Now that the LibLabCon agree on everything, and all are happy to let the bureaucrats in Brussels run our country anyway, Prime Ministers Questions has become a bit of a farce. So here on UKIP Daily we will be holding the real debate – every Wednesday at 12pm.
To start us off, John Carins and James Delingpole debate the motion ‘The World is Becoming Overpopulated; Something Must Be Done”.
Writing in favour is John Carins. John retired from the Army in 2009. As well as defence matters he take a keen interest in science, engineering and technology, and joined UKIP this year.
Writing against is James Delingpole. James is an author, journalist and broadcaster, and a member of UKIP. He writes in particular on environmental matters, and has published a number of books on the subject.
For – John Carins
World population is forecast to increase from 7Bn to a possible 11Bn by 2050. Malthus believed that population growth was restricted by the available resources. In previous eras the threat of a Malthusian “catastrophe” has been averted largely due to scientific progress. The avoidance of this Malthusian “catastrophe” is often cited by many as proof that it cannot happen. But can we afford to be complacent?
In the minds of many the idea of controlling population growth conjures up the spectre of sterilisation, euthanasia, birth control, one parent families and other possible “anti-human” initiatives. To have a discussion without raising such issues of course would be facile. However, the majority of these extreme methods to control population growth are quickly dismissed as being unethical. If we do have to take action on population growth then the methods would have to be ethical and largely welcomed.
Some commentators who study the phenomena of population believe that the majority of the world’s population growth will occur in Africa (plus 2Bn), Asia (plus 1Bn) and the Americas (plus 1Bn). So there is nothing for Europeans to worry about. Their cry is: scaremongers put away your prejudices and relax. World population will rise in the next few decades and then level out as more parts of the world become more developed. There are of course some consequences to this. As an example, the developed UK already requires the resources of 3 planets to sustain its standard of living. This is clearly not possible for the population of the entire planet. This means that differences in standard of living between nations and areas will always exist. In turn this drives immigration from poor to rich countries. The rich countries have to absorb the influx and at the same time the poorer country loses the very talent it needs to develop. The loss of this talent in the poorer regions prevents development which indirectly encourages population growth.
The potential damage that 11Bn people will inflict on the environment and to other species could be catastrophic. Even with the current population many species and ecosystems are under enormous pressures. Feeding more mouths will mean more environmental destruction and loss of habitat. The relentless growth must have a limit somewhere.
Sir David Attenborough the much respected broadcaster and experienced naturalist identifies that human population is the problem and cause. He argues that the issue must be debated rationally and without fear. The issue of population must not remain a taboo subject – it is the root cause of many of our ills; the proverbial elephant in the room.
The UK’s population is set to soar to 70M by 2030, largely driven by immigration. Our current political elite see the issue from the wrong end of the telescope. Their solution is to build more houses, more railways (HS2) and more infrastructure to accommodate this influx. New building of course will be done on “green land” further denying the environment to farmers, wildlife and for leisure. Most of our flood plains are already inundated with densely packed houses. Wildlife reductions in bees, hedgehogs, sparrows etc all point to an ongoing deterioration of the British countryside.
Nigel Farage has said that a population of 75Million in the UK is too much and that the potential reduction in the quality of our lives would be a price not worth paying. It is time to call a halt to this unsustainable population growth. Let’s grow our economy to deliver quality of life and not quantity.
Against – James Delingpole
“Of course the elephant in the room is overpopulation,” says Mr Expert, tapping the side of his nose.
Perhaps you identify with Mr Expert. Perhaps you even are Mr Expert. Either way, you’re not only extremely irritating but also totally wrong.
Let me explain.
The world’s population is round about 7 billion. This sounds a lot. It’s certainly a lot more than it was in the days when a priest complained:
“Our teeming population is the strongest evidence our numbers are burdensome to the world, which can hardly support us from its natural elements. Our wants grow more and more keen and our complaints more bitter in all mouths, while nature fails in affording us our usual sustenance. In every deed, pestilence and famine and wars have to be regarded as a remedy for nations as the means of pruning the luxuriance of the human race.”
The priest’s name was Tertullian and he was writing in 210 AD when the world’s population was a mere 250 million. But do you notice something interesting? Even back then, educated types were wringing their hands over the great “overpopulation” problem. It seems to be hardwired into our psyche: this idea that there are too many of us and unless something urgent is done to slow our growth rate, disasters will ensue.
See also, Thomas Malthus.Ah, but just because Tertullian was wrong and Malthus was wrong doesn’t mean we’re wrong to worry about overpopulation today, does it?
Not necessarily, no. But maybe this will allay your concerns, somewhat.
“You could, for example, fit everyone in the world into the state of Texas, and with plenty of room for each person. Texas is 268,581 square miles, so with a world population of 7 billion, you’d have a density of about 26,000 people per square mile. That is about the same as New York City and is considerably less than Union City, New Jersey (about 53,000 per square mile.). Many other cities around the world have even higher population densities, from Delhi, India (about 75,000 per sq. mi.) to Manila, Philippines (over 110,000 per sq. mi.). Since the world’s landmass is 732 times the size of Texas, this would leave enough room for population expansion, farmland and pristine wilderness—you’d hope—to allay the fears of even the most fanatical Malthusian doom-monger.”
That last paragraph, by the way, comes from my book Watermelons – which nails the overpopulation myth and a lot of other green fallacies besides. You might also care to read my new book The Little Green Book of Eco Fascism – out just now in Biteback.
And if you’re still not persuaded after that, there’s really no hope for you. My suspicion, though, is that it’s not really “overpopulation” you’re worried about. Rather what concerns you is the effect unchecked immigration has had on our crowded island. On that, I agree with you. Why do you think I’m a member of UKIP?
Over to You!
Is John right, or is James? Is overpopulation a worldwide problem, and if so, how do we solve it? Or is it yet another excuse with which to curb capitalism? Have your say in the comments below.Next week we will be debating the motion “UKIP has won the debate on immigration, it’s time to talk about something else”, and the week after that “Fracking is essential for the UK”. If you would like to kick off the debate on either of these topics, please email no more than 500 words to Donna@ukipdaily.com