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How does everyone feel about the understanding that our global resources are finite? Our population continues on the same exponential trend and we are hurdling toward a serious resource crisis? How do we humanely address population vs. resources. I understand technology can increase some resources but many of the essential resources we now live and rely on are going to become a pressing and conflict causing concern?



machus1 5 Sep 2

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I agree, nothing lasts forever but the earth. Im doing /done my part! I don't breed.


I fundamentally disagree with your premise. Where are you getting the data that says we are running out of resouces. The US can produce enough food to feed everyone. The problem is distribution. Distribution is a solvable problem. Clean water is an issue for 3rd world countries. This is solvable too. What resources are we talking about?

OK if that is so we can go on creating more humans ad infinitum!! GMO's were made under the premise of feeding more of us. What about water, air pollution, Climate Change, garbage issues. My question is WHY? I have been active in population demographics for 25+ years. Overpopulation is as real as anything else.

Start here .[] And nothing is forever.

I guess that you have not heard of the Flint water crisis...unless you think that is a "third world country."


Yes, well I have been asking these questions since the early 1970's when these topics were being discussed way back then.
We have the answers, but sadly the corporations and the greed for money and power are the stumbling blocks to our saving the planet. I have very little hope that we will survive without some type of global catastrophe and in fact some would answer that we are experiencing that in these times.


Water is the most important one. I know it doesn't seem to be a limited resource, but it is. Desalination in coastal regions is a possible answer there, but inland many aquifers are drying up and quite a few lakes are losing way.

Desalinization is only viable for wealthy populations. Desalination via distillation takes a lot of energy. Desalinization via Reverse Osmosis is likewise expensive.

@dahermit -- There are many more ways to desalinate water than that and I hasten to point out that when potable water becomes a real issue, cost is not going to be a factor. Cost is, after all, a man made construct and is subject to change whereas our need for water is not.

@evidentialist Please list the ways to desalinate water (you can skip distillation and revers osmosis). Also, please explain to the impoverished citizens of Flint how the cost of water is not an issue and how the cost of desalination is not an issue for the poor who live along the oceans in Africa. Unless I missed something, the only people who need not be concerned about the cost of desalinization are the wealthy.

@dahermit -- Here is your starter list. Note, there is a difference between 'ways' and methods. Whereas methods are few, ways are many.


The cost of water is an issue everywhere, not just in Flint, while we still labor under the economic principles currently in place. My comment about cost not being a factor is predicated upon the condition that water has become an absolute existential threat across an entire population which forces a change in how one thinks about values. Where it is a localized threat, and there are many places in the world worse off than Flint, the rest of the population doesn't see it as a personal danger and voices of concern are more often than not like people offering up prayers. We know how well that works.

There has been considerable blood shed over water in the past, and I don't doubt for a nanosecond there won't be more of it if those in control don't provide for the masses. The question was about critical resources, and the answer I provided was about the one I considered most important because it is a life or death issue on many levels.


Free birth control and sex ed should be a top priority IMO. Like world wide. This is what upsets me most about the Christian agenda. If overpopulation is a problem (and I believe it is) we could at least give people who don’t want babies the resources to prevent pregnancy.

Lauxa Level 5 Sep 3, 2018

Seeing the trends in population growth and resource degradation makes me feel angry at the lack of leadership, sad about the prospects for future generations, and relief that I will probably be dead before the stuff hits the fan. Still, I ride a bicycle to work, (and the grocery store, the bank, the post office), use led all lighting, compost all organic wastes, recycle paper, plastic, glass, and metals, use minimal water (by catching the cold water from the hot water pipes in a bucket, saving water used for rinsing vegetables in the kitchen sink to water outdoor plants, not having a lawn in this desert climate...). Oh, and assuredly my my most Earth-friendly act, not having kids. So I feel like I'm on the right side of history, and at least partially atoning for past sins.


Humans will become extinct. We will have had our era. The rise and fall of species fuels evolution. The earth will continue and renew itself as it always has. We aren't as significant as we think. So enjoy the day. Don't over analyze and stop stressing. Enjoy the lives we have ?

"The earth will continue and renew itself as it always has." Not according to the late Stephen Hawking and many other scientists. They say that global warming will become self-perpetuating and the Earth will become as hot as Venus (look up how hot Venus is)...extinguishing ALL life. The White of the polar snow packs reflect heat back into space...when they are gone the increased heat will melt the permafrost and release the trapped methane (a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide). Hawking stated that humans have less than 100 years left before extinction. Instead of wistful thinking, humans can kiss their asses goodby along with all Earth life forms.


