The overpopulation problem is one that never seems to be discussed by our
misleaders politicians and misinformers journalists. It is time for these shirkers them to face up to their responsibilities and address this very real threat that is ‘population overshoot’.
It is only recently in the history of humankind that our numbers have been able to increase so dramatically. From an estimated 1 billion at the turn of the 19th century to the several billion that we have now, the increase has been truly spectacular. The main factors that have enabled this increase are sanitation, modern medicine, and modern agriculture.
With increased survival rates and the ability to feed the growing hordes, we have flourished in a world of natural abundance and surplus. Unfortunately, that world of abundance and surplus is no more. We have consumed most of it and are now entering a new era dubbed ‘the anthropocene’ along with our planet’s sixth mass extinction event.
When once trees regrew faster than we could chop them down, now we have destroyed all but two of the world’s large natural forests. When once our fish catch was limited by the number of fisherman, now it is limited by the pace at which fish can reproduce and most global fisheries have either been destroyed or are in terminal decline. Minerals and fossil fuels were abundant and obtaining them was relatively easy, now we dig and drill kilometers into the Earth’s crust to obtain them.
If our numbers continue to increase, the raping and pillaging of the natural world will continue until all that is needed to sustain us is either destroyed, poisoned or so difficult to obtain that doing so becomes pointless. And it will accelerate.
There are two main factors that contribute to this destruction: the number of people, and per capita consumption. One way or another, per capita consumption is going to decrease. The natural world on which we depend just can not support the current rate of consumption and survive. As crude oil depletes – and it will – the agricultural revolution that has fed us will collapse and there goes most of the population. No more will we be able to drive to the shops to purchase our daily needs and even if we could, there will be nothing there.
Do you want future generations to live with extreme hunger and poverty? A world where every man, woman and child scrambles and fights for every scrap that hasn’t already been consumed. In some places this has already begun. Would it not be better to reduce our numbers voluntarily, conserve what precious resources remain and give the natural world time to recover? Future generations must be owed at least this much.
Without voluntary population reduction and control, make no mistake, the natural world will do it for us . . . and it will not be pretty.
We have reached the limits. It is now time to face this reality and abandon the growth ideology or face an unimaginable horror in a world that has become increasingly hostile for us and the natural world that sustains us.
How we reduced populations voluntarily is another debate. Bringing this subject to the front of public discourse is the first priority and hopefully, this submission will help towards that aim. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
“Ecological reductionism begins with the true insight that humans and markets are not exempt from the laws of nature.” — Herman Daly.
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