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Monday, 4 July 2016

Resource Exhaustion Means Global Population Unsustainable

Overshoot News  


There are not enough resources to support the world’s population



We have reached a stage where the amount of resources needed to sustain our population exceeds what is available
Many years ago, as a second year medical student, I attended a lecture on human population by my tutor at Cambridge, Colin Bertram. He argued as a biologist that relentless population increase by any species is always ultimately unsustainable; numbers increase to the limits of the carrying capacity of their environment and when they overshoot this, their numbers always collapse. If we allow unremitting population growth to continue we humans cannot escape the same fate; however cleverly we might adapt to all the different environments on earth, we only have one finite planet to live on and 70 per cent of it is salt water, and half of the remainder is desert, mountain, icecap or fast-disappearing forest.
Dr Bertram’s lecture startled me and established the direction of my medical career. I felt some guilt that doctors had inadvertently caused the population problem through vastly better death control while birth rates remained high. I decided that, as an about-to-be doctor, I should try to restore balance, and what more appropriate medical specialty could there be than family planning? So I arranged higher training in gynaecology (specialising in hormonal and intrauterine contraception) and also in surgery (hence my career total of 5000 vasectomies and ongoing research into a new male pill).

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