You do know you have breached the 3rd big issue people hate: religion. food choices and overpopulation. Ever hear of ZPG (zero population growth).It was the first strong environmental group and had a huge following, until some industries paid ZPG and the Sierra Club $100 million to drop the immigration portion of overpopulation. Many industries are dependent on a source of cheap and controllable labor. It worked and now what once was unassailable has become questionable. The responses to the post proves this.


Excessive use of natural resources is due entirely to human overpopulation and wasteful lifestyles. Those same excesses are the primary contributing factors to climate change and environmental degradation.

In the 1960s a great deal of attention was given to "the population bomb" and the need for ZPG (zero population growth). But, somehow the focus on those issues faded to nothing. Finally, we are again sensing the real danger.

The failure happened because industry got involved and spun the issue to benefit them. A recent NPR report was about how the ultra wealthy are giving more money toward charity than ever but are doing it in such a way as to actually benefit themselves. This is what happened to both ZPG and the Sierra club. See my comment.


The fundamental problem is not population but Capitalist growth. Western populations consume much more than poor ones. Population growth would stabilize in poor countries if they had socialist governments with social services. But Western imperialist countries sabotage those socialist governments that try to limit population growth. In situations of economic insecurity, your kids are insurance for the future.

That is such a load of horse shit.

@jwd45244 When people are confronted with something they can't handle I like to say they book a ticket to Egypt so they can bury their heads in the sands of de Nial!

@jwd45244 Which specific claims do you dispute?


Thanos is that you?


Doing my part by not having kids...

Remi Level 7 Sep 3, 2018

I think about this a lot, especially as a citizen of the US, where we use a ridiculous amount of the world's resources in relation to population size.

The fact of the matter is that when we get to the point where we have to scratch and scrabble for what we need the charade that is polite society will end, and we will reveal our true nature, that of the savage ape.

It's just a matter of time, as we as a species tend to concern ourselves with the immediate present rather than the near or distant future.


Humans have proven themselves as a nothing more than a parasite.
We need a really, really good plague.

This is why I'm an anti-natalist.


There's a guy called Jay Hanson, been running a site Now called [] for couple of decades and he has the best collection of information on resource limits etc. Even devles into the politics and the psychology. It's a must read site for anyone interested in the subject.


It is my uneducated guess that we're pretty much fucked. What we think of as our normal life - infrastructure, abundance of comfort, food, entertainment, convenience, medicine, our cities, law and order, government, relative lack of need to fight for actual survival - all that is going to go to shit in 20-25 years.

The only way to survive is to find a way to get off this rock and live in space


I want to go on a rant right about now. 🙂


"Our population continues on the same exponential trend and we are hurdling toward a serious resource crisis? How do we humanely address population vs. resources."

What exactly do you have in mind when you write: " How do we humanely address population vs. resources“?


How very Thanos of you to ask this question. I shall dub thee Mark the Mad Earthling. So for your train of thought we should get rid of half the population...just got to get a gauntlet and all the infinity stones first. 🙂 Hopefully we can become an intergalactic species in the near future before it is too late.


The most humane way to do it would be to put laws on the number of children you can have and then enforce those laws somehow whether it be a fine or jail time. If you just suggest it, nobody will do it. If you go around killing everyone then that's pretty sick in my opinion. Has the government already been killing people in more secretive ways? I don't have any good evidence for it, but it's possible. You can look at what the U.S. does around the world, but can it really be because of population control? That might just be a secondary characteristic.

People need to be made aware about just how dire this issue is. I'm not sure they will do anything about it until it's too late, and it probably already is too late. Governments have known about this issue since at least the 1950s. They have definitely dropped the ball on this because of their greed for oil sales. We should have been running on solar power for decades already and then also trying to solve the bigger oil problem even after transitioning to solar.

Life is going to become a lot more local for small numbers of people in different areas after most of the population dies off.


Its sad. Read The Road. I think it will be like that.


I despair for the future of humanity.


I just want a Bentley and a penthouse. 🙂


No there is not enough resources to sustain us. Since we are the apex consumers in this planet the inevidible can be delayed by decrease of consumption but not prevented.

Based upon what science and what evidence?

@jwd45244 here is one. There are many other cited reports on the subject.


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