The people who are most likely to fall for the overpopulation myth are concerned environmentalists. But, especially they should know a lot better that it is not a problem of "overpopulation". Not to mention that population growth has been steadily going down since the 70s and that the average woman has 2.6 children which is just above the replacement rate. On top of that, it's extremely simplistic to assume that our major problems would vanish if we reduced the world population. Nothing could be farther form the truth.

Cornucopians do not deny that a bigger world population could result in new challenges and we are not as naive to think that there is a "one-size fits all" solution to our growing world. Just like many environmentalists, cornucopians are convinced that the problem lies in the wrong distribution of essential goods. The biggest threats to our planet are our habits of consumption. It is clearly impossible to imagine a world where 9.9 billion people want to live and consume in the same wasteful manner Americans do now. It is worth mentioning that the Neo-Malthusians base their worries about overpopulation on the assumption that every person would consume like the average American. But that would require 6 planet earths (source). Unless we do some space mining, this is not going to happen and nobody had such a thing in mind. What is the solution to over-consumption and waste? Sustainable development and living.

Who or what should make sure that we have a more efficient distribution of our limited resources? It should have been the responsibility of private enterprise and governments. However, both fail to do so due to the greed of the little corporate elite that controls multinationals and bribes governments. Those multinationals have revenues of $100 billion per year and higher. If the top multinational companies would be counted as separate countries, they would rank among the wealthiest economies on earth (source)! Yet there is the practice to throw out foods when the value drops in hope that the artificially created scarcity increases the value. So, not only does agribusiness grow monocultures (see picture) that harm the environment, and distort the economy by asking for generous subsidies, they also fail to benefit humankind!

Then there are governments who are ready to spend trillions in favor of corporate welfare. Just to mention one example, the money that goes towards oil subsidies to healthy oil giants would be enough to create a solar power program that would cover 100% of the electricity in the United States (source).

To sum up: We are well possible to provide for 9.9 billion people as long as we begin to use earth's resources in an efficient manner.
7/17/2012 03:31:15 am

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