The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“There is only so much land and water on the surface of the earth. Man, despite his marvelous accomplishments, will never be able to increase the diameter of the planet. The old days of virgin continents will be gone. The inhabitable planet, from ice-cap to ice-cap, will be inhabited. And in the matter of food-getting, as in everything else, man is only finite. Undreamed efficiencies in food-getting may be achieved, but, soon or late, man will find himself fact to face with Malthus’ grim law. Not only will population catch up with subsistence, but it will press against subsistence, and the pressure will be pitiless and savage. Somewhere in the future is a date when man will face, consciously, the bitter fact that there is not food enough for all of him to eat.” – Jack London. The Human Drift


  1. The entire population of the planet (7 billion people) could all live in the state of Texas quite comfortably, with more than twice the space people currently enjoy in New York City.
    (do the numbers, it’s true)

    Overpopulation scare tactics are as insidious and evil as global warming scare tactics. One of the main proponents of overpopulation theory was Margaret Sanger, who used it to promote abortion.

    1. @Ned,
      While it’s true you could fit all 7 billion people in the size of Texas when crowded together like NYC, you can’t self support that. NYC only works because they have a pipline of supplies that move huge amounts of material (food, water, consumables, energy, etc..) into the city and huge amounts of material (excrement, trash, waste, products, etc…) out of the city. The amount of land required to support a NYC the size of Texas would be about the same as the amount of land required to support them spread out over the entire world. While there is lots of land available, not all of it can be used for support. Some of it is unusable (for whatever reason).
      Increasingly efficient use of land is supporting a far larger population that was thought possible years ago and there is no reason to believe that that efficiency can’t continue to increase, but it is a finite resource. At some point, you stress the production of that land beyond what it can support. The natural tendency of man when the resources reach this breaking point is war. I’m not suggesting or supporting any form of population control in this statement, but just making a point that when resources are thin, war always erupts. (Usually long before any real breaking point in the resource is reached.)

  2. Malthus again.

    It is true however that there has to be a limit assuming population continues to rise. That has always happened so far but there are indications that it may not forever and that limit is likely very high.

    Two things though.

    Population control as preached for several decades now is a suckers game imo. I think the wise man still has children. As many as he can take care of financially and emotionally/spiritually. Take care of your own tribe as those in power would be more than happy to see your offspring disappear and theirs or their choices inherit the Earth.

    Also along those lines although many will find the movie over the top crude I think the movie Idiocracy should be watched by anyone with any intelligence considering not having children. It is horrible on one level but oh so true on others.

    More out there though I still think we have to get into space in a real way and diversify off this planet. Not a popular thought to many for a variety of reasons ranging from we have enough problems here to the distances are to great to radiation is too difficult to deal with to… To those who say it is too hard I point out that we went from Kitty Hawk to the moon in roughly 60 years without hardly any computing power as compared to now. And we will always have problems here.

    Again IMO we are being suckered into a self defeating over all navel gazing cowardly thought process that we have to accept that humans have reached some limit. It is so pervasive that sometimes I put on my tin foil hat and think it is a real planned and executed large scale plot by enemies. The old Soviets had a crime called Wrecking aimed at those opposing the progress of the 5 year plan and although I don’t agree with how they applied it sometimes I wonder if something of that nature really is going on. In reality there is probably more than enough explanation just in stupidity, laziness and fear to account for most of what happens. Never ascribe to malice what can be explained by incompetence. However sometimes you have to wonder…

  3. Over population is a myth. There is more than enough room for everyone to live very comfortably. As for the issue of food, that also is not an issue when many of the farmers in the US alone are paid to let crops rot, not to mention the number of farmers is much lower than it used to be. But the ultimate kicker for food growth is the modern methods many of us use which deplete soil and require man made chemicals. All of that is not necessary and permaculture would quickly restore the land, grow more than enough food, and does not require man made chemicals and GMO crops. It’s not hard…

  4. Don’t miss the point. It isn’t about “could” you keep increasing the population with very careful controls and full cooperation from everyone to make it work. It is about s the population approaches the limit will tens of millions and perhaps even billions of them suffer terribly and die simply because there are not enough resources and not sufficient transportation to get the resources where they are needed. Our world will go through a terrible catastrophic collapse which will leave large populations unable to feed themselves or find clean water. It will happen and the dramatic population growth merely assures it WILL happen.

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