Human Population Growth

Wed, 14 Dec 1994 13:11:40 CST

per year (1994 World Population Data Sheet). Global population is not g
rowing exponentially. Exponential growth requires a constant rate of pr
oportional (or percent) increase; the human rate appears to have been
declining, somewhat irregularly, since its maximum of around 2.3% per
year back in the 1960's. B. Blackwell's assertion that the rate is 1.8%
and rising is mistaken on both scores; hence, the human demographic
situation is less bleak than she--and many others, especially ecologists
--imagine. United Nations demographers project, based on continuing
gradual declines in the growth rate, global population of 10-11 billion
by around the middle of the next century. People who cry, "But we can't
support that many people" reveal a lack of anthropological imagination:
that population will be supported not by our way of life (culture), but
by theirs. I refuse to think of humanity as a cancer on the planet.
Fewer people would not necessarily be better; more people will not
necessarily be worse. --Bob Graber