Originally Posted by berryblndgirl
This is my first time posting on these boards, and I have to honestly say I am shocked by the number of people who've responded saying they believe overpopulation is a myth. I'd suggest that those who believe so check out http://www.overpopulation.org/
for starters. And I'd really like someone to explain why they think it's a myth.
Primarily, overpopulation is based on the assumption that natural resources are all basically finite-- meaning that at a certain point, humanity will outstrip its ability to grow food, and the ability to have potable water and there will be a dearth of food and water, resulting in mass starvation/death. The other assumption is that the energy requirements for all people would be impossible to meet.
That is a faulty assumption, in my view, because it's nearly always possible to grow more food-- even *without* arable land. (We do this to excess in the US. millions and billions of pounds of food go to waste.) The ways to purify and desalinate water exist, even if they are expensive. There are a myriad of ways to create/capture energy without needing to resort to nonrenewable resources like oil, coal, and natural gas. We just don't use them to anywhere near their full extent. Therefore the problem is not finite natural resources, but rather, distribution of resources. We in the US eat how many times what someone in Africa or China or the Middle east does? How much energy do we consume? And why? And how does it compare with the rest of the world?
It's true that it would be near impossible to provide every single person in the world with the ability and resources to consume the amount of energy and food that we do in the US. We shouldn't be trying to make it possible for everyone in the whole wide world to consume like the US, though. We should be trying to reduce US consumption. We should be striving for a sustainable future, for an environment that isn't poisoned, and air that won't give us cancer. That doesn't mean we need less people in the world. We need better management.
I did look at that page that you pointed out, briefly. It spouts the same party-line that the world's resources can't support more people; I disagree. We need more responsible use and distribution.
Additionally, deliberately creating a shrinking population, as that site advocates, is foolish. You would create a population which necessitates inhumane treatment of non-producing members of society-- the elderly and disabled-- because there will not be enough caretakers to give them humane treatment. Every generation would see more elderly in need of care, and less people to give them that care. Add to that the disabled, and... Yeah. Bad idea. Life expectancy is growing. People need care for longer terms of years, because medical technology is extending lives. THAT is the major reason that the population is even growing at all right now. Unfortunately, that longer life also equates more care for many, if not all. And that care has to come from human beings; it can't come from machines. Either that, or we just stop the care and they die of something preventable. Life expectancy shrinks, so does the population. Lovely thought, huh?
You ever hear of the 4-2-1 problem in China? That's one child financially and morally responsible for taking care of two aging parents, and four aging grandparents, and God forbid taking care of GREAT grandparents on top of that! It's not a good goal. It's a problem. 60 and 70 year old men and women shouldn't be required to work in a factory or at a wal-mart or McDonald's because they can't afford to stop working or they starve. Where's the humanity in that? Social security does not work with a mostly-aged population. The math just doesn't work.
That is happening, all over the nation, and all over the world. In China, they actually have to actively seek out the elderly to man factories. There aren't enough young people, and otherwise, the elderly starve because their grandchildren barely make enough to support themselves and their parents.
Sorry, but... That's not a future I would wish on ANYONE, let alone a relative.