Wednesday, March 02, 2005
The Christian Right (to populate)
World population growth is expected to plateau around the middle of this century, but predictions suggest that the number of humans on earth will double beforehand. A number of recent articles in popular magazines assert that the 2050 leveling is proof that we need not worry about over population. This assertion makes little sense. Twice the population, after all, means something like twice the resource demand.
Conservation biologists agree that overpopulation is the greatest threat to biodiversity and human society. Even if we avoid Malthusian collapse, humans risk stretching themselves (and other species) thin. Today, when population control incentives (tax breaks for one child families and the like) should be the subject of mainline political dialogue in the industrialized world, the United States is taking a pass.
Whereas Alaska, Washington, California, Hawaii, New Mexico and many European countries have made birth-control pills an over-the-counter option, the Christian right is fighting back. Given the influence these folks have with the Bush administration, I expect to be hearing more about this in the coming months.