Tbar220 From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7013 posts, RR: 24 Posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1395 times:
This isn’t that long, so please read it. Thank you.
One of my good friends is taking AP Environmental Science this year, and we were talking about some stuff that he was doing in that class. They had watched a video that was preaching that the world’s population growth was too high, and that the world’s population was unnecessarily too large. Then he started telling me things that I highly disagree with, but which also really upset me.
I’m posting this here because I know members on this forum have had some debates about socialism and communism and have some strong beliefs on the topic. Please feel free to respond to this.
He said to me that the world’s population is too big because there is not enough supply to support the world’s population (food, water, and shelter). He then started telling me that the world’s population should be forcefully limited so that it can get to sustainable levels. He said that families should be limited to one child per family, and that government should do this. If not forcefully, then they should be allowed to have another child, but with a surcharge. His reasoning behind this was that since the population was growing so high, food supplies were going down. Once food supplies got too low that starvation and pain and suffering came to humans, food supply would need to go up, but the only way to do this is to lower the human population. He proposes that we not let this happen in the first place by limiting the human population.
This is so disturbing to me for so many reasons. For one, to limit the freedom of human beings in that way is grossly wrong (in my opinion). People have a right to have a family, and as many children as they want, even if their children will be brought up in a hard life. Him saying that it was useless and that the suffering had to be avoided is good, but his proposed methods are very disturbing. He says if he had family, he would voluntarily limit himself to one child, because every other child he has, another one somewhere in the world suffers from poverty and starvation. Yet he doesn’t know how it feels to be a parent, to hold a child in your hands, so his belief is biased.
I believe that humans will always find a way to survive, no matter the condition, and that the human spirit cannot be quelled, and that human growth cannot be forcefully limited. He said that if human population gets too high and supply too low, our world is in peril, yet my firm belief is that humans as a species will adapt and will learn to survive in the conditions that mankind is putting on itself. Yet to limit mankind’s God-given, implied privileges of life and childhood is just wrong.
I went further and asked him if he supported communism, and he responded “I don’t disapprove of it.” The fact that what he proposes while it may be ideologically a good idea, causes grief in nations such as China, Vietnam, and as we discussed in another thread, Cuba.
Most important in this world is freedom. While it may not be efficient, and it may not be for the good of the whole, it can give happiness and joy, and simplicity to those that experience it.
Please chime in with your comments and criticisms.
Aa737 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 849 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1372 times:
I am taking an environmental science class this year, and last semester we talked about the human population. There is a limited amount of resources out there, at our current rate of usage there is no way we can go on forever. If we continue with the huge increase in population, the world will not be able to support us and the population will be forced to go down.
There is a lot more to the situation, and I don't really feal like getting in to it, but this is a very interesting problem we face.
FP_v2 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1361 times:
I agree with your friend. Population numbers have exploded because people in over populated countries have always though that having as many kids as possible would make their life better. This is simply not the case anymore as the world depends more on machinery than human labour to farm food. They didn't want to listen, now they suffer. Its not a shortage of food that most are concerned with but with polution that these under-developed countries produce. I mean 1 billion people in a single county(china), is pretty bad. These numbers need to be brought down to half of that and the 1 child policy is the only way. Here individual rights to have many kids don't apply because these numbers are negetivly affecting the world.
Mx5_boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1359 times:
Unfortunately, although we are seeing the early warning signs now, I can only say that the world appears to be on it's way out. Most adults today have enough to worry about with job security, feeding a family etc etc to worry too much about the planet. That is one problem.
However, many also believe (like me) that humankind has the potential and will at some stage develop far better ways of utilising the environment we live in. Such as the end of the use of fossil fuels. Already we are seeing advancements in crops through gene technology that can create corn that will grow in arid salty soils. So, amongst the doom and gloom, there is also light. Never underestimate humankind's inventiveness. It's whether or not the new technologies are applied in time is also a question.
As for limiting the amount of children people have, well, it's not really an issue in most western nations as birth rates are declining. The typical family model of mum at home with 2.3 kids and a couple of cars is becoming only economic to those on welfare (2 car wrecks out front) or those very high earners (2 Beamers). Most couples both need to work and children are coming later in life and less of them.
I also don't think that "letting" people breed constantly in times of economic hardship is a good idea. If you think about it, when we see all the starving children in the world, where do they come from? Third world countries. These people need to be educated that it's both irresponsible and a terrible tragedy to bring a child into the world knowing that their is never enough food to go around. Give them free condoms or other forms of contraception instead of the dreadful outcome of children starving to death. It's simply not possible to continue to rely on rich western nations for a continuous supply of food. So their governments need to start responsible programs that educate them in contraception and the problems they could face with a litter of children and nothing to support them with.
So in respect to limiting people to 1 child or "no" children then I agree that it should apply in poor countries with no hope of providing for a myriad of starving people. Is it not better to have your people slightly educated in contraception and aware of what happens, than starving youngsters dying for the worlds TV cameras?
Anyhow, what a depressing subject. It's late in the afternoon dude so I hope I am making sense!
Christianbothe From Germany, joined Jan 2000, 124 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1356 times:
I agree. Humankind is tougher than it may seem. After all, it's been around for some time and has survived a lot. Think about ice ages or the plague, which killed about half of all Europeans in the medieval age. Humankind will survive. Probably it won't be as funny as it is now to live on this planet in the future, but it will go on.
