Population Control

As stated in Tech to Get Past 2050, overpopulation is a growing issue (pardon the pun) that must be dealt with.

Overpopulation isn’t a problem; I like people!

Wonderful that you like people. I am glad you do. However, consider the problem with overpopulation. All these people need a place to live and food to eat.

You can only build vertically to a point.

Just looking at recent estimates, it has been stated at the 2011 annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) that we will need “to feed 9 billion people by 2050” while trying to “still have a living planet.” (Jason Clay’s abstract on his speech, “Feeding 9 Billion and Maintaining the Planet: The Challenge of 2050”)

Eventually, we’ll need to expand more, and that means wiping out more forests and land that could be used for other things like farms to feed the growing population, or keeping the forests so that oxygen is produced and we can continue breathing.  In case you weren’t aware, plants use water (which is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen; hence: H20) to photosynthesize (make sugars that they use to grow and live), and the “waste” of photosynthesis is air (02). We breathe air. Without carbon dioxide, which we create by breathing, plants can’t produce oxygen.

If you want more information of photosynthesis, feel free to do your own research, though make sure you know some basic chemistry if you’re going to try to understand the formulas.

Now, in addition to the fact feeding all these people is going to be beyond difficult, these people will be living longer and longer thanks to advances in medical science, meaning they will be needing to be fed for longer. People also need to drink water to live, and drinkable water makes up only 2.5% of the water on the whole planet. And for all of that fresh water to be drinkable, it’ll have to be processed and cleaned.

Only 2.5% of the water on Earth is drinkable! Yikes!

Mind you, the same water you need to drink to survive or needs to go into plants so you can eat to survive, you’re using for doing laundry, washing your body, washing the dishes, swimming in pools, keeping a green lawn, so on and so forth.

To recap, more people means more food and water is needed to keep them alive. People and animals need plants and water to live. They also need air. Plants make air. More buildings to house more people means less room for plants.

Overpopulation IS a problem.

Is there even a way to stop overpopulation?

Stopping it immediately, no. Slowing it so that the population is stable eventually, yes.

What can be done about it?

The most obvious answer is to have safe sex, if you “need” to have sex. However, since that’s not likely to happen, the  following could be done, some in conjunction with others. Whether or not I support any or all of these is another story:

  • The creation and sales of male birth control. If men take birth control that would significantly lower their chances of getting a woman pregnant, there would be less children born. Less children born, lower population. The ideal would be an oral contraceptive.
  • One child born per family. Slightly similar to the rule in China, have it be that a family (one man, one woman, two men, two women, a man and a woman) may have only one child. Families that break this rule will pay a fine for each child extra until that child is an adult. Putting a child up for adoption will require a one-time fee. An exception is if the extra child is a product of rape: if the child is proven to be a product of rape the mother may put the child up for adoption without paying a fee.
  • Income requirement for having a child. Based off the cost of living in your area, you should only have a child if you can afford one. This is common sense that people often ignore, so why not make it a law? If you decide to have a child (that is not the product of rape) and you cannot afford that child, you will no longer receive government benefits until your income is such that you can afford that child. In addition, if you give that child up for adoption you will have to pay child support for that child on a biweekly basis. Failure to do so will result in a fine and/or jail time.
  • Adopting a child is good. Offer cash incentives for adopting a child (from your country). These cash incentives are meant to help you pay for the child’s expenses, not act as an extra income. You must be able to prove you will be able to afford the child, undergo a psychological evaluation, and prove your home is child safe.

Whether or not these are “fair”, who knows. But the fact of the matter is that these, alone or combined, could result in a lower population.

Well, what about me? What can I do?

Anybody: Think about this issue actively, talk about it with people, make them see it’s a big issue, and try to come up with ideas on your own.

If you don’t have a child, and don’t want one any time soon: Practice safe sex. Condoms, birth control pills, or even… ABSTINENCE!

If you don’t have a child but know one: Educate the child (child being classified as a person under the age of 18) on safe sex and all the responsibilities that come with having and raising a child.

If you don’t have a child and want one: Make sure you can afford a child. Make sure you will be able to feed your child when you have them. Consider why you want a child in the first place, and if you can get that same joy from adopting a child. Practice safe sex until you’re ready if you’re deciding to give birth to a child.

If you have a child and don’t want another: Practice safe sex. Educate your child on safe sex and all the responsibilities that come with having and raising a child. Make sure your child knows how to get birth control, whether it be pills or condoms or any other methods.

If you have a child and want another: Make sure you can afford a child, that you can feed them, and then… adopt. Continue practicing safe sex. Educate your child on safe sex and all the responsibilities that come with having and raising a child. Make sure your child knows how to get birth control, whether it be pills or condoms or any other methods.