A sun of a different color? "Tribes of the Orange Sun," one of the most fascinating among recent sci-fi books, considers an earthlike planet orbiting a faraway star similar to, yet different from, our sun. The story examines space colonization as a solution to population growth problems and environmental problems.
population statistics
Tribes of the Orange Sun

Tribes of the Orange Sun | Pale Yellow Sun | Sci-fi Books
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How fast is Earth's human population growing? This page
contains facts (population statistics) about growth
and environmental problems, followed by commentary by Gene
Shiles, author of "Tribes of the Orange Sun." (A description of
this most intriguing among recent sci-fi books is given later).

Clean water?  Clean Air?  Or population growth problems and environmental problems? What might future Earth be like? Read sci-fi books "Tribes of the Orange Sun" and its soon to be published sequel "Pale Yellow Sun."

For most of human history, up to around 10 thousand years
ago (generally accepted by science, although some place
the time a few thousand years earlier), Earth's human
population remained stabilized at around 8 to 10 million.
Since then it has grown, at varying rates, to reach its
present level of over 6,200 million (6.2 billion). This
growth started when people began to grow crops and
domesticate animals, which initiated the change from a
hunter/gatherer subsistence (natural food supply) to a
technology-driven food supply (agriculture). We note
that about 620 (or more) humans are alive today (most
supported by agricultural technology) for every one
human who was supported by the natural food supply
of early non-technological Earth.

The more recent "explosive" growth, which causes serious
population growth problems and environmental problems,
is due to much more than just advances in agricultural
technology. Among other factors is the decrease in the
death rate due to advances in medicine and sanitation.



The table and bar chart that follows shows world human
population in millions, in 50-year intervals, since the year 1750.

year
1750......790 million
1800......980 million
1850...1,260 million
1900...1,650 million
1950...2,555 million
2000...6,080 million
(data from United Nations and Bureau of Census -
other source(s)may give slightly different numbers)

Population Statistics - Earth's human population growth since 1750. Can society expect population growth problems? Environmental problems?



The next table and bar chart shows world human population
in millions, in 10-year intervals, since 1950.

year
1950...2,555 million
1960...3,039 million
1970...3,707 million
1980...4,457 million
1990...5,284 million
2000...6,080 million
(data from Bureau of Census-
other source(s) may give slightly different numbers)

Population Statistics - Earth's human population growth since 1950. Can society expect population growth problems? Environmental problems?



"Earth's present human population is over 6,200 million."


Using the numbers above, we see that human population
increased by a factor of 1.84 (just less than doubled) in the
60-year period from 1900 to 1960. It doubled (roughly) in the
40-year period from 1960 to 2000. In absolute numbers, the
picture is more revealing. In the 60-year period from 1900 to
1960, human population increased by 1,389 million. In the
40-year period from 1960 to 2000, it increased by 3,041 million.

Consider that recent "doubling in 40 years" for the
period 1960 to 2000 (increase of just over 3 billion).
This is an average increase of 75 million per year - or
about 205,000 per day, 8,500 per hour, 140 per minute.

Now consider the 10-year period from 1990 to 2000.
The increase for that period is 796 million. This is
an average increase of 79.6 million per year - or about
218,000 per day, 9,100 per hour, 150 per minute.




Commentary

Many predict a slowing of growth in the future, even near
future. Certainly that is so. Either societies will, using
one method or several methods, decrease the worldwide
birth rate, or nature will eventually increase the death
rate (using nature's own draconian methods).

Environmental problems, starvation and new and
treatment-resistant diseases rank high among nature's
methods for dealing with population growth problems.


Many claim that Earth can support many more people. But
one must ask "How many more?" At what cost in human
lifestyles and aggravated environmental problems?


Many claim population growth problems and environmental
problems are regional. But modern society is increasingly
"global." Problems in particular region(s) must affect all
others.


Are population growth problems serious today? One
might look at various "symptoms." Just a few examples:
Thousands, mostly children, starve to death every day in
different places around the world. Illegal immigration is
a big problem for the United States. And just a few of the
consequent environmental problems: Forests everywhere
are "disappearing." The global unpolluted fresh water
supply is in danger. Air in most big cities is becoming
increasingly unhealthy.

