The population time-bomb: World needs to stabilize population and cut consumption, says Royal Society

April 28, 2012WORLDWorld population needs to be stabilized quickly and high consumption in rich countries rapidly reduced to avoid “a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills,” warns a major report from the Royal Society. Contraception must be offered to all women who want it and consumption cut to reduce inequality, says the study published on Thursday, which was chaired by Nobel prize-winning biologist Sir John Sulston. The assessment of humanity’s prospects in the next 100 years, which has taken 21 months to complete, argues strongly that to achieve long and healthy lives for all 9 billion people expected to be living in 2050, the twin issues of population and consumption must be pushed to the top of political and economic agendas. Both issues have been largely ignored by politicians and played down by environment and development groups for 20 years, the report says. “The number of people living on the planet has never been higher, their levels of consumption are unprecedented and vast changes are taking place in the environment. We can choose to rebalance the use of resources to a more egalitarian pattern of consumption … or we can choose to do nothing and to drift into a downward spiral of economic and environmental ills leading to a more unequal and inhospitable future,” it says. At today’s rate of population increase developing countries will have to build the equivalent of a city of a million people every five days from now to 2050, says the report. “Global population growth is inevitable for the next few decades. By 2050, it is projected that today’s population of 7 billion will have grown by 2.3 billion, the equivalent of a new China and an India.” But the sheer number of people on earth is not as important as their inequality and how much they consume, said Jules Pretty, one of the working group of 22 who produced the report. “In material terms it will be necessary for most developed countries to abstain from certain sorts of consumption, such as CO2. You do not need to be consuming so much to have a long and healthy life. We cannot conceive of a world that is going to be as unequal as it is now. We must bring the 1.3 billion people living on less than a $1.25 a day out of absolute poverty. It’s critical to slow population growth in those countries which cannot keep up with services.” –Guardian
contribution Larry 
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62 Responses to The population time-bomb: World needs to stabilize population and cut consumption, says Royal Society

  1. jade says:

    Bloody royalty! who do they think they are? Theres enough space in the state of texas alone to sustain the entire population with more than enough space for growth and sanitation. What about the king of spain who is away to africa to shoot elephants while the rest of the country suffers in turmoil. Too much self service on behalf of these disgusting royals.

    • Adelaida says:

      I don’t mean to be rude in anyway but how could it be that 7 billion people could live in the area of Texas? This is the second time I’ve heard this statement and I wonder how this estimation was made. I live in Mexico City with another 20 million people, or so, and it’s hell.

    • Bone Idle says:

      Actually all the Royal Society and the Guardian are doing is rehasing the Ehrlich’s 1970’s book – “The Population Bomb”. It predicted the same out of control population problems by the year 2000. They were wrong then and this latest report will be wrong again. Paul R. Ehrlich is now one of Obama’s advocacy Czars advocating Agenda 21 and climate change.

      • elizabeth0raven says:

        The idea of Agenda 21 really pisses me off. I live on an acre and a half of land, way out in the country in the mountains of western NC, and I gaurantee that I have more wildlife flourishing on my little parcel of land than in the same amount of space in a city. I have a large field surrounded by woods that is home to a herd of 8 white tail deer, foxes, groundhogs, squirrels, racoons, field mice, all manner of birds, and flourishing plantlife. I don’t want to live in a city, I thrive on being able to see the stars at night, looking out my back door and seeing any of the above-mentioned wildlife, being able to grow my own produce in an organic manner. Herding us into cities, or ‘districts’, would make it easier to prevent us from leaving them, thus they would have complete control over us.

        The thing is, I don’t disagree that we have done a lot of serious damage to our planet (BP oil spill, GMO food, manufactured disease, ect), we are having to resort to frankenfoods to feed everyone, and that cities are vastly overcrowded and polluted. There does need to be some kind of balance attained between our population and consumption, and the spiralling extinction of species and resources. However, when the ‘elite’ decide how to go about setting it right, you know it’s going to go so wrong.

