World overpopulation is a real issue greatly feared by some, and grossly underestimated by others. A look at some arguments given against Human Overpopulation.
We can All Live in Texas
Some deniers say there is enough land in Texas that everyone can have ¼ of an acre. Huh? There are over 6.8 Billion people on the earth right now… Texas has 172,044,800. You do the math. Keep in mind that not all of that land is inhabitable.
Okay so I’ll take the a my land on a river please, you can have yours at the center of the lake, or would you prefer to live at the train yard instead? Don’t worry about the noise, trains would not be running, the folks on their plot of land down the way would have torn up the space consuming tracks to in their futile attempt to grow food (after all, most of the land in Texas is not that fertile). But you won’t have to worry about these people for long, I plan on withholding fresh water so they will soon perish. Of course… I don’t have long either, the folks upstream are set to divert water for their co-op agricultural organization.
Many urbanites already live on 1/4 of an acre, it is clearly not enough land to support a person when we consider the food needed, resources for housing, and so forth.
In short the Texas argument is a strawman, a feeble attempt at overpopulation deniers to argue against the reality of growing human numbers.
We Have Enough Food
One has to wonder if these deniers have been outside their comfort zone, and been to a country where people are starving to death? Now the other argument is that there is enough food to go around, but it is just not reaching the people. True.. sort of. While some countries greatly waste much of their food production (eating too much, throwing lots away), they are not growing it in sustainable ways. Much of the food grown and produced comes at a huge environmental cost. Species have been lost and eventually we will run out of fertile land for growing more food – having already restricted wildlife.
Lower Birth Rates
Another argument often given against world overpopulation is that some countries are seeing declines in population. Another is that women are having fewer kids. Both arguments are correct, but misleading. In the countries where populations are declining most of it is due to people moving elsewhere. And while women in “some” countries are having fewer kids the bigger problem is that humans overall are living longer.
Where only a few hundred years ago it was very unusual for people to have their grandparents still alive, today having grandparents, and great grandparents is not all that unusual. This is one of the root causes of human overpopulation, we simply are not dying fast enough. Our children are not replacing us, or our parents, they are adding to the population. As such while we may be having fewer kids, the problem of overpopulation still continues.
A Religious Note
While most religions encourage people to have large families (some call birth control a bad thing, others insist the the more children you have the more favor you will find with God) and early philosopher, Thomas Malthus, a clergyman, saw overpopulation as a test, with poverty and suffering as punishments for humanity in general if they ignored these warnings.
Pull your head out of the sand and learn more. Photo source