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AA7295
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What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:12 am

Somehow I stumbled upon the figures that by the year 2050, the world population will be 9.2 billion.

This got me thinking about sustainability and this population. With each one of those people needing to eat, drink, urinate, defecate etc, how is the world going to be able to support this level of growth?

I also got thinking about the huge population. According to UNICEF, more than 3 billion people are living in poverty and 22,000 children die each day due to illness or malnutrition.

Now, I am one of those people that sees the solution that nobody wants to mention, but my question is, why are these people who live in poverty reproducing and having children? Isn't it the cruelest thing in the world to be in poverty yourself and to have a child knowing that, that child will grow up in poverty too?

Is it a sexual thing, just succumbing to our human desires?

Just to add, I'm not blind or naive, I've been to over 30 countries and spent over 6 months consecutively in Asia, India and Nepal. I've seen my fair share of poverty. All which brings me to my conclusion.

What are your thoughts?
 
darthluke12694
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:09 am

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Now, I am one of those people that sees the solution that nobody wants to mention, but my question is, why are these people who live in poverty reproducing and having children? Isn't it the cruelest thing in the world to be in poverty yourself and to have a child knowing that, that child will grow up in poverty too?

It's because they need all of the kids to go out and get water, food, etc. But I do agree with you. One of my teachers also said that that is ther only form of entertainment, sex. It's in undeveloped countries, some of the most poorest countries where poverty is greatest that population is rising.

My high school teacher explained to us a GREAT way to help them. Instead of charities simply just giving them food and shelter, we need to teach them about sustainability and contraception. That's some of the problem, charities just giving them food to live off of, and still having many children. Charities need to instead teach them about sustainability, give them an education, and hope that will improve their lives.

I know some charities do this, some don't, and it isn't a 100% solution to the problem, but it is a start. I actually did a paper in college on this subject, specifically sterilization among women in 3rd world countries. (It was a paper where we take a side and defend it). I originally started my paper stating we need more sterilization in these countries, but through my research I quickly learned sterilization is not the answer. Education is the answer.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:17 am

I think birth control and education will slow it down. IIRC, areas that lack those two have higher populations. I'm not so concerned with world over population... some areas will be sparse and fine, some will be over populated. I don't think it will hit the whole globe at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Pollution will be big as countries develop, but hopefully better tech will be researched before it gets really out of hand
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:30 am

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Now, I am one of those people that sees the solution that nobody wants to mention, but my question is, why are these people who live in poverty reproducing and having children?

This mirrors the question that inevitably comes up during elections; "How am I supposed to raise a family of four on minimum wage?"

The answer is YOU AREN'T supposed to. The same way those who live in abject poverty and horrible living conditions have no business bringing children into the world, yet do so anyway.
 
AA7295
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:55 am

Okay... seems we're all kind of on the same page.

Well... why isn't the UN, UNICEF, Global Fund etc advocating contraception? Wouldn't it be useful (and in the long-term, more financially viable and better for the world sustainability) to give contraception (condoms) alongside food? This as well as education.

I'm almost angry about this.
 
AyostoLeon
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:57 am

I think that it is no accident I that countries with both universal education and with social security systems have lower or declining birth rates, without any need to introduce forced sterilisation. Even in low birth rate countries with immigration from areas that have traditionally high birth rates we see that within a couple of generations the birth rate in the "immigrant community" tends to fall.

Some of the obstacles to similar falls in other countries include politico-economic decisions against social security; the breakdown of traditional family structures due to changes in property relations, the growth of cities, wars, famines, etc; restricted access to education; and religious opposition to safe and affordable contraception and/or abortion.

Addressing these issues and encouraging sustainable development will impact on birth rates. While encouraging voluntary sterilisation might appear desirable, I am not supportive of the view that women be specifically targeted. Women have enough burdens without being made the scapegoat for societal ills. Men need to start acting responsibly and that means more than simple contraceptive measures.

