About Me

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Australian philosopher, literary critic, legal scholar, and professional writer. Based in Newcastle, NSW. My latest books are THE TYRANNY OF OPINION: CONFORMITY AND THE FUTURE OF LIBERALISM (2019); AT THE DAWN OF A GREAT TRANSITION: THE QUESTION OF RADICAL ENHANCEMENT (2021); and HOW WE BECAME POST-LIBERAL: THE RISE AND FALL OF TOLERATION (2024).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Johann Hari on overpopulation

This piece by Johann Hari seems to me to be filled with wisdom. Hari knows that there is often something a bit distasteful about the nay-saying of people who yammer on about overpopulation - but he also knows they (let's be honest ... we) have a point.

Hari doesn't say anything that was new to me, and the conclusion that he comes to is one I agree with. Still, he says it very well indeed, better than I could have in this case.

He concludes:

So after studying the evidence, I am left in a position I didn’t expect. Yes, the argument about overpopulation is distasteful, it is often discussed inappropriately, and it is far from being a panacea-solution – but it can’t be dismissed entirely. It will be easier for six billion people to cope on a heaving, boiling planet than for nine or ten billion – and we will only get there by freeing women to make their own reproductive choices. To achieve this green goal, it’s necessary need to mix some oestrogen into the environmentalist palette.

I'm not sure why he didn't expect to come to this conclusion. It seems to be obviously the correct one. Still, whether or not he expected to say the things he does ... they seem to me to be pretty sensible. Good on yer, Johann.

1 comment:

TM said...

Grayling makes the same point even more powerfully in "Towards the Light". I am always happy when such eloquent and popular writers as Mr Hari stir up the mission for emancipation of the better sex. Thanks for letting us now, Russell.