The following is a list of articles, papers, presentations, blogs and other, that go over why over population is not a potential that is of the nature that it should cause us to postpone or stop the movement for indefinite life extension. Each link is followed by an excerpt. If you have suggestions for more to add then please list them here and Ill consider editing them into the topic.
The topics range from the reality that there may be an under-population problem, to the idea that death is never a solution, to explanation of the Tithonus error. There are statistics, graphs, and references throughout many of these titles.
Growing Gains - Jacob Sullum | January 5, 2000
"Malthus was also wrong to think that "population...invariably increase[s] where there are means of subsistence." In fact, notes Bailey, "we find that the countries that are the wealthiest and have the greatest access to food--the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, France--are precisely those countries that have the lowest birth rates, all of them below replacement levels."
Likewise, the neo-Malthusians are wrong to think that economic growth inevitably leads to environmental degradation. In fact, as Bailey’s book shows with data on air pollution and other indicators, "greater affluence means an improving natural environment, not a worsening one."
It’s true enough, as opponents of growth constantly remind us, that the earth’s resources are finite. But what Malthus missed, and what his ideological heirs fail to appreciate, is the human ingenuity that enables us to arrange those resources in an infinite variety of combinations.
The improvements in agriculture that we have seen in the last century, on a scale beyond anything that Malthus imagined, are just one example of that ingenuity. "The United States uses less than half of the land for farming in the 1990s than it used in the 1920s," Bailey notes, "but it produces far more food now than it did then."
Market incentives constantly drive people to find ways of doing more with less, to devise better "recipes" for the things they need and want. "Two centuries after Malthus," Bailey concludes, "we now know that the exponential growth of knowledge, not of our numbers, is the real key to understanding the promising future that lies ahead for humanity and for the earth.""
Ethical Poverty - Staying poor to save the planet - Ronald Bailey | November 20, 2002
"Economic growth is what has paid for both the technological improvements and the compliance with regulations that have made environmental improvements possible. To consider just how wrongheaded Elliott and Lamm are, think how polluted the United States would be if the economy hadn't grown at all since the 1950s. People would still be using technologically backward cars spewing pollutants. There would be very few municipal sewage treatment plants on rivers, no filters on coal-fired electric plants, few controls on industrial dumping, and no modern landfills. Forests would have been chopped down to accommodate low-productivity farms."
Loving Death "Early death, disease, disability: pro or con?" Ronald Bailey | February 26, 2003
“The cutting edge of medical life-advancing technology could slice through Fukuyama's nursing-home fears by aiming directly at preventing aging, not just ameliorating the diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and heart disease that often accompany it. The point of aging research is not to make us older longer, but to make us younger longer.”
“Finally, Fukuyama ignores that the effort to extend lifespan is a perfect flourishing of a uniquely human nature. The highest expression of human dignity and human nature is to try to overcome the limitations imposed on us by our genes, our evolution, and our environment. Future generations will look back at the beginning of the 21st century with astonishment that some very well meaning and intelligent people actually wanted to stop biomedical research just to protect their cramped and limited vision of human nature. They will look back, I predict, and thank us for making their world of longer, healthier lives possible.”
Tithonus Option/Error - Chris Lawson - November 10 2002. (reprint)
"Anti-ageing technology may present us with the awful scenario of extended lifespan but limited improvement in quality of life. Living forever -- or at least for long periods of time -- with dementia is known as "The Tithonus Option.""
"In Greek mythology, Tithonus was a handsome mortal who fell in love with Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Eos realised that her beloved Tithonus was destined to age and die. She begged Zeus to grant her lover immortal life.
Zeus was a jealous god, prone to acts of deception in order to seduce beautiful gods and mortals, and he was not pleased with Eos's infatuation with a rival. In a classic Devil's Bargain, he granted Eos's wish -- literally. He made Tithonus immortal, but did not grant him eternal youth.
As Tithonus aged, he became increasingly debilitated and demented, eventually driving Eos to distraction with his constant babbling.
In despair, she turned Tithonus into a grasshopper. In Greek mythology, the grasshopper is immortal. (In a close cultural parallel, the Chinese believed that locusts live forever.) This myth also explains why grasshoppers chirrup ceaselessly, like demented old men."
*(The point of the movement for indefinite life extension, however, is to create a robust state of biological affairs, of which indefinitely increasing frailty does not, cannot occur.)
Life Extension and Overpopulation - Max More, Ph.D. 1996, 2001
"1: Let us assume for a moment that population growth is or will become a serious problem. Would this give us a strong reason for turning against the extension of human lifespan? No. Opposing extended life because it might add to existing problems would be an unethical response. Suppose you are a doctor given a child to treat who is suffering from pneumonia. Would you refusing to cure the child because then she would be well enough to run around, fall down, and skin her knees? Our first responsibility is to live long and vitally and to help others do the same. Once we are at work on this primary goal, we can focus more energy on solving other challenges. Life extension and optimal living for the individual certainly benefits from a healthy physical and social environment. The life extensionist may want to be part of the solution to any population issues, but dying is not a responsible or healthy way to solve anything. Besides, if we take seriously the idea of limiting lifespan to control population, why not be more active about it? Why not encourage suicide? Why not execute anyone reaching the age of 75?
