When we talk about growth, we usually associate that as good and necessary; a crucial step in the continual growth of our economies and societies. In fact, many nations only use economic growth as an indicator to measure the health and progress of their people and economy.
That assumption, however, is false. Natural scientists worldwide agree that in order to maintain continual growth, a nation would need an infinite number of space and resources that our planet does not have. That is why understanding the concept of exponential growth is essential when talking about the population.
In our high school years, we were taught about cell division. This is the concept of mitosis where one cell divides itself into two, and then two divides itself into four, and four makes sixteen… until eventually, no space is available for it to divide.
We can then equate humanity as the bacteria and ask ourselves, will the resources (which was abundant on the lower population) be able to support a larger and more rapidly growing population?
If the bacteria continue dividing to a millennium, its population would have grown to trillions. But in Earth’s history, populations grow and dwindle over time as people strip and degrade the resources available. This is called a “population cycle”.
This is why the human population growth rate has remained at a constant of 1/10th of 1% in the past 100, 000 years.
If we are to create a sustainable society, we must understand that unrestrained population growth is unrealistic and is not possible for any nation to maintain as it guarantees the destruction and exhaustion of our environment and its resources.