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Old 23 September 2009, 07:53 PM
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Default The entire world population can fit into the state of Texas?

Yes, I just heard this one. Specifically, we were talking about people with large families (think the Duggars) and over-population, and the person said this:

Quote:
I would have the presence of mind to explain that the entire population of the world could fit into the state of Texas with about 1000 square feet per person, leaving the entire rest of the world empty.
The entire population of the world is what, almost 7 billion? And the square footage of Texas is what? It is 268,581 square miles(land and water), so if we each had exactly 1,000 square feet (the size of my home, just for comparison--it's actually 1800 sqft, so I'd be missing a room), would we really be able to fit that many homes in Texas?

Alaska is bigger--over 600,000 square miles. Why Texas and not Alaska?

Oh, then she follows up with "I don't understand why no one believes this fact".

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  #2  
Old 23 September 2009, 07:57 PM
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I remember hearing this get brought up in regards to discussions of over-population but I think it was an even smaller state used, maybe Delaware?

Even if true it's irrelevant to discussions of overpopulation because it does nothing to address resources or the distribution of them. Great, everyone can have some square feet! What about food?
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  #3  
Old 23 September 2009, 08:01 PM
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The overpopulation problem is not a problem of not having enough physical space to accommodate people, but about having enough of the world's resources to keep them fed, watered, housed, and healthy.
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Old 23 September 2009, 08:02 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricBarbarella View Post
The entire population of the world is what, almost 7 billion? And the square footage of Texas is what? It is 268,581 square miles(land and water), so if we each had exactly 1,000 square feet (the size of my home, just for comparison--it's actually 1800 sqft, so I'd be missing a room), would we really be able to fit that many homes in Texas?
I don't know anything about the claim, but I will do the math for you. Using the square milage you gave for Texas: 1 square mile = 5280 x 5280 square feet = 27,878,400 square feet. So 268,581 square miles = 7,487,608,550,400. For simplicity say 7.5 x 10^12. That divided by 7 x 10^9 is indeed over 1000 square feet per person. So if we made one giant one-story compound over Texas, land, water, and all, we would each get a 1,000 square foot unit.

OK. And?
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Old 23 September 2009, 08:06 PM
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D'oh!

And? And this proves there is no overpopulation problem. Obviously.
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  #6  
Old 23 September 2009, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
I don't know anything about the claim, but I will do the math for you. Using the square milage you gave for Texas: 1 square mile = 5280 x 5280 square feet = 27,878,400 square feet. So 268,581 square miles = 7,487,608,550,400. For simplicity say 7.5 x 10^12. That divided by 7 x 10^9 is indeed over 1000 square feet per person. So if we made one giant one-story compound over Texas, land, water, and all, we would each get a 1,000 square foot unit.

OK. And?
Oh good, I did do my math correctly (I came up with 7.5 as well)...


And "Okay, and?" was my question to her as well. 1--I wanted to make sure the math was correct, but 2--as others have pointed out, the point isn't about numbers, but about resources.

And that is a valid point that at the time, I just did not think of.
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Old 23 September 2009, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
I don't know anything about the claim, but I will do the math for you. Using the square milage you gave for Texas: 1 square mile = 5280 x 5280 square feet = 27,878,400 square feet. So 268,581 square miles = 7,487,608,550,400. For simplicity say 7.5 x 10^12. That divided by 7 x 10^9 is indeed over 1000 square feet per person. So if we made one giant one-story compound over Texas, land, water, and all, we would each get a 1,000 square foot unit.

