Monday, December 10, 2007

Collective schizophrenia?

I've had a bit of a rant about population trends on a few occasions in the past - see here and here - and note that just last Friday, yet further predictions of economic meltdown were forthcoming upon the publication of a report showing that Scotland's population was in mild decline.

Now, I'm fairly certain that asked what the major threat facing planet earth was in the next 100-years, most folk today would say 'global warming' ... would welcome any evidence to back up that admitted 'assertion' :-) ... and there does appear to be an increasing acceptance that population growth is playing a significant part in all of this. Just cast your mind back to that recent GEO4 United Nations report!

I'm left wondering if organisations like the BBC just reflect our 'collective schizophrenia' over this issue - one day saying 'massive population growth is going to be the environmental death of us all'; the next saying that 'mild population decline will be the economic death of us all' ...

I don't doubt that 'extremes' at either end of the scale would be catastrophic (for humans), but it does seem pretty clear to me that we're nowhere near population collapse as a human race, but instead increasingly moving towards 'resource exhaustion' in a potential 'tragedy of the commons' on a global scale.

... and as Garrett Hardin recognised full well, nearly 40 years ago now, such "common resources require management".

Problem is, when he recognised it (in 1968) the world population was some 3billion and it's now more than doubled to 6.5billion ... and in another 40-years it will be very close to some 9billion.

Puts the 'mild decline' of Scotland's population into perspective ... does it not?

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