Overpopulation Debate

Some groups feel that there are too many of us. Some feel that it is the incorrect use of resources that is the problem. Some feel that if it is an issue then why are we not addressing it openly? Some feel it is utter nonsense. Some propose that the earth was meant to support about 500 million humans. No matter what your stance is on this issue, it is important to think about the consequences of all sides of thinking. The world’s population has expanded exponentially and some humans are living on less than a dollar a day. Various groups have had discussions about what to do about the population. This is an issue that we should be discussing openly and honestly.

The first thing we must acknowledge is that all human life has value. Reducing the population by strategic reduction that harms others will not even be an acceptable solution for those leaders who are spiritually mature. That kind of thinking is the kind of focus that shadows Hitler and others like him. Hitler was not an evolved human being. While he was brilliant, his spiritual development was seriously lacking. Instead, looking at how resources are used and how to responsibly procreate should be the focus.

One of the factors to consider is that we are not self-sufficient. It is very realistic to consider the consequences this has had on the planet and society. If each community or family grew more of their own food, produced their own electricity in environmentally friendly ways, and took personal responsibility for their own welfare, then this world would be a much better place. This is the ideal that we should strive for and soon. The mass production of energy in harmful ways has taken a toll on our ecosystem. It has caused a great deal of greed and hardship to humanity. The fact that our race has not taken responsibility on this issue is unacceptable and now is the time for action.

Many people have migrated to cities creating areas of high population. In these circumstances, you will find an affect on the human body. One example of this is that males will increase their testosterone production and thus, be more susceptible to stress and violence. Most people appreciate the convenience of city life and this is understandable, but we have not designed them with the concern for human development in mind. Cities should be designed in harmony with the environment and consideration should be taken for the affect it has on its inhabitance. The ancient architects actually designed buildings in conjunction with the sun to utilize the best source of light. Many of these buildings are still standing and have served as an example of their great skill. Yet, humans have allowed greed and monetary gain to create cities of crowding and pollution. Buildings are not built to last thousands of years and to function as a sanctuary for humanity. If we built correctly, then we would not have to build so often and at the expense of the ecosystem.

There are organizations who desire to lower the fertility rate of humans. Once such organization, Negative Population Growth (NPG), states, “three factors influence population: births, deaths, and migration. We can reduce population by lowering our fertility rate (the average number of children per woman) and reducing immigration. If almost all women had no more than two children, our fertility rate would drop to 1.5, because many women choose to have just one or none”(2009).

In contrast, several parts of the population are currently on decline. Even NPG acknowledges that Japan and Europe are actually facing population decline. Italy is another country facing an issue with population. It is reported in the Chicago Tribune that, “As a result of four consecutive years of declining birth rates, Italy is the only country in Europe in which people over age 65 outnumber those under age 15”. According to Hundley from the Chicago Tribune:

The aging of Brione is part of a trend evident in small villages and large cities throughout Italy. A society that was long noted for overflowing families and love of children now has the lowest birth rate in Western Europe. Last year, there were 540,048 births against 564,679 deaths, according to figures compiled by ISTAT, the national statistics institute. Italy's population of 57 million grew slightly only because of immigration.

As a result of four consecutive years of declining birth rates, Italy is now the only country in Europe in which people over age 65 outnumber those under age 15. The startling demographics say a lot about changing social patterns in this mainly Roman Catholic country, which has emerged from postwar poverty to become Europe's third-largest economy and one of its most prosperous.

"Italians marry and start work at a later age and have children later," said Rosella Palomba of the Population Institute, a research center in Rome. She noted the marriage rate was down and, while it was becoming more common for unmarried couples to live together, it was very rare for them to have children.

"However, when they do marry, they usually have one child," Palomba said. "Our studies over the last 10 years show Italians attach great value to children. As a result, they invest a lot of money and time in children, which is often why they limit the family to one child."

