- At long last, the Economist Magazine offered a debate
on its website that garnered thousands of responses. John Seager, president
of Population Connection (formerly ZPG), promotes population stabilization
and long term decline. He proposes that Americans live within the carrying
capacity of the land. Opposing him, MICHAEL LIND, Policy Director, Economic
Growth/Next Social Contract Program, New America Foundation, promotes population
expansion. Lind encourages unlimited expansion of human population.
- Link: http://www.economist.com/debate/overview/151?source=most_commented
- Readers from around the world weighed in with their ideas
on what our civilization faces:
- Emilio V. said, "Population growth is at the heart
of most of the major problems we face regarding our continuance as a species.
Our insistence on economic models of growth and population expansion will
continue to hasten the magnitude of the problems of resource scarcity,
carrying capacity, environmental degradation, and the effects of these
problems on politics and government control of populations. Alleviating
the pressures caused by overpopulation would result in benefits to the
majority of the world's people, probably not at first as the older generations
will demographically outweigh younger ones, but if growth can be managed
(a big IF) benefits would be had for all in the long run. This is the elephant
in the room."
- William H. said, "Your article in opednews today
is right on point. Thanks for writing. Inasmuch as it speaks the truth,
it brings to mind a few historic comments about the truth, namely Shopenhauer's
three stages and Churchill's pithy comments. My view, coming from a medical,
and by that biologic and evolutionary, background, is that, while people
like you articulate the looming tragedy and misery that will surely ensue,
the human race, bound to obey its DNA, will without a pause, reproduces
itself into a pollution and starvation-driven near-extinction. The charitable
and "good" among us will only exacerbate that course by struggling
with the endpoints (starvation, pollution and disease) while remaining
emotionally incapable of focusing on the root cause, overpopulation. Thank
you for your effort. I will keep your website in mind in the event that
some venue among my colleagues or other local organizations might present
an opportunity to have you present your information. I hope I am wrong,
but everything I see from behavior and history says that I am not."
- Onechild wrote, "I am an only child and the father
of an only child. I want the best for by daughter and al life on earth.
Every added child compromises the quality of life, and perhaps even the
opportunity for existence for all species. We will be running out of essential
resources just as our population peaks. Nine billion people struggling
to "live off of the land", will leave little in their wake. The
ONLY solution is to humanely reduce our population down to the 1.5 to two
billion that can truly be sustained. The longer we let the population overshoot
go on, the faster and farther all life will crash."
- Albert K. said, "Wow, if there were ever a topic
that needs wider discussion, it's that of population growth. Do world leaders
and local leaders avoid talking about this issue because it's not important?
No, they refuse to discuss it because it is can become personal - it's
about peoples' personal choices and how they add up. So, what we need to
do is include this in every discussion about climate change. And every
discussion about pollution. And every discussion about the price of commodities,
hunger, species loss, etc. The issue of the world's population is so under-represented,
it's slightly crazy. We all need to hear thoughts on this issue - and not
just on some obscure on-line forum, but right on the front page of your
magazine. Please don't bury this story, help get it out there."
- Ms. S. wrote, "By battening off the world's resources,
and congratulating and justifying ourselves with religious texts we composed
ourselves, we rapacious apes have obscenely bloated our numbers. Now we're
hitting the resources wall. I can't help but think that famine, war, and
plague will decimate our populations before the century has ended. I just
feel sorry for the other animals and for the wild flowers we have taken,
and will take, down with us."
- Arm R. said, "IgnorantAmerican wrote "If we
can come up with a plausible way to colonize space, overpopulation will
become a thing of the past." IF we had the energy available, and invented
technologies that at this point are deemed impossible (or at least very
difficult), and if Star Trek was real, then we might be able to do that.
I'm not willing to gamble the future of my children on some cultist technological
- Common S. wrote, "It is normal that every Chinese,
Indian, Brazilian, African etc wishes to eventually get the same level
of comfort as is available in the richest countries of the world. But
the earth resources are not sufficient for nine billion people, or seven
billion living in such a way, even we come up with clever solutions like
renewable energy and eco-design, for part of our consumption. Since we
cannot go backwards, the only way is to go forwards in our control of nature
by learning to control the ultimate thing, the number of humans on earth,
before nature fights back, and either starves us through food depletion
connected to climate change or reduces our numbers through one or more
HxNx virus, like any ordinary animal species."
- You might join this debate by your letters to the editor
in your local newspapers. You may spur NPR to investigate. You might
encourage your local PBS station to run a series. You might email your
local radio talk show to invite population/environmental guests onto their
- Today, the United States grows as the third fastest country
in the world on its way to adding 100 million people via immigration by
2035 and 138 million by 2050. Our civilization lacks the water, energy
and resources to maintain our current standard of living. Such a huge
population growth guarantees loss of standard of living, quality of life,
degraded environment, massive species extinction rates, water scarcity,
energy crises and a Pandora's Box of multiple consequences.
- You may ask the question: "Do I want my children
living in this country with another added 100 million people."
- I suggest the answer is a loud and definite, "NO!"
- To take action: First and foremost, join www.numbersusa.com
and become one of nearly a million Americans making impact with pre-written
faxes and phone calls to change immigration policies toward a stable future.
Bi-partisan and highly effective!