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Debunking the "we could all fit in Jacksonville" argument


lilah

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Large family proponents like Michelle Duggar are often argue that overpopulation is not real and that you could fit the world's population in Jacksonville.

This NPR blog/article does a great job explaining how population density works and how the world can't really sustain everyone living at the average american's level of consumption (and the Duggars and your 100 million paper plates I'm looking at you)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/ ... n=20130408

I got into a version of this argument with papa Jeub about how the world can't sustain high population density and maintain a high quality of life for its citizens and that scarcity of resources leads to poverty, suffering and war.

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Once had an ecology problem about whether the world's population could fit into Texas. The answer is yes, they could...but there'd be an estimated 26,000 people for every square mile. Just people. This does not include housing, water treatment and sanitation, places to grow and store food, medicines and hospitals and prisons, plants and places to grow and made make fabrics, dyes, clothing and medicines, education, and can't forget about the animals either. Basically it would a total hellhole and there is no way the Duggars, Jeubs, Kendal, Kelly C, Jacinda, Abigail B, Lori A or any of the underpopulation whiners because there aren't enough white, Protestant Christians in the world for their liking would actually want to live in such an environment. I mean, poverty and low food supply and apartment living with 20 zillion kids and death and plagues and sickness and unpleasant smells of unkempt people who lack water and no real jobs available because too many people in one area and all. They don't really want the world to live together like that, they just want to pretend it would be fine with them.

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Exactly! There may be enough room for people only, but not enough resources to go around.

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Funny thing is that "we could all fit in Jacksonville" isn't even true for standing room. There was a National Geographic article a while back that said that if everyone in the world stood shoulder to shoulder, the world's population could fit in Los Angeles. According to Wikipedia, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area is 4,850 sq. mi, whereas the area of Jacksonville is 885 sq. mi. And standing shoulder to shoulder isn't living room by any stretch of the imagination. :cray-cray:

Also relevant: http://what-if.xkcd.com/8/. Though this XKCD What If? starts off with the idea of the world's population all jumping at the same time in a an area approximately the size of Rhode Island, it ends up getting into some of the logistics of having so many people crammed into such a small space.

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I have to convert everything to metric to understand it, so here goes... 885 square miles = 2,292,139,500 square metres. With 7 billion people, that's 0.33 square metres each, or about 50 cm x 60 cm (19 x 23 inches). SOunds about should to shoulder to me.

Anyways... three million people per square kilometre is the gold standard then! So by fundy logic, given that 360,000,000 square kilometres (139,000,000 square miles) of the Earth's surface isn't covered with water...

...we should be able to pack in a quadrillion Duggar descendants one day.

Plus three quadrillion more in modest swimwear :twisted:

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From the site persquaremile.com, here is a chart showing how much space the world's population would need at the densities of various cities.

post-2315-14451997719453_thumb.png

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You know, the funny part is that the Duggars went to China and Japan and experienced what it was like to live in croweded conditions. Oh, how I wish someone asked them what they thought about the idea that "everyone can fit into Jacksonville" idea while being squashed in the subway system!

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