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Over population and the effects on our economy & the environment!

05 April 2012, 11:30

Over population and the effects on our economy & the environment!

In our time it can without doubt be said that the challenges which the world faces are poverty, environmental catastrophe and a challenge to maintain world stability. There is however one underlining factor in all of these, one that our politicians and world leaders seem to avoid constantly under the blanket of human rights and political correctness – over population.

 We have an unsustainable life style in the modern world that is attached to an unsustainable growth economy. As intelligent as we are, we are not wise enough to figure out a way to make the changes needed. I meet no one who privately disagrees that population growth is a problem.  No one – except flat-earthers – can deny that the planet is finite. We can all see it in that beautiful picture of our earth taken from the Apollo mission.  So why does hardly anyone say so publicly?  There seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject. “It’s not quite nice, not PC, possibly even racist to mention it.” And this taboo doesn’t just inhibit politicians and civil servants who attend the big conferences.  It even affects the people who claim to care most passionately about a sustainable and prosperous future for our children, the environmental and developmental Non Government Organisations. Yet their silence implies that their admirable goals can be achieved regardless of how many people there are in the world, even though they all know that it can’t.

With that said, we have developed ways of growing increasing amounts of food albeit not sustainably!  That has been a huge and continuing advance, a consequence of our intelligence, our increasing skills and our ability to look ahead.  But none of these great achievements will be of any avail if we do not control our numbers.

The general loss of biodiversity, deforestation, extinction of species, marine & ocean pollution(which has become the human toxic rubbish dump) worldwide should be of a major concern to all of us as the decimation and destruction of our environment will cause major problems for our ever growing human population which is putting immense pressure on our natural resources and environment. Unfortunately, as long as the excessive world population continues to grow, economic growth will be needed to serve that growth. Peak oil and depletion of resources will end growth, both population growth and economic growth. All I can say is that the future does not look promising or peaceful for that matter. The reality is that we live on a finite planet with finite resources!

Africa’s population is increasing exponentially and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. The only probable solution is to encourage a culture of learning and good education. However this is the hard way. I am not convinced that our government - in fact world leaders are heading this way, they are simply ignoring the facts. Or we can try and go the Chinese way where the government implements a one child policy and tax people per extra child, thus discouraging them from having more children. However, this has been frowned as a human rights violation and the idea would be laughed at in South Africa and other African countries. Other options would be to have widely(free) available contraceptives and rewarding a person not to have children, especially in developing countries; another option would be to reward/pay them (him) to have a vasectomy.

The human race is the only race that is expanding out of control while every other species (except the barbaric practice of factory farmed animals) is experiencing negative growth due to our increasing food and consumption demands. Unfortunately, society at large is far too sanctimonious to face up to the harsh reality of this imminent global catastrophe.

Each day it becomes more apparent that we are on a misguided mission. Pursuit of perpetual economic growth is not a winning proposition for a lasting prosperity. Building a bigger economy can make sense in some circumstances, but always aiming to build a bigger economy means taking an ever-bigger chunk out of the earth’s ecosystems and the life-support services they provide. Why, then, do so many people believe in the fantasy of infinite growth on a finite planet? Is it because we can’t come up with a better idea? Is it because the rich and powerful have trapped the rest of us in their web of conspiracy? Is it because people are hopelessly greedy and materialistic?

Ignorance is bliss for most of us. Therefore, the often the greater our ignorance about something, the greater our resistance to change.

I would highly recommend everyone to watch this video by David Attenborough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3TMtvS8VeU  I would also recommend you watch his other video called,’ How many people can live on planet earth-BBC)

Those who fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.” Dr. Lovelock, scientist

“It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society" Jiddu Krisnamurti

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