World Population Balance
Understanding Exponential Growth

Understanding Exponential Growth

When most people talk about "growth" in our country, they consider it a completely positive and necessary thing, essential for maintaining the vitality and health of our economy and society.

Our society's most revered economic indicators are all based on this fundamental idea: that continuing growth is vital for the health and preservation of our economy and country. In fact, growth is pretty much the only thing they measure!

However, natural scientists (such as biologists, chemists, and physicists) know that this assumption must be false. In order for growth to continue forever, we would need an infinite amount of space, energy, and other resources to keep the growth going... and those resources are not infinite.

So what happens to steady growth in a limited space? To help explain, we're going to use a simple example of bacteria growing in a bottle.

Let's say that these bacteria have all the food they need. In this story, the only limits to the bacteria's growth are the walls of their bottle.

Let's go!