February 13, 2007

Malthus updated

Malthus wrote 200 years ago (An essay on the principle of population):
The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.
Jack Bennett writes today (Overpopulation is the problem, Bioscience):
The human population grows more rapidly than any ecological protection or amelioration program can be produced or take effect.
I prefer Julian Simon (The ultimate resource II and More people, greater wealth, more resources, healthier environment):
In the long run, the most important economic effect of population size and growth is the contribution of additional people to our stock of useful knowledge. And this contribution is large enough in the long run to overcome all the costs of population growth.

The world's problem is not too many people, but lack of political and economic freedom.

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