2. Limiting population growth by opposing life extension not only fails the ethical test, it also fails the pragmatic test. Keeping the death rate up simply is not an effective way of slowing population growth. [........]Even the apparent short term upward effect on population due to a lower death rate may be cancelled by a delay in child-bearing. Many women in developed countries (those who will be first to have extended life) choose to bear children by their early ‘30s because their chances go down as they age. Extending the fertile period of women’s lives would allow them to put off having children until later, while they concentrate on their careers. Not only couples have children later, they will be better able to care for them, financially and psychologically."
World Population Implosion? By Nicholas Eberstadt | AEI Online Thursday, October 16, 1997
"Most of the news from the 23rd General Population Conference, held in October in Beijing, focused on the threat of overpopulation. But this danger may be a myth. Over the past several years, some of the world's best demographers have begun a dramatic reassessment of the world's demographic future. They are now seriously considering the possibility that the world's population will peak in our lifetimes, and then commence an indefinite decline."
Is Human Population - Really the Problem? - Views of Jeff Lindsay - circa 2005
"Just what is "overpopulation"? How does one determine when a nation is overpopulated? There are no clear demographic indicators for this fuzzy notion. If population density is used as the criterion, then Bermuda and Monaco would be crisis zones, while Nigeria and Ethiopia should be paradise. Other factors, like population growth rate, also provide metrics riddled with inconsistencies. Yes, there are places where people lack resources and go hungry, but eliminating neighbors is not the solution to the condition of poverty. If we are worried about those who go hungry, let us recognize that the hungry are suffering from poverty, not from overpopulation."
Overpopulation? Not a problem! Michael Anissimov Tuesday, Sep 12 2006
"So it turns out that if 5% of the United States were converted into urban area with a population density of 6,000/km², and 45% were converted into suburban area with a population density of 2,000/km², with the remaining 50% left for rural area, parks, and farms, there would be enough room for 3 billion in the urban areas, and 9 billion in the suburban areas, for a total population of 12 billion. This is in the US alone. This scheme could be extended to the other countries and continents for a total population of around 100 billion. Everything between the Arctic and Antarctic circles are potential targets for colonization. This is about 130,000,000 km² of land area (the circumpolar regions have about 20,000,000 km² of land)."
Overpopulation is not the life extensionists problem, it is the non life extensionists - Eric Schulke – August 23, 2007
"We'll compress the situation so we can analyze it. Instead of 6 billion people being trapped on the planet, we'll talk about it in terms of 600 people being trapped in a warehouse, forever.
Alright, they have babies, they have babies, they have babies, soon, oh crap, theres no more room left.
"Ok Eddy, you and Mike and Don and the bunch are the oldest at 65 now. We need some room. Could you jump into that blender please?"
"Sure we'll jump into that blender. It makes the life we lived more full!" ~jump~
"Thanks guys!" (looking down into blender waving.)
So the oldest have to die? What if the oldest people were 40? What if they were 30? Well, theres no room right? They better die."
A list of population topics: http://www.imminst.o...?showtopic=2398
Imminst faq: http://imminst.org/f...erpopulation.3F
Aging In America Jan 03, 2010
"Longevity advances and their effect on population was also the subject of one chapter in The Scientific Conquest of Death. Based on the mathematics of population growth and current demographic trends, author Max More dismisses any serious threat from overpopulation due to life extension, correctly pinning the problem on the birth rate."
Population Research Institute http://www.pop.org/
Putting People First for 20 Years
Debunk the myth of overpopulation, which cheapens human life and paves the way for abusive population control programs
Expose the relentless promotion of abortion, abortifacient contraception, and chemical and surgical sterilization in misleadingly labeled “population stabilization,” “family planning,” and “reproductive health” programs.
Defund these programs by exposing the coercion, deception, and racism inherent in them.
Emphasize that people are the most valuable resource on the planet, the one resource we cannot do without.
Promote pro-natal and pro-family attitudes, laws, and policies worldwide.
Encourage programs to help the poor become agents of their own development.
Demographic Consequences of Defeating Aging - Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova Ph.D‘s - 2010
(against overpopulation concerns)
Abstract from Pub Med:
“A common objection against starting a large-scale biomedical war on aging is the fear of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation). This fear is only exacerbated by the fact that no detailed demographic projections for radical life extension scenario have been conducted so far. This study explores different demographic scenarios and population projections, in order to clarify what could be the demographic consequences of a successful biomedical war on aging. A general conclusion of this study is that population changes are surprisingly slow in their response to a dramatic life extension. For example, we applied the cohort-component method of population projections to 2005 Swedish population for several scenarios of life extension and a fertility schedule observed in 2005. Even for very long 100-year projection horizon, with the most radical life extension scenario (assuming no aging at all after age 60), the total population increases by 22% only (from 9.1 to 11.0 million). Moreover, if some members of society reject to use new anti-aging technologies for some religious or any other reasons (inconvenience, non-compliance, fear of side effects, costs, etc.), then the total population size may even decrease over time. Thus, even in the case of the most radical life extension scenario, population growth could be relatively slow and may not necessarily lead to overpopulation. Therefore, the real concerns should be placed not on the threat of catastrophic population consequences (overpopulation), but rather on such potential obstacles to a success of biomedical war on aging, as scientific, organizational, and financial limitations.“
Full page of past and upcoming presentations on the demographic consequences of defeating aging. http://longevity-sci...rg/present.html
Correlating Imminst topic: http://www.imminst.o...showtopic=32329
Edited by brokenportal, 14 January 2011 - 08:07 PM.