Simply, population refers to how many people exist on this planet. Over-population is a more subjective and controversial issue. It is generally accepted that it refers to the ratio of our population vs. the planet’s capacity to nourish and shelter that population. Discussions of over-population usually try to equate birth rates, mortality rates, scientific advancements that affect our longevity as well as our ability to increase food production all over a projected period of time.
It is not the purpose of this website to attempt to answer definitively what number of people can successfully be sustained on the planet. I believe the question should be, ‘do we really need to find out?’ I liken it to having a credit card and keeping it maxed at all times. It creates unnecessary stress and generally makes life a lot more difficult. Have we become a society of credit users that must push the limits of what we owe at all times? We need to pay down the population credit card.
In approaching the subject of over-population, few, if any environmental organizations will venture past stating that we have a dire population crisis. While I agree it is vitally important to create a momentum of awareness and acceptance of our current status on the issue, I believe it is equally important to begin to implement a variety of solutions to help curb further population growth.
There is a strong taboo attitude that permeates all levels of society, religions and human rights groups which persist to quiet any mention of population control. This is another expression of a paradigm which must wither and die if we are to survive this crisis. I believe it’s key to any discussion of environmental remediation to include strong and immediate measures to slow population growth.
Desperate situations invite desperate measures and we each must take responsibility for the problem. Aspirations to have large families at this point, is in my view, morally repugnant. It simply reveals the level of ignorance and denial we have and how horribly irresponsible our species has become.