Hranislav Djoric writes:*
While reading Hardin’s “The Tragedy of the Commons”, I found his example of putting a family size limit to slow population growth rather interesting. He had stated that if we were to put a family size limit, then those families who are already bigger than others will have a higher likelihood of passing their genes on which can prove to be problematic. But the point that strikes me as being most odd is where he writes that if a population is still growing it has not yet reached its optimal size. He of course did explain that the optimal size is much less than its maximum size, but I still find this shocking when I think about the human population on Earth.
Our population, in my opinion, is growing at an unstable rate. This leads me to believe that if we ever reach our “optimum” population size, we are in fact economically, and from a resource stand point, doomed. Our world’s economies have a hard enough time feeding those who are poor all around our planet as is. Shouldn’t the fact that the population “has not reached its optimum yet” scare most of us into action? Because if we think about Hardin’s statement, it implies that our population has some time to continue growing until it balances out at an equilibrium. But is that equilibrium at a point where all resources are consumed? Could it mean that we as a population will have been forced to mine all the renewable resources due to our population size? And by this I am referring to those resources of which we need to survive, not the other crap of course. When our population reaches “optimum”, I’m terrified to think of the apocalyptic survival mode our population will be in.
Bottom Line: It is time to start thinking about reorganizing the systems we have in place today, in order to prevent a problem of over population and scarce resources tomorrow – either through education or regulations of some kind.
* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.