Ovid (publius_ovidius) wrote,
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Negative Population Idiots

I was browsing a Web site dedicated to Negative Population Growth (NPG) and was getting highly amused. One of my favorite quotes was from their What is NPG page:

NPG's hard-hitting media campaigns have been instrumental in raising public awareness of the dangers of U.S. overpopulation and mobilizing Americans to demand effective action to avert the threat of continued population growth.

Hard-hitting media campaigns? Given that I don't watch TV, I concede it's possible I'm missed the media blitz, but I don't think so. Maybe it's a covert hard-hitting media campaign. Maybe it really is hard-hitting but one of their interns accidentally deleted it. Who knows?

Of course, if you wade through their very difficult to follow site, you can eventually find their Frequently Asked Questions page. Given that their "What Is NPG" page also mentioned their original research by some of the movement's finest scholars, I hoped to find some hard good information here. I confess that I was a bit skeptical when I read this:

NPG has surveyed scientists over 30 years and asked: What’s the optimum population size before you start exceeding an area’s carrying capacity and harming the environment? The scientific consensus is that 150-200 million is the ideal population size for the U.S.

I saw that number a couple of times on their site but they never backed it up. Is there really scientific consensus on this issue or is NPG playing proctologist with a flashlight in their quest for numbers? I suspect the latter, after reading their response to the one percent US population growth (also in the faq).

Although an increase of one percent may sound small, such a rate is monumental when talking about a population the size of the United States. A one percent increase means 2.9 million new people in a year and 29 million in a decade.

Really? They appear to have forgotten that every year's one percent is based on a larger population. Assuming we start with a population of 290 million:

1Population:292900000
Difference:2900000
2Population:295829000
Difference:5829000
3Population:298787290
Difference:8787290
4Population:301775162
Difference:11775162
5Population:304792914
Difference:14792914
6Population:307840843
Difference:17840843
7Population:310919252
Difference:20919252
8Population:314028444
Difference:24028444
9Population:317168729
Difference:27168729
10Population:320340416
Difference:30340416

Ironically, their inability to do basic math weakened their argument. Their estimate is too low by 1.34 million people. If this is what their movement's finest scholars come up with, I'll pass.

Update: Fixed typo that littlebluedog pointed out.

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