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October 18, 2006 / D.F.Dufty

Underpopulation can be a real killer

The population of America has passed the 300 million mark and the Australian birthrate climbs (the newspapers term of “booming” is over the top- it’s still below replacement level). Meanwhile, Russia’s population is imploding due to AIDS, tuberculosis, alcoholism, poverty, and, well, just not having babies. This will have increasing repercussions worldwide. For example, Russia will have fewer and fewer working age people to support its elderly, to enlist in the military, and to generally run the country. Whereas booming populations have the danger of consuming more resources, falling populations create unstable states. This in turn can cause economic woe, collapsing infrastructure, famine, war, and anarchy. In all our worrying about overpopulation, we fail to realise that its evil twin can also be very destructive.

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