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Is Overpopulation a Myth?

Updated on August 23, 2017
A crowd of people
A crowd of people | Source

Can there ever be too many people?

When I was born, back in 1970, the world population was 3.7 billion people. By the time I was in kindergarten that number had risen to 4 billion. By the time I graduated from high school we had a net increase of another billion human beings, bringing us to 5 billion human residents of earth. By the dawn of the new millennium we pushed over the 6 billion mark. Ten years later we surpassed a world population of 7 billion people.

There can be no doubt that the world population has grown and continues to grow. Scientists have been coming to the same conclusion for decades. We are headed toward a dire lack of resources, environmental collapse, and a plummet in the average quality of life. Yet many still deny that humans can cause negative changes in their environment and think the earth has infinite resources.

They focus on dropping populations in countries with higher standards of living and better education, sometimes going so far as to claim it means humanity is in danger of dying out. I believe a decline in birth rates in a well-off country just means its people are making more responsible choices due to better education and access to safe and effective birth control.

However, many people believe that there is no such thing as overpopulation, that either the earth will accommodate an unlimited number of humans because it always has or that God has decreed that we must "go forth and multiply" without limitation. Some even argue that the idea of only having a few children rather than having as many as possible represents a liberal agenda to kill off the white race. They call overpopulation a myth.

Personally, I think the world has enough people already and that reproduction on anything more than a replacement level is an unsustainable plan for the future. I believe resources are finite and that the world population can and probably will overgrow the earth's capacity to support it. Or it's possible that, like any other overpopulated species, we will suffer extreme losses to contagious diseases and plague will solve the problem before we get a chance to do something less drastic ourselves.

Is It a Myth or a Real Danger?

No one can really dispute that the earth's human population is growing. What is in contention is whether or not the increase is leading to overpopulation or an unsustainable drain on the planet's resources.

Weigh in with your opinion as to whether or not our growing numbers could create a problem.

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Is Overpopulation a Real Danger?

How Many People Can the World Support?

How many people can the world support?

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Opinion Poll

What Should We Do About Overpopulation?

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Would a Tripling of the Earth's Population Affect Your Quality of Life?

If the earth's population continues to grow do you think you'd have to give anything up like automobiles or individual homes? Do you think you might have to accept strict food rationing and strict rationing of medical care? Or do you think that you could go on driving SUVs, living in large individual houses, eating whatever you please, and seeing a doctor whenever you need one? Would, say, a tripling of the world's population affect your quality of life in any negative way?

Would a tripling of the world's population affect your quality of life negatively in any way?

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The Right to Reproduce

How Do You Feel About the Choice to Have Children?

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If You Believe The Earth Can Support An Infinite Number Of People...

If you believe the earth can support an infinite number of people, how do you think it will accommodate them? If none of the answers below are close to your answer, please provide an answer of your own in the guestbook below. Infinite means unlimited. Even if you think the upper limit of population is 100 billion, that means you don't believe the earth can hold an infinite number of people.

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The earth will accommodate an infinite number of people because...

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Comments including swear words will not be published. Please don't post repeat comments. Comments are moderated to avoid that swearing problem. Unfortunately, that may cause a delay until I am able to approve your comment.

Stand Up and Be Counted! Give Your Opinion on Overpopulation

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    • profile image

      sekoiasan 3 years ago

      A huge part of the world is already living in hunger and yet the population is still growing. Isn't that a huge sign? And yes some people consume much more than they need and could give it to the poor but that is only if the population number remains as now. The fertility rate of the world has to remain at 2 so there is no more growth and we handle the overflowing problems we already have, without even knowing whether we can take on more. Anyway, we simply have to raise awareness and make educational organisations because a lot of the families with too many children have a lower education or are ignorant of the Earths decreasing ressources.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I do believe we're headed toward the overpopulated danger zone. At the same time I have to admit that I feel a little selfish whenever I make a statement like that. After all, I'm a part of this overpopulated planet and am enjoying every minute of it. Who am I to say how many children a couple should or shouldn't have? It's seriously something to think about, isn't it?

    • KandDMarketing profile image

      KandDMarketing 5 years ago

      Like a virus, the human species consumes, consumes, consumes and has no thought of the future or the possibility that what it is consuming will run out. IT is a fundamental flaw in our species. Some would say, "well, let's go to the stars", others would say "let's limit the number of children" yet I would say, let's find a way to repair the fundamental flaw in our makeup that makes us the mindless viral creatures we are.

    • profile image

      ron-buck-5811 5 years ago

      Overpopulation is a myth. most countries now are depopulating. Women should have at least 4 babies each as a minimum.Be fruitfull and multiply, girls!

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      Constraining your solutions to Earth is a major hindrance for yourself. We can and should expand beyond the atmosphere and once we've done so the whole issue will pretty much solve itself.

    • Cinnamonbite profile image

      Cinnamonbite 6 years ago

      If only people had the sense to not breed if they can't provide for kids, but we live in a generation where people live in apartments and work all hours yet insist on having big dogs as pets. Sometimes more than 1! But it's ok, now they've invented this pet pad so the dog can use the toilet inside the apartment and you never have to be responsible.

    • profile image

      johntaves 6 years ago

      We must all understand that a birth rate above two causes children to die. If we maintain a birth rate of 3 for example, 1 in 3 children will die. This fact is must become common knowledge.

    • profile image

      ZazzleEnchante 6 years ago

      A thought provoking, serious but interesting duel! And it plays its part in addressing its issue and encouraging a good debate! Thumbs up to it!

    • csnyder lm profile image

      csnyder lm 7 years ago

      My idea to solve world problems is to teach EVERYONE to be objective thinkers. Thinking objectively or understanding the difference between what we believe and what is true would allow people to understand that having too many children is not good in so many ways. It would also solve other things that have plaged mankind in modern times like racism for people would understand that people are all human no matter what color or religion.

    • profile image

      VivekS 7 years ago

      Even if it's a myth, this is a great place to bust them and look things from a fresh new perspective. Good piece for reading.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Concern about overpopulation hasn't led to much in the way of remedies. Important discussion and an effective job at promoting discussion. That's where it starts, after all. Squid Angel Blessed.

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thought provoking page, well-done. 5*s!

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      EmmieAnna 7 years ago

      Interesting topic, though I do not agree with your statements. I am from a place with declining population even though I am eldest of several children. I would like to say that it is likely that women with higher education have fewer children. However I know several women with at least one graduate degree that have at least 3 children. This level of education would seem to indicate they would have two children or less.

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      mitchking 8 years ago

      I do not see how we can continue to grow and still feed and provide clean drinking water for everyone. True part of the problem now with the food and water is it is not distributed well, but this is not going to get easier without the costs involved with moving these things.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Excellent, thought-provoking lens, Kylssa!

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 8 years ago

      Great topic and important points raised. 5*

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 8 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Very timely topic, well presented! 5*, blessed. We all need to be concerned about this issue and the shenanigans perpetrated by world leaders to control our population growth. Education is the answer... that, and science.

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 8 years ago

      Great Lens. We are very interested to see what kind of responses you receive.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      This is a topic that is important to me as a History passionate! Our present and our future are history. Look at the history and you'll discover why overpopulation is dangerous and also why having too many children isn't necessary any more. Well, all in all, I would say you did a great lens. Hope many people will stop by and contribute!5 ***** and favorite from me!Dom.