Monday, July 18, 2011

The Rational Stagnationist

Just a quick observation that Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, has a very confused view on population growth and "optimism". On the one hand he argues that our global population will stagnate and that this is a good thing. On the other hand, he argues that if you're worried about population growth stagnation then you don't need to worry as there is evidence that the demographic transition is only a temporary state followed by further population growth.

When I attempted to contact Matt Ridley via his web site about this contradictory state of belief his PA assured me that economic growth can continue even when the population stagnates. This is revealing as Ridley seems to believe that the world population will stagnate, despite the evidence he specifically notes for those concerned about economic stagnation caused by population stagnation that world population will not stagnate.

Regardless of whether or not you think population growth will or should stagnate or just keep going, one thing that is certain is that population growth cannot both stagnate and keep going at the same time!



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