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Is Overpopulation Still a Problem?

  • Published on Sep 30, 2023 veröffentlicht
  • 🌎 Get our exclusive NordVPN deal here ➡️ NordVPN.com/sabine It's risk-free with Nord's 30-day money-back guarantee!
    Should we worry about overpopulation or, as Elon Musk has argued, should we worry more about underpopulation? How many people could live on our planet and how close are we to reaching the "Limits to Growth"? In this video we look at how much we know and what we can conclude from this.
    The full interview with Elon Musk is here: • Tesla Technoking and S...
    The paper I mention at 2 mins 50 seconds that looked at how good the Club of Rome predictions were is here:
    The earth overshoot day website is here: www.overshootday.org
    The paper about how much carbon dioxide emissions you save by not having children that I discuss at 5 minutes 30 seconds is this:
    The website for the Simons Abundance Index is here: www.humanprogress.org/the-sim...
    Estimates for the carrying capacity of Earth that I mention at 10 minutes 30 seconds are from this report: na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageW...
    The 2020 Lancet study that I discuss at 13 mins 10 seconds is this: www.thelancet.com/article/S01...
    💌 Sign up for my weekly science newsletter. It's free! ➜ sabinehossenfelder.com/
    👉 Support me on Patreon ➜ www.patreon.com/Sabine
    📖 My new book "Existential Physics" is coming out in August ➜ existentialphysics.com/
    Many thanks to Jordi Busqué for helping with this video jordibusque.com/
    0:00 Intro
    1:33 Doomsters
    6:39 Boomsters
    10:08 What does science say?
    17:17 What do we learn from this?
    18:32 Sponsor message
  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 0

  • Marcus Carana
    Marcus Carana Year ago +2095

    Ahh yes, as a Filipino, I knew our overpopulated country would be mentioned in a topic like this. Another reason why we are overpopulated here is because many in the slum areas, the poorest of the poor, have 7-10 children while being unemployed and uneducated. The church supresses the release of free birth control handed to the poor cause they consider it as a sin. Then the middle class to upper middle class have less children, sometimes only one to two children, because they are more educated and more aware of the cost of having too many children. So the poor keeps having children while the middle class produce less. The church opposes the government from logical solutions and now Filipinos just voted the previous Dictator's son back to presidency. For you Americans out there complaining about how much of a mess your government and country is, I'm telling you, you haven't had the slightest idea of how bad a country like mine can get.

    • கோ
      கோ Year ago +339

      This reminds me of Hinduism gaining control over the Indian government. No offence to the religious people, but religion and state should be separate for the betterment of the people.

    • WeBeGood
      WeBeGood Year ago +101

      Here in the USA we became a Catholic Nation in 2021, so we will implement many of the policies that you have in the Philippines.

    • C Thompson
      C Thompson Year ago +95

      @கோ Absolutely, and I say that as a former Christian with Christian, Hindu, Muslim, etc. friends. Faith that improves people's lives is a different beast entirely to religion as control.

    • Manuel Kant
      Manuel Kant Year ago +28

      Sry to hear that... Greetings from Germany

  • Ehren Murdick
    Ehren Murdick Year ago +797

    Elon saying Japan will eventually cease to exist reminds me of a conversation I had about a time when I lost a lot of weight all at once. I told my colleague that I was losing a pound a day. He said, "How long do you think you could keep that up?" And I said, "well, I was 150 pounds when I started, so 150 days."

    • Doggo
      Doggo Year ago +227

      They told me I could become anything, so I became nothing

    • Jeff Navarro
      Jeff Navarro Year ago +167

      If water levels keep rising indefinitely, the Earth will become just a big ball of water, that will eventually swallow the Sun. You think we have climate problems now??

    • lchpdmq
      lchpdmq Year ago +44

      It’s an exaggeration to prove a point I don’t think he literally meant there will be two Japanese left and they will refuse to have kids

    • Ehren Murdick
      Ehren Murdick Year ago +16

      @Jeff Navarro 😂

  • Chris Thomas
    Chris Thomas 7 months ago +88

    Even if there is a specific carrying capacity for our planet and limit to technological productivity, doesn't mean we have to or should reach it. I think a great progressive move for humanity would be to give back large swaths of our planet to nature instead of dominating every last square inch and resource. Biodiversity is important for the evolution of life and for the maintenance of our planet and its life-giving environment. Let's take a few steps back from controlling it all and playing gods.

    • The Zectorian
      The Zectorian 2 months ago +4

      and even if in theory the resources are currently available to support more people, will the ecosystems that sustain many of those resources be able to handle the current amount of humans we have, especially if we want near-first world standard of living for everyone.

    • james mills
      james mills Month ago +3

      And the best and fastest way to get to your vision is to enrich the world as fast as possible. Kenyan farmers and Afghan herders won’t care about your privileged vision… at least until they’re about as wealthy as you probably are

    • Needles and sonics
      Needles and sonics 15 days ago

      How much of the world is populated? You can fit the entire population of the world in Arizona. How does giving land back to nature help the human race? The world is 50% greener now than before the Industrial Revolution.
      Controlling the land is a responsibility. If we were actually doing it there would be far less wildfires thus saving many life giving forests.
      Perhaps less rhetoric and more sensible adult debate would be better, but then again, fear is a far better motivator to dystopia.

  • A single brain cell
    A single brain cell 10 months ago +97

    "Honey I shrunk the resources" is the best thing I've heard all week
    Amazing content this was so informative and listenable I' m so grateful for content like this

    • pedro estables
      pedro estables 9 months ago +3

      When does she say that??

    • VAPX007
      VAPX007 5 months ago

      ​@pedro estables Near the beginning. After three min in with the Xmas tree graph.​

    • Timothy Russell
      Timothy Russell Month ago +1

      Yes, ignorance is bliss

  • goofy roofy
    goofy roofy Month ago +5

    Would like to have seen the impact of planned obsolesce plays in the use of resources, while it would be a difficult technical and social problem to solve, given current incentives, it would be interesting to see how the "overshoot" day would be affected.

  • Axle Axle.Australian.Patriot
    Axle Axle.Australian.Patriot 10 months ago +41

    I am really starting to like your way of presenting science. You're a gem :)

  • Mario Mejia
    Mario Mejia 6 months ago +24

    There is no doubt in my mind that the population will reach a sustainable level in the long term... the question I have is if this level will be reached the good way (planning and policy), or the bad way (the horsemen of the apocalypse...)

    • Corey Ham
      Corey Ham 6 months ago +2

      Scary thought that Nigeria is projected to have over 700 million population in the future and a larger population than China.

    • Creator's Remorse
      Creator's Remorse 3 months ago +2

      Given what you know of humanity, what do you think? Of course the "bad way", when it comes to humans there's no other way. The "good way" only exists in Star Trek.