Another article in the Toronto Sun stated that, “natural-born , Canadians are becoming an endangered species," and that the fertility rate was declining (Population-awareness.net). George J Bryjak, a professor of sociology at the University of San Diego reported that the idea of overpopulation was just, “at worst, flat out wrong” and that the data has been misrepresented (population-awareness.net):

Bryjak pointed out that there were two different worlds of population growth: the "two-children-or-fewer-world," including industrialized countries, and the "rapid-growth-world," consisting of Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. He explained the importance of youth in determining future population growth rates. "While women in England and South Korea both have the same fertility rate, the population in the former is expected to decrease over the next 27 years while it increases in the latter. The solution to this demographic riddle is that the population of South Korea is much younger than that of England, resulting in more women in that Asian nation giving birth." With population continuing to grow steadily in Africa and India-which, in combination with China, now makes up 50 percent of the world's people-Bryjak predicted that the global count of humanity would also continue to grow, in spite of the number of nations with zero or negative population growth.


There are figures on what the saturation rate would be for various areas of the world. According to the Global Assessment Report of UNEP (Phase One Draft, Section 9), “a reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible."

Another concern is about those who feel that strategic reduction is an acceptable behavior behind closed doors. Once such reference to this is made by Jacques Cousteau from the UNESCO Courier (1991), and it states, “One American burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshis... This is a terrible thing to say. In order to stabilize world populations, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not to say it."

In fact, a report given at an international conference revealed that, “up to 85 per cent of the sperm produced by a healthy male is DNA-damaged” (Murray, 2001). According to Aitken (1999), "a great deal of evidence has accumulated in recent years to suggest that there has been a gradual increase in male reproductive pathology over the past 30-40 years, as evidenced by increased rates of testicular cancer and declining semen quality". This factor means that the balance that keeps the natural process of procreation in balance could be in danger.

Another interesting obversation can be made in the Georgia guidestones. Located on a hill in Elbert County these granite stones were reportedly taken from a pyramid and contain commands for an "age of reason". (Wikipedia) They are written in many languages. The guided messages are:

  • Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature
  • Guide production wisely improving fitness and diversity
  • Unite humanity with a living new language
  • Rule passion-faith-tradition and all things with temperes reason
  • Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts
  • Let all nations rule internally resolving external diputes in a world court
  • Avoid petty laws and useless officials
  • Balance personal rights with social duties
  • Prize truth-beauty-love-seeking harmony with the infinite
  • Be not a cancer on the earth-leave room for nature- leave rom for nature
These guides sound like some good ideals, but imagine if one group got to decide who that 500 million got to be and how do we get down to that number?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones  

The population issue is a controversial one, but one that cannot be ignored. Humans cannot allow travisty to selectively choose who should live or die like Hitler did, nor can we continue the practice of misusing the earth’s resources. Our solution lies in responsible procreation and creating children that families intend to love and raise properly, and in taking personal responsibility for ourselves and our family, becoming independent and using the earth's resources responsibly, and never forgetting that human life is valuable and deserves to be treated with dignity and sanctity.

References:

Austin. Population Implosion, Graying of the Population, Population Reduction, and Negative Population Growth. Retrieved on April 5, 2009 from: http://www.population-awareness.net/older.html

Aitken RJ.MRC Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh, UK.J Reprod Fertil 1999 Jan;115(1):1-7 Retrieved on April 5, 2009 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10341716

Georgia Guidestones. Retrieved on April 5, 2009 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

Hudley, Tom. Birth Rate In Italy Is Declining -- Changing Social Patterns Lead To Startling Demographic Shift Retrieved on April 5 2009 from: http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19981211&slug=2788364

Murray, Rich. DNA damage in 85% of human sperm 7.3.1 rmforall montrealgazette.com

Negative Population Growth. Frewuently Asked Questions. Retrieved on April 5, 2009 from: http://www.npg.org/faq.html#anchor12 Ruse,

Population Implosion, Graying of the Population, Population Reduction, and Negative Population GrowthRetrieved on April 5, 2009 from: Population-awareness.net/older.html

 

Written by Dianne Irene All Rights reserved.