Human Population Explosion Is Over – A New World Lies Ahead

by | Feb 11, 2020 |

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Now it is the turn of the population alarmists led by the United Nations with their prediction of 11 billion by the end of this century, who are about to have egg on their faces. The demographers, who study population trends, are now certain that not only will we not reach that number, but instead predict the world’s population will begin to decline before we reach 9 billion people.

In the near term, a decline in population is a benefit, relieving pressure on the environment and the Earth’s resources. However, the economic models of our future will require a total rebuild.

For thousands of years, philosophers have wrung their hands because of fears about the supposed negative impacts of population growth on life as they knew it. In the 5th century, BC Confucius argued that population increases would reduce the quality of life. In the second century AD Christian philosopher Tertullian, worried that Carthage, with its “teeming population,” was becoming unsustainably “burdensome to the world”. In Ancient Greece, both Plato and Aristotle argued that a growing population was not sustainable for their resources. Latin priest St. Jerome wrote in the 4th century that “the population is too large for the soil.”

But none of these warnings had much impact on modern society until world-famous pessimist Dr. Paul Ehrlich, formerly a butterfly biologist at Stanford University successfully scared the world with his 1968 book The Population Bomb. In it, he attempted to convince readers that the English economist, Thomas Malthus, was right in predicting the end of the world back in 1798. Fears of severe overcrowding with limited food supplies combined with Ehrlich’s book lead to the creation an organization titled “Zero Population Growth,” now called “Population Connection.”

As a result of his highly inaccurate publication, Ehrlich was awarded a MacArthur Genius Award. This gave him prominent platforms from which to give annual predictions of doom and gloom, 100% of which proved false. At 87, it now appears that age has scrambled his brain as he maintains he has been right all along, just off in the timing. It reminds one of the global warming alarmists who brush aside their numerous errors by claiming that only their timing is off.

Climate activists will soon be facing the opposite of their predictions as solar scientists are confident that we will be entering a cooling period as the Sun enters a Grand Solar Minimum about the middle of the century. Those who predicted we would soon run out of oil and natural gas are also red-faced as their ideas have been turned upside down as well.

We need to prepare not for the consequences of a population boom, but a population bust. Market economics failed to topple Chinese communism, but the potential halving of its population by the end of the century just might.

Their 30-year program of allowing no more than two children per family actually resulted in a lowering of the average birth rate to less than one child per family. When accounting for single-child families, multi-child families, and the no-child families, who decided life was easier without any children, the birth rate in China is now actually 0.7 per family. The UK-based newspaper, The Independent, reports:

“In January, a government-affiliated think tank warned that the population in the world’s second-biggest economy could start to shrink as soon as 2027.”

The following graph illustrates what is happening in China:

China’s falling birth rate

Even in Africa, there is encouraging evidence of population decline, where Kenya, for example, has halved its birth rate in recent decades. Woman are marrying later, getting an education and then entering the workforce. As a result of these three factors, not a single country in the developed world even has a replacement birth rate (2.1 children per family) any longer. The United States will continue to grow a little as a result of immigration. India’s rapidly growing population has finally slowed and may one day reach its neighbor, Sri Lanka, which has had a stable population for the past quarter-century.

Economically, we can expect countries to struggle with fewer young workers and taxpayers. Growth in every way has carried economics and industries forward for generations. Job growth will eventually stop and staying much longer in one job will very likely become common.

Automation will help but robots don’t buy refrigerators or smart clothes for the office party. Consumption is the bedrock of any economy.

So, we need to ask:

  • How do we first begin to face stable populations where growth will be elusive?
  • How difficult will it be for new companies to break into old industries?
  • Will the quality of product become far more important than prices?

Although no one knows the answers to these questions, there is no reason to panic. We likely have as much as three decades before the effects of declining birthdates will be evident on the size of most countries’ populations. Many nations, such as Sri Lanka, will have experienced stability long enough for governments to study how they have managed their economies. It is clearly going to be a new world for economics but not likely to be something society cannot deal with.

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Dr. Jay Lehr is a Senior Policy Analyst with the International Climate Science Coalition and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute. He is an internationally renowned scientist, author, and speaker who has testified before Congress on dozens of occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the national government and many foreign countries. After graduating from Princeton University at the age of 20 with a degree in Geological Engineering, he received the nation’s first Ph.D. in Groundwater Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He later became executive director of the National Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers.

Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition, and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute. He has 40 years experience as a mechanical engineer/project manager, science and technology communications professional, technical trainer, and S&T advisor to a former Opposition Senior Environment Critic in Canada’s Parliament.

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Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

Dr. Jay Lehr and Mr. Tom Harris assert “Climate activists will soon be facing the opposite of their predictions as solar scientists are confident that we will be entering a cooling period as the Sun enters a Grand Solar Minimum about the middle of the century.” Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr are mistaken. The scientific research indicates that global warming will continue.
Feulner & Rahmstorf (2010) estimated that another solar minimum equivalent to the Dalton and Maunder minima would cause 0.09°C and 0.26°C cooling, respectively. Jones et al. (2012) and Anet et al. (2013), and Meehl et al. (2013) arrived at nearly identical results, with cooling from a grand solar minimum causing no more than 0.3°C cooling over the 21st century. The maximum 0.3°C cooling would barely make a dent in the human-caused global warming over the next century, likely between 1 and 5°C, depending on how much we manage to reduce our fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr. Lehr write he studied climate change for over 40 years. ” For people who have studied climate change for over 40 years, like the senior author of this article, Dr. Jay Lehr⏤it is frustrating to know that the evidence against mankind having any role in it, is overwhelming. ” (Source “Q: Why don’t we hear more about the Sun and its impact on Climate Change?” By Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Feb 4, 2020 America Out Loud)
However, Dr. Jay Lehr has never studied climate science or related fields. Dr. Lehr’s doctorate is in Groundwater Hydrology. (Source Jay Lehr’s by-line) Dr. Lehr has conducted no research in climate science or related fields and Dr. Lehr has never published any papers concerning climate science or related fields. (Source bio of Jay Lehr, Heartland Institute website)
False assertions are not a sign of a carefully researched opinion piece.

