The enemy of my enemy
Not born in the USA
A story in yesterday's Post said the birthrate in the U.S. has fallen below replacement level. The debate about population has calmed quite a bit in the last few decades since we've learned that resources are more elastic than once thought and that trend lines show global population will crest in a half century or so, just in time to enjoy the fruits of our current carbon policies. But now the dark warnings about population come from the OTHER side: that we (as in we the developed countries) are not having ENOUGH children.
The arguments as I understand them are that it's hard to have a growing economy with a shrinking population (we'll leave immigration for another day) and that we won't be able to care for our retirees without more workers to foot the bill. These are serious arguments, interesting arguments, but I think there is a name for the type of system that requires ever greater numbers of people coming in to sustain the fewer that were in before: PONZI SCHEME. These are known to end badly.
How do we know what the human carrying capacity of earth is? As Warren Buffett has pointed out, we don't know, but we do know it's not infinite. I have my own formula. I think that until the number of species that are under severe threat because of human predation or habitat loss falls to the negligible, the presumption is there are still too many people. --Tom Toles
Other Syndicated Editorial Cartoons:
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