“Population Decline Will Change the World for the Better”, Scientific American Says – Igor Chudov 5/7/23

Source: igorchudov.substack.com

An article from the “climate change” section of Scientific American had such a catchy title that I could not pass it up.

… the United Nations predicts dozens of countries will have shrinking populations by 2050. This is good news. Considering no other large animal’s population has grown as much, as quickly or as devastatingly for other species as ours, we should all be celebrating population decline.

Declining populations will ease the pressure eight billion people put on the planet. As the population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity, I’ve seen the devastating effects of our ever-expanding footprint on global ecosystems.

The article is authored by Stephanie Feldstein, the population and sustainability director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Stephanie recommends two books, one “The Jane Effect” devoted to Jane Goodall. Jane, just like Stephanie, wishes and works for a smaller population. Look at this one-minute video of Jane speaking at the World Economic Forum.

“all these problems that we talk about would not be a problem if there was the size of the population that there was 500 years ago.”

Stephanie’s Scientific American article explains the climate benefits of declining fertility rates:

While many assume population decline would inevitably harm the economy, researchers found that lower fertility rates would not only result in lower emissions by 2055, but a per capita income increase of 10 percent.

She urges us to shift from growth to degrowth, a term meaning a decline in the quantity of goods and resources our societies are consuming:

Population decline is only a threat to an economy based on growth. Shifting to a model based on degrowth and equity alongside lower fertility rates will help fight climate change and increase wealth and well-being.

Anticipating that lower birth rates in first-world countries will make it difficult to care for aging populations, Stephanie recommends replacing the missing young people via immigration:

But despite how inevitable population decline will benefit people and the planet, world leaders have done little to prepare for a world beyond the paradigm of endless growth. They need to prepare for an aging population now while realigning our socioeconomic structures toward degrowth. Meanwhile, immigration can help soften some of the demographic blows by bringing younger people into aging countries.

Since I wrote numerous articles highlighting reductions in live births and baffling increases in mortality, let me share some statistical updates….

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