Friday, November 22, 2013

The Population Problem: Time's China Cover Story Edition

CNN link/summary

I try not to think about the population problem too much. It's a huge problem, and discussions of it are almost invariably infuriating.

To mention just a few infuriating things about the discussion:
Although IT IS VERBOTEN TO SAY THAT OVERPOPULATION IS A PROBLEM BECAUSE IT IS RACIST TO SAY THAT AND ANYWAY THE REAL PROBLEM IS OVERCONSUMPTION!!!111 (false, of course, on both counts), as soon as there is any even vaguely plausible case to be made that there are any adverse consequences whatsoever of reducing population...bam...Time cover story...

Liberals now often refuse to discuss overpopulation because concerns about overpopulation conflicts with their view that illegal immigration is not a problem. Those on the far left cry "racism!"...well, about everything...but often, in this context, because population growth is a bigger problem in less-developed nations, and criticizing anyone but the U.S. is verboten. Also, they basically refuse to discuss anything but American overconsumption--ever--in this topical vicinity. Then there's the right, which thinks we can and must grow the economy forever, and that TEH MUZLIMZ WILL OUTBREED US!!!1111  Oh, yeah: and then there are the radical right racists, who do, in fact, decry overpopulation, and actually do so because it's an opportunity to criticize Africans and Asians, and to push an anti-immigration agenda. And of course that helps a lot...

So basically all the major regions of the political spectrum refuse to discuss overpopulation in a sensible, objective way.

So we now have what is, in effect, a one-way valve regulating any discussion about population: discussions in which it is argued that overpopulation is a problem are shut down, but any evidence that a reduced population might cause any problems in any way is catapulted to the forefront of the public consciousness. This prejudices the discussion in a way that serves not only to ignore the overpopulation problem, but to actually encourage overpopulation.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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