Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wall Street Journal on Seven Billion People

From Mr. Lalloobhoy Battliwala

An article, followed by the author's blog entry.

"not every nation carries out a census, and the U.N. says it hasn't been able to use census data more recent than 2005 for countries that contain 62% of the world's population. It has no data, census or otherwise, for 25% of the world's people since 2005."

Heck, what statistics are any better? GHG emissions and sinks? Didn't stop anybody from churning out scare scenarios.

"Projecting future population counts — such as the U.N.’s forecast in 2005 that global population will exceed nine billion in 2050 — can be even dicier, as the numbers depend on several factors, such as trends in human fertility. “The problem is that you’re projecting changes in human behavior, and also it depends on the changes in the level of contraceptive prevalence,” Johnson said...“We may have completely new fertility technologies,” added Gerhard K. Heilig, chief of population estimates and projections for the U.N."

Yes, and we may also have completely new technologies for disease and deaths, from disease or accidents or violence.

The human MORTALITY patterns are more uncertain than the FERTILITY ones, but everybody obsesses about sex and not enough about death. Don't worry. Be happy. Really.

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