The reason why families in third world contries have so many children is that when the parents are too old to earn their own money, they totally rely on their children supporting them as there is no care from the state at all. Life in the third world is hard for an average family. What you earn is just enough to eat, build a house and buy clothing, you can't make savings for harder times to come. The only way out of this seems to economic development. It's a long and stony way. The people living today won't profit much of it, but future generations will. At least this has worked in what is now the first world.
Cfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days ago) and read 1353 times:
A lot of places have hunting laws which are aimed at reducing the size of the population of a rapidly propagating species, such as deer. Nature designed deer (among others) to have to deal with natural predators by allowing them to propogate rapidly. With men around, their natural predators have mostly disappeared, so their population can grow, often beyond the environment's ability to feed them. Result: all the deer would starve in winter. So "culling" is implemented, so that by reducing the population, enough food is left for the rest.
The same basic premise can be extended to mankind. Right now, the world's population is doubling every 40 years or so. That means by 2100, the world's population will be somewhere around 40 billion people. Mostly in poor parts of the world.
Can the Earth sustain 40 billion people? And look at the year 2200 - at the same rate of growth, we are talking 240 billion people! Technology (in the form of better farming and processing) and trade (getting the food from where it's produced to where it's needed) will certainly help, but at some point it will be impossible to keep up.
One of the things that the modern world has grown out of is full scale war, which would take care of sizable chunks of the population every once and a while (around 45 million in WWII alone, mostly in Europe). Partly due to things like the UN, easier communications, and the fear of nuclear escalation has mostly kept conflicts down to border clashes and limited engagements over the past 50 years.
Another, even bigger double-edged sword is medicine. Smallpox, malaria, plague, and other diseases which used to kill off large swathes of the world's population every year are now more or less under control, and in some cases even eradicated by the development of vaccines and antibiotics.
Do we want a good war to carve off a big chunk of the population? Do we want a return of unstoppable infectious diseases? Of course not, although it would solve our population problem.
Of course nobody will contemplate culling the human population intentionally. Well, maybe some would consider it, but Hitler, Tojo and Saddam are hardly role models to follow.
The only solution left is to limit the birth rate. Unfortunately, the only countries that have the infrastructure to enforce a neutral growth population program without resorting to barbaric methods are the countries that do not have huge growth rates. The problem areas are the poor countries, where people still believe that having lots of kids is the best way to secure your old age. "Civilized" incentives to restrict family size (for instance a heavy surtax burden if you have more than 2 kids) is only possible where people live structured lives and pay taxes to begin with. Hardly an apt description of the Sudan or poor parts of India.
What's the solution? I would say the first step would be globalization. Only through globalization of the world's economies can the poorer nations develop to the point that they can structure themselves to gain some measure of civilized enforcement power over the population, and economic development which will allow the lower classes jobs and incomes that are different from the scrape-and-gather mode of existance they are used to, and that makes having a lot of children so attractive.
Of course at the same time you would have to make sure that corruption is under control in these countries. It is institutionalized corruption that has kept so many naturally rich countries like Congo and Phillipines from developing properly.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30142 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (14 years 7 months 4 days ago) and read 1347 times:
The expanding population has been a myth that has been around for ages. It has been used to promote all sorts of bad public policy. Although it is true that the population of the earth has increased the circumstances that led to that increased have changed. I belive Italy for example has dropped to a 1.8 birth rate per family. A lot of scandinavian countries also are handing at the 2.0 level. I belive the U.S. is at a 2.2 rate. These come from an old Dateline show from a couple of years ago. Feel free to correct them. These are off memory.
...As Mx5_boy pointed out
People in western countries(read cities) don't have a need for as many children. . Where in the past(rural model) a large family ment more hands where available to run the family farm, feed the chickens, milk the goats, that kind of thing. So you could argue that children back then where a source of labor/income. Therefore it was in a family's best interest to have a large number. In "modern" city life a child's only roles in life is to go to school, an play Nintendo, It makes you wonder why people haven't figured out why kids are now considered a drain on society.
Then we have the female part of the equasion that was never taken into acount in those scary population numbers. Basicly women work now. They want to work now. Having kids pretty much puts a damper on working for at least a few years when they are young. Also you are seeing couples having kids later in life. This limits the amount of kids couples can have because lets face it. We can only produce children for a certian time in our lifes.
Where am I leading with this? We do not need creul, draconian laws for population control like they have in China right now. We don't need to be sending rubbers all over the world. That is just treating a symptom. What we do need to to open trade with these countries. Which will create economic conditions in those countries that will make it inprudent to have large familys....then you will reduce the population of the country/world.
In case you are wondering, yes that sounds like a very conservative/republican approach to the issue to me too.
And that is one of the reasons GW canceling that aid wasn't a bad thing. It was just a waste of money. Sending cheap ballons overseas for somebodies kegger.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
Mls515 From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3078 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (14 years 7 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1341 times:
I studied this last semester and last summer. Brief outline:
Communists/Marxists believe that the problem isn't that there are so many people in the world, but rather that they are oppressed. Their solution: Redistribute wealth
note: China's policy isn't Communist/Marxist.
Malthusians and Neo-Malthusians believe that the world has a carrying cappacity for only so many humans. Their solution: Population control
Cornicopians (sp?) believe that mankind will always find a way to solve it's problems and when resources run out, a new way will be found to cope.
In this discussion, you'll hear the term 'sustainable development' a lot. Understand it, but realize that it's just a bullshit word. Critics of anything and everything will say that a practice is 'insustainable' but offer little or no proof. It's just a dirty word used to advance their theories.