This is a response to:
The lesson from China is not that there is no problem with population growth, but here is a nation which understood the problem and tried to find a solution. The solution may be a little authoritarian for our western tastes but it would not surprise me if other countries in the world eventually follow it.
It’s important to realise how we got where we are, we have exploited all the easy to get at resources on the planet, why was BP drilling a well in 5000ft of water to get at oil a mile down? The answer is because that was their best investment prospect i.e. there is no more easy to get at oil left to find. The oil age has proved tremendously productive and given us fertiliser, energy to move food cheaply to where it is needed and refrigeration to keep it cool. And the whole energy generating apparatus occupies so little space you hardly notice it. We will miss it when it’s gone.
So now back to population what does every one need to put food on their table energy, add more people, then add more energy please. We’ve succeeded in this trick rather successfully for the last 200 years, transitioning from wood to Coal, then oil.
So to sum up the reason we are able to sustain such a vast population is due to our vast energy consumption, our energy production is relying on the extraction of increasingly difficult to extract resources which are probably running out and transition to new energy sources will be very hard. If we are smart and make the correct decisions now we may be able to transition to a new energy world order, but it’s far from obvious we will be able to do this. If we fail in energy production expect our Malthusian nightmare to come home.
Compliancy is the enemy, yes mankind is smart, but Sara Palin is also a serious candidate for President.