It seems i have to provide an example for you.
The maximum cultivable area of the UK - meaning land good for annual crops like wheat or permanent crops like fruit trees - is just 23 percent of total land area, or around 56,600 sq.km. However, not included is pasture land, currently used for dairy and beef cattle, sheep and goats. The main thing wrong with this land, from an arable point of view, is that it’s not flat enough for tractors and combine harvesters. Given that pastured beef consumes around 20 times the energy it produces (grain-fed beef is around 40:1), it could make sense to convert this pasture to intensive allotments which would yield on average 20 times more food. If you include this land, the total farmable land area goes from 23 percent to 75 percent. Even this does not include woodland, which constitutes 11 percent of the remainder, and which could, in theory, be turned to good account using well-established ‘wild farming’ techniques like permaculture and forest gardens. Most of what’s left is lakes (fish-farming?), parks, golf courses and mountains. Urban development, cities, roads, buildings etc only account for about 4 percent. Britain could convert 86 percent of their land to agriculture. On a land area of 241,590sq. km this gives a theoretical Maximum Sustainable Population of 238,631,640, near enough the population of the USA than of Britain. If you want you can cut that figure by a half if you wish but even so it demonstrates what is possible.
Globally, the amount of so-called ‘arable land’ on the planet is about 14 million sq. km. If we only use this amount of arable land, we would have about 20 times the land we need to feed all of us on the planet. If we include permanent pastures, which amount to about 33 million km2 and is used for livestock, and grow vegetables there instead, we end up with more than 60-100 times of what we actually need. That is if we only eat vegetarian. But of course, we don’t need all that land so there would be plenty of room for some grass-fed beef or chicken with happy free-ranging animals that can be managed holistically. Goats are very versatile livestock.
Food, of course, is not the only requirement for people. We have other needs, i know. But i could go through each exaggerated claim that we have reached peak production for each product. There are always alternatives according to Liebig’s Law of the Minimum
As for your other challenge.
Various studies with differing criteria offer a wide range of different carrying capacities. I already said it has no fixed figure but is elastic and flexible.
That is all for the sake of argument, because as been shown, that higher figures will not be reached if current trends continue and there is no reason to suspect that they won’t.
I have long experience of those who insist that our society is unchangeable. Your arguments are a variation of the same old story. We cannot buy into environmentalist scare-stories about the need for anti-consumerism restraint, as opposed to more and better technology, to bring billions out of destitution.
“Socialism”? “Economic democracy”? Call it what you like. But what other choice do we have? Either we save capitalism or we save ourselves. We can’t save both. ” - Richard Smith
Since i am accused of partisan promotion, i recommend this independent writer as well worth a read