The Elephant in the Room: Overpopulation

Agent Smith to Morpheus: "Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment. But you humans do not. "You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area."

As Eamon O'hara said to the BBC, "Undeniably, climate change is a serious problem but it is only one of a growing list of problems that arise from a fundamental global issue. For many decades, the symptoms of unsustainable human exploitation of the natural environment have been mounting: species extinction, the loss of biodiversity, air and water pollution, soil erosion, acid rain, destruction of rainforests, ozone depletion - the list goes on." How do we fix this?

According to Andrew Chung of the Star, Alan Wiesman of The World without us says we have to "limit every human female on Earth capable of bearing children to one." "I'm not trying to be sensationalistic or controversial," he says in an interview. "I'm trying to get us to think very hard about what the whole situation is." If we don't control ourselves, nature will do it for us. Every species that eats itself out of house and home experiences a population crash."

We quote the article: According to Nigel Roulet, director of the McGill School of Environment and a contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the idea was pushed out of mind by the West's declining birthrates and the admonishments of various religions and world governments.

People who study the environment, however, have never forgotten about it. "I think most people that think seriously about the environment and work on issues with the environment would argue that one of the most critical factors driving environmental degradation is overpopulation," Roulet says.

Arguing to reduce population creates a "visceral reaction" in people, Roulet reasons, "because it requires a reflection on ourselves."

So instead, "We think of carbon-dioxide emissions as the problem of climate change, but really it's the number of people whose lifestyles require the level of energy consumption and production that is 95 per cent based on fossil fuels."

Overpopulation, Roulet argues, can't be separated from the notion of lifestyle. "Even if population growth was zero, do we have the resources to sustain the 6.5 billion? I don't think we do with everyone having the same social well-being as we have now." ::The Star Read also new father Kenny's post and our survey: How Many Kids?