Population Geography Population Geography 1. Is it appropriate to implement policies designed to increase or decrease fertility? Or should people determine this on their own? 2. Malthus argued that our human future would be characterized by famine, vice and misery. Was he right? 3. Where do we live today, why there, and why does it matter? Limits? Understanding Demography The science that studies: o Size and composition of populations o Processes that influence composition of population o Links between populations and the larger human environments of which they are a part The two factors on which all changes in population size depend are fertility and mortality the adaptive and exploitive ingenuity of humans is in no danger of being taxed The earth is a spaceship and a finite vessel cannot bear an everincreasing number of passengers o Population Growth: . the world pop grew on average by more than 80 million people annually or 220,000 per day o the rate of growth has increased in recent years o eventually pop should stabilize (by the 21 century) at 11.3 billion o with the majority of the growth occurring in countries now considered less developed o o without understanding of the data and data manipulations of the population geographer, the data can be at best superficial. o to illustrate the nature of 1 million and 1 billion: o the supersonic airplane the Concorde could theoretically circle the globe in only 18.5 hours at its cruising speed of 2150 kl per hour (1340 miles per hour). It would take 31 days for a passenger to journey a million miles on the Concorde, while a trip of a billion miles would last 85 years. o o The implications of these numbers and the potential increases in population of vital: Political, social, ecological concern. o The dichotomy arises from the following two convictions: o o the adaptive and exploitive ingenuity of humans is in no danger of being taxed vs the earth is a spaceship and a finite vessel cannot bear an everincreasing number of passengers. o o recurring problems of malnutrition and starvation (more a problem of distribution than shortage) o problems of air and water pollution o near exhaustion of many minerals and fossil fuels o all are foretelling of the outer limits of population growth.