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公共英语双语阅读:增长的人口

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增长的人口

过去几个世纪人口的增长并不能证明人口将继续朝着无限和毁灭的方向直线增长。相反,人口统计的历史提供了证据,证明人口增长根本不是恒定的。根据古生态学家爱德华·迪维(Edward Deevey)的说法,过去100万年发生了三次重大变化。首先,在公元前100万年左右,人口迅速增长。,跟随工具制作和使用的创新。但是,当利用工具所产生的新力量得到利用时,世界人口增长率就下降了,而且几乎稳定下来。第二次人口快速增长开始于大约1万年前,当时人类开始饲养牲畜,耕耘土地。在吸收了最初的生产力增长之后,人口增长率又一次下降。这两段插曲表明,第三次大变革——250年至350年前始于西方的当前快速增长——可能也会在技术创新开始减少时放缓。当然,当前的知识革命可能会持续下去,但不会有可预见的结束。无论哪种方式——与人们普遍认为的几何级数增长相反——从长远来看,人口都有望适应生产率。当人们持这种观点时,人口增长被视为经济进步和人类胜利的象征,而不是社会失败的象征。


The growth of population during the past few centuries is no proof that population will continue to grow straight upward toward infinity and doom. On the contrary, demographic history offers evidence that population growth has not been at all constant. According to paleoecologist Edward Deevey, the past million years show three momentous changes. The first, a rapid increase in population around one m illion B. C., followed the innovations of tool making and tool using. But when the new power from the use of tools has been exploited, the rate of world population growth fell and became almost stable. The next rapid jump in population started perhaps 10,000 years ago, when mankind began to keep herds, plow and plant the earth. Once again when initial productivity gains had been absorbed, the rate of population growth abated. These two episodes suggest that the third great change, the present rapid growth, which began in the West between 250 and 350 years ago, may also slow down when, or if, technology begins to yield fewer innovations. Of course, the current knowledge revolution may continue without foreseeable end. Either way - contrary to popular belief in constant geometric growth - population can be expected in the long run to adjust to productivity. And when one takes this view, population growth is seen to represent economic progress and human triumph rather than social failure.
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