2013-02-12 The Population bomb.docx

14 Pages
Unlock Document

Western University
Political Science
Political Science 2137
Cameron Harrington

“The Population bomb?” February 12, 2013 “We will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs] unless more attention and resources are devoted to population and reproductive health. This is particularly true in the poorest nations, where there are high rates of fertility and mortality, rapid population growth, and high unmet need for family planning.” - Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director, UNFPA, 2006 -quote: encapsulates modern issue of population growth -within it, there’s a whole idea of development and human progress – all related to how many people there actually are -related to proper management of environment -central to modern quest to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality: idea of population -bringing down population where we can use the Earth at a sustainable way “The study of the growth of population is often spoken of as though it were a modern one. But in a more or less vague form it has occupied the attention of thoughtful men in all ages of the world.” - D.B Luton, 1970 -in the past 40 years: population risen to be a problem in environmental politics -harsh realities Population Problems World Population:  2012: 7 billion  2005: 6.45 billion  2100: 10 billion  Optimum level? 1.5 - 2 billion?  Population is central to differing views on the economic system and environmental impacts  Cornucopians (Julian Simon) vs. Malthusians (Ehrlichs) -sometime around 2011-2012, world population hit 7 billion people -2005: number was 6.45 billion -we added over 500 million people in 7 years -best projections put our numbers to 10 billion people by the end of the century (2100) -that number is one of the central political problems in the environment -on one hand, some say human ingenuity and progress can overcome any population pressure that we can see -all of the limits we see in front of us, we can erase them and move them further back -that’s the Cornucopian view -on the other hand, we have people who see exponential population growth occurring relentlessly, putting enormous pressure on food and overall environmental and going at a rate that we can’t keep up -this debate is not new – it has been going on for centuries -it has deep historical roots -Cornucopian view -vision of Earth filled with plenty -Thomas Malthus: on the opposing view of the Cornucopian view -population growth is a trap that developed and developing nations are going to fall into -population is going to drastically impact our future play with the development -rationale is that increases in wealth are temporary, but they are going to increase population numbers -increase wealth = increasing population -this is going to occur until eventually the resources(?) can no longer supply the adequate supply of food -it equates to the Tragedy of the Commons -keep placing more and more resource users on finite piece of land = land becomes unsustainable -population pressures rising to the point where we can’t feed ourselves anymore -Ehrlich: The Population Bomb (1968) -there is a global, optimal population; there is a number of the largest population that the Earth can support in relative prosperity: 1.5 to 2 billion (optimal number for population) -we shouldn’t look to stop population growth, but to reduce it to 1/3 of what we are now -not an easy task -some others disagree – known as Cornucopians -view held by third world economists -Julian Simon: arguing that we have overstated the problem and the seriousness of the problem -population growth is desirable, especially in developing world/third world -population growth is beneficial because it allows economic growth and prosperity to occur (idea of ingenuity, adaptation, etc.) -ongoing debate; no consensus -The Population Bomb forecasted massive famines occurring in Africa in 1970s; a lot of the stuff they forecasted didn’t come true, so Simon and other Cornucopians argue that their predictions are wrong Global Population Numbers 1 Billion 1804 2 Billion 1927 123 years later 3 Billion 1960 33 years later 4 Billion 1974 14 years later 5 Billion 1987 13 years later 6 Billion 1999 13 years later 7 Billion 2011 12 years later -123 years after 1804, we doubled the total population -we see how quickly that number has escalated -this is reflective of exponential growth: growth is doubling and doubling and doubling and faster and faster -onset of modernization led to rapid growth in population -modernization (progress we see: technological innovations, scientific breakthrough, improvements with health and sanitation): they all contribute to incredible rapid rise of population numbers -a lot of it comes down to decreasing mortality rate; people live long enough to procreate -population growth hasn’t occurred the same rate it has with the Turning Century -this has effects Sub-SaharanAfrica – Population Milestones 183 Million 1959 183*2= 366 Million 1978 28 years later 183*3=549 Million 1992 14 years later 183*4= 732 Million 2004 12 years later Today= 1.1 billion 2013 • Population growing