If I am not mistaken, the world spends several times as much on arms as it does on food production. Perhaps we should reassess our priorities. In areas of conflict like the DRC and Sudan, the greatest number of deaths comes not from people killed in the fighting but from disease and malnutrition as a result of crop disruption and the use of food to purchase arms.
 
usflyer msp
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:04 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 4):

Well... why isn't the UN, UNICEF, Global Fund etc advocating contraception? Wouldn't it be useful (and in the long-term, more financially viable and better for the world sustainability) to give contraception (condoms) alongside food? This as well as education.

Because it comes off as "wealthy white people of the world don't want us poor brown and yellow people having babies" and doesn't play well. Personally, I believe that if a population issue and good old-fashioned pestilence of biblical proportions will arise; and this famine or a deadly disease will take care of the problem...
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:07 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 4):
Well... why isn't the UN, UNICEF, Global Fund etc advocating contraception? Wouldn't it be useful (and in the long-term, more financially viable and better for the world sustainability) to give contraception (condoms) alongside food? This as well as education.

I have to imagine there just isn't money for it. If these people were fed properly they could then offer the education these people need. But when you have people who steal the food from these poverty stricken people need you have to worry about making sure they even have access to the food. I can't imagine contraception in a huge scale is easy to do and there is no way to force someone to take it. I absolutely agree there is a need to help these people and educate them, but our governments and ourselves as citizens need to donate more. I don't know what dollar amount it will take, but I have to imagine food is priority for these organizations.
Pat
 
flymia
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:12 am

In the stages of human communities/civilizations the last two stages have birth rates slowing and then decline. IMO the most important factor to that is not solely education it is education and rights for women that is where more resources need to go. The more oppertunity women have the less children they have. I think this is an area which does not get enough attention.
 
BMI727
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:16 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 2):
I think birth control and education will slow it down.

Would they use it anyway? Kids are a form economic strength pretty much anyone can get: they can work on the farm, get jobs, etc. If you don't have an education or any other economic leg up, you can at least have kids who will be able to work and hopefully support parents in their old age.

Nobody's thinking of long term consequences, kids can be the meal ticket. Societies that do that sometimes go the opposite way. Polyandry, one woman having multiple husbands, is more likely to show up in places with limited resources (Eskimos for instance) as it limits population growth and concentrates inheritances.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 5):
social security systems have lower or declining birth rates

That's a catch-22 since Social Security, at least in its American form, relies on constant growth in the number of "investors."
 
AA7295
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:16 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 7):
I have to imagine there just isn't money for it. If these people were fed properly they could then offer the education these people need. But when you have people who steal the food from these poverty stricken people need you have to worry about making sure they even have access to the food. I can't imagine contraception in a huge scale is easy to do and there is no way to force someone to take it. I absolutely agree there is a need to help these people and educate them, but our governments and ourselves as citizens need to donate more. I don't know what dollar amount it will take, but I have to imagine food is priority for these organizations.
Pat

That solution addresses poverty, but not global sustainability. Think about it, it's not just food they need as a child, they need food for as long as they live. Times that by a few billion that is a lof of animals to slaughter, crops to grow, electricity to process/package the food and that's just food. What about their TV, electrical consumption, motorbike/motorvehicle use, then fuel consumption, carbon footprint. It's not pretty.

I think the only solution is a significant reduction in the global population. People having children in poverty stricken countries/areas are not just having one child, they have multiple. You've really got to take your hat off to the Chinese and their One-Child Policy, it's completely unnatural, but in terms of a stepping stone to sustainability, they got it right.
 
Flighty
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:21 am

The world population will probably stabilize in the 21st century and begin to shrink. That's an amazing prospect, but I think it will definitely happen.

Even India has more or less stabilized. The children per woman in India has gone from 6 to something like 2.5, a monumental shift in the last 50 years.

The world is changing very fast right now.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:40 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 7):
I can't imagine contraception in a huge scale is easy to do and there is no way to force someone to take it.

100% compliance is not needed, just education and some access will slow the birthrate. I have no idea about what the numbers say on the matter, but I'm sure we'll work something out.

