ramblings of an aimless mind

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The population bomb.

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I am sure the world has always been fraught with problems. Sometimes they are complex problems with no specific textbook fix, such as eliminating poverty or trying to create a framework and secure lasting peace. Others may have more specific solutions, such as eliminating a disease for which a vaccine exists. One thing we can be sure of, is that there have always been problems, there are problems today and there are likely to be problems in the future.

Most people will be familiar with the current batch of global problems, such as global warming, energy security and availability of food and water resources for a burgeoning human population. Most people will probably also be able to rattle off the proposed solutions, such as harnessing renewable energy sources, genetic modified crops, carbon caps for countries etc. What is surprising is that not too many people think of aggressive population control campaigns as part of the solution.

That most (if not all) of our current batch of problems can be solved with a lower population ought to be common sense. After all, if there were only hundred million humans on earth, we could drive between the rooms in our house, probably fly to work in one 747 per person and natures clean up processes would take care of all that we throw at it. The problem is that there are six billion of us aspiring to super rich lifestyles and there simply aren’t enough resources to support that.

The idea of controlling population is certainly not a new one. Prof. Albert Bartlett has spoken on this topic numerous times and there is a new society which calls itself The Optimum Population Trust and which campaigns for the steadying, or even negative growth of population both in the UK and in the world. While it is heartening to see that this movement is organising itself well, my heart sinks a bit when countries like India, already bursting at the seams with 1.1 – 1.2 billion people start getting all in a tizzy about how the large population is no longer a problem.

Fewer people on the earth will mean lower consumption of natural resources, less difficulty in meeting food and energy demands with available resources, a huge reduction in the decimation of the environment and possibly even a reduction in global conflict, since there are less people who have time to spare and get on each other’s nerves. It seems like a simple, elegant and effective solution to a lot of today’s problems, but somehow I don’t think that the UN/G20/whoever will be deciding to aggressively promote the idea of having only one/two children as a policy more beneficial for the long term future of the world.

Maybe having just one child should be added to the list of the current crop of “green” practices. It may be the most effective contribution in the long term…

Written by clueso

May 17, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

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