    • Eric van Bezooijen
      Eric van Bezooijen 2 months ago

      The most likely future outcome of humanity is Easter Island on a global scale. First we'll consume every mineral, plant and animal on the planet and finally we'll eat each other.

  • RobWhittlestone
    RobWhittlestone Year ago +323

    I love Sabine's humour. Her deadpan delivery means that anyone who is not really listening may miss her quips.

    • Damien Palmer
      Damien Palmer 10 months ago +15

      Today I learned there is not an abundance of Simons.

    • Stash Mark
      Stash Mark 7 months ago +3

      @Damien Palmer HEr delivery is anything but deadpan < she just oozes life ! Joie de Vivre ! Viva le difference ! she yust doesnt like to be called a Heroin

    • Uyghur Tocharian
      Uyghur Tocharian 7 months ago

      you love it because it makes you laugh, or you love thinking of people missing the jokes? laughter or schadenfreude, which is it?

    • Jedzia Dex
      Jedzia Dex 7 months ago +1

      @Uyghur Tocharian that is not mutual exclusive.
      From what planet system are you, again?:)

    • In der Pfanne würzen
      In der Pfanne würzen 5 months ago +3

      German humor, we are not allowed to laugh in public

  • Pat Howlett
    Pat Howlett 10 months ago +11

    This is without a doubt my new favorite channel - Sabine can bring a difficult topic sooo close to understanding for "all" that it has to be call a gift.

  • Ricardo Oviedo
    Ricardo Oviedo 7 months ago +75

    Hi Sabine, interesting as usual. Two things to note, carrying capacity also depends on the quality of life; we certainly don't want more billions of people with not enough to go by. Currently we have more than a billion people without electricity and more than that being "energy poor" and a quite a few millions who are undernourished. Even if we stabilize the population below the carrying capacity, there is the issue of abundant energy with enough return on investment to sustain a highly technological society, so if that energy becomes scarce, the carrying capacity factor decreses. Basically, there is a dependance of energy for the capacity of the planet to sustain life at high number of human occupants.

    • liam stacey
      liam stacey 5 months ago +8

      Quality… let’s just consider the lack of available beach front property, crowded parks, and don’t get me started on the crowded surf spots! Why exactly do we need more people when we can’t properly educate the children that are born now I wealthy countries?

    • Ricardo Oviedo
      Ricardo Oviedo 5 months ago +1

      @liam stacey Exactly!

    • flagmichael
      flagmichael 5 months ago +1

      The question is "how much below?" The driving force in all the places our hostess cited is the cost of raising children, which (for whatever reason) is higher every decade in the developed world. In the US it now costs about 300,000 USD to raise a child to college age; in Japan it is more than twice that much. In Japan, the population began to fall in 2009; in the US the population is still rising through immigration, but we dropped below the replacement rate in 1973, and has been below that ever since. Roughly a third of the US population today is from immigration (mostly legal, screened for criminal records, education and skills....).

    • j85grim
      j85grim 3 months ago +2

      This is absolutely correct. In raw numbers, there are more people in abject poverty than at any other point in human history.

    • Buttercup Taylor
      Buttercup Taylor 3 months ago +1

      Don't worry, things will get better for everyone after the US empire finally ends.

  • DWde I
    DWde I 6 months ago +2

    You take on some really great topics. An engrossing walk-through of the whole spectrum of speculations, and then some nicely grounded analysis.

  • Dan
    Dan 3 months ago +4

    Thank you so much for focusing on this topic. Personally I react negatively when people sound the alarm that we don't have enough people. Some people want to be parents and some do not. I should not be lectured by the Pope that I am selfish for choosing to have a pet instead of a child. In my case I have neither. I grew up on a farm but I also lived in high density population centers. I have an experience of pressure in high density populations that I do not feel when I am out in the country. Perhaps there is a reaction to crowding on fertility rates.I believe there is a bias for unending growth economically and with that the need for more and more people. Those assumptions are about to be tested. Who wants to live in a world where you are supposed to have children whether you want to or not ? I believe the trends in population growth or decrease can change at any time. The idea that we would be trapped in a trend to the point of our demise seems irrational. If AI and robots are going to replace us maybe we will have some help caring for our elderly. Thanks again for the topic.

  • Lorpen
    Lorpen 3 months ago +3

    Would be interested in how the population would develop if we were to figure out indefinite longevity. Would it be dramatic to the current growth or would the projection be much lower than expected?

  • zalllon
    zalllon Year ago +276

    This has quickly become one of my favourite channels. Not because of the factual content (which is excellent), but for her dry sense of humour … just love it!!!!! 😄

    • Dan B Sports
      Dan B Sports Year ago +1

      Wow, I think she should just skip the jokes, some are bad, some are painfully bad, and her delivery and timing are the worst.

    • C Thompson
      C Thompson Year ago +17

      @Dan B Sports Which goes all the way around and back again, making it hilarious as far as her fans are concerned. It takes panache.

    • Moments
      Moments Year ago +19

      @Dan B Sports That is what dry humour is, unfunny funny jokes.

    • Cryptonymicus
      Cryptonymicus Year ago +1

      Is it factual content, or only from your frame of reference?

    • Tja
      Tja Year ago +4

      ​@Cryptonymicus since there is no objectivity in human thinking we might as well never use the word "fact" again. is that what you wanna say?

  • Alex Driessen
    Alex Driessen 3 months ago +2

    Excellent video...as always. Love this channel....always fascinating. Thank you for your content, viewpoint, and humor.

  • nwcctraining
    nwcctraining Month ago

    Sabine, I LOVE your blogs. You tackle many topics that I have questioned (and with "wicked" humor). Please keep up your good work.

  • Cora
    Cora 7 months ago +9

    Great fun video & very informative and great to have a level headed chat about the matter without immediately veering either to utopia or apocalypse in predictions.
    There are of course inter-related topics such as reducing absolute poverty, emancipating women & inequality all of which help to keep population growth as a manageable change and some places where depopulation is also an issue.
    I think the elephant in the room though is that what has enabled us to vastly increase food production to feed a much larger population is primarily based on finite fossil fuels. Which tragically in their use are also destabilising the planet's ecology & risk greatly reducing carrying capacity in addition to being close to running out.
    Technology is just a sculpture without energy & we are facing reductions in net available energy, alongside destabilising the biosphere.
    Without fossil phosphate mining, the Bosch-haber process for creating synthetic nitrogen from natural gas & the vast energy surplus required for mechanisation from a fossil fuel economy our population would never have got anywhere near its current size. Any future predictions on population trends, I would argue, must take these resource issues into account to have any chance of accuracy.

