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  1. 1

    Whose future? Whose world? [editorial]

    Lancet. 1993 Nov 6; 342(8880):1125-6.

    Nehru said at India's independence that humanity would be following the course of destiny. That destiny will be threatened by lack of fresh water and soil deficit and populous countries such as China (2.5 children per woman), India (4.0), Indonesia (3.1), Brazil (3.3), Pakistan (5.9), Bangladesh (4.6), and Nigeria (6.0). There is hope in having available, safe, effective, and reversible contraceptive technology for meeting the needs of the world's 100 million women who do not wish any more children and are not now using any method of fertility control. Delegates at various Population Summits have repeatedly suggested that hope for lower population size was gained by increasing education among the population, increasing educational opportunity for women, and reducing poverty. Women were reportedly 33% of the global labor force but were recipients of 10% of the global income, were responsible for 66% of hours worked, and owned under 1% of the world's property. Scientists must improve upon the failed advice of economists that development was the best contraceptive. Governments must fund solutions, because of the debt owed to those less affluent who have been exploited in the past. At the 1993 New Delhi Population Summit, 56 scientific academies agreed that a stable world population must be achieved as part of the solution to social, economic, and environmental problems of the world. Zero population growth must be achieved within one generation. Developing countries were caught in a poverty trap. In 1992, the British Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences agreed that catastrophe would result if the developing world continued to strive to achieve the same living standards with the same consumption levels of the developed world. There must be a balance in the distribution of resources and demands on resources. Global projections of population suggested a total world population of over 10 billion by 2050. There was a grave question as to whether life support systems could sustain the changes and size of this force.
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  2. 2

    The most overpopulated nation.

    Ehrlich PR; Ehrlich AH

    NPG FORUM. 1991 Jan; 1-4.

    A stable population in the US in 1943 would have resulted in just 135 million people today making the import of foreign oil unnecessary. A population exerts an impact on the environment based on 3 factors: the size of the population (P), the level of per capita consumption or affluence (A), and the measure of the impact of technology (T). In the US the P factor is huge: 250 million people. The sum of A and T factors (per-capita environmental impact) is 1 1/2 times that of the Soviet Union, twice that of Britain, Sweden, France, or Australia, 14 times that of China, and 40 times that of India. Americans burn 1/4 of the world's fossil fuels spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and use chlorofluorocarbons extensively that also add to the greenhouse effect and deplete the vital ozone shield. The key to civilization's survival is the reduction of the P, A, and T factors. In rich nations this can be accomplished by much more efficient use of energy and transition toward negative population growth. The best strategy is the Holdren scenario: rich countries would reduce their per capita energy use from almost 8 kilowatts to 3 kilowatts. In poor countries, per capita use would increase from 1.2 to 3 kilowatts resulting in the same standard of living at the end of a century. To prevent longterm deterioration it will be necessary to reduce population size substantially below 10 billion. The optimum population size of the US would be around 75 million people, a permanently sustainable nation with a high quality of life.
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  3. 3

    The time path of the economy as the population moves towards a stationary state

    Denton FT; Spencer BG

    In: Economic consequences of population change in industrialized countries: proceedings of the Conference on Population Economics held at the University of Paderborn, West Germany, June 1-June 3, 1983, edited by Gunter Steinmann. New York, N.Y./Berlin, Germany, Federal Republic of, Springer-Verlag, 1984. 109-31. (Studies in Contemporary Economics Vol. 8)

    The relationships between population and the economy over the long run are examined using a model in which households are assumed to make optimum allocations of lifetime wealth among commodity consumption, leisure, and the bearing and raising of children. These choices are made in a life cycle framework and reflect household expectations concerning future prices. Particular consideration is given to the economic impact of an exogenous shift in preferences away from children so as to produce a stationary or zero-growth population, as has occurred recently in many developed countries. The results indicate that sharp reductions in fertility release a large volume of wealth for consumption or leisure.
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