Over-population is the real cause of climate change – it’s killing us all off

12 October 2018

GROWTH: India’s population is expected to exceed 1.27bn this year and is growing at more than 6.5m a year. (Credit: Dreamstime)

“Despite all the warnings of global warming and imminent disaster, it is unlikely that we will change our ways until a real catastrophe actually occurs,” the Irish Independent’s Joe Barry writes.

We have all read about the storms, droughts, melting ice caps and rising sea levels occurring worldwide, but we are probably not prepared to do anything meaningful about it, Barry notes.

A lot of hot air will be generated during debates, but if changing the way we behave requires a reduction in our living standards, then nothing will happen.

If the worst occurs and the prophets of doom are proved correct, by then it will probably be too late. Our children will be faced with wars, famine and destitution as strong nations attempt to take over the scarce resources available in other countries and in the poorer areas of the globe, people will simply starve.

The remarkable thing is that the real cause of global warming is rarely mentioned. It is the elephant in the room. Everyone can see it but no one wants to speak about it, presumably because this subject is a contentious one and challenges the core beliefs of many religions.

The undeniable fact is that we, the human race, are the cause of our own difficulties and unless we reduce our numbers, we will self-destruct.

We blame the increase in livestock numbers as one reason for climate change while refusing to acknowledge that the true cause is too many people consuming rapidly depleting resources.

The basic belief that man was put on this earth to dominate all other creatures is still widespread, despite unfolding evidence that we are destroying the means of our survival.

This message was echoed by over 15,000 scientists in November 2017. The scientists’ warning was published in the international journal BioScience, and marked an update to the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” issued by nearly 1,700 leading scientists in November 1992.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse. Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption. Moreover, we have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.

We are jeopardizing our future “by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats,” the scientists wrote. “By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperilled biosphere.”

How the world went from 170 million people to 7.3 billion, in one map

Al Bartlett – Democracy Cannot Survive Overpopulation

Overpopulation – We Beat Around the Bush

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71 COMMENTS

  1. We have not advanced despite all the technology in 50 years. As an architect one out 10 clients has some wish to mqke their and our life smarter, but realestate people, bankers, contractors are unmovable object.
    We are mentally not capable as a society ( societies) as each of us have a system around us that is unwilling to lose their market share or method.
    Very simple.

  2. Actually, the world will experience depopulation by 2050 since birthrates worldwide are decreasing below maintenace worldwide – not only in rich nation’s. The whole argument above tests on a Malthusian fallacy.

  3. I agree with this article. Except that it only mentions population. Ehrlich, who has had population as his hobby horse for decades, says it is due to the multiplication of 3 factors, Population times consumption times technology. If population was near zero, people could consume all they want and do negligible environmental damage. If individuals had negligible consumption, large populations would be possible with little environmental damage. Technology can increase or decrease damage even when the other factors don't change. We need to use technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for instance. We cannot stop global warming by reducing population to 1 billion, for instance, without killing 6 million people, because it will take too long to reduce population. I think the author is right, people won't give up prosperity. In fact, we are unwilling to stop economic growth. A few people like the "minimalist" life, drop out of the rat race, don't work so hard, earn less, but spend much less on things you don't need, and enjoy life more. Likely won't get many converts, but great if it did. Ultimately, Ehrlich argues, population growth is unsustainable, and will stop. We have the choice to stop it by birth control, or let death control do it for us. Simple biology, Technology has made it possible for us to escape Malthus' predictions so far, but it won't go on forever. Sooner we reduce and stop population growth and then bring populations down to more sustainable levels the better we will all be. Among other things, we don't have the natural resources to have all 7 billion people live the way most Americans do.

  4. While I fully agree that overpopulation IS ONE of the problems, in my opinion the other, or real, problem is its solution, which appears to be overlooked. Population growth must come to a full stop (the sooner the better) and the the population must be reduced to a sustainable level (1 to 2 billion) in at most a few centuries….

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