecologists, such as the radical thinker and polemicist Pentti Linkola, see human overpopulation as a threat to the entire biosphere.
He promotes rapid population decline in order to combat the problems commonly attributed to overpopulation.

Food Race

Daniel Quinn has also focused on this phenomenon, which he calls the "Food Race" (comparable, in terms of both escalation and potential catastrophe, to the nuclear arms race).
American environmental author Daniel Quinn coined the term Food Race (by analogy to the Cold War's "nuclear arms race") to describe an understanding of the current overpopulation emergency as a perpetually escalating crisis between growing human population and growing food production, fueled by the latter.

Deforestation

deforestedland clearingforest clearing
Some critics warn, this will be at a high cost to the Earth: "the technological optimists are probably correct in claiming that overall world food production can be increased substantially over the next few decades...[however] the environmental cost of what Paul R. and Anne H. Ehrlich describe as 'turning the Earth into a giant human feedlot' could be severe. A large expansion of agriculture to provide growing populations with improved diets is likely to lead to further deforestation, loss of species, soil erosion, and pollution from pesticides and fertilizer runoff as farming intensifies and new land is brought into production."
Other causes of contemporary deforestation may include corruption of government institutions, the inequitable distribution of wealth and power, population growth and overpopulation, and urbanization.

Green Revolution

The Green RevolutionAgricultural Revolutioncommercial large-scale monoculture
Dramatic growth beginning in 1950 (above 1.8% per year) coincided with greatly increased food production as a result of the industrialization of agriculture brought about by the Green Revolution.
Such concerns often revolve around the idea that the Green Revolution is unsustainable, and argue that humanity is now in a state of overpopulation or overshoot with regards to the sustainable carrying capacity and ecological demands on the Earth.

Overfishing

overfishedover-fishingfishing pressure
The report asserts that expanding human land use for agriculture and overfishing are the main causes of this decline.

Exploitation of natural resources

exploitationeconomic exploitationexploited
Humans have historically exploited the environment using the easiest, most accessible resources first.

Sub-replacement fertility

sub-replacement fertility ratereplacement levelreplacement rate
The UN population forecast of 2017 was predicting "near end of high fertility" globally and anticipating that by 2030 over ⅔ of world population will be living in countries with fertility below the replacement level and for total world population to stabilize between 10-12 billion people by year 2100.
The development of the world population is linked with concerns of overpopulation, sustainability and exceeding Earth's carrying capacity.

Virginia Abernethy

Thinkers from a wide range of academic fields and political backgrounds—including agricultural scientist David Pimentel, behavioral scientist Russell Hopfenberg, right-wing anthropologist Virginia Abernethy, ecologist Garrett Hardin, ecologist and anthropologist Peter Farb, journalist Richard Manning, environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, cultural critic and writer Daniel Quinn, and anarcho-primitivist John Zerzan, —propose that, like all other animal populations, human populations predictably grow and shrink according to their available food supply, growing during an abundance of food and shrinking in times of scarcity.
A corollary to this hypothesis is that food aid to developing nations will only exacerbate overpopulation.

Starvation

starvedstarvingstarve
Advocates of population moderation cite issues like exceeding the Earth's carrying capacity, global warming, potential or imminent ecological collapse, impact on quality of life, and risk of mass starvation or even extinction as a basis to argue for population decline.

Cornucopian

Cornucopian school
On the other hand, some cornucopian researchers, such as Julian L. Simon and Bjørn Lomborg believe that resources exist for further population growth.
One common example of this labeling is by those who are skeptical of the view that technology can solve, or overcome, the problem of an exponentially-increasing human population living off a finite base of natural resources.

Medieval demography

Europe's populationdemographicEuropean population
The Plague of Justinian caused Europe's population to drop by around 50% between 541 and the 8th century.
A classic Malthusian argument has been put forward that Europe was overpopulated: even in good times it was barely able to feed its population.