The Economist asked and I answered

>> Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Economist asked: Would the world be better off with fewer people? Join our latest online debate and share your thoughts.

I answered (152nd comment): The question is simplistic. Many of the world's problems have less to do with how many of us human beings are living in it than the way we relate to one another. The world's problem, in other words,are related less to physical structure of the global ecosystem (if I may use such a term) than with the function of it. In the U.S., there's a rich body of literature on institutional theory (relating to rules and relationships) that have put the oft-repeated but little substantiated notion that "overpopulation" is the cause of all the world's problem, under a critical lens. Works of Malthus and his followers like Paul Erlich, Anne Earlich, and even Garrett Hardin of the "Tragedy of the Commons" fame have been put under critical review. My belief is that many of the world's problems can be solved "culturally" than "physically", i.e., by developing new ways of managing what we have than by limiting our numbers. Demand-side management isn't always successful when done simplistically.

Read the debate here: and

What do you think?


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