What is this rubbish about exponential growth? Demographers from most parts of
the world are agreed that the present trends are heading towards a steady
population size. Many countries have already reached that point,and many
others such as Australia have negative population growth, if you omit
immigration. Australia has to import people to grow! The worl population is
set to stabilise about the middle of the next century. The figures are
published by the UN.
There are some ifs and buts about these figures-the effect of AIDS in some
countries, the effects of present genocidal policies in Rwanda, Bosnia and
otehr places will probably mean that the projected figures are too high. On
the other hand certain countries do not give reliable figures so that adds a
bit of interest to projections. However the figures are the best we have to go
on, and the idea that there will be a relatively stable population within the
lifetimes of most of our readers.
It is interesting that this demographic transition is happening in many
countries without attaining a high material standard of living. Some people
have suggested that womens rights are an important factor. Maybe so but
population stabilisation is happening in Australia and the USA without a good
record of equality of opportunity for women. I think it is fair to say that we
don't understand what is going on and we need to know more.
Chris Driver, Ph D
School of Biology and Chemistry, Rusden Campus
662 Blackburn Rd
Clayton, VIC, 3168