Economist: We Can Procreate Our Way Out of Climate Catastrophe


Economist Casey Mulligan argues that population control is overrated as a solution to global warming:

The director-general of Unicef has been quoted as saying, “Family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.” And one of the benefits of reduced population, it is claimed, is reduced carbon emissions and therefore mitigation of climate change.

This statement takes technology for granted, yet technology itself depends on population. [NYT]

Mulligan's argument goes like this: i) only innovation can save us from climate change, and ii) more people equals more innovation, iii) population control would result in fewer people, therefore population control is bad for climate change.

Mulligan's first premise is dubious. The consensus at yesterday's UN Summit on Climate Change was that we already know how to prevent climate change but lack the political will to act. But let's grant Mulligan his first premise for the sake of argument.

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