World Population Is Predicted to Start Decreasing during This Century

Torstai 21.3.2024 klo 18.54 - Mikko Nikinmaa

When the news is flooded with bad news about climate change, biodiversity loss, overuse of natural resources, environmental pollution etc., good news often go unnoticed. And the true good news has in the past years been that the world population is predicted to start decreasing before the end of this century. It will then continue to decline so that in about 300-500 years the population is back to around 2 billion – a marked decrease from the present 8 billion. This change will mean that all the environmental problems mentioned above are easier to tackle. One must notice, though, that the population decrease does not mean that we need not to change our ways of life to be environmentally sustainable. Otherwise the population decrease will only mean that environmental collapse takes place later than it would happen if human population continued to increase.

However, when the population starts to decrease, one needs to develop completely new economic principles. Today, a decrease of population is seen as a problem. Politics and governance have population growth as a wanted phenomenon. In the present-day thinking, only population growth enables the existence of welfare society. The wellbeing of societies is dependent of economic growth. This idea must change. Instead of aiming at getting more and more, societies should be satisfied with things being adequate.

In terms of climate change and other environmental actions, immediate responses are required. Their effectiveness is helped first by diminishing population growth and then by population decline. On the other hand, the principles for economics and politics, developed for declining population, need to be established in about fifty years. I hope there are scientists who are presently developing ideas for economics beyond year 2100.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: climate change, economic growth, sustainability, socioeconomics, politics

Another disappointing climate meeting

Maanantai 21.11.2022 klo 15.47 - Mikko Nikinmaa

We know what should be done. We have the methods and technology to do it. There would even be enough funds to do it. Yet, combatting climate change remains at the stage of lip service. Politics does not enable climate actions to be done. It is very funny that the same politicians, who are so worried about our children inheriting debt are not really worried about giving our children an Earth, where only some places are truly inhabitable (or in the worst case not even that; the bleakest scenario has the Earth going the Venus way with average temperatures above 100 degrees Celsius).

Country leaders quarrel as to who should pay. Naturally, climate actions should not cost at all. Surprisingly many politicians do not accept the existence of climate change despite the heat waves, droughts, surprising floods, wildfires and melting glaciers. Oil-producing countries try to delay the transfer to not using oil, China tries to convince others that it is a developing country, which needs to get financial support to carrying climate actions. Small, rich countries have large groups of people saying that we need not do anything, as our contribution is necessarily so small that it does not affect world’s climate at all. Maybe a lot of the reluctance of politicians to do anything is due to the fact that they are overwhelmingly over 50 years old, and are living in the past. In their childhood climate change was not an issue.

So I, as an old-age pensioner, hope that there is a rapid generation shift in political leaders of the world. To me it appears that only people who have grown with acknowledging that climate change can seriously affect their life will be able to carry out the necessary actions even if the Gross National Product decreases because of them.

Kommentoi kirjoitusta. Avainsanat: COP27, climate change, environmental politics