ERIC Number: ED228078
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Population Policies for a New Economic Era. Worldwatch Paper 53.
Brown, Lester R.
After a generation of unprecedented economic growth, the world economy appears to be losing momentum. Double-digit inflation, high interest rates, and soaring deficits are often cited as causes of the global economic slowdown, but these are more symptom than cause. More fundamental is the depletion of the global resource base that allowed the economy to triple during the century's quarter. This depletion of renewable and nonrenewable resources is undermining the long-term potential for rapid, sustained economic growth. Oil played a central role in the century's third-quarter economic boom. In addition to making overall growth easy, cheap oil revolutionized agriculture by spawning spectacular gains in food output. However, growth in oil production and other basic economic activities has declined because of rising oil prices, deteriorating biological systems, or both. As the world population moves toward 5 billion, humanity is moving into uncharted territory. The relationship between population size and the sustainable yield of the earth's biological resource systems is uncertain. With the progressive depletion of readily accessible oil and gas reserves and the widespread deterioration of the economy's biological support systems, economic growth has slowed markedly. These economic trends call for dramatic shifts in population policy to avoid declines in consumption levels. (JN)
Descriptors: Agricultural Production, Alternative Energy Sources, Developing Nations, Economic Change, Economic Development, Energy, Environmental Education, Foreign Countries, Fuel Consumption, Fuels, Heating, Policy, Population Education, Population Growth, Population Trends
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036 ($2.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: United Nations Fund for Population Activities, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.