Tom Harris
2 years ago

Some background on why I do not take the time to refute ‘Dave James’ comments any more:
Recently, Russell Cook posted:
“But in just the last year, the comment count from “Dave James” more than doubled, to an average approaching 6 comments per day, EVERY day.”
So, one naturally wonders: is there a single person named “Dave James” who must be spending most of his life posting comments to oppose me (as many of his comments show considerable research), or is there a team of researchers and posters who post under the name “Dave James?”
Some other info Mr. Cook supplied:
“The guy is insulted when I call him a comment stalker, but he routinely returns within hours and proves he is one. Write another of your articles at practically any online outlet anywhere around the world, and he predictably shows up to offer his strange guilt-by-association narratives about you within hours of the article’s publication. ”
Mr. Cook continues in another post:
“rummage through the collection of articles here at AmericaOutLoud authored by “Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris” and count up the number of times when “Dave James” has NOT come in to criticize Lehr & Harris. Like I said in my comment 3 days back, “Dave James” is an online comment stalker, with no life other than that activity. Click on his Disqus comment account link that he provided in his Jan 22 comment and take the time to go back through his four year commenting history, and it becomes abundantly obvious who he stalks. Find his Facebook account with the url string “/profile.php?id=100009262716514” after the main url address which has the 3 penguins avatar illustration, and you’ll see ol’ Dave uses FB entirely for the purpose of commenting at Harris’ articles where a Facebook login is required to enable commenting. At least Harris has Facebook Friends to correspond with. I have plenty myself, just added a new one who’s a prominent staffer at a research center. How many FB Friends does “Dave James” have? Zip. Zero. Nada. But his account sure does prove my point about him.”
It is hard to argue with Mr. Cook’s points and so I simply conclude by posting the following:
This Disqus profile – https://disqus.com/by/disqus_JzQ88MTX2I/following/ – shows that since March 31, 2016, Mr. James has made 4,368 comments. Here is a sample of some of his many, many posts apparently trying to discredit my writings in online article comment sections: https://www.google.ca/search?site=&source=hp&q=%22Tom+Harris%22+%22Dave+James%22&gws_rd=cr&ei=nyGDWefuDavcjwSb-oK4DA . I already explained to Mr. James that many of his points are either wrong or misleading . I will not waste any more time explaining this to him, unless other people bring up the same or similar questions.

Rich Kozlovich and Jay Lehr
Reply to  Tom Harris
2 years ago

Good analysis, I’ve also wondered if that he’s more than one person. I’ve asked him in another post what he actually does for a living and he’s yet to answer. His posts are all logical fallacies and projection with nonsensical repetitive claims of intellectual integrity and superiority. I don’t bother to follow his links any longer as they represent lies of omission, i.e., green propaganda.

Dave James
Dave James
Reply to  Rich Kozlovich
2 years ago

Rich Kozlovich asserts, “His posts are all logical fallacies and projection with nonsensical repetitive claims of intellectual integrity and superiority” but I’ve never claimed to be intellectual superior. In fact, I’ve often argued that no one is above criticism including me.
Mr. Kozlovich claims “I don’t bother to follow his links any longer as they represent lies of omission, i.e., green propaganda.” The America Out Loud’s comment section delays and/or kick’s out posts with links so I don’t include links in my posts. I support my comments with sources including an opinion piece by Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Dr. Lehr’s by-line, and the bio of Jay Lehr from the Heartland Institute website.
Directly quoting Mr. Harris and Dr. Lehr does not “…represent lies of omission, i.e., green propaganda” and if Mr. Koxlovich bother to read the source provided, then he could see that I’ve not taken Dr. Lehr’s and Mr. Harris’ words out of context .

Dave James
Dave James
2 years ago

Tom Harris’ repetition of Russel Cook’s petty personal attacks don’t hurt me but reflect badly on both Mr. Cook and Mr. Harris. It also shows Mr. Harris’ poor judgement and lack of originality.
Tom Harris asserts he has “already explained to Mr. James that many of his points are either wrong or misleading . I will not waste any more time explaining this to him, unless other people bring up the same or similar questions.” Mr. Harris refusal to discuss his opinion piece is a dodge.
Mr. Tom Harris attributes comments that he wrote to Russell Cook. Mr. Tom Harris wrote, “So, one naturally wonders: is there a single person named “Dave James” who must be spending most of his life posting comments to oppose me (as many of his comments show considerable research), or is there a team of researchers and posters who post under the name “Dave James?” Curious to hear what people think.” (Source Comments Section of “Getting Ahead of Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary” By Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris, Jan 21, 2020 America Outloud)
Repeating Russell Cook’s childish name-calling, refusing to discuss your opinion piece and asking others to speculate if I am more than one person is not the sign of a well-reasoned opinion piece.

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