Are there too many people? All bets are off

| May 14, 2021 | Leave a Comment

Item Link: Access the Resource

Media Type: Article - Recent

Date of Publication: May 8

Year of Publication: 2021

Publication City: London, UK

Publisher: Guardian News & Media Limited

Author(s): Laura Spinney

Categories:

For decades, scientists and economists have been making wagers about the outcome of human population growth. Now, more than ever, their speculations need to be taken seriously.

In 2011, when the global population hit 7 billion, economist David Lam and demographer Stan Becker made a bet. Lam predicted food would get cheaper over the next decade, despite continuing population growth. Becker predicted that food prices would go up, because of the damage humans were doing to the planet, which meant that population growth would outstrip food supply. Becker won and, following his wishes, Lam has just written out a cheque for $194 to the Vermont-based nonprofit Population Media Center, which promotes population stabilisation internationally.

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