Comment by Ben Augustine on July 26, 2011 at 9:17pm

Sophistry! =P  This video states that increasing numbers of people have led to more complex social structures that have reduced poverty. It is then inferred that further increasing the number of people will further reduce poverty.  This argument from the correlation between population and the percentage of the population living in poverty (not the sheer number) extrapolates beyond the data, ignores the previously stated causal mechanism that relates these two measures, and ignores confounding factors.  Will further increasing the number of people continue to lead to societies of greater complexity and will further social complexity continue to have a meaningful impact on poverty?  Even when the availability of fossil energy, another factor reducing (mean) poverty, begins to decline?  Even when we are consuming natural resources far beyond their ability to be replenished? Even in the face of global warming that will most likely lower human carrying capacity?  These questions are far from clear.  Can't sufficiently complex societies be maintained even with far fewer people than are on the planet today?  Won't smaller societies retain the fruits of past human ingenuity?  In my opinion, those downplaying the threat of overpopulation are epistemically arrogant and have placed too much faith in human ingenuity and our ability to cooperate during times of resource scarcity.

 

Also, "People are the only proven way out of poverty?"  What about education and family planning (both of which effectively remove people)?

Comment by Ben Augustine on July 26, 2011 at 9:28pm

Now for an ad hominem.

 

http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/right/population-research-institute

 

Pro-life propaganda!  =P

Comment by matt.clerke on July 26, 2011 at 9:42pm

This video doesn't address the maximum population capacity of the Earth. It seems to suggest the possibility of endless expansion with endless population growth. Perhaps we will still be able to push the planet to carry more people with new farming methods or synthesised foods....eventually we will hit a maximum. It is impossible to get infinite food from a finite system.

Comment by Ben Augustine on July 26, 2011 at 9:48pm

You obviously have not heard of Infinite Planet Theory. =P

 

http://conservationbytes.com/2011/05/24/infinite-planet-theory/

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