The Real Homophobia: Wishing For Fewer People Alive

Homophobia had a chance to manifest itself yesterday in response to the United Nations announcement that the population of the world had reached 7.2 billion. By “homophobia” I mean fear (Greek: phobia) of Humans (Latin: homo). This announcement was not nearly as negative as I expected it to be, but that was immediately “fixed” by editorials, like this one:

“The world’s population has benefited greatly from years of disease eradication and no world wars in nearly 70 years. However, that also means that the planet will have to house and feed more people. The United Nation on Thursday forecast that the planet’s population will increase to 8.1 billion by 2025 from today’s count of 7.2 billion people. Most of the growth will occur in the developing countries and more than half in Africa so that by 2050, the Earth will have 9.6 billion human beings — 8.2 billion of them in developing regions. Developed countries’ population will only be 1.3 billion. But that kind of people explosion raises concerns about planet resources. People in developing countries already want to have U.S. energy, food and other consumption habits, which far surpass this country’s share of the population. The planet may not be able to sustain the population growth that is projected unless technology and science develop new methods of doing so — again.”

All of this is nonsense. It is true that one cannot know the future, so I can’t prove with absolute certainty that there will never be an oppressive worldwide resource shortage. But by the same principle, I can’t prove that an asteroid won’t hit the earth in the next decade and destroy human civilization.

The asteroid is worth some contemplation: if one hit the earth that was large enough, suddenly the earth would have “insufficient resources” even though, the day before, there was enough for everyone and more. How many “resources” the earth has is not a fixed quantity.

In fact, resources are not resources until someone figures out a way to use them. There was a time when whale oil was valuable and oil from the ground was a useless nuisance. But new inventions due to human creativity made oil into a resource.

There is no way to measure the “capacity” of the earth in the future. All you can do is measure the capacity right now and then assume it will never grow nor change in the future. But since people—innovating, creating people—are the ones who find new resources and make new things into resources, reducing the number of people on the planet results in the increased likelihood that such innovations or inventions will never be invented.

What the homophobes don’t understand is that their thinking is backwards. Human beings can and should produce more than they consume.  Also, the more people there are, the more each can focus on doing what he does best, so that the division of labor produces more wealth in society. People are not naturally “useless eaters.” They are, rather, providers.

Of course, one big liability is found in societies were people are encouraged not to be productive and central planners teach the populace to respect their wisdom. But that means that the people trying to plan resource use in the future, and control human population, are more likely to bring about the disasters they fear by their own actions. The planet doesn’t house or feed anyone. People do that. More people mean more housing and more food.

Otherwise, you are going to tell the public that they would be more prosperous with world wars and deadly diseases.  Don’t believe it.