Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Overpopulation Taboo

From An Unfruitful Plea by Tom Flynn:

Both ecological destruction and global poverty are intimately linked to overpopulation. But that topic seems almost taboo.

It’s a taboo we need to shatter.

From the overuse of fertilizers that drives eutrophication to the carbon loading that drives global warming, most of the hazards threatening our biosphere are per-capita problems: they would be less oppressive if there were fewer people. Poverty and malnutrition have per-capita aspects as well: the green revolutions of the 1960s and 70s would have provided bountiful nutrition for all if third-world populations had not surged in response—driven as much by reduction in death rates as by increases in births. Since the desperately poor contribute little to their countries’ GNPs, it follows that rickety third-world economies would not be significantly smaller today if national populations had grown less explosively. Were that the case, the same modest resources could be distributed among fewer claimants, potentially reducing poverty.
Read more here.

Learn more.

Do you know what eutrophication means? I didn’t. Here’s the definition: “the process by which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients (as phosphates) that stimulate the growth of aquatic plant life usually resulting in the depletion of dissolved oxygen.”

I received a comment from Dave Gardner about this post. Mr. Gardner is working on a documentary called Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity.

He also supplied a link to this video (Thank you, Mr. Gardner):
Population Decline is Part of the Solution

This is an important topic that seems to have been swept under the rug for some reason. The effects of overpopulation on the earth’s limited water supply is reason enough to consider volunteering to reduce the earth’s population, as well as educating others to encourage them to do the same.

Simply reading some of the comments left at the youtube site of Population Decline is Part of the Solution demonstrate that this is a very contentious issue. Why we can’t discuss this without being hostile to one another is a mystery to me. Do we want our children and grandchildren living in a world that will be constantly at war over various natural resources? These wars have already been with us, they are likely to be more numerous in the future. Do we want our children and grandchildren living in a world that is more economically unstable than what we are seeing right now? Do we want our children and grandchildren living in a world that is more contaminated and polluted?

Endless population growth and endless economic growth are simply not possible.

3 comments - Post a comment :

Dave Gardner said...

Glad to see people like you talking about it. That's how we'll ultimately overcome the taboo. Progress is being made, but we have a long way to go. I'm actually digging into the population taboo along with other irrational behaviors like climate change denial in the documentary I'm producing.

Dave Gardner
Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity
Join the cause at
See our new Population Solution PSA

J-F. R said...

Thank you for these speeches. I am appalled by the folly of those policies that stimulate demographic expansion (like we have in France, my home country). It seems so obvious that demographic growth triggers pollution, poverty, riots, misery...

sandra Knight said...

We witness the immense struggle of wildlife to survive in an increasingly hostile, modern world, invaded and destroyed by the human species

The Human race is guilty of conservational, ecological and environmental crimes. What we are doing to all other species is murder! It is ecocide!

In less than 100 years of so called civilisation using technology, we have managed to destroy what took more than 3 billion years to evolve. Entire species are being wiped out. We kill everything we touch,have run out of space, land, soil, air, water and landfill sites. The only thing we haven't run out of, unfortunately, is people. 7 billion and rising fast !

The main culprit of this ecological disaster is religion, Christianity being the worst, as it keeps the prolific uteruses busy, spitting children out at a fast rate. And when they can't procreate naturally, in-vitro fertilisation is there, readily available, speeding up the breeding process, revving it up to turbo breeding.,114.0.html

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