COMMENTS ON POPULATION GROWTH
Karl Arnold Belser
8 February 2017
| I read the book The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World by Joel K. Bourne Jr.
Bourne's original article in the National Geographic The Global Crisis: The End of Plenty
gives an excellent summary of the book.
I was reminded of Thomas R. Malthus' book An Essay on the Principle of Population which says that population, which grows exponentially, is limited by food production that increases in small jumps with invention. Malthus could not predict the advances in technology and chemistry that would result in The Green Revolution, and as a result the huge population growth of the last 200 years. His predictions of a severe population growth crisis is today discounted because many believe that there MUST be a technical solution. However, the Green Revolution has backfired in many parts of the world causing disease and pollution. Bourne convincingly shows that the limits to growth are close. There is still some potential for growing more food by better using the lands available, by growing food in the ocean (The Blue Revolution) and by poly-crops such as the milpa used in the Americas before the Europeans arrived. Bourne points out that the population explosion will be controlled at some point by Pestilence, war, Famine or Death. Death means genocide, selective murder, abortion or birth control. See the description of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from the Bible.
The world today has a dilemma, namely the adoption of humanitarianism., that is the universal Declaration of human rights. Humanitarianism is closely linked to democracy in which every person gets a vote even if they are non-contributors. When the non-contributors outnumber the contributors to th economics, then one gets the Tyranny of the Majority. Look at Venezuela today for example. This tyranny means collapse.
I heard Warren Buffett, one of the richest people on earth, say that "every life is of equal value" when describing the goals of the Gates Foundation to which he gave most of his wealth. The Gates and Rockefeller Foundations have done an enormous amount to help feed and keep people healthy in the third world. The results have been that African countries like Malawi and Niger have increased agricultural productivity and gotten an explosion in population. the average woman of child bearing age has six or more children. It appears that the people of the country cannot manage the newer technologies by themselves. Hence it is essentially foreign interference that is causing this population explosion.
Clearly if every life is of equal value, the more and longer lives the merrier regardless of the impact on the environment and world economy. There is no doubt that at some point disease and famine will limit the population. There is no doubt that keeping everyone alive no matter how old or how poor will bankrupt the world economy. It has been difficult for countries like the United States to help the people with birth control. The Gates Foundation can't even talk about birth control because of sentiment in the US.
it seems to me that aid, in the name of goodness and Christian values, is indirectly causing a crime against humanity as a whole. Consider what happen to Easter Island as Jerad Diamond describes in his book Collapse' How Societies Choose to fail or Succeed.
At this time in history it seems unlikely that the world population will come into equilibrium peacefully. Hence there might be disease , famine, war or genocide in the countries with exploding population. It seems to me that the isolationist policies that Trump is pushing may prevent the disease, war and famine from affecting the United States. See my post America First. It also might be a leading indicator of the rise in the Tyranny of the Majority. Is the world society choosing to fail?
Last updated February 9, 2017
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