“The one nation that has … efficiently applied … inhabitants management is China” – Watts Up With That?
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Malthus, Ehrlich and The Club of Rome may have got it all wrong, but Waikato Professor Michael Cameron believes that we need to think about their work and limit population growth to prevent a future food crisis from anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
Containing Population Growth to Combat Climate Change: It’s a Tough Question
January 25, 2021, 5:50 a.m. AEDT
Michael P. Cameron
Associate Professor of Economics, Waikato University
Population growth plays a role in environmental damage and climate change.
The English political economist Thomas Robert Malthus put forward a compelling argument against overpopulation in his famous 1798 book An Essay on the Principle of Population
But his essay could not have been worse as it neared the beginning of the longest period of sustained global population growth in history. This was due in part to huge improvements in agricultural productivity over time.
This idea of hard environmental limits for population growth was promoted in 20th century publications such as The Population Bomb, a 1968 book by Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, and The Limits to Growth, a publication by the Club of Rome think tank from the Year 1972, revived.
The implications of these papers on the threats of population growth suggest that population control is an important measure in limiting carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions and global climate change.
That leaves population control, but the problems here are no less challenging. Government-led population control poses serious moral questions to democratic countries.
For this reason, China is the only country that implemented a (moderately) successful form of population control through the one-child policy from 1979 to 2015. During this period, the total fertility rate in China has roughly halved.
Read more: https://theconversation.com/curb-population-growth-to-tackle-climate-change-now-thats-a-tough-ask-153382
To be fair, the professor goes on to say that wealth may be enough to limit population growth, though I personally find it repulsive to call China’s disastrous and cruel one-child policies any sort of success.
Is There a Hard Limit on Population Growth? There has to be a limit, it is impossible that the earth can support an infinite number of people. But 200 years of failed series demise suggests that those who fear we are approaching a hard line for the world’s population are almost certainly wrong.