World population is the numerical count of the living population of Homo sapiens on or near the surface of Earth. Some people display foresight and express concerns about the future of humanity and the long-term stabilization of the population count. Other concerns include the rate of consumption of renewable and non-renewable resources both artificial and natural. An often-cited example concern for sustainability and a currently-depleted resource is, compared to as recently as circa 1950, the depleted status of many ocean fisheries that seem to be due to practices that are referred to as "overfishing". Such demonstrated phenomena suggest that, given the current technology, the Earth has a finite carrying capacity for humanity. There is uncertainty as to how quickly future technology developments will increase that capacity. Such notions may require benevolence for the benefit of far-distant future generations of humanity.
Some web sites attempt to provide moment-to-moment estimates of current world or USA population and growth rates. Graphs of population projections that have been prepared by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat display wide uncertainty ranges even when projecting population out to 2100.
Duality about such statistics
There is a duality in public opinion about the requirement for any action:
- Some support the controversial notion that some form of population control measures are becoming appropriate for many or most nations.
- Many and perhaps most adults display apathy to the idea that some sort of long-term (multi-generational) management is required. Such notions that promote this apathy include:
- The single-minded pursuit of the accumulation of money in one's own lifetime
- The idea that the Millennial Reign or such is nigh (or other end-of-the-world notions generally falling in the realm eschatology)
- Young Earth Creationism and other faith-based notions that imply that science has nothing to offer humanity unless it produces tangible, practical benefits in the short term.
- That prayer for miracles or divine intervention will resolve the problem without any further thought or action required by governments.
- Ambitions by governments of territorial expansion that require prompt increases in population in order to populate future work forces and military forces.
- Individuals of aspire to have a genetic legacy in the style of Abraham, who is promised by God in Genesis 15:5, Genesis 22:17 and Genesis 26:4 to have descendants as numerous as there are stars in the sky.
- Practitioners of polygamy and such, who often do not take measures such as contraception to control there family size.
- A belief that further advances in technology of the sort of the Green Revolution via practical results of biotechnology are nigh.
- The belief that that no amount of increase in world population and the foreseeable struggle for resources could ever lead to a collapse of society and order and that even so, no such resulting destabilization could ever lead to accidental or intentional nuclear war.
- The belief that it is not the responsibility of the current generation of humanity to concern itself with such matters. A government employee might dismiss such concerns as "above my paygrade" or not their department.
- A general fear of pessimism of any sort.
- The belief that practicing humility is more important than concerning oneself with such geopolitical, multi-century issues.