Apr 10, 2022Liked by Chris J. Karr

I believe the life force we call our spirit is returned like droplets out into the universe. If there is a God, he is in the life force recycling business. (Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.) Professor Albert A Bartlett observed that "the greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." I've not lost hope, but I do believe we are to be good stewards of the planet and being good stewards requires us to be as cognizant of population amongst our species as we are amongst others. It took over 2,000,000 years for the population of the planet to reach 1,000,000,000, but only 200 years to reach over 7,000,000,000. It is foolish to think we can have infinite exponential growth on this little blue dot, that the resources of this planet are infinite, and that technology and human innovation will provide, in a timely manner, all solutions to future challenges facing humankind.

Professor Bartlett concluded one of his lectures with this question, "Can you think of any problem on any scale, from microscopic to global, whose long-term solution is in any demonstrable way aided, assisted, or advanced by having larger populations at the local level, the state level, the national level, or globally?"

That said, I disagree that an apocalyptic fear is the driver for decreased reproductive rates. Perhaps it is the fact that wages have been stagnant for at least 4 decades ($30k in 1983 is equivalent to $87k, today. Average household income in 1980 was ~$21k =$61k, today Try living on $30k, today) Perhaps it is the fact that housing prices, including rentals, have skyrocketed and 27% of housing is being purchased by investors, to include whole neighborhoods of new housing construction, relegating a substantial portion of the working class to rental status, maybe permanently. Perhaps the capitalism that has been unleashed over the last 4 decades needs some bridling.

Expand full comment

Excellent article Steve!

Expand full comment