Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Forecasting the End of the World

Glenn T. Stanton writes in Quillette:
Data released this summer indicates the beginning of the end of humanity can be glimpsed from where we now stand. That end is a dramatic population bust that will nosedive toward an empty planet. New research places the beginning of that turn at about 30 years from today.

This means that Thomas Robert Malthus, and his many influential disciples, had it precisely wrong. ...

human death rates from air pollution have declined by nearly half since just 1990. ...

Water is humanity’s second most immediate life need. The number of people around the world with improved access to clean drinking water increased 68 percent from 1990 to 2015, even as the population itself has expanded. ...

Food is our third greatest survival need. Contrary to grim Malthusian predictions, the United Nations explains that humanity now produces more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet. In fact, the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture revealed back in 2012 that “we already grow enough food for 10 billion people.” ...

Earth is becoming a much safer place for humans to live precisely because we are adapting to it better.

He is right that a lot of forecasts for the end of the world have been wrong, and that life is getting better in some ways.

But he draws the wrong conclusions. He seems to think that more people means more world-saving innovation, so we need more people, not fewer.

We had more innovation when the world had a lot fewer people. Today we have almost 8 billion people, but the number of innovators is less than a million. The rest are a burden.

Population increases are making the world worse. Traffic jams, expensive housing, scarcity, and even disease. Globalism that is destroying the middle class. Declines in real wages. Most people are in debt.

Yes, more people have clean water, but that is in spite of population increases. A few decades ago, California had plenty of fresh water for its population and agriculture. Now, overpopulation has caused many water problems there.

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