    • Lucy says:

      Um maybe some room there to stretch a leg but to sustain the entire population of 7 billion people with growth and sanitation in Texas? I cant take that seriously have you been to India or China or any hugely populated city? In China they are dealing with drought in some of their provinces dealing with water shortages, etc. Clearly Texas can’t handle that with their own drought problems Like last summer oh look we found a grave site at the bottom of the lake. :(

    • Linda says:

      Jade, your’e mistaking royalty for the royal society who are an international group of scientists. please follow link to learn more.

  2. ColeK says:

    If the “Elites” of here “Royal Society” top 1% would use the money and available technology we would not be in this mess. We did not create the problem, but a ReVolution will solve it. The days ahead may be dark, but we will prevail and have the society (utopia) that was promised. I would give up everything, to make a positive change.

  3. elijahsmom3 says:

    Well the release of the H5N1 study should help take care of this problem. :-(

    • sounds like the plot of 12 Monkeys

    • elizabeth0raven says:

      That was the first thing I thought of too when I read this article. Like the Black Plague ended fuedalism in Europe, this new ‘weaponized’ H5N1 could ‘take care of the population problem’. The scary thing is, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if, after it’s published, it is unleashed on the world. It seems almost too perfect, having the controversy surrounding the plan to publish the whole study makes it seem like a ready made patsy.

  4. I’d find this confusing–who’s right, who’s wrong–if it were not hearing Stan Deyo talk about the practicality of developing free energy, which he says the Illums have opposed. They have hoarded knowledge about free energy, which would make the current battles over energy sources and distribution and cost to be obsolete. Poor nations would be able to survive without drastic population cuts if they had free energy and the water and food which would come from this. According to Stan Deyo.

    • ColeK says:

      That is exactly right. They want the depopulation either way. It no win situation, not for the 99%. Great comment Mariel

  5. Guest says:

    If the U.S. transitioned away from nuclear energy, which only provides 9% of the energy in the U.S., and instead embraced truly Green energies like wind and solar and also Conservation, there’d be a much healthier and far less polluted world. There’d be no more need for massive uranium mining…and massive places to store dangerous nuclear waste…and massive amounts of land and water polluted with nuclear radiation.

    • Tom E. says:

      Again, we don’t need Uranium, there is plenty of Throrium available for Gen IV reactors, in fact it is a by product of coal mining.

      And if we did truly embrace Green energy, we would also not have to worry about washing our cars as much, as we would decimate the bird population, and all of the natural habitat would be covered with windmills, solar cells, or storage. And of course, since all of the generation sites are far from many urban centers, so the transmission grid would have to be increased substantially. Which of course, would require more mining for enough copper or aluminum for the new expanded grid.

      And with this grid, we will either have to go very high voltage AC, or possibly DC. And both methods have problems of their own.

      No, if you truly want to be green, you will allow the bird and bats to live, and save all of our land for nature. And place smaller thorium based gen IV reactors, that will never have more than a very small amount of highly radio active material at any one point. And the resultant products are not much more radioactive than medical waste, with very reasonable half lives. In terms of hundreds of years, instead of hundreds of thousands.

    • It’s not always sunny and windy so you can’t replace a off and on technology by removing a technology that works all the time. yes, nuclear energy has its flaws but we can improve them. Don’t you think?

  6. MC hammers says:

    God said to be fruitful and multiply. This was His first commandment to mankind. Any shortages are due to governments or tribal warfare which has blocked the plentiful amount of food our planet has been blessed with (or was, until Monsanto started messing with creation). The population myth is truly a poisonous, genocidal threat not based on love of our fellow man. Quite the opposite…

  7. Mary says:

    There are entirely too many people in the US cities for sure. You cannot go anywhere and watch for the street signs- always someone on your bumper.If you misss your street, go to a place you can turn around and go back.When a house is for rent-4 or 5 families move in- driveways full and then they park on the street which is prohibited. Yet nothing is forced. Section 8 housing, food stamps so these families have money to burn-alway looking for a way to deceive the system. They are winning and the good ones are loosing. Every good, quiet neighborhood is ruined.
    they move away and leave their cats- I have had 2 spayed with my own money- I resent that-I do not even own a pet. Cats and crime everywhere. There is NO hope for these Cities and this Clountry- We are decaying within. Close the borders,the imigration department and fix the ones after the first baby , living on welfare, no husbands, free rent, food stamps and other perks. Wake up America–we’re doomed. I’m old and plan moving soon to a facility equiped for old people.

