Planet Earth’s got a big problem: human overpopulation

By Donald A. Collins | 5 May 2014
Church and State

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Recently I received an op ed from my long time colleague Frosty Wooldridge which so captures the state of our mass media that it needs airing on this site, which after all addressed daily the great concern we should all have about the over reaching influence of the various monotheistic male dominated religions on secular matters.

Frosty’s theme with its powerful images should jolt the masters and mistresses of the media (who love covering with M & M candy like full focus on splashy parties such as the recent celebs and pols annual dinner here in DC presided over by Obama and his one liners) to better focus on the root issue of our growing planetary woes, population growth.

Just as too often our media coverage fails to take to task the receipt of special treatment demanded and received by those religions. Example, the no contraceptive help for employees of some Catholic institutions.

Or could it be fear of covering possible Moslem problems growing here just now, not entirely unjustified, in light of possible violent reprisals from jihadists as has happened in Europe and elsewhere!

Frosty sharply pinpoints some of the many people who could make this issue the top priority in daily news coverage and he makes clear that those with the power to make the issue more urgent and actionable aren’t doing so. Fluff and splash dominate our media.

Houston, Planet Earth’s Got A Big Problem: Human Overpopulation
By Frosty Wooldridge | 5 May 2014
Church and State

Sunday night, May 4, 2014, NBC’s anchor Lester Holt introduced Anne Curry for a report on Climate Change causing horrific wildfires, tornadoes, Category 5 hurricanes, rising seas, temperature changes, heat waves and worse for the future.

Anne Curry reported on climate change, but no mention of human overpopulation driving it. Nothing like ignoring the elephant in the kitchen as it stomps everything to smithereens:

She announced a special committee working to solve the Climate Change problem, but none of them mentioned that the human race adds 1,000,000 (million) of its kind every 4 days that equals to 80,000,000 (million) more of its (our) species annually, decade in and decade out with no end in sight. Curry failed to whisper a second sentence about human overpopulation driving our environmental calamities.

Reality check: The overriding, driving, undeniable force for Climate Change, titanic species extinction, accelerating destruction of the Natural World and dozens of other consequences facing all life on this planet—human overpopulation.

Why does the Main Stream Media, Scott Pelley, Matt Lauer, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Charlie Rose, everyone at NPR, the president, Congress, all 50 governors, all 100 US Senators, 435 Congressional critters and 319 million American citizens choose to live in denial while their world degrades around them.

What more does it take? Hurricane Katrina; Hurricane Sandy; Typhoon Haiyan; Sixth Extinction Session accelerating against millions of species going extinct; California wildfires; drought, desertification accelerating worldwide, polluted air over our cities; polluted rivers; nuclear waste; melting glaciers; carbon parts per million exceeded 400 ppm last year for the first in 10 million years; 18 million humans starving to death annually; massive human pile-ups in traffic and congestion in cities.

What in the devil does it take anyone with an IQ over room temperature to start screaming over the rooftops and into the cameras that, “Houston, we’ve got a problem!”

How can the leaders, media and citizens of a free society choose to be so inept, so in denial and so out of touch with reality?

The Big Five Factors of Denial of Climate Change, Human Overpopulation and Accelerating Consequences

First, capitalism allowed technology-dominated Western countries to rape the rest of the planet of oil, diamonds, metals, wood, rubber, minerals, marine life and everything needed to create “consumption societies.” Capitalism requires endless growth for endless people to create endless consumption. That factor created an “entitlement factor” sewn into the societal thread of America and other Western countries like Canada, Australia and Europe. In the past 20 years, that “factor” migrated into China, India, Mexico, Brazil and other consumption societies.

No one wants to give it up. They choose to ride the planet to its knees before giving up their wealth, cars, gadgets, homes and fossil fuel burning. The most powerful taboo of the 21st century remains any mention of the human overpopulation factor.


Second, ancient religions brainwash parishioners into a sense of privilege that God blesses them, looks out for them and that they are the chosen ones, and commands them to go forth and multiply. For example, in light of all the human misery, starvation and deprived living conditions for followers of the Catholic Church around the world (Haiti, Mexico, Africa), the Pope denounces any form of birth control. Thus, more babies mean more poverty, illiteracy and human misery. Islam, Buddhism and Hindu encourage endless human population growth in light of the fact that 18 million humans starve to death annually and another two billion cannot secure a clean glass of drinking water. Those religions mandate endless population growth to insure the money handed into the “tithing plate” every Sunday.

Ironically, since first world countries cannot “see” nor do they experience the accelerating aspects of overpopulation, they continue in “cognitive dissonance” of it ever happening to their countries.