exponentially • Problems of data collection -story of population growth today is the story of population growth in the developing world (not in Europe, North America, but specifically in the poorest regions in developing world) -specifically Sub-SaharanAfricapoorest regions in the world -54-55 years after 1959huge jump from 183 million people to 1.1 billion people -Europe’s population growth is stagnated – it’s a straight line -Sub-SaharanAfrica’s population growth is growing faster and faster -in poorest regions of world, it’s going to have major effects in how they can develop -in certain regions of the world, it’s hard to get accurate data -only 43% of countries and regions in Sub-SaharanAfrica (or those similar regions) have close to a near-wide census -those who do are marred by irregularities -the rate of population growth varies -graph: it’s a reflection of where it occurs -when we talk about population growth, it has to be in the context of global development -1.5 billion people in the developed world by 2050 -10.5 billion people in the developing world by 2050 -story of development is the story of population growth  Beginning of Common Era the global population was: 250 million (growth rate of .04%)  Today the growth rate is 1.1.-1.5%  At this rate, only 50 years before the next 6 billion  But, average rate of population growth has been slowing -going back to the beginning of Common era, population was estimated to have been 250 million people -growth rate is negligible (0.04%) -today’s growth rate is huge compared to Common era -if we continue at the rate we are going now (with 1.5% growth rate), it will be 50 years before we add the next 6 billion -we have to take into account of the rate of growth has been slowing -this is most readily true in developed countries -population decreases in the developed world, but this is not true for the developing world -reasons: one survey of 400,000 women in 61 countries -survey asks them what the reasons are for not having children -there is, overall, a growing preference of less children, later marriages, increasing use of contraception – they all contribute to lower population growth in the developed world -developed world as a static or stagnant level of population or sometimes decreasing, depending on country -in developing countries, population growth is going to only increase -98% of population growth is confined to the developing world -Canada’s growth rate: 1.1% (most of it due to immigration) -Rwanda: 7.9% growth rate -Liberia: 8.6% growth rate -it’s a huge disconnect -in some developed countries, Italy’s and Portugal’s growth rate is around 0.01% Sources of Population Data Historical Sources  Methods of subsistence  Eye-witness accounts  Archeological remains  Genealogies  Cemetery data  Church records  Military records  Numbers/sizes of towns  Censuses Current Sources  Censuses  Civil/vital registration  Surveys  Public records  Private records  Population registers  Linked records estimate -census: one of the most vital ways we determine how many people there are in a country -first time in human history, we are close to have every single birth and death recorded in the world -helps narrow down our numbers Population Growth in Canada  General trend of declining growth rate  Three distinct phases: 1. 1851-1900: Slow growth - high fertility + high mortality 2. 1901-1945:Accelerated growth – settlement of West/Immigration 3. 1945-Today – Accelerated growth – baby boom, immigration 4. 2056: 42.5 million people  Growth rate of around 1% -population growth in Canada followed the general pattern of the developed world -there is general trend of decline, but still exceeds average growth rate of Europe -1851-1900: high fertility (lots of women having children) offset high morality -1901-1945: Canada growing much more rapidly, despite the offset of two World Wars -some reasons for why it occurred: settlement of West and appeals for immigration -1945-today: Canada growing an even more accelerated pace -owing to Baby Boom – government incentive people to have more children and also more and more immigration to Canada -Canada growing so rapidly in post-war era that it was growing at the same rate as some developing nations (e.g. Mexico) -In 1946, Canada’s population was 12.6 million people -today: ~32.4-34 million people (55 years – more than doubled/tripled) st -this type of increase is expected until the middle of 21 century -estimates: by 2056, Canada’s population will be 42.5 million people -medium growth projection -Canada, compared to other countries in developed world, has a high growth rate (around 1%) -around the same as U.S., but substantially higher than European countries -reason: due to immigration -Canada has the highest international migration rates among the G8 -overall picture of developed world: will probably see negative growth in terms of population Population Growth in the US  General decline in growth – still exceeds Europe  2012 pop: 315 million  Birth rate:  1820 – 55.2 live births/thousand  Today: - 14 live births/thousand -US similar to Canada -follows general decline in much of developed world, but much higher than