Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Population Control: How Many Are Too Many?

  1. #1
    Plant-Based Person
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    1,061

    Question Population Control: How Many Are Too Many?

    Population Control:
    How Many Are Too Many?


    by Morris Sullivan

    There are at least three more people in the world now than there were when you began reading this sentence.

    There are now 5.8 billion human beings on the planet, and according to the United Nations, the population of earth is expected to grow to around 7.9 billion by 2050. [For the most up-to-date numbers, www.zpg.org] In a world that currently wrestles with such serious problems as global warming, the thinning of the ozone layer, increasing crime rates, toxic chemicals in our food, and starvation in developing nations, each of which is at least partially due to growing world population, it's hard to imagine anyone opposing restraints on population controls.

    However, such people exist. Some are well-meaning optimists blinded by their denial. Economist Julian Simon, for example, stated in 1981 that, "There is no meaningful limit to our capacity to keep growing forever." Many religious and industry leaders embraced this statement, using it to justify their anti-control ideologies and their commitment to their stockholders.

    Others, however, have more pernicious motivations--like greed and religious fanaticism. Motivated by religious-right attitudes, family planning opponents in Congress have attempted to limit funding for the activities of foreign family-planning organizations by forcing them to renounce abortion and to withhold information on the subject.

    In July of 1998, family planning opponents in the House considered an amendment appropriations bill that would define contraception (for distribution in foreign countries) in such a way that it would exclude oral contraceptives, Norplant, and the IUD. At the time, Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) declared that RU486 and other contraceptives were "baby pesticides," a notion which would surprise the 30 million American women who use the pill, Norplant, and the IUD to prevent pregnancy.

    These restrictive policies follow the example of the "Mexico City Policy," named for the site of the 1984 international population conference. During that conference, held in a city in which hordes of unwanted children survive by picking scraps off of our heaps of garbage, the United States announced that it would end funding to private family planning programs overseas if they had any involvement with abortion. (Clinton repealed the restrictions in 1993.)

    Those, like Simon, want us to believe that our population-related problems are all due to overcrowding, not overpopulation. Overpopulation and overcrowding are different. Overcrowding does not necessarily mean that people live shoulder-to-shoulder. Rather, it occurs when there are too many people crowded into one space--crowded to the point that a high percentage of the population must live in substandard conditions because of the lack of living space and lack of opportunity to make a living. It's like having a dozen people trying to crowd around a small fire‹someone is bound to be left out in the cold.

    "Substandard" means that one's ability to be productive, safe, and healthy are impaired due to cramming too many people into too small a space. The level at which overcrowding exists varies according to cultural and economic factors. For example, Japan has far more people per square mile than the United States. However, the Japanese are better adapted to crowded conditions than we. The crime rate is lower than ours, the streets are, for the most part, safe at night, and the traffic, while congested, is better managed than ours. Most important, however, their industrial and economic structure provides enough work and income for most Japanese to afford food and shelter.

    click here for full story

  2. #2
    Disliker of meat/eggs/dairy pB0t's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Calgary, Canada
    Posts
    166
    I think I read in "Mad Cowboy" that if everyone were vegan the farmland we have now could produce food for up to 10 billion.

  3. #3
    Plant-Based Person
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    1,061
    Wouldn’t it be awesome if the whole entire world went vegan, lived in earth-friendly self-sustainable housing, and stopped consuming?

    ...off to never never land...

  4. #4
    eats a lot of prunes. Oatmeal Girl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    milwaukee, wisconsin.
    Posts
    1,119
    People always get mad at me or take offense when I say this, but its truly what I believe....people aren't entitled to children! It's society's standard that people are supposed to grow up, get married, and have kids. People who choose not to have any are sometimes considered unfeeling or odd or even gay! I think that the majority of Americans are too wrapped up in their careers to have children- which isn't a bad thing, either, people just need to choose what they value more. I have decided not to have children- if I want to raise a child, I'll adopt one of the thousands that are waiting for a good home! Overpopulation is something that really gets me.....

    A world full of vegetarians/vegans would be the solution to starvation- I'm sure you've all read the statistics on land used for grazing vs. crops. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if there was a huge vegan movement?? Maybe if Kucinich gets into office, we'll see some change
    "Nothing will benefit health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet"
    - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Plant-Based Person Ariann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    EWR (Union County, NJ)
    Posts
    3,166
    Originally posted by Oatmeal Girl
    A world full of vegetarians/vegans would be the solution to starvation- I'm sure you've all read the statistics on land used for grazing vs. crops. Can you imagine how awesome it would be if there was a huge vegan movement?? Maybe if Kucinich gets into office, we'll see some change
    Kucinich couldn't do it on his own and even if there were a large vegan movement, we probably wouldn't see much change in this for a long time. We ALREADY have enough food to feed the whole world. The issue is the politics and economics of distribution, here, not any lack, perceived or real.

