Population To Overpopulation: The Most Vital Issue To Address Presently
Even though many refer to earth as our “home,” a place that is supposed to protect us we should in turn protect it as well. We should be returning the favor, but instead we thank Earth by having it house 7.7 billion people and having it near its carrying capacity. Carrying capacity means that there is a maximum population size that exists before the environment ultimately resulting in our extinction. Earth is unable to nurture every single one of us like it once could. Overpopulation states that our resources such as: water, food, medicine, shelter, land, air, plants, and animals will become scarce and humans will cease to exist. And what’s the primary factor?
Simple, our lack of acknowledgement primary because of our ignorance on the issue and idleness to take action. Overpopulation can easily be minimized and eventually over time eliminated, but we are more focused on our materialistic consumption to fuel our insecurity and greed. Many of these concerns and their effects are addressed within Everything Connects’ article, “Effects of Human Population” that gives descriptive examples of each negative effect. In hopes to bring about change and adjust the distressing atmosphere after elaboration of the effects mentioned in the previous articles, the podcast, Overpopulation is Solvable hosted by Dave Gardner will cover some solutions to counteract these. Similarly, “Mesmerizing Photographs of China’s Crushing Overpopulation” by Verrill Courtney expands on these effects by providing the ultimate solution to control overpopulation. I will be discussing, interpreting, and analyzing all sources mentioned above along with furthering my argument that overpopulation is a very real and serious issue that must be addressed urgently.
Overpopulation contributes to a variety of other issues, by reducing this main issue we are virtually solving many more. What are the effects caused by overpopulation? This is discussed within, “Effects of Human Population” by Everything Connects that examines the negative effects of our 7.7 billion people on Earth. These effects include loss of freshwater, species extinction, lower life expectancy, less freedom, depletion of natural resources, increased emergence of diseases, habitat loss, intensive farming, global warming/climate change, and elevated crime rate. According to World Population Balance, “Two billion people live in poverty, more than the population of the entire planet less than 100 years ago. Today there are more people suffering in misery and starvation in the world than ever before in history,” showing that there was a tremendous population growth to where we are now. This is seen with the usage of statistics of “two billion people” and “100 years ago”. Why does World Population use these two statistics? Simple, it is to frighten his readers and send alarm bells in their heads. These are extremely high numbers than we hear on the daily and so it will stun us when we first read it. This is an effective way to get a reaction from his audience and prompt them to act against overpopulation. Not only does he use statistics, but he utilizes historical context in which he contrasts the population of the planet less than 100 years ago to today’s population. Similarly, this historical context also brings attention to intellectual history because it is also focused on overpopulation or hints towards this issue from the past. It also demonstrates that overpopulation is still occuring. This displays extensive growth over time and highlights that it has not been solved nor our population growth reduced. By highlighting these key concepts, World Population Balance has provided themselves with credibility and proved that the issue is in fact real and serious. Everything Connects is shaped by both historical and intellectual contexts because without evaluating the circumstances from the past (intellectual) and comparing them to the present (historical) we are unable to identify that overpopulation is a real issue. Overall, this is an effective claim that touches on historical and intellectual contexts that essentially leaves the readers eager to fix this recurring and ongoing problem; they feel the need to make the difference no other generations have.
Consequently of overpopulation, a majority of the public are not obtaining the basic survival needs. Overall the public is in an unhealthy, unstable, and perplexing situation because of this issue. I stand behind this, overpopulation is the primary factor behind various other issues that are affecting us and our planet. The funny thing is that we are adding fuel to the fire, we see the effects of the problem and feel guilty, that’s why we decide to pretend that it is not a real issue. Ironic, no? Why not instead realize it is an issue, acknowledge it, and find solutions such as China has shown in, “China has the largest population in the world, with a shocking number of 1.3 billion people and growing by the minute. ..in 1980 it made the one-child policy, which allowed each family in China only one child. This year the policy ended, and in just three months the population has gone up 0.46% since 2015.” China saw that they were heading into a danger zone and acknowledged it. Political context is shown within this quote because of China’s policy which restricted families from having more than one child. Verrill utilizes this political context to bring acknowledgement that this is a solvable problem and what’s worse, that it could be fixed by our government. By realizing this, the public is left distraught as to wondering if our government system is as righteous as we want it to be. Unfortunately, China did not stick to it and since then we are informed by Business Insider that the population has once again increased. In this case, China focused on politics to solve their issue which is mentioned within the article therefore a political context helped carry out the article. Without the policy, what China did would not have become mainstream and now that it is lifted, closely observed to see what will occur next—essentially serving as the article’s primary focus. Overall, if we continue with this bystander effect that someone else will solve the issue than we will never make progress. Because what happens when we assume that others will find a solution? Well most likely there are others who assume the same and it is an ongoing domino effect of no one doing anything. China did find a temporary solution, but the solution to overpopulation is to come together. I agree with the one child limit policy and think that it would be more effective and would not have to be 1 child if we had the whole world agree upon it. It can not be solely one country dealing with the issue, it was caused by the world so it must be fixed that way. By figuring out a solution to overpopulation we will be solving a vast amount of other problems essentially killing two birds with one stone—why not do it?
