Some say money is the root of all evil; others, quoting George Bernard Shaw, that lack of money is the root of all evil. (I say: since the matter is in dispute, may as well have it than not.)

But if we’re looking for the root of evil and for fundamental problems, why start with money? It’s people who are the root of all evil, and an overabundance of us, it can persuasively be argued, that is fundamental to many of the world’s worst problems.

I don’t mean to offend any particular person. Well, maybe Mickey Rooney. But as a group, we really have to start thinking about the size of our party. Six billion?

I know, I know: Malthus. Big ol’ cry baby. Whine, whine, whine. World population has doubled in just the last 38 years — positively teeming by Malthus’s standards — yet it’s not as if people are going to bed hungry or anything.

Well, there is a bit of that, I suppose, but c’mon: if the planet can’t support an additional 90 million new consumers a year — a new Mexico each year — then what kind of self-respecting planet is it, anyway? We haven’t scratched the surface of this fine planet’s carrying capacity. Your war, your over-crowding, your infectious diseases, your red tides, endangered species and global warming — just so much kvetching from the folks who care more about snail darters than strip malls. There was plenty of war and disease and chariot traffic back when there were only a billion of us.

Still, if you’re not certain technology will solve everything as the Earth’s population doubles and doubles again, it might be worth a click to check out the Zero Population Growth website. Full disclosure: I’m on the board.

Tomorrow: Big Potatoes

 

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