On Overpopulation

A defining characteristic of Malthusianism is that no matter how often it is proved wrong, you'll still find many who people fervently believe it. Overpopulation is a baseless fear, caused by a fundamental misunderstanding of the way in which people respond to potential scarcity. New resources are developed and old ones made more efficient - demand spurs progress in free societies. From a recent Reason Magazine article: "According to research published by the Royal Society, it looks as though the world will be able to feed 9 billion people by 2050, perhaps even allowing some farmland to revert to nature. Water is a problem, but economic and technological solutions show promise in ameliorating it. But more importantly, [overpopulationists] get the causality backwards. Poverty is the cause and high fertility is the symptom. Poverty traps and failed states which result in high maternal death rates, starvation, pollution, and deforestation are not created by population, but by bad policies. Working to spread economic freedom and political liberty is a lot harder than self-righteously blaming poor people for breeding too much. But it's the only real option."

Link: http://reason.com/archives/2010/10/19/the-eternal-return-of-overpopu

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