Nov 04 2009

Hardly enough people for a decent party

Category: environment,Group-thinkharmonicminer @ 9:08 am

Some people think there are just too many of us, and are telling us to do Family Planning to Save the Planet?

What’s the best way to save the planet? Don’t have kids, say researchers from Oregon State University.

“Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle,” the report states.

Hmm. I suppose I’m OK with people who believe this being the ones doing the family planning.

The myth of over-population is exploded here.  But even the pessimists now accept that the world’s population will peak at around 9 billion at mid-century or so, and then begin a slow, steady decline.  Runaway population growth is no more a given than runaway global warming.

The worst thing is for people in developed nations to reduce their own numbers by reducing fertility, though exactly that is happening.  Yet, it is people in such nations who are the only ones likely to follow the benighted advice of the population doomsayers.  The maintenance of the technical and professional base that is required to feed and serve a large world population is crucial, and that technical and professional base will not be coming from the third world, even though third world population growth rates are higher.

At bottom, fear of greater human numbers is evidence of a kind of misanthropically misguided, myopic ideology that values worms, exotic rats, unusual trees and interesting insects more than it values humanity.  The earth is plenty big enough to hold and feed 10 billion people, the most we are ever likely to have. 

What’s more likely is that in about 70 years, real estate prices will start to drop as demand falls from the peak.  My great-grandkids will probably be able to pick up a mansion in sunny Wichita for a song….  right next to the super-farms that will have been feeding the world for decades.

Of course, people will have higher heating bills, due to the gradual onset of another ice age.