This is from today's New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/op...m.html?hp&_r=0Overpopulation Is Not the Problem
BALTIMORE — MANY scientists believe that by transforming the earth’s natural landscapes, we are undermining the very life support systems that sustain us. Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences. Disaster looms as humans exceed the earth’s natural carrying capacity. Clearly, this could not be sustainable.
This is nonsense. ...
The world population is now estimated at 7.2 billion. But with current industrial technologies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that the more than nine billion people expected by 2050 as the population nears its peak could be supported as long as necessary investments in infrastructure and conducive trade, anti-poverty and food security policies are in place. Who knows what will be possible with the technologies of the future? The important message from these rough numbers should be clear. There really is no such thing as a human carrying capacity. We are nothing at all like bacteria in a petri dish.
Do you buy it?
I tend to favor a Malthusian view, skeptical of the Cornucopians. He refers to Ester Boserup's work, with which I can claim no earlier familiarity.
The author makes a case for existence or sustainability but neglects what we, in this country at least, call "quality of life." I find his reliance on China as an exemplar of infinite sustainability unsatisfying. In short, I conjure up Soylent Green.
I would rather a Ciobani Green. Or a steak.