The Over Population Problem

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Liebling, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    Beyond Malthus, here are some interesting things to think about;

    The Tsunami of 2004 wiped out a lot of people, and in as little 30 hours... the rest of the world replaced them.

    People in Niger are starving to death and for every one death we create 4 lives.

    20,000 people died in an earthquake in India, the losses were made up before the West heard the news.

    As long as it takes you to say, "There is no population problem." enough people are born to fill a jumbo jet.

    The population of the world by current census is growing at a little over 79,000,000 per year. That is enough people to fill the country of Germany, added to the world.

    We like to think that in the western world we can afford to pay for our children. The sad fact is that a western child uses 30 times as much of the world’s natural resources as a third world child. A single Orthodox family in the U.S. may use as much oil as a small town in Africa or India.

    Some other statistics;
    There were 1 billion people on the earth in 1804
    2 billion in 1927 (123 years later)
    3 billion in 1960 ( 33 years later)
    4 billion in 1974 ( 14 years later)
    5 billion in 1987 ( 13 years later)
    6 billion in 1999 ( 12 years later)
    6.5 billion in 2004 (5 years later)

    It's not that we are currently starving here in North America, it's that just south of us in Central America they are starving. And if we, despite all our capitalistic greed, could understand that we are using more resources than everyone else by 30%... then maybe we could start to be responsible for over-populating. The population will reach 7 billion by 2011, 9.5 billion in 2050, 11 billion in 2200 at current fertility rates. This is globally unsustainable. We are already at a deficit on grains and we lose about 3.6% of the grain amounts each year. And there is a Stockholm report that says by the year 2025, 2/3's of the worlds population will be without a proper water source caused by over-population. Growth in the World Fisheries stopped in 1989, and has been in a steady decline since then.

    The news should report these things everyday, so that people who think that breeding is a right would start to understand that it's a serious problem. And that tax breaks for having more children is not the solution but part of a bigger global problem that makes it more difficult to govern countries, and much more difficult to solve the worlds ills. It gets worse every year. It's time that people were responsible instead of just breeding everyone else out of existance for their own greed and selfish needs.

    It's happening all over the world, not just in third world countries. We just currently can somewhat substain ourselves. However, 4 out of 10 children in the U.S. go to school hungry. 38% of our population relies on public assistance of some sort. And it's growing. The more we depleat, the less we will have. The more we use in excess the less we have. But it's happening everywhere. It's less visable in North America and Europe, but it's painfully obvious everywhere else. China has serious penalties for having more than one child in a family, with good reason. They have a frightening person per square mile ratio.

    Is it really ethical and environmentally sound to ever have more than one child for every one person? Should it be one child per couple until we get back to sustainable levels? Should we stop breeding all together? Is it plausible that the problem with our economy is that it does not have the infrastructure to support people who are having more than two children and having to rely on credit, loans and government assistance?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sources of Data;

    Mostly WHO and government info.
    http://www.who.int/
    http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html
    http://www.unfpa.org/swp/swpmain.htm
    http://esa.un.org/unpp/
    http://www.geohive.com/
     
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  3. theobserver is a simple guy... Registered Senior Member

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    The growing number of singles, Wars, genocides, aids, typhoons, smokers, religiously challenged people, internet addicts and so on would eventually contribute to population balance.

    Countries want a steady population growth bcoz only that can keep their economy growing. Thats the trouble with capitalism and greed. I am waiting to see WW3.
     
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  5. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    Ponderables:

    1. Why should a farmer in Tibet or Africa care about the whole world?

    2. An average African family of 6 uses way less resources than an average American family of 3. So shouldn't we try to eliminate the high resource users first?

    3. The speed of growing is slowing and there is a chance we won't even reach 8 billion.

    4. A global war or pandemic canalways solve the problems of limited resource...

    5. Let's say you live in the Western hemisphere. You are using way more resources as an average 3rd world person, so what right do you have to tell them not to have more children?

    I generally agree with your post, but the solution isn't simple. And eventually nature will take care of it by starvation or disease....
     
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    Awesome post Liebling !
    There HAVE to be birth restrictions put in place globally, and soon. It's the only reasonable solution I can think of.
    Of course this will create economic problems akin to what we have in Europe now.. Population aging.
     
