Elon Musk says ‘population collapse’ is more dangerous than global warming. Experts say that won’t happen.

Elon Musk fears that a low birth rate could lead to a population decline. Experts told Insider that the global population is still increasing, and when it does decrease it will be gradual.

There’s a thing about Elon Musk’s birth rate. Tesla’s billionaire and the world’s richest man often tweets about population declines, arguing that as a species we need to increase our fertility rates to cope with aging populations.

Musk said at a conference in May that the human race at least needed to maintain its numbers. We don’t necessarily need to grow that dramatically, but at least don’t let it slowly decrease until civilization ends with all of us in adult diapers.

In an August tweet, Musk sounded the alarm again: population decline due to low birth rates poses a far greater risk to civilization than global warming.

The insider spoke to a demographer and a geographer, both of whom disputed the idea that the population would collapse.

While there are countries where population decline has resulted from low replacement fertility, the world’s total population is still increasing and is likely to do so, albeit at a slower and slower rate by the end of the century, Prof. told. To the history of population and social structure.

Reid said this is partly due to a phenomenon called population momentum, which means that even when women have fewer than two children on average, the population continues to grow because: larger groups of premature women grow up. .

So global population decline is still far away, and when it does it will be gradual. It can hardly be seen as a catastrophe for civilization, he said.

Dr. Peter Matnley, an expert in East Asian social and cultural geography, agreed that a low birth rate would not lead to population collapse. He said that the population will increase and decrease continuously and this can lead to many collective benefits.

Matanale said better living spaces could be a potential benefit and a smaller workforce could drive up wages. Reid also sees positives in low birth rates.

Low fertility and small populations should both be celebrated rather than feared, Reid said, adding that low birth rates often lead to increased women’s education, greater gender equality and higher living standards.

He said this would be a regressive step to force women to have children they do not want and would make the society unhappy with poor health and other negative consequences.

Reid said the aging population poses social challenges, but the answer is not an increase in birth rates. He said that if people stay healthy for a long time in their life then they can keep working for a long time.

He said a change in the nature of work and an economic shift away from the emphasis on economic development would also help.

Reid also rejected Musk’s claim that low birth rates are a greater risk to civilization than global warming.

He said that while his area of ​​expertise is not climate change, he is convinced by the scientific consensus that global warming is a real threat with potentially devastating effects for human civilization as well as global ecosystems.

Professor Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford and director of the Future of Humanity Institute, told Insider Musk that fears about a population decline reflect concerns about a population explosion.

We should be humble about our ability to come to the right conclusions, Bostrom said, adding that the Earth system is very complex and we are currently wrong about one or more important ideas.

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