According to Livescience.com:
On Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7:16 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, the population here on this good Earth is projected to hit 6.5 billion people.Many people see this as a landmark in mankind's pursuit to destroy itself. They argue, in standard Malthusian fashion, that an increasing population on Earth will lower standards of living and ultimately destroy the planet. See Paul Ehrlich's work for an example.
The increase in Earth's population is driven by, what many would consider to be, increases in the standard of living - namely, a dramatic increase in life expectancy. As one UN consultant put it, "It's not that people suddenly started breeding like rabbits; it's just that they stopped dying like flies." Should society be concerned that more people are living longer?
Is 6.5 billion people and the growth trend that it designates something to be concerned about? According to the U.S. Government's official data (as cited in The Skeptical Environmentalist), "the growth of the global population peaked in the early 1960's at just over 2% a year". In fact, UN scientists predict that the world's population will stabilize just short of 11 billion in the year 2200. It seems that concerns of eternal population growth are simply not worth worrying about.
But what is the sustainability of the predicted stabilized population size? Economist Julian Simon has researched the impact of populations on economic growth and finds that:
...more people and more wealth has correlated with more (rather than less) resources and a cleaner environment...The most important benefit of population size and growth is the increase it brings to the stock of useful knowledge. Minds matter economically as much as, or more than, hands or mouths. Progress is limited largely by the availability of trained workers.As such, Simon deems people as the "ultimate resource" and welcomes their presence. More people is likely to make the world better off.
Considering that the growth of world population is slowing and will reach a steady state and that people are a valuable resource, I can't help wondering why there has been so much needless commotion about population growth.