Overpopulation: Two Perspectives

The New Republic: Reproductivity

“Environmental lobbyists, who have long viewed human reproduction with
a kind of squeamish horror, will pronounce various kinds of impending doom.
Against them will be posed the rising counterargument that a "birth dearth" is
already in progress and that the population actually needs to grow more.
Anyone encountering these contrapositive positions may become baffled—
how can there be too many people and, at the same time, not enough?”

This piece from the New Republic takes a relatively even-handed approach to the discussion of population. Among the points raised are the fact that population is increasing in the developing world, and decreasing in the developed world. The writer discusses the critical need for U.S. funding for family planning aid to the developing world, and the possibilities that countries like Italy are in danger of extremely low population. The general position of the piece is that overpopulation is not nearly the danger it has been predicted to be, but that fear over too many people should not be replaced by a pendulum swing towards fear of too few.

More Than 6 Billion Served

This article in Wired News takes a very different approach to overpopulation, sighting only the highest statistics on population growth, claiming that by 2100, 12 billion people will occupy the planet. The only source sighted as not believing in overpopulation is characterized as “refusing to believe the numbers”. It also discusses the role of biotechnology in creating more food for people in the future, and whether or not crop productions are actually increasing. The position of the article is that overpopulation is a real and present danger inthe world today.


From The Guardian Unlimited

Don’t Mention the Massacre

Discussing the relationship between Australia and southeast Asia, particularly China, and how Australia often overlooks Human Rights abuses in it’s trading partners, to avoid souring relations. During the visit of Chinese diplomat Li Ping, the man who ordered tanks into Tiananmen square to halt student protests, Australian politicians made no mention of his crimes, while they negotiated a A$ 25 billion energy contract with the communist state.
From The Los Angeles Times:

North Korea Admits Abducting Japanese

This article deals with North Korean President Kim Jong Il’s recent confession that decades ago, North Korea kidnapped 11 Japanese individuals to teach language and culture to Korean spies. Although most have died, those who still live may be returned to Japan. As the article states, the Korea’s admission opens the doors for diplomatic relations between the two countries for the first time ever, Japan could also act as a diplomatic go-between for The United States and communist controlled North Korea, who the US called part of the “axis of evil”.
From TIME Magazine:

Can Bush Accept Saddam’s Offer?

This article deals with the various aspects of the situation in Iraq, particularly Saddam Hussein’s letter to the UN which has permitted total and unconditional access to Iraq by United Nation's weapons inspectors. It talks about the effect this move will have on the United States goal of a regime change in Iraq, as well as the delicate alliance the United States has built with Britain and other European nations.