Me: The above interests me greatly, partly because of its non-coercive solution but also because of the discussion of Borlaug, whom I'd long seen touted by libertarians without memorable reference to his population concerns. I checked Borlaug's 1970 Nobel speech, wondering whether Weisman's characterization was correct. It is. Excerpt from Borlaug:
Most people still fail to comprehend the magnitude and menace of the "Population Monster". In the beginning there were but two, Adam and Eve. When they appeared on this earth is still questionable. By the time of Christ, world population had probably reached 250 million. But between then and now, population has grown to 3.5 billion. Growth has been especially fast since the advent of modern medicine. If it continues to increase at the estimated present rate of two percent a year, the world population will reach 6.5 billion by the year 2000. Currently, with each second, or tick of the clock, about 2.2 additional people are added to the world population. The rhythm of increase will accelerate to 2.7, 3.3, and 4.0 for each tick of the clock by 1980, 1990, and 2000, respectively, unless man becomes more realistic and preoccupied about this impending doom. The ticktock of the clock will continually grow louder and more menacing each decade. Where will it all end?Me: So, here is a political alignment that might have some resonance going forward: Libertarians who accept that fast-rising population is a problem; and environmentalists who advocate non-coercive ways of dealing with that problem. Some points of agreement: (1) Limit subsidies for child-rearing (and thus rankle some conservative natalists); (2) Oppose efforts to stamp out or severely curtail genetically modified foods (and thus set yourself against the left-wing anti-GMO campaigners).
If that political coalition takes hold, count me in.