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Opening Arguments


Even when Malthusians such as Paul Ehrlich are wrong over and over again, they just won't shut up, and people still listen to them. I mean, if you had predicted the starvation of hundreds of millions in the 1980s and it didn't happen, shouldn't you be a little bit embarrassed, and shouldn't your credibility suffer just a little? Oh, well. The beat goes on:

There are already too many people living on Planet Earth, according to one of most influential science advisors in the US government.

Nina Fedoroff told the BBC One Planet programme that humans had exceeded the Earth's "limits of sustainability".

Dr Fedoroff has been the science and technology advisor to the US secretary of state since 2007, initially working with Condoleezza Rice.

Under the new Obama administration, she now advises Hillary Clinton.

"We need to continue to decrease the growth rate of the global population; the planet can't support many more people," Dr Fedoroff said, stressing the need for humans to become much better at managing "wild lands", and in particular water supplies.

Malthus was wrong. Ehrlich was wrong. Fedoroff is wrong. They all neglect to account for human ingenuity and technological progress. We learned how to get more crops per acre when we needed to. When we ran out of one fuel, we found another. We'll probably eat a lot less meat in the future, since that's an inefficient way to use land. Drinkable water will probably be the biggest problem, but we'll figure that out, too.