Population

What This Means for Canada

Population and consumption determine the level of stress we place on the environment. Although we have not taken great strides in reducing consumption, we can and do discuss our levels of consumption. Population size and growth rate, on the other hand, are rarely discussed even though they ultimately have an even greater impact on the environment than per capita consumption levels.

An understating of exponential growth is critical. Population levels can seem to increase at very small annual levels but over time, these seemingly minor growth rates become human tsunamis. They are particularly environmentally devastating when combined with increasing consumption levels.

Introduction

Population is a fundamental driver of every factor that is involved in everyday life, the economy and human interaction with the natural world. Population size and rate of growth and changing age structure must be understood if we are to address the dynamics of our changing world and our impact upon it.

There is a huge amount of human experience and demographic history from which to draw. The human population cycle has generated of great deal of our history. Population booms, busts and their subsequent wars, migrations and revolutions are a dominant part of the human narrative.

What Can You Do?

From municipal councils to federal politics, make sure the population elephant in the room is pushed from the corner onto the podium.

Challenge the mantra that bigger is better and growth eternal is our only option.  Only very small interest groups profit from larger populations and high growth rates.  The rest of us pay for it.  Canadians want a better country, not a bigger more congested one.

 

  • Cycles
  • History of Migration
  • Aging
  • Culture
  • Immigration Causes
  • Immigration Myths
  • Immigration
  • Math

Math

Population Math - General It is necessary to understand the concept of exponential growth when dealing with the question of population. If a small tribe of 100 people finds a rich resource base and grows at the rate of 2% annually, it adds 2 people in the first year. The next year, since its population is now 102, it adds 2.04 people. By the 10th year, its population is 124 and adding 2.4 people per year. At year 100, there ...

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Immigration

Immigration - General Canada’s current immigration policy continues to be based on the concept of never ending growth. Since our population would have stabilized on its own at a level of about 27 million with zero net migration (balanced immigration) from 1970 onwards, much higher levels of immigration (mass immigration) was seen as the only way of maintaining GDP growth. The other elements influencing policy consist of the desire to expand markets for certain interest groups, to keep Canadian wages ...

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Immigration Myths

Immigration Myths - General Canada’s immigration policy is still based on the colonial notion that immigration was necessary to build the country up to a viable size. 150 years ago that was true. But it is 2016 and Canada now faces the same realities that countries, which were immigrant sources in the 18th and 19th centuries, once did. In those cases, a declining resource base and a growing population forced waves of emigrants to leave their homes. Our situation is ...

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Immigration Causes

Causes of Migration - General In the age of hunter-gatherers, migration was a way of life due to weather and prey animals patterns. They simply followed the best opportunities their dynamic environment offered them. The most common cause of migration for agricultural societies has been degradation of the soil. As climate changes and as the fertility of agricultural lands declines, famine and conflict spur migration. Of course, people migrate to richer lands – either virgin forests and soils or, at least, ...

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Culture

Culture - General   Canadian culture can be described as typical of a growth-centric nation. The people are a market and the individuals are consumers. The current national goal is to maximize consumption and grow as quickly as possible.  This is a culture of money. Evolving into a nation of peers with a culture of learning will take a dramatic shift in national priorities. The focus will have to be on individual well-being and environmental and fiscal balance which are ...

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Aging

Aging - General Aging is a trend which sees an increase in the proportion of older people in our population and it is a natural trend which will continue until the Canadian population stabilizes. The 1700s saw the start of the demographic transition which consisted of: lower fertility rates longer life spans and higher proportions of seniors Aging is inevitable and simply cannot be reversed except by catastrophic population collapse or exponential population growth continuing forever.  The issue of aging ...

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History of Migration

History of Migration - General Human history is one of changing environments, caused either by nature or human over-exploitation, forcing migration to lands with greater resources. From small to large scale migrations, humans have moved from region to region following whatever opportunities a dynamic resource base and climate offered.  By far the largest example of forced migration due to environmental decline (and the war and civil strife which accompanies it) was the prolonged wave of European migration to the Americas. ...

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Cycles

Population Cycles - General Human history is the story of a series of population booms and busts. The names and locations change but the basic pattern varies little. A small group of humans encounters a substantial resource base and builds a thriving civilization. This civilization develops impressive art, social, commercial and military capabilities. Either the population grows too large for the resource base (soil in most civilizations up to 1900) or the resource base is degraded by human overuse or ...

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