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The Maximum Carrying Capacity is how many people the earth can sustain. This estimate differs significantly between traditional and liberal experts, often by orders of magnitude, but is generally agreed upon to be at least several times that of the current carrying capacity.
The maximum carrying capacity can be increased through the following means:
- Not using solely the earth--this taps into space exploration, such as travel between the earth and moon, so that the earth provides only part of the food a person needs;
- Eating "green"-avoiding eating/raising livestock;
- Searching for food in non-traditional places (such as grubs, insects, unusual fish, etc.);
- Modifications in our body so that we can eat formerly inedible foods (such as poisonous mushrooms, lichens, bark, grasses, plankton);
- Reducing the amount of food people eat (this also solves the obesity problem);
- Artificial generation of foods and glucose;
- Terraforming so that we can gather more food from forests and seas;
- Cannibalism (definitely not accepted nowadays, but it did work a long time ago);
- Furthering of the industrialization of the world to provide more goods;
- Powering growth of plants through artificial light (such as lightbulb farms)
When the maximum carrying capacity has been reached, we have several options available to us:
- Increase the maximum carrying capacity (this is the obvious one, given humanity's tendency to want to break the rules);
- Family Planning and family-planning oriented policies;
- Sterilization and abstinence;
- Warfare and disease;
- Natural famine (supposedly what we are not aiming for);
- Forced famine (as in the Stalin era);
- Purges and slaughter (as in the Stalin era);
- Expansion into space
Compare with Carrying Capacity.