OverpopulationOn the occasion of the world’s population reaching seven billion, William Ryerson, founder and president of Population Media Center and chairman of the Population Institute, told Alanna Shaikh at UN Dispatch:

The first earth day was largely about population growth, then it became taboo. Part of why it become taboo was human rights violations committed by India and China [in the name of population control presumably — Ed.], and partly was because of Ronald Reagan, who said that population growth was a good thing. He was influenced by Julian Simon, who said [in his book The Ultimate Resource and elsewhere — Ed.] there was no limit to how many people the planet could support.


There are economists that believe that endless population growth is necessary for economic growth. This is a Ponzi scheme form of economics. It will not last. … Some biologists feel that after oil and fossil fuels are gone, the planet could sustain 2 billion people in a Western European lifestyle. At the Ethiopian lifestyle, we could maybe sustain 10 billion people.

Those of the belief that economic growth requires open-ended population growth would be advised that living Ethiopian-style (or lack thereof) makes for poor consumers. Meanwhile, Ryerson refrains from mentioning those who believe the exploding world population — the planet’s “carrying capacity” — is an excuse for “global elites” to institute the Great Die-off. According to this world view, by means ranging from neglect to sterilization to dosing with infectious diseases the super-rich hope to re-design the world with a minimal look, population-wise. Since it focuses on no particular group, it’s not genocide, just mass murder to the tenth power. An example of this outlook is provided by Webster Tarpley back when he was with Lyndon LaRouche. (His work is often valuable today.)

During their preparations for the United Nations’ so-called International Conference on Population and Development, scheduled to be held in Cairo in September of this year [1994], the genocidal bureaucrats of the U.N. are seeking to condition governments and public opinion worldwide to accept the notion of a “carrying capacity” for our planet. In other words, the U.N. butchers would like to establish scientific credibility for the idea that there is an absolute theoretical maximum number of persons the earth can support. Some preliminary documents for the Cairo conference set a world population level of 7.27 billion to be imposed for the year 2050, using compulsory abortion, sterilization, euthanasia and other grisly means.

Note how much sooner we’re reaching the number that will trigger these events than was anticipated at the time. Those who believe this cite Malthus at his worst (however imaginative).

All the children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to this level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the deaths of grown persons … we should facilitate … the operations of nature in producing this mortality. … Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into the houses, and court the return of the plague.

Or as James Corbett, whose website The Corbett Report is a media center for open-source intelligence news, claims:

Overpopulation, like the global warming fraud, is a false front for the eugenics program.

Here’s an example of quotes that those who subscribe to this line of thinking cite as proof.

“A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
Ted Turner

“We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”
Mikhail Gorbachev

“World population needs to be decreased by 50%.”
Henry Kissinger

“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license.”
David Brower, the Sierra Club

Looks like, when it comes to percentages, loose lips sink not only ships but populations. In fact, there may be some truth to the murderous aspirations attributed to the super-rich. It doesn’t, however, detract from the need to slow population growth. In fact, we’re close to a tipping point, or, pivoting to another cliché, a perfect storm, as Ryerson says.

The combination of rising oil prices and declining water could lead to a perfect storm where suddenly all these things lead to human catastrophe around the planet. … Right now [the World Food Program] responds to famines in Sahel [the North African coast-to-coast zone just below the Sahara] or East Africa but they have never dealt with a billion people starving all at once [with] chaos all over the world as a billion people rampage for food. … There would simply be no ability of the donor countries to respond to a situation of this magnitude. It could happen between 2012 and 2015, according to an estimate by the U.S. military.

Those who dismiss concerns about overpopulation parallel and, as well, are enmeshed with those who deny climate change. Since the price we’ll be paying if they’re wrong is non-refundable, it’s better to be safe than sorry ­ — to trot out another cliché — and at least act as if overpopulation and climate change true.

Even small measures, accumulated, can help turn the tide. At the Globe and Mail, Doug Saunders writes about a variation on family planning.

The solution is outlandishly simple. Mexico … did it successfully in less than a decade: You send out teams to villages who explain not how to cut family sizes (an abstract concept) but how to widen the space between children – a concrete act that both parents and children appreciate. Four years between kids, rather than four months, opens up a new world. “… It’s the moment when poor families notice they can do better for their children if they have fewer children.”

We’ll give Ryerson the last word.

We must persuade governments to celebrate low fertility rates and declining populations.

It might help if religions bought into this too.

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