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Promise of innovation

Julian Simon famously remarked that ‘one more human being is one more brain and two more hands’.
© Adam Smith Center, Singapore

Many of the grave predictions of overpopulation alarmists have simply not borne fruit in the 21st century, which has actually seen a greater abundance of resources and progress on numerous fronts of human standards of living.

The world we live in today is very different from what dire predictions had initially painted in the 1960s. Human society today enjoys technology and resources at an abundance that people in the past could scarcely imagine.

That’s because overpopulation alarmists do not account for human innovation. People often fail to realise the power of human ingenuity. In fact, the growth in human population is not necessarily a negative development, because human beings are a valuable resource that can contribute to human, social, and global progress if they are harnessed intelligently. Julian Simon famously remarked that ‘one more human being is one more brain and two more hands’. Pursuing drastic actions to curb population growth simply means less human talent; less engineers, doctors, innovators and Nobel Laureates—individuals who could be instrumental in solving our world’s problems.

Innovation brings about new technologies, which alleviate the strain on resources. Our technological advancements have empowered us in searching for new resource deposits and identifying new methods to harvest more resources that were once inconceivable.

© Adam Smith Center, Singapore
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Overpopulation: Resource Depletion and Human Innovation

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