Your letters needed in response to: Don’t worry about the booming global population — celebrate it.

June 15, 2011 • Daily Email Recap

Some people are clueless, especially economists.  Thanks to Anwarul Chowdhury for bringing this Foreign Policy article to my attention.  See

More People, Please.

Don’t Worry About the Booming Global Population — Celebrate It.

Charles Kenny

Acolytes of Thomas Malthus — the prudish 18th-century parson whose influence has considerably outlasted the accuracy of his predictions — are generally predisposed toward gloom-and-doom, but their hand-wringing has been especially intense the past several weeks. With its latest population forecasts predicting the world population may surpass 10 billion people by the end of the century, the United Nations has stoked age-old fears that the planet may not be able to sustain all of the human beings trying to live on it. As the number of souls on the planet ticks ever higher, the Malthusians lament, misery will flourish.

But for selfish and altruistic reasons alike, we should be delighted that there are more people on the planet than ever before — and billions more to come. Yes, there are problems to remedy as the world population continues to rise: Not least, many women still lack freedom to decide how many children to have and the lifestyles of rich people living in places like the United States, Europe, and Japan threaten global sustainability. Yet as we get ready to welcome the birth of the seven billionth person later this year, the mood should be celebratory, not dour.

Why is a growing population a good thing? For a start, most people seem to be pretty happy to be alive. The tragedy of suicide remains a comparatively rare cause of death worldwide, thankfully. And only in a very few countries across the globe do most respondents suggest in polls that they are unhappy: in Bangladesh, despite low incomes and poor health, 85 percent of the population suggests they are happy, and in Nigeria and China that number is nearly three quarters. Simply put, having the opportunity to be alive is a good thing, and the more such opportunity exists, the better. (Another bit of good news from the U.N. projections — average global life expectancy will rise from around 68 years today to 81 in 2100, so we’ll all have a little bit longer to enjoy it.)

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