Dazzling Knowledge

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Still no Malthusian panic here

Are you worried about population growth, consumption, and sustainability? I'm not, and neither is Ronald Bailey:

Globally fertility rates have been falling since the 1960s. What does this mean
for the future? At the Transvision 2007 conference, Jerome Glenn, head of the
United Nations' Millenium Project and author of its annual State of the Future
report, pointed out something what I've been saying for years—that the U.N.'s
low variant trend appears to be the path that world population is following. If
that trend holds, Glenn noted, that would mean that world population would grow
to about 8 billion in 2050 and start declining to 5.5 billion in 2100. That's a
billion fewer people than currently live on the planet.

A 2006 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that "among 50 nations with extensive forests reported in the Food and Agriculture Organization's comprehensive Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005, no nation where annual per capita gross domestic product exceeded $4,600 had a negative rate of growing stock change." Biotech tree plantations would enable humanity to produce all the timber we need on an area roughly 5 percent to 10 percent of the total forest today. This would mean that more of the Earth's forests could remain in their natural states.

Note that the above paragraph correlates conservation with wealth.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is encouraging news, if accurate.

11:28 AM  

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