Monday, February 2, 2009

Population: A Taboo Topic

The author of this article points out that although population was a major topic of discussion in the 70's and 80's it is rarely brought up in present debates.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7865332.stm

Population control should be considered as a method for reducing strain on natural resources and for increasing the quality of life globally.

2 comments:

Megan Fenton said...

I agree that we need to control population. However this piece that has been posted has such a Western mind set. It states that education will empower these women in developing countries to have less children. I think we need to address the population growth as a symptom of many other problems. For example in many developing countries there is no social security system to take care of the elderly when they can no longer provide for themselves. To ensure that they will atleast have one successful living child that can take care of them when they are elderly, they have many children as a mode of security. Exponential population growth is also a symptom of the use of unprotected prostitution that is done as a source of income, and just so happens to result in children..... Population growth will slow as the income of those in developing countries rises.
I will end this comment with a question.... If there were two beggers infront of you and you had only one dollar bill would you give it to the begger with a baby or the begger standing with empty arms?

Johnny said...

I think one of the main reasons limiting population growth is not as seriously discussed as it once was is because it is a very complex issue and is probably not a main cause of current environmental problems. In fact, in most developed countries population growth has stopped. Japan is actually loosing people. see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/02/japan-population The United states growth is mostly due to immigration from developing countries. Many poor countries still have large growth rates. However, their citizens consume so much less than the average American, European, of Japanese that this does not account from much environmental damage. A much larger problem is the lifestyle switch that citizens of newly developed countries are making to illuminate the American way of life. The earth simply cannot support the entire human race living as we currently do. As the most advanced, richest and powerful country, we must realize that to some degree, the rest of the world follows our path of development. Instead of blaming poor countries for our environmental problems we should strive to create a way of life that is sustaniable and abtainable for the rest of the world. I also agree with Megan that many reasons for population growth come from economic conditions. In many poor countries children provide income for the family. Here is a link to a book that provides a good conter-argument to the bbc article (http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/richard.robbins/legacy/chap_5_intro.html).