I was surprised to hear that Tertullian, an early Christian apologist, was an early fearmonger about overpopulation:
In the year 200 AD, there were approximately 180million human beings on the planet Earth. And at that time a Christian philosopher called Tertullian argued: ‘We are burdensome to the world, the resources are scarcely adequate for us… already nature does not sustain us.’ In other words, there were too many people for the planet to cope with and we were bleeding Mother Nature dry.
Well today, nearly 180million people live in the Eastern Half of the United States alone, in the 26 states that lie to the east of the Mississippi River. And far from facing hunger or destitution, many of these people – especially the 1.7million who live on the tiny island of Manhattan – have quite nice lives.
It’s funny, that thing called history does some devastating work on the theories of overpopulation. As they say, in theory, theory and practice are the same; in practice, they aren’t.
And in a surprising twist, John Lennon and Yoko Ono just rip the theory apart as a “joke” and “myth” and that’s it’s a silly thing for the presently-living to get to say, “Ok, there’s enough of us” and try and stop any new people from showing up. It’s a fun clip, and worth the watch, so I’ve reposted it here: