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BI131 - Population Debate: Introduction

Resources for debate on whether [over]population is a problem


It is easy to find literature predicting evil consequences to rapid population growth, but much more difficult to find literature supporting the opposite conclusion. This guide will give some techniques to find articles under Searching. There are also lists of sources, based on the BI131 handout.

Julian Simon

The person most associated with the positive position on population growth is Julian L. Simon. In addition to books in the library catalog, there are articles by and about Simon in library databases (see below), a page of full-text articles and books by Julian Simon on the Internet at

Paul Ehrlich

The contemporary of Julian Simon who was most associated with the position that overpopulation would result in disaster is Paul Ehrlich. It is fairly easy to find books by Ehrlich and by those who agree with him.

Here is an explanation of some words you may see in article titles:

The United Nations' International Conference on Population and Development, 1994, held in Cairo, Egypt. There was also a followup conference to this original one held in July, 1999 in New York.
A word used to describe the optimistic views of Julian Simon and others, chiefly by their detractors.
Demographic transition
A change from from high rates of birth and death to low ones, as societies become modern. Some demographers (population experts) believe this change will take place worldwide.
Pertaining to the theories of 18th-century economist Thomas Malthus, who believed that population will inevitably increase faster than food supplies, and that when this happens, starvation, war, and disease will kill off the suplus population.
See Cornucopian

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