It is no news that, throughout the centuries, human society has been steadily growing and expanding, gradually taking over more and more portions of land.
Professor Emeritus Al Bartlett from the University of Colorado Boulder now argues that, given what natural resources we still have at our disposal, the environment simply cannot allow for and sustain any further population growth.
While some consider this to be a topic open for discussion, professor Al Bartlett believes that nothing is debatable, as his statements are backed up by simple arithmetic, “You cannot sustain population growth. It's not debatable. It's based on arithmetic. It's not debatable unless you want to debate arithmetic.” University of Colorado Boulder's official website informs us that, in March 2012, the world's population reached a staggering figure: 7 billion people.
With respect to this global census, Al Barlett explains that, although people living in undeveloped countries do indeed have higher population growth rates, they hardly consume as much resources as those living in developed countries do.
Focusing in the US, the researcher makes a case of how: “The average child born in the United States will have, over its lifetime, 10-20 times the impact on world resources as a child born in an underdeveloped nation. So we've got to address the problem at home.”
Seeing how present-day excessive consumption patterns are already to be held responsible for global phenomena such as climate change, one cannot help but wonder how having even more people around will impact on the environment.
Moreover, it is argued that the simple fact that we are already causing damage to the natural world is proof enough that global human population more than exceeds the planet's ability to sustain us.
In order to get his ideas across, professor Al Bartlett made a video in which the evolution of human society is compared to that of a colony of bacteria living in a bottle.