Monday, 1 June 2015

What is too many? The 1.1%

At the time of this post there are about 7,300,000,000 people. We extrapolate the world population growth of 1.1% a year, first to the past and then to the future:

  • The first couple, Adam and Eve, were born in the year 2, the Roman year of the consulship of Vinicius and Varus.
    Because:  2*1.011^y = 7300000000
    y = log(7.3E9/2)/log(1.011) ≈ 2013 years ago
  • The total mass of ordinary matter in the universe is about 1E53 kg. Suppose all matter can be used to mold 2E51 slim humans. Then if our species keeps growing by 1.1% annually, cosmic saturation will be reached within 10,000 years.
    Calculation:  7280000000*1.011^y = 1.45E53/69
    y = log(2.1E51/7.28E9)/log(1.011) ≈ 8726

This proves current demographics are historically unusual and highly unsustainable.
Indeed, what is too much? Growing by 1.1% annually it appears…
Strange, that we find such an increase of GDP relatively low for the economy of our country! China's exponential growth is down now to 7%, would you believe it?

At present all people (on and off the planet) count: 7,300,000,000.

Mouse over please ;-)


  1. The Population Bomb is a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich, in 1968.
    They wrote, "We must rapidly bring the world population under control, reducing the growth rate to zero or making it negative. Conscious regulation of human numbers must be achieved. Simultaneously we must, at least temporarily, greatly increase our food production."

    Correlation between influenza dynamics & rapid growth in global poultry & swine production.
    Exponential graphs:

    Erasmus MC annual report:
    "The number of employees that the BSO (BioSafety Officer: Cathy Bakker) in 2014 assessed on skills and is allowed to work at a gentech project was 194; 123 employees have left. In total 1,222 employees were engaged in gentech work at the end of 2014, against 1,151 end of 2013." (1151 - 123 + 194 = 1222)

    Now if the number of gentech workers in the Erasmus MC keeps rising by 2% a year, then they will match world population in 1760 years.*1.011%5Ey+%3D+1222*1.02%5Ey
    But if GM at the Rotterdam hospital grows by 6% a year, then all of 300 billion people will be manipulating virusses and bacteria there in 330 years time.*1.011%5Ey+%3D+1222*1.06%5Ey

    Does exponential growth lead humanity into vicious cycles???

    Ehrlichs: "Some precautionary steps that should be considered include... preparing institutions for imposing quarantines and, of course, moving as rapidly as possible to humanely reduce the human population size."
    Twittered @thijskuiken @rogierbodewes top reseachers at the human-animal interface, Erasmus MC virology.

    1. Thijs ABSL-3:
      One health, protecting animals, preserving our future.
      "Proposes technological fix, but surely economic GROWTH is wrong model."
      & Rogier ABSL-3:
      "Various analyses are ongoing to answer questions about the route of transmission among seals and possible transmissibility to humans."
      A nice pair??