One of the ideas that this blog is trying to combat is the doom-mongering of those preaching the overpopulation panic. Although it has died down a fair bit since Paul Ehrlich published “The Population Bomb” in the 1960s, and indeed even since we started writing on this blog over six years ago, there are still calls for population control measures by certain people. Including, apparently, Bill Nye, apparently a 1990s star of educational science videos for kids and new star of the bien pensant in 2017.

Now, I know nothing about Bill Nye as he wasn't part of my childhood growing up in New Zealand, but apparently he is concerned that there are too many “sponges” (his metaphor for people) being born, and that something needs to be done, particularly in the west. As this video demonstrates, there may be a problem with resource distribution in the world, but this is less concerning than it was even 20 years ago and fewer people are starving now despite the population also increasing. Furthermore, the idea that the state should start down the road of population engineering is an extremely dangerous one.

The one thing it doesn't note is that humans cannot and should nto be reduced to resource-consumers only. Not only is this reductionism morally problematic because it ignores the full dignity and human worth of each person (as well as each person's ability to decide on family size's without state coercion) it also ignores the ability of each person to be part of the solution to any problem facing humanity. That is, humans are not only consumers/polluters but are also inventors/scientists/thinkers/entrepeneurs/lovers/producers. Each person is not only part of the problem, but part of the solution too. Let's hope that the Nye's of the world don't get their views any closer to those in power…

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Marcus Roberts is a Senior Researcher at the Maxim Institute in Auckland, New Zealand, and was co-editor of the former MercatorNet blog, Demography is Destiny. Marcus has a background in the law, both...