9.25.2002

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.