Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 31, 2011, The Scariest Day So Far

October 31, 2011 is not only Halloween, but it shall go down in history as the day the earth's human population hit 7 billion. You might not think that is any amount, but when you consider that the population has more than doubled in the last 30 years, and stop to think about what that means for the future, you may see the reason why so many people are concerned.

Population clocks count off the births faster than people can count. In the short time it has taken me to write this page so far, over 1000 people have been added to the planet. Thousands more are born every day than are dying, millions in only a matter of days.

A lot of people live in denial that world human overpopulation is an issue, they insist there is food for everyone and it is just not reaching those that need it. While this is true, it is not the only issue that people are concerned about. Fresh water is a limited resource and actually becoming more scarce every day. Pollution levels increase as populations boom. Of great concern is the population being so much greater than the earth's ability to sustain it for long.

Currently we rely on non-renewable resources very heavily. We also consume non-renewable resources at a pace faster than they can be renewed. Eventually we will reach a wall, a time when their simply will not be enough to go around; some say we have already reached this point.

Fingers are often pointed at population growth in Africa (and India, or China) as being part of the problem.  But those people typically consume fewer resources than do the people of developed nations.  True, birth rate is a problem, but so is consumer demand!

While birth rates are falling in some areas the real problem is also that we are living longer and infant mortality rates have dropped. For the first time in history it is not uncommon to have four generations of a family alive at any time. A large part of the reason why human population is growing as fast as it is that we are not dying as young as we use to. Now, since nobody wants to start slaughtering people in massive numbers to control the population, we must think of other things to do.

What can you do?

We can control our population growth by having smaller families. We need to recognize that even one child born is growth, and remains an additional consumer, and resource taker, until we die when that child replaces us. If our child has children before we die, we need to see how more growth has occurred.

We can put off having children for a few years, waiting at least until our mid 20's rather than rushing into it young. You can pledge to have only one child and then take measures through sterilization to ensure we do not have more.

Fertility doctors should be bound not to implant so many embryo's into a woman as to risk the high numbers seen in some multiple births.

Birth control should be free and available to everyone. This applies world wide, it is not enough that we feed people in other nations, we need to provide them with education, and tools to control population growth.

People must be accountable for the children they have.

We also need to learn how to live with less.

Imagine you are a parent, you and your spouse have a couple of kids. You have a small garden and a few hens. Your sons bring their wives to live with you, in your house, they have children, and your grandsons bring their wives to live with you, in your house. Can your garden sustain all of you? Think of the planet as one house. It cannot continue to support more and more people.

Spread the word before things get more scary!