  • faroleiro
    faroleiro 3 months ago

    Thanks for your sensible and perfectly balanced analysis, Sabine. I know I shouldn't but I was surprised.

  • Eddie Morgan
    Eddie Morgan 29 days ago +1

    Trying to think what category I fit in as I believe that we need to have fewer people and more robots. Sabine, excellent presentation thank you.

  • BrianJS
    BrianJS 7 months ago +6

    As the population increases, so does the complexity of the interactions as well as the severity of the extremes that that result from this greater complexity. So a small change in the overall population density of the entire world for instance will tend to lead to pockets of extreme density increases. Similar to how small changes in global temperature can lead to significant increases in the number and severity of storms. Just looking at population growth based on simple one to one co-relations such as resource availabilty, do not represent the whole picture. They also often overlook big parts of the story, like in order ti increase production of a, we need more b, but if we use more b, there is less b for producing c ...

  • Robert Allgeier
    Robert Allgeier 3 months ago +1

    Wonderful presentation! I would very much also like to hear your thoughts on the disruptive effects of AI and quantum computers on world population predictions and standards of living.

  • James P
    James P 6 months ago +3

    The issue is not "the world" but certain hotspots. Countries with rapid population growth experience turmoil, wars and potential collapse, especially when the young can't get jobs. The burden falls on nearby countries to take in, resettle and retrain the migration outflow, at huge cost to their economies.

  • Agri Tech
    Agri Tech 6 months ago +2

    Another great video Sabine, keep up the good work 👍

  • charlie
    charlie 8 months ago +5

    Sabina, great program! As a plant and soil scientist who has also worked on water issues, I have to bring up one point. You mentioned climate change but you did not address environmental degradation, and by extension, the ability of the earth so support us. The aquifers our farms and cities rely on are being pumped dry. We are in the midst of, and the cause of, one of the greatest species extinction events in Earth history. I could go on and on. These degradations and extinctions are only accelerating as we mine the earth for more resources, farm more land, build bigger cities. Then, there is heat. Compress the same volume of air in a smaller space, and that air gets hotter and particles of air collide more and more. Same thing happens with humans and rats and conflict.

  • Henry
    Henry Year ago +106

    Dear Sabine, I really love how you have, through concise yet easy to understand videos sprinkled with humor, made it more accessible for the average person to also learn from the studies of technical sources such as The Lancet. You are doing great work, and I appreciate you very much.

    • chris hooge
      chris hooge Year ago +4

      Mor Cheese, Please.

    • Steven Parada
      Steven Parada Year ago

      we will punch a hole in the ozone with a spray brand they don't like (sarcasm)

    • Dunebuggy12
      Dunebuggy12 Year ago

      She actually strawmans the position pretty thoroughly.

    • Johnny Lindstedt
      Johnny Lindstedt 11 months ago

      Honestly... if anything, that Lancet part is most likely the worst source possible. If using that as a foundation in issues of population levels, and thinking economy follows the same curvature as population leves, i can imagine scoffing at what Elon Musk is saying quite easily. You don't understand neither economy, nor the impact of higher living standards (and life expectancy baked in with this).
      No, a severe decrease in population levels like the Japan example, will destroy the economy. No one would pay 90% taxes (or more), just to keep the "lights on".

    • Mark Plimsoll
      Mark Plimsoll 11 months ago

      @Johnny Lindstedt Stop "opining" without evidence. For some HTML reason, the ranking numbers did not copy, but the list descends from #1.
      Top 200 Highest Impact Factor Journals (2022)
      CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians - Impact Factor: 286.13
      Lancet - Impact Factor: 202.731
      New England Journal of Medicine - Impact Factor: 176.079
      JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association - Impact Factor: 157.335
      Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology - Impact Factor: 113.915
      Nature Reviews Drug Discovery - Impact Factor: 112.288
      Nature Reviews Immunology - Impact Factor: 108.555
      Lancet Respiratory Medicine - Impact Factor: 102.642
      BMJ: British Medical Journal - Impact Factor: 93.333
      Nature Medicine - Impact Factor: 87.241
      Lancet Microbe - Impact Factor: 86.208
      World Psychiatry - Impact Factor: 79.683
      Nature Reviews Microbiology - Impact Factor: 78.297
      Lancet Psychiatry - Impact Factor: 77.056
      Nature Reviews Materials - Impact Factor: 76.679
      Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology - Impact Factor: 73.082
      Lancet Public Health - Impact Factor: 72.427
      Chemical Reviews - Impact Factor: 72.087
      Lancet Infectious Diseases - Impact Factor: 71.421
      Nature Reviews Cancer - Impact Factor: 69.8
      Nature - Impact Factor: 69.504
      Nature Biotechnology - Impact Factor: 68.164
      Nature Energy - Impact Factor: 67.439
      Cell - Impact Factor: 66.85
      Nature Reviews Disease Primers - Impact Factor: 65.038
      Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology - Impact Factor: 65.011
      Science - Impact Factor: 63.714
      Chemical Society Reviews - Impact Factor: 60.615
      Lancet Neurology - Impact Factor: 59.935
      Nature Reviews Genetics - Impact Factor: 59.581
      Psychological Science in the Public Interest - Impact Factor: 56.2
      Lancet Oncology - Impact Factor: 54.433
      Annals Of Oncology - Impact Factor: 51.769
      Annals Of Internal Medicine - Impact Factor: 51.598
      Journal Of Clinical Oncology - Impact Factor: 50.717
      Reviews Of Modern Physics - Impact Factor: 50.485
      Clinical Microbiology Reviews - Impact Factor: 50.129
      Nature Reviews Cardiology - Impact Factor: 49.421
      Progress In Materials Science - Impact Factor: 48.165
      Nature Methods - Impact Factor: 47.99
      Nature Materials - Impact Factor: 47.656
      Nature Reviews Endocrinology - Impact Factor: 47.564

  • BvR B
    BvR B 5 months ago +5

    The Haber-Bosch process is the reason why we have such large populations. Fixing N2 and digging out fertilizers (Phosphates and Nitrates) using Diesel Engines are essential. Perhaps this sort of thing will always stay ahead of the needs of a large population, forever.
    I would not bet on that.

  • Dr Edward Chipps Front Desk

    Sabine-I love you!
    Not only are you brilliant but you have this dry sense of humor that just cracks me up!
    Please stay on you tube!

  • Sinky J.
    Sinky J. 12 days ago

    As usual, intelligent and coherent interpretation, without BS... Viel Dank...

  • Somo Agro
    Somo Agro 3 months ago +3

    Regarding the lower fertility rate... I wonder about the psichologycal aspect of humans. Less siblings or no siblings, how does it affect us? Are we going to become more spoiled individuals? Or with lower social skills? Will we consume more resources individually? I am curious about more aspects. Will a single-child in a big city have (proportionally) much more environmental impact as a big group of siblings in the countryside?