Europe -Europe seems to be slowest growing in terms of populations -growth rate in America has slowed in recent decades, due to declining birth rate -highest birth rate they had was 55.2 live births per 1000 people -lowest was around 13.9 or 14 live births per 1000 people -shows the substantial decrease in actual population growth -growth rate lowest since the Great Depression -there are pockets of US that are rapidly growing and some that are declining -fastest growing states are in the West coast (California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Colorado) -one of the fastest growing cities in US: LosAngeles -growing at a rate of around 1.1-1.5% per yearpretty high Calculating Population Growth Birth rates (total births per 1000 people) vs. Fertility rates (number of live births an average woman has). Fertility rates seen as more accurate measure Fertility Rate 2000-2005: World=2.7 Sub-SaharanAfrica=5.4 Europe=1.4 US=2.054 Stationary Population – Zero growth rate Replacement Rate – level of fertility rate compatible with stationary population Replacement Rate (US, 2005) = 2.11 Fertility rate (US, 2005) = 2.054 Canada = 1.6 Would mean population decline in US, Canada but…immigration -birth rate: crude measure of population growth -not very accurate -it’s total number of births per 1000 people -doesn’t tell the full picture of the underlying population trends: birth rates don’t account for age -age structure is important -fertility rates: number of live births an average woman has in her lifetime -Fertility rate 2000:2005 -world: 2.7 live births an average woman has -Sub-Saharan: average of 5.4 live births an average woman has -it got up to its highest, 8 inAngola, 7.3 in Somalia -Europe: lowest in the world; average 1.4 -U.S.: around 2 -total fertility rate used to determine what level of fertility would, if it continued, lead to a stationary population (zero growth) -US: replacement rate (amount of people needed to replace those that come before) is 2.11 -if you have zero growth stationary population, you need an average of 2.11 kids being born -you need to replace the mother and father (that’s why you need 2); the 0.11 compensates the kids who don’t survive during childbearing years and also because slightly more than 50% of births are male -implications: population actually declines at those fertility rates in US and Canada -populations of US, Canada, especially Europe are not reproducing enough to sustain the de facto population -but population is actually growing, because of immigration -immigration is making up the difference there Does Population Growth Degrade the Environment? Two questions: 1. What is the relationship between population growth, the environment, and economic development? 2. How can we change population growth when needed? How does pop. growth hurt the environment? • Declining forest lands • Increased production necessary • Migration to marginal (bad) lands -question 1: lays the groundwork for considering how population affects the quality of life and how it affects the environment and economic development -question 2: much more policy oriented -what policy measure that can implemented to manipulate people’s decisions to have kids – how do we stop that -historically, population growth has been associated with environmental degradation and environmental problems -we can see increasing rates of population and population density – the effects of it are really high, especially places that are already poverty-stricken -if we see increase in population density in vulnerable ecosystems, it will make things worse -e.g. places being clear-cut to make ways for settlement and agriculture (feeding growing population), degradation of lad (lands that were previously allowed to regrow , but doesn’t happen in areas of high population density) -out of necessity, those lands are cultivated repeatedly and what they’re able to bear from that are less and less -as population expands and as pressure expand on land, new generations will have to either intensify the production of land or move or bring marginalized land into production -after a few generations, it would eventually all collapse -civilizational collapse -population pressured on natural environment -population too much for environment to bear and eventually lead to societal collapse -another problem: migration -in areas of high population density, choices are to increase usage of land, use bad land, or to move -often times they would move to lands that are empty for a reason – does not have sufficiently rich resources to sustain us -there are some specific connections between how population actually affects environment Does Population Growth Degrade the Environment? Two competing positions 1. Negative feedback (“induced innovation hypothesis”)  Increasing populations leads to incentives for innovation. 2. Positive feedback (“downward spiral hypothesis”)  Degradation reinforces its bad effects. Problem gets worse Evidence? Inconclusive, may be context specific. -notion of feedbacks really important in te
More Less

Related notes for Political Science 2137

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.