A Quick Deconstruction of The Guardian’s Latest Population Article

Joe Bish, Population Media Center.–“Yesterday, The Guardian published the following well-written, but considerably off-the-mark essay. Apparently this is what happens when you assign an existentially crucial topic to an on-staff software engineer and a “community coordinator” with lot’s of experience in editing social media posts. Specifically, you get a well-intentioned article, produced by intelligent and skilled individuals, but obviously informed by standard internet searches and infused with so much “journalistic balance” and half-truths that the final product’s value is highly questionable.

“Here are a few items on my laundry list of complaints, several of which are quotes from John Wilmouth, director of the population division in the UN’s department of economic and social affairs. (Wilmouth strikes me as one who truly understands the gravity of the population issue, but is stuck in what amounts to a political office.)”

  • The rate of growth is continuing to slow – the overall growth rate has been falling since the 1970s.” In 1967, a population growth rate of 2.11% acted on a total population of 3.4 billion to produce annual global population growth of 73 million people. Today, a growth rate of 1.1% is acting on an enormous total population of 7.4 billion. This is resulting in even larger annual population growth than in 1967 – over 80 million additional people per year.
  • The number of births has peaked, or has levelled off globally.” From 1995 to 2000, the UN estimates 650 million births occurred. From 2010 to 2015, the UN estimates 699 million birth occurred. This is the highest number ever for a 5 year period, slightly exceeding the 698 million between 1985 and 1990.”  There’s more:  A Quick Deconstruction of The Guardian’s Latest Population Article

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2 thoughts on “A Quick Deconstruction of The Guardian’s Latest Population Article

  1. Having done considerable research into world population growth vis-à-vis climate change, I’ll throw my two-cents in here for what it’s worth.

    Whatever modest declines have been observed in recent annual population growth rates are offset by the fact that the world’s population has already far exceeded sustainable levels and continues to rise.

    However, this growth cannot continue. The latest U.N. projections put us on a growth path which surpasses 9 billion by 2050 and 11 billion by 2100. The latest IPCC global food production projections (an aggregation of numerous independent studies) indicate a declining food supply beginning around 2030, and sharply dropping further after 2050. The IPCC projections include various climate change factors such as impacts to agriculture from poleward migration of arable lands, fresh water shortages, and extreme weather events, as well as impacts to marine food productivity such as increasing temperatures, ocean acidification, species extinctions, and overfishing; whereas, the U.N. projections do not.

    In conclusion, it appears likely that human overpopulation will be reversed one way or another and much sooner than most people might imagine. The time for a gradual decline precipitated by education, contraception, and other social planning measures may have already passed. Remaining solutions are too unpleasant to contemplate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The human population is going down. War, disease, and infant mortality will shorten life spans and lower reproduction. Sounds awful, but it’s not unusual. Animals go through population explosions and lapses all the time. The explosions occur because of unrestrained mating and plentiful resources. The lapses occur for many reasons, but resource depletion and predator increases are prominent. Our human population has exploded. As you point out, Robert, we have depleted our resources, and drug-resistant disease organisms and artificial intelligence (two types of predators) increasingly threaten us. Future histories will tell of the principal cause of our decline. Whatever it is, we probably won’t become extinct; most species survive their crash.

      I’ve thought about being remorseful for the sake of my grandchildren and their children. Much of the beauty, complexity, and stability of the natural world will fade away. However, I know most of my descendents are too urbanized to know what they missed. I also know that people adapt to their surroundings and live on no matter how tough the times. They’ll be fine.

      Liked by 1 person

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