According to the United Nations, the world’s population just surpassed 8 billion on Nov. 15, 2022. This milestone, of course, is being condemned in some quarters as a threat to “sustainable development” and global standards of living.
Some neo-Malthusians are using the occasion to raise alarm about the dangers of overpopulation to the global food supply and warn of impending famine.[By Contrast] Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted, “A collapsing birth rate is the biggest danger civilization faces by far.” He continued, “Far too many people are under the illusion that Earth is overpopulated, even though birth rate trends are so obviously headed to population collapse.”
The threat to humanity, therefore, goes beyond our collapsing fertility rates.
To the extent that freedom and dignity are in retreat, and the values of the Enlightenment are under attack, we should all share Elon Musk’s concern over the future of our species.
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Marian L. Tupy is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and co-author (with Gale L. Pooley) of the new book, “Superabundance: The Story of Population Growth, Innovation, and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet” (Cato Institute, Aug. 31, 2022).