Overpopulation - should you worry? ⋆ Can you buy environment preservation? ⋆ Figure this out to get success

How one man bought himself some environment preservation. Earth's population surpasses 8 billion, what does it mean? Things you need to figure out to become successful.

Overpopulation - should you worry? ⋆ Can you buy environment preservation? ⋆ Figure this out to get success
Photo by Lingchor
  1. Can you buy environment preservation?
  2. Overpopulation - should you worry?
  3. Figure this out to get success

My car died a slow fiery death and left me stranded 100km away from home on a snowy night. We'll laugh about it someday, I'm sure 😆

Until then...

Thing 1 - Can you buy environment preservation?

Johan Eliasch did.

How did he do that? It's not like you can go to the store "One environment preservation, please"

Rewind to 2005.

He bought a 400,000-acre (1,600 km²) rainforest area in the heart of the Amazon rainforest near the Madeira River.

Photo by Boudhayan Bardhan

He then

  • closed the logging operations in that area
  • fired ~1000 people who worked on it
  • hired security to protect the area from illegal logging

Johan estimates that his purchase preserved around 80M tons of CO2.

(source 1, source 2, source 3)

Thing 2 - Overpopulation - should you worry?

This week Earth crossed 8 billion living humans on it. 🎉

Photo by Tijs van Leur

It feels like our population is growing exponentially, doesn't it?

And if we keep it at this rate, we'll overpopulate. The environment will suffer. Society will suffer. Right? Right?!

Let's take a look at the history

  • 0 to 1 Billion ⏳ 300,000 years
  • 1 to 2 Billion ⏳ 123 years
  • 2 to 3 Billion ⏳ 33 years
  • 3 to 4 Billion ⏳ 14 years
  • 4 to 5 Billion ⏳ 13 years
  • 5 to 6 Billion ⏳ 12 years
  • 6 to 7 Billion ⏳ 12 years
  • 7 to 8 Billion ⏳ 11 years

The last 5 billion (more than half) saw almost no speed increase.

What about the future

United Nations predicts that

  • 8 to 9 billion will take 15 years
  • 9 to 10 billion will take 21 years
  • we might not even reach 11 billion.

Around 2085 our population will start to decrease. That's when projected deaths cross projected births.

Number of births and deaths per year, World (graph)

So our population is growing temporary because...

So if you're worried by overpopulation, don't be. We don't seem to be trending in that direction.

Projections of the world population by the Wittgenstein Centre, 1970 to 2100

I've seen similar looking results in my Artificial Life experiments.

(source 1, source 2, source 3)

Thing 3 - Figure this out to get success

Success is measured by the level of mastery you show, not how hard you work.
- Adam Grant
Photo by jesse orrico

Adam talks about academic success here but the point stays.

A shop clerk can work as hard at being a shop clerk as Mark Zuckerberg at Meta and never have any significant impact.

Things to figure out

  • What to work on?
  • Who to work with?
  • How does it compound?
  • What's your leverage?

Then work hard on it. There's no substitute for hard work. But it's not enough on its own.

Cheers, Zvonimir