Overpopulation – The Root Cause of Our Problems – Why Is It a Taboo Topic?

    By Tim Prosser | 30 July 2014
    Scratch Space

    A recent poll of American scientists suggests that a large majority of them (82 percent) regard population growth as a major challenge, almost as many as those who believe that climate change is mostly due to human activity (87 percent). (Credit: ESA / NASA)

    Why is overpopulation taboo? It is incredibly frustrating to see so many people and organizations thrashing around over climate change and related issues when none of those problems would exist if we weren’t overpopulating the planet. The problems of epidemic and famine that will emerge over the next two or three decades will compound our relatively new problems with weather and increasing sea levels, and it is likely that at least a few billion people will die untimely deaths before the end of this century, all attributable to the human population explosion. Isn’t a focus on reducing birthrates worldwide what we really need? Are we putting ourselves at risk by addressing the more superficial issues and ignoring the root cause?

    The population explosion is here now, and it is causing problems. In fact, we are experiencing many population-driven problems now. Immigration problems are stimulated by many things, but primary among them are the crime that crops up in increasingly crowded areas, scarcity exacerbated by decreasing ratios of resources to consumers (demand beginning to exceed supply), and the increasing difficulty of managing huge, fast growing and fast changing national economies effectively. Capitalist countries have the added problem of maverick corporate entities with huge financial power influencing politics and the laws, stripping the country of its natural resources, and manipulating and bribing officials, unconcerned that their actions and policies create poverty and economic imbalance. When conditions deteriorate in small countries as corporate domination, government corruption, and cartel/gang activity (enabled by misguided American drug laws) increase crime and poverty, people become increasingly desperate to leave. Initially they leave to look for better opportunities and life styles, but as conditions worsen they leave in an attempt to not be killed or injured by criminals and to escape poverty. (Most people like to eat!) When conditions are bad it may not be possible to move a whole family as one, so one or both heads of the household often go abroad to try to make enough money to initially help those back home and eventually bring the family to a better place. The United States is currently experiencing a situation in which young children are risking death and hardship in the most extreme circumstances to join their previously-emigrated parents.  Overpopulation makes poverty worse and increases the drive to emigrate.

    Overpopulation creates scarcity, and scarcity creates conflict. Wars and political conflict are increasing, driven by the need to secure resources including energy sources, land, and water. That need is demand and it is driven by population growth more than any other factor. As the human population explodes over the next thirty years national economies will find themselves in increasingly tough battles over land, resources, and energy sources, and often those battles will become wars.

    Root cause analysis is not rocket science. Anyone can analyze causality by simply looking at something and asking why it is the way it is. Then, when some answer has been found, that answer must be questioned as to why each of its parts is the way it is. This process is sometimes called “the 5 whys” because if you keep asking why until you have gone through about five levels of causality you usually understand what is going on and why things are the way they are pretty well. If you use this technique to analyze human problems – plenty can be found on the front page of any news site – you will find that a majority of them, possibly a vast majority, lead back to overpopulation.

    So why is overpopulation not mentioned in the media?  Are journalists and politicians afraid? Certainly the topic is frightening, especially as one starts looking at the status of our natural world and how it is changing. It is clear that, within a few decades, our children and grandchildren will have some huge and terrible issues to deal with. But shouldn’t we be talking about the root cause of our problems NOW? To be effectively dealt with, shouldn’t problems such as immigration and war be addressed in full recognition of the contributions of overpopulation? Shouldn’t birthrate reduction be a prominent topic for public discussion, world-wide? Won’t our problems just get worse the longer we fail to consider the impact of overpopulation in the development of their solutions?

    I hope you will join me in asking these questions more and more loudly, and of people who we elected or who are otherwise responsible for our lives and environments.

    Global Speak Out Video

    Overpopulation – We Beat Around the Bush

    Al Bartlett – Democracy Cannot Survive Overpopulation

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    1. The problem is that when a country's population starts to decrease even by way of nature (people don't want to have so many children) like it's happening in many European countries, their governments see it as one of the worst problems to hit the country and the government instantly tries to reverse the trend by subsidising large families like giving them low interest mortgages if they agree to have 3+ children, etc.
      They do this because a decreasing population causes more and more older people (pensioners) to be cared for by less and less able younger people (workers). So less people paying taxes which have to support the pensions of more people. Also demand for goods and services would decrease along with a decreasing population which would result a shrinking economy, again no government would want that.
      Also the thought of a culture slowly fading because the number of its members are decreasing is also not a happy thought for a nationalistic heart, especially if the decreasing workforce is replaced by foreign workers.

      Of course there are solutions to most of these issues but first a nation has to admit and accept that they are targeting a decrease of their populations which no country other than maybe China or India would want. It's always the other countries that should decrease their population, never our own.

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