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Opinion in The Times on why it would be fine to triple the global population.

Opinion in The Times on why it would be fine to triple the global population.

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Published by rob yorke
'Our planet is far from crowded. Doom-laden predictions about our future are wildly out...
problems may not arise for centuries...human ingenuity can be counted on to solve it.'
Provocative & wildly optimistic - make up your own mind!
Uploaded from behind the paywall by @blackgull
'Our planet is far from crowded. Doom-laden predictions about our future are wildly out...
problems may not arise for centuries...human ingenuity can be counted on to solve it.'
Provocative & wildly optimistic - make up your own mind!
Uploaded from behind the paywall by @blackgull

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Published by: rob yorke on Jun 25, 2013
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07/19/2013

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Triple the population – we’ll all be better off Mark Littlewood
June 24 2013
Our planet is far from crowded. Doom-laden predictions about our future are wildly outIt all sounds persuasive: the natural resources we depend on for our existence are finite, but the human populationis increasing. At some point, Mother Earth will have been raped and pillaged by humanity to such a degree that we will live in utter misery — or more likely starve to death — on a barren, infertile planet. The prescription foravoiding this apocalypse is pretty straightforward: we need fewer people on the planet and we need them toconsume less.Quite apart from the unpalatable policies that would ensue, such as food rationing, one-child procreation limits oreven sterilisation programmes, there is a serious flaw at the heart of the doom-mongers’ analysis. Namely that theirpredictions have been proven wrong time and time again and are wrong again now.In truth we have a surfeit of natural resources, we are under-exploiting them and we can accommodate many  billions more human beings on our sparsely populated globe. Most estimates suggest that there are now more than7 billion people on the planet, but a world with three times this population — 20 billion or so — would very likely bericher, happier and healthier.First, it’s worth noting that humanity is nowhere close to filling up the available space that Earth provides. About130 people live on every square mile of land; if we discount inhospitable areas, such as swathes of desert andinaccessible mountainous areas, this rises to perhaps 300 people per square mile. But you only need to take a quick look at the most prosperous areas on Earth to see that affluent people pack themselves together far more tightly than this.In Hong Kong — perhaps the greatest single economic success story in postwar history — about 17,000 people livein every square mile of space; more than 50 times the global average. In London, the economic powerhouse of theUK, we are just a little more spread out than people in Hong Kong; about 12,000 of us occupy each square mile, apopulation density nearly 20 times the national average. London still has vast areas of open green space, however.But, the naysayers insist, the global population problem isn’t just about space, it’s about our ravenous consumptionof natural resources. We’re chewing up the riches of the planet at a horrifying rate; we must learn to cut back drastically and rely instead on renewable resources. Again, this is a wildly pessimistic view. Claims, often presented as certainties, that we are about to run out of food, water or vital minerals have been wrong in the past and there is every reason to believe they will be completely inaccurate again. In the late 1960s, Paul Ehrlich of Stanford University became something of a hero of theenvironmentalist movement. He argued that the “population bomb” would mean food riots and rationing in the

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