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Population, Population, Population (Again)
April 9, 2023
by William P. Meyers

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Malthus rears his ugly head

Yesterday I was looking at my Slow Motion Apocalypse page and noticed the oldest article linked to there was Population, Population, Population, written by me in 2006. The only things that have changed since then are: the global population has greatly increased; carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has greatly increased; global temperatures have warmed; and it is easier to see the consequences: drought, storms, heat domes, plagues, war and famine.

In 2006 the global population estimate was 6.5 billion. We are now over 8 billion. 1.5 billion additional people is 50% more than the population of the in 1800 at the beginning of the industrial revolution, when we first started pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in vast quantities.

I said "It will be hard to get consensus on this because lunatics rule." I was talking about a one-child guideline. We still can't get that today. The Democratic Party mostly recognizes the dire shape the global environment is in, but wants to talk about anything but overpopulation. If anything, Democratic Party policies of subsidizing children are making the situation worse. The Republicans don't want to subsidize children, but they want to do away with birth control measures, and so increase the number of children. "Even leftists and environmentalists in the US have been cowed: they are afraid to call for what is necessary because they are afraid they will be called racists." Same today. Progressives would rather fight for transgender rights than for a sustainable human population.

And so my conclusion still appears to be correct: "While I will argue for a reasonable population policy, time is slipping away. The more likely future is continued explosive population growth followed by a great crash, with much of nature extinct before the crash occurs."

I know I am not alone in seeing this. But those brave enough to speak out are few in number. The older organizations, the ones from the Zero Population Growth movement of the 1960s, have mainly rolled over and just call for keeping contraception legal and affordable.

Agriculture scientists have done a rather remarkable job increasing the global food supply over the past few decades, but their work on improving crops was supplemented by turning vast areas of natural land into farmland. We have, over the same time, lost some farmland to desertification. What most of the ruling class has not reckoned with, yet, is the ability of climate change to dramatically (whether slowly or quickly) reduce the global food supply. It could happen in 2024, or any year afterwards; with some luck that might not happen for a decade or even two. But it will happen.

I have no suggestions that have not been much suggested by many people, scientists and activists and even the occasional politician, over the decades since the 1960s. We are about to descend into an unnecessary Darwinian struggle and prove the theory of Malthus was right.

There will be no backtracking. There is too much carbon dioxide in the air, too much heat in the oceans, too many Homo idiotics running around. Sure, I will continue to support improved environmental policies and even social justice. But I do not see a path to a humane end game. People are already starving in Somalia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Heat domes have already killed thousands. It is no longer possible to even count all the species of plants and animals that are going extinct. My so-called environmentalist allies have proven to be hypocrites, flying to Europe or Alaska or Asia and making excuses for their contributions to carbon emissions. Zero Population Growth failed, Earth First! failed, the Green Party failed. Strangely, now the only thing that can restore life to the world is massive death.

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