    • Huma Onyango
      Huma Onyango 20 days ago

      We are already very spoiled individuals ... And it is showing society wide.

  • David Vandyk
    David Vandyk 7 months ago +2

    Informative and entertaining for sure! As to the future, totally inconclusive, and for good reason.

  • VAST
    VAST Year ago +13

    Malthus was not wrong about the limit of food production: from the late 18th century viewpoint and tech level. What actually caused mass population growth in the 20th century was the invention of cheap artificial fertilizer.

  • John S.
    John S. 7 months ago +6

    It is not easy to combat the #1 human motivation: reproductive selfishness. I was unaware that Musk was a poster boy for this motive.

    • Gorky D
      Gorky D 6 months ago +3

      Reproducing, when you actually care for the children, is by far the least selfish thing that most people do in their lives.

    • John S.
      John S. 6 months ago

      @Gorky D Thinking of Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Reproductive selfishness is not equivalent to phenotypic selfishness.

  • Doug F
    Doug F 3 months ago +1

    18:20 I hear the claim of progress frequently but nobody ever defines it. Progress causes all the problems, then we're in the dilemma of needing more progress to fix what we messed up, but the new progress rarely fixes the mess and causes more mess.

  • David E. Hoobler, Jr.
    David E. Hoobler, Jr. 5 months ago +1

    I always find the delivery entertaining, even when I am not particularly interested in the subject. I love the deadpan humor.

  • James Hale
    James Hale 9 months ago +22

    As it happens I just finished reading Zeihan's "The End of the World is Just the Beginning". It is fascinating to contrast Sabine's viewpoint with Zeihan's, who is a geopolitician. He fleshes out the implications of rapidly changing demographics with the end of globalization. The implications are scary.

    • Joshua Martinez
      Joshua Martinez 7 months ago +8

      Yeah, I was never afraid of humanity ceasing to exist, but the effect it would have on living standards. Ultimately I think Zeihan and Sabine agree we're going to be okay no matter what, but Zeihan stresses a lot more how difficult that change is going to be

    • Mike
      Mike 7 months ago

      The implications are normal.

  • LakelandRussell
    LakelandRussell 7 months ago +3

    Unfortunately many people are not concerned about progress, they were concerned about having power over other people.

  • MC's Creations
    MC's Creations Year ago +349

    The fertility question is really interesting. Here in Brazil people used to have 10 kids or more in the past, when now it's pretty difficult to see a family with 3 kids.
    But the thing is the mentality of the time and it's context. Back then we were a mostly an agrarian country, so people had lots of kids to help them to take care of plantations and farm animals. While today we're mostly a... I forgot the word... We live mostly in cities. Where life's expensive!
    Anyway, thanks for the video, Sabine! 😊
    Stay safe there with your family! 🖖😊

    • sorp
      sorp Year ago +1

      Thoughts on the MST?

    • Enderyu
      Enderyu Year ago +8

      Acho que vc quis dizer urbano

    • Rizizum
      Rizizum Year ago +27

      My grandma had 14 kids, my mom had 2, and only my sister has had a child so far, so yeah, pretty accurate

    • Eden Lippmann
      Eden Lippmann Year ago +25

      Cosmopolitan, that's the word.

  • Bokai Sun
    Bokai Sun 9 months ago +2

    There seems to be an implicit assumption that in countries facing a decline in population, the population will eventually "stabilize". Is there an example of this ever happening? I believe that is what Elon Musk is pointing to - that once population starts decreasing a lot of things start to break. For example, the social security net for more retirees needs to be financed by fewer working people, which might further dampen the desire to have and raise more children. So we get into a negative feedback loop. Another negative feedback loop might be deflation (again, Japan is an example), where falling demand due to falling population means prices keep falling, thereby reducing incentives to consume or produce. I think this video, excellent as it is, is remiss in not exploring these negative feedback loops. We could only have more confidence that we can have a stabilized world population if we have proven viable strategies to combat these negative feedback loops.

    • Emiliano Arévalo
      Emiliano Arévalo 8 months ago +1

      Exactly! We give a lot of credit to science for progress in the last few centuries, but capitalism was the main driver. Strange as it may seem, capitalism is fueled by investment, and investment is fueled by the expectation that tomorrow will be better than today in terms of business. That was the key idea since Columbus discovered America and we are not considering how much population decline may affect this expectation starting negative loops as you described.

  • Daniel ominous
    Daniel ominous 2 months ago

    I feel like there are two competing perspectives when it comes to population. The business/production end, and the spacial/resources end. Both are correct in there own estimations but horribly wrong in each other's. Not enough of the world is on fire yet.

  • Arneldo Bumatay
    Arneldo Bumatay 6 months ago +12

    How about a talk on the oceans fisheries? I remember in the late 50s/60s, the oceans in the future will be a massive source of food. I think that fish populations have drastically declined do to over fishing.

    • Fancypants McVomitshirt
      Fancypants McVomitshirt 5 months ago +4

      Yes, our oceans are basically experiencing a mass extinction event. Fish stocks are way less than half of what they were 100 years ago. Some species' numbers have totally collapsed. Certain countries are basically combing our oceans clean of everything they can find, and every year they find less. The amount of fish the world consumes has been completely unsustainable for decades. The whole world would have to immediately cease eating any non-farmed seafood for our oceans to have a chance of recovering. Most fishermen would have to find another job. Unfortunately the world's fishers aren't willing to do that. Most of them are from poor countries with few opportunities, and there aren't any governments offering to help them transition, so they're just going keep grabbing whatever fish are left until there are none.

    • abc3315
      abc3315 3 months ago +1

      @Fancypants McVomitshirt A couple of notes. Fish farming is also alleged to be very bad for the environment. Japan is not a poor country, yet they are well known to overfish.

    • Fancypants McVomitshirt
      Fancypants McVomitshirt 3 months ago

      @abc3315 Fish farming is not great for the environment, that is true. But if we want to continue to have a normal marine environment, or rather have one again in the future as it's far from normal now, it's the only fish source that's not going to drive species to extinction. So, unfortunately, it's the only viable source long term. Unless we stop eating fish we're going to need fish farming.

  • Jolly Blond Giant
    Jolly Blond Giant 10 months ago +6

    This video covered in 20 minutes everything I learned in my Demographic Analysis class

    • Hans-Joachim Bierwirth
      Hans-Joachim Bierwirth 5 months ago

      So you learned none of the most basic facts? That's a sad state of affairs.

  • Mark A
    Mark A 8 months ago +8

    What I love about Ms. Hossenfelder, she does the research and includes references. When Elon Musk tweets, it just worthless opinions.