Fortunately it is not too late to solve this overpopulation issue and there are many things we can do to fix it. Dave Gardner, host of the podcast, Overpopulation is Solvable discusses this issue with David Paxson who states, “Overpopulation is solvable, it is solvable humanely..in order to stop the population growth, not stop it, but reduce the total human numbers of the planet, we actually need to get the average birth rate per family below the average of two,” exhibiting one solution to overpopulation that would easily fix the issue. Notice the word Paxson makes use of “humanely” that seems so out of place, but is so significant. This one word carries a lot of weight because humanely symbolizes not only how easy this issue can be fixed, but conveys disapproval. This quote also showcases a technological context that hints that this issue can be solved by us, not with advanced technology, meaning it is not as complex as many make it—there’s a quick and manageable solution. ADD PODCAST TECHNOLOGY The disapproval with the word humanely makes us feel incompetent for not acknowledging the issue and trying to resolve it since it is a some-what easy fix. We are not only viewed as incompetent, but lazy and selfish for not caring about the damage that comes along with our actions. Additionally, political context can be observed through the ideology of having an average of two children or less which China similarly longed for. China enforced the one child policy which is something Paxson strongly signaled we do as well. This idea of an average birth rate strongly suggests enforcement that most likely would become a law. The solution Paxson provides us strongly revolves around politics because that is the only way we will be able to make sure the public abides by it. This podcast addresses the main issues that originated from overpopulation and provides us with the ultimate solution. I agree with Paxson’s solution even though there are many other solutions other than solely this one. This solution is straightforward and will show results not only extensively, but instantaneously. Telling the public to limit their amount of children is difficult and making a law of it would in fact obtain reactions, but many would consider it to be immoral. The right to freedom and life which is mentioned in The Declaration of Independence would be brought up to rule out this suggestion and law. Furthermore, this solution is a reach, but will provide a significant outcome to overpopulation. Limiting each family is a lot to ask. Nonetheless, it is better to reduce the amount of children we have so they are capable of living in a self-sustainable planet; instead of having a horrific life because their planet is falling apart. By reducing the amount of children we have, we will be saving our children from a lot of negative effects of overpopulation in the future that we are currently facing.
Overpopulation is the most vital issue to address presently if we want our children and grandchildren to live a pleasant life. This is not just about us and it should be deemed selfish if we consider it to be. Think about all the other generations that are to come who will have to pick up after us. How embarrassing?! They will look to our generation and wonder how ignorant we were to have the ability to fix the issue and not do so solely because we were lazy. Is this truly what you want future generations to think of us? At this rate, there may not be any other generation and we will be the ones suffering the effects of our own actions. It is as simple as acknowledging the problem and finding solutions, a good example of a government incentive solution, being setting a policy similar to that of Chinas shown above. There are other solutions of course which is to make birth control more accessible and promote sexual education. I say these two solutions as secondary because if contraceptives were easier to obtain and not extremely expensive more people would not be having children. Promoting sexual education and making sure children and the overall public are praticing safe sex is also very important to avoid any unexpected pregancies. Both solutions are contributors to the overall problem, but the minute people want to have children they will, that is why we must ensure a child limit policy. Personally, I’ve never had a sexual education class to this day and do not feel 100% educated on the topic sex. I want to avoid this feeling and sense of insecurity for as many people as I can, so become educated. For the government, do a better job of educating us because it seems like many do not feel comfortable talking about this overpopulation issue. Why the ambiguity when it comes to this topic, is earth not our home? Do we not want to sustain it just as it has sustain us? Are you capable of turning your head away from this simply because it does not “concern” you? Well it was also not Earth’s concern to provide us with water, food, medicine, shelter, land, fresh air, a large variety of plants, and animals.
- Connects, Everything. “Overpopulation Effects.” Everything Connects, 2014, www.everythingconnects.org/overpopulation-effects.html.
- Counts, World. “Effect of Growing Population.” The World Counts, 2014, www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Effect-of-Growing-Population.
- News, Positive. “5 Possible Solutions to Overpopulation.” Positive News, 12 June 2019, www.positive.news/society/5-possible-solutions-overpopulation/.
- Podcast, Overpopulation. “Overpopulation Is Solvable from The Overpopulation Podcast.” Stitcher, 2015, www.stitcher.com/podcast/world-population-balance/the-overpopulation-podcast/e/overpopulation-is-solvable-40349870.
- Population, World. “Current World Population.” Worldometers, 2019, www.worldometers.info/world-population/.
- Verrill, Courtney. “Mesmerizing Photographs of China’s Crushing Overpopulation.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 31 Mar. 2016, www.businessinsider.com/chinas-over-crowded-population-2016-3.
- Wikipedia. “Human Overpopulation.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Dec. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_overpopulation.