Science and technology, and, yes, politics, may "handle"
population growth problems and environmental problems
in the short term even if human population continues to grow.
But what kind of world will our great-great-grandchildren
inherit? Eventually global population must be controlled,
but the longer society waits the more draconian must be the
method and the greater must be the price paid in terms of
environmental problems and human lifestyles.

Is space colonization an alternative? If so, where does one
go? Can Earth "export" the numbers, the many millions
per year, necessary to ease population growth problems
and environmental problems?


A Recently Published Book

"Tribes of the Orange Sun," published in November, 2001,
looks at Earth two hundred years in the future. Population
has grown to 24 billion. Science and technology has kept
up with the population growth problems and struggled
with the environmental problems - but human lifestyles
have changed dramatically. (Note that growth to 24 billion
in 200 years requires a slowing of the current growth rate
- to a doubling in 100 years instead of 40 years).

This most compelling of sci-fi books also assumes that
the same science and technology has developed the means
to send large numbers of people to other solar system(s).

Is space colonization the way to solve Earth's increasing
population growth problems and environmental problems
once and for all?


*Click here on synopsis to read a short description of
the story "Tribes of the Orange Sun."

*Click here on exerpts to read a few paragraphs from
several chapters in "Tribes of the Orange Sun."

*Click here on Chapter 1 to read a full chapter from
"Tribes of the Orange Sun."

*Click here on new synopsis to read a short description of
the soon-to-be-published story "Pale Yellow Sun."

Click here to go to the "Tribes of the Orange Sun" home page.


Gene Shiles, author of the sci-fi books "Tribes of the Orange Sun" and soon to be published "Pale Yellow Sun."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gene Shiles is a scientist and former
university professor. He has taught
in the fields of Physics, Mathematics,
Astronomy, Electronics and Statistics.
(PhD, University of California)
 
He lives in Minnesota, and has a cat
named Panther.


One of the most compelling among recent sci-fi books, "Tribes of the Orange Sun" considers space colonization as a possible solution to population growth problems and environmental problems.


Click here or on "book" at left to Browse
(read pages to see if you like it) and/or
purchase "Tribes of the Orange Sun" at
publisher's online bookstore.


Links to other online bookstores are given
at the bottom of this page.

To examine space colonization as a solution to population growth problems and environmental problems, this most compelling of sci-fi books considers a faraway earthlike planet orbiting a sun of a different color.
   
       SYNOPSIS, "Tribes of the Orange Sun"

    Future scientists, struggling with population growth problems
    and environmental problems, devise an ambitious plan to
    manage further population growth. Earth Government hastily 
    implements the new plan for space colonization; the 
    only alternative, forced control of the world's human
    population growth problems, is not politically attractive.

    Adam Hampton, the newest member of the population
    project's organizing team, objects to an excessively
    optimistic use of old and some very new technologies.
    He suspects that the plan is fundamentally flawed,
    that the lives of the many young volunteers are at
    risk. But, in the beginning, he cannot point to anything
    specific. He can only watch and wait while three of his 
    best friends - and millions of others - begin what they 
    believe will be a great adventure and a new life.

    The eager volunteers reach their destination, a faraway 
    earthlike planet, but events don't go as planned. They 
    must soon fight for bare survival against an ancient 
    menace - a menace that had been one of the most
    devastating population growth problems that had plagued
    man and animal alike since life on Earth first began.
   

Is this a story about a new planet? Or is it really about
our own home planet? Read "Tribes of the Orange Sun."

The science fiction novel "Tribes of the Orange Sun" looks at space colonization as a tentative solution to human population growth problems and environmental problems.


Click here or on "book" at left to Browse
(read pages to see if you like it) and/or
purchase "Tribes of the Orange Sun" at
publisher's online bookstore.





 

To order by phone, call toll-free:  (877) 823-9235
 
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc.
ISBN # 0-595-20319-1

The book is also available at other online bookstores.
 
Some examples:
 

Click here to go to the Barnes and Noble online bookstore.

Click here to go to the Amazon.com online bookstore.

"Tribes of the Orange Sun" can also be ordered at
Barnes and Noble "brick-and-mortar" bookstores.

Click on population statistics to go back to the top of this page.

























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