So the burn rate isn't increasing, big fucking deal. We're still not remotely at a break even point for water consumption so, guess what, there's still a huge problem.
I agree with you.
Here's what fuzzy is parroting:
Moreover, the poor, highly fertile countries that once churned out immigrants by the boatload are now experiencing birthrate declines of their own. From 1960 to 2009, Mexico’s fertility rate tumbled from 7.3 live births per woman to 2.4, India’s dropped from six to 2.5, and Brazil’s fell from 6.15 to 1.9. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average birthrate remains a relatively blistering 4.66, fertility is projected to fall below replacement level by the 2070s. This change in developing countries will affect not only the U.S. population, of course, but eventually the world’s.
Why is this happening? Scientists who study population dynamics point to a phenomenon called “demographic transition.”
“For hundreds of thousands of years,” explains Warren Sanderson, a professor of economics at Stony Brook University, “in order for humanity to survive things like epidemics and wars and famine, birthrates had to be very high.” Eventually, thanks to technology, death rates started to fall in Europe and in North America, and the population size soared. In time, though, birthrates fell as well, and the population leveled out. The same pattern has repeated in countries around the world. Demographic transition, Sanderson says, “is a shift between two very different long-run states: from high death rates and high birthrates to low death rates and low birthrates.” Not only is the pattern well-documented, it’s well under way: Already, more than half the world’s population is reproducing at below the replacement rate. - Slate.com
This argument, which is not proven science, suggests the following: as technology and wealth improve likelihood of survival, people tend to have fewer children. That which technology does not do, birth control will also.
The main evidence for this, in this article's view, is that in fewer than half of the nations on earth, population growth has declined, and it took us as a whole longer to add the 7th billionth person than it has to add the previous billion.
The article is shoddy science for a number of reasons.
First, the nations that are declining in population tend to be the wealthier ones or ones aided by immigration in becoming so. Related to that is that the nations which are dropping in birth rate are importing large immigrant populations.
Second, the delay in adding the seventh billion may have very little significance. A few tragedies or droughts, some instability or disease, and a delay can happen. That's even assuming our estimates are right, since we're estimating that seven billion and when it occurred.
Finally, the article ignores the path of history. The poorer tend to outproduce the wealthier, which tends to make wealthy nations poorer and less stable, which tends to increase the birth rate as well.
Further, many of our magic cures like antibiotics are no longer guaranteed barriers to disease. In addition, many diseases are mutating. Life expectancy rates of a modern nature may be a blip on the radar.
As you noted, we're already at a stressing point. We don't need to look much farther than the collapse of fish stocks to see that we're trying to feed too many people.
The Slate article is suspect for another reason: Slate tends to pump out these feelgood articles every year or so encouraging us not to think about any problem that contradicts popular notions of freedom and individuality. Invariably they turn out to be bad science, or broad conclusions drawn from relatively small data.
Why would someone do that? For starters, there's a huge audience of people out there who want to believe that everything will just be fine if they keep repeating what their TVs tell them.
They are certain that overpopulation is a radical or corporate plot, even if the corporations are egging it on because it will let them try out their new GMO crops.
You could say that fuzzy, like the people at Slate, has misled himself out of fear.