    • sKeptical citizen says:

      I know this is kinda mean and not politically correct. We indeed do have a over population of parasitic humans and a shortage of productive ones. The harder working better intellect more productive a couple is the fewer offspring they tend to have. On the negative side the less educated low lifes & welfare drawers tend to have litters! And many are unwed teens. There is no shame the bastard child is just another fashon accessory and many times they dont even know who the sperm donor was. So we tax rob & punish our producers and reward our parasites?

  8. m c says:

    I’d bet the people in the “Royal Society” wont be using any less resources since they are the “”problem solvers”” and need resourses to do all the good they are doing. PPPpppffffftttttt.

    No need for all this since 2/3rds of the population will be killed off at some point, from the looks of things very soon.

    • Joseph says:

      Yes, it is mentioned in the Book of Revelation. that only 1/ 3rd of the World’s population
      will survive the coming Global upheaveals.

      UK Government scientist- Bddington refers to the coming perfect storm:- where
      Water, Energy, and Food security will become critical by 2030. if current trends
      of consuption and population growth continue,as they are,which is very likely..

      Then we have rthe four Horsemen of the apocalypse/
      One very active at the moment and the other 3 will follow very shortly//

  9. James says:

    I personally feel we should increase our population without modern nazi’s calling for genocide. My wife and I want to have 11 more kids after junior get here. I would like all boys and pray to God that God will bless me with all boys. We could make all of this work, we have the technology to do it.

  10. cammac says:

    “Stood shoulder to shoulder, the entire human population could fit within the city limits of Los Angeles. We’ve got more than enough land upon which to collectively sustain ourselves, we just need to use it more wisely and fairly. But, given the stubborn realities of global inequalities, the question remains: are there too many of us to achieve a sustainable future?” *Quote

    • Occupying the land is not the problem. How many are using the land to grow their own food is the problem?

    • John Kilby says:

      Quick everyone, all move to LA. lol. Can you imagine the outcome, with the whole world at each others throats and all living in the same square? The mind boggles at such an idea.

    • Hayden says:

      This really is a monstrously stupid statement. There is not a single ecologist on this planet who calculates the carrying capacity of a species by considering the surface area that it occupies.

      Carrying capacity is a function of available resources. It is about calculating the maximum level at which resources can be extracted, considering the unit consumption of each individual animal under consideration. The figure has absolutely nothing to do with surface area occupied.

  11. Dennis E. says:

    Read all these comments and you have missed what was meant and not by what was written. This is a warning in that we can expect shortly to see population control in the form of rare diseases that will kill millions. We can expect to see earth changes causing the deaths and relocation of millions and not to forget, war.
    Remember, there are people on this planet that believes this is a living, breath person in some sense and humans is causing her to be sick because there are too many and their industries are polluting her waters air. By lowering the population, you can relocate humans into specific areas and return large parts of the earth to wilderness.

    • Julie says:

      WOW – a person that can THINK! How refreshing! Thanks! I think we need FREE access to birth control, and a NON-consumer based way of life! People can not even distinguish between want and need!

      • TexasRedNeck says:

        Julie if you mean abortion, I strongly disagree, people on Welfare understand exactly what the difference is between want and need all to well. It’s just “I wants, I wants, I wants, you owes me everything, I wants mo’, I wants it all cause you owes me”. That is one of the biggest reasons that our nation is going down the drain, too many people taking and not enough giving. Work for what you want.
        The American people are too stupid and too afraid of offending people that make all of the noise to get everything handed to them.
        But when TSHITF the takers will be the first ones to perish because they believe the world owes them a living. Sad but true.

