Is Our Planet Overpopulated?
The Human Tsunami - A Relentless Tide Of Overpopulation
The world would be a better place without many atrocities... terrorism, crime and prejudice to name several but the list is endless. Religious intolerance... poverty... greed... environmental pollution... over farming... the decimation of the rain forests... exploitation of animals... climate change... plastic pollution. These issues will worsen as world population increases.
Be Fruitful - But Don't Multiply Too Much!
The one issue every person on the planet can help resolve is overpopulation. The world would be a better place if there were fewer people. If population remained stable, there may yet be a chance for resources to be sustainable.
There are many opposing views on the impact of ever-increasing population. According to statisticians, the entire world population would fit into Texas. And they're right. But as well as somewhere to live, people need space to grow food. They also need room for their rubbish which goes to a landfill if not recycled.
In nature, there's no waste whereas humans are far too wasteful. The fierce rapidity with which resources are depleted impacts unfavourably on the environment. Whilst humans place every emphasis on monetary value, they care for little else. Habitats can't recover fast enough. When humans damn rivers to supply their cities with water, other species die.
You could say humans are an alien race because they share no relationship with any other species... with the possible exception of head lice! They may have brought them along from who knows where, but that's a story for another day!
As a species, all humans, religious or not, are expert at reproduction - anyone familiar with The Bible knows that God said 'be fruitful and multiply.' God also said 'replenish the earth' but as custodians of this planet, humans have fallen far short of the mark. Humans have reached the point where they're drowning in their own success and this is why the tumultuous tide of humanity threatens all life on Earth.
People, People, Everywhere And Not a Blade of Grass
The Human Tsunami Needs To Be Stopped
This human tsunami must stop but how? Nobody wants their family planning arrangements to become a public issue. China's now defunct one-child policy was successful but raised several problematic issues. The disposal of unwanted, newborn females and the dilemma for mothers who became pregnant a second time were two of the most important ones. It also resulted in a whole generation of 'only' children.
Governments should heed advice from scientists, statisticians and environmentalists about voluntary sterilisation programmes. In third-world countries, the introduction of these would help improve lives.
Many think it's an indisputable right to reproduce, but why - when you can't afford to nourish yourself? To look after your offspring, you first need to take care of yourself. To feed, clothe, and provide shelter for them, you need adequate income. Transport too is vital even if it's a bicycle so you can take your grain to the marketplace.
There are too many people for the environment to cope with and as a consequence, it's becoming unsustainable. Those born in the 1950s or 60s, know that world population has increased three-fold since then. Even in the face of war, famine, pestilence and natural disasters, as a species, mankind is too prolific.
Overpopulation means that everything takes longer, in spite of advances in technology. Thirty years ago you'd make a phone call to an official department and get through to a real person - immediately. Not so, nowadays - you're often held in a queue for up to an hour! Travel takes longer due to queues and crowds, so only those in rural areas get a chance of a quiet life. Adequate space to live is harder to find now that new-build homes are smaller.
Humans are successful because they exploit the environment but this success doesn't guarantee their continued stewardship of the planet. As they push other species to the brink of extinction, their habitat is also threatened.
The dinosaurs existed for 165 million years, but how long have humans been here? Not even a fraction of that! Human ancestors dominated Earth for six million years but in their modern form, they've only been around for 200,000!
A Presentation On Overpopulation
'We all have red blood, share the same rock and breathe the same air'— Stella Kaye
Too Many People - Not A Grey Area But As Plain As Black And White!
Everything Can And Will Run Out
There are elements of truth in the cataclysmic scenarios depicted in Sci-Fi movies, but it's far more likely that humanity will be the author of its own demise rather than meet an untimely nemesis by an asteroid, or alien invasion.
Air quality is beyond tolerable limits in congested cities. People are eager to move to the metropolis but who will tend the farmland to feed them? City dwellers of the future may sink into their own excrement with no clean air, fresh food, or water supply. To avoid a dystopian future, steps to reduce population must begin now; governments should ensure that birth rates decrease since the world's resources aren't infinite.
It's stating the obvious, but the obvious is often overlooked: All living entities share the same small rock, breathe the same air and need clean water, fresh food and shelter to survive. If these basic requirements aren't met, it spells disaster for not only humans but all other species on Earth.
Documentary On Overpopulation
Alongside The 'Human' Tsunami Flows A Plastic Tide
An excellent documentary series is 'Life After People.' This hypothetical scenario demonstrates how nature would recuperate if humans disappeared. The concluding episode is a thought-provoking glimpse into a world, devoid of humans. A harmonious environment, capable of sustaining many life-forms now holds dominion after Earth's delicate ecological balance is again restored. The final shot is chilling. Millennia have passed and all trace of human civilisation decayed - the only testament to human existence is a plastic toy man trapped between the rock strata.
Future generations may view the 'plastic age' as the most destructive era in world history. Food and drink come in plastic, clothes are made of plastic and it all pollutes the environment when discarded. There's not a drop of water anywhere that isn't polluted with plastic. Humans have scattered plastic waste all around the globe since the 1950s. (when plastic first became commonplace). Since it was patented in 1909, plastic has only taken a century to become a threat to all living things. Some scientists say there could be more plastic in the oceans than fish by 2050. It's a wake-up call for everyone who cares about the legacy they leave behind.
The scenario of a plastic planet is real. Although it has valuable uses, due to its extreme durability, neither humans nor nature, know how to dispose of it. Research into producing biodegradable 'plastic like' materials needs further investment. Plastic in its current form is lethal to every living thing. The more the population increases, the more plastic will accumulate in landfill sites, rivers and oceans. Humans produce too much of it, so recycling won't solve the issue. 300 million tonnes are being produced each year and as little as 10% is recycled.
A Burning Issue
The continued increase in greenhouse gas emissions will make matters worse. From a scientific angle, humans are still in the dark ages - even nuclear power offers the opportunity for mankind to dig its way out. Water, wind and solar power are suitable alternatives to fossil fuels. These sustainable and renewable energies help lessen the impact on the environment but can't keep up with the rate at which humans are breeding.
There could still be an alternative to a futureless future caused by overpopulation and the associated decimation of the environment. Humanity must make sensible decisions regarding family planning to keep the population down. Continued effort from each successive generation is necessary. Giving careful thought to the implications of starting a family is important for all, but those who don't have the income and resources to provide for one should remain childless for their own well-being and that of the planet.
A Thought-Provoking Sci Fi Short Film
Can humankind solve the vast majority of its problems by introducing population control?
© 2014 Stella Kaye