September 14, 2013
Overpopulation Is Not the Problem (ERLE C. ELLIS, 9/13/13, Washington Post)
Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2013 7:07 AMMANY scientists believe that by transforming the earth's natural landscapes, we are undermining the very life support systems that sustain us. Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences. Disaster looms as humans exceed the earth's natural carrying capacity. Clearly, this could not be sustainable.This is nonsense. Even today, I hear some of my scientific colleagues repeat these and similar claims -- often unchallenged. And once, I too believed them. Yet these claims demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of the ecology of human systems. The conditions that sustain humanity are not natural and never have been. Since prehistory, human populations have used technologies and engineered ecosystems to sustain populations well beyond the capabilities of unaltered "natural" ecosystems.