Maarten Boudry

Wiki Contributions


Forget About Overpopulation, Soon There Will Be Too Few Humans

Thanks a lot, and so admirable that you now admit having been "blazingly wrong"! Perhaps I should've described my own double epiphany in the article: initially I was vey much influenced by my mentor Etienne Vermeersch (whom I mention in the essay), who was a disciple of Paul Ehrlich and the Club of Rome. I thought overpopulation was the root of all environmental problems. The, reading books by Hans Rosling, Charles Mann and others, I became convinced that fears about "population bombs" and overpopulation were outdated and that population growth peaked in the 60s already and has trended inexorably downward ever since. But then I still assumed this should be a source of relief ("Phew, the mass starvation has been averted!") and that it was good news for the planet as well. But then, after reading Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, a book by two Canadians, as well as economists like Tyler Cowen and Patrick Collison about the "Great Stagnation", I became convinced that population shrinkage is not good news at all, not even for the nature.