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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Can Science Save Us?

Malthus claims, and I concur, that the only ways to limit the growth of the human population is through famine, disease, and war. Well thanks to science and charity, deaths from famine and disease have been declining (as a percentage of the total population) for decades. A new story, The End of War, from The National Review Online http://tnr.com indicates that humans have less of a chance of dying in a war than at any time in human history. This leads the question, how do we limit the growth of the human population?

As mentioned in previous posts, establishment of a middle class limits growth because people realize that kids cost money. Natives in Europe and North America (excluding Mexico) have already made the transition. They are having fewer children than ever. The change in these demographics are alarmingly noticeable in some parts of Europe where whole towns may have less than 15 percent of the population under the age of 30.

Unfortunately, trying to build a middle class in the rest of the world is a more daunting task. Many of these countries have no experience with capitalism or democracy, two critical ingredients in the recipe, and women (the ones who actually give birth) are often relegated to second-class "citizenship". If these peoples cannot control their growth, normally they would starve to death, disease would run rampant, and war would ensue as people fight for scarce resources. Situation solved. Could you watch on TV as this happens and not do anything about it? Could you tell yourself, "This is the way it is, and the way it has to be"? I know that I could, but then I am opposed to altruism (except for animals and veterans). Plus I am also a rude jerk. I don't think that most people could. The world is getting more and more full of people who cannot develop scar tissue on their hearts. They just bleed and bleed and bleed.

So what do we do about population growth? The only thing that I can think of is getting a significant number of people off this planet. The sooner the better. Any ideas?

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