Monday’s Mtg: Are Overpopulation and Democracy Compatable?

This topic was my idea, but it is Art’s passion.  So, Art will be giving the introduction on the issue of overpopulation generally.  Then, we can discuss the topic of democracy and overpopulation specifically, stay on the general topic, or switch to closely related issues, like environmental sustainability or climate change.

I’m going to push back a little on the idea of overpopulation as the most important global problem.   My understanding has been that the larger issue is ecological sustainability; i.e., if poor countries develop the way we did – with a long, messy stage of highly polluting industrialization and agriculture – then climate change, overfishing, etc. likely will overwhelm us all.  That’s related to overpopulation, but not quite the same thing, I believe.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS –

  1. How fast is the world’s population growing?  Where is it growing?  How sensitive are these estimates?
    .
  2. Why would continued high growth rates be bad?  Ecologically?  Politically?  Morally?  What about for U.S. national interests/security?
    .
  3. What about the democracy issue?  remember, almost every social problem is harder to solve absent democracy (at least, problems that harm a lot of regular people).  Is democracy slower to develop in societies with rapidly growing populations?  Does this imply failure for the Arab Spring and a shaky future for the fastest-growing countries?  (Fastest-growing here – all poor nations.  Those set to gain the most number of people here – mainly already big poor nations.)
    .
  4. How can we limit population growth, anyway?  What works and what does not?  Does doing so clash with our other foreign policy goals, or complement them?
    .
  5. OTOH, why might the alarmists be wrong?  Is this problem overstated?  Might technology or the demographic transition solve this problem for us?
    .

LINKS –  

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2 responses

  1. James H. Zimmerman | Reply

    I would have to respectfully differ, David. I believe overpopulation is at the root of all of our problems

  2. The country with the bigest problem regarding democracy and overpopulation is India. X=the total resources on Planet Earth. Y=the resources which are used up each year.
    The value of X remains constant in the short run. The value of Y is on an incline which is ascending. X times Y=major environmental problems in the future going hand in hand with
    geopolitical problems.

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