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The gap in wealth between the richest 10 of humanity

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Unformatted text preview: rson • Area of virgin tropical forest will decline • Oceanic fishery harvest per person will decline • Fewer plant and animal species will exist • Deaths from AIDS will increase • Sperm counts of human males decline; reproductive disorders will increase. • The gap in wealth between the richest 10% of humanity and the poorest 10% will increase -This resembles key aspects of the Malthusian proposition: p opulations grow faster than resources. As a consequence, resources become more scarce. It seemed it was likely that Erlich would win. Simon DENIED Simon declined to bet on those indicators • Rejected the proposal that those trends were bad for humans • Would have lost bet if he had accepted • What do you think about those trends? • Is Ehrlich a failed prophet, or just premature? • Did Ehrlich warn in vain, or did his warnings have an effect? -Do people lose credibility if they start warning too early? "They've been warning us since the 60's .. nothing has happened yet… therefore they must be wrong" -Did this happen to Erlich? Is there any way to address population that is not morally offensive? • Consider the film Mother: Caring for Seven Million • Proposition: human fertility rates fall when women acquire more legal rights, more education, and access to contraception • Standard of living goes up • No compulsion needed Population issues once dominated public discourse, but no longer—why? • Managing population not popular with either left wing or right wing ideologues – Left: Rich countries telling poor countries to restrict reproduction is morally wrong – Right: Birth control is morally wrong • Most economists push “growth” as essential; even liberal press agrees • It’s more comfortable to ignore things that seem “far in the future,” especially tradeoffs with benefits now, costs later Left: Reluctance in industrialized societies to tell people in developing countries what to do. It is not morally sound to g ive advice to the developing world after we've already u ndergone demographic transition ourselves. - Canadian economic growth is 2-3% per year -Each year, that 2-3% becomes even MORE -Economists push growth as essential : OPPOSITE of natural s ystems 6...
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