Syndicate content

Add new comment

Submitted by Wolfgang on

Dear Peter,

I am surprised you liked my previous blogs because there are several pieces where some of these long-term trends are covered in more depth, especially the global demographic dividend, Africa’s rapid population growth or the “education dividend”. Here they are:
http://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/can-rapid-population-growth-be-good-for-economic-development
http://blogs.worldbank.org/futuredevelopment/global-demographic-dividend-and-how-make-most-it
http://blogs.worldbank.org/africacan/kenya-s-education-dividend

Apocalyptic predictions of demographic-related doom have been plenty. Malthus, some 200 years ago, anticipated that the world would run out of food. He was echoed in 1968 by the “neo-Malthusian” Paul Ehrlich, who coined the “population bomb” metaphor. Most of these predictions, however, have largely been proven wrong. Today, we the human population is on average wealthier, healthier and better educated than ever before. Life expectancy is now exceeding 70 years, twice the long-run historic average of around 35.

I still take your point that we are facing enormous threats, especially environmental threats, which need new answers. However, we should not make Malthus’ mistake that humans cannot adjust to new circumstances and innovate to address the new challenges.