Third, democracies promote free choice to the point of suicide of the planet. One couple in America, the Duggars, birthed 19 children in 22 years. The mother finally suffered the death of her 20th because of her 40+ age and failing egg vitality. Nonetheless, she champions “God’s” plan for her to have as many children as possible. Millions feel the same: no one can stop them from birthing as many children as they choose. (Source:

In countries like Africa, at 1.1 billion, demographers expect the human mob to reach at least 3.1 billion before the end of the century—most of it via tribal illiteracy, endless birth rates and sheer animal sexual proclivities. India adds 11 million, net gain, annually, with no end in sight as they overtake China as the most populated country in the world by 2050. America, seemingly enlightened, expects to double to 625 million in this century, mostly by immigration from third world countries exhausting their excess populations into first world countries.

Ironically, China’s one-child policy faces world condemnation repeatedly, because everyone should enjoy the right to endless children. Mob stupidity triumphs via religion and uneducated cultures throughout the world.

Fourth, most average citizens of the world, including first world countries, go about their daily lives trying to make a living and hang on to whatever possessions, jobs and viability they possess today. They cannot “see” tomorrow or its surprises. I recently talked to a preacher in a church near me. When I spoke to him about my work on overpopulation in America, he said, “I had no idea that America suffers from an overpopulation problem.”

Americans saw Ann Thompson’s one-hour climate change presentation in April, 2014, but it didn’t expose the core reason:

Fifth, as I witnessed in my world travels, most leaders of the world, like average humans not affected by the lion eating one of their kin, simply ignore the danger. They don’t think they will be the next to be eaten. The same goes for power-elites who smugly don’t think they will be affected by Climate Change or any other environmental problems.

Finally, from the eyes and experiences of a six continent world bicycle traveler who has journeyed from the Arctic to Antarctica—no one escapes Mother Nature’s wrath in the decades to come. She always bats last. Whether you refuse to grasp Dr. Albert Bartlett’s brilliant “Arithmetic, Population and Energy” presentation;; Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb; Dr. Jack Alpert’s population presentation, Malthus’ equation; or another 100 books on Peak Oil, Climate Change, Species extinction, acidified oceans or the Sixth Extinction Session—all of humanity faces one hell of a nasty ride. Unfortunately, so does every creature on this planet in the 21st century.

The only solution to save the human race in the 21st century: courageous leaders to mandate one child per woman via birth control to compassionately decline the human race to a viable number for this planet to handle. Additionally, return to sailing ships, solar, wind and pedal power. We cannot keep burning oil. We either come to terms with critical thinking and rational actions by our choices, or Mother Nature will demand choices rather brutally against us.

In the 21st century, humanity’s self-inflicted population numbers will prove more deadly and more treacherous than all the wars in the history of our kind. As a species, we remain too arrogant and too reckless to our own devices. Nature via cause and response, won’t be kind to any of us.

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC., has spent over 40 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013.
Frosty Wooldridge has bicycled across six continents – from the Arctic to the South Pole – as well as eight times across the USA, coast to coast and border to border. In 2005, he bicycled from the Arctic Circle, Norway to Athens, Greece. In 2012, he bicycled coast to coast across America. His latest book is How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World.

Al Bartlett — Democracy Cannot Survive Overpopulation

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  1. Dear hopeless,

    This is not a time to give up or give in. Likely your hopelessness is at least partially driven by the abject failure of so many self-proclaimed experts and other kno…wledgeable people to say out loud what they know to be true about the way the world we inhabit actually works as well as about the placement of human species within the natural order of living things. Not speaking out loudly, clearly and often regarding what is known to be true and real gives rise to the hopelessness so many feel and to the false idea that there is nothing we can do. Perhaps the silence of so many ‘plays the lead role’ when it comes to killing the world as we know it. Not speaking truth to the powerful is unethical, morally outrageous, intellectually dishonest and a preposterous failure of nerve. Never in the course of human events have human failings had such profound implications for the future of life on Earth.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
    established 2001
    Chapel Hill, NC

    PS: I do not have to win or even believe I will win the human-induced struggle that is presented to all of us in order to speak openly, honestly and hopefully “the whole truth” about what could be real.

    Hopeless > stevenearlsalmony • 4 days ago

    What an eloquent description of the situation. The subject is taboo across all disciplines. No environmental orgs will touch it — even Zero Population Growth has disappeared. Talk about ignoring the gigantic elephant in the living room. What a bizarre species we are…and one that has limited time on the planet. Sadly we are taking many, many other species with us.

