The human population keeps growing in spite of regulations and technologies and continues to strain the earth’s resources with carbon-burning and plastic polluting activities. Conventional wisdom predicts that our global population is racing toward catastrophe with projections of hitting 9 billion by 2050 and rise to a staggering 11 billion by the year 2100. A radically different conclusion is proposed by a new book that examined available data and predicts that in place of rising to higher levels, the human population will level out in around three decades and then shockingly start to decline, perhaps forever.
The revolutionary book called “Empty Planet” is written by Canadian journalist John Ibbitson and political scientist Darrell Bricker. Their key premise is that access to information is changing people’s attitude towards reproduction across the world and rapidly deviating from the old norms endorsing families and fertility.
Ibbitson said in a new interview with the Wired, “We polled 26 countries asking women how many kids they want, and no matter where you go the answer tends to be around two. The external forces that used to dictate people having bigger families are disappearing everywhere. And that’s happening fastest in developing countries.”
Ibbitson and Bricker’s prediction is a bold one but it is premature to discard conventional population projections until experts complete a proper evaluation of their figures. The pair argue that this is fastest period of change in human history due to the factors driving choices made by people. According to them is vital to identify the future of population trends as it affects decisions we’re making now.
Bricker told the Wired, “A lot of people who are thinking about the future of the world, the future economy, the future of city planning, they’re basing their projections on that future size of the human population. And people are actually making decisions based on this.”