Wired magazine recently published an article titled, “Boom! Earth’s Population Could Hit 12 Billion by 2100,” which despite the typical narrative of misanthropic population control that works its way into any Western mainstream article on the topic of growing populations, remained relatively positive.
Wired quoted statistician and sociologist Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington who stated: “A rapidly growing population with bring challenges. But I think these challenges can be met.”
And Raftery is correct. Wired would also include in its article that:
…it’s worth remembering that human populations doubled between 1960 and 1999. That tremendous growth spurt occasioned fears of widespread famine and societal collapse. On the whole, though, we made it through in decent shape.
Many of those fearmongers between the 1960’s and up to the turn of the century are still deeply involved in manipulating the discourse on the topic of human population growth and measures they claim are necessary to curtail it. John P. Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in 1977 ludicrously concluded that the United States would collapse when its population reached “280 million in 2040.” America’s population is now well over 300 million with nearly 3 decades to spare. Holdren would add in his now entirely discredited co-authored book titled, “Ecoscience,” that: “…if the population control measures are not initiated immediately, and effectively, all the technology man can bring to bear will not fend off the misery to come.”
Holdren’s “population control measures” included a despotic “planetary regime” that would have made the architects of the 3rd Reich blush.
Wired’s article does dabble in alarmism slightly, with some experts claiming rationing would be necessary while raising the issue of climate change in relation to growing populations. While resources and humanity’s impact on the environment are definitely challenges that must be overcome, Vaclav Smil, an energy, environment and food production researcher at the University of Manitoba, incorrectly concludes that cultural motivations rather than technical innovations will be the key.
Overall, Wired’s article focuses on innovation as the key to solving growing populations and is a refreshing departure from its typical mainstream rhetoric repackaged to manipulate more informed and educated members of the general public. Unfortunately, the comment section below was riddled with racist, crypto-eugenics propaganda denouncing the third world as an “overbreeding scourge.” However, there were others pointing out that most of the consequences generally blamed on overpopulation, are instead rooted in global institutions like the World Bank and the IMF consolidating, exercising, and tragically abusing vast unwarranted power and influence, intentionally expanding socioeconomic disparity, and thus leading to starvation, war, political instability, and other tragic symptoms incorrectly blamed on “overpopulation.”
There Is No Such Thing as “Overpopulation,” Only Incompetent Leadership
In reality, the moment the first human began using tools to overcome physical limitations that would otherwise have caused them to perish, the so-called natural equilibrium of our species was thrown out of balance. For those who believe in the concept of “overpopulation,” human beings have been “overpopulating” the planet for millennia. Most catastrophes attributed to “overpopulation” are instead the result of resource scarcity – and while sometimes such scarcity is the result of variables outside the control of governments and individuals, most of the time it is the result of easily avoidable pitfalls dug out of greed, shortsightedness, and above all, poor leadership.
When governments and international organizations begin demanding the population pay for the burdens of “overpopulation,” it is an indictment of their own incompetence and inability to solve the basic challenges facing the societies they presume dominion and responsibility over.
Responsible governments competently presiding over their constituents can ensure prosperity regardless of natural resources available. Nations like Japan or Singapore which have access to relatively few natural resources are able to compensate by developing human resources and thus innovations that transcend these limitations. Other nations, like the United States, with seemingly endless natural bounty, through incompetent or criminally negligent leadership, leaves disproportionate sections of its society in destitution.
As populations grow, leadership that skillfully cultivates human resources to compensate for growing needs for natural resources will overcome the challenges 12 billion people will meet. Incompetent leadership will not only allow growing populations to lead to disaster, but will blame everything and everyone else besides themselves in the process.
Growing Populations, Shifting Paradigms, Evolving National Policies
Astoundingly, despite systematically being proven wrong, alarmists regarding population growth continue to insist on rationing, population control, and other constrictive, totalitarian political measures to deal with the challenges that are to come as more people populate the planet. Coupling population growth with the impact growing populations have on the environment – through narratives involving “climate change” and “global warming” – leadership particularly in the West seek to gain an even tighter grip not only on their own societies, but by using the hysteria they themselves are manufacturing, to empower contrived so-called “international institutions,” granting them authority over otherwise sovereign nation-states across the globe.
This method of consolidating wealth and power is but one of many components of the West’s unipolar international order – otherwise known as globalization. However, globalization and the “planetary regime” imagined by the fearmongers peddling the myth of “overpopulation” are already unraveling even before they have been fully implemented. Growing awareness and individual technological empowerment over responsibilities these international institutions presume authority over is creating battlelines between a centralized unipolar world, and a decentralized multipolar world. Local empowerment coupled with global collaboration and awareness is beginning to displace centralized monopolistic, top-down models of world governance.
While the West attempts to impose “solutions” in spite of reality, nations attempting to hammer together a multipolar world must seek to create solutions that reflect the changing reality of technology, demographics, and the environment. Technological innovations including space exploration, personal manufacturing, cleaner and cheaper energy, revolutionary advances in biotechnology and medicine, and information technology that can be leveraged to help greater percentages of society reach their full human potential and thus contribute rather than detract from efforts to solve our age’s most pressing issues, are the only means with which to solve the challenges to come.
Paradoxically, the West and its current unipolar hegemonic international order, sees individuals and societies reaching their full human potential as simply competition posing a potential threat to their ill-gotten, unwarranted power and influence. Contrary to humanity’s best interests, they seek to intentionally deter real development and progress. The West’s multiple theaters of war stretching across the globe, spanning decades, and causing immeasurable harm to millions as well as devastating the environment they unfold within is a true testament to this. So is the methods the West uses to perpetually mislead and divide their own populations against each other. The neo-mercantilism that is modern globalization features wasteful, polluting supply chains that stretch around the globe – from slave-like conditions in sweatshops to warehouse-sized big-retail outlets like Tesco or Walmart on the other side of the world selling cheap consumerist trinkets.
All of this in reality, contradicts all of the West’s rhetoric in addressing both growing populations and their impact on this planet.
Decentralization of these immense supply chains by leveraging emerging technology like 3D printing, computer-controlled personal manufacturing, open source designs and collaboration, makerspaces that allow communities to engage in research, development and local manufacturing not only allow individual nation-states to keep jobs and profits within their borders, but erode the monopolistic special interests of Wall Street and London and the immense profits they use to project political and military power beyond their borders at the cost of peace, stability, and sovereignty in nations around the world – from Libya to Syria, from Ukraine to Russia and China themselves.
The shifting paradigms necessary to accommodate growing populations – namely localized development, technological innovations, and the intensive development of human resources – are also the keys to undoing the very destructive international order that has failed to solve the challenges 7 billion people on Earth now face, and promises to fail meeting the challenges 12 billion people will face.