Orthodoxy is the easy way in early governor’s race forums

Over the past week or so both the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor have met to air their differences, and it should come as a surprise to no one that they don’t have many.

Sure, the two Staceys jabbed at each other over a couple of points and all the Republican challengers accused their better known rivals of being career politicians, But the overriding impression from this first pair of encounters is that both parties have grown settled in their respective orthodoxies, with very little way for candidates to break new ground.

The complicated question of how many of us there are

Remember the population explosion? Back in the 1960s, when overpopulation was considered such an imminent threat that President Richard Nixon spoke of the need to address it, the world’s population was moving past 3.5 billion. Today it’s more than 7.5 billion.

Without question, this increase in our numbers has contributed to a host of problems, from resource depletion to frictions over immigration. But the way we think and talk about overpopulation is vastly different than it was when there were half as many of us to worry about it.