Re: Overpopulation (was Re: Exowombs & AGING: a few billion too many)

From: Damien R. Sullivan (
Date: Fri Feb 22 2002 - 10:12:45 MST

On Thu, Feb 21, 2002 at 11:18:35PM -0800, James Rogers wrote:

> Lower 48 and in Alaska. The same is true of most of Canada. I have little
> doubt that North America could easily and safely support 2 billion people
> given the necessity and without utterly destroying the environment. If you


It's absolutely true that we're not overpopulated in a living-space
sense. The whole world could be packed into the United States at
light suburban densities (four people per acre, 1000 people per km^2.
LA is 3500/km^2, NYC about 12,000, Manhattan 30,000)

But you do have to feed and water those people. Much of the US is
basically desert, even parts like the Great Plains not typically thought
of as desert. I'm not saying you couldn't support 2 billion people in
North America, but it wouldn't be trivial, and there might be a lot of
adjustments, like reducing water-heavy industries.

(Drinking water's actually easy to get from rainfall, even in really dry
places, if you set out to collect it. Irrigation and industry totally
dwarf human consumption.)

-xx- Damien X-)

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