How Many People Can the Planet Sustain?

As a college student I was fascinated by David Attenborough’s Living Planet. He was my hero. I was certainly disappointed when I learned that he has joined the chorus of global warming alarmists who turned into climate change scaremongers when it became evident that the planet has actually cooled in the last sixteen years. Of course the planet’s climate has changed for billions of years and it has nothing to do with human activity or their existence..

Climate change environmentalists choose to mix catastrophic weather events with climate whenever it is convenient to their message, so long as there is a progressive faux science “consensus” and their global warming/climate change guru, Al Gore, agrees. Never mind that science is based on fact not on “consensus.” And the facts and data must not be manufactured to fit political agendas.

In a Malthusian style, David Attenborough describes humans in less than favorable words – plague, hordes. “We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.” (Radio Times as quoted by The Telegraph)

Thomas Robert Malthus wrote in 1798 in “An Essay on the Principle of Population” that population growth would prevent advancement to utopian society: “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.” He was certainly proven wrong.

A patron of the Optimum Population Trust, Sir David Attenborough speaks against “the frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for sex education and voluntary ways of limiting population in developing countries. Another patron of note is Dame Jane Morris Goodall, the famous anthropologist who studied chimpanzees for 45 years.

The Optimum Population Trust website ( displays a world population clock and promotes a sustainable future, sustainable consumption, family planning, conservation of the natural world, ending population growth, gender equality, and living within one’s means. Sustainability, as they see it, has to “address poverty, gender inequality, natural resource limits, climate change, biodiversity loss, and population density. These goals are also part of the U.N. Agenda 21.

Sir Attenborough provides Ethiopia as a convenient example of famine caused by “too many people there” who cannot support themselves. However, as societies become more civilized, better educated, technologically advanced, and richer, do they not produce smaller families who live longer and healthier lives?

“Attenborough seems to have a Malthusian dislike of the human race.” (Harry Mount, The Telegraph, January 22, 2013)

We are not a plague on the earth. We have actually eradicated the plague that killed millions in the Middle Ages and we have helped billions of humans double their life expectancy.

Proponents of global warming conveniently forget that from 1350 until around 1850, Europe went through a period called the Little Ice Age – this was during a time when human industrial scale activity barely existed.

Napoleon’s retreating Grande Armée encountered a terrible cold in Russia and many soldiers perished from exposure to these extreme temperatures, as well as starvation because the much shorter growing seasons made it impossible to have enough food for an invading army, coupled with typhus spread by lice. In 2001, thousands of skeletons were found in Vilnius, Lithuania, the remains of Napoleon’s soldiers. (

The Optimum Population Trust boasts that “Our vision is of a global population size enabling decent living standards and environmental sustainability.” Who is going to decide the optimum population number, how will the excess population be disposed of, what are the parameters of decent living standards, and of environmental sustainability? Who chose these people to be the arbiters of human life and death, caretakers of the planet, and controllers of our happiness and of the future? Must we adopt the cruel and murderous one-child policy of China?

The Club of Rome and United Nations with all their wealthy and famous patrons and supporters are the arbiters of our population size, our right to inhabit the planet, and the life style we have chosen for ourselves given our modern society. “A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.” (United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment)

The Club of Rome is less generous with its demographic estimation, …”the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.” (Goals of Mankind)

The Club of Rome, in its search for a common enemy to fit their agenda in order to control the world’s population through the United Nations, came up with the idea that “pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine would fit the bill and are caused by human intervention.” The sad thing is that low information humans believe everything without questioning.

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