  6. #6
    eats a lot of prunes. Oatmeal Girl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    milwaukee, wisconsin.
    Posts
    1,119
    What I meant by that was that having a vegan president would raise some curiosity- in general, people have a habit of "jumping on the bandwagon".
    "Nothing will benefit health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet"
    - Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Plant-Based Person Ariann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    EWR (Union County, NJ)
    Posts
    3,166
    Oatmeal Girl, I definitely do agree about that. I just worry that if a progressive candidate gets elected to office, it can have a negative impact on their issues. Congress, and I imagine city councils are just as bad about this if not worse, seems to work more on the basis of personal grudges and generaly stick-in-the-mudness than on the basis of logic and progress.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio
    Posts
    48
    there are too many humans
    there is no doubt about that


    i'm a kucinich backer
    if he were to be elected he would have a very positive effect on the 'mercan people
    as he is also a member of congress and is very active in getting environmental laws passed

  9. #9
    Rooted
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Camberwell, London, UK
    Posts
    61
    It's not just a question of whether there's enough food to feed the world's population. The amount of people in the world is putting a strain on the environment in that it is unsustainable to keep consuming and using energy and resources in the way we are. Ecosystems are being destroyed and the earth's resources are being used up at such a rate that the conditions which allow life (including human life), to flourish on the earth will not be present in the future.
    I think we need to go down the roads of recycling and renewable, non environmentally damaging energy resources.
    I have read (although I'm not sure how true this is), that the population of Europe is actually going down, and that there are some suggestions that the world's population will level out at around 9 billion.
    The point is though, that there has long been to many people 'consuming' the way we do, in the world for quite some time.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by stoffer
    It's not just a question of whether there's enough food to feed the world's population. The amount of people in the world is putting a strain on the environment in that it is unsustainable to keep consuming and using energy and resources in the way we are.
    It isn't the amount of people...it's a small group that make a mess of our planet.

    20% of the world population uses 80% of the resources.....

    The 20% is the western world........

  11. #11
    A truly sustainable human population has been estimated to be anywhere from 500 million to 2 billion. We could get there in 100 years if everyone adhered to a stricly enforced one-child only policy.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by calendar
    A truly sustainable human population has been estimated to be anywhere from 500 million to 2 billion. We could get there in 100 years if everyone adhered to a stricly enforced one-child only policy.
    The problem with this is manifold. Food First--the brainchild of Francis Moore Lappe', among others--has documented that the primary "driver" of large families in the world is desperate poverty. Children are the only social security, medicine, and potential source of income that poor peasants have. Most of the world still lives close to the land and hand-to-mouth...something easy to forget.

    As Food First pointed out, what we have is not an excess of population, but a dearth of justice. If we remove the pressure to have larger families, family size will reduce.

    As a postscript, I'll add that at this point, I don't see overpopulation as being our most pressing problem; it won't matter what family size is, if the world becomes uninhabitable due to unstable climate, corresponding pandemics, and breakdown in food sources.
    My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks. -- Barack Obama, speaking to the CEOs of 13 of the nation's biggest banks

  13. #13
    It isn't just politics. It's much more than that. We don't have enough planets to go around. We have been in overshoot for a long time.

    see:

    WILL LIMITS OF THE EARTH'S RESOURCES CONTROL HUMAN NUMBERS?
    David Pimentel, O. Bailey, P. Kim, E. Mullaney, J. Calabrese, L. Walman, F. Nelson, and X. Yao
    College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
    CORNELL UNIVERSITY
    Ithaca, NY 14853-0901
    February 25, 1999

    http://dieoff.com/page174.pdf

  14. #14
    tiny banana gur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    nowhere
    Posts
    3,924
    Quote Originally Posted by calendar
    A truly sustainable human population has been estimated to be anywhere from 500 million to 2 billion. We could get there in 100 years if everyone adhered to a stricly enforced one-child only policy.
    do you have a reference for this? i'm interested in reading the article (or whatever it's from).

    eta: oops! is it from the link you just posted? silly me.

  15. #15
    The wonderful thing about the periodically produced explanation of global problems as a matter of their being "too many people" is that it perfectly suits to keep the status quo for those who use the most energy, plunder the most resources, and get increasingly more powerful and rich from doing so. An added benefit is that it attributes the fault primarily to the least politically powerful: the colored peoples of the economic killing floor known as the Third World.

    I don't have to produce a pie chart, a graph, or even a study to assert what you know to be the case: that the technologically advanced nations of the West--especially and more than any other, the United States--consume proportionately far more of the earth's resources and use more of its energy than do the more numerous people of the Third World. We are energy hogs and are literally destroying the world with our oil addiction.

    Did I say 'we' and 'our'? That's a little too quick and more than a little inaccurate...for, you see, most wealth in the US is concentrated in very few hands...and the decision about continuing to pollute is heavily channeled by the same wealth and power that already benefits from the current, toxic cycle.

    Like it or not, the fate of the world--and its population--is entirely a political question. Politics is the question of who will rule and how, and what actions, policies, will follow. Simple individual choices factor in, but they are entirely insufficient to meet the crisis that is upon us. By all means, don't drive a car, or choose to buy a hybrid if you must--but understand that this will not keep cars off the road, or even minimize their usage. It's a matter of getting out of the chair in front of the TV and getting others to do likewise...and that, folks, is the grassroots action of politics.
    My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks. -- Barack Obama, speaking to the CEOs of 13 of the nation's biggest banks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •