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Breeding To The Breaking Point!

Updated on April 14, 2011

Forests everywhere are disappearing. The unpolluted fresh water supply is in danger. Air is becoming increasingly unhealthy. And yet we keep the baby production going as if we had not a care in the world. The impact each human has on this planet is tremendous. Talk about using fossil fuels, if we add up all the earth’s resources one uses in a lifetime of say 70 years, it takes many people saving energy to make up for each new human. If you live in a developed country you have fuel for your vehicles, for heating, for cooling, for cooking, and for power tools, and lawn mowers, etc. You have resources for housing, furniture, entertainment, health care. In just the energy resource alone, an average person in the USA uses 335.9 million BTUs per year. Add this over the entire span of a life and it should be clear that population control is the biggest thing we can do to improve the health of the planet Earth. While we currently talk a lot about fossil fuels, we seem to have given up on the biggest thing we can do, population control.

Whenever I hear of someone on fertility drugs popping out six kids I am appalled at the irresponsibility of this behavior and the acceptance society has for the mother and the doctor. Even people that might frown on a person driving a Hummer in downtown LA, even people that would criticize a person building a redwood home in Humboldt County California, they have nothing to say about the sextuplet’s impact on the planet. But this is not about sextuplets, dumb as that decision may be, this is about the Planet Earth and the impact of an ever growing world population.

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census:

Current Population Growth in USA

        One birth every..................................   8 seconds
        One death every..................................  12 seconds
        One international migrant (net) every............  43 seconds
        Net gain of one person every.....................  14 seconds


Total births per second : 4.17

Total deaths per second : 1.80

Net growth : 2.37 per second .

The Earth's population reached 7 billion in May, 2010. It was only 2 billion in 1930, so today's older generation was the first in history to see more than a tripling of the Earth's population during their lifetimes! That’s right, the entire population more than TRIPLED IN ONE LIFETIME!

Current United Nations predictions estimate that the world population will reach 9.0 billion around 2050, assuming a decrease in average fertility rate from 2.5 down to 2.0. Glad I will not be here. Between 1995 and 2000, the growth rate was 78 million people per year; the equivalent of a new China in 15 years !

This rapid population growth has been associated with global environmental changes including:

  • Increasing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Environmental degradation of soil, air, and water quality
  • Deforestation and desertification
  • Loss of biodiversity

There is a built-in "consumption bomb" as the peoples in the developing world - anxious to improve their life styles - are encouraged to consume more global resources by corporate advertising that is fanning the flames of consumerism. And the current push toward trade liberalization and corporate globalization is developing new markets, such as the automobile market in China..

But the issue of over population, popular in the late 20th century, got lost somewhere. The Pope certainly has fought against it:

In his message for the World Day of Peace Pope Benedict XVI stated that increased population has proved an asset rather than a detriment in terms of development. "Poverty is often considered a consequence of demographic change," he said.
By John-Henry Westen and Kathleen Gilbert 12/13/2008 LifeSiteNews

Since 1996 , the infantile Republicans have been cutting funding for United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). Obama finally changed that. In January of 2010 Hilary Clinton announced:

In addition to new funding, we've launched a new program that will be the centerpiece of our foreign policy, the Global Health Initiative, which commits us to spe nding $63 billion over six years to improve global health by investing in efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality, and] prevent millions of unintended pregnancies.”

Man, the religious animal, may self destruct partially as a result of his religion and his ego. It is obvious to a mule! You do not need to be a Yale Scholar to see this is a real problem when the population of the planet triples in the last 70years! We allow religious dogma to blind us to the facts. It really is not necessary for you to replicate your genes. I think we should speak to the POPE and remind him that priests aided the Nazis to flee to Argentina and escape the advancing allies . It is also the priests that have these indecencies we hear about with little children. So why do we have this huge respect for men that not only put their pants on one leg at a time, they do it after molesting an unsuspecting and innocent child! Tell the POPE to shove it when it comes to birth control. We do not need the Catholic Philosophy on birth control. This World has a huge problem ladies and gentlemen and listening to the POPE, or cry baby Boehner for that matter, will not solve it! I am afraid we have passed the day where we can consider large families a human right. There are already enough rug rats and your genes are not that valuable that they need duplication. Humans have become a very successful parasite on the planet Earth. But nothing will be done. Absolutely nothing will be done! Complacency, Conformity, Convention, and His Holiness will see to that.


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    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 4 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      The world is not overpopulated, just badly managed.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Great article. The world is overpopulated resulting in more poverty. The only way to eliminate poverty is to apply more stringent methods of birth control and to educate women. It has been stated ad infinitum that as women become more educated, they will have less children as it is more beneficial to have children that one can take care of. Also in this pronatalist culture, there is STILL residual prejudice against childfree and 1-child families while larger families are glorified. This pronatalist thinking has got to stop. Childfree and 1-child families are to be praised, even lauded for doing their part to subvert overpopulation.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley


      I lost my business in the recession so I cannot donate cash. But I am sure glad there are some that can!!!

      You are obviously a person I am proud to know!

