Letter to an Overpopulation Alarmist

I really dislike becoming as outraged as I do, but what you are saying is simply outrageous.

Perhaps you should write up your proposal for the elimination of at least 9/10 of the world’s population, with reasons why it makes sense to you.  That way I can pick it apart and then later remind you of what you have forgotten we agreed on.

Why do you think this is necessary again?  Some ecological catastrophe?  I believe we have agreed that any particular ecological catastrophe is uncertain, though you would like to believe it is inevitable that some disaster on a scale of a mass extinction event will occur.  Since you can’t actually prove there will be any particular catastrophe, that belief in its certainty seems unfounded.  This is not a reason to ignore the possibility, but nor is it a reason to assume its certainty.

You must be aware that the 200 year history of the Malthusian catastrophe argument about over-population was based on precisely the same kind of fears, fear  that we will run out of food and we will never adjust in time.  But it never happened, and it is illuminating to understand why.  That doesn’t prove it will never happen, certainly.  But it should take some wind out of your sails, and motivate you to prove your point rather than merely assert once again that it is an inevitable certainty.  You are basing the desire and willingness to unconditionally eliminate at least 9 out of 10 people on an uncertain conjecture of some catastrophe. Read the rest of this entry »

World Population is Stabilizing

You may be surprised to learn that the average human lifespan across the planet is now over 60 years.   When did that happen?  It has been happening all along, gradually increasing with each new increase in health and food production.  And the average life expectancy increased dramatically as we radically reduced the number of deaths in early childhood.

But another surprising consequence of reducing childhood mortality is that people are having fewer children.  Makes sense when you think about it, but we do it without thinking about it.  At this time,  most of the world has families with about 2 to 3 children.

Please watch this great video: Hans Rosling: no more boring data.

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