Tag Archives | Overpopulation

Overpopulation Is Not the Problem

Malthus cautioned law makers on the effects of...

Malthus cautioned law makers on the effects of poverty reduction policies. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

Adhering to the apocalyptic overpopulation narrative  has proven to encourage human rights atrocities. It has the effect of dragging anchor on social progress and innovation. To move forward, I feel it is in all of our best interests to weigh anchor, sail out to the horizon, and throw Malthus overboard on the way. What say you, disinfonauts?

via The New York Times

MANY scientists believe that by transforming the earth’s natural landscapes, we are undermining the very life support systems that sustain us. Like bacteria in a petri dish, our exploding numbers are reaching the limits of a finite planet, with dire consequences. Disaster looms as humans exceed the earth’s natural carrying capacity. Clearly, this could not be sustainable.

This is nonsense. Even today, I hear some of my scientific colleagues repeat these and similar claims — often unchallenged.

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Why Have Children?

image courtesy Matt Romack

Get married. Buy a house. Have kids. Retire. Die.

Why step three? Is it part of an egotistical drive to preserve one’s DNA? A desire to raise the most exotic pet of all – a human? A need to obtain a trophy to prove you had unprotected sex?

None of those, says a team of Cambridge and Stanford researchers. Instead, Dr. Partha Dasgupta and Dr. Paul Ehrlich posit, it’s part of the age-old question of “keeping up with the Joneses.” Physorg reports on the duo’s study which uses …

… data from several sources to compare population growth rates between people in Africa—where population growth is exploding in some areas—with others where it is not, to show that when people experience peer pressure to have large families and also feel pressure to keep up with the consumption habits of other people where they live, the result can be explosive population growth.

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‘Overpopulation Is A Myth’ Says Mom of 19, Michelle Duggar (Video)

DuggarsVia the Huffington Post:

Michelle Duggar, star of TLC’s reality show, “19 Kids and Counting”, says there needs to be more children because our world needs more joy. And as for overpopulation? That’s just a lie, Duggar recently told the Christian Broadcasting Network in a web interview. “The idea of overpopulation is not accurate,” Duggar says, because the entire population of the world could fit inside of Jacksonville, Florida.

“I agree with Mother Teresa when she said, ‘to say that there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers,’” Duggar said. She explains how her large family is resourceful and therefore not posing as big of an environmental problem as perceived. They buy used cars, she says, and frequently shop at thrift stores, purchasing things others would discard.

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7 Billion People and Counting: Concerns From Around the World

PopulationGreat roundup of opinion found in the Detroit Free Press:

What’s the biggest issue facing humanity as the global population reaches seven billion?

Montreal’s Le Devoir newspaper asked for an answer from correspondents around the world. Here are the replies, including a link to that from the Free Press. Note the recurring theme of fresh water, not a problem here in the Great Lakes region, but a critical issue for millions of people in many regions.

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Population Explosion Continues – 10 Billion People By End Of Century

World Population by Continent and 10 Most Populated CountriesSo much for a population peaking and declining by 2050 (the so-called “Demographic Bomb“). The UN is now saying that the Earth’s human population will carry on growing exponentially, as reported by the New York Times:

The population of the world, long expected to stabilize just above 9 billion in the middle of the century, will instead keep growing and may hit 10.1 billion by the year 2100, the United Nations projected in a report released Tuesday.

Growth in Africa remains so high that the population there could more than triple in this century, rising from today’s one billion to 3.6 billion, the report said — a sobering forecast for a continent already struggling to provide food and water for its people.

The new report comes just ahead of a demographic milestone, with the world population expected to pass 7 billion in late October, only a dozen years after it surpassed 6 billion.

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‘Free Human Vasectomy’ Offered In PETA Contest

NeuterWas this an April Fools’ joke or did PETA just enter WTF territory? Via PETA:

It’s a two-fer: Get your animal companion fixed, and get yourself fixed too! Human overpopulation is crowding out animal life on the planet, and dog and cat overpopulation is creating a euthanasia crisis that is a crying shame. Disappearing wilderness, vanishing water resources, and pollution is the price that future generations will pay for more human births, while losing their lives is the price that millions of homeless dogs and cats pay when guardians neglect to “fix” their companion animals.

Every year in the U.S., an estimated 6 to 8 million lost, abandoned, or unwanted dogs and cats enter animal shelters. The best way to combat the companion-animal overpopulation crisis is to have your cat or dog neutered. And with a global population of almost 7 billion humans, more of our species could use a (voluntary) snip too.

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A Quick Journey Through 1970s Apocalypticism

Future Shock title slate paleofuture paleo-futurePaleofuture Blog, which look at predictions and visions of the future as previous generations imagined it, has a video feature examining the colorful weirdness of apocalyptic doom-and-gloom in the 1970s. In that decade, frightening documentaries such as Future Shock and The Late Great Planet Earth caught the zeitgeist by foretelling the fast-approaching destruction of humanity  at the hands of  overpopulation, dehumanizing technology, Communism, ancient prophecies, and natural devastation. Viewing these works today, they are a reminder that the world probably isn’t going to end, and we’ll make it through to tomorrow.

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Earth Could be ‘Unrecognizable’ by 2050

Earth As Seen From Apollo 17Via Discovery News:

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an “unrecognizable” world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, “with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia,” said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

“By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable” if current trends continue, Clay said.

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Earth Day: Save The Planet By Not Having Children?

With Earth Day 2010 on this 22nd of April, I wonder how much the Green movement and the greater media at large will debate this opinion from Lisa Hymas on Grist:
Starchild

In 1969, graduating college senior Stephanie Mills made national headlines with a commencement address exclaiming that, in the face of impending ecological devastation, she was choosing to forgo parenthood. “I am terribly saddened by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all,” she told her classmates.

I come here before you today to make the same proclamation — with a twist. I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all.

Making the green choice too often feels like a sacrifice or a hassle or an expense. In this case, it feels like a luxurious indulgence that just so happens to cost a lot less for me and weigh a lot less on the carbon-bloated atmosphere.

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WTF: Georgia Congressman Thinks Overpopulation Will Make Guam Sink (Video)

Hank JohnsonDuring a hearing with the House Armed Services Committee last week, Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia attempted to explain his concern for the stability of the island of Guam if 8,000 new marines and other naval personnel were to be stationed there.

“My fear that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” said the the Georgia Democrat.

Hmm, after reading the follow-up statement to clarify Congressman Johnson’s testimony, I’m still looking for the evidence of “metaphorical” speaking … not really seeing it. Check out the video and the follow-up statement in this clip from MSNBC’s Way Too Early with Willie Geist:

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