    • Hans-Joachim Bierwirth
      Hans-Joachim Bierwirth 5 months ago

      If she did any research you'd find facts in her videos but there aren't any. If you know the basics you wonder what sort of drivel she spouts without ever touching any facts at all.

    • Dadofer1970
      Dadofer1970 Month ago

      @Hans-Joachim Bierwirth You poor thing.

  • Johnny Nash
    Johnny Nash Year ago +207

    "Elon Musk fathered 8 children, though maybe by the time I've finished this sentence he has a few more" - damn shots fired

    • bentmatt
      bentmatt Year ago +12

      It aged well 🤣

    • net gnostic
      net gnostic Year ago +10

      I wonder how many of the newest moms work for him ...

    • jtoad99
      jtoad99 Year ago +21

      Why is Elon Musk mocked and ridiculed for having 8 children, but a poor African is not?

    • Wes Townsend
      Wes Townsend Year ago +2

      Bro isn't a hypocrite 😅

    • evilkillerwhale
      evilkillerwhale Year ago +7

      @Death at Intervals 6 of the 10 were with his first wife. 2 with Grimes. 2 via IVF with Shivon Zilis. 3 women.

  • Janek Mazur
    Janek Mazur 8 months ago +2

    The problem is that countries are not centered towards 2.1x ratio. So Japan could introduce some pro family programs. But Nigerians could introduce sexed classes and mass education for women. Generally the largest pop growth is in poor countries in challenging climate, often politically unstable, which could lead to more unstability in future and that large population could lead miserable life.

  • Lucas Boninsegna
    Lucas Boninsegna Month ago

    Ich liebe Sabine ❤ such ein unique personality, she’s a gem 🎉

  • Rich Roberts
    Rich Roberts 7 months ago

    Very thoughtful presentation. Thank you Sabine.

  • Ed Reusser
    Ed Reusser 7 months ago

    I keep waiting to point out the average ages of the people in these reduced populations and the real meaning about that inverted pyramid you dismissed as soon to be fixed. You simply pass over the 40 or 50 years of adjustment and how it would shake itself out in terms of the ages of relative groups with it.

  • ImAliveAndYouAreDead
    ImAliveAndYouAreDead 25 days ago

    I think the biggest fear about depopulation in developed countries (but also many developing countries like China) is simply that our economic models and pension schemes are predicated on the fact that people have kids and maintain the population around the replacement level. In most developed countries, Boomers failed to do so and they now get retired, provoking both a pension overload and a capital crunch which will, in turn, dry up the capital that had allowed the developing world to feed itself and access modern technologies. And just add the fact that young people drive consumption, are agents of progress, and challenge the status quo. Aging countries are therefore condemned to slow death before their demography has the time to recover. As for the developing world, many are likely to experience rapid deindustrialization and, most likely, famine.

  • Declan Brennan
    Declan Brennan Year ago +90

    14:31 "If you extrapolate this trend indefinitely, Japan will cease to exist" However as they are currently one of the biggest cheese importers in the world, this will mean more for the rest of us.

  • kaunas888
    kaunas888 7 months ago +95

    In the Middle Ages when the plague killed off more than half the population, life generally got a lot better for those who survived. Suddenly there was a lot more land available to farmers and a labor shortage meant that peasants could command better pay from their lords.

    • PK
      PK 6 months ago +17

      I dont know about the accuracy of ur statement But people arent just consumers of goods. People produce stuff too. So lesser number of people can lead to lesser products.

    • M
      M 6 months ago +17

      Yes, but most of us aren't farmers anymore.

    • DRW
      DRW 6 months ago +10

      @M the supply/demand effect on wages is evident after each world war and is evident now in post-Brexit Britain where delivery driver hourly rates have doubled or even tripled. Such shock events are temporary though as the population soon recovers and increases. It doesn't take a genius to see that in an ever-more automated world, more and more people on the planet is not a great idea.

    • Michael
      Michael 6 months ago +6

      Common misconception, that’s not actually true

  • Bob Fraley
    Bob Fraley 2 months ago

    In about 1966 one of my science teachers predicted that in a mere 10,000,000 years, with the population growth rate of that time, the mass of humanity would be expanding at the speed of light. Of course he know that this would not be possible, but he just wanted to see when it might happen. Of course, I may not remember the number correctly😄, but it's interesting to think about. 😄

  • Anderson Lucas
    Anderson Lucas 8 months ago

    I think one thing left out here is the inverse correlation between increasing idh and education with fertility rate

  • 89qwyg9yqa34t
    89qwyg9yqa34t 29 days ago

    What bothers me most about "doomsters" and "boomsters" is the unwillingness of either side to accept any piece of information from the other. It's a major problem in politics today.

  • Rebasepoiss
    Rebasepoiss 7 months ago +4

    10:03 It's not a temporary problem because the birth rate is below the level of reproduction i.e each new generation will be smaller than the one before. South Korea currently has a birth rate of 0.8 which means every new generation is more than twice as small as the previous one. To maintain a population at the current level you need a birth rate of 2 or even slightly more than that.

    • Rudi
      Rudi 6 months ago +1

      I agree. How can a country like SK change that number. Has this ever been done historically?

    • Rebasepoiss
      Rebasepoiss 6 months ago +1

      @Rudi No, not that I know of.

  • NameLess
    NameLess Year ago +22

    I have only recently become a subscriber and love that we visit the different points of views of each respective camp then go into the science behind it. We need more Clip-Sharers like you rather than influencers! Keep up the great work!

  • Rahul Lakshmanan
    Rahul Lakshmanan 5 months ago +2

    Interesting take. I'd have liked to see your thoughts on the "If everyone on Earth had the lifestyle of the average American, we would need 4.5 Earths for resources."

    • Kein Name
      Kein Name 5 months ago +1

      Same also for Germany. Its easy say to something like this sitting in Europe.

  • Brant Cunningham
    Brant Cunningham 3 months ago +1

    I hope you get it all worked out . I also wish to continue conspicuous cheese 🧀 consumption.

  • Michael Wolfe
    Michael Wolfe 6 months ago +3

    I am more of a doomster, but with hope. First, it's not only how many people, but what resources they use up... as people increase their standard of living they will use up more resources. The idea of an automobile for each family I think will go out the window... but we still need good healtcare, good quality food, water, clothes etc. If we only concentrate on humans we might just pull it off!.... but as far as the habitats and species we've known will surely be depleated... Also this uneven decrease in population apparently is very stressful for economies and countries won't take it in stride. To sum up, it's not how many we are but how wiseflully we use up resources and achieve the carrying capacity, if not for all species at least for humans....I have a gut feeling the world as an ecosystem in the future would be better off with at the most 1/4 the current population... I guess 2200 wil be a different story!

  • D Gillies
    D Gillies 2 months ago

    "ZPG" - Zero Population Growth was indeed a hot topic in the late 60's through the mid 70's as the environmental reawakening (from Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" about the dangers of DDT) lead to many environmental movements including the creation of "Earth Day" and many others. I think we need this topic to reach worldwide prominence again soon!

  • Jim Roth
    Jim Roth 4 months ago +9

    Interesting analysis, as usual. Neglects the long-term effects of AI. Thanks to robotics and AI, population shortage will not cause problems for any developed country in the medium term. In fact, a shrinking population, like in Japan, will make for a more pleasant lifestyle.

  • KerbalFacile
    KerbalFacile Year ago +89

    Thanks for addressing this topic, Sabine.
    Here in Ireland, demographics is a touchy subject because our population still has not recovered from the British-amplified famine of the mid-19th century. Where other Western countries have cities of hundreds of thousands sprinkled across their land, ours are merely tens of thousands. Where they have capital cities and main industrial/urban areas counting tens of millions of people, ours (Dublin) is an order of magnitude smaller. Yet, most infrastructures that are taken as granted in our neighbours, exists here in a much lower density and straining, or is plain missing. And since we've started our demographic transition shortly after joining the EU in the 1970s, most of the housing that exists now, which was built with families of 6-9 as the typical size, is proving woefully inadequate for the common families of 3-5 we have now. The point, I think, is that it's not so much an issue of volume of resources, but of how they're employed in the end, against a context that can shift in unanticipated ways. By trying to hammer the problem into a question of too few or too many babies we may be losing some critical flexibility in addressing the potential underlying issues.

    • Rainbow Six Siege
      Rainbow Six Siege Year ago

      How is 6-9 size inadequate for 3-5?

    • KerbalFacile
      KerbalFacile Year ago +4

      @Rainbow Six Siege Because they're split, two families as room-mates in the same house.

    • HeRo TuRtle
      HeRo TuRtle Year ago +3

      @Rainbow Six Siege too much can cause just similar issues than too little. it's just not efficient. unnecessarily big homes eat up money (by many means) that's then missing at other places.

    • Peter France
      Peter France Year ago +7

      Sit back and relax and enjoy the new diverse demographic flooding in.

    • zoperxplex
      zoperxplex Year ago +2

      Stop whining. The problem isn't the under population of Ireland, the problem is that Europe is over populated.

  • gessie
    gessie 10 months ago +11

    Another important factor is humanity's reaction to changes. Right now overpopulation is a philosophical question, which will gradually turn into an economic one (it partly already has), and finally become an existential question in a few thousand years (60th century ballpark). At that point, humans will radically change their approach, if they exist long enough to see it happen. Being worried about humans not breeding enough is like being worried that humans will suddenly stop eating - possible, yes, but inconsistent with all observations.

    • Riley Hoffman
      Riley Hoffman 8 months ago +2

      I think we won't make it to that ballpark. Homo sapiens may have earned extinction.

  • dd
    dd 8 months ago +1

    Really glad you covered this. It’s been heavy on my mind

  • Reginaldesq
    Reginaldesq 3 months ago

    Am I right in thinking this or not: The reason Doomsters got it wrong is not just because of the increased technology in food production but more so because they could not believe we would cut down all the forests of the world and turn them into farms.

  • Full Circle, with Travis
    Full Circle, with Travis 7 months ago +2

    The wealthiest people have a vested interest in maintaining a reward system that requires resources to be in excess supply in relation to population. To them, they would gladly decimate the population to maintain a system that awards them power.

  • Doug F
    Doug F 3 months ago +2

    4:43 It's important to recognize that humans created poverty. We invented it. It's our thing. We could just say, "Let's de-create (or un-invent) poverty," and we could make it vanish.

  • Giovanni Ronchi
    Giovanni Ronchi Year ago +8

    Thank you for putting your ideas together on this topic and share it, Sabine & team!

  • nelson
    nelson 11 months ago +8

    In the 13th century when England had fewer than 3 million people they were building those amazing cathedrals. Little towns of 20,000 were all playing.

    • The Day
      The Day Month ago

      they had a higher % of young people though.

  • meg B
    meg B 5 months ago +1

    As a person who gets extremely overwhelmed around a lot of people, I wonder what the name of the metric is for how much people can stand being around so many other people. Maybe I just need therapy. 🤷‍♀️

    • Colin James
      Colin James 2 months ago

      You are not alone. I think people like you will more than likely be best equipped to survive when the proverbial shit hits the fan - Think global catastrophe -

  • Eric
    Eric 5 days ago

    I can't help but feel that any time a politician asks you to have more children there is something in it for her/him, and when a rich person like Musk do, it is some kind of wish for more customers for their product or they are just flapping their mouths randomly.

  • russell flanders
    russell flanders 6 months ago

    I am just getting to see your videos. Thank you for giving more then one view on most topics. Keep up the good work.

  • Kamati hasheela
    Kamati hasheela 7 months ago +1

    Just want to say I really appreciate the humor in these videos

  • Stewart Henderson
    Stewart Henderson Year ago +6

    Comprehensive and fascinating as always. My immediate thought upon hearing Musk's views was about habitat destruction and species diversity - and your description of sub-Saharan Africa as the biggest hotspot re future population growth has me particularly concerned about our cousins the bonobos (my fave), chimps and gorillas, who inhabit that region and nowhere else. As you say, the problem isn't population growth per se, but that it's happening most where it's least sustainable, creating greater human inequities, diseases and pressures on other species.

  • Elanorsplays
    Elanorsplays 4 months ago +1

    Just noticing that Manila's population density, the figure 42,000 per km² is very close to the very pleasant 11th arrondissement in Paris, which has all the modernities of electricity and running water, and a functioning sewage system and efficient garbage collection. It is a nice and safe area for residents and tourists as well. :-)

  • Data Mesh
    Data Mesh 7 months ago +5

    If the overshoot of resources is now in August and has steadily gotten earlier over the years in the face of expanding technology, and expanding population, how can we expect innovation to answer the problem of future overshoot?

    • Gorky D
      Gorky D 6 months ago +3

      First lets find out if the overshoot is actually happening, or if it's just a made up number created by people whose careers depend on a certain level of alarm. Where does the data come from?

    • Colin James
      Colin James 2 months ago

      We cannot. That is the answer.

  • dd
    dd 8 months ago +2

    The WEF needs to watch this video before they go and depopulate. You are the BEST Sabine!

  • kym fuss
    kym fuss 4 months ago

    Love your humour, Sabine, FIRST CLASS!

  • Inlanning
    Inlanning 7 months ago

    I'm Swedish and if the population increases like she says people will most likely move, maybe to Germany.

  • Frank Tore Johansen
    Frank Tore Johansen Year ago +135

    More thought should be given to the stability of the ecosystem with all the stress that increased agriculture and other human exploitations induces. This is surely the biggest factor regarding maximum population. Also, to comment on Elon Musk's thoughts on this: His views are purely from an economist standpoint, and from that worldview a growing population is needed for the endless expansions of economies. A population reduction guarantees a long-lasting recession, and we need to decide if this is a bad or a good thing.

    • ns feliz
      ns feliz Year ago +34

      yes yes yes, he sees it from the view of a money maker. not a person who has to compete with thousands of poor people for limited resources.

    • Free Tibet
      Free Tibet Year ago +21

      I completely agree with you! If we want to understand how many people this world can take we must look deeply into the whole complexity of the ecosystem we live in. The term ‘economy’ must become a much broader insight into the whole spectrum of what a sustainable life on this planet actually means. Every profit calculation must include all those negative impacts our activities have on the ecosystem we exist in. If it doesn’t, it is an unrealistic and deceitful calculation and will inevitable lead to a future backlash.
      Much of the anxiety in the world today derives from the way we humans have lived in an unbalanced relationship with nature for a long time. An abuse on nature is an abuse on ourselves. We must understand that we humans are part of nature, not above it! To live in balance and harmony with nature must always be our first priority, at least for no other reason than it is the only way we will ensure a good future for our children and grandchildren. The best way to ensure this is to stop our human-centric ideologies and start caring for ALL LIFE on this planet.

    • Stephen Villano
      Stephen Villano Year ago +6

      Yes, the endless expansion of economies, the bane of every empire that ever was. Once they reached their maximum expansion, conditions stagnated, then decayed. Every time.
      The stress of agriculture properly applied would be minimal, but that means adapting to drought and relying upon areas not experiencing drought, not wasting pesticides and fertilizers, for every ounce in the river is wasted and harmful downstream.
      But, we can and will hit resource bottlenecks and stops, where, for example, copper mines become exhausted and new sources have to be discovered and recycling geared up a lot more. Most of what we say we recycle ends up collected and dumped in a landfill. Most plastics - landfill. Paper, mixed. Metals, again, mixed and most exported and reimported once recycled. Glass, poor to mixed, although the chances of our running out of silicon is next to nil. Oil, don't get my laughing, we're going through that like a teen on their first job's payday.
      Don't get me started on solar panels pollution and energy requirements to manufacture, let alone our new high energy density batteries and efficient motors that rely upon rare earth minerals.
      Food isn't much of a problem yet, mostly we have distribution issues that we refuse to resolve, as "it isn't our nation's problem", so we in the US literally dump good food to keep pricing stable for the farmers. Well, until a few disasters, droughts and disruptions hit us...

    • Free Tibet
      Free Tibet Year ago +9

      @Richard Hauer Your use of the word ‘monoculture’ indicates that you have an understanding of the problem with our contemporary relationship with nature. I regard modern ways, such as monocultural farming, as one of the harmful ways that we relate to Mother Earth in. But it goes beyond just the issue of food. Monocultural farming is the standard way of the forestry business today, as well. In fact, we see it across the whole spectra of industrial use of nature. It is the way the industry thinks! Because of that thousands of plant, animal and insect species are being extinct right under our noses. We hardly notice it, before it’s too late! Before we know it we have no insects that can pollinate our plantations anymore.
      The reason is that we haven’t understood or haven’t cared about how much everything in this world is interconnected. This world is made up of a web of relationships but we humans seems to think that we are above that. Well, now we are starting to realize what huge damage we have caused this planet. Hübris and greed are the two words that comes to mind when we want to describe the reasons for this folly. It boils down to the erroneous idea that we humans ‘own’ nature and therefor can do whatever we like with it. If we truly understood what nature and ecology really is then we wouldn’t be doing the things we do to it. We just wouldn’t allow greedy people and corporations to act the way they do. Ignorance is the root-cause of all this abusive behavior. Modern people have so much to learn from so called indigenous peoples when it comes to how to live in a healthy relationship with nature. After all, we are nothing but nature ourselves!

  • Pete Dahlberg
    Pete Dahlberg 29 days ago

    A book titled “Factfulness” makes a strong case that the worlds birth rate is already below replacement levels. Sabine should read this book and update this video in my opinion.

  • aHuman
    aHuman 2 months ago +1

    I've felt like overpopulation is an issue, but thankfully it's an issue that will sort itself out if people are allowed control over their own bodies (birth control). Just looking at a satellite view of google maps we can see how we decimated so many natural environments to put farms in. I think it's important to remember while thinking about carrying capacity is that earth isn't just for us, it's also for animals and plants. The fact that so many forests are decimated and animals are going extinct is showing we are already above our "carrying capacity", not in the mathematical sense since technically we can probably squeeze more out of the earth, but more like an invasive species can decimate a natural environment.
    Although I think it is ok to have kids, since the amount of kids people have when given the choice is below replacement rate. Instead of trying to convince people to get sterelised, we should give people free access to birth control.

  • Susanne Peters
    Susanne Peters 8 months ago +1

    Love your humour ;-) thanx for interesting info boiled down to essential content

  • desi
    desi 7 months ago

    Informative, well researched and dry humour 😁 thanks. No,I won't put my credit card details here..

  • Aaron Bono
    Aaron Bono Year ago +19

    Great video and great delivery. I was hoping you would mention how animal populations in the wild will regulate their own populations during good and bad times by having fewer babies when things are rough like when food is scarce and then have more babies when things are going well. I'd be interested in how much we might self-regulate our populations based off of our environmental pressures.

    • glasslinger
      glasslinger Year ago +6

      There currently is a deer overpopulation crisis in many states because of a shortage of large cats.

    • Aaron Bono
      Aaron Bono Year ago +5

      @glasslinger I learned recently that when they reintroduced wolves to Yellowstone national Park it reduced the elk population which then helped the beaver population thrive because the elk were eating the food supply that the beavers depended upon. It's all about a balance.

    • zazugee
      zazugee Year ago +3

      is there a study about them having fewer babies or is it due to predation and death by scarcity

    • glasslinger
      glasslinger Year ago +3

      @zazugee Incredibly, in areas where people are starving it is found that virtually every woman that can be pregnant is pregnant! Go figure!

    • Aaron Bono
      Aaron Bono Year ago

      @zazugee I have seen it in animal documentaries but can't recall which ones. I think I saw it in a documentary about snowy owls.

  • Michael Tellurian
    Michael Tellurian 10 months ago +2

    Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not there is an over-population problem. But it's absurd to make the argument that we must have more people in order to survive as a species.

