When I decided to do a blog on environmental issues, I figured that the first topics I’d be addressing would be pretty typical. I assumed my first post would have to do with something like coral reef bleaching, endangered species, or runoff issues in our country’s farmland. While these are all topics that I would probably want to address at some point, right now I actually plan to talk about something that until now, I didn’t know was technically classified as an “environmental issue.” For today’s post, I’ve decided to look a little bit into the concept of human overpopulation.
We here the words “seven billion people” a lot. Many of us even know that this is a problem. But for myself personally, I haven’t given it much deep thought (or perhaps I’ve just thought about other issues more.” But I think it’s important to take into account the fact that this is actually a bigger problem than it might seem. It’s important to realize that the world population has nearly troubled in the past fifty years. It’s important to realize that the overpopulation of our species hinders and even stops the growth of many other plant and animal species. And it’s important to note that according to a Ted Talk done on the subject recently, if everyone on earth lived like the average North American, it would require four more earths to provide all the material and energy.
What actually might be even more haunting than these facts are the possible ways to stop this issue. So what do we do? Tell people to have less children? Force abortion if people break that rule? And ensure punishment if people don’t follow that rule?
When China had the “one child per family” rule, it ended up having pretty bad implications. One of these was the frequency of abandoning the child or having an abortion if the child happened to be female, since men are more valuable than women in their culture.
It’s a sticky situation. It’s also grown to be so immense that thinking about solving it can be, well, very overwhelming. In my next couple blogs, I believe that I will stay on this topic for a while instead of changing to another topic right away. I want to discuss some suggested methods for solving this issue and why they may or may not work, as well as what implications they might bring. Stay tuned!