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The director-general of Unicef has been quoted as saying, “Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.” And one of the benefits of reduced population, it is claimed, is reduced carbon emissions and therefore mitigation of climate change.
This statement takes technology for granted, yet technology itself depends on population.
Especially important among the sources of technical progress — discoveries — are trial and error, and incentives. Reasonable people can disagree about the relative importance of these two, but both are stimulated by population.
The more people on earth, the greater the chance that one of them has an idea of how to improve alternative energies, or to mitigate the climate effects of carbon emissions. It takes only one person to have an idea that can benefit many.Plus, the more people on earth, the larger are the markets for new innovations.
See my previous posts: