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View Poll Results: Is overpopulation a problem in the near future?

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Thread: Overpopulation

  1. #1 Overpopulation 
    God
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    This topic is not often discussed and for good reasons. But awareness is increasing in the classrooms. Even that may not be enough though.

    Complications begin at statistics and analyzation. It is not discussed because it is extremely difficult to analyze the world's population, especially since it is impossible for one individual to look at the world's population. Studies must be done in intervals looking at birth and death rates. We also have obviously no experience in populations above 10 billion. Today the estimation is around 7 billion. For anyone person to notice the crowding measurably, they would have to live a long life, living through 3 or 4 generations.

    The second problem is there is no incentive for anyone or any organization to study world populations and how each "region" is affect each year. Who will fund a group to study how we can fix the overpopulation "problem"? There would be no benefits other than new information, which would be considered useless to the everyday world. Social conventions and even your own environment may have a strong affect on how much your country's population increases or decreases (like Britain's is currently).

    Facts:

    - 40-50 million is the maximum biotic potential for a species, but it would be an extremely harsh environment
    - 7 billion people, most websites claim somewhere between 6.5-6.6 billion
    - In the year 2050, it is estimated that between 8-10 billion people may be inhabiting the planet
    * Our population is increasing exponentially (just look at a graph).

    Finally, what can you do about overpopulation? Who has the right to control how many offspring a mate can have? Any measures to stop overpopulation would have to be done on a worldwide governmental level, all at nearly the same time. Overpopulation isn't exactly on every nation's top things to do on their "To Do" list. Governments are only concerned with current topics and short-termed issues that produce results. So what's next? Increase public awareness so it can be prevented for the next generations of homo sapiens.

    China already is seeing the affects of overpopulation. They halted their "baby manufacturing" when they imposed a One-Child Population Policy. Google reports their population at 1,306,313,812. But they also nearly wiped out all the panda bears in their country when they took their primary source of food - bamboo. Those kinds of environmental impacts can be generated from human overpopulation.

    *I just want to know what you think of this issue. What other methods would you impose? Can this proposal work? When will the world be ready? How aware of this issue, are you?


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  3. #2 Re: Overpopulation 
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    The answer simply depends on whether you are a creationist or an evolutionist.

    To the creationist, no problem, God will step in and help. perhaps he'll make the world a little larger - it'll be alright no need for catholics to use contraceptives - God will sort it all out.

    To the evolutionist,
    Asking people to refrain from procreation would be like asking them to hold their breath. Most could do it for about 30 seconds, and a few might last a minute or two. So the population will increase to the point where we fight each other for resources this will be at all levels - wars will ensure, massive self-annihilation a few may survive - then Global warming will get into top gear and we will have re-created Easter Island on a global scale.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Sophomore kingjacob's Avatar
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    I dont think over population will be a problem in the year 2050, because I really dont see humanity staying peaceful long enough for 2 billion people to be added. Also currently the Aids/HIV virus's will continue to kill more and more people if we continue to handle the problem as we do now. The time I see overpopulation being a problem is when the entire earth has declared peace and since this wont be happening soon, unless something drastic happens, by the time population is a problem I do believe technology will be advanced enough to fix it.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingjacob
    I dont think over population will be a problem in the year 2050, because I really dont see humanity staying peaceful long enough for 2 billion people to be added. Also currently the Aids/HIV virus's will continue to kill more and more people if we continue to handle the problem as we do now. The time I see overpopulation being a problem is when the entire earth has declared peace and since this wont be happening soon, unless something drastic happens, by the time population is a problem I do believe technology will be advanced enough to fix it.

    I take it you realise this is the Ostrich theory, IE by the time it's a problem technology will solve it.
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  6. #5  
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    Well certainly space exploration may be a possible solution in the future. I just thought of that one overnite.

    Many relationship studies have shown that species at the top of the food chain must have a certain kind of relationship with they prey/food/environment. But food is not the only issue here, despite the world hunger problem. Diseases will mulitiply as fast as we multiply and they will fast than we can solve them. Wars, dieases, and anything else that contributes to early deaths and increases in annual death rates is a positive step "forward" for overpopulation - as evil as that sounds.
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    Any case with many many humans close together in a mediocreally-sterilized setting (AKA a city, especially in poorer parts of the world) is just begging for a new disease to jump to humans or an epidemic. I don't think the avian flu ever posed much of a threat (the few cases in humans that were seen were all from animal-to-human and couldn't be spread human-to-human), but other bacteria may arise and, I think, probably will in the next 50 years.

    I therefore consider any collection of humans over maybe 500,000 in unsanitary setting a potential threat and certainly overpopulation (even if everyone has a "front yard")...

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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    Quote Originally Posted by kingjacob
    I dont think over population will be a problem in the year 2050, because I really dont see humanity staying peaceful long enough for 2 billion people to be added. Also currently the Aids/HIV virus's will continue to kill more and more people if we continue to handle the problem as we do now. The time I see overpopulation being a problem is when the entire earth has declared peace and since this wont be happening soon, unless something drastic happens, by the time population is a problem I do believe technology will be advanced enough to fix it.

    I take it you realise this is the Ostrich theory, IE by the time it's a problem technology will solve it.
    Ive never heard of the Ostrich theory and couldnt find it on the internet but I do believe by the time its a problem technology will solve it, I am able to believe this without being an ostrich per say with my head in the sand because my belief in technology is founded by the work I am doing. So m belief is founded not on ignorance but ego. :P
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    Thomas Malthus covered this topic in his book An Essay on the Principle of Population. He made the bold prediction that the Earth's population would outgrow the food supply, he predicted this would happen in the 19th Century, which, of course, it did not. However, despite his improperly timed prediction, he made a convincing argument in his work. Eventually human beings will outgrow the carrying capacity of the Earth, as to when this will happen, that is anyone's guess.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by housejohnson
    Thomas Malthus covered this topic in his book An Essay on the Principle of Population. He made the bold prediction that the Earth's population would outgrow the food supply, he predicted this would happen in the 19th Century, which, of course, it did not. However, despite his improperly timed prediction, he made a convincing argument in his work. Eventually human beings will outgrow the carrying capacity of the Earth, as to when this will happen, that is anyone's guess.
    Anyone who has a grasp of the laws of growth and decay can do that.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by housejohnson
    Thomas Malthus covered this topic in his book An Essay on the Principle of Population. He made the bold prediction that the Earth's population would outgrow the food supply, he predicted this would happen in the 19th Century, which, of course, it did not. However, despite his improperly timed prediction, he made a convincing argument in his work. Eventually human beings will outgrow the carrying capacity of the Earth, as to when this will happen, that is anyone's guess.
    yes but the one thing he didnt predict was the growth of technology which allows humans to increase earths carrying capacity of our lovely species.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billco
    Quote Originally Posted by housejohnson
    Thomas Malthus covered this topic in his book An Essay on the Principle of Population. He made the bold prediction that the Earth's population would outgrow the food supply, he predicted this would happen in the 19th Century, which, of course, it did not. However, despite his improperly timed prediction, he made a convincing argument in his work. Eventually human beings will outgrow the carrying capacity of the Earth, as to when this will happen, that is anyone's guess.
    Anyone who has a grasp of the laws of growth and decay can do that.
    Today I would agree, but Malthus published his book in 1789, which I understand was over a century after Pascal had begun his studies on probability, but to do a statistical analysis of the population in 1789, before having all of the information available to us that we have now, is something that deserves some credit.

    And I agree with the poster above that Malthus had no idea about technological advances, which is the same reason why predictions concerning population and the future will fail still.

    For the record, I was not trying to back up Malthus' prediction, just pointing out that this topic, overpopulation and the dangers of it, has been being discussed for over 200 years.
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  13. #12 Re: Overpopulation 
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    Quote Originally Posted by God
    Finally, what can you do about overpopulation? Who has the right to control how many offspring a mate can have? Any measures to stop overpopulation would have to be done on a worldwide governmental level, all at nearly the same time. Overpopulation isn't exactly on every nation's top things to do on their "To Do" list. Governments are only concerned with current topics and short-termed issues that produce results. So what's next? Increase public awareness so it can be prevented for the next generations of homo sapiens.
    The biggest contributors to the growth of the human population will be India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Indonesia, United States of America, Bangladesh, Zaire, and Iran.

    None of the people in these countries will be impressed by 'awareness', except in the USA. That would be the only country where a lobby will have an effect.

    I do not know if there can be any solution. Part of the problem is the inequality in the world. Fertility rates in western Europe are the lowest ever. Economic prosperity is the greatest fertility inhibitor of all.

    There can however not be a world where everybody lives according to the same standard as in the 'first world' countries. The economic system will just not allow for it.

    Hence I see no easy solutions.
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  14. #13 The Earths only solution. 
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    Hello,
    All the Earth's problems from global warming, pollution, wars, shortage
    of water and food, housing, even to the care of the elderly could be
    solved by huge population reduction.
    Total human removal would help all the other species best, but with a
    greatly reduced population we could learn to manage the Earth with
    greater care.
    The human population needs a large reduction, and I do not mean
    culling as we sadly do to other forms of life. I would not suggest bringing
    about the death of any human being in any of the barbaric ways we
    remove other unwanted species of life.
    Even though we are the most voracious animals on this planet we do not
    need take any human life to do this.
    It should be done openly through a world summit to find the best way to
    encourage all of human kind to be sterilised if they wish it. Those who would
    like a family, let them, the population would still go down.
    It should ignore all protest.
    The United Nations could do this.
    It is our only hope, it is the only chance of humans living with the Earth
    and not against it. Science should be able to produce a simple oral tablet
    to bring sterility. With education and many outlets for the product, people
    would choose to do this voluntarily. Rewards could even be given. This would
    in a few decades, leave a stable, content reduced population.
    The many species of life, other than the thousands we have made extinct
    may then be saved.
    If we do not greatly reduce the human population, then in a few decades
    we will completely perish and the sad part is we will take with us millions
    of other species. When we remove one species, many others may die out
    that relied on its existence.
    In other words we can only remove so many before it escalates out of
    control and then we follow.
    The extinction of any species by our hands is a crime beyond all other
    crimes, as who knows what that species would have developed into in time.
    Within a few years it will be too late.
    David.
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  15. #14 Check out this different clock 
    Forum Freshman moltoc's Avatar
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    Hello,
    Just thought I would add this clock, it gives population, spieces and forest destruction rate.
    http://www.care2.com/news/section/clock
    Regards
    David.
    My theory of creation, my philosophy of the meaning of life, my propulsion idea, a scaled down Universe, my shipping idea, my train stop idea and my link page.
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  16. #15  
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    The first post of this thread assume that the increase of population is homogenous. It's not
    Many occidental countries have a reduction of population, and if there wasn't any immigration, the population will be reduced, and this do not bring any good for economy and rents.

    In a general way, when the economic level of a country increase, the birth rate decrease. Most parents of this countries are concerned by the education and future of their kids, and has the best studies are quite expansive, they tend to reduce the numbers of children they want to have.
    The occidental civilisation also bring the culture of spare time, a culture wich is difficult to practice with 10 childrens at home.

    The overpopulation concern countries like india, and china (even if china have a very active politic on this subject) and many others countries of middle east and africa (for south america I don't know)

    If we want to stop the overpopulation threat, we have to facilatate the economic expansion of many countries.

    IMHO, the environnental problem is more acute.
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    People need to stop breeding!!! And some just should'nt breed at all!!
    "Nature is an infinite sphere whos center is everywhere and whose circumferense is nowhere."
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    I have to agree that the world is over populated. I feel that far too many people have children for the wrong reasons, and there there is all the "accidents" like the young mothers (such as the kid in the news (scottish news) who is12 and had her baby and herself taken into care) who dont seem to realise what they are doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    People need to stop breeding!!! And some just should'nt breed at all!!
    Damn straight!
    The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimt
    I have to agree that the world is over populated. I feel that far too many people have children for the wrong reasons, and there there is all the "accidents" like the young mothers (such as the kid in the news (scottish news) who is12 and had her baby and herself taken into care) who dont seem to realise what they are doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thamnophis
    People need to stop breeding!!! And some just should'nt breed at all!!
    Damn straight!
    Do we have a right to stop anyone breeding? to remove their genes from the pool? to end their descent line? - If I told you about a man who was a perpetual drunkard, had about a dozen kids, he and his wife were siphalitic would you stop them from breeding any more kids? - If you would stop them then congrats, Beethoven was their next child! [n.b, apologies to Mr&Mrs B if I have got that wrong, it was from memory!].
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  20. #19  
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    mother nature usually finds a way of sorting this out, usually with disease :-D
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  21. #20  
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    I don't think overpopulation as such is a threat to the continuation of humanity. As a previous poster pointed out, there seems to be a tendancy for developed countries populations to stabilize (or even decrease). Overpopulation leads to death through starvation and disease so left to itself nature tends to sort this problem out. The difficult problem for us is to decide whether it is humane of us to intervene when this may end up postponing or even exacerbating the problem.


    The main threat to humanity as a whole is that hugely overpopulated areas tend to be hotbeds for diseases (which may cause global epidemics). Secondly, as these countries with huge populations (like china and india) become more developed they become better equiped to compete with developed countries for resources (oil, water, food) and in the future this could provoke global warfare.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by electricant
    I don't think overpopulation as such is a threat to the continuation of humanity. As a previous poster pointed out, there seems to be a tendancy for developed countries populations to stabilize (or even decrease). Overpopulation leads to death through starvation and disease so left to itself nature tends to sort this problem out. The difficult problem for us is to decide whether it is humane of us to intervene when this may end up postponing or even exacerbating the problem.


    The main threat to humanity as a whole is that hugely overpopulated areas tend to be hotbeds for diseases (which may cause global epidemics). Secondly, as these countries with huge populations (like china and india) become more developed they become better equiped to compete with developed countries for resources (oil, water, food) and in the future this could provoke global warfare.

    Yeah, thats one of the problems in certain parts of africa, the population has outgrown the natural resources and this obviously with drought's causes the famines.

    As with developing countries competing for resources, Even now the prices of metals are rising dramatically because of the urgent need of it in china, especially aluminium
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  23. #22  
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    I agree with the general sentiment here that overpopulation is indeed a problem. I do think it goes to far to say people in poor countries deserve no assistance at all, but it could be made conditional: make 6 kids while there's no food for even 1? Then no aid.

    Sometimes the argument is made that more people also means more labourers and more production, but that hardly works in poor countries. And it doesn't work at all for basic resources and water. We're allready getting water shortages at several places on the world, and doubling world population is not gonna help that at all.
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    The truth is that nothing will be done by humans about overpopulation to curb it. Most third world countries (where the highest environmental stress exists) don't have the government capability to legislate a China-esque mandate to begin with (aside from obvious civil rights discrepancies).

    In all probability, as we continue to push the Earth over its carrying capacity in many locations, it will fight back - likely with some sort of pathogen, etc. It's happened before and it will happen again, with the probability increasing with the impending capacity limit. As living conditions steer toward squalor and host density increases, conditions become more and more favorable.

    That is, of course, provided that the fight over our most valuable natural resources (food, water, etc.) do not provoke self-destructive population control.
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    I agree with the general sentiment here that overpopulation is indeed a problem. I do think it goes to far to say people in poor countries deserve no assistance at all, but it could be made conditional: make 6 kids while there's no food for even 1? Then no aid.

    Sometimes the argument is made that more people also means more labourers and more production, but that hardly works in poor countries. And it doesn't work at all for basic resources and water. We're allready getting water shortages at several places on the world, and doubling world population is not gonna help that at all.

    very true, i remember when the asked the same question in eithiopia about the amount of kids they had, and the most common reason was more kids=more chance of some surviving

    Its a hard subject, on one hand its in-humain to stop aid, on the other without the numbers dropping, the population wont get to a sustainable level
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  26. #25  
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    Happy 300 M, USA!

    Just look at that. In the vast majority of highly industrialized wealthy nations, there is something acting against the animalistic urge to reproduce. Maybe it's selfsatisfaction as career man/woman. Maybe it's the decades spent in school and university, more stress at work, less fertility, more impotence. Whatever it is, it's a limiting factor on population growth. The fact that the US population is just now hitting 300 million and still increasing is mainly through immigration. I call that "population diffusion": People from less wealthy, less fatty countries disperse to take their share in the world of superfluidity where relatively few people still live in more abundance and more pompous luxury than they would be willing or able to admit (and forsake). Yes, too many people starve everyday in overpopulated regions of the world, but as long as subsidized western farmers overproduce all kinds of food that ultimately end on the dump, it's hard to talk about overpopulation on a global scale... but it's not just a question of food.

    Overpopulation is not just a matter of how many people live on how much land. It depends on how much food the land can produce and how much those people eat and let go to waste. It depends also on how much damage those people cause to their environment. Just imagine countries like India and China adopting the self-destructive life style of the average European or US American! Now, that would make for a formidable overpopulation! It's not just the pollution and senseless waste of non-renewable energy sources. What a lot of people don't realize is that we need manpower for the manual labor in developing countries. The western world does not only exploit the unprotected cheap employees in Asia and Africa, by now we actually depend on them! Everyone wants to buy cheap clothes, so you cannot rely on expensive employees protected by unions and labor laws. Welcome to outsourcing! How many people are working in Chinese sweat shops to support a single British citizen's need for cheap merchandize? Now, imagine China in European life style. How much larger does Africa's population have to grow to be exploitable to such a huge extend as to support the Chinese population in the same way as the Chinese now support the West? Talk about overpopulation...

    One of the most ignorant things that I hear from people (like the president of the US) in such discussion focuses on life beyond Earth. So your solution to a problem is to run away? What makes you think you can support a dignified life style on Mars if you don't even understand why you are failing so miserably on Earth? Kindly clean up your own backyard before soiling your neighbor's ground. I imagine better for human beings than the primitive parasitic life style we seem to adhere to... exploiting... wasting... and then moving on.
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  27. #26  
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    Greed seems to have got the better of the need to reproduce, which would also account for why we are persistantly raping the planet without a real care for the future, what will destroy the world? the dollar.
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  28. #27  
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    I agree, reducing population growth will mean that we (as overconsuming westerners) will have to sacrifice some luxury. But we'll have to, there's no other way.

    In a way overpopulation of developping countries is a prisoners dilemma: if all families have 2 children, then it wont make a difference if one choses to have 7 instead. That family of 7 will benefit from the fact that others didnt overpopulate, while it will also benefit from having more children to work in the field. The problem starts when every family thinks in this way and simultaniously decides to have 7 children, not understanding that this ruins it for everyone.
    Imagine one wise family that decides to have only 2 children, while all others have 7: it will suffer from the general overpopulation in that country without having many children to compensate for it. It's the chicken or the egg, they're trapped.
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  29. #28  
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    Generally, overpopulation is an issue curable by human instinct. Many animals are genetically programmed to kill off others if it gets too overly-populated. In fact we're probably doing that in almost every major world-war.
    More often than not the "power drives" most experience (I disagree with the "id", but I'll use some statements from it as examples) tend to contribute to this. The more en-closed a population is, the generally more power-driven the average person is. Until it escalates to higher and higher (and higher still) crime rates. inevitably the population dwindles and we're back to being fine.

    However at the current worlds population I believe in order for us to reduce it, we have to nuke china. Before china starts invading stuff. Yes...lets all nuke china.
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