hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2011 01:24 am
@Ceili,
What Eorl said. The fact that we are living longer means there are more 60+ year olds than 1-4 year olds, not that there is any planet saving dive in birth rate. Sadly.
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2011 02:05 am
@hingehead,
I'm sorry, I disagree. By the time people reach 60+ any number of things could happen that could obliterate them. Children between the age of 1-4, at least in modern countries, don't have high death rates. If this demographic is smaller than the 60+ group for the first time in history, it speaks of a much larger change than just longer life spans. People in developing countries and third world countries don't have the luxury of long life like we do in the western or developed nations, they usually have much higher birth rates. If the life span is now favouring the elderly as opposed to the young, something much more compelling is happening. This is not just a western phenomenon, this is happening world wide. Birth rates are falling and as proof, the UN has predicted a top population rate of 10 billion. If birth rates still outnumbered death rates, why would the elderly exceed the young unless the trend was reversing?
As the third world continues to become wealthier, people will not have as many children. If history proves anything, the more money or stability one has, the less need to proliferate. It happened in the west, why would it not happen elsewhere? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding... and it seems to be reality.
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2011 04:10 pm
@Ceili,
I keep trying to point out that you may be right but it can't be assumed from those stats alone. In fact further research suggests the birthrate has indeed been falling for 10 years at least. It's my nature to question assumptions and reject if there isn't enough information to make an informed conclusion.
For example, perhaps the huge population bubble known as the "baby boomers" just reached the 60 mark? The boomers have been skewing all kinds of stats since the day they were born! (and being gen x, I'll resent them for that too!)
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Nov, 2011 06:10 pm
@Ceili,
No need to apologise Ceili - I could see where you were coming from but what you were saying re the 10 billion wasn't jelling for me - but I'm not a demographer either. I'm a librarian - so I looked it up. The UN released a population projection doc in 2004 that does predictions up to 2300 AD.

They agree with you - they say world pop should peak in 2075 just under 10 billion. Can't imagine the word supporting another 3 billion at current resource consumption rates, particularly with standard of living improvements in China and India - but it's not impossible. A move to renewable energy helps.

I've long thought that a move to digitisation of information and ubiquitous cloud/networking would remove a significant resource sink in terms of the production (and shipment) of personal information storage and transport mechanisms (like newspapers, books, cds, dvds, snail mail) but I'm not sure on balance that outweigh the provision of the hardware required to access the ubiquitous cloud.

Ancillary to that is the improvement in comms which makes the transport of people less important (affecting everything from global business management to telecommuting, conferences, university attendance, medical diagnosis).

If I'm right then the big issues become water and food production/distribution.
0 Replies
 
 

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