  8. Enmos Staff Member

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    43,184
    I'm assuming that that's not your preferred outcome..
     
  9. swivel Sci-Fi Author Valued Senior Member

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    2,494
    There is no population problem. As syzygys pointed out, the growth rate is already slowing, with an upper limit in sight.

    As for Liebling's post, it contains an error so laughable that I worry about you calling it "awesome". He says that we should limit ourselves to one child per couple (a recipe for extinction) until we get to "sustainable levels". But his entire post is about how quickly we are expanding our population. And no matter how wrong he is about this, there is no way to view this as a problem if that growth rate is not sustainable.

    Nobody knows how many humans Earth can reasonably feed. And there seems to be a lot of internal celebrating over the loss of life in that original post. Here's my idea: Those of you that hate humanity* and worship at the altar of the Naturalistic Fallacy should end your suffering right now by your own hand. Not only will you carve out a small bit of the "cancer" afflicting the Earth, the rest of us won't have to suffer your delusions any longer.

    ___________________________________________________

    *Let it be known that these statements are in no way directed towards Enmos, who I have promised to never associate with human-haters in any shape, way, or form. I take him for his word when he professes his love for our species and direct this comment to those who are not ashamed of their loathing for our kind. I only quoted Enmos to start this post and then rambled into more generalities.
     
  10. Enmos Staff Member

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    43,184
    There is very much a population problem. And the rate of growth per capita may be slowing but according to the numbers the entire population is still accelerating:
    You are not getting to point. The Earth can obviously sustain many more humans, but it will be at the costs of other life. Humans will have to replace that other life. It's not something I see as desirable.

    I think that's just your perception.

    Oh come on..
    I'll accept your 'disclaimer', but let me just respond for the 'human-haters'.
    If you want humanity to die out, killing yourself is not going to do it. There is no point in doing so.
    You'll have to forgive me when I say that your reaction here is a bit childish, as no one here proclaimed, nor suggested, that they are human-haters, or that they want the human race to go extinct.
    Liebling is just addressing a, very real, problem. And birth restrictions, in this context, are not meant to have humanity go extinct, no one said that.

    The 'disclaimer':

    Fine. Thanks.

    I don't think you understand my stance. I dislike many properties of humanity as a whole. I do not hate or love the human race, I have ambivalent feelings about it. Furthermore, that all says nothing about my feelings towards individual humans.
    The part where you say that I profess my love for humanity strikes me as sarcasm.

    And this.. this suggests that you are under the impression that I DO hate humanity, but that I am too ashamed to admit it.
    Let me tell you this, if I really did hate humanity I would have no trouble whatsoever to admit it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  11. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    7,721
    Don't worry - it will all sort out soon:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    There are more Galaxies, than people on the earth. (At least 100 Billion(thousand million if you are a pommie))
     
  12. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    12,671
    This is a problem where pretty much every solution is bad. Even using contraceptives is limiting people's personal freedom for the greater good. Obviously forced abortion or disease and death are worse solutions, although they are solutions...

    One has to realize that we humans are not much different on the global scale from rats in a lab.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  13. Enmos Staff Member

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    Well, I kind of prefer birth restrictions over global starvation.

    What do you exactly mean by the rat analogy ?
     
  14. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    This is faulty logic. Just because the number of humans can not grow indefiniatelly that doesn't mean we don't have a problem.

    Hell, we already have a problem, too many people right now. Peak oil global warming, disappearing water resources etc. would be much less of a problem if the earth had half of today's population

    It really doesn't matter, because the Earth will not be (and shouldn't be) utilized for maximum efficiency and we could look at it this way: as long as people are starving, we have too many...
     
  15. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    When you give enough food and living quarters and lack of natural enemies and disease to a rat pack in the lab, they will multiply like crazy.

    This happened to humankind with the advance of technology and biology. Less wars and better medicine meant a sudden exponential growth in human population.
     
  16. Enmos Staff Member

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    Ok, that's a good analogy.
     