      • Julie Smith says:

        Abortion is not birthcontrol and more access to b.c. would help those numbers decline. But Mary a bit ago thinks we should sterilize all the immigrants after their first one and this dude is implying only blacks abuse welfare. I know Alvin doesn’t usually involve himself in political debates but both of these folks are saying the most ignorant as well as vile, hateful things. The fact is the majority of Americans on food assistance have someone working in the home full time. The majority are white. You can only receive cash benefits if you work for it. It is typically $400 a month but you work 40 hrs a week for that measly amount. Of course there are exceptions like social security disablity. My family has been involved in the welfare system, my divorced mother while she went through nursing school in the early 80’s and then myself, husband and our four children. Clinton’s welfare reform was one of the worst things to happen to this country. They claimed it got many off of welfare, it actually just created more hunger and suffering. I read an interesting statistic, that during Nixon’s administration there were more social programs available than anyother time. It just doesn’t seem very christian to want sterilization and people starving but you are willing to “fix” a cat as your contribution (Mary). These kinds of ideas are the problem not solutions. We need to kill our televisions, get to know our neighbors, practice permaculture and grow food on every yard and golf course we find. Looks like that won’t happen though, maybe because God isn’t too happy about things like eugenics, squandering our blessings and blaming the poor. Just a thought.

      • elijahsmom3 says:

        Julie Smith,

        I could not agree with you more. Took the words right out of my mouth. My family also has been involved with the welfare system, and it has nothing to do with sitting around popping out babies every year or two and not being able to afford it. My husband works full-time, at a very physical, demanding, you-better-bust-your-butt or lose your job. But, guess what, with the prices of everything going up, it’s not quite enough to pay the ridiculous amount they ask for health insurance coverage, and without government aid, our kids wouldn’t have health insurance. I’ve spent at least 25 years of my life working and paying my fair share of taxes, so you better believe I’m going to take the help when I need it.

        The other thing people don’t realize is that the number one group of “minorities” to receive welfare are single white females.

        It’s much easier to sit back and place blame than to stand up and walk in someone else’s shoes.

  12. blakchile says:

    Somehow it all has to be fulfilled and all these self-centered, satanic “elite” have taken their side with the devil. With this fears being promoted, they want to justify their ongoing and future genocidal measures to lower and control the population, and the worst thing is that most of humanity distracted in so many things doesn’t see it coming its way.

  13. krystal says:

    I must bring this up… I recall this required vaccination for girls 16 and older for HPV to prevent ovary/uterus cancer??? Suspicious much! I mean it is too obvious that it’s a way to control future population… any opinion?

  14. DebbyS says:

    There’s plenty of land for humans, if humans don’t care how they live (is shoulder to shoulder really a *good* idea?) or that every other living thing on earth would suffer — *does* suffer now (except cockroaches, of course). We’re too wrapped up in ourselves to remember that we share this “garden” with a whole lot of other beings that deserve as much room to live and thrive as we think we do. Note that sharks are about to become extinct and great swaths of the oceans, land and atmosphere have been poisoned by a small portion of our population on behalf of the human population as a whole (only humans need all that energy). But that’s what overpopulation means — a population that is never satisfied and is blind to what it is doing. It’d be nice if we’d grow up but I think we’ll become extinct first, along with most every other living thing on Earth.

  15. Grandpa says:

    maybe the royal ones with such great sophication and honor should pass around and gobble down some cynide and save the world. theyre nothing but a waste of air anyways

  16. Hermit says:

    I was pretty sure that to maintain a population you have to have an equal rate of births and deaths. I recall reading recently that the birth rate is dropping due to choice and high rates of infertility and death rates are rising and will increase significantly when baby boomers reach their end of life. Though there were statistics that showed similar rates in other countries.
    If you want to see the effects of reduced consumption in the name of equality look as Spain and Greece.

