Human Population Growth and Environment Research
From The Conversation Australia recent articles and comments about population growth and human reduction research and environmental problems:
‘How family planning could be part of the answer to climate change. You’ve changed your light bulbs, you recycle, you’ve retrofitted your house, cycle when you can, and drive an electric car when you can’t. You’re doing your bit to reduce your carbon emissions and prevent dangerous climate change. But if you have two children, your legacy of carbon emissions could be 40-times higher than those you saved through lifestyle changes. In fact, under dangerous climate change scenarios in 2050, nearly a third of carbon emissions can be avoided by slowing population growth.
No quick fix for overpopulation — let’s focus on climate. The rise in population since 1900 has been so rapid that up to 14% of all humans that have ever lived are still alive today, according to recent research.‘
One should be very cautious about supposed correlations between (over) population (growth) and climate degradation, i.e. based upon headline data, which may be subjective or affected by deep seated attitudes and beliefs, while being conflated with domestic ‘immigration’, ‘societal identity or values’, ‘nationalism’, ‘life boat ethics’, ‘carrying capacity’, ‘youth unemployment’, ‘fertility rates’, etc..
According to Deutsche Bank, Rosling, Goldin et al the only significant population growth by mid-century will be sub Saharan Africa, which is expected to be a source of immigrants and workers, and may well follow demographics elsewhere, i.e. improved education, health and economic well-being, leading to lower fertility rates.
The real issue according to Rosling is not how many but how we manage population, i.e. stagnating and ageing populations with shrinking tax and worker bases in support, and the first world to stop stereotyping and blaming poor people (and invest in education, infrastructure etc., along with spending on pensions and health care, aka J.K. Galbraith).
However, like the article image suggests, much of the western or first world obsession is about how society is supposedly changing in an alarming or shocking way, based on appearances. This is reflected in the adherence to philosophies and beliefs represented as fact or science (which often contradicts the belief) whether Malthus on population, Ricardo on solid or steady state economy assumptions, authors Raspail (Camp of the Saints) or Hardin (Tragedy of the Commons) on social identity, first vs third world. The former from centuries ago could predict neither technological advances nor human behaviour, while the latter are concerned about changes in the qualitative make up of society and reflected by those who have issues with multi culturalism, or approval of more malign policies e.g. in Australia for the white Australia policy.
Without casting aspersions upon the authors of recent research, Bradshaw and Brooke ‘Human population reduction is not a quick fix for environmental problems’, nor being privy to peer reviews (there have already been criticisms in related media in USA e.g. from the Population Research Institute ‘Panicked by Population Hysteria? We’re Here to Help‘:
‘when Bradshaw and Brook created their projections of a post-apocalyptic population, they made some sketchy assumptions. When describing their methodology for creating apocalyptic population projections, they write: “Although potentially exaggerated . . . we (arbitrarily) assumed that fertility would double.” Their presumed apocalyptic disaster didn’t shrink the population by 2100 because the authors arbitrarily (their words, not mine) presumed that world fertility would double.’
Meanwhile they actually state that there is not much point in trying to control population growth, while most research shows that is has slowed significantly anyway, very ambiguous research and conclusions……
What is going on here? One sees that the research paper was edited by the infamous Paul Ehrlich of Zero Population Growth fame, has he now ‘gone rogue’ by turning his back on a life’s work regarding fertility and population growth? Recently pre digital news articles have been appearing online from the archives, including some with quotes from Ehlrich, which may have been taken out of context.
However, one cannot ignore the publication of the thoughts and writings of his collaborator John Tanton whose archives turned up the Witan Memo in the late 80s, published by the Southern Poverty Legal Center:
‘The memos warn of a coming “Latin onslaught” and fret that high Latino birth rates will lead “the present majority to hand over its political power to a group that is simply more fertile.” Tanton also asks if Latinos will “bring with them the tradition of the mordida [bribe], the lack of involvement in public affairs.“‘
Is there a need to force or push fertility and population control programs, while the social trends of receding population growth and increasing non material economic growth continue due to improved education, health care, technology and economic well being? This is opposed to a misanthropic view of the future according to philosophers and social scientists predicting dystopia for younger generations if they interact socially, culturally and heaven forbid fall in love with the less developed world?
For more news, information and research about population growth, international education, immigration and human development click through to AIEC Europe.