  • D G
    D G 4 months ago

    Love your humor :). I recite bits to my wife and we both giggle like kids. :)

  • gg chiu
    gg chiu 9 months ago

    As a geography student learning about populations, im surprised you didnt mention a little bit of boserupian theory! Since you mentioned malthusian, these 2 theories of the earth’s carry capacity and method of dealing with population go hand in hand! Lol nice vid, i still think we should have less kids tho lol

  • Ryan Chicago
    Ryan Chicago 9 months ago

    Interesting note: Uranium was the FIRST item on the "index" of necessities for gov't. Last I checked the gov't was protecting it's energetic Uranium with the entire military. If someone tries to steal it - it blasts off to a new home......

  • Hans Fredrik Trongaard
    Hans Fredrik Trongaard 6 months ago

    Video after video without picking she answers things i have been walking around wondering for years. But without the need for doing the research. Its like a FUN FACTS OF EVERYTHING. 🎉

  • Brendan White
    Brendan White Year ago +34

    I feel like this video deserved more discussion on our ability to support such a large population, even of just a few billion with modern lifestyles. I think in general people under-appreciate the question of if modern development is realistic. Natural systems usually contain time delays so environmental harms continue to develop over time- even if we maintained our current population and lifestyles, the ecological crisis would continue to get worse.
    And regarding that 60s/70s research about overpopulation, of course there was a lot of error when trying to estimate population, but just because technology helped us in the past does not mean that it will always be that way. There are obviously limits on our physical abilities and it's unrealistic to assume that human ingenuity can replace functioning of natural systems.
    Of course people and institutions don't want to give up modernity, so it's not easy to talk about or get watch time from, but I think it's really important to consider and discuss. I obviously have more to say about the ecological crisis, so leave a comment if you'd like and I'd appreciate discussing whatever. (Effectiveness of existing green tech, anthropocentric/ethnocentric bias, misleading information from institutions, whatever)

    • jean f
      jean f Year ago +2

      Well you can look at the overshoot day by country, and see that developed countries reach it way faster than the global average.

    • Jesse
      Jesse Year ago +2

      Important to note that low tech societies have a much more direct and immediate impact on local ecology. Deforestation in particular is devastating and swift when agrarian societies expand too far. Advanced societies use a lot more resources - but most of them are drawn from non-biological sources such as mining which while messy doesn't have the incredibly widespread impact of low tech slash and burn agriculture which wipes out entire biomes and the species they support. Advanced economies have broader impacts on the global environment and create more exotic forms of pollution, and rely on rarer resources which may be more readily exhausted

    • jean f
      jean f Year ago +5

      @Jesse Subsistance farming deforestation is not a minor player, but you underestimate the amount of land that has been and is repurposed for modern agricultural practices, and the impact that pesticides have on biodiversity.
      High rates of meat consumption and the increasing reliance on agrofuels severely counteract the benefits of higher yields.
      I would also like to know the contribution of population displacement in the equation : once a slash and burn has come to its end, the forest can grow again, but not if the land is taken by modern agriculturalists or a nearby city expansion.

    • Jesse
      Jesse Year ago +3

      @jean f modern farming is highly focused on broad plains lands using agrochem to greatly increase yields - so it generally doesn't contribute as much to deforestation. The fertilizer runoff problem is quite serious however, as is the fact that the chem used for fertilizer is limited.

    • jean f
      jean f Year ago +4

      @Jesse Plains that in some cases were once forests.
      In the Brazilian Amazon, causes cited in research papers I could find cite cattle ranching as the main driver, I also found one that suggest that soybean may displace cattle ranching [1].
      In Indonesia, palm oil, timber plantations and conversion to grassland, potentially after uncontrolled forest fires make up 60% of the deforestation [2], small scale farming makes up 20%.
      I won't pretend that the little time I spent looking at the subject give any kind of comprehensive picture, but it sure sounds like agricultural yield is not the only factor to look at.
      [1] iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/5/2/024002/meta
      [2] iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aaf6db/meta

  • Sebastian Uhl
    Sebastian Uhl 7 months ago +2

    She said "noone expects Japans population to continue decreasing indefinitely" but there was no real explaination to that. Low fertility in developed countries isn't caused by overpopulation, so why exactly do we expect fertility to go up eventually?

    • Rudi
      Rudi 6 months ago +4

      Good question. And once the government (people) ring the alarm bell, how exactly do you turn that trend around. There will only be so many child bearing women left. How will they incentivize them to have more than 2.1 children on average.

  • AniNewForest
    AniNewForest 4 months ago +1

    I am reminded of Coruscant, that city-planet in the Star Wars films that's just skyscrapers as far as the eye can see, not an inch of grass or any wildlife. That's what the world would look like if the human population keeps climbing.

    • kti
      kti 2 months ago

      And yet in the sixties we could all stand on Zanzibar.

  • Mark Slater Music
    Mark Slater Music 3 months ago

    Am I wrong, or has Sabine done several videos on the problems of energy productivity and pollution? producing for so many people in the world must have an impact.

  • james mills
    james mills Month ago

    I’m surprised Sabine didn’t address the social dislocations and poverty which will be caused by falling populations. A 50% decrease in Japan’s population won’t lead to a ‘nice’ future. It will be a difficult ordeal unprecedented in human history.

  • thomas allan
    thomas allan 6 months ago

    Never knew the plague also hit Asia as much as Europe but it makes sense.

  • erikfinnegan
    erikfinnegan Year ago +13

    This was, as always, a highly informative presentation that (seemingly for me) covers all sides to the story with pleasing rigor and stoicism. Now, I'll have some Gruyère because ... I still can.

  • George Gonzalez-Rivas
    George Gonzalez-Rivas 10 months ago +2

    Several points: 1. The resource estimates are always too low; some resources are as yet undisovered and some are considered unattainable die to technology/cost... until they're not (see: fracking)
    2. China's population collapse will be worse than shown here because they have been cooking the books and because their population is imbalanced... if only 45% of you pop are women then that is the driving factor for growth.
    3. Japanese overall population numbers are as you describe... but the distribution will be heavily towards the elderly to the pouinty that the smaller group of young people cannot sustain the social systems leading to economic collapse. This will lead to emigration or even foreign invasion (eventually).
    4. Discussion of Malthusian vs technology is no longer enough. Western collapse is coming from a lowered biorthrate and the collapse of marriage and traditional institutions -- these are not included in the pop numbers you used. If 20% of America's college-age youth identify as non-binary or trans we won't need a Chines One-Child-Policy to obliterate our demographics... we're doing it from the ground up.

  • william canham
    william canham 7 months ago

    This woman is a joy!

  • Jai
    Jai 8 months ago +2

    Not worried about the brains for progress but for the hands for profit

  • Yog ‘Sothoth
    Yog ‘Sothoth Month ago

    Best humor ever. Adorable and informative. Had no choice but to subscribe.