At the end of a long talk, Peter Zeihan predicts the World Population will never hit ten billion. The UN and others are projecting that world population will hit 10 billion in 2050.
World population is currently 7.7 to 7.8 billion. In 2017, the UN projected world population will hit 8.6 billion by 2030.
Zeihan predicts that world population will hit 8.5 billion at most. He thinks population growth stalls out with massive famines. There is also an implication of massive wars.
Zeihan is predicting the starvation or foregone population growth of over 1 billion people from 2030-2050. He is predicting unsuccessful biotech modifications to boost crops, no meaningful greenhouse construction and insufficient importing of food to Africa and Asia.
He is casually predicting famines and wars that are 5 times worse than the combined famines and wars of the 20th century. 123 million died in 20th-century wars and 70 million from 20th-century famines.
He is predicting this to happen in the 20-25 year period starting around 2030. There is also apparently no recovery after 2050. If there were no large scale famine and war then there should be about 1.5 to 2 billion more people from 2050 to 2100.
Nextbigfuture predicts the famines and wars at those scales do not materialize. Nextbigfuture predicts the world’s population will be slightly higher than the UN 2017 forecast. Nextbigfuture predicts the toll from famine and war in the 21st century will be at most half the absolute level of the 20th century. This will be in spite of the population increase. World population is already three times the WW2 world population level. World population in the 21st century will average about two to four times the population in the corresponding year in the 20th century.
On a percentage basis, Nextbigfuture is predicting famines and war take a toll eight times less than the 20th century.
There are really two parts to the Zeihan prediction. There is a prediction of massive famine and wars and a prediction that the increased death rate will offset birthrates to stop any population growth.
In the four years of China’s great famine from 1958 to 1961, there was only a population growth of 2 million per year in 1960 and 1961. There was a population boom from 1963 to 1971. China’s population grew by 20 million per year.
Birthrates bounce back after hard times. People have more babies to make up for losses of family members to wars and famine.
Zeihan went full doomer in his prediction. Never go full doomer. Doomers are always wrong.
The World Can Feed Several Times the Current Population
Nextbigfuture has covered how there is a lot of slack in the world and national capacity to feed people.
Average global farm productivity is about 6 tons per hectare. There are large research farms growing 17 tons per hectare.
China’s Yuan Longping has set a goal of reaching a rice yield of 18 tons per hectare by 2020 and is in a race with other researchers.
Deployment of the newer generation of seeds and we can double food production. Seeds that are at a reasonable scale.
In less than 15 years, we can globally deploy new rice and other crops to triple agricultural production. This alone deals with feed any population we could have by 2100.
More people can also be fed by reducing food wastage and eating more plant protein instead of meat.
SOURCES- Peter Zeihan, UN
Written By Brian Wang. Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.