Opinion: Standing room only

October 10, 2014

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Professor Mark BeesonDemography is destiny. It’s an old idea but it remains as true as ever, despite the fact that it doesn’t get anything like the attention it deserves, says Murdoch Professor of International Politics Mark Beeson who explores this idea in The Conversation.

In his opinion piece, Professor Beeson looks at a recently released report by the UN that states that although the long-term rate of population increase may be slowing, the world's population is still likely to end up around nine billion by about 2050. The rate of this increase over the next 50 years is likely to be more than twice the current population of China.

Professor Beeson delves into the sensitive topic of reproduction, one that the overwhelming majority of the population has a personal stake in. He explores the idea that we as a species are the principal cause of the planet’s problems, and the complexity of trying to encourage a rational debate about babies and global policy. Professor Beeson argues that the conditions that sustain our own kind are also jeopardised by our inability to limit our own numbers, and if we can’t do something about it, the natural environment probably will.

Read more on The Conversation website.

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