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Response to Finishline42 (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 28, 2019, 08:42 AM

16. Support for how long?

The critical issue isn't how many people can be supported at one single moment in time. At this moment in time, the planet is supporting over 7.5 billion people. That "achievement" doesn't mean we can sustain that level, just that we can reach it. We've reached it by living beyond our means, consuming significantly more resources than can be restored at these population levels.

So what is the number of humans that could live on the planet without borrowing time by relying on non-renewable resources?

Historically, we have a track record of over-consuming, so I find Jackalope's recommendation of 7-10 million to be on the generous side. World population during the Paleolithic is estimated to be 200,000-300,000 people, so I'd cap it at 1/2 million. Even at that point there's evidence humans were wiping out certain large animal species.
This is the DU member formerly known as Boomer.

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