  17. Joseph t. Repas says:

    Those ” Royals ” are just a pain the pomp-ass “. They do not have a clue as to what to do but will want you to feel GUILTY for being alive. All of us with computers are doing better than much of the world and using energy while we use them, yet someone else must ” conserve” yet conserving stifles economies and makes the world’s problems worse, and when we are forced to conserve energy who benefits? It does not suddenly create a power line to a remote poor country, in fact, it does the opposite because now less funds are available, because of conservation, to build that new power line to the poor people that we think could use it.

  18. DannyBoi23uk says:

    The film FORTRESS starring christopher lambert seems to come to mind reading this statement.

  19. John says:

    My BS meter alarm just sounded again!

  20. Betsy Weggesser says:

    I don’t trust these people who think they know what’s best for everyone else !!! Give God His Due with love and respect And pray for His help!!! It won’t be long before these people will force sterlization, abortion and Euthanasia on the whole world !!!

  21. m c says:

    Has anyone else looked up “Royal Society”……………….just wondering.

    QUOTE :
    “”The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.””

    And remember people……soylent green is people, IT’s PEOPLE.

    • Joseph t. Repas says:

      I am sure that many of you will hate me for saying this but while all of us have a responsibility for the health and well being of this planet and I believe we will all be accountable for our actions and inactions I think it would be foolish to do and be these things without asking for our Creator for help in this matter..How many religions consider the creator as our Father and yet we do not trust God’s competency in supplying our needs. If God the Creator of us all is our Father then we are his children. My children did not feed themselves when they were small but I taught them the best I could to be responsible and loving. They did not pay the mortgage, I did. Likewise we are all God’s children learning to be like our Father but we do not really feed ourselves, He does, and supplies us with what we need to make this world sustainable, we use the things He has given us, including our minds to find ways of doing this. If we continue to strive to find answers in loving ways we will be helped, if we take the hurtful way, the oppressive ways, we will only hurt ourselves. I believe Jesus has showed us the way to the Father and that the Father is more than capable of supplying all we need. The multiplication of the loaves and fish would be just one example.peace.

  22. Dr. Brian says:

    “The answer to anyone who talks about the surplus population is to ask him, whether he is part of the surplus population; or if not, how he knows he is not.” [1925]
    ~~G. K. Chesterton

  23. tim says:

    To many people ? Read the georgia guide stones . Some one had a plan ready to deploy apon the masses years ago . The question is when and where will the depopulation start it will be soon .

  24. charles says:

    Humans most numerous mammal on this planet.  We occupy every continent, on the face of this earth. All thanks due to advancements in medicine, and to discovery of petroleum. The price we are paying for this; more of demand on natural resources( both renewable, and non- renewable), and pollutants that seems to be out control. We can choose to manage our population, or the laws of earth check and balance system will do it for us,  even if this means our own demise, point blank.

  25. tonic says:

    Sex is the only escape, (for just a little while) from the horrors some people face daily in their lives. If we are being honest, what else do people have when everything else is lost, or taken from them? It’s a reality of life, and probably worse things get, the higher the population will get.

  26. The elite of the world desire to play God and stabilize the population themselves and thus they are preparing the world for another world war.

  27. Gunasekhar says:

    While this report of the royal society is directed towards the poor nations with high population,
    the one real solution to this issue is not control of any kind but “true development” of these nations.
    Time again, it’s proved that development had significantly balanced the birth rates among the developed
    nations without any type of control or contraception etc.

    • charles says:

      If this is true, what about China, and India? Two developing countries with the highest populations and counting.

  28. Marc says:

    What if this supposed “over-population” was something everyone of us had to deal with by themselves? Why not let the “elite” solve their very own personal “over-population” by the exact measures that they DARE to apply to EVERYBODY ELSE?

  29. Skip Conover says:

    The people who are denying these consequences clearly have never had to ride on a train like the one on the image; nor have they ever visited India or China. If they did, they stayed in western style hotels, and closed their minds to what was around them.

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