  17. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't understand where you got that I was celebrating death in any way shape or form, or why you are attributing things to me that I clearly didn't say. I do not want people to die. I do not want people to suffer. People are suffering right now, because we are overpopulated. And while I in no way want to see people die, or be killed, restricting the number of children people can have prevents suffering entirely and is not related to death or dying. I have no idea what you are on about at all, and you seem a little emotional over the whole thing. But suggesting that everyone that believes we are over-populating the earth should kill ourselves, well that speaks volumes about your own character.

    Seriously, I have no idea what you are on about, and I see NO statistics from your side support your viewpoint either. Unsupported opinions can't really be used to argue against factual data... It doesn't really work that way. Perhaps you should relax a bit and come back and talk about it with a clear head? I don't know, but this apparently struck a nerve with you I don't understand. And I'm a woman, not a man.

    My point was that the easiest way to reduce the population with the least amount of suffering would be to reduce the number of children people have. It's draining our economies, our food banks, our natural resources and ruining our land. It has nothing to do with a love for animals, or my feelings about whether or not species of animals survive, but has everything to do with reducing human suffering and finding a solution to do that that causes the least amount of human suffering.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  18. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    He wouldn't, at least not until his neighbors started dying of starvation and lived in destitution.

    Actually, the statistic here is even more stunning. The average village of 50 in Africa uses about the same amount of resources as a family of 6 in the United States, Canada or Europe.

    But the population is still growing. And I think the downturn is because more people are understanding that having lots of children isn't socially or economically responsible. We should continue down that path for sure, but it doesn't solve the more immediate problems. The effects won't be seen for at least a thousand years.

    Sure, and that's probably the way it will happen if we continue on the same course we are on now. I'd rather do something to change it at the point where no suffering incurs, then when we can't stop it and a plague wipes out 3/4 of the planet because we are packed in too closely to each other.

    I am talking about limiting it everywhere, globally. I am using more resources than probably four 3rd world persons, and that's sad in and of itself. I try to make my global footprint as small as possible, but it's difficult with our infrastructure. I drive a high gas milege vehicle (I get around 41 mpg) in the winter, and bike to work in the summer. I grow my own vegetables and herbs in the summer, and greenhouse the others. I have limiters on my hot water heater, and I keep my house at temperatures that prevent the overuse of electricity and gas. I even have a push lawn mower at my house. I do what I can, and I am in no way saying that reducing the number of children born will solve the entire problem, it will help in the long run along with lots of other changes we need to make as humans to reduce the amount of suffering in the world.
     
  19. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    The problem is that countries will never agree on limiting their population. For a farmer lots of kids mean work force and social security for old age.

    And I didn't even mention religion. Even the western hemisphere leading religion Catholicism doesn't like population control. Neither do countries, because generally more people, more tax income, bigger consumer base and stronger army, etc....

    Westerners even criticized China when they actually did the sensible thing and introduced the one child policy...Now generally overpopulation is not a problem in the West, quite the contrary. Aging population with no upcoming new generations...
     
  20. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    Well, I was hoping to avoid religious discussion on this subject, and that's why it's in the science section and not in the religion section. I could care less about what religious dogmas teach us about life and how to live it, quite honestly. I think that religion is intellectually dishonest and a detriment to society as a whole, so in short... I think it's part of the problem and not part of the solution.

    But since you brought it up, how is China doing with it's new policy? How is the population growth there? Is it helping or hurting their economy, pollution levels, resource reserves?
     
  21. Syzygys As a mother, I am telling you Valued Senior Member

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    1. You can not avoid religion when you are trying to control people's breeding habits. Most of the world is religious, specially the rabbit breeding portion.

    2. China's growth slowed down, now India overtook it by speed and absolute numbers, I think. See also point #1...
     
  22. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Wow Syzygys, I recall debating with you on this exact subject about a year ago and you took the position that we need to limit the population. Now you seem to be on the same side as me on this issue. Did I convince you?
     
  23. Liebling Doesn't Need to be Spoonfed. Valued Senior Member

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    But that's human suffering too. Now, little girls in India are being sold at as young as 7 to much older men to pay off family debts. I'm not sure that's a sound arguement against limiting breeding. That's a issue of human rights. And I'm going to assert that over-breeding is a human rights violation in countries like that. Make the governments responsible for that. It adds to suffering from economic strife and pollution as well, which in turn limits other peoples human rights.
     

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