Overpopulation Research

Overpopulation Research-89
Even if overpopulation were to prove to be a problem, it is one with an expiration date: due to falling global birth rates, demographers estimate the world population will decrease in the long run, after peaking around the year 2070.It is now well-documented that as countries grow richer, and people escape poverty, they opt for smaller families — a phenomenon called the fertility transition.It is almost unheard of for a country to maintain a high fertility rate after it passes about ,000 in per-person annual income.

Even if overpopulation were to prove to be a problem, it is one with an expiration date: due to falling global birth rates, demographers estimate the world population will decrease in the long run, after peaking around the year 2070.It is now well-documented that as countries grow richer, and people escape poverty, they opt for smaller families — a phenomenon called the fertility transition.It is almost unheard of for a country to maintain a high fertility rate after it passes about ,000 in per-person annual income.

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Earlier this year, a survey by Negative Population Growth found that “American high school students are very worried about overpopulation.” Many prominent environmentalists — from Johns Hopkins University bioethicist Travis Rieder to entertainer Bill Nye “The Science Guy" — support tax penalties or other state-imposed punishments for having “too many” children.

Bowdoin College’s Sarah Conly published a book in 2016 through Oxford University Press advocating a “one-child” policy, claiming it is “morally permissible” for the government to limit family sizes through force to prevent overpopulation.

“The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man,” he wrote then.

Skip ahead to 1968, when the world’s population had risen to around 3.5 billion and the annual rate of growth peaked at 2.1%: American biologist Paul Ehrlich revisited the Malthusian principle in his bestseller starting a movement to hedge the trend.

Those jeremiads led to human rights abuses including millions of forced sterilizations in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia, Bangladesh and India, as well as China’s draconian one-child (now two-child) policy. Instead of facing widespread starvation and resource shortages, humanity managed to make resources more plentiful by using them more efficiently, increasing the supply and developing substitutes.

In 1975, officials sterilized 8 million men and women in India alone. Today the population is at a record high, and famines have all but vanished outside of war zones.Even in Sub Saharan Africa, the poorest area on the planet, the food supply now exceeds the recommended 2,000 calories per person per day.Yet overpopulation fears still exert a powerful hold on the public imagination.Asked whether or not the growing world population will be a major problem, 59% of Americans agreed it will strain the planet’s natural resources, while 82% of U.S.-based members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science said the same.“The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns,” said Mr.Achim Steiner, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program in 2007.Though the rate of growth has slowed, by late 2011/early 2012, we will have passed the 7 billion mark, and continue to increase by over 83 million a year.The UN currently predicts 10 billion people by 2100.His preferred solution was to decrease the birth rate by delaying marriage, but if that didn’t work he endorsed some rather extreme measures to slash the population.To prevent famine, he thought it was morally permissible to “court the return of the plague” by making the poor live in swamps and even to ban “specific remedies for ravaging diseases.” After Malthus died, the Industrial Revolution brought about unprecedented prosperity that funded the construction of safe water supplies and sewage systems at a scale never before achieved.

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