Okay, so we’ve talked about Bosnia and how that set things up for the Kosovo War. Now, what happened in Kosovo that made NATO want to get involved there?

Back when Serbia was part of Yugoslavia, Kosovo was a “special autonomous province” of Serbia. This meant that it had limited self-rule and its own regional legislature. Since the majority of Kosovars were ethnic Albanians, this means that under Communist Yugoslavia, Kosovo’s politics and its economy came to be dominated by Albanians. The Serbs — who were a majority in Serbia as a whole, but a minority in Kosovo — came to resent this. [click to continue…]

What if there were far fewer people?

by Chris Armstrong on January 8, 2024

One of the most common arguments in debates about environmental crisis is: “it’s the rising population, stupid.” There are just too many human beings, using up too much stuff, leaving too little space for everyone else. The next step is often to gesture towards some kind of population control, or just to leave the issue hanging.

Whatever you think of that position, I’ve been struck lately by the increasing prominence of its diametric opposite. This holds that the problem we face – or will soon face, anyway – is that there are actually too few of us. Consider this opinion piece from the New York Times back in September (only the latest in a series of pieces the NYT has published on the topic, often with much the same message. Here’s one from 2021, and another from 2022). The real problem, it suggests, is that the human population will not only peak in 2085, but that it will then decline, perhaps precipitously. Within a couple of hundred years, there might be only be 2 billion of us left. The claim is not, note, that population will fall in one country or other – we’re familiar with that idea. The claim is that the global population is set to decline, perhaps precipitously.

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