Paul asked in EnvironmentGlobal Warming · 8 years ago

What might be considered the optimum population level for USA?

Consider 2 billion a optimum level for Earth. 1.75 billion to 2.5 billion may be minimum maximum optimum population level. What is your favorite figure & how would you keep it at that amount?

Update:

Optimum population level might be where 50% of any country remains wilderness and 50% remains in civilization!

Update 2:

Avoiding wars and genocide of the future is something any sane person wants. With the types of weapons available today and projected many countries could be destroyed in hours or a few days! Seems to me the only real sane alternative is having more natural deaths over births! Fortune 500 companies would not approve! So, what kind of wars do you approve as best? YA probably would not allow this type of discussion as it falls into the realm of the President & his or her cabinet.

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  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Optimum levels depend on what you're trying to optimize. I think the most realistic goal is try to keep population stable at present levels. Birth rates tend to fall when people are well-educated and have a high standard of living, so working to accomplish those things is the best way of achieving a stable population. I don't think governments need to subsidize children through tax incentives, either.

    If I had my druthers I'd dial back the US population to early to mid-20th century levels, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

    EDIT: Once again a denier brings up "genocide" when the idea of an optimum population is brought up. I know you're Canadian Ian, but down in the ol' U.S. of A we have this thing we call "birth control." It's quite distinct from genocide.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Personally I don't like the word wilderness ... as this is identified as "untouched" natural environments. The natual environment and human environment should be co-exisiting .. not kept separate from each other.

    Personally I believe that the "optimal" population has more to do with the "consumerism" of the the population more so than the quantity. A self-sufficient population could be larger than a consumer driven population.

    So really I think the optimal population should be able consumption more so than quantity.

  • Ian
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    "Consider 2 billion a optimum level for Earth"

    So were over 7 billion right now. I'm just wondering who you think we should get rid of? Would you be the first to start on getting that number down. No?

    Like all people who believe in genocide to "save the planet", it's "Oh, I don't mean me or my family. I mean other people should be sacrificed. You know...those people...over there somewhere. People I don't know and wouldn't miss."

  • 8 years ago

    This is a tangent from global warming (though an interesting one). I'd like more specifics about how you define "optimum," because the devil really is in that sort of details. Usually this whole subject is avoided like the plague, for reasons likely to become visible on this page. For future discussions, I'd recommend "framing" in terms of how can people be helped to have wider choices of family size, and to make better-informed decisions about such choices. For example, it is fairly obvious that (A) in most of the countries with the fastest-growing populations, women and girls are discriminated against (particularly in education) and (B) that better education and more rights for young women in such countries tends to enable them to make choices that, in aggregate, typically involve having fewer children than otherwise. This analysis applies to America, (not just globally) because immigration has been a large component of recent US population growth and one key reason being the large and fast-growing populations of poorer countries.

    Edit: "Wilderness" is slightly less vague than optimum. If you mean "wilderness" in the U.S. (1964 Wilderness Act) definition "an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain" we are already way past that "optimum." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilderness_Act "areas designated as wilderness total...4.82% of the United States." A 50% wilderness target globally would imply a drastic change from today. Even Alaska has less than 20% wilderness and a population density of about one person per square mile. Instead of 2 billion, your 50% wilderness sounds like fitting a global population of around 100 million. That could still provide a healthy number of hospital surgeons, opera singers, 4 minute mile runners, computer geeks, etc.) but from where we are today -almost surely peaking at over 8 billion- 100 mil. falls basically in the realm of long term fictional fantasy.

    To elaborate on such a fantasy: stipulate a living standard equal to today's US, based on a technology level conservatively 25 years ahead of today's. Now imagine a global time machine that takes the world back to the days of the Roman Empire in Europe and Han Empire in China: roughly the year 150 AD when the world's population was c. 200 million, mostly in those 2 empires + Persia & India. You'd of course need to bust up those two empires (this is pure fantasy now remember), and totally remake their economies and societies for the much higher living standard target of roughly 2040. The population could be reduced to 100 million either by the wars & military celibacy needed for the empire bust-ups, or by ramping up the technology assumption to accommodate 200m instead of 100m. Redistribute that population (circa 90% in south Europe and south Asia) and you might end up with 5-10 million in the USA region, i.e., roughly what Columbus encountered.

    So, here's a USA-only version of the optimum population fantasy: Go back to 1492 in your time machine. Tell Christobal to dump his golden cross in the Caribbean palms, using Vulcan nerve pinches if necessary, order him to refrain from massacring locals long enough to get you over to the mainland. Upon landing, wave your magic wand so that the Iriquois, Cherokee, Apache, etc. all become peace-loving consumers of organic Starbucks coffee, productively engaging with enriching nano-production from solar-powered laptops. There'd be plenty of great wilderness in that optimally populated America. Imagine "survival" games with grizzly bears from California to the Dakotas, buffalo-herd-surfing ecotours, huge oyster jamborees on the pristine forested beaches of Manhattan Island, and (instead of Disneyland), the "Lewis and Clark Experience." All you'd need is the time machine, an avatar combo-exchange program to put the current 300 million into the bodies of 6 million native Americans of the late 1400s, and a magic wand with plenty of extra batteries.

    Edit2: "the only real sane alternative is having more natural deaths over births!" Yes, indeed. But even sane deniers of climate science often lie, based on this "logic": "I'm dumb&lazy + don't want to learn climate science, so I'll copy-cat liars saying it isn't real. If it were real, that'd imply populations probably already larger than compatible with a stable long term climate. But, if climate science were a hoax, there'd be no obvious climate reason to talk about "optimum" populations below current levels, thus people doing so have other motives. Since I'm telling lies anyway, why not a whopper: If you accept the scientific consensus on climate change, you support genocide."

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  • ~qx~
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    The Georgia Guidestones advocate for "500,000,000 in stable perpetual balance with nature."

    Why don't you agree with R.C.Christian?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

  • Pindar
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Hmm OK , So who gets to choose and decide just how many humans should be on Earth?

    Strange how people caught in this anti human cult don't want to actually step up to the plate and euthanize themselves first isn't it? Or maybe it's only certain races you feel are too numerous?

  • jerry
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    10 billion

  • 8 years ago

    There are approx 1.5 acres of land in the U.S. for every person. This would be a real Utopia if everyone actually had that and made it self sufficient. Don't hold your breath.

  • 8 years ago

    Our Creator knows. Isn't that good enough? Just leave it to him.

    Quote by Jacques Cousteau, mega-celebrity French scientist: "In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 per day."

    If you sign on to their agenda you might be volunteering. Read Soylent Green it is depressing but it would be what's in store for us if the greenies get their way.

  • David
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    200 million would be just fine.

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