Monday, October 31, 2011

Burgeoning Population Now is Being Termed a Graver Threat to Human Society than Nuclear Bombs

So said an article published in the October 26th, 1965 edition of the Free Lance-Star, and written by Associated Press Science Writer Alton Blakeslee, when the Earth had only reached 3 billion people. Ever since human population has been calculated, there have been alarmists who have insisted that unless massive, centralized action is taken worldwide, the human race was bound to destroy itself.

It doesn't seem to matter how many people there actually are, the threat always concerns some inexact time in the future when the proverbial excrement hits the fan. I think people see it like everyone in the world is in a huge Boston Marathon, just running the race, not realizing there is a sheer cliff just up ahead. The population controllers feel it is their duty to informs these individuals of their impending doom and to enact draconian laws which often violate human rights to "save the masses".

These predictions have been made since Thomas Malthus, a late 18th, and early 19th century scholar who predicted dire consequences for the earth because food production increases at a lower rate than population growth. This was back when the population was only 1 billion, compared to our current 7 billion.

What people seem to forget is that humans are very adaptable. If a particular resource runs dry, we develop new ones. If we run out of oil, there are dozens of other technologies emerging. Who could have known 200 years ago that Uranium could be used to produce energy? Or even oil for that matter. Scientists have shown that there is currently enough food to feed more people than the entire population of the Earth. A lot of food is even diverted away from food, like corn, which is often used as biofuel.

There are many fallacies about the population. In the next article, I will talk about some of the scary comments people have made about their "solutions" to these problems and how others have reacted to these solutions.

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