      I appreciate your comments and hope to see you here again!! Thank you!

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

      if you've ever read the package insert from birth con trol pills, they all say that the safest method of birth control for a woman is a barrier method (condoms, diaghram) backed up by abortion. abortion is a gift from God and should not be denied those in the developing world, as Bush did.

      today i donated what cash i could and offered to volunteer for obama's 2012 run. we really need him to balance the "mad cow" in the House.

    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 6 years ago from northeastern US

      thanks for reminding of this important issue. i can add to alex's stats. in the late '70's ( i only mention the date so you can adjust for inflation) if a couple's income increased to above $900 per year, they began to seek birth control. most folks with means do try to limit the # of children they have.

      for all their complaints, only children have higher self-esteem in general than children who must share their parents.

      i have no kids cuz i married late, but would have been ecstatic with 1 or 2. a college professor in the late '70's clued me in to overpopulation as the world's biggest problem. sometimes i lose sight of it. so glad, as you point out, that the US is once again helping those in the developing world to access birth control. i don't know why folks don't get excited about this.

      good title for valuable hub. hope the discussion continues.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley


      And you must be happy with that choice. But while intelligent people are making the choice for fewer, or NO children, the world is still sprawling with large families and booming populations. I think awareness of population problems has taken a back seat since the 70s. The Science Channel recently did a show on what the year 2100 would be like based on population projections. It was not pretty!

      I know you are doing what you can! Thanks for stoping in and your comment is always appreciated.

    • CreatePerfection profile image

      CreatePerfection 6 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

      Terry, wow, wow, wow! This is an awesome article. My husband and I agreed not to have children, 24 years ago when we married. We both felt there were enough people on the earth. It is not quantity that is missing here, it is quality, and we will not find it in a bigger population. Thank you for this amazing article.


    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Certainly it is their choice. But maybe a little concern for the continue population sprawl might encourage more birth control.

      Thanks for stopping in!

    • Mimi721wis profile image

      Mimi721wis 6 years ago

      If individuals find themselves expecting a child they either abort or go throw with the birth. That's their choice. I have a problem with the pregnancy pacts across the country with our minors. It appears to be on the rise. That's a group someone really needs to reach.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      The Census Bureau still claims our population is rising and could reach 440 million by 2050. That is a 33% increase in 40 years. We keep relying on technology to squeeze more and more, but it cannot keep up. Eventually we will have to face that overpopulation is real and it does not cure itself. I do not like legislation that allows the government to make our personal choices. But we can at least stop aiding it.

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA


      You make me laugh--if I walked into a Church today, it would probably crack and come tumbling down on top of me. I was brought up Catholic, Catholic schools and everything, but as I became an adult, found the rigidity of the Church and the lack of tolerance for other people more than I could handle. I believe in God, but I believe that most organized religion is, well, I won't even say it...

      The missionary work of all churches bothers me alot. I agree, that the churches involved in missionary work want as many members as they can get. To me, it is creepy.

      I believe there should be a flat tax rate, with no deductions for anything. In August 2010, Huffington Post had an article that said the US now has the lowest birth rate in a century. Think you'll find it interesting.

      I think the US is pretty educated as to overpopulation, except for a minority of people. The rest of the world must be taught about overpopulation and effective birth control.

      Think we all have valuable ideas that should be examined, except for the Republicans...See, we do agree!

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      1. The only legislation I am thinking of doing away with is favorable tax deductions for children beyond the first one. No additional tax relief for additional children. That is the only legislation I suggest. The rest should be a matter of conscience. Because each child in an industrialized country really gobbles away at resources. Although I think China policy is a positive rule, I am not proposing any such legislative action. Except perhaps for Republicans. They like to tell everyone how to live so let's return the favor.

      2. Although it is the infantile Evangelicals in this country that are the problem, the Pope does have a huge influence in less developed countries where they already have large families. He just wants more Catholics.

      3. I was afraid you were Catholic! :) I am a hopeful Agnostic.

    • Jillian Barclay profile image

      Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

      Dear Terry,

      I agree that 6, 7, or 8 babies at a time should never be intended, but at the same time, cannot agree to a political agenda that forces abortions, like China. In developing nations, or even nations that are not developed, birth control options and education should be provided, as part of a United Nations effort.

      The Pope (how did you know I was brought up Catholic, you little devil, you!), is always going to be archaic in his views, but he is just a figurehead of a religion. Most American Catholics disagree with him in regards to birth control. I don't see the Pope as being the voice against birth control in the U.S. I see the evangelical Christians (the Catholic Church is not welcome in their group!)as the enemy of birth control education.

      As for the number of children a family has in this country, more and more, people opt for 2, 1, or even none. I won't ask that my opinion be legislated. I had 3 children and for women who desire children, I see how being able to have none (when they want to), negatively impacts them. It should be about choice in this country, I think. As for other countries, legislate away, Terry!

      The food necessary to feed a growing population in the world and the resources needed for energy? I don't know how that will be accomplished. I do believe that eventually, wars are going to be fought solely for food.