    stevenearlsalmony • 12 days ago

    What is true, real and somehow right can never be trivial. And yet ‘the brightest and best’ ignore, avoid and willfully refuse to examine, discuss and report on all as well as, perhaps, the best scientific research on the subject of human population dynamics. Knowledge of the population dynamics of the human species remains off limits, a taboo even among those in the newly established ‘Scientific Consensus on…Humanity…’, the relatively ‘ancient’ Royal Society, the modern American Academy for the Advancement of Science, other national academies of science, the Union of Concerned Scientists, demographers and economists everywhere. When and where are the self-proclaimed experts in population biology, other sciences and relevant disciplines going to openly acknowledge the uncontested scientific evidence of human population dynamics that appears to disclose simply and elegantly how human population dynamics is essentially common to, not different from, the population dynamics of other species; how human population numbers appear as a function of an available food supply? How more food equals more people; less food equals less people; and no food, no people.
    Are the overproduction, overconsumption and overpopulation activities of many too many people not the primary problem confronting humankind in our time? Scientists have been seeing what is happening during the past 70 years as human population numbers skyrocketed worldwide. Scientists have been regularly reporting this widely shared and consensually validated scientific knowledge. But that is not the end of the story. There is at least one other question to ask that calls out to us for an answer, a question that any reasonable and sensible person would ask, I suppose. And that question is, “Why is the human population on Earth exploding? Why?” The question is straightforward. Where are the scientists with knowledge concerning why the global human population is skyrocketing on our watch? They are electively mute.Their conscious and deliberate collusion makes it possible for silence to prevail over science. This cannot be construed as correct behavior, especially by top-rank scientists. In diametrical opposition to the evolution of science extant, uncontested research related to the question of ‘why’ has been ubiquitously avoided or denied by many too many of the very experts on human population matters who are in agreement about ‘what is happening’ regarding the unbridled colossal growth of the human population on Earth. If science of ‘why global human population numbers are exploding’ is willfully ignored, how is the human community ever to respond ably to emergent and convergent human-induced threats to future human well being and environmental health? How can we speak about the necessity for advances in science, for fidelity to scientific facts and truth, for the individual and collective will to go wheresoever the evidence leads while first class scientists with appropriate expertise deny scientific evidence of human population dynamics/overpopulation? For self-proclaimed experts to refuse to examine and share findings of scientific research regarding ‘why the human population is exploding’ has got to be overcome, fast. Such a breach of one’s duty to science & humanity is a personal and collective betrayal of both.

    stevenearlsalmony • 12 days ago

    Hope on Earth: A Conversation | MAHB

    Steven Earl Salmony A comment from a remarkably astute observer and friend…. Just to jump in to the discussion: Every so often this group hits the target. This amounts to an eloquent prologue for a undescribed action that should follow. But closer to a bulls eye would be something like a revolution.

    But now we hit a wall, a singularity moment, where we know something big and important has to happen, will happen — we don’t know or agree just what, or perhaps we know, but are afraid to describe the ruthless immensity of the purpose driven change needed. The horror is – we know huge changes loom — generally predictable but not specifics of time or event. We can influence so little. But we are unable to call for changes to mitigate the looming decimation.

    Our impact will be minute – we might mitigate global warming so slightly as to permit a select sample of multigenerational humanity to survive. Otherwise we are condemned to silently witnessing our demise – and by our silence, hastening it somewhat.

    I am struck by the descriptions of various revolutions – where historians note that no one caught up in them knows they are revolutions, nor knows what that means, or what must come next. They know only that change must come, and so pushed forward with a different way of doing things. Perhaps called revolutions by their success, otherwise they would be a failed loss. Now comes the great test of our civilization, whether it can change sufficiently to allow human survival. I don’t think pure wealth will suffice. Nor ruthless power. Although wealth and power will positively bias short term survival for some – unless it is so organized and refocused – it means little for the survival of the human species.

    Our planet is locked in to warming of 3° to 10° C no matter what we do about it. And the higher heating would assure violent extinction. The lower end merely great suffering and loss. We appear to be making choices that increase danger. It is a poor response to argue about the scientific validity of the projections. As if to see a house on fire, with far more fuel inside, instead of applying water, we try to exclaim and explain that it is not really aflame. Our house is next, and within, we don’t have enough denial left for facing that.

    We have describe it well, we are fully engaged in losing the first great battle – the battle of perception. Since the 1980s – where media consolidation completely dominated and controlled messages we receive – we have lost the battle for truth or even open minded perception. But our defeat has been painless, accompanied by growing affluence, we have been surviving against a real enemy that contains and controls our mass communication. Carbon commerce has built its own media empires, and now completely dominates.

    So now we are left to observe or witness – that our friendly media enemy has been promoting so much commerce that the real harms of overpopulation and climate change are side effects, collateral damage. Now the only hope is that mass media simply surrenders to the reality of the situation – and now must change completely to promote survival messages. All mass media turn around… like it did in WW2. Nothing will change until overwhelming message-making compels it. We can see the need, we can demand it, but until all mass media compels and promote fundamental changes, until then we are losing the battle to slow down our demise.

    It just does not seem very likely. Indeed it may be a losing battle. In which case all we can do is witness. “There are now more 22 year olds in America, than any other age.” They must decide to radically change in ways that amount to revolutions. All we can do is exhort behavior that encourages survival.

    Future, historians deciding our tumult was a revolution, means purposeful change would have succeeded. Whereas, extinction will be unrecognized, undescribed from within.

    Interesting times.

    Richard Pauli

    Climate Manifesto

    climate manifesto political action for the future

  2. It is a major problem but not a lot of people are thinking or concerned about. At one pint, we will have to wake up and smell the coffee.


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