Article Title: Are We Really Talking About the Same Thing?
This article aims at explaining how the claims of scientists that – Earth can sustain, at most, only 7 billion people at subsistence levels of consumption – is shallow and inconsiderate of human contribution of re-engineering the environment to produce more to cope with the rising consumption. The author argues that most scientists consider humans as protozoa that keep breeding and consuming until the resources are exhausted. The author, however, says that modernisation has caused falling fertility rates and demographers project that the human population will peak, and then begin a slow decline, in some cases before the end of this century. The consumption of people is saturating.
The author does agree that we might exceed the planet’s carrying capacity but feels that this view is deeply ahistorical, assuming carrying capacity to be static. Humans are, in fact, finding alternatives for energy sources, modern agriculture is promising enough food for people and with wisdom and ingenuity, humans can continue to thrive. The author feels that the pseudo-scientific claims advocate limits on human societies to consume less. He refutes this because humans are unlike flies and cattle. Humans have remade the planet again and again to serve our needs and our dreams. And this is how it is meant to be.
Words to learn from this Article:
Subsistence – the action or fact of maintaining or supporting oneself, especially at a minimal level
Transgress – go beyond the limits of (what is morally, socially, or legally acceptable)
Nebulous – vague or ill-defined
Volition – the faculty or power of using one’s will
Demographer – a person who studies changes in numbers of births, marriages, deaths, etc. in an area over a period of time
Impend – (something bad) about to happen
Protozoa – an organism; a single-celled free-living parasite
Agrarian – relating to cultivated land or the cultivation of land
Haul – (of a person) pull or drag with effort or force
Prodigious – remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or degree
Ahistorical – lacking historical perspective or context
Paleoarchaeology – The archaeological study of deep time, specifically focussing on hominid fossils up to 15,000,000 years in age
Idyll – an extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque period or situation, typically an idealized or unsustainable one
Anathema – something or someone that one vehemently dislikes
Proponent – a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or course of action
Hubris – excessive pride or self-confidence
Ingenuity – the quality of being clever, original, and inventive
Egalitarian – believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities
Pseudo-scientific – a system of theories or assertions about the natural world that claim or appear to be scientific but that, in fact, are not
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