Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Zombies and sensitivities

Iain Climie (New Scientist, Letters, 3/10/16) is right to emphasize the need for population reductions in the resource-greedy developed countries. But why does he think that we have difficulty "accepting our own entry in the obituary column" when this is, as my Chemistry teacher remarked, the only scientific law to which there are no known exceptions?
I don't believe that lust for immortality is the reason that we can't think clearly about population. In fact I see two reasons.

One reason is the 'zombie doctrine' that bigger is always better so a large population must be better than a smaller one. This doctrine helps to explain the political obsession with GDP - when GDP per head would make better sense (though measures of well-being would be better still.)
The other is the sensitivity over appearing to tell people how many children to have. But this is a mistake - a failure to distinguish between a need for discussion and a desire to give orders. An odd failure I think since most of the policies advocated to limit population, eg easier access to birth control, actually increase human freedom.

1 comment:

  1. What do you mean by the lust of immortality and the increase in population, how can you relate both of these topics with each other. can you please define their relation