OK. And?
And then we are all stuck in Texas ... Oh, the humanity!
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  #8  
Old 23 September 2009, 08:28 PM
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One important but possibly obvious point is that even though it may sound like a lot, 1,000 square feet is not all that big of an area. It's a little less than 32 feet by 32 feet.
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  #9  
Old 23 September 2009, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
And then we are all stuck in Texas ... Oh, the humanity!
Like we'd want all of y'all anyway. There's a reason we're so spread out here. We can't along with each other, much less the rest of the world. It's a worse idea than anything any Big Brother producer ever came up with.
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Old 23 September 2009, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jahungo View Post
One important but possibly obvious point is that even though it may sound like a lot, 1,000 square feet is not all that big of an area. It's a little less than 32 feet by 32 feet.
Well, the initial calculation was done by Thomas Sowell in 1984, when the world's population was 4.4 billion. http://www.carlopelanda.com/econaut/...n%20Growth.htm
Quote:
In 1984, it was proven by the economist Thomas Sowell that the entire world population (4.4 billion at the time) could live comfortably in the state of Texas. He wrote “Every human being on the face of the Earth could be housed in the state of Texas in one-story, single-family homes, each with a front and a back yard. A family of four would thus have 6,800 square feet- about the size of the typical middle-class American home with front and backyards.”(Carter 99) According to more recent research on the topic, all of the world’s 1997 population (5.84 billion) could fit on the small Island of Bali in Indonesia.(Stiefel 98)
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  #11  
Old 23 September 2009, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Duck View Post
Like we'd want all of y'all anyway. There's a reason we're so spread out here. We can't along with each other, much less the rest of the world. It's a worse idea than anything any Big Brother producer ever came up with.
Yeah, Survivor keeps sending people to tropical islands and lush forests and stuff - how about "Survivor/Laredo"?
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  #12  
Old 23 September 2009, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Yeah, Survivor keeps sending people to tropical islands and lush forests and stuff - how about "Survivor/Laredo"?
I would love to see Survivor/Iqaluit!
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  #13  
Old 23 September 2009, 09:08 PM
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It does give you a little better sense of just how BIG Texas is. Coming from the northeast, we just don't make states that big around here. Even Pennsylvania (where I'm from) and New York are small by comparison, and those are the bigwig in the northeast. And there's a LOT of upstate New York.
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  #14  
Old 23 September 2009, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Well, the initial calculation was done by Thomas Sowell in 1984, when the world's population was 4.4 billion. http://www.carlopelanda.com/econaut/...n%20Growth.htm
Boy that site is a load of excrement!
Quote:
In 1984, it was proven by the economist Thomas Sowell that the entire world population (4.4 billion at the time) could live comfortably in the state of Texas.
Proven? Hardly. It was "proven" that everyone would fit, it was certainly not proven that they "could live comfortably".

Where is the space needed for roads/rails so that food can be delivered? Where is the space to deal with all the excrement that a couple billion people will generate? Where are all the other support services required (e.g., hospitals, stores, transportation, jobs ...)?

That site would be almost funny if it wasn't so serious.

Water isn't a problem because someone will come up with a cheap way to purify salt water (not likely, the thermodynamics make it impossible). And, that still leaves huge parts of the world that don't have fresh or salt water.

Some other gems;
"I do not foresee a lack of clean oxygen as a problem for future generations. I think rapidly advancing technology will continually make our means of producing energy cleaner, and mile high skyscrapers will reduce the need for travel which will mean less pollution. So the quality of air will probably get better instead of worse." Lack of clean oxygen is already a significant problem, acid rain, increased incidence of respiratory diseases, pollution caused decreases in life span etc. The air has been getting cleaner in some places over the last couple decades, but in other places air quality has decreased tremendously.

"Food could be a problem for such a large population, but currently the United States produces enough food to feed the entire world." Perhaps, but how do you get that food transported (let alone paid for)? Does the world population really want to live on nothing but feed corn and soy beans? Which constitutes what, ~80%?, of the crops raised in the US.

"One hundred thousand people living comfortably in one building." Apparently the author has a different definition of "comfortable" than I do. Besides, piling people up vertically really doesn't accomplish all that much since people aren't what takes up the space. It is the infrastructure that keeps those people alive that takes up space (and resources).
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  #15  
Old 23 September 2009, 09:17 PM
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ElectricBarbarella ElectricBarbarella is offline
 
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Quote:
"One hundred thousand people living comfortably in one building." Apparently the author has a different definition of "comfortable" than I do. Besides, piling people up vertically really doesn't accomplish all that much since people aren't what takes up the space. It is the infrastructure that keeps those people alive that takes up space (and resources).
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I suppose this could pave the way for my Jetsons dream to come true? Maybe? Can I at least have the flying car then?
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  #16  
Old 23 September 2009, 09:18 PM
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Gonna need a bigger fence.
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  #17  
Old 23 September 2009, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
Gonna need a bigger fence.

bwhahaha. Okay, I needed that laugh.
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  #18  
Old 24 September 2009, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by UEL View Post
I would love to see Survivor/Iqaluit!
Survivor Fargo....
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  #19  
Old 24 September 2009, 01:08 AM
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According to my rough calculations, if we assume a world population of 6.7 billion, all the people in the world could fit into Texas and occupy an area of ~1,118 sq. ft. each.
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  #20  
Old 24 September 2009, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Duck View Post
It's a worse idea than anything any Big Brother producer ever came up with.
But if you did it as Big brother thing you could show it to all the people in... in..., er, um ... aha! inside the total population compound and then they could watch themselves watching themselves watch themselves in some sort of post-modern, surreal, worm ouriborous programming frenzy.

Dropbear
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