Plus, even if we hit overpopulation on a global scale, it is a pretty easy fix--a painful one, but people will simply die. Once enough people die, problem solved. It's horrible and I hope we never hit that point, but it's not like we'll hit a certain number and then the Earth is doomed forever. Not saying you said that, just kinda thinking out loud

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
Would they use it anyway? Kids are a form economic strength pretty much anyone can get: they can work on the farm, get jobs, etc. If you don't have an education or any other economic leg up, you can at least have kids who will be able to work and hopefully support parents in their old age.

Aren't more kids more important in agricultural societies and very poor industrial societies? I think once a country gets more education and better industry, the birthrate will slow itself down, we won't have to tell them that. No one told us that and we slowed down. It's only natural. I think the only question is how bad the growing pains will be. With India, China, and many other countries rapidly industrializing, it's gonna put a major strain on the world economy and resources, but after they start consuming less and becoming more efficient and green, it'll be somewhat smooth sailing.

IDK, I honestly don't know too much on the subject so I could be 100% wrong
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:43 am

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 4):
Well... why isn't the UN, UNICEF, Global Fund etc advocating contraception? Wouldn't it be useful (and in the long-term, more financially viable and better for the world sustainability) to give contraception (condoms) alongside food? This as well as education.

Look at the polio vaccine where regions of the world still believe that the "white supremacists" want you to take the vaccine to sterilize you. Imagine if they actually told you about birth control and contraceptions.

The way I see it, the only way the world population can actually stabilize is for countries to impose limits on births. No more than 2 children per household and no more that 4 births during the lifetime of the woman. Exceptions allowed only for multiple births, and limited only to quintuplets.

Another thing to consider is abortion. We can't complain about people in poor conditions when others effectively want to prevent that. Children in orphanages? Or living in inhumane conditions? They can't be important in the womb and left to fend for themselves when born. To prevent that, abortion is a way to go.
 
BMI727
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:57 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 12):
Aren't more kids more important in agricultural societies and very poor industrial societies?

Right, which is why you can drop all the sex ed and condoms you want on Africa or wherever, most of the people will probably say "Forget it, I need someone to herd my cows."
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:07 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Right, which is why you can drop all the sex ed and condoms you want on Africa or wherever, most of the people will probably say "Forget it, I need someone to herd my cows."

Sure, it would only help a bit now. I wasn't really talking about curbing growth now, it's impractical for many countries. They need those kids. I'm talking about down the road when they industrialize and they're spitting out kids like they did before.
 
Mir
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:15 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 14):
Right, which is why you can drop all the sex ed and condoms you want on Africa or wherever, most of the people will probably say "Forget it, I need someone to herd my cows."

But it would stop the "accident" kids from happening, and that's something. Abstinence as a means of birth control is simply not very effective - people are going to have sex, and they might as well do it safely and without the risk of having children they don't want.

And condoms and sex ed also help stop the spread of AIDS, which alone is reason to be spreading them around.

-Mir
 
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DocLightning
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:46 am

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 1):
It's because they need all of the kids to go out and get water, food, etc.

Teliologically, yes. But on an individual level, it's acculturated. You aren't a man and doing your job if your wife ins't pregnant all the time. "The man who eats alone dies alone." There is also the fact that there are swaths of the world where women haven't really even ever heard of birth control. Children are something that comes from God. When God sends you a child, you take it and raise it. Whether you get one or ten.

A culture of hunger rears many children knowing that only some will survive. But in a time of increasing health and wealth worldwide, these cultures are colliding with an unsustainable future.

Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 13):
The way I see it, the only way the world population can actually stabilize is for countries to impose limits on births. No more than 2 children per household and no more that 4 births during the lifetime of the woman. Exceptions allowed only for multiple births, and limited only to quintuplets.

China tried that. Didn't work for a number of reasons. Wealthy people tend to stick to an average of around two kids per couple. I seem to call that a rate of about 2.1-2.3 kids/couple forms a sustainable replacement rate. If we can lift people out of poverty, the birthrate falls. No eugenics or draconian policies needed, fortunately.

That said, I'm all for incentivized voluntary sterilization. "Come, get a vasectomy. It's free and we'll throw in this shiny toaster oven!"  
 
redflyer
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:45 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Somehow I stumbled upon the figures that by the year 2050, the world population will be 9.2 billion.

