Funny, forty years ago it was the No. 1 science fact. Right up there where human-caused climate change is today.
As I know from experience, pregnant women took their share of heat, even in sparsely populated countries like Canada.
Well, at Nature, it’s currently #5 myth
“The science myths that will not die”
But the human population has not and is not growing exponentially and is unlikely to do so, says Joel Cohen, a populations researcher at the Rockefeller University in New York City. The world’s population is now growing at just half the rate it was before 1965. Today there are an estimated 7.3 billion people, and that is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. Yet beliefs that the rate of population growth will lead to some doomsday scenario have been continually perpetuated. Celebrated physicist Albert Bartlett, for example, gave more than 1,742 lectures on exponential human population growth and the dire consequences starting in 1969.
One dire consequence has been forcible sterilization and abortion.
The world’s population also has enough to eat.
Yes, and obesity is becoming a global problem .
Like others interviewed for this article, Cohen is less than optimistic about the chances of dispelling the idea of overpopulation and other ubiquitous myths (see ‘Myths that persist’), but he agrees that it is worthwhile to try to prevent future misconceptions. … Scientists need to be effective at communicating ideas and get away from simple, boiled-down messages. Myths that persist More.
What scientists need is science journalists who lose the pom poms and start asking the hard questions when they are unpopular.
It is precisely when the hard questions are unpopular that they are most urgently needed.
One wonders whether uncritically accepted climate change claims will do more or less damage than overpopulation claims.
See also: Some are starting to get it: Science journalist fed up with “nutrition science” Is this getting to be a trend?
Follow UD News at Twitter!