Population Ethics

GR:  Here is a short essay that gives clear reasons for reducing the human population.  Joe Bish sets up the essay, and the delivery is by Travis Rieder.

Joe Bish, Population Media Center: 

“The varied arguments against my views… haven’t changed my conviction that we need to discuss the ethics of having children…”

“Travis Rieder, the Research Scholar at Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute of Bioethics, is out with a follow-up to his 15-minutes of fame brought on by NPR’s mid-August coverage of his “Population Engineering” paper. Here, he attempts to address some of the common criticisms he endured — all of which population advocates have been dealing with day-in and day-out for many decades. Namely: there is no environmental problem; if there might be a problem it won’t be very bad; people concerned with population must be misanthropic; more people means more creativity; and, the end of population growth might “hurt the economy.”

“One interesting aspect of the Rieder phenomenon was the coverage itself. I certainly won’t be holding my breath for NPR to interview anybody from PMC, the Population and Sustainability Network, or any other group in the trenches on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps we should all don the title of bioethicists? It seems that doing so grounds the conversation in sufficiently abstract terms, such that a major media outlet can advance the theoretical notions of purposeful population stabilization and decrease — without worrying they are talking to anybody actually trying to do this in the real world.

“Below, Rieder notes that he has tackled the population issue because he is “genuinely worried about the future of our planet,” and believes the discussion is crucial to making a future worth having. This reminds me that in some senses, working on achieving population stabilization and decrease is one of the more optimistic careers out there. It presupposes that humanity will somehow navigate the brick wall of limits to growth, due in the late 2020’s (when our population will still be orders of magnitude too large), and come out the other side reformed, willing to behave ourselves, and sized appropriately.”

Here’s the link to Rieder’s succinct essay: Population Ethics.