To the Editor,
In response to Jason Sethre’s concern about a declining population in the editorial of July 12; it seems a little short-sighted worried about a declining population that could interfere with our way of life, when we already have about 7.5 billion people on this earth and are increasing by about 100 million each year. (Ruchir Sharma – The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World) There is just one size earth and it will not be expanding or providing replaceable natural resources once they are gone. We should be thinking about successfully shrinking our bulging population rather than expanding. Most developed countries are already doing so and have reduced birthrates to about 1.9 average per family; should the lessor developed countries adapt to a 1.9 policy, our species would stabilize world population growth. Does anybody think that by reducing population our economy keeps expanding without any influencing factors? Our economy follows population trends and supplies its needs, regardless of its expanding or shrinking. A shrinking population means governments can achieve balanced budgets, planned economies beyond five years, and fewer needs to expand beyond their own boundary. In time, each nation would have more natural resources available. Skyscrapers and industrial complexes would not come tumbling down, but it would mean there would be a steady elimination of present congestion, as fewer people mean less demand and fewer business structures required to meet our dwindling needs.
Those saying there is plenty of space on this earth for more people are missing the point. The question should be: What is the optimum number of humans a sustainable earth can handle: what is it: 2.5, 3.5, 7.5 billion?