One of the problems with predicting the future is that rarely are prognosticators accurate; even the best don't come remotely close. And the further out you view the future the more inaccurate the prediction. We tend to view the future based on the present. I recall growing up in the late 60's and early 70's and reading how the world population would hit 10 billion by around 1990 and mass starvation would rule the planet. Of course, that 10 billion mark is still a ways off. And while a large percentage of the world's population goes to bed hungry at night, that is not necessarily because of an inability of the planet to support those hungry mouths; a lot of it is because of geopolitical issues, political greed, inefficient or non-existent distribution methods, etc. In other words, all of it avoidable.

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
This got me thinking about sustainability and this population. With each one of those people needing to eat, drink, urinate, defecate etc, how is the world going to be able to support this level of growth?

Easy. If we truly hit a tipping point where the planet can't support all life then any excesses will simply die off. We've actually been through some of those types of periods in the past. If you look at Europe during the middle ages the population never grew (and actually shrank during periods of famine and plague). This was because it hit a point where it was actually in a nice little balance. Of course, that meant that everyday life was kind of miserable because most people lived on the edge.

I think most people, when they ponder a question like that raised in this post are really asking: "How long is the world going to be able to support this level of growth before the rest of us lose our standard of living?"
 
incitatus
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:12 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 11):
The world population will probably stabilize in the 21st century and begin to shrink. That's an amazing prospect, but I think it will definitely happen.

Exactly. India as you mentioned. Bangladesh has gone through an even more impressive shift. Now Nigeria is moving towards greater usage of birth control and smaller families. There will be fewer countries with high birth rates - only a subset of Africa and the Middle East.

Population growth estimates have almost always overshot. I expect that population growth with zero out before 2050 with about 8.5 billion people.

The problem of the globe is not the number of people, or the number of poor people. It is exactly the opposite: rising living standards demanding more and more consumption of goods and natural resources, especially energy. The challenge is to provide every person with adequate comfort and health without further stressing the planet.
 
AM744
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:10 pm

Quoting AA7295 (Thread starter):
Now, I am one of those people that sees the solution that nobody wants to mention, but my question is, why are these people who live in poverty reproducing and having children? Isn't it the cruelest thing in the world to be in poverty yourself and to have a child knowing that, that child will grow up in poverty too?

Is it a sexual thing, just succumbing to our human desires?

Nope. As with mostly everything else, economy plays a big role. See:

Quoting darthluke12694 (Reply 1):

It's because they need all of the kids to go out and get water, food, etc

... and living during old age. They NEED to do that when there is no social security network at all. They are on their own performing very low productivity work. No infrastructure, banking, legal system add up to huge inefficiencies and costs.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 3):

The answer is YOU AREN'T supposed to. The same way those who live in abject poverty and horrible living conditions have no business bringing children into the world, yet do so anyway.

In the First World I'd agree there's a degree of irresponsibility.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 4):
Well... why isn't the UN, UNICEF, Global Fund etc advocating contraception? Wouldn't it be useful (and in the long-term, more financially viable and better for the world sustainability) to give contraception (condoms) alongside food? This as well as education.

Education is paramount. Myth, superstition, ignorance and religion's role need to be reduced so contraceptive inititatives can have a positive impact. As long as there's no social network to fall on, kids will continue to be a source of income and insurance.
 
DETA737
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:19 pm

http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php...elopment/population-bomb-so-wrong/

Above is an interesting article about the rapidly declining fertility rates in the developing world with an emphasis on India. This article also underscores the effects of television on fertility rates.
 
BarfBag
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RE: What To Do About The World's Growing Population?

Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:44 am

Urban India is already below replacement rate - fertility rate in urban areas is 2.0, just below the 2.1 replacement rate. Rural India is at 2.9, which puts the aggregate total fertility rate at 2.6 . Urbanization is rapidly increasing, which will further accelerate the trend.

All these numbers are falling rapidly as well. The above data is from the 2011 census. The 2001 census gave the total fertility rate as 3.3 . The 1991 census reported 4.1 . Based on trends in the last three decades, India will probably fall under the 2.1 replacement rate this decade itself.

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