      As for humor, I am currently unhappy with both of my daughters and keep telling my son that he better watch it, or I am going to consider advocating for retroactive choice!

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Ok Mckbirdbks,

      You are perhaps even more a smart ass then me. But humor is almost always a good thing! Thanks for the comment!

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      "We could also go a long way by making cremation mandatory and using the energy generated to create electricity." - hell, why wait, the Germans didn't. Let's name the company Sextuplets Energy.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Take this simple example. If only 1000 people lived on the planet we could use whatever resources we wanted and not endanger the forests, the land, the air, or the sea. The more people we try and support on the planet the more we must sacrifice things you like such as travel. I am all for technological change where we have vast renewable energy combined with a population that either holds steady or declines back to 3 billion people. Nuclear fusion would be terrific! But if we keep growing as we are I don't think there is enough technology to keep the earth inhabitable for 9 billion people. By the way,do Germans still get 6 weeks a year vacation? I hope so.

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Hmm...... Fossil Fuels case environmental problems, but encouraging biofuels raises food prices so the poorest starve. Nice one.

      I agree with Terry about Infantile GOP folks. Unfortunately it looks like the global economy has been captured by big businesses with no incentive to invest to help the environment.

      My vote would be for a vast increase into renewable energy sources and nuclear fusion (not fission). We could also go a long way by making cremation mandatory and using the energy generated to create electricity.

      And the eco-warriors so busy telling people to give up things like travel and wear hair shirts should be putting their money and mouths into the funding and bringing to market then marketing of the products that will help the environment and improve quality of life.

      A decrease in the work week and the number of days worked per year would help. I would often LOVE to take a train but when it costs twice as much as a plane and takes 12 hours not three and I anly have a three day break.... plus the new carbon taxes are per passenger not per plane and cargo flights and private jets are exempt.... makes me wonder who all this eco friendliness is actually benefiting and whether it is an excuse to control people further

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      Sorry about my bitter attitude! The human race has the right to self destruct and they are doing a damned good job! We can speed up the process even more by the election of more infantile GOP folks. Trump for president, the Earth will shudder on that prospect.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      I am sure being a mother is a wonderful experience and I applaud it. I only mention sextuplets to show our attitude toward the sustainability of a viable planet. We seem unaware of the impact that each human has on the sensitive Eco system. Taking into account that current estimates are for over 9 billion people by 2050, feeding the people will be just a fraction of the problem. The use of Energy and the impact on the environment will ensure the climate change problem can never be solved. We will have passed the tipping point. All evidence shows that Complacency, Ignorance, and Religious Dogma will prevail. If we do ever wake up and decide we want to continue being the dominant species, I suspect it will be way to late to do any good.

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Terry, you are sooo funny! Keep this up and you'll be banned from civilization. How dare you call those cherished little bundles Rug Rats!

      All kidding aside, I have two children whom I adore, but unlike most mothers, I don't consider them to be the most rewarding things in my life. I admittedly don't quite get all the worry about the "biological clock". I figure either you have kids or you don' can or you can't. My personal value isn't tied into my ability to reproduce.

      As for overcrowding, close a few golf courses and stop burying bodies everywhere. Now food, that's a different matter...then again, most of us throw away more than many need for consumption. We feed our pets gourmet meals, we can find nutrition for people.

      Having said all that, I will not be around 70 years from now and as my grandmother used to say...every tub sits on its own bottom.

    • Terry.Hirneisen profile image

      Terry.Hirneisen 6 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

      I know why women take fertility drugs. I am not sympathetic. Not having kids is not the end of the world. The fact that the human race has tripled in about 70 years is not disturbing to you? It is not only a question of having the resources, it is a question of what the consumption of those resources does to the quality of life on this planet. Population growth is not the wrong target.

      It is the most important target.

      I think it is time to stop encouraging large families via the tax code and via religion. And I do not need another 7 billion people so I can publish a HUB.

    • AlexK2009 profile image

      AlexK2009 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Fertility drugs are used to help couples having difficulty getting children. Sometimes there will be overshoots.

      There are more than enough resources to feed clothe and house everyone and lat hem live at a reasonable standard. The problem is distribution of resources.

      In many developing countries having many children is (a) the only way to ensure some grow up and(b) the only way to ensure you can have a decent old age as state help is either nonexistent or inadequate. In developed countries like the UK the provision for the elderly has long been acknowledged as inadequate but nothing has been done.

      DO you want legislation like in China, where only one child per couple is allowed - so girl children are often killed at birth? or do you support the human population reduction program which aims to reduce world population to 500 million, almost all white, by putting contraceptives into vaccines and encouraging wars and genocide?

      When national prosperity reaches a certain level and people can be sure of a comfortable retirement and that their children will not die too young the population spontaneously reduces the number of children per nuclear family to about replacement level, sometimes fewer

      I think you are attacking the wrong targets. I will need to think what the right targets are. Consumerism drives innovation and is one of the factors leading to the fact you can publish a hub. Another factor is wealth concentration, which is harder to tackle. Trying to redistribute wealth via the tax system has historically proven a disaster in the long term, from what I can see.